Author Topic: BP Pressures  (Read 14111 times)

Offline Dphariss

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Re: BP Pressures
« Reply #25 on: February 09, 2009, 04:43:57 AM »
One rule of thumb in Schuetzen shooting was that the most accurate cartridge combination was a heavy bullet coupled with a lighter charge, enter the 38-55 and 32-40 with a 200 grain bullet.  There may something to that passed over to roundball where the heavier ball can be more accurate with a lighter relative charge.  If you think about it, variations in powder charges thrown from a powder measure may be less significant.

DP

This is true to some extent.
But you must remember that recoil is also a factor in off hand shooting. The bullets, everything was designed to work at 200 yards. The Schuetzen shooters were never able to compete with the ML shooters shooting similar bullet diameters with heavy bullets and all the powder the barrel would burn in many cases. But it is very difficult to compete with 32-40s at 200 shooting offhand with a 45-100 recoil just causes too many problems with the long barrel times invovled. Even off X-sticks a 45-100-530 is prone to fliers induced by errors in holding the rifle.
When the schuetzen shooters shot against the ML slug gun shooters Harry Pope was usually an "also ran" so they did not often take up the standing challenge. These guys shot for money and loved it when shooters arrived with money to bet...
If you get into Ned Roberts "ML Caplock Rifle" I think you will find a photo of Pope and a group of shooters with both ML slug guns and BL rifles. I am confidant that the ML shooters won the day the photo was taken. But it was really apples and oranges and the cartridge guns did not really have a chance.

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

northmn

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Re: BP Pressures
« Reply #26 on: February 09, 2009, 03:19:07 PM »
Weren't the loads in the ML slug guns similar?  I remember reading some of Roberts book and remember that he hunted with a Billinhurst as about 70 grains behind a 480 grain bullet.  Roughly a 45-70 load.  The cartridge evolution for Schuetzen was from 40-70 to 38-55 to 32-40.  The 32-40 held the accuracy record for years.  I think that the 32-40 used 200 grain bullets not the factory 170's.  They also muzzleloaded the bullets into the cartridge mouth.  The 38-55 actually held 55 grains when loaded schuetzen style.  The Americans beat the Irish team using cartridge guns.

DP

DP

Daryl

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Re: BP Pressures
« Reply #27 on: February 09, 2009, 08:33:35 PM »
Most of the American shooters in the International Competitions breech seated the bullets I seem to recall instead of using fixed ammunition.  They also had to wipe between shots due to lack of proper lubrication, whereas the muzzleloaders were shot 'dirty.' Perfect bullet alignment in the barrel being necessary to the best accuracy is why so many of the day either breech seated or muzzleloaded the bullets.  The proper chamber with virtually no throat is necessary for this to work - at least for muzzleloaded bullets. Some leade and throat will work for breechseating if the bore is wiped between shots.  Of course, all this brings up another kettle of fish.

Wasn't it 'Uncle Alvero' who had the Billinghurst .45?  Just going on memory here.  Taylor has the book - unfortunately, I traded my hard copy for a hard copy of "Sixguns by Keith" some 33 years ago.  I knew Taylor would keep his hard copy of Ned's book.

Offline Dphariss

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Re: BP Pressures
« Reply #28 on: February 09, 2009, 09:50:27 PM »
Weren't the loads in the ML slug guns similar?  I remember reading some of Roberts book and remember that he hunted with a Billinhurst as about 70 grains behind a 480 grain bullet.  Roughly a 45-70 load.  The cartridge evolution for Schuetzen was from 40-70 to 38-55 to 32-40.  The 32-40 held the accuracy record for years.  I think that the 32-40 used 200 grain bullets not the factory 170's.  They also muzzleloaded the bullets into the cartridge mouth.  The 38-55 actually held 55 grains when loaded schuetzen style.  The Americans beat the Irish team using cartridge guns.

DP

DP

This is not exactly Long Rifle stuff....
There is a big difference between the picket rifles Roberts' and family used for hunting and slug rifles used for benchrest shooting and the rifles used for mid and longrange. The 45 caliber picket rifles used bullets around 300 grains or so. Loads similar to 45-90 cartridge (without looking at the book). These are not very accurate past 200 yards or so compared to the others.
The slug rifles used for target were a far different matter and the light weights weighed 18-20 pounds. 35-50 was common. Some were far larger. Some shot bullets weighing 1700 grains or more. Many of these rifles use sealed ignition. This requires more work but eliminates nipple  errosion and give better accuracy.
A friend is using a 40 cal right now (40 pounds or so) with a cross patched bullet about 3 calibers long and 70 grains of FFG Swiss with sealed ignition and a percussion cap. This is a light powder charge for the time. Brockway stated that he always found the most accurate load was all the powder the barrel would burn. He shot over sheets to look for unburned powder grains. When reduced the charge just enough to keep powder off the sheets he made a measure for that charge.

The longrange ML rifles by Rigby and others such as those used by the Irish team used bullet weights and powder charges that were nearly identical to the rifles used by the American team.
90-110 grains of powder and bullets in the 520-550 range in 44-45 caliber.
One or 2 Americans loaded the bullet through the muzzle but most used fixed ammunition (so far as we know, I do not think breech seaters were invented yet). But the bullets, at least by a few years later, were only in the case about 1/16". Basically "breechseated".
The surprising part of the BL victory was the lack of experience in LR shooting in America at that time. The Americans were all "greenhorns" at the game with untried firearms, the guns were actually made AFTER the challenge was accepted. The Irish were highly experienced Champions and used fully evolved MLing long range rifles. Few thought it would won by the BLs and most doubted it would even be close and that the Irish team would run away with the competition.

Schuetzen rifles were 12-18 pound offhand and generally were 38-32 caliber in the cartridge era. Pope made 33-47s based on the 32-40 case. Pope's rifles were breech muzzle loaders. Case with powder was put in the breech and the unpatched bullet loaded though a false muzzle and pushed down to the point that gave the best accuracy. This is often NOT all the way to the cartridge case.
Some used breech seaters and still do and again often set the bullet ahead of the cartridge case by a certain amount. Today its the common system.
But at the time of the American vs Irish LR match dedicated Schuetzen rifles were percussion ignition and used picket bullets.

Really we are talking 4 very different types of firearms and 4 different shooting sports. Hunting, precision bench from 220 yards to 880 or farther with few rules (often the rifles were shot with the shooter only pressing the trigger then "catching" the rifle in recoil), longrange with rules, 10 pound weight, 3 pound trigger, no artificial support allowed and finally offhand shooting at 200 yards.
At 220 or beyond NOBODY in the 19th century and well into the 20th could compete with the ML slug guns. They just shot too well. The Sharps Borchardt LR rifle with BP ammunition was still winning LR matches till about 1900.

ML shooters who can get there should visit the Canal Fulton matches. Or the slug gun matches at Friendship.
Now I am really running late....
Dan
He who dares not offend cannot be honest. Thomas Paine