wheel weights and drop tubes

Support for the 1863 shooter. Discussions of powders, loads, bullets, etc.
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Rich Siegel
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Joined: Thu Sep 26, 2002 7:53 am
Location: Maine

wheel weights and drop tubes

Post by Rich Siegel » Mon Jun 14, 2004 2:41 pm

I experimented some more with my '63 carbine today. First, I cast some of my normal bullets in my Rapine mould using straight wheel weight lead. Bullets were easy to cast and looked great. I loaded 10 in the normal manner with 50 grains of FFG Goex in a nitrated cartridge. I loaded five more using a drop tube to fill the cartridges. I also loaded 10 rounds of my normal soft alloy bullets using the 24" drop tube.

At the 100 yard range, the wheel weight bullets were a failure. Shot 5" to 6" groups and the rounds loaded with the drop tube didn't do any better. I then shot the soft alloy bullets that had been loaded using the drop tube and didn't see any advantage with that loading method either except you probably could get another 10 grains of FFG into the cartridge and fit into the chamber. But, I'm not after a power load, I just shoot for accuracy for rifle matches.

I really didn't have a good day with my regular loads either, they stayed in about a 3" group at a 100 yards from the bench rest but no better. Actually, my offhand shooting turned in groups about the same size. I wish someone out there with a '63 sporting rifle with set triggers and a tang sight would chime in to see what their accuracy is. I feel that I'm gettimg the most I can from my carbine, the military Lawrence sight and my eyes.


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

Accuracy with the 1863

Post by HvyMtl » Mon Jun 14, 2004 8:38 pm

Hi Rich

I wish I could help you out, I would like to know what is the difference between the 1863 & the 1859? I know the barrel is longer on the 1859 (30"), but are there any other diffs.? It does not have a heavy barrel.

OK, lets do it this way. My rifle takes 80 gr. of powder, no more no less.
I use 2f clean shot, I"ve tried others the rifle does not like them. I use a 420 gr. Lyman mini, they don't make that mold any more. The bullet is a hollow base ( maybe thats what makes this rifle so accurate ) I have only shot hollow based bullets out of this gun. I use a musket cap, it does have a tang sight but I like the regular open sights better ( especially for hunting). By the way I do make my own bullets, but I am new at this also. It is a Ped. replica that I was lucky enough to get brand new for a good price. At 100 yds this rifle shoots just as good as any of my 45/70'S

Well thats about it, I don't know what else I could add that might help you out

Good luck

Last edited by HvyMtl on Tue Jun 15, 2004 4:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Todd Birch
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Joined: Wed Mar 03, 2004 12:01 pm
Location: Somewhere in the Cariboo ....

Differences between '59 and '63

Post by Todd Birch » Tue Jun 15, 2004 10:20 am

Hey Hvymtl

I don't have my copy of Sellers book handy, but I know that one of the ways the '59s and the New Model '63s differed was the rear sight. There was only one or two other minor changes.

Any one who gets bent out of shape at a re-enactment over the differences is the same type that would care or ask if your fly had buttons or a zipper.

The name for these guys is "Farbees". When picking fly shit out of pepper looking at your kit, their opening line is "Far be it from me to criticize your kit, but......"
Then they spend the next 15 minutes telling you in great and elaborate detail what's wrong with it.

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

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

Wheel Weights and Drop Tubes

Post by gmartin » Tue Jun 15, 2004 12:00 pm

Hello all,
I have some comments please. Rich, OH NO!, I will have my carbine back from Shiloh tomorrow and I had molded some bullets with 50/50 lead and WW. They sure looked nice and filled the mould nicely. And, as these were to test a minie mould with an optional flat plug created by a machinist friend to create a solid slug, I now wonder how they will really test this new option. The drop tube I don't have, but I fiddle around with my cartridges during loading I wonder about its benefit to me. Yet, still, being able to squeeze 10 grns. powder more may aid those cartridges I created for some ring tails where I managed to get but 45 grns. 2fg in. Your soft alloy I have saved someplace, got to look it up.
Ken, and Todd, got my Sellers' on my lap, perusing "The Straight Breech Models." The '59 rifles had a barell length of 30 and 36", the '63 with a 30" length. The sight seems nearly to be the same, the rear being the Lawrence patent rear sight, with the '59 utilizing a raised block with iron, German silver blade front on some carbines, with iron or brass on rifles. The '63 having the same said rear, and an iron block with iron blade front. The patch box seems to have been dropped from the '63 carbine, as well as the '65 model, yet remaining on most rifles. Do your rifles have patchboxes guys?
Again Ken, you have a bullet that you gave us the particulars of, (still no picture, personal problem) a ring tailed christmas tree type, have you shot it much?, I do realize that you were able to try various types out thanks to Navy Arms. And, how is cartridge making coming?, of course I had to ask.
I am curious too about a sporter '63 with a tang sight and its accuracy and powder capacity.
One more comment. The 1/48" twist in a sporter with near big bore metallic cartridge capability at long range, (perhaps?) might not stabilize a heavy longer bullet. Like to hear from someone with their sporter experience concerning this as well.
Best, Gregg

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Joined: Tue May 25, 2004 6:44 pm
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Post by HvyMtl » Tue Jun 15, 2004 4:16 pm

Yes I posted the picture of the bullet, Yes I do have a patch box built into the stock, oh I made a mistake the barrel is 30" long, corrected it in my previous post.

Paper cartridges have to take a back seat to my 45/70's, because I have my first silhoutte shoot this Saturday, & I am really trying hard to make it.

I am not very interested in being overly era correct, but I am in being very accurate.


P.S. check out the bullet

P.P.S. Gregg I left you another answer on the post of the bullet.

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