Shot My Repaired Carbine, Observations, etc.

Support for the 1863 shooter. Discussions of powders, loads, bullets, etc.
gmartin
Posts: 359
Joined: Tue Jan 20, 2004 9:55 pm
Location: Boise Id

Shot My Repaired Carbine, Observations, etc.

Post by gmartin » Sat Jun 19, 2004 11:09 am

To all,
Yesterday I spent 7 hours at an improvised range to try her out. Managed to shoot but exactly 50 rounds, but each was a carefully placed shot, as far as conditions would allow. 5 round groups with a sixth being the fouling shot at a duck silhouette @ 100 yards, (My boy made me the duck.) The first the fouling shot of course. Forgot my heavy bench, so I shot off a tail gate with the 1/2 ton truck broadside to gusts of 45-50 MPH. as thunderstorms past by. It really bounced. Shot at 50 and to a lesser extent at 100 yds.
Best performances were made by a gift bullet of a NEI ring tail, a # 383-.54-490-NS, backed by 45 gns. 2fg Swiss in a cartridge fit and glued to the ring tail, with the paper un-nitrated SubWAy or, better, Vellum cotton tracing paper. Consistent 3" at 50 yds. and my best 100 yard group of three bullets at 3" with 2 touching, and two more that blew the stupid thing to 7". Crap. Must touch bases with the provider of these bullets to insure my nomenclature is correct.
My always consitent Shiloh Buffalo Slug at 428 grns., a wad cutter, performed as well, save for my 100 yard shooting which was dismal anyway. Used a Nitrated paper cartridge of SubWay paper or paper from the sort used in packing athletic shoes. 60 grns. of both Swiss and Goex powder, with a tissue filler. Terry Behm's basic design cartidge.
The surprise were the cartridges made with the same bullet but backed by 60 gns. RS Pyrodex with an excellerant of 5 to 10 gns. 2fg. BP. Several 50 yd. groups would have been 2" save always for that wild card flyer, or two. The problem here was that there was, out of 11 I had made to shoot, only 2 that did not have discernable two stage ignition, a sort of "Ta Da" that demanded an excellent follow through, as in a flint lock rifle, perhaps not that severe but noticeable. It was a louder more authoritative charge it seemed. Must play with this more, like use just straight P.
All cartridges were flush with the chamber, save for the ring tail of which several were in further a good 1/4", which means I will increase their length some, good as I would like a full 50 grains 2fg. Still, all flawless ignition. OAL on Buffalo Slug was 1 7/8 ", the ring tail at 2"-2 1/16".
The paper nitired on some left quite a bit of crud, esp. with the lesser quality types. I will shoot un-nitrated cartridges save for the base as suggested by Terry Behm from now on, as even that heavier Vellum paper unitered on a few were clean it seemed.
But this may be part of the problem. I re-use my salt peter solution by pouring the excess back into the glass jar I keep it in. As time passes upon doing this some of the cartridges show a very crystaline salty outer layer, hmmm.
I did use a blow tube, and if it helped I don't know, but it sure didn't hurt. All strings were followed by a barrel swab with a favorite solution.
Still always experimenting, this is too fun. Oh, my lube was a blend of beeswax, crisco, and veg. oil with a tiny bit of Murphy's Oil Soap. Other than the soap, this is a mixture of Rich Siegel's.
Carbine seems fine Kirk, Thanks. Gregg

HvyMtl
Posts: 256
Joined: Tue May 25, 2004 6:44 pm
Location: Soviet state of New Jersey

Your repaired rifle

Post by HvyMtl » Sun Jun 20, 2004 8:53 pm

Hey Gregg

Glad to see you got your rifle back, sorry to hear your having shooting problems. Maybe you have to break it in.

let me know what bore size your rifle is, and what bullet you use.

Ken

gmartin
Posts: 359
Joined: Tue Jan 20, 2004 9:55 pm
Location: Boise Id

Shot My Repaired Carbine, Observations, etc.

