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Hot Topic (More than 30 Replies) Black powder and the cheap ass (Read 42780 times)
SF90
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Re: Black powder and the cheap ass
Reply #75 - Dec 16th, 2019 at 3:06pm
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Went into town and bought a better magnifying glass and spent time looking at the Snider muzzle.
The last half inch of barrel showed pitting with no sign of rifling.
Five eighths of an inch down the rifling looked clean with no pitting, and about an inch in was a dark pitted section that spiraled down the bore to the breach. That was the result of the previous owner cleaning by pouring a cup of cold water down the barrel then giving it a single wipe with a bore snake.
I had watched him do exactly that with a .450 Westley Richards.
The muzzle wear was 'cleaning rod' and probably storage - almost as though someone had shoved a damp cork in the end - and left it there.

So I 'back-bored' it to the clean rifling 5/8" in.
I learned two things, the bore on a Snider barrel is not necessarily concentric with the outside of the barrel, nor is the outside of the barrel particularly round.
As I bored it with the end of the barrel held in a three post steady, my 'back-boring' job is also not particularly concentric with the bore.
I decided to 'try it' before dabbling further.

With the 326gr Round Ball sitting over 85grs 1F homemade black powder, I managed fifteen shots into 7" at 100 yards.
I load a 4mm grease cookie (straight tallow) over a wax paper disc that separates the cookie from the powder and squish the ball into the cookie - and I shot all fifteen shots 'dirty' - no cleaning.

Next was the Minie - and that shot no better than before.

So - my 'back-boring' job didn't really do a great deal, it tightened the RB groups up but not dramatically - which makes me wonder, how bad does the muzzle need to be before accuracy goes completely to pot ?

And for those who might be into sporting Sniders.
This one has the name 'E.M. Reilly & Co.' with the address 'New Oxford Street, London.' engraved on the barrel.
The serial number is 16036 engraved on the trigger guard, and again stamped under the barrel.
The gun case (if original to the gun) has the Trade Label - 'Charles Hellis & Sons, Hyde Park, London'.

Whilst looking at the stampings under the barrel with my new glass, I saw the name - 'Isaac Hollis & Co' (or Sons) which had been over stamped with 'E.M.R. 16036'.

Just in case it fills out someones puzzle  Smiley

  
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SF90
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Re: Black powder and the cheap ass
Reply #76 - Jan 11th, 2020 at 9:55pm
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Took my 38" barrel Lancaster flint longrifle (?) to the range yesterday and shot the PP'd minie over 80grs 1F 'homemade' BP.
Grouping was terrible with some bullets completely off the target frame.

Took her down again today and fired 2 shots with Goex FFg which were on target 2" below the mark.
I then fired 3 shots with 80grs 2F 'homemade' and they were right in there giving me a 4 1/2" combined group.

I paper patch that minie to a friction fit in the bore and wipe the patched bullet with Paul Matthews beeswax/vaseline.
That PP'd bullet sits straight on top of the powder - no wads, cards ....... nothing.
I wipe the barrel after 3 shots, but today I found I'd left my cleaning gear at home.
The fifth shot loaded as easy as the first, and I would have tried more except the range was busy with only two target frames set up.

Using the minie loaded that way I have got off three aimed shots in under a minute - I got my son to time me.
That minie wont shift off the charge either - at least not on a day's hunt where I got paranoid it might.
Carrying pre-weighed powder charges in flip-lid plastic phials, and a greased bullet in a shorter version of the same - all in my pockets, and with a pan charger tied around my neck and shoved in my top pocket - I reckon I can get that second shot off pretty quick.

Some will scoff at that group, but my foresight is fiber optic and for range shooting seems overly large - but I see it easy, even in muted light and that trade-off makes it worthwhile.
I also don't use bags when shooting prone or off a bench, which I mostly do - the latter, that is, I shoot off my elbows and will be the first to admit I'm not the most stable 'platform'.

At 50 yards those Goex loads are 1 1/2" above the mark.

At around $72 for a pound of Goex (last time I looked), I'm getting 87 shots/lb - which works out to a cost of 82 point something cents per shot.
With my 'homemade' costing around $4 per pound, each shot works out to 4.6 cents per shot.

Flints cost me US$1.75 each (NZ$2.80), and I bought 120 out of the States some ten years or so ago. The last flint gave me forty something shots without touching it before I replaced it. That works out to just over 6 cents/shot.

Lead is scrounged - cost nothing.

Fact is, if people figured out how cheap and quick these things are to shoot, and could be bothered, they'd be chucking their bolt, lever and auto's in the river and snapping these things up like there's no tomorrow.

Probably even put scopes and suppressors on them - and maybe even plastic stocks.

Making your own BP, especially 'compressed' might not be the brightest thing to do, but we ain't talking about that.

