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Thread: Advice on shooting patched balls from a PH P61 Enfield?

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy Canuck Bob's Avatar
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    Advice on shooting patched balls from a PH P61 Enfield?

    Please understand this carbine will most likely be on a Pritchett cartridge or minie bullet diet as soon as I can make it happen However I just bought it and will be shooting .570 swaged balls due to availability and expedience for some time. Also I've no experience with BP shooting really. I have or sourced CCI musket caps, swaged balls, Goex FFFG, and sturdy used blue jean's patches. I am just making do with this initial process but still want to try and develop a load work up that is target accurate to 100 meters.

    Advice on loading, process, lube, countering fouling, and understanding the implications of progressive depth rifling are most welcome.

    Bob
    Last edited by Canuck Bob; 10-10-2018 at 07:49 PM.

  2. #2
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Canuck Bob View Post
    Please understand this carbine will most likely be on a Pritchett cartridge or minie bullet diet as soon as I can make it happen However I just bought it and will be shooting .570 swaged balls due to availability and expedience for some time. Also I've no experience with BP shooting really. I have or sourced CCI musket caps, swaged balls, Goex FFFG, and sturdy used blue jean's patches. I am just making do with this initial process but still want to try and develop a load work up that is target accurate to 100 meters.

    Advice on loading, process, lube, countering fouling, and understanding the implications of progressive depth rifling are most welcome.

    Bob
    Bob
    I would kick it off with about a 60 grain charge of FFFG , I use "moose milk" lube for all my round ball - (thats target and plinking) - its a mix of soluble cutting oil and water one part to five - wet the patches and then squeeze em out till they only damp. You have 570 ball so patch material will need to be fairly thin (or very thin) whatever you can ram down comfortably (I am guessing that blue jeans patches is too thick but try it and see) just make sure whatever you use is 100% cotton - not a mix with synthetics in.
    Dont overcomplicate things! Patch and ball that fits comfortably to the bore and enough lube (damp patches) to keep fouling under control should do it. Shoot off a rest when you start out. Some blokes get good results with the musketoon and 40 grains of powder.

    ooooops - I may have lead you astray we had problems loading a patch ball in one of these but our mold was a LEE 575 - we got it done with a real skinny patch - your 570 mold and a ticking patch should work
    Last edited by indian joe; 10-11-2018 at 12:55 AM.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master

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    Sewing/cloth store.
    100% Cotton pillow ticking.
    Wash before use
    Nothing is impossible for the person that does not have to do it.

  4. #4
    Boolit Man arcticap's Avatar
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    IIRC, I had a chance to buy one of these same PH P61 Enfields maybe 25 years ago but passed it up.
    Some lady was selling her ex-boyfriend's guns and the Parker Hale was too expensive for me.
    Even way back then she wanted a whopping $350!

    I also wanted to mention that the "50 Yard Rifle Musket-Carbine Target" appears to be the same overall 14" X 14" size
    as the standard rifle "100 Yard NMLRA Single Bullseye Target" except for the size of the scoring rings and which rings are black.

    Perhaps that's an indication that the rifle musket-carbine is not expected to be as accurate as other rifled muzzle loaders since the standard 50 yard
    rifle targets can fit 2 bullseyes on a 9" X 14" piece of paper?--->>> http://www.americantargetcompany.com...ng_targets.asp

    My philosophy about target shooting (especially with some guns) is that if I can't hit standard size targets as well as I'd like to
    at the prescribed distances then I'll move the targets closer in and practice close range precision shooting, or just enjoy however it shoots.

    I look at the standard target distances as being somewhat arbitrary anyway.
    While the targets & their distances are used for competition shooting events, there's nothing that says
    that a person can't shoot any target at any distance they prefer to when shooting for pleasure.

    My old club used to have 25 yard relays and I would actually compete much better at that distance than any other.
    We would use the 50 yard 6 bullseye targets for 25 yard events and basically just try to smack their centers.
    Last edited by arcticap; 10-11-2018 at 02:15 AM.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    More than 50 years ago I had an original Isaac Hollis & Sons 2-band volunteer rifle which I shot patched ball in for hunting purposes, because the pure lead round ball at good velocity shot flatter, killed deer better and was more accurate than the Ideal "Old Style" pointed Minie bullet.

