Paper cartridge length and filler

Support for the 1863 shooter. Discussions of powders, loads, bullets, etc.
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dm3280
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Paper cartridge length and filler

Post by dm3280 » Fri Mar 26, 2004 6:21 pm

If I want to use 60 grains of BP in a paper cartridge the length of the paper tube will not come to the end of the chamber, it will be about 1/4 inch short of the chamber. Does any one use a filler or will the cap still set off the powder charge even though it is further away?
Currently I use a filler to make sure the paper cartrodge is the same length as the chamber but if I could skip the step of adding filler it would be great.

gmartin
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Post by gmartin » Fri Mar 26, 2004 8:22 pm

If your paper cartridges are at all like mine for my .54, they measure 1 3/8" for chamber length, and mine are best with a total measure of 1 7/8" no matter which bullet I've used thus far. That is measured from the flat base forward. 60 grn. 2fg. is also short for me. I then as well use a time consuming filler of tissue paper and insert the bullet and paste it tight. Lubing used to be another bugger but now I dip the bullet in melted lube head first to the glue line. Now other than accepting a floppy cartridge what are we to do?
Like to hear what others have to say, Gregg

Todd Birch
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Paper cartridge length

Post by Todd Birch » Fri Mar 26, 2004 8:41 pm

Gregg

I don't think that overall length of a paper cartridge is critical. If you were to load with loose powder and ball, the powder would fall back into the recess of the block. That's as loose as a cow town bar girl.

Your short cartridges give you the the opportunity for compression with a short starter. When I use 60 gr FFg in my fifty, I compress the paper charge to where it is just shy of the block on closing - no shearing, no powder loss.

When I seat a Pyrodex pellet cartridge, it is similarly short of the block by about 3/16". If I'm firing a 'fouling shot', I do it with a 'naked' pellet behind a breech seated bullet. That's a pretty loose fit.

Todd
"From birth to the packing house, we travel between the two eternities ....." Robert Duvall in "Broken Trail"

gmartin
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Post by gmartin » Fri Mar 26, 2004 9:02 pm

Ah but Todd, the stiff as near to perfect chamber sized cartridge seats like a metallic ctg. and, most importantly, has been the method that has shot best for me. Occaisionally one will be 1/8" long or so and a simple finger push is all that it takes to get it flush. Short fellas by 1/8" ignite flawlessly as well. I made some with a total length of 2 1/16" with all grease grooves exposed which demanded smashing with a starter and did shoot poorly, though admitedly that was a new bullet size with adjustible mould. Hmm, perhaps I just enjoy a well crafted cartridge (as do you), but they shot best. How 'bout dm3280's experince and others?
Waiting, Gregg

dm3280
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Cartridge length

Post by dm3280 » Fri Mar 26, 2004 11:00 pm

I use to use ones that I would shear off when the breach was closed but I did not like loosing the powder. I also had heard that powder loss can build up in the forearms and possibly ignite causing a small explosion in the forearm. Not sure if it really could happen but I did not want to take the chance.

I now create paper tube. Once the glule is dry I place a small bead of glue around the inside of one end. I use a wood dowel with the end wrapped with a half sheet of cig paper and push it through the tube to the glued end. Once dry I place a measure charge in followed by a carboard wad then filler to about 1/8 in from the top. Finally I glue in the ringtail bullet. When I place it in the gun I have to use slight finger preasure to get the end of the cartridge flush with the chamber. I can close the breach without shearing the end.

The only problem I do have is after the second shot I have to take a brush and clean out the breach before I can put in another cartridge. I use a breach brush they sell to clean the threads of those modern rifles they call muzzleloaders, in-line muzzleloaders.
I have not had any misfires or hang fires yet
I did have a 50 cal carbine that had misfires all the time until I bought a new nipple with a larger flash hole.

Todd Birch
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Fillers in cartridges

Post by Todd Birch » Fri Mar 26, 2004 11:51 pm

I'm fortunate with my .50 when using Pyrodex pellet cartridges - no room for a filler.

I have toyed with the idea when using an FFg/filler load but don't see the need for the type of shooting I do.