I couldn't afford to shoot as much as I do if I had to buy it  Smiley

  
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SF90
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Re: Black powder and the cheap ass
Reply #77 - Jan 12th, 2020 at 11:50am
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Should oughta mention I save my blunted flints and redress them when I'm in the mood.
I wrap the flint in leather and hold them in a small hand vice with the sharp end poking out.
I got a 1/8" flat bar about 6" long I sawed and filed a notch in one end about 5/16" deep by 3/16" wide and slightly tapered, and I place that over the poked out flint edge and lean on it gently toward the flat side until I hear a piece crunch/flake off - then move it along until I done the whole edge.
Sometimes I make a mess of it and I got to tidy the edge with a 3/8" brass bolt I cut the head off, and I tap that gently along the edge until I got it square.

I'll get more shots out of that flint, but never as many as I got with a new one.

The flint gets shorter doing that and it needs to be moved out closer to the frizzen face.

I've really only done that to a couple of flints to see if it worked - and it does.

I did read somewhere where people redress their flint faces with a diamond file or card, but I've never done that.

I have dressed the flint whilst still in the co*k by tapping the edge with my brass bolt whilst I applied upward pressure from underneath with a piece of leather held by my finger - and that worked to get the gun shooting again, but for how long I don't know - as I replaced it with a new one when I got home.

Still got a lot to learn here - so many ways to do it.


  
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Tasbay
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Re: Black powder and the cheap ass
Reply #78 - Jan 12th, 2020 at 2:33pm
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Flint resharpening, I carry a 4 inch nail with the point ground off and a nick filed out of the tip. If the flints getting dull then I just open the frizzen and put the hammer on half co*k and with the nick of the nail resting on the flint edge, start at one side of the flint and tap the nail with the back of my knife or a small rock knocking off small pieces of flint and work my way across the edge. Had a friend arrive from England a few weeks ago with about a 4-5 pound lump of Grey flint Node for me to try making my own flints. Quite looking forward to having a go at that.
  
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SF90
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Re: Black powder and the cheap ass
Reply #79 - Jan 12th, 2020 at 5:54pm
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That's a whole bunch easier than I do it - never seen that before.

And good luck with that Node - I got some smaller ones from fist size down that washed on the rocks in Wellington Harbour some fifty years back.
They used them as ballast in the old sailing ships and just dumped them on the bottom when they were finished with them - they'd wash up in heavy weather.
I smashed those with a hammer in a bag - and still have about one pounds worth of flint size chunks.
Was looking at them this morning, wondering how I could shape them ............... a lot of colours in there from black through to orange and amber.

A diamond saw springs to mind ...... but I probably wasn't too interested in flint guns back then - it was Sniders, Enfield ML's and caplock shotties. No one wanted them in those days and you could pick them up for a song.

I still had some cast minies a bloke cast up for me I tried in those Sniders and Enfields that were still shiny after all those years - hard as hell and I couldn't hit a thing with them.
Melted them down for some 'hard cast' a year or two ago.

I used to get my powder from 'Sports Depot' in Willis Street (from memory) and it got served in a brown stapled paper bag in one or two pound lots - and I'd take that bag to the pub.
I still have the first Curtis and Harvey I ever got in a tin - got the sticker $2.15 on it which was probably a lot back then - was only earning $14 a week.

I think I said that somewhere ....................

  
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Re: Black powder and the cheap ass
Reply #80 - Jan 13th, 2020 at 5:30pm
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Looked in my powder box last night and saw I had four pounds of 'homemade' marked 3F which I'd all but forgotten I had as I rarely use that granulation.
I compared it to some other 3F granulation powders I have - Swiss, Curtis & Harvey and Wano and couldn't see any difference in grain size - except maybe, it was ever so slightly larger than the Swiss.
So weighed out some 70grs, 75grs and 80grs - three of each, so grabbing the .54 I marched off to the range.
The 70gr load shot a 6" group, 7" below point of aim.
The 75gr shot 4" below POA and gave another 6" group.
Then the 80gr load which gave a 3" group smack on centre.

Al those were behind the 430gr HP minie, and as I was alone down there spent some time trying to dig one out of the dirt backstop. Those buggers buried so deep I couldn't find a single one, but I do know they flatten out to about 1 1/16" with 80grs FFg Goex (found two of them) - so I'd expect them to be about the same.

I did get a crud ring just north of the chamber after the fifth shot - and had to give it a wipe. Gave it another wipe for the final three shots.

I keeps notes on all I do - even to recoil, but in honesty I can't say I even noticed it. I do know it's there because bystanders in the past have commented on it.
I'd consider myself recoil shy and when I first started shooting the flint and the snider, my notes were telling me some of those loads were fairly stout - so I can only assume you get used to it.

