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Thread: First post,a bit involved Q

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy
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    First post,a bit involved Q / Chassepot custom

    Hi guys!
    Iīm Jesper and got directed for this place via 1858.com. I live in Sweden.

    Iīm currently into a bit of a project where i intend to see whatīs to be had out of an old french made Chassepot needle fire rifle.

    Iīm by no means a newcomer to doing my own work and do so for others on occasion too,while hobby basis only.

    Anyways.
    As much as the Chassepot is claimed to be an "eleven millimeter" rifle it is in reality a 45 caliber one. The rifle in case iīve slugged to a 460 even. (Just with a regular roundball)

    What weīre dealt here is what could be abbreviated as a 45-90 cartridge,which can in practice be pushed up as well as down. In short a half potent round all said and done.

    Now. The rifle in case only part iīm going to keep is the barrel and the breech really. I see no reason to hog into an old Chasse stock and what not,so iīve bought a GRS stock thatīs fully adjustable all over the map and will bed and stud and so forth as needed.

    Barrel is approx 750mm long,so weīre in essence talking a rather piece of kit here.



    Iīll throw every trick in the book at the thing,but as is iīm currently into the fudder for it. Regular variations of the 45-70 bullet in its own rights,but what i have in mind-as a direct Q,is whatīs there to be had for medium distances?

    Thinking GOOD boat tail designs.

    Ammo,if weīre to call it that,is made up from a plastic tube aīla a jumbo straw approx. To hold the primer i turn small "anvils" out of POM that are glued in place into said tube.
    The original design,which i guess many of you are aware,is a bore riding design of 385 grains but TBH i have a bit of a hard time taking the use of such a design to heart.

    Basic idea here is to see whatīs there to be had from this rather precise 150yr old barrel (gun was made in 1868).
    Ie; medium and long range shooting is on the agenda.
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  2. #2
    Boolit Master

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    first thing to learn is the search box in the upper right hand corner, under your log in area. type in "chassepot" and it will at least 10 threads about that gun and there is even a thread on homemade ammo for it. welcome to the forum and have fun learning.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master Lead pot's Avatar
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    I just watched a video on reloading the Chassepot https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xi47hIRi3b0 interesting. But for medium distance (300-600 yards??) I would question the .460" 360 gr BT bullet being use full for mid range. It would almost be a round ball and it would loose elevation right quickly.
    But interesting project your doing.........Kurt

  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy
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    Thx.
    Been lurking for quite a while before that first post,and have read whatīs there to read on the Chassepot. Trust me.
    Very rarely though (never?) thereīs been stuff posted as far as trying to "reach out" beyond 4oo to 5ooyards. Hence my questioning.

    Most seem to fire these things at 100 meters and done deal which leads to that thereīs very very little to be read on the subject. Have for instance the piece written by US ordonance from back in the day when using Martini-Henrys and what not up to 3000yards,which to an extent hands an idea i guess but thatīs about it however.

    However it does amount to a minimum as far as what could/can be had today.

    Thanx Kurt.
    Yeah. Theyīre a tad different as far as how you fill īem up. The stock slug for them is a bore riding design alright and does indeed weigh a mere (for a 45) 385 grains. Looks of it,which in essence tells very little i guess,is rather mundane?
    Accurate molds makes one for the stocker,but like you i sincerly doubt that would be the end of all ills. Understandable from a historical POW but thatīs about it.

    FWIW the barrel is a 1:22 twist proposition. Here on CB i dug up an old boat tail design that iīve given thought to cutting out of aluminium a good while back, buuuut... BC seems a tad low.? Now from memory,but designed by a former member thatīs passed,sry to say,if memory serves me.

    IOW it comes down to 45 slugs in general to me,which i hope spreads the offerings a bit. The bore riding design? Yeah well,you tell me.
    Iīm no matter very comfortable with a minor jump-per normal.

    As this is a blank piece of paper iīm even open to sabot suggestions.

  5. #5
    Boolit Buddy
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    There ya go.
    A drawing of the original paper cartridge which hands a decent idea of OEM bullet looks too.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master Lead pot's Avatar
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    Jesper looking at that drawing that bullet was designed for multiple shots fired with a fouled barrel. Not much bearing surface on the bullet shank and the bullet really gets swaged down entering into the bore so this might add more to the shank. It would be interesting to have some of the original projectiles to see how they shot.
    Your 1/22 ROT barrel will shoot the lighter bullets just fine. Post some results when you get it going...........Kurt

  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy
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    Rather interesting.
    I wonder about fixing the primer to the end of the plastic tube. Is
    this rigid enough that will hold the primer to be hit by the needle firing pin.
    It is noted that the Dryse "needle gun" had the primer on the base of the bullet,
    and a LONG needle firing pin protruded thru the powder charge to hit the primer
    beltfed/arnie

