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50-70 Texas Ranger: One Riot, One Gunsmith
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Here is the previous sight check of the Sharps McNelly carbine replia from Chiappa/A. C. Armisport.
50-yards, and I was a heathen then shooting AA 5744 25.5 grains with 450-grainer, instead of the righteous BP:



About 1.25" for three shots at 50 yards was not bad, despite the rear sight being floppy-loose and needing to be replaced/rebuilt.

After tire-bound-trigger-string check of the Trapdoor Sunday,
shooting BP on Sunday is a righteous thing to do,
member roughone (gunsmith Rusty McGee, who is actually a Texas native) graciously agreed to demonstrate the Texas Ranger style.
BP load for this 22"-barreled carbine with 1:20" twist has not been perfected yet, it will handle heavier bullets.
Just a special effects trial today, and chronographing of 3-shot averages with 3 different loads, 5-yard chrono distance from muzzle:

450-grain bullet of soft lead (Lyman 515141), 25.5 grains of AA 5744 >>> 1069 fps

444-grain bullet of 1/20 alloy (Lyman515141), 65.0 grains Shuetzen FFg >>> 1063 fps

480-grain bullet of Lyman #2 alloy (Lee "500-grain" mould), 65.0 grains Shuetzen FFG >>> 1033 fps

The BP loads are more uniform on the chronograph than the smokeless.















Less muzzle flash and higher velocity with a longer barrel, eh?
I wonder how much faster a 28" to 30" barrel would be?
Like on a Trapdoor that did not get chronographed just yet. Supersonic?
 
Posts: 28032 | Location: KY | Registered: 09 December 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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RIP--It looks like you're having WAY too much fun with that thing. I have found that there is a 2 ft. per second advantage per inch in velocity in barrel length according to my Oehler. I tested this extensively years ago using Goex powder back in the mid '90's.

Schuetzen powder is not exactly known for being a fast powder--it's kinda slow, in fact. To get the velocity up a bit, you will have to add more powder, and I know it is tough to do in the 50-70 case. I managed to cram 69 grains into mine with he aid of a compression die and a LOT of angst and compression to seat the 515141. I wound up with 1235 fps out of a 1-26 30 inch barrel.

Your 1-20 barrel will handle a heavier bullet, but the case capacity is just not there to get any useable velocity out of a heavier bullet. Notice how the velocity fell off when you went to the 480 grain Lee. That 450 grain Lyman is far and away the best bullet choice. If you can get some, try KIK 3f. You should pick up at least 50 fps with it. Burns clean, too.
 
Posts: 807 | Location: East Texas | Registered: 03 November 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by sharpsguy:
RIP--It looks like you're having WAY too much fun with that thing.

You betcha!

I have found that there is a 2 ft. per second advantage per inch in velocity in barrel length according to my Oehler. I tested this extensively years ago using Goex powder back in the mid '90's.

Shockingly little increase per inch of barrel!
Might not the inches from 22" to 30" produce more?
From the fire-geyser/muzzle flash photo above, it looks like the 22" barrel could use another foot of barrel to finish burning that powder.
BTW, the AA 5744 left unburnt powder lying in the barrel and chamber of the rifle after each spent case was ejected.
The FFg Shuetzen burnt much more completely.



Schuetzen powder is not exactly known for being a fast powder--it's kinda slow, in fact.

Good to know. I will save the Shuetzen for percussion gun use or try it in 45-70.
I do have Goex FFg and FFFg. The Goex 3F will be next trial in 50-70.


To get the velocity up a bit, you will have to add more powder, and I know it is tough to do in the 50-70 case. I managed to cram 69 grains into mine with he aid of a compression die and a LOT of angst and compression to seat the 515141. I wound up with 1235 fps out of a 1-26 30 inch barrel.

Supersonic!

Your 1-20 barrel will handle a heavier bullet, but the case capacity is just not there to get any useable velocity out of a heavier bullet. Notice how the velocity fell off when you went to the 480 grain Lee. That 450 grain Lyman is far and away the best bullet choice. If you can get some, try KIK 3f. You should pick up at least 50 fps with it. Burns clean, too.

Eyes peeled for KIK 3F.