Wind was weird today with 'dust devils' dancing across in front of the target, but no real gusts.

Got a new cleaning regime too, flogged it off Mike Brooks in the States who builds these things.
Shove a feather or toothpick in the vent and fill the barrel up with hot water.
Leave it in there while you have a beer - or do the dishes.
Didn't have a beer, so ...................

I'd actually unpinned the barrel as I hadn't had it out in ten years - so was easy to do, and all clean underneath.
Had grabbed the tea towel to hold the barrel, but when I got back to it - it was cold.
So I double ragged the jag and shunted the feather and water out the vent. That stream of filthy water goes a long way - all over the door of my wife's car in this case.
Ran the rod up and down the barrel a few times and refilled the jug with hot water - and down the barrel with a new feather as I couldn't be buggered going to get the first one.
Shunted that out (not the feather this time) and ran a couple of dry patches down the bore - then a swab with Ballistol.
I like that stuff - it mops up any dampness that might be left.
Scrubbed the lock in the sink with a toothbrush, then flushed it with hot water, gave it a quick shake into the tea towel and sat it there to dry in the sun.

Was having a f*g when the missus arrived home and gave me a bollocking for using her tea towel.
"For God's sake, use something else - that's my favourite towel."
"Your favourite towel, where did I find it ?"
"In the kitchen ........ ?"
"Ha, ha, - was sitting on the fur hat of your gigantic Russian Cossack doll."

"Oh, that's to stop the birds shitting on his head - put it back."

Anyway - just got to shoot 100yds again to see if it's repeatable, then see where it shooting at 50 and 75yds - and that'll be the snider and .54 sorted.

Then I might look at getting one of Jim Chambers English Sporting Rifle kits in .62 cal. I do like those big holes and I reckon I'll get a light gun out of one of them.

That's assuming I can find some money, and I can actually get the thing into the country under this new regime.

That's me out ......... will write again when I got something important to say - or get bored.

Smiley

Update - four days after I cleaned it with the above method, I ran a fresh oiled patch down the barrel and pulled it clean.
From memory, I used 5 patches during the initial cleaning  Smiley Smiley

« Last Edit: Jan 15th, 2020 at 7:29pm by SF90 »  
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SF90
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Re: Black powder and the cheap ass
Reply #81 - Feb 17th, 2020 at 2:59pm
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That's my Snider - all 6 1/2 lb of her.
Tested my 'homemade' BP in this gun - E.M. Reilly.

It's also a gun to take hunting - a lovely piece to carry and 'shoulders' as nice as anything I've shot.

  
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Re: Black powder and the cheap ass
Reply #82 - Feb 17th, 2020 at 3:46pm
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My reloading gear for the old girl - a few hours worth on the lathe in the garage.

Reloading components in tobacco tin.



Case mouth expander and crimper.



Primer seating components with a primer sitting on the plunger.



All together, the bottom spigot on plunger locates in the hole where the case holder sits. The primer sits in the center hole and is pushed up and into the primer pocket. With pistol primers they seat quite easily - you can feel them bottoming in the pocket.



Seating primer in press. I have a rod which fits inside the case, and the bar you see across the top pushes down on that rod which is slightly longer than the internal case length. Stops the case mouth being munted.



Seating bullet in press - note primer plunger is now removed.



All done with sufficient crimp to stop the bullet falling out.



Also included in the tin is a wad punch made from a bolt.
These components work very well and I can load cases quite quickly.
I can choose how much 'crimp' I want, and I can compress powder with a brass plunger which I somehow seem to have not shown.

I do anneal each case neck after firing over a candle, they are Bertram and very expensive. Without looking up my notes I think I've had better than twenty shots/case so far - I'm aiming for 100.
  
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Re: Black powder and the cheap ass
Reply #83 - Apr 13th, 2020 at 10:26am
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SF90. What twist rate is your Lancaster flintlock?. I tried some mini`s in my CVA Mountain rifle a while back just without lube and they shot very well or at least most of them did. CVA has a 1-66 twist rate. The Mini`s certainly preformed well enough to look into it further or for a quicker second loading after a first round ball shot. Stuck at home with the lockdown, the neighbours tolerate .22 shooting but I don`t want to push it with a BOOMER so trials will have to wait.
  
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Re: Black powder and the cheap ass
Reply #84 - Apr 13th, 2020 at 12:34pm
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Same as yours - 1:66" with deep rifling designed for round ball shooting. It shoots the ball just as good as the minies, but they do need a tight patch and are slow to get down the barrel.
The minie is way undersize and will fall down the barrel, so I give it two wraps with 'invoice' paper which from memory is 0.003" thick and that 'snugs' it up in the rifling so it's a thumb push into the muzzle and down the barrel - it doesn't seem to shift once it's on the powder.
The paper does need to be greased before loading, just a light smear on the outside - doesn't take much. I use Paul Matthews vaseline/beeswax, but I've also used other wax'grease concoctions and it doesn't seem to matter as long as it doesn't 'wet' the paper out and make it transparent.
I have tried shooting them dry, but any water gets on them and the paper sucks it up and rips easy.
The 'blokes in the know' tell me I need a wad under the bullet to stop 'blow past' with deep rifling, but that's just another step in the loading process - and besides fired bullets I have managed to collect show the base to be fine with no gas cutting.

