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Thread: What do you thin of my Sharps bore?

  1. #11
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    Well, maybe I've just been using the wrong bullet.

    I slugged my bore again tonight twice using bullets that had been sized to .542. Making the most careful measurements I could with my Mitutoyo digital calipers, this is what I believe I have for a bore in this Pedersoli 1859 Sharps:



    When I tap the bullet through the bore with a .5" wooden dowel, it forms quite a wavy "skirt" around the base of the bullet, with the skirt being longer where the lands are.



    The skirt is not uniform around the bullet, probably due to the dowel rod not being centered on the back side of the bullet when driving it through. I don't know if a similar effect happens when the bullet is propelled by a powder charge or not. I would expect full pressure to be uniformly applied to the base and so the effect should be uniform, if not less pronounced.

    In any case, if there is lead extrusion behind the bullet it probably isn't good for accuracy.

    I've been shooting the Eras Gone Sharps which measures .549", unsized, and also sized to 542". Unsized, this bullet is compressed .0235" in the lands, and .0115" in the grooves. Sized to .542", it is compressed .0195" in the lands, and .0045" in the grooves.

    Conventional wisdom as I understand it is to use a bullet about .002" over groove diameter, so that means I should be shooting a bullet around .540".

    I have had folks recommend to me "bore riding" Christmas Tree bullets, where the first driving band actually goes down the bore and the second driving band stops on the rifling. Moose Molds' 544-480 Christmas Tree has bands .520", .534", .544".

    Steve
    Steve Sheldon
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  2. #12
    Harry Gaul's Avatar
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    Aim small, miss small. Go Small, miss small.

    I am probably the only one on this forum that is an advocate of shooting an undersize bullet in a breech loader. The picture of oversize bullets shows that the lead form skirts on the bullet. The lead has got to go somewhere as they travel down the barrel, and you have not added the debris of black powder fouling and lube left in the barrel after the first shot. Accuracy destroying friction will increase with every shot. If you feel that 540 is the right size for your barrel, I suggest that you buy a pack of 535 round balls and shoot them just to see what happens. Place the ball in the chamber and engage the rifling in the barrel with a dowel rod, and then add loose powder or powder charge wrapped in nitrated paper or curling papers. Then it is time to go BANG ! Good shooting is a marriage of science and personal technique and practice. Law of Physics states that two things cannot occupy the same space at the same time. Your technique may be great but if you do not understand the Physics of the barrel, lead and powder and marry them together, the last place where the bullet touches the barrel as it leaves the barrel is where the bullet will go. With certainty, philosophy of shooting an oversize bullet to bore size is that you will hit dirt. During the Civil War, soldiers in battle complained that the fouling was so bad that they had to load and ram the bullet home by slamming the ramrod against a tree. The Williams Cleaner bullet was created in the hopes of scraping barrel clean so the soldier could keep going. Soldiers shot 54 caliber bullets in their 58's. Using 54's allowed them to use inertia to tap the bullet down the barrel by banging the musket against the ground. Classic breaks and splits in the breech area may have been cause not just by recoil, but by banging the butt of the musket on the ground thereby slamming the barrel against the breech area of the stock. To my way of thinking, aim small, miss small; go small, miss small.

    Respectfully,
    Harry
    03626v

  3. #13
    bobanderson is offline
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    Steve, sent you a PM.
    Bob Anderson
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  4. #14
    Kevin Tinny is offline
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    Hi, Steve:

    That skirt is called "land drag back" by a couple of my aged barrel maker friends. One was Pres. of the ASSRA. Claude Roderick was a gauge maker, fascinated by tremendous trifles, made a fortune crafting aircraft 50BMG bbl's, and made the first moon buggy suspension in his Monett, MO garage at the request of NASA when bidders gave up.

    Claude made me cupped sizing punches that put a 1/32" RADIUS on the base/heel edge to true-up and eliminate drag. He did whatever possible to make the heel uniform.

    In my bullet "driving" tests for fit, if bullet .0005" to .001" over GROOVE OD, I get none.
    I have seen the skirt form when sizing SOFT bullets more than .0015" over sizing die ID, esp if punch is a loose fit. Hard alloy ones can become dished at the base from pressure. Won't be accurate. My sizing die punches are no more than .0005" under die ID for a better fit.

    My suggestion is to size a couple to .0005" over your groove OD and retest for land drag back. If none AND bullet shows full groove engraving into corners, test fire that one for starters. If no yawing at 25 and 50, then no gas cutting and THAT sized OD is sufficient. Next, work on lube and pdr chg variations.