Post by gmartin » Sun Jun 20, 2004 9:32 pm

Ken,
The shooting problem is simply me, no real excuses despite conditions.
My bullets that shot best were the Buffalo Slug, weighing 428 grns. and measuring .544 at base band and the two driving bands also at .544, the nose at .529. The # 383 NEI ring tail was .525, .535, and .540, the ring tail I'm unsure of with a weight of 505 grns I believe. I have used a minie that shot very well with a base of .542 and weight I'm unsure of. The ring tails were a gift, a may purchase an NEI mould though. Kirk told me that my carbine should be .532X.544 for the bore.
I am most certainly going to work to improve things and keep you posted.
Still searching for the "Phantom Bullet," I've not forgotton.
Gregg

Rich Siegel
Posts: 610
Joined: Thu Sep 26, 2002 7:53 am
Location: Maine

Post by Rich Siegel » Tue Jun 22, 2004 8:51 am

Gregg,

My Rapine ringtail Christmas tree moulds really cast a large bullet, around .550 to .557, I forget exactly which. I had a sizing die made by a friend that sizes the last band on the bullet to .549. Through trial and error, I found that my Shiloh carbine likes to shoot an unsized bullet. That means the last driving band really sizes down in the barrel when shot. As I stated in another post, I use a soft lead alloy.

When the weather conditions get better and you go out to shoot again, if things still haven't improved, you might want to try a larger bullet. Let me know and I'll send you a few or it might be easier to send a mould for you to try.

Rich

gmartin
Posts: 359
Joined: Tue Jan 20, 2004 9:55 pm
Location: Boise Id

Shot My Repaired Carbine, Observations, etc.

Post by gmartin » Tue Jun 22, 2004 1:05 pm

Rich,
It would be too much trouble to send me a mould to try but that is a very kind offer. I would gladly try some of your bullets however if youv'e some to spare. People have been very kind to me.
My address is 2930 Canal St.
Boise, Id. 83705
I will gladly reimburse you for postage.
May I ask you, what is the OAL of your ring tail cartridge?
Thanks for both offers, Gregg

Rich Siegel
Posts: 610
Joined: Thu Sep 26, 2002 7:53 am
Location: Maine

Post by Rich Siegel » Tue Jun 22, 2004 3:11 pm

Gregg,

I'll be casting more ringtails next week so I'll cast you some.

The overal length of my bullets, including the paper cartridge, is 2 1/2". This has 50 grains of Goex FFG powder in the cartridge and it fits into the chamber with about 1/4" to spare. I do push the cartridge all the way into the chamber with my finger and compress the powder a little.

Rich

gmartin
Posts: 359
Joined: Tue Jan 20, 2004 9:55 pm
Location: Boise Id

Post by gmartin » Tue Jun 22, 2004 7:40 pm

Thanks Rich,
By the way, always windy here in our desert, rare otherwise. Don't know about Maine woods, but in Interior Alaska in wooded conditions the wind rarely blew, snow would be 50" on a stump and stay that way.
Best, Gregg

HvyMtl
Posts: 256
Joined: Tue May 25, 2004 6:44 pm
Location: Soviet state of New Jersey

Bullet Size?

Post by HvyMtl » Tue Jun 22, 2004 8:12 pm

Gregg

Sorry i'm not that smart yet. What does .532 x .544 mean. If the bore is .532 than I have an idea. If it is .544 then I don't think the idea will work.

Buy the way I shot my first silhouette match this past Saturday, it was a humbling experience to say the least. It was also some of the best fun I ever had with a rifle. I Should have found the old proverbial side of a barn to see if I could hit it. :oops:

Ken

gmartin
Posts: 359
Joined: Tue Jan 20, 2004 9:55 pm
Location: Boise Id

Post by gmartin » Tue Jun 22, 2004 8:31 pm

Ken,
I'm not that smart either. This would be the extreme depth between the lands and the grooves as the bullet engages the rifling. Someone will say "No it's not" but this information was provided by Kirk when I inquired about the rifle's bore.
Best, Gregg

bwbayless
Posts: 118
Joined: Wed Nov 26, 2003 7:22 am
Location: Lebanon, Indian Nations, OK

Post by bwbayless » Tue Jun 22, 2004 8:36 pm

Gregg,

Those ringtails as dropped measure .525, .535 & .545. The larger one is .545, .545 & .550. They have always dropped larger than the NEI advertised size. These molds are some 20 years old and the molds now sold with the same measurements may drop closer to the advertised size, I don't know.

