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The First Big Fifty: 50-70 Govt.
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RIP, when I get that 600-grainmold fired up I'll send you some slugs to try.


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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quote:
Originally posted by Bill/Oregon:
RIP, when I get that 600-grainmold fired up I'll send you some slugs to try.


Offer appreciated, but no thanks, Bill.
I gotta roll my own.
I do have a 777-grainer (including lube and gas check) almost as big as a Boeing 777 and it will do nicely if I really want some kicks from the McNelly.
As cast in Lyman No. 2 it is .513" diameter:

 
Posts: 28032 | Location: KY | Registered: 09 December 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Well, RIP, when you find that .500 BPE double rifle you'll have just the mold to go with it!

Big Grin


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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Nah, 500 BPE oldtimers used 300-400-grain bullets, eh?
The 777-grain bullet will be used to load my Ruger No.1 500A2 with BP to recreate the special effects of the 50-140 3-1/4".
There was a 700-grain factory load for that one. Wink

Here are the .50-70 Big Fifty components in progress.
Red lube was used on the Lyman bullet from Mould #515141, as a stick of it was already in the Lubrisizer.
When that ran out I switched over to SPG on the Lee bullet.
Weights are without lube, which adds little to bullet weight.
Surprising how soft SPG is (first time user), more like butter than beeswax:



444-grainer for Trapdoor.
480-grainer for McNelly Sharps. tu2

quote:
Originally posted by sharpsguy:
Rip--When I had a 50-70 a number of years ago, the only brass I had was by Bell. Case capacity was limited, to say the least. I settled on a very highly compressed load of 67 grains Goex 2f. There was not even enough room left in the case for a .030 Walters wad. I had to use a wad cut from ordinary Cut-Rite wax paper. I seated the Lyman 515141 bullet so that all the grease grooves were covered. My rifle was surprisingly accurate, giving 1 1/2 inch to 2 inch groups at 100 yards. Surprisingly enough, it chronographed 1235 fps out of a 30 inch barrel.

It was a good deer killer, better on deer than my 50-90, in fact. I sold it because it ran out of accuracy somewhere around 275 to 300 yards with that short, stubby bullet. I wouldn't mind having it back, even if it was a roller.


Taking notes here.
I will see if I can get 65 grains of FFg to go boom first. tu2
 
Posts: 28032 | Location: KY | Registered: 09 December 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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The lure of the Big Fifty!
 
Posts: 19090 | Location: Very NW NJ up in the Mountains | Registered: 14 June 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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RIP: I really like the looks of that Lee boolit. Their molds are so darned affordable, too. I used to have a Lee mold modified to drop 350-grain bullets for use in .56-50 Spencer. I no longer have the Spencer, but I do have a Second Model Maynard carbine in .50 that's going to get a taste of that slug very soon.


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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Lucretia bound:



The old girl held together!

The 444-grainer (Lyman 515141 cast 1/20 and sized to .512"),
with the wrong lube and with only 65 grains of FFg,
bumped up enough to show the old girl might shoot with what is left of her 3 grooves.
However, the harder and heavier 480-grain Lee bullet cast in Lyman #2 alloy keyholed,
and maybe the 1:42" twist is not enough for it?



It is interesting that one of the 480-grainers did not keyhole and shot closer to POA.
There might be hope for that one too if cast in soft lead.

Maybe actually slug the bore from the muzzle end
and get a mould sizeable to whatever diameter needed?
I couldn't bear to hurt Lucretia any worse than the last 148 years have.
Who knows, slugging from the muzzle end might even damage the crown! rotflmo

I will cast the Lyman 515141 in pure lead and expect it to weigh about 459 grains.
Maybe 1/40 tin/lead would be exactly 450 grains.

I will not be able to add more powder unless I use a single thickness of waxpaper (like sharpsguy), or no wad at all,
instead of the 0.065"-thick fiber wad used this time.
I also need a blow tube, number of breaths between shots determined by ambient humidity ... something else to get habitual. tu2

Also a suggestion by roughone: FFFg by weight might not need as much compression as FFg.
I used Starline brass (1.745" long with F215 primer) and a 26" drop tube and still ran out of space with 65 grains of FFg.

Shooting the 450-grainer faster (with 70 grains) ought to make it shoot lower, with barrel time less, bullet exits earlier in muzzle rise,
so sights might be right on with the right load.
Might even be supersonic in the long-barreled Lucretia. tu2

Fired brass is dropped into a water bottle at the range.
The black and sulfurous rinse water may be considered as a mountain man's substitute for Tabasco sauce.
 
Posts: 28032 | Location: KY | Registered: 09 December 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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RIP: If you want to make Lucretia a shooter for the next 100 years, Bob Hoyt at the Freischutz Shop in PA can line her barrel. He does outstanding work.


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,
I just cleaned her and she looks pristine now.
She was relined in 1866 for the "Second Allin" conversion. I would not dream of undoing that,
though I appreciate the helpful suggestion. tu2

My cleaning:
Several gallons of hot water, poured in 2 quarts at a time as rapidly as possible through my home-made blow tube and a funnel ...

scrub with bronze brush between hot water flushes ...

soaked for an hour with Thompson Center T17 Foaming Bore Cleaner ...
more hot water flushes then patching with brush and patches ...
sprayed with Gun Scrubber and patched dry ...
patched bore with Break Free CLP soaked patches ...
wiped externals and cleaned crannies with toothbrush and CLP and rag ...
wiped wood with dry paper towels ...
then set aside standing on muzzle to drain the CLP ...

