Breech Seizing

Support for the 1863 shooter. Discussions of powders, loads, bullets, etc.
Shooter of BP
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Jan 09, 2018 10:23 pm

Breech Seizing

Post by Shooter of BP » Tue Feb 06, 2018 8:16 pm

New to percussion Shiloh carbines and hopefully someone can help me correct my problem. I recently purchased a used SC Robinson .54 . I am loading a Christmas tree bullet out of a Rapine mold lubed with 50/50 bees wax and mutton tallow. This is rolled in a paper cartridge backed by 62 grains of 2f Goex. Rifle is very accurate but with each shot the breech gets harder to open. After three to four shots it is very hard to get the block to fall. I have tried light oil. no lube and a heavy coat of Thompson Center Bore Butter. Not much change in the action. What do I need to do different to get it to shoot more that four shots without seizing?
Any help would be appreciated.
Shooter of BP

Tomklinger
Posts: 248
Joined: Wed Dec 03, 2014 5:00 pm

Re: Breech Seizing

Post by Tomklinger » Wed Feb 07, 2018 6:45 pm

Shooter of BP,
It sounds like the breech sleeve is not moving freely in the chamber. The sleeve is designed to seal the gas between the breech and the breech block when the rifle is fired ,When It is too tight with powder build up, the pressure of the powder ignition when the rifle is fired, will seat the sleeve against the breech block,when it is too tight in the barrel from powder fowling, it cannot move forward, and after a few shots it is so tight against the breech block, the action can be very hard to open. The breech sleeve needs to be removed and cleaned pretty much after each shooting session. You can go on line and purchase a breech sleeve removing tool. It sounds like you may need one!
Hope this helps,
Tom Klinger

Shooter of BP
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Joined: Tue Jan 09, 2018 10:23 pm

Re: Breech Seizing

Post by Shooter of BP » Wed Feb 07, 2018 7:01 pm

Tom Klinger,
Thanks for the reply. I believe you are correct in that the breech sleeve is too tight and not moving back after firing. The breech and sleeve are very clean. I have fired the carbine four different times and this same thing happens each time. After three to four shots I have to force the breech open. After firing four shots, I have removed the breech, cleaned again, reinstalled and after three to four shots it is seized again. When the breech is clean the sleeve is not hard to remove. I have tried no lube, light lube and heavy lube but have not found the right combination as of yet. What lubrication is everyone else using on their carbines? I'm sure there is a way to get it to fire more than four rounds before it is out of commission.
Also can anyone tell me about when the SC Robinson's were manufactured by Shiloh and how many were produced.
Thanks for the help.

Tomklinger
Posts: 248
Joined: Wed Dec 03, 2014 5:00 pm

Re: Breech Seizing

Post by Tomklinger » Wed Feb 07, 2018 7:46 pm

Shooter of BP,
I have an original model '52 slant breech that is my favorite deer rifle. It's a .44 cal sporting rifle. I had the same problem you are having. I also found that the sleeve should be snug in the chamber after it is cleaned. If it moves easily, powder will lock it up after a couple of shots. It should be tight enough not to allow powder gas to get between the sleeve and the chamber where it slides.You may try anti-seize on the sleeve. When they are fitted correctly you should be able to shoot all day without issue. Sleeves are pretty simple to have made if needed...
The most popular lube for b.p. Is SPG, available direct of through Buffalo Arms Co.
Tom

George Babits
Posts: 177
Joined: Tue Jun 16, 2015 10:53 am

Re: Breech Seizing

Post by George Babits » Thu Feb 08, 2018 8:45 am

I have been having the same seizing problem with my 1863 military rifle. I am a bit confused when you talk about a sleeve moving in the chamber. Do you mean the "chamber" in the barrel, or the "chamber " in the breech block? I thought that the only thing moving was the flat plate on the front of the breech block that is pushed forward by the pressure in the "chamber" in the breech block. Am I missing something here? That plate on my rifle is quite loose when clean. But now I am wondering if you are talking about a sleeve in the chamber end of the barrel that also slides. Somebody get me straightened out here.

George

Tomklinger
Posts: 248
Joined: Wed Dec 03, 2014 5:00 pm

Re: Breech Seizing

Post by Tomklinger » Thu Feb 08, 2018 11:30 am

Mr. Babits,
there is a sleeve inside the chamber that pushes against the breech block upon firing. this sleeve can be removed for cleaning. However, I have seen some reproduction rifles that do not have a removable sleeve, but all of the original Sharps rifles and most of the repro's have the chamber sleeve. If your rifle has the sleeve, there will be an open area in the chamber just ahead of the sleeve. this allows the gasses to push the sleeve rearward...hope I didn't confuse you. go on line and look at a chamber sleeve removing tool. It may help answer some questions.
tom k

Tomklinger
Posts: 248
Joined: Wed Dec 03, 2014 5:00 pm

Re: Breech Seizing

Post by Tomklinger » Thu Feb 08, 2018 11:31 am

P.S. the sleeve is in the barrel....

