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Thread: 11mm French Ordnance 1873

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy map55b's Avatar
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    11mm French Ordnance 1873

    Does anyone have any loads they can share for the 11mm French Ordnance 1873 revolver? I plan to shoot a 180gr lead bullet. The Hand Loaders Guide to Cartridge Conversions suggest 3gr of Bullseye with a 180gr lead bullet (675 fps). A fella on another board uses 5gr of Unique, with a 220gr lead bullet (740 fps).

    Anyone else load for this? Thanks!

  2. #2
    Boolit Buddy
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    I have loaded 3 grains of Bullseye with a 180 grain heel-based bullet in my 1873 French Ordnance and an 1874 Nagant in this same chambering. Both shot well and close to point of aim. 5 grains of Unique with a 220 bullet seems a bit stout to me, but I have never tried that load. Hope that helps!

  3. #3
    Boolit Buddy map55b's Avatar
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    Thank you btreanor! I went with 180gr over 3gr of Bullseye and plan to give it a shot (pun intended) in the next couple of days. I'm hoping my home made bullet mold works out for me. Here is my try of 20 rounds lubed and ready to go along with a single round that hadn't been lubed yet.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    I do have some original 11mm french ord. Blanks . in sealed Packs Of 6 if your interested. wood or some fiber Bullet
    NRA Endowment Member
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    New York, the Empire State Where Empires were Won and Lost

  5. #5
    Boolit Buddy map55b's Avatar
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    That might be neat to look at. Not sure I'd want to be hit with a piece of wood moving a few hundred feet per second or better. Can you forward a picture and what your asking for them? Thanks!

  6. #6
    Boolit Master


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    My wife has one of those pistols. I have a reloading kit made in France especially for that pistol. It came with some bullets and cases but haven't tried using it yet. I am pretty close if you would like to see it, may help you with loading.

  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy
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    What brass are you using. I am going to use 44-40. The trouble i have read is the heel-bullet. Really a well build gun and the how easy it is to take apart. I have read the bore are 451 size.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    11mm

    Enclosed a photo of the packet. sealed with some french writting tied with string
    I have 2 i for my collection and i to sell
    The cost is $25.00 + 6.00 ship
    see photo. I have no singles
    Quote Originally Posted by salpal48 View Post
    I do have some original 11mm french ord. Blanks . in sealed Packs Of 6 if your interested. wood or some fiber Bullet
    NRA Endowment Member
    International Ammunition Association
    State Rifle and Pistol Association
    ARTCA
    New York, the Empire State Where Empires were Won and Lost

  9. #9
    Boolit Buddy map55b's Avatar
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    Hello Springfield and bouncer50: I purchased a "sample" kit from the guy in Belgium, just so I could see his bullets and cases. I made my mold based off of his design. I started to make cases from 44-40, but its a process. I decided it was a better deal for me to get them from Buffalo Arms. Buffalo uses 44 S&W special. I sided the case with a 44 Mag sizer about 1/4 inch down and used the 44 Mag expander the same. The bullet I'm casting are have a bearing dia of .451 and the heal is .429. I did slug the barrel with one of my bullets. The muzzle was the tightest point and I believe across the lands it measured ~.430ish and I noticed very little contact on the main bearing so .451 might be a tad small. I don't think I care as I simply want it to have a little fun with this old pistol. I made a crimping tool out of a pair of old pliers, but it doesn't work too well as I don't think I left enough of a recess on the top of the heal for the brass to crimp around, in other words my heal it too cylindrical.

    I welcome any input and am happy to share what I've done and let folks know who it works.

  10. #10
    Boolit Buddy map55b's Avatar
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    I had a chance to shoot the ol' revolver today.
    https://youtu.be/tbpw4jjjY7M

    With the ~20 rounds I put through it, I observed a few things:
    The rounds didn't typically exit with much velocity. This was visible!
    The cases were very sooty.
    I was able to recover one spend bullet and while rifling marks were present it didn't seem to have much other bearing on the bore.

    I'm thinking that one issue was the poor crimp, which might have been preventing the case expansion prior to the bullet parting company with the case. This might explain the poor velocity and the sooty cases. I'm also thinking that maybe I need a little larger diameter bullet that mates better to the grove dia of the barrel.

    Despite it being not much better than a slingshot, it was still a hoot to shoot and that was the goal. Any thoughts out there? Thanks!

  11. #11
    Boolit Buddy
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    After watching your video, I would be comfortable bumping up the powder charge a little, too. Crimping could also be an issue like you mentioned. I had this guy in Canada make me a special crimping tool for the 11mm French Ordnance from a Lee Factory Crimp die: https://www.tallmanindustries.ca

  12. #12
    Boolit Buddy map55b's Avatar
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    Thanks btreanor. I believe that you said that you use 3 grs of Bullseye. What is your performance like? I'm also wondering if I am not getting good detonation, as there seems to be some traces of unburned powder that is yellow/orange in color. This seems odd, as I Bullseye is pretty fast burning and I would think that if any of it went off, it would all go off. I also know that each bullet let the barrel and I doubt that the primer could have done that by itself.

    As for tall man, do you have an e-mail address for them? The site looks like its not being maintained (SSL cert issue and last news was from 2012). Can you tell me which crimping die he started off with and what modifications were done? Thanks!

  13. #13
    Boolit Master

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    Bernie at Old West molds modifies Lee crimp dies for heeled base boolits. You might call him, he may need a challenge!
    Wayne the Shrink

    There is no 'right' that requires me to work for you or you to work for me!

  14. #14
    Boolit Buddy
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    i have one of these revolvers and made up a dummy round for display etc
    heard about the crimping issue so i seated the bullet and crimped using a webley .455 die.....bullet is held very secure and tight with a visible crimp line

  15. #15
    Boolit Master

    Wayne Smith's Avatar
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    You ought to try a full case of 3FG - you might be suprised. Some small compression if using Goex. Not sure what your case will hold but 38gr in the 44-40 case roughly .25" compression and a 200gr boolit gets me 720fps out of a Uberti Cattleman.
    Wayne the Shrink

    There is no 'right' that requires me to work for you or you to work for me!

  16. #16
    Boolit Master Texas by God's Avatar
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    Unique can give the BP-like bump you may need. Where's the pic? You need two in shoulder rigs for Mummys!

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check