Do I use Bore Butter now, and patch that out before she shoots again?

Have drop tube, can load.

Have blow tube, can shoot.

Next loads: 450-grain bullet of 1:40 tin/lead, SPG lube, single thickness of waxpaper over powder, no wad,
and as close to 70 grains of BP as I can get, whether FFFg Goex or FFg Goex.
Lucretia is bound to shoot better next time. I am learning.
Oops, forgot to annoint her with Hoppe's No. 9, will add that to the bore patching ritual next time ...

Yes I also cleaned the dirty brass cases, but I will spare you of the details of that. Wink

 
Posts: 28032 | Location: KY | Registered: 09 December 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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When cleaning one of my trapdoors I turn the rifle upside down in the cradle and hold the block open with a large rubber band. That way any crud or liquid that gets pushed out by the patch doesn't fall into the action trough.

If the barrel is smooth then cleaning, depending on the degree of fouling, won't require more than two or three wet patches with maybe a light brushing with a wet nylon bore brush between patches to get rid of the fouling followed by dry patches and then oil. Hard fouling will require a bit more. if the barrel is rough then perhaps something like Friendship Speed Juice (water, hydrogen peroxide and murphy's oil soap) would be useful to get the pits clean, followed by plain water paches, dry patches and a water displacing oil (WD40) then a preservative oil or grease. Gallons of hot water aren't necessary.

I noticed the heavy Lee bullet keyholed. I wouldn't bother trying to make it shoot as it will never be any better than borderline stable whatever you do. The Lyman 141 seems to be a shooter and I think NOE still has some of his moulds for the same bullet available that likely would do even better.

In my rifle 65grs FFG with a single waxpaper wad compressed to allow a firm crimp over the front of the bullet ogive does quite well with the Lee version of the Govt bullet (30:1 alloy). I have a friend that manages to squeeze a full 70grs in but with that bullet but the compression is something fierce. If you are determined to get more in the case the military chambers are actually quite long and a 50-90 case can be trimmed to fit and easily take a full 70 grs, or more. I, however, would not go more than a 70gr charge in a '66.

Jerry Liles
 
Posts: 531 | Location: Louisiana | Registered: 01 January 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Jerry,
Thanks for the tips.
I just went wild with the water first time 'cause it was fun pouring hot water through my new blow tube,
spilled nary a drop,
and it made Lucretia hot. Wink

The rifling looks great (at least well defined/visible) all down the barrel as far as I can see without a bore scope, just a bore light.

So, I stop at 70 grains of BP for sure, and I could easily do that by leaving a grease groove proud of case,
if the old military 50-70 has that long a chamber. Eeker
Touch up the lube with SPG by finger before shooting. tu2
 
Posts: 28032 | Location: KY | Registered: 09 December 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Googling revealed that the twist of the Armi Sport (Chiappa) McNelly Sharps 50-70 is supposed to be 1:18", not 1:20",
so either I or Armi Sport got it wrong previously. Wink
Most likely, my jag was not patched very tight when I "measured" the twist.

I am lucky that the barrel is good on the McNelly, even if the barrel sight has a potmetal saddle in the dovetail,
awaiting parts replacement.

I am sticking to Shiloh Sharps and Pedersoli henceforth,
or the original Springfield Armory. tu2
 
Posts: 28032 | Location: KY | Registered: 09 December 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Rusty McGee is fitting a Shiloh Sharps Lawrence ladder sight to the Armi Sport McNelly 50-70.
He might make a new saddle to fit the 1/2" dovetail slot on the barrel,
or he will solder on a shim to the 3/8" dovetail on the Shiloh saddle. Whistling

I slugged the Springfield M1866 Trapdoor 50-70,
from the muzzle, using a slug of about .535" diameter,
driven through to breech with a 3/8" wooden dowel, there were no surprise loose spots, seemed uniform,
encouraging for the 148 year-old rifle.
The biggest micrometer reading I got on the slug was .5126", caliper reading was .513",
which is most likely somewhere between bore and groove spec,
but I do not want to do the math to figure out what that means with the three-groove rifling, for bore and groove.
I will just trust that it might be close to the original spec of .500"-bore and .515"-groove,
and hope a softer lead bullet sized to .512"-.515" will obturate with BP.

The 3-groove rifling is strange enough to make the crown look out of round to eyeball:

 
Posts: 28032 | Location: KY | Registered: 09 December 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by RIP:
I've got these moulds, the 425-gr Lyman I have not used yet, and I have a .512" Lubrisizer die for it.
Need to do so.

Mike Venturino quoted that mould number as producing a 450-grain bullet in 1/20 alloy or "temper."
Any of y'all used this mould?
I reckon I ought to try 1/20 for prettiest bullets and heaviest useful weight?

70 grains of FFg ...





http://kwk.us/twist.html Use this for the proper bullet weight


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