Thanks. BP smoking is fun. tu2
 
Posts: 28032 | Location: KY | Registered: 09 December 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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RIP: If you can find a pound of FFFg Swiss, you'll goose those numbers, too. For some reason it is easier to find out here on the left coast than KIK.


There is hope, even when your brain tells you there isn’t.
– John Green, author
 
Posts: 14439 | Location: Alamogordo, NM | Registered: 03 June 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I don't use Swiss because it fouls HARD AND DRY and doesn't hydrate when you blow on it. KIK is as close as a phone call to Powder Inc. (479) 705-0005.
 
Posts: 807 | Location: East Texas | Registered: 03 November 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Powder Inc.


http://www.powderinc.com/

coffee

Original cases were balloon-headed, and held more powder than the new cases for .50-70 Govt., eh?

So in a new case, 69 grains of BP giving plus 1200 fps with 450-grain bullet in a 30" barrel equals or beats the old original load, eh?
Buffalo killer. tu2
 
Posts: 28032 | Location: KY | Registered: 09 December 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I don't really know what the velocity of the original load was, as I have never chronographed one, or talked to anyone who has. That business about the old balloon cases holding more than our modern cases is a bit overdone, I think. A grain of powder, maybe two. Three grains more max. I have run thousands of rounds loaded with black powder in various calibers over the chronograph, and have the tapes and targets to prove it. Based on this data, I can tell you that it takes a full grain of black powder to make a consistent velocity increase of two feet a second with a given powder. With this in mind, a balloon case will give, at best, another 6 fps over today's case.

The 50-70 has always been under powered due to a lack of case capacity. The original Sharps factory recognized this, and responded to the request for more horsepower from the western plains, and brought out a 50 with a 2 inch case in an attempt to address the issue. This failed to really fix the problem, and the final answer from the factory was the 50-2 1/2 or so called 50-90 loaded on a 2 1/2 inch case shooting a 473 grain paper patched bullet out of a 1-36 twist barrel.

The 50-70 really is a neat cartridge, though, and a lot of buffalo were killed with it. That bullet at 800 to 900 fps will knock a horse off its feet, and with the mild recoil, it is a gun that is a lot of fun to shoot.
 
Posts: 807 | Location: East Texas | Registered: 03 November 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by sharpsguy:
I have run thousands of rounds loaded with black powder in various calibers over the chronograph, and have the tapes and targets to prove it. Based on this data ...


sharpsguy,

Though I have enjoyed some flintlock and percussion muzzleloader BP shooting,
FFFFg for priming the pan is kept on hand,
I am but a grasshopper in this BPCR arena with a meager 20 rounds of BPCR ammo under my belt, and all of it now 50-70,
as shooter or spectator.
But this meager experience has already shown me that BP can be more uniform across the chronograph than smokeless in a BPCR,
and that there must be something inherently accurate about the Sharps rifle platform.

My tapes and targets collection has a long way to go, I hope! BP is fun!

I did find another McNelly target done after I applied a strategic bit of JB Weld to the open rear sight to tighten up its floppy-looseness a bit.

Same smokeless load from my heathen days, and rifle did about 1.25" for three shots at 100 yards.
This is some of my best shooting with crude open sights on a Sharps carbine replica, 50-70.
3-shot group to see how the sights are lining up:



I am looking around for a replacement rear sight,
like something from a Pedersoli Sharps 1874.

Who makes the simple open sights on the Shiloh Sharps 1874?
MVA or Shiloh themselves?

If dovetail is not the right size, that is something that could be fixed with a shim and/or other gunsmithing.
I might be able to do it myself with JB Weld. hilbily
 
Posts: 28032 | Location: KY | Registered: 09 December 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Shiloh makes their own barrel sights. They have a really neat and correct rear barrel sight for the carbine. It is correctly called the Lawerence low notch carbine sight, and is a flip up ladder sight with enough elevation to reach WAAY out there. You need to advise them if it is going on an octagon or a round barrel, as the underside of the sight is cut accordingly. Cost of the Shiloh unit is $65. I have them on three of my rifles--they are very well made, and you can do some really good shooting with this sight once you learn how to use it.

The sight comes with the sight chair, which is the part that fits into the barrel dovetail, the sight itself, and the screw that holds the sight in place. One way or another, you can get it on the rifle without JB Weld.
 