I did initially play with the minie to see if it would be okay for that 'fast' second shot, but the impact point is different to the ball and I foresaw problems there - so I just went with the minie.

I grease those minies before I head out and shove them in a plastic thrombotest tube with a fliptop lid that takes a second to 'thumb' open and shake out - carry them in my pocket.
I carry premeasured powder (80 grs) in longer thrombotest tubes in another pocket - just haul them out, flip the lid and down the barrel - then same with the minie - very quick.

I do know if I ever went to the Dixon Gun Show in the States I'd get my arse heavily spanked for shooting a minie out of one of these - It's just not done, but I don't really care  Smiley

Incidentally, I hollow point those minies and it's suprising how many voids I strike in the lead when I'm doing that - even when they all weigh on the high side. I chuck out the ones I find, but I expect I shoot a few that pass me by and those 'voids' will probably throw a bullet out. I don't get too many fliers, but there's always one that opens up the group, but not drastically.

I don't think I've ever shot a deer with a RB, but I did get invited to a private block down country over Easter and was gonna take my snider with it's RB loads and was really looking forward to that. The longrifle has got a bit heavy for me now - noticed that last year or the year before when I took it out on quite a long 'carry'.
I have got a few fallow up behind me, I see them sometimes out on the grass when I look out the window and I've thought about taking one with the Lancaster - but I just can't bring myself to do it. I like seeing them - so it's possible I'll never shoot anything with that gun ........... who knows ?

  
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Re: Black powder and the cheap ass
Reply #85 - Apr 18th, 2020 at 9:27pm
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Hey mate left the forum tonight some one called Ronny calling every one pricks
Had a gutsfull of people with no sense of humor. Love every minute of your posts. You may be the only ray of sunshine on here. A ll the best mate keep safe. Ttfn
  
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Re: Black powder and the cheap ass
Reply #86 - Apr 19th, 2020 at 12:15am
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Sad you're gone Bowmad.
If you ever look in here just remember what Pope John the twenty fourth once famously almost said ........

"I love a bowl of split cherries, but every now and then some f**ker leaves a pip in."

Take care mate - and best wishes  Cry
  
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Re: Black powder and the cheap ass
Reply #87 - May 2nd, 2020 at 11:06am
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There's something else I just remembered with those 'Lancaster' minies. I plug the hollow base with a tapered piece of wooden dowel (hickory from broken ramrods) I taper in the lathe with a file.
It's shaped like the baked clay base plug in the old snider rounds with a flat front so it can move forward in the base hollow and mechanically expand the base into the rifling.
The rear part of the plug pokes out the base of the projectile about a millimeter and bullets I've recovered have shown that plug to be recessed, so they have moved forward within the hollow.
I do that because my hollow point is quite deep and I was concerned it would blow right through upon firing.

Lot of work and time to do all that, so I also tried just filling the base with wax - and they shot just as well, got no doughnuts. I also fired bullets with an empty base and they didn't shoot as well.

Would love to post a photo, but this is a new (hand me down computer) and I haven't figured out how to do it yet.

  
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Re: Black powder and the cheap ass
Reply #88 - May 17th, 2020 at 10:47am
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They opened the Deerstalker's range yesterday morning for a couple of hours, so took the Snider down to see where she's printing at fifty yards.
With the round ball over 85 grs 1F homemade powder she's bang on at 100 yards.
Was pleasantly surprised to find her 4 1/2" high at fifty with three balls into 1 1/2" shooting prone off my elbows.
That's probably the best group I've shot at that range, so back-boring the barrel didn't do any harm.

I've also had those cartridges loaded quite a few weeks now, nine or twelve perhaps and those tallow grease cookies loaded over a waxed cigarette paper wad/disc on top of the powder don't appear to have degraded it at all.

Looked up the drop tables in my Lyman handbook and it indicates I'm getting around 1,200 fps, which is a bit better than I expected.
That velocity drops to 845 fps at 100 yards.

While energy figures are pathetic - 854 ft/lb at the muzzle and a mere 423 ft/lb at 100 yds, that ball weighs 326 grs so has good heft and will carry momentum - or so I think.

Very keen to get her into the bush now .................

  
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Re: Black powder and the cheap ass
Reply #89 - May 18th, 2020 at 7:20pm
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great to hear the back boring worked....
  
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