  8. #8
    Boolit Buddy Randy Bohannon's Avatar
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    Couldn't help but to notice, mine is a Hamer as well, built in Michigan in 1992
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  9. #9
    Boolit Master Lead pot's Avatar
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    I had a Ibanez acoustic guitar I never learned how to play. My fingers are like clubs on that narrow neck that would just give me buzzes

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Racing View Post


    There ya go.
    A drawing of the original paper cartridge which hands a decent idea of OEM bullet looks too.
    That drawing is interesting, for it says that the obturator is of leather treated with suet. It might work as well (which is to say, not very well) as the rubber obturator which was used in the Chassepot's military days. But it is the first I have heard of it. Dry leather would have the same property as cork wads, of compressing without widening out. But thoroughly impregnated leather, becoming incompressible, would widen. No doubt there are now high-temperature greases which would do it better than suet.

    There is no substitute for some of the other threads on this topic, notably http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...n-DIY-Insanity! Some exceedingly fine minds have worked on making the Chassepot perform really well, and as in 1870, show that exceedingly fine minds can't completely succeed in this. Nobody ever achieved this in smallarms without a sealing cartridge case, although the principle works well in heavy artillery. The Chassepot had its limits. But as Dr. Johnson said, if a man teach his cat to play the fiddle, the wonder is not that it is done badly, but that it is done at all.

    These pictures come from Captain HM Hosier's book, together with his assessment of the Chassepot which I have copied into the above thread. I think the front of the bullet was probably supported and aligned by the throat, against which the cartridge, not being completely rigid, could be forced with a consistent pressure.

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    The conversion proposed here isn't very different from what France did, converting their Chassepots into the 1874 Gras. One problem is providing an extractor, and another is what to do about that large, wide empty space behind the Chassepot cartridge. The barrel shape doesn't look suitable for setting back very far. It might be that the larger .544in. head of the 11x 59 Gras brass case permitted this, or perhaps they soldered a sleeve into the rear of the barrel.

    It is worth searching www.naturabuy.com for Chassepot and 1874 Gras parts. Even if you don't buy any, it may show you how the conversion was done.
    Last edited by Ballistics in Scotland; 05-26-2018 at 12:59 PM.

  11. #11
    Boolit Buddy
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    Hm.
    Now please donīt get this wrong but..we mainly buy our Chassepot rifles on Naturabuy up here most of us.

    Main difference in barrel for the Gras is the cutout for the extractor alright. Thatīs about it though.



    Thereīs a bunch of lads around these pts that load their Chasses up like this with great success. Yet a few has reverted to shrink sleeve.



    What iīm currently into is fabbing a sorts of primer holder,for lack of better description,but the issue is as noted in that other thread. Chamber evacuation.
    Chamber evacuation is based on wake area theory though,not some magic p1/p2 relationship between adjacent areas that are interconnected. Ie;it comes down to how that sub pressure is used to advantage.
    What weīre currently debating is using shrink sleeve around a turned to size piece of aluminium,thinking this "first" heating will stiffen the construction per se. Shrink sleeve indeed comes in a variety of qualitys,hardness and thickness why we expect to spend quite some time evaluating this. Whatīs more we need to figure out a solution for evacuating that primer holder.. Reasoning as such that if we make it split down the middle itīll grab the cap like a "jaw" as the needle strikes while itīll fold as the gasses of the cartridge starts to expand and thus be able to evacuate-bring the rest of the remnants with it. At least,thatīs the theory as of current.



    Needles are in reality real simple,and cheap,to produce. We use standard small Linde TIG electrodes of 1.6mm diameter. Just cut to length with a dremel tool (cutting with any sorts of shear will shatter the rod) and then weld a "blob" to the end of it with a MIG welder. After that itīs a simple matter of turning said blob to 3mm diameter on the bench grinder.
    As the electrodes are tungsten/wolfram they take to the heat generated with a laugh just about,theyīre hard as you wonīt believe and they sharpen needle sharp with ease.
    Whatīs more..theyīre pennies at your local weld house. No need for "special" anything actually. These electrodes are readily available all across the globe.



    What iīm working on ATM though is a piston solution instead of the obturator. As you pick the breech/receiver and barrel apart and get up close and dirty with it the use of a rubber obturator is a genius move really as it brings the need for accuracy as far as machining to an absolute minimum. Valuable when you aim to turn rifles out by the million.

    Well,iīm not why iīve opted to use a stainless steel piston and most likely (havenīt arrived on that yet) teflon seals (either two or three of them).
    To make that work i have to ream the sealing cylinder to size which in reality works out to my advantage as that also brings that i can cut the piston in case to the clearance i see fit.