Posts: 807 | Location: East Texas | Registered: 03 November 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Lawerence low notch carbine sight


Yep, Lawrence rear (ladder) sight as on the Sharps military carbines. tu2
I gotta find the replacement part,
before I move on to Soule sights on a long-barreled 45 or 50 with a longer cartridge case,
assuming I can still see well enough to use them.
What a luxury a 50-90 would be after packing 50-70 cases.
 
Posts: 28032 | Location: KY | Registered: 09 December 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Rip: I am impressed with the quality of the barrel in your carbine. That's a nice iron sight group at 100 yards, no matter what powder you used. And you are right: single-digit extreme spreads are the norm with black powder loads vs. smokeless.
Sharpsguy, I have always been intrigued with that early Sharps .50 2-inch. There's a guy over on the Shiloh forum who lives in northeastern Washington who has that reamer.


There is hope, even when your brain tells you there isn’t.
– John Green, author
 
Posts: 14439 | Location: Alamogordo, NM | Registered: 03 June 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Bill,
Thanks, my BP loads can only get better from here. Yep, another quarter inch of case for a 50-70 2-Inch would be nice,
but what do you do to make brass, cut off the 50-90 Sharps 2.5" case?
I imagine the 50-90 Sharps in a Shiloh Sharps would be pleasant, though a 50-140 could be a bit obnoxious with a crescent steel buttplate,
though a slip-on butt pad would take care of that.
Maybe I do need one of those to use the Boeing 777 bullets. tu2

sharpsguy,
Shiloh Sharps is a pleasure to deal with.
The sight is on the way, just as you described it. tu2
 
Posts: 28032 | Location: KY | Registered: 09 December 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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RIP, here's a 50-140 compared to a 45-70. You could stack 3 of yours in that case!

 
Posts: 19090 | Location: Very NW NJ up in the Mountains | Registered: 14 June 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Biebs:
RIP, here's a 50-140 compared to a 45-70. You could stack 3 of yours in that case!



Not quite 3. Actually less than 2!
The 50-140 Sharps is only 3.25" long.
The 50-70 Govt. is 1.75" long.
Two of the 50-70 would be 3.5" tall in a stack.

Biebs, where did you learn your math?
Tip: 50-140 has twice the case capacity of the 50-70.
Got it?
If further explanation of mathematics used here is needed, please do not hesitate to ask.


The 50-140 only did about 1355 fps with 700-grain bullet of old factory load using black powder. Wink

BTW, I got some new dies for 50-70 Govt., made by RCBS. tu2
I like the RCBS dies better than the Lyman dies.
 
Posts: 28032 | Location: KY | Registered: 09 December 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by RIP:
Here is the previous sight check of the Sharps McNelly carbine replia from Chiappa/A. C. Armisport.
50-yards, and I was a heathen then shooting AA 5744 25.5 grains with 450-grainer, instead of the righteous BP:



About 1.25" for three shots at 50 yards was not bad, despite the rear sight being floppy-loose and needing to be replaced/rebuilt.

After tire-bound-trigger-string check of the Trapdoor Sunday,
shooting BP on Sunday is a righteous thing to do,
member roughone (gunsmith Rusty McGee, who is actually a Texas native) graciously agreed to demonstrate the Texas Ranger style.
BP load for this 22"-barreled carbine with 1:20" twist has not been perfected yet, it will handle heavier bullets.
Just a special effects trial today, and chronographing of 3-shot averages with 3 different loads, 5-yard chrono distance from muzzle:

450-grain bullet of soft lead (Lyman 515141), 25.5 grains of AA 5744 >>> 1069 fps

444-grain bullet of 1/20 alloy (Lyman515141), 65.0 grains Shuetzen FFg >>> 1063 fps

480-grain bullet of Lyman #2 alloy (Lee "500-grain" mould), 65.0 grains Shuetzen FFG >>> 1033 fps

The BP loads are more uniform on the chronograph than the smokeless.















Less muzzle flash and higher velocity with a longer barrel, eh?
I wonder how much faster a 28" to 30" barrel would be?
Like on a Trapdoor that did not get chronographed just yet. Supersonic?


http://kwk.us/twist.html Use this for barrel twist and bullet fit


Don't take the chip !
 
Posts: 578 | Location: PA | Registered: 21 March 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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