    Measuring .0005" consistently can be frustrating, but the same results can be achieved by just trying bullets until find next smaller one that doesn't drag. Regardless of measurement, the photo of your present sized OD together with skirt confirms way oversize for me.

    All my cast bullet breech loaders shoot well with a sized OD that is between .0005" to .001" over groove OD, regardless of alloy.

    Tx for the photo's, haven't seen that drag stuff here. Nice sharing. Smiles.
    Corrected typo's. Early AM watery eyes. Haha.
    Kevin
    Last edited by Kevin Tinny; 1 Week Ago at 07:37 AM.

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Tinny View Post
    Hi, Steve:

    That skirt is called "land drag back" by a couple of my aged barrel maker friends. One was Pres. of the ASSRA. Claude Roderick was a gauge maker, fascinated by tremendous trifles, made a fortune crafting aircraft 50BMG bbl's, and made the first moon buggy suspension in his Monett, MO garage at the request of NASA when bidders gave up.

    Claude made me cupped sizing punches that put a 1/32" RADIUS on the base/heel edge to true-up and eliminate drag. He did whatever possible to make the heel uniform.

    In my bullet "driving" tests for fit, if bullet .0005" to .001" over GROOVE OD, I get none.
    I have seen the skirt form when sizing SOFT bullets more than .0015" over sizing die ID, esp if punch is a loose fit. Hard alloy ones can become dished at the base from pressure. Won't be accurate. My sizing die punches are no more than .0005" under die ID for a better fit.

    My suggestion is to size a couple to .0005" over your groove OD and retest for land drag back. If none AND bullet shows full groove engraving into corners, test fire that one for starters. If no yawing at 25 and 50, then no gas cutting and THAT sized OD is sufficient. Next, work on lube and pdr chg variations.

    Measuring .0005" consistently can be frustrating, but the same results can be achieved by just trying bullets until find next smaller one that doesn't drag. Regardless of measurement, the photo of your present sized OD together with skirt confirms way oversize for me.

    All my cast bullet breech loaders shoot well with a sized OD that is between .0005" to .001" over groove OD, regardless of alloy.

    Tx for the photo's, haven't seen that drag stuff here. Nice sharing. Smiles.
    Corrected typo's. Early AM watery eyes. Haha.
    Kevin
    Well not sure if I got this, but I think three grease grooves are better than two.

  6. #16
    Harry Gaul's Avatar
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    Pb has got to go somewhere?

    Fellow members,

    The previous comment talks about "Grease Grooves". Here may be the answer that I seek. You can go .002 bullet over groove size (barrel) if the grease grooves on the bullet are deep enough. The Grease is the lube that cuts down on friction, and with the musket or carbine being fired, the bullet travels down the barrel; the skirt expands; and the skirt engages the rifling, the lead on the high spot on the grease grooves moves into the empty space between the grooves. Bingo??????? My hypothesis is also valid for a solid bullet as well. As the fouling increases, the bullet picks up black powder debris in the grease grooves while being rammed home. Does the accuracy suffer or stays the same assuming no operator error. If the above mentioned scenario is true then sizing the bullet becomes critical. You do not want to start with a big bullet and then size down to the point that you reduce or eliminate the depth of the grease groove on the bullet. On another post the writer mentions that he is pleased with a Moose Mold for Sharps. If you examine that bullet, it has high spots grease grooves of various sizes resulting in deep grease grooves on the bullet. The author says it works and once again, Moose Moulds has another satisfied customer. You can not argue with success. Does it matter how you get there? For many, it does not matter, but for me it matters. Success is only successful if it it is repeatable. Other than that, it is shot in the dark. HIT !!!!

    Respectfully,
    Harry
    03626v

  7. #17
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    Dang Harry, I think I could sit next to you around the campfire for twenty minutes and not get into a fist fight.

  8. #18
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    I had already ordered a set of gauges for 58 caliber guns, I went ahead and ordered a set for 52/54 caliber guns:

    https://www.travers.com/class-zz-ind...2&series=Minus

    Steve
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  9. #19
    cjohnson is offline
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    Sharps

    Steve,
    To really check for lead, go online to Brownells look up Lewis Lead Remover Patches # 516-300-003wb. Push these through the bore and if there is lead you'll see it embedded in the mesh.
    Cass

  10. #20
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    I'm very much doubting leading. The gun has probably less than 1000 rounds through it, and we don't push bullets at velocities high enough to lead. It's possible, but I'm not going to chase that rabbit right now.

    Steve
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