    I used a .575 ball cast from pure lead and 0.011" cotton muslin "pocket drill", lubricated with lard oil.

    I carried six patched balls on a wooden paddle and loaded the rifle with 70 grains of Curtis & Harvey's musket powder, in which the granulation was about halfway between American Fg and 2Fg, with RWS cap.

    The load would shoot clear through the deer and leave a thumb-sized exit with good blood trail. The animals seldom went more than a few feet. Once I did recover a ball from a deer hit at about 100 yards and it was flattened out like a cow flop.

    I could confidently depend upon firing a 5-shot group, wiping with a spit-patch only between shots, in the 4-5 inch range at 100 yards using the standing bar on the rear sight with the ladder folded down.
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  6. #6
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Outpost75 View Post
    More than 50 years ago I had an original Isaac Hollis & Sons 2-band volunteer rifle which I shot patched ball in for hunting purposes, because the pure lead round ball at good velocity shot flatter, killed deer better and was more accurate than the Ideal "Old Style" pointed Minie bullet.

    I used a .575 ball cast from pure lead and 0.011" cotton muslin "pocket drill", lubricated with lard oil.

    I carried six patched balls on a wooden paddle and loaded the rifle with 70 grains of Curtis & Harvey's musket powder, in which the granulation was about halfway between American Fg and 2Fg, with RWS cap.

    The load would shoot clear through the deer and leave a thumb-sized exit with good blood trail. The animals seldom went more than a few feet. Once I did recover a ball from a deer hit at about 100 yards and it was flattened out like a cow flop.

    I could confidently depend upon firing a 5-shot group, wiping with a spit-patch only between shots, in the 4-5 inch range at 100 yards using the standing bar on the rear sight with the ladder folded down.
    Outpost - thanks for the tip on pocket drill
    We used that 575 ball and cotton japara (9 thou) in our Euroarms two bander ---japara is good stuff - very tight fine weave - what they used to use to make lightweight oilskin waterproofs - have not been able to get it in recent years - calico and normal drill measure 13 - 15 and ticking 18 - 19

    Our Zoli rifle is just a whisker tighter in the bore and we had to go to smaller ball - I use a LEE 562 and ticking patch works ok .

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    Boolit Buddy Canuck Bob's Avatar
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    Thank you all. the first shooting will be with the Hornady balls, CCI Musket caps, 50 gr 3F Goex by volume, and most likely some cotton sheet rags in the shop. The reports of PRB shooting is a mixed bag. Most simply didn't bother but those folks seem to predominate from re-enactor sites. A few folks like Outpost 75 had good results after some load development.

    Initial lube will be a mix of Ballistol and windshield washer fluid. Shooting is outdoors and winter arrived early this year! An accomplished group of shooters in Canada like WWF for their lube, $4 a gallon works too! Many reports claim .577 or .578 as bore and 5 thou grooves at the muzzle. The PH rifles used hammer forged barrels so chances are my rifle will be the same. The grooves are reported at 13 thou at the breech. There have been only a few reports of RB patch evaluation but all have stated normal patches without cutting.

    The darn fixed sights are irritating me. it seems so unnatural to have a rifle that a guy can't at least tap something for windage and use a wedge for elevation. Plus there are lots of reports of shooting high out of the box. The potential is high for accuracy however. There are regular competitions in Britian of 6-8 hundred yards with issue sights I understand. I need a 6X scoped 223 to hit paper at 300 meters!

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    Boolit Buddy

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    Articap: What size bull are you talking about? 4 inch black at 50 yards is 8 MOA.

  9. #9
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Canuck Bob View Post
    Thank you all. the first shooting will be with the Hornady balls, CCI Musket caps, 50 gr 3F Goex by volume, and most likely some cotton sheet rags in the shop. The reports of PRB shooting is a mixed bag. Most simply didn't bother but those folks seem to predominate from re-enactor sites. A few folks like Outpost 75 had good results after some load development.

    Initial lube will be a mix of Ballistol and windshield washer fluid. Shooting is outdoors and winter arrived early this year! An accomplished group of shooters in Canada like WWF for their lube, $4 a gallon works too! Many reports claim .577 or .578 as bore and 5 thou grooves at the muzzle. The PH rifles used hammer forged barrels so chances are my rifle will be the same. The grooves are reported at 13 thou at the breech. There have been only a few reports of RB patch evaluation but all have stated normal patches without cutting.

