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GrantRCanada
Lance Corporal
GrantRCanada
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Joined: 1:50 AM - Jul 05, 2018

7:02 PM - Oct 06, 2018 #21

An important consideration in using a solid "over bore diameter" bullet in a Snider - at least with black powder loads which is all I mess with - is to ensure the presence of lots of appropriate lubricant to keep the fouling soft.  (Not so critical if you are "range shooting", where it is possible to swab the bore with eery shot, or to use a "bullet nose dip" lubricating method, such as many here employ, dipping each bullet nose into a tub of "Udderly Smooth" or similar substance.)  However, the bulk of my Snider use is done as part of the "Victorian-era Military Action Shooting" at Grand Army of the Frontier matches, where one must run a course of fire under "field conditions", engaging multiple targets (20 to 30 successive shots is not unheard of in a single "skirmish") so I consider it imperative that the cartridge itself contain enough lube to do the job.

The .590", 480 gr. bullet I use was designed by a British-trained gunsmith by the name of Kerry Jenkinson, living and working in British Columbia - solid-base, relatively short for excellent stabilization in either type of Enfield rifling, and with a generous grease groove to hold ample lubricant intended for use with black powder: 

A somewhat similar bullet mold  (also producing a bullet  .590" diameter and 480 gr weight) is offered by CBE (Cast Bullet Engineering) - 


I use a home-made lube similar to SPG, being basically 50/50 beeswax and olive oil melted together, then solidified.)  In conjunction with the above projectile, I use a "grease cookie" (disk of the same lube sandwiched between milk carton wads) under the bullet. Works for m! 

Here is a diagram I put together representing the simple load column -
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Joined: 1:49 AM - Feb 13, 2017

3:24 AM - Oct 07, 2018 #22

A well written explanation.  Thank you.
- milsurpshooter
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martinibelgian
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martinibelgian
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Joined: 5:43 AM - Mar 17, 2002

5:58 PM - Oct 10, 2018 #23

Even if not really in the spirit of the original, it could be worthwhile trying out the pharmacy gel capsules, filled with the appropriate substance.
Mind you, not water, that will dissolve them, not a good idea.... But oil would work.
All bullet lubes, to simplify things, consist of a carrier with sometimes limited lubrication capacities, and an active substance - usually some type of oil.
Lots of theories on how they work, but shooting dirty accurately is kinda the holy grail of BP shooting.
Coming back to the snider cartridge, it does have ample capacity for trying something like this.

Verstuurd vanaf mijn TA-1021 met Tapatalk

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yulzari
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yulzari
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Joined: 11:48 PM - Jul 13, 2012

7:28 PM - Oct 10, 2018 #24

I tend towards the theory that the fats combine with the fouling to form a soap which lets the fouling release with each shot. My best clean shooting now is with tallow/bees wax in grooved bullets and a nose dip in Leclerc supermarket cheapest water based hand cream which wets the formed soap. There was a good reason why Holland & Holland recommended only lots of cold water to clean their fine and expensive period muzzle loaders. 

John
My religion consists in a firelock, open touch hole, good flint, well rammed charge, and seventy rounds of powder and ball. - Private Jack Careless.
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BillOregon
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BillOregon
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Joined: 3:46 AM - Mar 17, 2002

7:30 PM - Oct 10, 2018 #25

John, you mean you are deviating from the gospel of "Udderly Smooth"?
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yulzari
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yulzari
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Joined: 11:48 PM - Jul 13, 2012

7:45 PM - Oct 10, 2018 #26

Bill. I went to try Udderly until I saw the price. Then being tight fisted careful with money I thought a bit and decided the cream's role was as a carrier for the water content and looked for the cheapest water based hand cream. Does the trick. 

John
My religion consists in a firelock, open touch hole, good flint, well rammed charge, and seventy rounds of powder and ball. - Private Jack Careless.
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Pukka Bundook
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Pukka Bundook
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Joined: 3:19 PM - Mar 03, 2004

7:49 PM - Oct 10, 2018 #27

'Eretic!
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Frederick Williams
Colour Sergeant
Frederick Williams
Colour Sergeant
Joined: 9:30 PM - Nov 05, 2011

8:54 PM - Oct 10, 2018 #28

Heretic indeed! The man is the Second Coming. I've kept looking at the 'reasonably priced' own brand hand cream in our local supermarket, but didn't want to be a pariah.

I'm off to buy a family size tub.
Robin
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yulzari
Veteran of the Regiment
yulzari
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Joined: 11:48 PM - Jul 13, 2012

10:31 PM - Oct 10, 2018 #29

Pukka Bundook wrote: 'Eretic!
You have clearly never stood in a French farm suppliers in front of a formidable lady salesperson trying to explain that you are looking for udder cream without using hand gestures to emphasise one's lamentable  French, or at least not using the French I learned as a young person on, um, social  occasions. Rather like trying to describe mastitis in a game of charades in a convent.

