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Thread: Two ?'s

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    Two ?'s

    I'll apologize first for my terrible search skills. No doubt both have been answered but I couldn't find them. I'm old and 'puter's ain't my thing.

    I'm undertaking my first PP'ed bullets for my 500 BPE. I have the patching part down. The questions are do I want to patch to groove diameter or bore diameter? Secondly I've always read straight lead for the bullets when using PPing. Is that correct? I believe I have everything else pretty much in hand, just those two questions before I start.

    Thanks and again I apologize for what is no doubt redundant questions.
    "In general, the art of government is to take as much money as possible from one class of citizens and give it to another class of citizens" Voltaire'

    The common virtue of capitalism is the sharing of equal opportunity. The common vice of socialism is the equal sharing of misery

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  2. #2
    Boolit Master



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    welcome sir, to the Paper Patch Way. i'm a bit new to ppb's as well, and i'm sure the truly experienced folks will chime in to assist you. however, for my .45-2.1 ppb's powered by black powder i patch to bore diameter or a tad under. i believe that for smokeless it's preferred to patch over bore diameter, as like a greaser. for the target shooting i do it's alloy only, 1:20 or 1:16. hope this helps a tad.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    Thank you for your response rfd. I read through several threads and from them it appears I should add these are going to be hunting rounds, not for target use from a 130 year old double rifle. I expect there is probably a difference in tolerances between the two. Oh, and the rifle has Henry rifling.

    Not only are my search skills abysmal I can't even get all the info in one post...
    "In general, the art of government is to take as much money as possible from one class of citizens and give it to another class of citizens" Voltaire'

    The common virtue of capitalism is the sharing of equal opportunity. The common vice of socialism is the equal sharing of misery

    NRA Benefactor 2008

  4. #4
    Boolit Master



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    brent's ppb page may be of assistance to ya - http://www.public.iastate.edu/~jessie/PPB/PPB.htm

  5. #5
    Boolit Man 5.7 MAN's Avatar
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    Is it a double rifle? For carrying around and hunting a groove diameter billet may be a better choice since it will be a tighter fit in the case.

    I'm by by far bo expert but would think the second shot in a double rifle may have the bullet pulled from the case in recoil if it to loose in the case.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master

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    The plus to bore dia is they can be chambered and also unloaded usually. They also allow for the bullet to seat out farther for more powder capacity. On the 500 bpe case the capacity may not be an issue. With groove dia bullets fit the case better with standard dies and can be patched close to throat dia if there is one in your rifle. If possible try both and see what your rifle prefers. As to alloies I have read that the original loads were 1-20 down to around 1-10 tin lead. A small amount of antimony may help with nose slump also. With this case and a bore rider only seated into the case 1/8"-3/16" its going to be an impressive looking round. If you have a throat of any length you may want the groove dia and patched to the throat dia.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    ideally a chamber cast needs doing.
    this will tell you what diameter bullet is required.
    doubles are not target rifles, but rather are required to function in tricky situations.
    things need to be a little on the loose side so chambering in a dirty barrel is possible.
    the old dead brits expected to fire 10 shots before cleaning or wiping an express rifle.
    you will need to experiment with lube wads, as well as bullet diameter .
    keep safe,
    bruce.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    As per my second post yes sir, it is a double and is for hunting.

    Case capacity is no issue. 120 grs. of Ffg is about perfect with a grease groove bullet, lube cookie and a beeswax base wad. The PP'ed bullet may allow me to get closer to the original 136 gr. powder charge but if not, 120 is assuredly plenty provided it regulates. The bullets have to be crimped as recoil is considerable in the slightly less than 10 lb. rifle. Bullet nose slump isn't an issue with a 340 to 380 gr., 50 cal. bullet...unless you slump it with a hammer.

    Accuracy with the above load with a 340 gr. bullet is excellent at 50 yards for the first right/left, around 2 inches, centered but, goes to the dogs for the 2nd R/L and the 3rd R/L is over a foot apart for the two rounds. Two shots with the rifle should be plenty for anything I'm liable to hunt. However, sometimes I like to shoot it for fun and it's a PITA to have to wipe the bore for three Right/Lefts. It should go without saying that in India of the 1880's, which is where the 500 BPE in a double was most widely used, the hunters didn't wipe their bores every shot.

    There is no issue with the rifle itself, it shoots consistently 2 1/2 in. or less composite groups with my NFB load whether jacketed or hard cast.