Shooter of BP
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Joined: Tue Jan 09, 2018 10:23 pm

Re: Breech Seizing

Post by Shooter of BP » Thu Feb 08, 2018 1:49 pm

Tom,
I think that what I am talking about is not the same thing as what you are. If there is a moveable sleeve in the chamber then I do not know about it. I am away from home where the rifle is at this time. When I get home and have a chance I am going to take a closer look at the chamber area. If there is a moveable sleeve in that area that very well could be may problem. Will let you know what I find.
Thanks.
Shooter of BP

George Babits
Posts: 177
Joined: Tue Jun 16, 2015 10:53 am

Re: Breech Seizing

Post by George Babits » Thu Feb 08, 2018 6:25 pm

I never heard about a movable sleeve in a Shiloh chamber either. I just felt around in mine (Farmingdale Shiloh military rifle) with a bent paper clip and find no gap in front of the chamber. I have heard that the Italian imports have a sliding sleeve in their chambers and have seen that Dixie sells a gizmo for pulling it back. Does the Shiloh have that too? If so it is news to me.

George

Tomklinger
Posts: 248
Joined: Wed Dec 03, 2014 5:00 pm

Re: Breech Seizing

Post by Tomklinger » Thu Feb 08, 2018 8:00 pm

Gentlemen,
I only deal with originals, I have worked on repos. from time to time and some have the sleeve in the barrel and some don't. Kirk at Shiloh could tell you for sure weather or not they use a barrel sleeve. I do know for sure that ALL of the original Sharps percussion rifles used the barrel sleeve.
Tom
,

George Babits
Posts: 177
Joined: Tue Jun 16, 2015 10:53 am

Re: Breech Seizing

Post by George Babits » Fri Feb 09, 2018 9:52 am

Tom,

I did some serious looking and probing this morning. I dug out my original Sharps carbine and there is a definite gap in the front of the chamber just before the rifling shoulder. I can't quite see it but I can certainly feel it with a dental pick. On the Shiloh I do not feel any gap. That doesn't mean it isn't there, but if it is, the sleeve is clearly all the way forward. I am going to call Shiloh and see what Kirk has to say. On the breech block, the movable plate is quite loose when the rifle is clean and I am thinking that the seizing problem may be due to fouling building up under the plate.

I haven't fired the original, but now you have me wondering if I need to get one of those sleeve removing tools before I do. Care to comment?

Cheers,
George

Tomklinger
Posts: 248
Joined: Wed Dec 03, 2014 5:00 pm

Re: Breech Seizing

Post by Tomklinger » Fri Feb 09, 2018 11:29 am

Mr. Babits,
those sleeves can REALLY be stuck in the originals... if you haven't shot it before, you may want to put some good penetrating oil in the chamber and let it soak a few days. then shoot it, and see if you have any blow by. The breech block sealing assembly may take care of any blow by. the two systems Sharps used were there in case one or the other failed in the field. you don't really need both if one or the other is in good working order.
you are most likley correct about the breech block issue. if it is too loose the powder gas can get in there and lock it up in no time.
tom

Shooter of BP
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Jan 09, 2018 10:23 pm

Re: Breech Seizing

Post by Shooter of BP » Fri Feb 09, 2018 1:25 pm

Had a chance to Take a look at my SC Robinson this morning. When looking down the chamber I can not see a gap or feel one with a dental pick. Doesn't mean that there is not a moveable sleeve. I did notice that the last time I shot it that after the last shot I had a little trouble raising the breech block back up into battery. It seemed that the top of the breech was hitting the back edge of the chamber. It could be that the sleeve might have move rearward and didn't move all the way forward when I opened the breech. If the sleeve is not moving back forward correctly then this may be my problem. As of this time I have the muzzle pointed down and Kriol placed along the line that would be the space between the barrel and the moveable sleeve. Going to let this set for at least 24 hours. Hopefully the Kroil will penetrate and get the sleeve moving properly.
I did call Shiloh last Wednesday. Kirk was not in and will not be back for a few days. I described my carbine but the nice lady that I spoke with said that they have never made a carbine like I have. I think my carbine is at least 30 years old so it probably was manufactured before Kirk became the owner of the company. The lady took my name and number. Maybe Kirk will call me when he gets back or add his knowledge to this post.
Shooter of BP

George Babits
Posts: 177
Joined: Tue Jun 16, 2015 10:53 am

Re: Breech Seizing

Post by George Babits » Fri Feb 09, 2018 7:44 pm

I think all the Robinson carbines were made in New York, long before the present owners of Shiloh were in the picture. I have a message in to Kirk to maybe tell us if the Shiloh rifles have a sleeve in the chamber. Hopefully he will chime in in the next few days.

On another note, my Farmingdale 1863 military rifle was purchased second hand and when I pulled the breech block the first time I found that a thick neoprene(?) faucet washer had been slid onto the fire channel in the middle of the breech block cavity. I thought that a bit strange and removed it. Next time I shoot the rifle I think I'll put it back on and see if that helps. Knowing that the rifle came from a "re-enactor, " I had thought that may had been for firing blanks, but maybe it was to reduce fouling between the block and the gas check plate.

Seems like we are always having to relearn what everyone knew 150 years ago.

George

George Babits
Posts: 177
Joined: Tue Jun 16, 2015 10:53 am

Re: Breech Seizing

Post by George Babits » Mon Feb 12, 2018 10:07 am

I heard back from Kirk this morning and the Shiloh precussion rifles, including the ones made in Farmingdale, do NOT have a chamber sleeve. So any problems would therefore be related to something going on with the gas check plate on the breech block. My guess is fouling under the plate, or at least with the one I have, since the plate is a bit loose.

Cheers,
George
Salmon, Idaho

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