Slant Breech Articles in BPCN

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Todd Birch
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Slant Breech Articles in BPCN

Post by Todd Birch » Mon Mar 30, 2020 11:29 am

The Fall 2019 and the current Spring 2020 issues of BPCN (Black Powder Cartridge News) have articles on Slant Breech Sharps carbines.

They should be of interest to those of us with '63 carbines and rifles as the same principles apply for cartridges, etc.
"From birth to the packing house, we travel between the two eternities ....." Robert Duvall in "Broken Trail"

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VenisonRX
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Re: Slant Breech Articles in BPCN

Post by VenisonRX » Wed Apr 01, 2020 4:50 pm

Makes me wish someone would make a slant breech reproduction...
—Tom

Todd Birch
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Re: Slant Breech Articles in BPCN

Post by Todd Birch » Wed Apr 01, 2020 7:34 pm

Why? They were known for a poor gas seal.

The British Army considered adopting them, starting in 1854 with a Maynard tape-primed model. In 1855, the Royal Small Arms factory received instructions to build a dozen carbines chambered for the .577 Pritchett bullet. They were impressed and 6,000 of the 1855 pattern were ordered from Robbins & Lawrence, 3,000 with three groove, 21" barrels with a 1x78" pitch, 3,000 with 18" barrels.

The Brits quickly decided not to adopt the Maynard tape priming mechanism as it quickly went out of order, preferring the use of standard musket caps. It is interesting to note that the breechblock was referred to as the "slide" and for the first time, the word "receiver" was used by the Brits as part of the nomenclature. It was also the first arm in British history to possess a divided stock.

Five Cavalry regiments were issued them and they saw service at home depots and in India during the Sepoy Rebellion. They were well liked by the troops but were not adopted as the poor gas seal caused too many burns on the cuffs of expensive Victorian uniforms!

The vertical breech Model '59 was tested and found to be superior, but by then the Crimean War was over and the need for them was over. By 1864, only 2,400 were still in government stores.
"From birth to the packing house, we travel between the two eternities ....." Robert Duvall in "Broken Trail"

mike herth
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Re: Slant Breech Articles in BPCN

Post by mike herth » Thu Apr 02, 2020 7:10 am

I thoroughly enjoyed the articles. I’ve often wondered about the Hall rifles/carbines and how effective they were as well.

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VenisonRX
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Re: Slant Breech Articles in BPCN

Post by VenisonRX » Thu Apr 02, 2020 12:57 pm

Learn something new every day. Was it the slanted design on the breech block that caused the gas problems or a part in the block itself? If it was something on the block someone looking to build one today could 3D scan the parts of an original in good shape and do a little tweaking to the design or fit of that part and with the right milling or casting equipment make a pretty good but more reliable copy. Not 100 percent correct, but nobody producing the 59 or 63 is doing it that way either.
—Tom

Todd Birch
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Re: Slant Breech Articles in BPCN

Post by Todd Birch » Sun Apr 05, 2020 5:37 pm

ANYTHING can be done if you have the skill set and the money.

Coming up with a gas tight deal on a slant breech would make for a neat design challenge.

If it was easy, the Brits would have done it as they had the skills, the money and the motivation - The Empire !!!
"From birth to the packing house, we travel between the two eternities ....." Robert Duvall in "Broken Trail"

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VenisonRX
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Re: Slant Breech Articles in BPCN

Post by VenisonRX » Mon Apr 06, 2020 12:05 pm

All true. Does anyone know what the problem was? Why did the slant breech have gas issues where the 59/63s tended not to? Is it even fixable other than changing the angle from the breech to bore to 90 degrees?

One thing we have that the 19th century Brits did not is computer technology. It’s be a real task for any one person to do who didn’t have access to a fully capable modernized machine shop.

The only way it’d probably ever get done is a collaborative effort from folks who’d be interested and maybe some sort of Kickstarter type initiative. Wed have to start with an original in good shape that the owner is comfortable disassembling.

The right application of 3D scanning and CNC technology could get a decent receiver and block built. Someone with a lathe and the skills could handle cutting whatever a CNC couldn’t do. I have immediate access to a stock duplicator and maybe a 3D scanner so if this thing was copied from a donor original I could get the woodwork knocked out fairly simply and render a file that could be put into auto cad or similar software to send to someone smarter in such things that could tweak whatever needed tweaking to fix the gas problem.

Once the machining and woodwork was done if there was someone who could blue the barrel and case harden the rest of it, you would, in theory, have a decent and reliable copy of an original. There’d probably be a few things to change after some initial testing but only function since basic design is already there.
—Tom

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