    I've been dinking with the rifle for almost 20 years trying to find an accurate BP load for it. Nearly to a man those who have the same or similar rifle/cartridge/rifling combination have told me to paper patch the bullets as that is what Henry rifling was designed to use. I have tried every conceivable combination of BP, bullet shape and weight that is commensurate with the cartridge, bullet alloy, grease cookie or no grease cookie, wad, primer, drop tube the powder or not and anything else I have thought of or those who shoot BP Express doubles has suggested and the above load is the best to date. As mentioned the first R/L is great but not thereafter and the rifle is capable. It has to be the patch and I think perhaps different or better fouling control. I have been absolutely loathe to paper patch bullets because I have never needed to before to obtain hunting accuracy, for any rifle, even my other BP Express doubles. This is the only rifle I own with Henry rifling....and it's also been the biggest pain.

    Anyway...this summer I'm either going to find a PP bullet load that will shoot or sell this British double and find another nice German BP double with a more normal rifling. Unless there's a problem with them I know I can make them shoot.
    "In general, the art of government is to take as much money as possible from one class of citizens and give it to another class of citizens" Voltaire'

    The common virtue of capitalism is the sharing of equal opportunity. The common vice of socialism is the equal sharing of misery

    NRA Benefactor 2008

  9. #9
    Boolit Master dave roelle's Avatar
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    Some interesting tidbits here

    http://forums.nitroexpress.com/showf...c=&Search=true

    It would seem a hard alloy might be the answer -----say 14 to 16 to 1 lead/tin

    Built to bore diameter -----dry wrapped and then sized to say 0.002 under bore diameter would be a good starting point

    hope you get it working -----sounds like a FUN project

    Dave

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    my only experience with doubles is with a 450 nitro 3 1/4".
    I got it to regulate by increasing the powder charge to bring both barrels together on the target.
    your black powder gun seems to put its 1st 2 shots together then go wider for subsequent shots if I read correctly?
    problem here is different barrel condition due to the nature of the beast.
    possibly making the first shots cross will allow later shots to regulate closer.
    possibly worth trying a heavy coat of some kind of lube in the barrel for the first 2 shots to make the condition more like later shots.
    the problem with black is the difference in barrel condition between 1st shots and later ones, more so than smokeless.
    you might be able to get more powder in by compression, which also might burn the powder a little cleaner.
    a felt wad under the bullet might help to sweep previous fouling, followed by a grease wad to leave a lubricant for the next bullet and soften the fouling.
    if you are using neck tension, you can use felt soaked in oil and it will not squeeze out. or oil thickened with tallow.
    the oilier the bore the softer the fouling.
    Stonehenge wrote that felt wads should be 0.020 to 0.030" larger than groove diameter to work best in express rifles.
    this size also provides a good gas seal.
    if you are using greasers, this would suggest that patching to groove is what you need.
    they will need to be seated back from the rifling to allow clearance as powder fouling increases.
    if the chamber has throat, this will require clearance on the bullet, or you will not be able to chamber rounds in a fouled barrel.
    patching to bore would introduce similar clearance problems.
    shooting in humid conditions will make the job a lot easier than in dry conditions.
    also, just blowing breath into the chambers when you reload might help.
    nothing worth doing is easy, but the results are always satisfying.
    please report you results, as it is most interesting.
    good luck,
    bruce.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    further thoughts.
    both stonehange and metford decried the pure lead bullet.
    the softer the bullet, the more it bumps up.
    this in turn causes greater friction in the case and the barrel, presenting greater variability.
    the brits specialized in some quite serious bullet alloys which are probably too hard for the home loader to manage well.
    by the mid 1800s, the softest alloy commonly loaded by factories was 20:1 lead tin, often going as hard as 10:1.
    the only round still loaded with pure lead seems to the the 50/70 govt.
    these harder alloys will have less bumpup than pure lead, and for this reason dave's suggestion is a good one.
    the brits relied on wads for a gas seal, so the bullet was not relied on for that.
    another reason to avoid pure lead is for its terminal performance.
    shooting pigs with a 577 muzzle loader and 200 gns of 2f revealed a serious lack of penetration.
    so much so that it nearly got me killed by a pig.
    those big minies went like a 20:1 on a steel plate, just took the shape of a coin.
    my target rifles, 40/72 and 45/2.4" shoot the best with bore diameter pp bullets at 12:1, bumping up to take the rifling, and sealing gas as well.
    I mention this to illustrate the fact that harder alloys are not to be feared.
    your 500 cal would drive its bullets hard with plenty of bumpup and a need to address penetration by controlling expansion to some degree.
    were they preferred for tiger and bigger deer like sambur in india?
    oh to have lived then and had money.
    keep safe,
    bruce.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master Good Cheer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sharps4590 View Post
    I'll apologize first for my terrible search skills. No doubt both have been answered but I couldn't find them. I'm old and 'puter's ain't my thing.

