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Thread: Navy Arms 3 band 1853 Enfield

  1. #1
    twines is offline
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    Navy Arms 3 band 1853 Enfield

    I have a new friend who bought an unfired Navy 3 band pattern 1853 Enfield. This a DGG Ridgefield NJ vintage. He is going after big game in Alaska and is experimenting with loads. I know 60 grains was standard military. He is planning to go with 90 to 100 grains of FFF Black. What are the potential issues? I've never mess with those size loads.

    Tom

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    John Holland is offline Moderator
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    Sam Fadala did some testing of heavy powder charges using a Minie Ball, with a high-speed camera to watch the effects. What he discovered was that with loads in the range you are showing the skirt usually deformed from the gas pressure as it left the muzzle severely compromising the accuracy. In addition to that I doubt that you can burn 100 grains of powder in a .58 caliber 40 " barrel.
    Last edited by John Holland; 2 Weeks Ago at 08:07 AM.

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    hobbler is offline
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    Yo twines,
    Couple of things...

    If one looks at recovered 1860's relic bullets they'll see variations in skirt thicknesses that require different amounts of force to make the lead conform to different geometries of rifling. And the styles of new and used minie molds available have some variations too so there's some choices. Another choice is that if higher powered loads are wanted then the base plug can be modified to have a slightly thicker skirt and the bullet a different over all length. Or can get more than one Lyman mold and swap the base plugs back and forth (from when Lyman made the molds that way). Or he can go wild and crazy with a replacement base plug with adjustable bullet length and interchangeable tips that will fit a variety of second hand Lyman minie molds.

    Second thing, the P53 was originally manufactured with a pretty slow 78" twist in the 39" long barrel. Just my opinion but I think that was pushing the envelope on the slow side by intent. In other words the twist was made as slow as practical for the intended use and as a base line the original issue ammo is worth looking at to see what works. That's not to say your friends piece has a 78" twist though. Being a reproduction it might have a 48" twist like mine.

    The service load was 70 grains of powder and a 530 grain bullet. That sounds like what he's about and it's a good place to start for a hunting load and developing things from there. Best of luck on his adventure!
    Last edited by hobbler; 2 Weeks Ago at 08:09 AM.

  4. #4
    hobbler is offline
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    Passing thought, I'd go with the cleanest load that turned out to be practical. Clean also for the ignition channel as all repro's are not created equal and too much lube can make for second or third shot hang fires, depending upon the individual piece. Having that happen to me on a wounded animal would really ruin my day.

  5. #5
    Southron Sr. is offline
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    Anyone with access to a lathe and a bit of knowledge on running the lathe can easily make up various types of experimental base plugs for any Minie Ball type mould.

    What I would do is to is start with a Parker-Hale type Minie-Ball mould (I believe Lyman still makes one) and would make various types of base plugs until I found one that gave the best accuracy with a charge of 90-100 grains of FFFg.

    In addition to the proper base plug design, I would also experiment with various mixtures of tin mixed in with pure lead. A higher content of tin in lead will make the lead skirt of the Minie Ball a bit stronger-however too much tin in the lead would prevent the skirt of the bullet from expanding properly to grip the rifling. So, the "trick" is finding the proper cavity design and proper tin/lead mixture to produce an accurate Minie Ball that will take heavy charges and shoot accurately..

    GOOD LUCK

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    Southron Sr. is offline
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    I would also check on the rifling twist of your friends Navy Arms Enfield. IT MIGHT HAVE THE 1 IN 48" TWIST.

    Here is why I say that: When P-H began producing their three band replica Enfields, they made up a bunch of them with the 1 in 48" twist barrels. Why? Well they (P-H was copying the rifling found in the "Hay Enfields" which was a vastly improved Enfield.)

    A Colonel Hay was C.O. of the British School of Musketry at Hythe in the 1850's and 1860's did a tremendous amount of experimentation to improve the M/L Enfield. One of those discoveries was that the 1 in 48" twist rifling produced superior accuracy. Although the Hay Pattern Enfield was never officially adopted by the British Army, New Zealand purchased a large quantity of Hay Enfields and used them in the Maori Wars.

    Now, as for the replica three bander P-H Enfields with the 1 in 48" twist, when members of the Muzzle Loading Association of Great Britain discovered that the P-H Enfields had the faster twist than the original Enfields, they got very agitated and DEMANDED that P-H produce replicas with the original 1 in 72" twist.

    So, P-H did start producing Enfields with what the MLAGE considered to be the "correct" 1 in 72" twist rifling. As for the P-H Enfields with the 1 in 48" twist? They were exported to the U.S. market. So there is a chance your friend has a Navy Arms Enfield with the 1 in 48" twist!

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    John Holland is offline Moderator
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    Southron - Tom said it is marked "DGG", which is actually read as "GDG", and is the manufacturing mark of Armi San Paolo.

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    Southron Sr. is offline
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    Dear John:

    The "DGG" is found on all arms manufactured at Armi San Paolo. These are the initials of the three founders of the company.

    When we were visiting Armi San Paolo in January of 1976, an interesting thing happened. Around 10:00 A.M. in the morning all the machines were shut down and the workers on the factory floor walked outside of the building and milled around.

    I asked Mr. Grassi was it already lunch time. He informed me that it was a "Sympathy Strike." Seems that the postmen in Naples had gone on strike. So, the longshoremen at the port of Genoa had gone on strike. Because the longshoremen had gone on strike the bus drivers in Rome had gone on strike and hence the workers at Armi San Paolo had gone on strike.

    Mr. Grassi chuckled when I asked him on how long the strike at Armi San Paolo would go on. He said "About 30 minutes." Sure enough when the 30 minutes were up, the Armi San Paolo workers returned to the factory floor, turned their machines on and began producing Euroarms arms again!

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    John Holland is offline Moderator
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    Dear Brannen,

    Yes, I know the GDG mark is on all the arms they produced, and yes it is GDG, not DGG. Why? Because that is what the owners themselves, Grassi, Doninelli, and Gazzola, said it is.

    Thank you for the interesting insight to some of the Italian labor practices!

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    gjones is offline
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    New guy with the 1853 Enfield

    Hi gentlemen! I'm the new friend of twines . Finally have have gotten around to registering as a visitor. I have read all your posts and can honestly say they are interesting, good reading, but most importantly helpful.
    A little background on myself, l have mainly used patched round balls and the occaisonal maxi in 50 cal. My experience with Minie ball is limited. I have looked into as much info as possible to find the best possible load for my hunt in Alaska. My thanks to twines especially for helping me get onto this forum.

    It seems to me that using too much black powder is not going to achieve more knockdown as I thought. With all of your experiences, at what point would I be using excessive powder. Powder isn't cheap, but don't want to be wasteful. I have on hand both 3f & 2f powder. Which should give most consistent results? Consistency is critical as I really don't want a wounded animal.

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