Hand cream off a shelf in a supermarket is so much easier. You don't want to know about my bulk buy of special water based lubricant for the musket.
My religion consists in a firelock, open touch hole, good flint, well rammed charge, and seventy rounds of powder and ball. - Private Jack Careless.
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Joined: 1:49 AM - Feb 13, 2017

11:06 PM - Oct 10, 2018 #30

Speaking of water based lubricant...  It's raining so hard in GA that I had to postpone my first firing of the MkIII until at least the weekend.  And even then it may be too muddy at the range.  I did spend part of the day paper patching a few bullets to try in the soon-to-be fire formed cases.
- milsurpshooter
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orange
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orange
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Joined: 2:50 AM - Nov 09, 2004

2:49 AM - Oct 11, 2018 #31

martinibelgian
I tried cod liver oil capsules placed in the powder charge, seemed to keep fouling soft and smelled like cooking fish while shooting.
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Pukka Bundook
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Pukka Bundook
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Joined: 3:19 PM - Mar 03, 2004

7:52 AM - Oct 12, 2018 #32

John,

You may be forgiven, as your argument appears very sound, and my imagination in perfect working order!

Robin,
You, on the other hand, have no excuse, so must be branded as you say. You will have to change your screen name of course.... 

LOL!
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Joined: 6:48 AM - Jan 04, 2014

10:57 AM - Oct 12, 2018 #33

G'day GrantRCanada,

Thank you for your scholarly and erudite explanation about .577" Snider Enfield barrels and getting projectiles down them.

You've added to and gelled existing knowledge such that I have a much better understanding of how it all works; I've researched my Snider quite widely but never cottoned on to the reduction in the depth of the rifling grooves 'up the spout", nor thought for a moment about the skirt of the Minnie's much-vaunted obturation into the rifling being restrained by the mouth of the casing as it must!  I thank you for it.

It also goes to explaining the diffidence as to how right he was when my local gunsmith, well respected but as likely to be unaware of the tapered bore as I was, plugged the barrel for me - presumably, logically, from the muzzle down - to establish a working bullet diameter.  The plug would have squeezed to the total groove diameter of ~.587" at the muzzle and missed entirely the total groove diameter of ~.603" at the breech...so he hesitantly suggested .590".   I wonder how practical it would be to plug from the breach, to just forward of the breech, to establish a number there?  Any ideas? Please. Or should I just order a mould in .600" and get on with it?

I'm still asking for any hints, tips, no-no's etc. about re-crowning the muzzle, a fairly poor attempt at showing it from my iPhone camera is attached, I hope...yes it seems as if I'm now allowed to do so;  There is a small amount of metal protruding into the path of the passing bullet, not much, but I'm told by the pundits at the range that it will be the cause of the bullet's tumbling.  Seems entirely possible.  Any comments accepted...and I'll post a better shot of the muzzle tomorrow.  Dint in my Snider muzzle #1.jpg

Cheers!
1871 BSA&Co .577 Snider Enfield Mk III; 1943 Lithgow SMLE Mk III* .303 H&R converted to 303-25; 1944 Lithgow SMLE Mk III* .303 Sportco converted to 303-25; 1945 Fazakerly Lee Enfield No 5 Mk I Jungle Carbine with Number 5 bayonet and frog.
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KevininNC
O/R
Joined: 8:46 PM - Dec 21, 2016

12:21 PM - Oct 12, 2018 #34

Shed Man,
You might try Cerrosafe, a low melting temperature alloy to check your chamber dimensions and bore/groove diameter.  You can push a wad, a bit of rag or even paper towel into the bore just ahead of the chamber then pour the molten alloy into the chamber.  It solidifies very quickly.  You may then extract it like a spent case or tap it out with a dowel or cleaning rod. I did so and got a good chamber cast along with about the first 1/2 inch of rifling.  I found that my chamber is too tight to accept the .600 slug.  The product is available from Brownells.
 https://www.brownells.com/gunsmith-tool ... od384.aspx 

Good luck,
Kevin in NC
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martinibelgian
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martinibelgian
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Joined: 5:43 AM - Mar 17, 2002

1:05 PM - Oct 12, 2018 #35

Or if you have a bullet, squeeze it in vice (head to tail), up to 600, load it in a case and try chambering the case with bullet. If a military rifle, chances are it will chamber. A commercial pattern, depends....

Verstuurd vanaf mijn TA-1021 met Tapatalk

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Pukka Bundook
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Pukka Bundook
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Joined: 3:19 PM - Mar 03, 2004

1:33 PM - Oct 12, 2018 #36

Shed man,

I made a mould that threw a .597" projectile, and when started into the breech, I could inmost cases still see daylight past it.
After this I made a .600" and it works in my rifles.
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Skirmisher 1
Lance Corporal
Skirmisher 1
Lance Corporal
Joined: 9:04 PM - Feb 22, 2008

6:30 PM - Oct 12, 2018 #37

Grant,  That bullet looks remarkably similar to the “Big Lube Mav Dutchman” .44 caliber projectiles I use in my Colt Open Tops and Winchester 73 in Cowboy Action Shooting.  Many if not most black powder shooters in that sport are partial to this bullet design which maximizes the lubrication (SPG) available and can easily carry them through a match firing 60 rounds or more without need to swab barrels. If anyone is interested in pistol caliber bullets of this type check out the website for Whyte Leatherworks (he is primarily a custom leather maker). 