  12. #12
    Boolit Buddy
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    Oh! īN for SnG hereīs me and that Korean made Hamer in action
    Enjoy.

    Uhu. I build tube amplifiers for a living.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master

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    Jesper,

    You've no doubt seen my "DIY Insanity" thread on making ammo for these things. I've got to admit I'm a little awestruck by the direction you're taking.

    Boat tails are probably not the direction to go. You're not going to turn a .45 propelled by black powder into a .300 Weatherby Magnum no matter how you try. Stability and predictability of trajectory coupled with the ability to adjust for it is going to be the key. It's worth remembering that the Chassepot WAS the long distance thrower during it's brief day in the sun.

    Fit of the bullet to the rifle is going to be the No.1 important thing, and a nose that helps to mechanically center the drive bands in the forcing cone will probably trump everything else when it comes to accuracy. I think careful measurements of a chamber casting followed by a request to Accurate Molds for that nose with a lube grooved shank would be the avenue to follow. Possibly multiple, tapered driving bands?

    It's also worth considering that the Chassepot's sights are obviously for officer-directed mass volley fire - for individual precision, they lack any kind of windage adjustment. You might want to research the various WWI and WWII offset sniper rifle mounts, as well as the offset mounting system for the Davidson scopes sometimes seen on Confederate Whitworths. That basic method for achieving sufficient elevation could be improved upon. You could, for instance, attach a Unertl or Malcolm-style external adjustment scope to some form of side mount.
    WWJMBD?

    "I'M MELLLLLLLLLLTING!" - Elphaba

  14. #14
    Boolit Buddy
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    Useful info,no doubt.

    Nah. Blackpowder will,like it or not,set the limits here. Well aware of that but then again as weīve measured muzzle speed it will be borderline for making use of a boat tail.? (Well aware that bullet weight will affect this)

    Many seem to swear by the LEE 459-500 and that might very well be why weīre going to try that too. Mold is cheap enough at least.
    Completely agree on the bullet fit matter. This particular rifle iīve slugged to a true 460,and in doing so you can really "feel" that itīs more loose by the chamber then the muzzle. From another point of view,number of drivebands of course becomes imperative as well.

    Yes. Iīve read that post of yours more than once. Ie;seing the goal here any info available could be of use.

    Uhu. I wouldnīt call this a long range attemp just yet... but...the goal for starters is at least medium range. Ie; 3oo-6oo meters. Where thatīll end up is anybodys guess at the moment,but as i write above iīm going to toss every trick in the book at this piece.
    Hence the reason for the GRS stock. No matter if blackpowder or smokeless a free floating barrel for instance at least leaves us with a piece that we can trim to need.

    Sights. Mind over matter,they donīt mind and we donīt matter...
    Being in my 50īs my eyes sure ainīt what they used to be so that some sort of optics will be used is clear. Sry to say though the optics TO use doesnīt cater to sidemounts by any measure,and iīm really sorry for that as i would sure love to have kept the bolt intact.
    It is a no-can-do however why iīve thus far just made a new handle.



    No. Design isnīt done yet. Going to turn a sorts of "collar" where it meets up with the bolt,for looks reasons,and in turn shorten the actual knob a few mills still.

    No matter. This take on the matter leaves me with much greater leeway as far as optics and for starters iīm going in shallow. Ie; a used cheap piece,albeit not current chinese crop.



    A 6-25/40 by Tasco. Donīt want to spend top dollar until i at least get a reasonable grouping on paper. If i do i plan to replace that with one of the newer digital offerings.

    Further plans,from a tech POW,is to cut a fresh hammer for this thing out of either 7075T651 or Alumec (titanium approx).
    Reason is that the Chassepotīs shutter time sure is on the slow end why any and all help could be put to good use i bet.
    Ditto for replacing the trigger with a Timney unit. Of course we could have cut/made one ourselves,but to what good really seing what a used Timney setup runs.



    This is for a Mauser though why weīll need to trim to fit. Basic operating principle however is the same between the two
    Last edited by Racing; 05-27-2018 at 07:21 AM.

  15. #15
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    An attempt to see if these attachments come out right...
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  16. #16
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    Seems to take three at a time at least? Anyways. These are original Chassepot drawings. Post them attached to this server as i guess someone down the line might make use of them.?

  17. #17
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  18. #18
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    This oneīs a little interesting as it hands us the dimensions of the various "rooms" of the barrel. Mind you that measurments given are anything but exact really. Question iīve got is if this is intentional.?

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    Last edited by Racing; 05-27-2018 at 07:50 AM.

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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