Bob

gmartin
Posts: 359
Joined: Tue Jan 20, 2004 9:55 pm
Location: Boise Id

Shot My Repaired Carbine, Observations, etc.

Post by gmartin » Tue Jun 22, 2004 9:11 pm

Bob,
So the bullet that performed best, yours, was the smaller of the two with the largest base band? Was I correct in my answer to Ken? Thus the bore size of my carbine would be the distance between the lands, .544, and the miked bore simply gives me an idea of the depth of the rifling? This is basic shooting 101 but I must ask.
Gregg

bwbayless
Posts: 118
Joined: Wed Nov 26, 2003 7:22 am
Location: Lebanon, Indian Nations, OK

Post by bwbayless » Tue Jun 22, 2004 9:23 pm

Gregg,

Slug it and measure the slug. Best way I know of to get the dimensions. Rule of thumb is shoot about .002" oversize. In my case I'm .005" over but the rifle doesn't seem to mind.

Bob

HvyMtl
Posts: 256
Joined: Tue May 25, 2004 6:44 pm
Location: Soviet state of New Jersey

Interesting comparison

Post by HvyMtl » Tue Jun 22, 2004 9:35 pm

The bullet measurements I posted start out similar to Bobs bullet except for the last ring. When I started shooting my 54 cal. I was using a Hornady great plains bullet, it shot the best out of the bullets I had tried up to that point. One of the other shooters at my club said he used to have a rifle just like mine. He is the person who gave me that mystery bullet. I even went to the store where he bought the mold, and although they remember him buying the rifle and bullet mold they had no record of the mold and could'nt find in any of the catalogs. It is because of this bullets size I decided to look for a smaller bullet than the hornaday,which was a full 54 cal. I also slugged the barrel and found out it wasn't a 54 cal. but a .537. which is considerably less in size. One thing I did find out is this rifle likes the smaller size bullet.

I think i'm going to have to bit the bullet and have a mold made, that is when I have the extra cash.

Ken

gmartin
Posts: 359
Joined: Tue Jan 20, 2004 9:55 pm
Location: Boise Id

Shot My Repaired Carbine, Observations, etc.

Post by gmartin » Tue Jun 22, 2004 10:04 pm

Ken, Bob,
This is getting too interesting. Rich shoots a Rapine ring tail a full .577. Kirk may have told me my bore size was .542, but I have written down .544. Bob says to go .002, at least, oversize, and Rich's shoots larger as well. My Buffalo Slug's 3 driving bands are .544 as measured by Bob, and it shoots well. Unless extreme obturation occurs, my bore must be .542. But, it's a bore riding bullet, which cartridge shooters deem as best. Yet, the Christmas Tree style/taper shoots well for most if not all '63's and ''59's. The "phantom bullet" measured I forget what at the base, I have it on a stick pad some place, but as long as what we read is correct a diameter of at least .539 or more is fine. Did that fellow have good accuracy with this thing in the rifle? Buying new moulds is a kick but you have an exceptional shooting minie now. Custom moulds=no less than $125.00 unless you know more of this than I do. Bob has a bore riding design on paper, a modification of the ring tail that shoots best. Wow, do it if you can, and it reputedly shoots well.
Best, Gregg

Rich Siegel
Posts: 610
Joined: Thu Sep 26, 2002 7:53 am
Location: Maine

Post by Rich Siegel » Wed Jun 23, 2004 7:40 am

Gregg,

Just one correction to your last post. I shoot a .557. Not .577, that's a 58 cal. miniball size.

Rich

PS; as an aside, during the Civil War, one cavalry troop armed with .50 cal Smith carbines ran out of ammo but were able to get some .54 cal. Sharps ammo. They shot those rounds in the combat, through their Smiths, with no ill effects.

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