Someday I’d dearly like to get together with your group at one of your Victorian shooting events and test just exactly what size bullets will actually chamber in my Portuguese Carbine. As noted above, I was disappointed in my early attempts to get cartridges loaded with larger diameter bullets to chamber but I have been pretty satisfied with the Minie with Bondo method.  At least it’s accurate and authentic but I really hate fussing with that “fender repair” goop and trying to press it into the bullet base before it dries out!  

Skirmisher 
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GrantRCanada
Lance Corporal
GrantRCanada
Lance Corporal
Joined: 1:50 AM - Jul 05, 2018

7:09 PM - Oct 12, 2018 #38

One can, with some difficulty, slug the bore just ahead of the chamber by blocking off the end of the rifling using, say, a solid cylinder of some kind (hardwood dowel, metal rod, or the like) of sufficient diameter to enter the chamber all the way but otherwise so close-fitting as to be stopped against the rifling, and of the exact length that it is held firmly in place against the rifling by the closed breechblock.  One would then push a close-fitting lead slug into the rifling from the chamber with this implement, close the breechblock, and then use a suitable rod hammered from the muzzle end to swell the plug fully into the rifling just ahead of the chamber ... then open the block and drive it out into the chamber ...

Essentially the same problem is encountered in trying to slug the bore of a Martini-Henry, which has a tapered "leade" into the main part of the bore ... as can be seen from this diagram:

I realize this diagram is a bit hard to interpret ... however, as I understand it, the "standard spec" measurements are: 

Rifling diameter (i.e. measured at deepest part of the rifling)
a) just ahead of the chamber: .469"
b) 11" from the breech: .464"
(i.e. a diameter reduction of .005")

Bore diameter (i.e. measured at top of lands)  
a) 4" from the breech: .451"
b) 8" from the breech: .45"
c) 11" from the breech: .449" 
(i.e. a diameter reduction of .002"

Another important factor to keep in mind when slugging the bore of either a Snider-Enfield or Martini-Henry is that they both have an odd number of lands and grooves (either 3 or 5 for the Snider, depending on model, and 7 for the Martini.) Accordingly, snugging a calliper down onto the slug will not give an accurate measurement of effective bore diameter, because the "low point" on the slug left by a rifling land will always be directly opposite the "high point" left by a rifling groove ... whereas what you need to try to measure is the "major diameter" - i.e. a circle intersecting the bottoms of the rifling grooves all the way around. If you are using a normal calliper, you can approximate this diameter by having the jaws of the calliper relaxed somewhat so that "rolling" the slug between them just brushes them all the way around ... 

What I am trying to explain is fairly easy to see with this somewhat exaggerated diagram of the simple 3-groove Enfield rifling of a three-band rifle ...  the measurement on the left is what you get if you just clamp the slug in the jaws of the caliber, while it is the measurement on the right you must try to get  -


The same consideration is at play when trying to slug a Martini-Henry bore, although its Henry-pattern rifling is quite a complex design.  Rather than consisting of simple lands and grooves it is essentially a modified form of Whitworth rifling: consisting of a "septagonal" bore (i.e seven-sided) with a little ridge right down the middle of each of the seven main valleys, the peaks of those seven ridges intersecting exactly the same circumference as the mid-point of each of the seven "flats".  Note that this diagram gives the same "bore" and "groove" diameters as the above cross-sectional diagram gives at 11' from the breech -

Actually, the above diagram is an oversimplification of Henry rifling ... but let's not go there ... 😒 
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GrantRCanada
Lance Corporal
GrantRCanada
Lance Corporal
Joined: 1:50 AM - Jul 05, 2018

7:16 PM - Oct 12, 2018 #39

Skirmisher 1 wrote: That bullet looks remarkably similar to the “Big Lube Mav Dutchman” .44 caliber projectiles ...
Yes, the design considerations for an effectively lubricated breech-loading black powder bullet are "universal", I suppose.  Kerry Jenkinson designed this bullet at least 30 or 40 years ago!  A moderately large run of moulds was made by Lee Precision, and  about 8 or so years ago I and another chap managed to scoop up the last two moulds still available from any dealer ...
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Joined: 1:49 AM - Feb 13, 2017

7:49 PM - Oct 12, 2018 #40

Made it to the range today and really enjoyed the Snider.  The first ten shots were on paper at about 100yds.  I was aiming for the bottom edge of the target paper and the POI was high and left.  Group wasn't too bad and only had one flier high and out of the image.  Looking forward to it's potential with a larger minie.
Thanks for all of the input!
- milsurpshooter
IMG_2845.JPG
IMG_2853.jpg
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