Use of Blow Tube in '63

Support for the 1863 shooter. Discussions of powders, loads, bullets, etc.
Todd Birch
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Use of Blow Tube in '63

Post by Todd Birch » Thu Apr 22, 2004 11:29 am

Something I forgot to mention in my last posting......

I tried using my blow tube between shots as up to now I've been wiping between shots for best accuracy.

Results? Fugedabowdit! Da rifle spit 'em all over da place!

As someone else mentioned, with the Lyman 515141, a grease cookie improves accuracy, no doubt due to the softer powder fouling.

So may variables, so little of me.....

It's Hell, ain't it!

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

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Lee Stone
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Post by Lee Stone » Thu Apr 22, 2004 11:44 am

A heck of a job Todd, but someone has to do it. :roll: Even if tempted by a grazing doe. :lol:
Lee Stone

Todd Birch
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Deer On The Range - and other matters....

Post by Todd Birch » Thu Apr 22, 2004 12:43 pm

Hey Lee

We are very often interrupted in our shooting by deer and black bear meandering across the range between our 200 and 300 yard butts. I have become convinced that gun fire means nothing to game animals.

I once fired several rounds from a .44 magnum near a grazing deer only to be ignored. It wasn't until I shot right under the deer between it's legs that it jumped when flying dirt hit it.

On another matter....

My '63 Military is a Farmingdale. There appears to be a step ahead of the chamber which might indicate a sleeve. A small amount of lead is accumulating at this point which I have scrubbed with a brass brush and a lead removing solution.

Kirk assures me that my rifle doesn't have a chamber sleeve but I'm beginning to wonder.....

In "Single Shot Rifles & Actions" by Frank de Haas, there is a depiction of the Lawrence gas check system employed in the historic '63. It very clearly shows the chamber sleeve in conjunction with the gas check plate.

If my rifle is so equipped, I have no idea when the chamber sleeve was last removed, if ever.

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

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Lee Stone
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Post by Lee Stone » Thu Apr 22, 2004 1:04 pm

I'll bet it would very interesting for Kirk to personally examine it. From you description it sounds as though Wolf may well have followed original design techniques in some of his earliest efforts. What about taking some good crisp photos with a macro lens and sending them to Kirk to see what his thoughts are when he can actually see what you've got? Might be a very interesting research.
Lee Stone

Todd Birch
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....macro lens photos....

Post by Todd Birch » Thu Apr 22, 2004 5:14 pm

Not a bad idea, Lee.

But, I live in cowboy country. A camera here is a $9.98 Wal Mart throwaway.
Gregg Martin owns a Farmer carbine that has a chamber sleeve. The serial # of his carbine isn't that far removed from the # of my rifle.

Big Timber isn't just a drive around the block from here either.

Maybe it's time for me to invest in a chamber sleeve puller, assuming I could dislodge the thing.

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

gmartin
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'63 Blow tube

Post by gmartin » Thu Apr 22, 2004 5:34 pm

Todd,
I tried a blow tube with my .54 carbine. It was of copper and just fit into the elusive chamber sleeve. I was worried about the copper dinging my sleeve as it was a oddly made tube, I could do better, and the sleeve, which protrudes ever so slightly most certainly CAN be dinged. My carbine has been gone for repairs for some time due to that very sort of thing (rising breech block's gas seal put a sort of marr on it). The tube did seem to help actually though. Concerning this sleeve, since it's integral with the gas seal system how can it not be there? I believe the sleeve in mine was the original with the carbine. It is a most certainly discernable part of the chamber, even a different metalic sheen, rather silver it seems to me. Some one though out there knows more than me I'm sure. The sleeve on my '63 did indeed move forward to engage the sleeve as shown by wear on the gas seal over the years. That seal was replaced in Oct. 2003.
Best, Gregg

gmartin
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'63 Blow tube

Post by gmartin » Thu Apr 22, 2004 5:43 pm

Oh yea guys, my sleeve is very discernable by feel as well. Did Sellers ever mention a puller?, don't think so, I'd better look again. First I ever heard of it was in a catalog with one by IAB I believe.
Gregg

JMLange
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Use of Blow Tube in '63

Post by JMLange » Thu Apr 22, 2004 7:13 pm

Gentlemen,
I have a Farmingdale '63 Military rifle with a three digit serial number. I believe it has a chamber sleeve, but it is the bouching that Sellers talks about on p.40. It is ajustable by a gunsmith to compensate for wear and adust the headspace with the breachblock. You are not going to move it with one of the sleeve tools.
I do not know where the idea of a sliding sleeve came from, if this was an idea by the Italians, or an abandoned experiment from Sharps. I do not recall coming across it in Sellers' or Smith's books.
I know that they are a little pricey, but I would highly recommend Winston Smith's "The Sharp's Rifle, It's History, Developement and Operation" to anyone interested in the '63's.

John

Todd Birch
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....to sleeve or not to sleeve....

Post by Todd Birch » Thu Apr 22, 2004 8:49 pm

This is getting interesting.....

In a private email to Lee Stone, I mentioned that in "Single Shot Rifles & Actions" by Frank de Haas, there is very good depiction of the "Lawrence patented gas check" system.
It would appear that the sleeve is an integral part of the system.

