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Thread: .54 Burnside Cartridge Information

  1. #1
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    .54 Burnside Cartridge Information

    I have spent quite a bit of time trying to find an original dimensional drawing of the .54 caliber Burnside Carbine cartridge.
    Does anyone have the drawing or know where I can find it?

    Thanks,
    Orin
    "It is well that war is so terrible lest we should grow too fond of it." Gen. R.E. Lee CSA

    G-Grandfather 2rd Lt Charles A. Miller, Company G, 42nd Regiment, North Carolina Infantry

    G-G Grandfather Sgt David A. Ray, Enlisted: Company D, North Carolina 30th Infantry Regiment on 10 Aug 1861, Mustered Out: 9 April 1865

    G-Grandfather Pvt R A Harding, Enlisted in Company K, New Hampshire 1st Heavy Artillery Regiment on 17 Sep 1864, Mustered out on 15 Jun 1865 in Washington, DC

  2. #2
    bobanderson is offline
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    I have a book that shows dimensional drawings of all of the Civil War carbines and their ammunition. Unfortunately, it's loaned out right now and I can't confirm what it has on the Burnside. I'll have it back in about 2 weeks.

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Breech-Load...75.c100623.m-1

    Take a look at the photo of Hall's Carbine in the listing to see if that type of drawing will work for you.
    Bob Anderson
    Ordnance Sergeant
    Company C, 1st Michigan Volunteer Infantry
    Small Arms Committee

    "I won't be wronged. I won't be insulted. I won't be laid a hand on.
    I don't do these things to other people, and I require the same from them."
    - John Wayne in "The Shootist", 1976

  3. #3
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    Hi Bob,

    I found a copy of the book on Amazon for $23 and ordered it last night. I've also found a PDF file copy of "Metallic Cartridges Manufactured and Tested At The Frankford Arsenal, Philadelphia, PA" published in 1873 that can be downloaded here http://www.368thfightergroup.com/368...-firearms.html along with some other interesting manuals.

    I'm trying to find a good, non dug, Burnside cartridge to reverse engineer. The brass cases sold by Lodgewood and S&S are made too long and will require machining to get the dimensions right. Not sure why they were made so long as the Burnside's breech block will adjust for cases that are too short or long. It looks like the dimension of the ring behind the "grease" bulge is where the problem may really be.

    Orin
    Last edited by 762x51; 06-04-2018 at 09:46 PM.
    "It is well that war is so terrible lest we should grow too fond of it." Gen. R.E. Lee CSA

    G-Grandfather 2rd Lt Charles A. Miller, Company G, 42nd Regiment, North Carolina Infantry

    G-G Grandfather Sgt David A. Ray, Enlisted: Company D, North Carolina 30th Infantry Regiment on 10 Aug 1861, Mustered Out: 9 April 1865

    G-Grandfather Pvt R A Harding, Enlisted in Company K, New Hampshire 1st Heavy Artillery Regiment on 17 Sep 1864, Mustered out on 15 Jun 1865 in Washington, DC

  4. #4
    bobanderson is offline
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    This might be off topic a bit, but didn't I hear that someone had modified a Burnside breech block to shoot Smith carbine ammo?

    Would that be legal to use in the N-SSA?
    Bob Anderson
    Ordnance Sergeant
    Company C, 1st Michigan Volunteer Infantry
    Small Arms Committee

    "I won't be wronged. I won't be insulted. I won't be laid a hand on.
    I don't do these things to other people, and I require the same from them."
    - John Wayne in "The Shootist", 1976

  5. #5
    Lou Lou Lou is offline
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    Bob Year ago they approved the Galleger mod to use Smith cases. Could happen
    o
    Lou Lou Lou Ruggiero
    Tamanny Regt-42nd NYVI

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    I'm using bullets sized to .556 in my Burnside and I think they are too small, but that is all that will fit in the case. Wish I could measure a 3 groove slug, but that's another subject. My original Smith uses a .518 bullet. While I've never tried, I suspect the Smith bullet would all but fall down the barrel of a Burnside. Are you gonna modify the Smith case or re-line the barrel, or.....?

  7. #7
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    There is another thread discussing this problem here:

    https://www.n-ssa.net/vbforum/showth...0405#post70405

    mgmradio found the same problem that I've found.

    Orin
    "It is well that war is so terrible lest we should grow too fond of it." Gen. R.E. Lee CSA

    G-Grandfather 2rd Lt Charles A. Miller, Company G, 42nd Regiment, North Carolina Infantry

    G-G Grandfather Sgt David A. Ray, Enlisted: Company D, North Carolina 30th Infantry Regiment on 10 Aug 1861, Mustered Out: 9 April 1865

    G-Grandfather Pvt R A Harding, Enlisted in Company K, New Hampshire 1st Heavy Artillery Regiment on 17 Sep 1864, Mustered out on 15 Jun 1865 in Washington, DC

  8. #8
    ms3635v's Avatar
    ms3635v is offline
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    I just measured an original Burnside bullet in my collection and the diameter is .560".
    Mike Santarelli 03635V, Adjutant
    Member since 1979
    Co. B, 1st Pennsylvania Cavalry, #229
    Middle Atla
    ntic Region
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  9. #9
    edrutecki is offline
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    The tubes on the left in each picture were bought at The Gator Den probably like 10 years ago. I'm not 100% sure, but I believe a guy named Bob Seng had something to do with them. The tubes pictured on the right are the usual suttler types that are normally found.

    Unfortunately, I am a really lousy photographer! If anyone needs any other pictures, please let me know, I will do my best to try and take something remotely viewable.
    Attached Images Attached Images    

  10. #10
    ms3635v's Avatar
    ms3635v is offline
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    A team mate has been shooting a Burnside for many years. He tried both the brass and white nylon/plastic cases, and discovered the white nylon/plastic cases worked the best. In addition, he discovered that a.560” round ball shoots better than the bullet.
    Mike Santarelli 03635V, Adjutant
    Member since 1979
    Co. B, 1st Pennsylvania Cavalry, #229
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