View Full Version : Making a bit of headway with the Colt Arillery carbine

05-19-2006, 05:01 AM
..............I took the Colt Signature series 2 band artillery carbine to the range last Tuesday. It has a .581" land. I had made a .588" swage die to make Minie bullets for the Snider. Since the Colt came with a Raphine sizer I made a .580" push through sizer die for it. These are nothing more then a 1.5" long 7/8" diameter sleeve with a taper into the sizing area.

I swaged 30 Lee REALS into Minie bullets as the lightest slugs on hand, then sized'em .580". An easy thumb press at the muzzle and they will just 'hang' there. Nice fit. Then I swaged up some 520gr Challenger Minie' boolits into the .588" Pritchit type and again sized down to .580". I believe the Colt has the god forsaken 78" twist and I figured they wouldn't be accurate.

So I had the light swaged Minie', the 520gr Minie' and I took some as cast Lee REAL's and some Lee 478gr Target Minie' boolits. I didn't hold out mush hope for them as they mike .578". I was right. I tired 35, 40 & 45grs Elephant 3Fg and they just peppered around the target board. The as cast Lee REAL's were better enough to shoot recognizeable groups of maybe 6" for 5 rounds. The bottom 2 bands just dropped in and the topmost did hang up at the muzzle and had to be thumped in.

I didn't do a bunch of work with them as I was wanting to get to the swaged Minie' boolits :-).


One possible issue with the swaged Minie' boolits may be the thickness of the skirts. They're pretty heavy. These in the photo are swaged for the Snider out of the Lee Target Minie, but the swage die was the same so the skirt thickness is the same. The first Minie' to be tried was those made from the Lee REAL's. I started at 35.0grs of 3Fg. I then went to 40, 45, 50 and 55grs. At each charge increase I could see some group improvement. At the end I was shooting the best group with the 55gr-3Fg load for 3" for 5 rnds at 50 yards.

I might also inject here I was at odds with the rear sight. It has 3 notches. One fixed, a flip up 300 yard leaf and a 500 yard leaf. At 50 yards I had the front blade all but invisible it was so deep in the rear notch, yet at 50 yards the impacts were about 10" high.

I needed to get home as it was about 3 PM but I wanted to also try the heavy Minie' bullets. I decided to switch from the Elephant 3Fg to the container of Swiss 2Fg I'd brought. I set the measure at 60, which would equal real close to 70.0grs by actual wieght of the dense Swiss BP. The target was to be one of the gongs hanging at 200 meters. It's 14x14" square.

I launched 6 or 7 rounds at it and came within inches of it after I found where to hold. This was with the fixed notch and the front sight base even with the top of the V so the front blade was up out of the V entirely. OOF! These loads were startling compared to all the previous ones! A defiantive sharp shove backwards with a decidedly much sharper report. I became a bit unpleasant off the bench, ha!

Next time I'll have to start at 65grs and go up in 5.0gr increments with Elephant 2Fg to start. The Swiss is so much denser then the Elephant the markings on the measure are only a reference and bear no relation to the actual weight. Elephant weighs almost exactly what the measure shows. When I have a chance I'll also have to cast up some of the .582" 345gr Minie' bullets I'd seen the PO shoot into decent 50 yd groups.

I don't know if I'll be able to get this musket to deliver the same level of accuracy I've gotten with the Parker-Hale P58 but it will be interesting to see where we go and what does end up working the best.


05-23-2006, 01:26 PM
Yo buckshot,Them skirts do look thick. Maybe you need to make a larger cavity swage die.Thin em down and you might be able to save some shoulder meat and inprove the groups a bit. For 50 yd all of the minne rifles I have messed with need .100 or so taller front sight. I realy hate doing the burying the front thing.