My rifle definitely looks like there is sleeve from the different coloured ring inside the barrel steel. If so, it is anyone's guess when this was last out of my rifle and if it could be moved at all at this time.

Dixie and Pedersoli offer chamber sleeve pullers in .45 and .54. My rifle is a .50 so that means I'd have to purchase and copy one of those.

I am a believer in the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" school of thought. The rifle gives every indication of being happy and shooting well, so perhaps I'd best leave well enough alone.

Obviously the current Shiloh production '63s lack this feature.

"Handsome is as handsome does", or something Forrest Gumpy like that.

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

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Post by bwbayless » Fri Apr 23, 2004 7:38 am

Fellers,

If you have a Shiloh my best guess is the chamber sleeve is a freeze/heat fit. At least that is what Kirk told me. Now you ain't gonna move that thing with an expandable puller like Dixie sells. Believe me, I have tried it. My advise is if it ain't leaking don't mess with it. To my knowledge all of the Italian come with a floating chamber sleeve. They are a completely different story. I have a Garrett which now has a freeze/heat fit that I have just finished squaring up to the new gas plate. Not an easy task with a cold chisel & wood rasp. I have great expectations & as soon as Mother Nature settles down, the finish dries on my portable shooting bench and I run out of excuses, I'm gonna try it out.

Bob

Todd Birch
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Chamber Sleeve Question

Post by Todd Birch » Fri Apr 23, 2004 10:15 am

Hey Bob

Looks like there is a lot of confusion in folk's minds about the matter.

I asked Shiloh for a copy of their current instructions on the '63. They do not mention a chamber sleeve.

What did puzzle and amuse me was this comment:

"If you should have to remove the gas check plate, do so by using (2) small screw drivers."

Huh? "IF" you should have to remove it? I thought that it was a "must do" after every firing. That and that the flash hole screw which the instructions don't even mention.
An exploded view drawing would also be a good idea as well. That would certainly put an end to the question of the chamber sleeve.

I gather that some of the '63 clones are somewhat problematic, just like their '74s. It's gotta be the real thing or fuggedabowdit!!

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

bwbayless
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Post by bwbayless » Fri Apr 23, 2004 11:03 am

Todd,

I not sure if confusion is the word or not but I do know there are a lot of folks with different ideas about how to seal the breech on paper cartridge Sharps pattern rifles. I know two people, father & son, who own Shilohs. Bought them in the early 80's. Both have chamber sleeves and they have never given any problems. I bought the Garrett in the same time frame BUT I did have problems. It was $200 cheaper, @ $450 & has the working Lawrence Pellet Priming System. Both were pretty important at the time. Problem: breech leakage. I hope I have it fixed! Maybe hesitating to try it from fear it isn't! Will shoot it in a day or two. Rain or the possiblility of for the last couple of days and through the weekend has pretty much kept me in.

Yep, the gas plate needs to come out for cleaning and the same for the flash passage. I give the breech block a light smear of CVA patch lube before installation. Don't have much of it left so I have some Bore Butter back up. Seems to help.

Bob

Todd Birch
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Gas leakage at the breech

Post by Todd Birch » Fri Apr 23, 2004 11:25 am

Bob

The Brits did extensive evaluation of the '55 slant breech Sharps percussion carbine first in .577 and later in .50. Some were Maynard priming system equipped, the others used standard musket caps. Around 2,000 carbines total, I believe.

They ultimately rejected it although they equipped five cavalry regiments with them in India and elsewhere. The troops themselves thought highly of them but the complaint was that gas leakage ruined too many uniforms!

I think the real problem was the "it wasn't invented here" syndrome and British pride prevailed. Nothing they came up with was superior in the long run. They tested some awful turkeys trying to find a better system.

Once the Northern War of Aggression got under way, Lawrence & Robbins lost interest in trying to interest the Crown to adopt it. They had a domestic market.

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

bwbayless
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Post by bwbayless » Fri Apr 23, 2004 11:47 am

Todd,

After all I've been through with the '63 the slant breech would have been a nightmare to seal. In reading Sellers the rifle was not originally designed with a slant. Machining problems caused it. Took several years to overcome before machining it perpendicular. Not being a machinist I don't even have a clue how the process works. Don't want to get into it, might get the union on my backside. Had enough trouble figuring a way to get the gas plate/chamber sleeve square with each other.

There were rumors in the early 80's that someone might make some primers for the Lawrence system. I've seen some original tubes and just don't think they would be reliable.

Bob

Todd Birch
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...the Slant Breech....

Post by Todd Birch » Fri Apr 23, 2004 12:29 pm

Yes, you have to wonder just how anyone could have made up slant breech receivers from patent drawings clearly showing a vertical arrangement.

In modern arms, the same kind of errors were made in pilot models of the Lewis Gun. After this American design became a battle proven success chambered in the .303 British rimmed round, an attempt was made to chamber it in .30-'06 without taking into consideration all the necessary re-engineering for a more powerful rimless cartridge.
It failed.
Might have been a little politics involved as Col. Lewis had put a few high placed noses out of joint when he was pushing for the US Army to adopt the design prior to WW1.

In WW2, a similar brain fart happened with attempts to make .30-'06 versions of the German MG 42. Eventually engineers got it right and re-invented the wheel with the 7.62mm M-60 of Viet Nam fame.

The real lesson of history is that we don't learn from it.

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

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