    I'm undertaking my first PP'ed bullets for my 500 BPE. I have the patching part down. The questions are do I want to patch to groove diameter or bore diameter? Secondly I've always read straight lead for the bullets when using PPing. Is that correct? I believe I have everything else pretty much in hand, just those two questions before I start.

    Thanks and again I apologize for what is no doubt redundant questions.
    This sounds like some serious fun. If you don't mind my asking, which mold(s) are you using?

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    Dave, the alloy in the best BP grease groove bullet loads has been 50/50, lead, Lino which is about the same BHN as Lyman #2, I think. Food for thought and thank you!

    Cheer, I don't remember without looking other than one is an old Rapine mold and a couple Lyman's. One of the Lyman molds is very close to the originals I have examined. A few friends have sent me cast bullets from various molds. None I remember nor did any shoot as good as the Lyman.

    Ok Bruce, first off, thank you. I am hoping to use the better of the two Lyman bullet molds sized to .501 as that's the smallest 50 cal. die I have. I'm trying to not buy yet another mold for that rifle. I tried it yesterday and I can get the .515 bullet to that diameter in three steps very easily. It does barely, perceptibly lengthen the bearing surface but I don't believe that's going to be a problem.....I hope. That bullet when correctly seated has a very short nose so I also hope fouling just in front of the case mouth isn't a problem. It never has been before.

    Having been shooting various BPC's for 30 years I have to agree with your observations on bore condition. The felt wads are interesting and sound as if they have merit. I don't recall that I read that before...but I dis-remember a lot of things.

    At the moment my thought is to patch the .501 bullet to groove diameter and give it a go. A fella has to start somewhere and I have all the goodies to start at that point.

    What I have read of the 500 BPE was that it was quite popular in India on thin skinned game, those you mention. It was considered too light for dangerous African game, no doubt due to bullet weight, velocity and the lead bullets it used. Even the NFB loads with the heavier 440 gr. bullet was a bit puny for the stuff that takes a lot of killin'. Once the 500 NE came out all that changed for the cartridge for obvious reasons.

    It would be something to have witnessed those days or participated in them if, as you mentioned, a fella had the resources. I confess to being a little surprised at the performance of the 577 on hogs, if they're the same kind of hogs we hunt here. Given your description it is understandable but I'm still a bit surprised. My 40-82, 45-90(2.4), 40-70SS, 45-70 and a 54 cal. Jaeger with a round ball all gave one shot kills on hogs. Granted all but the 40-82 and 54 Jaeger were shooting heavy, long for caliber bullets so that no doubt made a difference.

    'Preciate the help guys!!
    "In general, the art of government is to take as much money as possible from one class of citizens and give it to another class of citizens" Voltaire'

    The common virtue of capitalism is the sharing of equal opportunity. The common vice of socialism is the equal sharing of misery

    NRA Benefactor 2008

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    A little update on the paper patching in the Reilly double: I loaded 6 rounds, finally. Ol' fumble fingers took a while to get the hang of wrapping the patch. Eventually it came around for me and I had 6 bullets well wrapped. I went to the load that had given the best results so far and that is 120 grs. of the old GOEX Cartridge drop tubed but not dribbled into the case, a beeswax base wad, a grease cookie from and SPG extruder and a card wad with the Lyman bullet seated on top of everything. Dodo here forgot to add the card wad to the first two loads so I kept them separate and fired them last. The first 4 rounds from R/L went into just under 3 inches at 50 yards, standing, leaning against a white oak and the rifle touching nothing but my shoulder. The two which I had forgotten the wad went 4-6 inches out of the group, low and left. From that minimal test it appears there is something to paper patching and Henry rifling. More rounds will be loaded and further tested to confirm the rifle really shoots them and it wasn't my wiggles matching my wobbles. I don't think it was but 4 rounds is hardly enough to base a decision on. Still, I'm optimistic......at the moment....
    "In general, the art of government is to take as much money as possible from one class of citizens and give it to another class of citizens" Voltaire'

