Author Topic: Picket Bullets  (Read 7303 times)

Offline frogwalking

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1043
Picket Bullets
« on: May 25, 2010, 04:34:10 AM »
I just got another close look at several picket bullets.  I cannot understand how, with what appears to be only the base diameter engaging the rifling, they can stay properly aligned in firing and be accurate.  Enlightment would be appreciated.
Quality, schedule, price; Pick any two.

The other DWS

  • Guest
Re: Picket Bullets
« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2010, 05:14:08 AM »
FW weird ain't they!!! but you have to look at the whole system ---bullet, rifle, loading apparatus and procedure.   I suspect they they were dead soft lead,  even the 2-part swedged-together ones had soft bases and harder alloy nose parts, so they could slug-up on ignition impact to give more bore-wall/rifling contact.   a lot of the target rifles that used them had very carefully designed mechanical starters and ramrods with tips precisely machined to fit the bullet nose contour and keep it centered all the way down the bore

stubshaft

  • Guest
Re: Picket Bullets
« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2010, 05:46:23 AM »
I think tha the accuracy question is relative to the times.  They did not give pristine accuracy but were alot better than shooting a RB that got 9" @ 50yds on a good day.

timM

  • Guest
Re: Picket Bullets
« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2010, 06:12:12 AM »
Accuracy with picket bullets might suprise you.  Some of the famous Riflesmiths of the 19th century built heavy target rifles that would out shoot many / most new out of the box modern production bolt rifles at 40 rod (220 yards) targets.

Ned Robert's book "The Muzzle loading Cap Lock Rifle" has some interesting reading on this subject.  tim

Offline Dphariss

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9677
  • Kill a Commie for your Mommy
Re: Picket Bullets
« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2010, 08:51:52 AM »
I just got another close look at several picket bullets.  I cannot understand how, with what appears to be only the base diameter engaging the rifling, they can stay properly aligned in firing and be accurate.  Enlightment would be appreciated.

Generally speaking they need a lot of powder. The last time I shot the 40 it was up to 80 grains.
They also need a guide starter or false muzzle to get them loaded straight. THIS is the key.
In in this case they shoot pretty well even in a 48" twist. Without the starter, forget it.


They are really a PITA.
Dan
He who dares not offend cannot be honest. Thomas Paine

dannybb55

  • Guest
Re: Picket Bullets
« Reply #5 on: May 25, 2010, 02:26:13 PM »
I think tha the accuracy question is relative to the times.  They did not give pristine accuracy but were alot better than shooting a RB that got 9" @ 50yds on a good day.
With that kind of RB inaccuracy, how did they ever find two men to hold candles next to the bulls eye during night time shoots? People used to watch matches by forming 2 rows from the muzzle to the target and leaning in to see the results. That came from an English sportsmans magazine reporting on southern US shooting, early 19th century.
          " Hit the nail on the head" RB shooting
                                                                 Danny ;)

Daryl

  • Guest
Re: Picket Bullets
« Reply #6 on: May 25, 2010, 04:27:50 PM »
Round balls can be amazingly accurate at close to moderately close ranges - picket bullets can be amazingly accurate a bit farther out. Normal length slugs can be amazingly accurate even farther out - to 1,000 yards and beyond.
The big heavy round ball guns are capable of inch or better at 100 yards. Some hunting rifles will also shoot that well, but in the smaller bores, it seems slugs of some sort are necessary for that level of accuracy.

Offline Dphariss

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9677
  • Kill a Commie for your Mommy
Re: Picket Bullets
« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2010, 10:03:46 PM »
I think tha the accuracy question is relative to the times.  They did not give pristine accuracy but were alot better than shooting a RB that got 9" @ 50yds on a good day.

And you get this information from?
An issue musket with issue ammunition might not do better than 9" at 50 yards, but these were among the most inaccurate weapons of their time.

There are photos of surviving targets from the 1830s that indicate rifles were as accurate then as they are now. I think these are in Dillons book. Found in an old hunting pouch or shooting box.
Actually within its range the RB will shoot as well or better than the picket. The pickets only advantage is range past 120-150 yards.
 
Dan
He who dares not offend cannot be honest. Thomas Paine

Offline Dan

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 356
Re: Picket Bullets
« Reply #8 on: May 30, 2010, 05:36:54 AM »
Dan, question here on the subject.  I've a Reinhard picket rifle with bore and groove at .388"/.424".  Bit more groove than yours I suspect.  Curious what dimensions you might choose on a Lewis style bullet for such geometry.  Twist is fair close to 1:48 as best I can make out. Shoots round balls quite well, but I've found out two Lewis bullet versions that won't work. Would be pleased to find something that won't hit the target sideways, to say nothing of the groups you've had.

Daryl

  • Guest
Re: Picket Bullets
« Reply #9 on: May 30, 2010, 06:55:16 PM »
.018 does sound a bit deep. Suspect the bullet will have to be of the old, round-ball base shape with a rapid taper to the nose.  What I see as being the more modern-type, banded pickets might not work well in that rifle, Dan, due to not being able to fill the grooves and still load it.
I would think a modern-made, dedicated picket barrel might have a 30" to 36" twist and about .006" to .008" deep rifling - yes/ no?  Of course, that doesn't help with your Reinhard.

Offline Dphariss

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9677
  • Kill a Commie for your Mommy
Re: Picket Bullets
« Reply #10 on: May 31, 2010, 08:54:02 AM »
Dan, question here on the subject.  I've a Reinhard picket rifle with bore and groove at .388"/.424".  Bit more groove than yours I suspect.  Curious what dimensions you might choose on a Lewis style bullet for such geometry.  Twist is fair close to 1:48 as best I can make out. Shoots round balls quite well, but I've found out two Lewis bullet versions that won't work. Would be pleased to find something that won't hit the target sideways, to say nothing of the groups you've had.

I have thought of trying the Lyman bullet for the 38-40 in the 40 cal it would likely load easy  and is plenty short. These come out of the mould over .403 and may need sizing even if cast from pure lead. The barrel is a 48 twist GM.
The 48 twist will work in theory but I think the dedicated picket rifles had somewhat faster twists or gains twists that ended in the 30s.
You might find someone who would know more than I at the Wyoming Schuetzen Union site.
There are one or two real experts there.
There are custom mould makers that can make a mould. I would keep the length about 1.75 calibers max with a 48 twist. The "expansive bullet" will shorten somewhat as it grows to groove diameter. If the rifle has narrow grooves this may not work well and a patch may be needed.

Dan
He who dares not offend cannot be honest. Thomas Paine

Offline Dan

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 356
Re: Picket Bullets
« Reply #11 on: June 01, 2010, 04:07:58 AM »
Thanks, appreciate that.  Will keep poking around.  It's 7 lands and grooves, equal width.  That means narrow as I see it.  One thought that occurred was perhaps ol' Pete was thinking he'd re-bore the barrel after a spell, but never got there.  Dimensions are very consistent, barrel has a slight choke and if there is any gain it isn't visually apparent.  One small pit in the chamber portion of the barrel but otherwise like new. 

Dan

Offline frogwalking

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1043
Re: Picket Bullets
« Reply #12 on: June 04, 2010, 04:35:28 AM »
Thanks for all the great information.  Also, whoever has a round ball rifle that shoots 9 inches at 50 yards, I would love to shoot with.  Finally, someone I can beat.   
Quality, schedule, price; Pick any two.