Fun topic I wanted to write about, and how I got sucked into BPCR.
This is about a man I used to discuss the Korean War at length with while we were blessed with his present on this earth. Let’s call him Mike for this discussion.
Mike was a Infantryman in the Army during the Korean War. A vet shot in the back during the retrea...errrrr, strategic fall back of the Chosen Reservoir around December of 1950 in North Korea. He received what the medics called a “Lucky” shot, through the back, between two ribs, and exit out the chest. The result was two holes and a punctured lung. No bone fragmentation that could have proven fatal. His son said this:
"Dad was shot through his lung cavity missing his lung as the shot went through him during an exhale otherwise he probably would have drown in the blood from his lungs bleeding.In his back and out his shoulder...armour piercing round."
The only handicap was a shortened tendon and he couldn't hold his arm above his head tight up to his ear...almost but no quite......Disability check was like $75. that was the same as their house payment at the time. North Koren helped to pay for my parents house dad used to joke ...LoL"[/i]
The war was over for Mike. He returned to Tacoma WA to become a very successful Wood Shop teacher for the Tacoma school district for over 30 years.
Upon return to Tacoma once he healed, Mike and his brother purchased two Springfield Trapdoors from a Mil Surp store in Tacoma near the Ft. Lewis base. Mike maintained possession of his trapdoor until his death in the 21st century however his brother’s was stolen from his home.
My good friend had his father’s rifle properly stored in a safe for years. He said his dad was a reloader and caster back in the day. They shot muzzleloaders , BPCR and pistols as sport.
I was privileged to pay for and accept Mike’s rifle from my good friend recently when he moved to Oz in 2013. The rifle was in beautiful condition and Keith (Trapdoor Keith when he was alive) gave me extensive history on the firearm saying it came from the Oregon National Guard(1894) and declared surplus sometime after that. How accurate Keith's information, I do not know. But it was part of the story I did not know.
I decided to pull apart one of the bullets his father made that came with this aquisition. Best I can tell, sometime between 1951 and 1965 these bullets were made when he was actively reloading/casting and shooting. He had at least 80 rounds like this.
The first thing I noticed was a fine thin film of lacquer (assumed) peeling off these primer. The winchester brass , well, I'm unsure of the date but it is in great shape. I do not know the year but I would guess it's from between 1925 and 1960.
The 500 grain bullet I pulled apart. (which weighed 525 gr)
I know that Mike used this powder back in his day as it came with the rifle and bullets. Matter of fact, I tested this powder and it was fit for shooting.
Photo of the powder after pulling the bullet. Not much crushing, in very good shape.
Photo of the bullet, and lube, still in tact, if not darked by the ages.
The bullet weighed in at 523 gr.
A modern day bullet by Dan the Bullet Man in 500 gr, weighs in at 528 gr. For the record, my 500 gr Lyman mold (457125) casts at 510 grs with 20-1.
3 bullets. Top is topic bullet. Middle is Bull Shop bullet. Bottom is my cast bullet (waiting on SPG lube in the mail!)
And his two bullet types, as they were.
These are my test bullets (Both Lyman molds) I am testing with others in various crimp/BP/Smokeless configurations.
Comments welcome! Fun tearing this old stuff down.