    The common virtue of capitalism is the sharing of equal opportunity. The common vice of socialism is the equal sharing of misery

    NRA Benefactor 2008

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    I think there is no problem trying the groove diameter bullet as imo, the bullet is bumped up to groove by the time it gets there regardless of what size it started out at.
    There are two good reasons to shoot bore sized boolits when using black powder.
    One is it allows the boolit to be seated farther out to increase powder capacity, the other is to allow the boolit to pass over the fouling potentially allowing more shots before a bore clean is needed.
    In the case of the 500bpe, neither is of much concern since powder capacity isn't lacking and you're unlikely to need to shoot a string of rounds in succession.
    I have never approached the full 136gr charge in my 500s but I also haven't really got serious about finding the regulating load either. I have been pretty happy with 110grs with the Lyman boolit.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    Huvius, you brought up something I didn't mention. I sized the bullet to .501 and that is absolute, no question as to its size. The 100% rag vellum I found measured precisely .0025. That should have brought the wrapped bullet to .511, .001 over groove. Every wrapped bullet measured .515. I wonder, did wetting the patch expand it those .004? I really don't care if the load continues to shoot but it is curious.

    I'm using Bertram brass but I do have some old Bell. The 120 gr. charge with the wads and grease cookie have a minimal compression and, so far they do appear to regulate. The 340 gr. Lyman bullet has a nose so short seating in the chamber wasn't an issue. Cases dropped right in and upon removal just the slightest fouling appeared and only on the edge of the patch. If things continue as they started, for hunting and playing purposes I may have a load.
    "In general, the art of government is to take as much money as possible from one class of citizens and give it to another class of citizens" Voltaire'

    The common virtue of capitalism is the sharing of equal opportunity. The common vice of socialism is the equal sharing of misery

    NRA Benefactor 2008

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    That's good.
    I have sized paper patched boolits after patching but only for my Pedersoli Gibbs and Rigby muzzle loaders.
    If your .515" boolits are performing there is no need but it can be done without ruining the patch.

    Now, let's see that rifle!!

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    there is a bit of a thread on this on the Shiloh forum.
    keep safe,
    bruce.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    For a British double in 500 BPE on the Shiloh forum? Whooda thunk it!!!

    I'll try Huvius. First we have to see if PHOTOJUNKET is willing to cooperate.

    Well horse manure...it won't pull up. I'll try again later, I never know what PB, and I don't mean lead, is going to do.

    Ok, got it now. They aren't that good but they are all I have.

    http://i432.photobucket.com/albums/q...&1497820664647

    http://i432.photobucket.com/albums/q...&1497820664645

    http://i432.photobucket.com/albums/q...&1497820664648
    Last edited by sharps4590; 06-18-2017 at 05:21 PM.
    "In general, the art of government is to take as much money as possible from one class of citizens and give it to another class of citizens" Voltaire'

    The common virtue of capitalism is the sharing of equal opportunity. The common vice of socialism is the equal sharing of misery

    NRA Benefactor 2008

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    If it continues to be of any interest I believe I have come up with a usable load. I continued juggling components with no improvement with anything tried. 1st R/L was always good and they went downhill from there. I attribute that to bore condition as has been mentioned by Bruce. More lube did nothing to remedy the situation. I have been here before, that is at this stage in load development. At least I finally got to a familiar point!!!! The loads I fired a few minutes ago I loaded identical the original that I had success with except that I cut the BP charge by 8 grs. and led with 8 grs. of SR-4759. The group was far from what I would consider excellent or even very good but it is usable for my hunting purposes. 5 of the 6 rounds I had loaded went into just a tad over 4 inches with 4 an equally small amount under 4 inches. There is no way I would accept that performance from any of my single shot BPC rifles but with this old double I may be as far as I'm willing to chase it. The last round fired opened the group to 6 inches and I believe I know why. I had fouled the patch when seating one bullet and I held it for last. I didn't think it would shoot with the others and it didn't.

    At any rate, for offhand shooting when hunting from about 50 yards in this BP load is going to be called acceptable. It isn't what I wanted but I'm just about tired of working with it....after almost 20 years...or more. If push comes to shove I still have an excellent NFB load that does group well.

    Thanks to all for your advice and suggestions.

    Vic
    "In general, the art of government is to take as much money as possible from one class of citizens and give it to another class of citizens" Voltaire'

    The common virtue of capitalism is the sharing of equal opportunity. The common vice of socialism is the equal sharing of misery

    NRA Benefactor 2008

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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