My next goal is to create a cartridge that looks as good as my Pryo loads using FFg. My idea is to find or create a tube that will accept the rolled bullet in the paper allowing me to compress the powder and fold over the end of the paper.
Once I do that, my Pyro loads will just be for when I'm too lazy to use FFg.

Of course, I could reverse the process and insert the bullet last by slightly belling the mouth of the paper tube......

Looking at the difference in the flash hole sizes of my '63 nipple and tose of my Parker-hale Enfields, it becomes apparent how much larger is that of the Sharps.
It would be an easy matter to drill one out to the larger size if the threads matched.

Todd
"From birth to the packing house, we travel between the two eternities ....." Robert Duvall in "Broken Trail"

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KHR
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Post by KHR » Sat Mar 27, 2004 10:54 am

DM3280
the explosion in the forearm that you mentioned was very true in the past, Sellers mentions it in his sharps book, I believe that it was with the slant breach carbine though. I don't have my book with me but I think that the '59-'63 models did not have that problem. I had a '63 for a while and did not have any such problems.
:-)
keith
Some originals and some Shilohs.
Molon Labe

Todd Birch
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Powder Build Up In Forearm of Paper Sharps

Post by Todd Birch » Sat Mar 27, 2004 1:48 pm

Keith

You're right about the problem being with the slant breech Sharps rifles. The Brits rejected the design as too many fancy uniforms were being singed by gas leakage and loose powder grains being ignited. Their experimental carbines were in .58, I believe.

The problem is also mentioned in the soft cover book by Martin Rywell.

On a Civil War re-enactment site, I read that it could also happen with the '59-'63s when loose powder escaped at the time of shearing off the base of a paper cartridge. The lever spring recess is a natural cavity for this problem.

That's why I decided to reduce my powder charge so that 100% of it was in the chamber ahead of the block.

Todd
"From birth to the packing house, we travel between the two eternities ....." Robert Duvall in "Broken Trail"

gmartin
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Post by gmartin » Sat Mar 27, 2004 6:48 pm

To all,
I will try to remember all of this to comment upon. dm3280, your cartridges are constructed as mine. I thought of creating a .54 or a bit larger punch for felt wads. Made cartridges today and aside from the whole create tube, dry glu wait etc., the filler of tissue is a bummer. FYI (also Todd), I made some of RS Pryrodex 60grns. with perhaps 5 grns. 2fg. BP. for ignition, yet another step. Of course I know that loose powder, (done that lots), a floppy ctg., sheared ctg., will ignite. Am I wrong to assume that the least # of variables we have with ignition and the whole process of bullet travel will result in greatest accuracy? As well, when that ctg. is flush with the chamber and tightly constructed, one variable, (loose powder) is obviated. Therefore I can work with other variables, bullets, powders, lube, cap make, etc. d and T, the fouled chamber I can't help but think is the result of the glues I (we) use. I experience the same problem but not as bad, also, my experiment with different papers has led me to conclude some are much less desirable than others. Some foul worse it seems. Others recommend cornmeal as a filler, but it seems that powder and meal could mix some at least.
Our modern '63's as well made as they be should'nt have the powder in the fore arm problem, my carbine hasn't in 26 years (sn 1271).
We need this forum. Thanks, Gregg

Todd Birch
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Joined: Wed Mar 03, 2004 12:01 pm
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Cartridge Uniformity

Post by Todd Birch » Sat Mar 27, 2004 7:35 pm

Gregg

Yep, uniformity is what counts. That's what making up cartridges is all about. Consistency in shooting and loading pays off on the target.

We all like to put 'em in the same hole but I'm a believer in practical field accuracy. With my modern hunting rifles, once I've got a zero, unless I change a component or ammo brand, I rarely shoot from the bench. Most often I shoot slung up in the military sitting position.

Given the chance, that is how I shoot game as well. I've yet to see a shooting bench out in the boonies.

I need and want to know what I can do with the rifle under field conditions out to what I consider my known abilities with that rifle and load. Off hand at 100 yards and past 200, that means "pie plate" accuracy while shooting quickly. I prefer not to shoot beyond 200 and rarely have to, most game I take being at 50-60 yards.

Todd
"From birth to the packing house, we travel between the two eternities ....." Robert Duvall in "Broken Trail"

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