    The darn fixed sights are irritating me. it seems so unnatural to have a rifle that a guy can't at least tap something for windage and use a wedge for elevation. Plus there are lots of reports of shooting high out of the box. The potential is high for accuracy however. There are regular competitions in Britian of 6-8 hundred yards with issue sights I understand. I need a 6X scoped 223 to hit paper at 300 meters!
    Our Zoli and the threeband enfield copies are 1:72 twist (or some are 1:78) - ideal for round ball - never figured why they put that twist on rifles designed for shooting minies - the two band Euroarms we have is a 1:48 it takes minies easy - with 90 grains of FFg Wano it shoots on its sight setting out to 600yards with the minie (yeah that load was beginners luck !!!) it will shoot ball ok too.

  10. #10
    Boolit Buddy Canuck Bob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by indian joe View Post
    Our Zoli and the threeband enfield copies are 1:72 twist (or some are 1:78) - ideal for round ball - never figured why they put that twist on rifles designed for shooting minies - the two band Euroarms we have is a 1:48 it takes minies easy - with 90 grains of FFg Wano it shoots on its sight setting out to 600yards with the minie (yeah that load was beginners luck !!!) it will shoot ball ok too.
    I J which minie do you use with that load?

    How does the rifle kick at 90 grains? 30-30, 30-06, or 444 Marlin? I think 90 grains is real close to the service charge. Also this Enfield is 48" twist too.

    My home range goes to 500 meters so it would be fun to setup a huge target and give it a whirl! What target do you use at 600 yds?
    Last edited by Canuck Bob; 10-12-2018 at 10:02 AM.

  11. #11
    Boolit Man arcticap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carbine View Post
    Articap: What size bull are you talking about? 4 inch black at 50 yards is 8 MOA.
    I see your point about the size of the black.
    I was comparing the M50 target (for rifle musket-carbine) to the RB100-8 as being the same overall size even though one is for 50 yards and the other is for 100 yards.

    The 5 ring is pretty much in the same location and the same size on a 14" X 14" paper that's intended to be fired at double the distance.

    They're on this American Target Company product page:--->>> http://www.americantargetcompany.com...ng_targets.asp
    Last edited by arcticap; 10-12-2018 at 12:31 PM.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    We tested original Civil War era Springfield and Enfield rifle-muskets, as well as the Whitworth rifle at Quantico in the 1970s for a scholarly paper which was being written at the Naval Academy.

    We used a standard 4 ft. by 6 ft. military target frame, with 2 ft. "wings on either side to extend the width of the backer to 8 feet. An "F" silhouette was used at 200 yards, a "D" silhouette at 300, an "E" silhouette at 500, then at 600 a military LR 1000-yard target with 36" bull was centered on the backer.

    Firing was done by Marine Corps Master-class shooters being coached by North-South Skirmish Assn. subject matter experts and collectors who were knowledgeable on the care and feeding of the period weapons. Firings were conducted at 200, 300, 500, and 600 yards, and the Whitworth was tested briefly at 800 and 1000 yards.

    IIRC the rifle-muskets firing Minie projectiles with service charges produced a percentage of hits in the range of 70-90% which compared to a service grade M1 Garand firing Ball M2 ammunition, out to 300 yards. At 500 and 600 yards the hit percentage in the bull dropped below 50%, but all shots were on the backing target.
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  13. #13
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Canuck Bob View Post
    I J which minie do you use with that load?

    Its a traditional style 550 grain - I think a H T Bugg mold (hes gone now)
    How does the rifle kick at 90 grains? 30-30, 30-06, or 444 Marlin? I think 90 grains is real close to the service charge. Also this Enfield is 48" twist too.
    about like a 45/70 I guess - wano powder is pretty sedate - 75 grains of swiss would proly bark as much

    My home range goes to 500 meters so it would be fun to setup a huge target and give it a whirl! What target do you use at 600 yds?
    target is the standard rifle club 600yard - what the 303 guys used to shoot

    We didnt blow the middle out of the bullseye or anything like that but it was fun just move the sight elevator to the right number and hit the board first shot - 200, 400, 600 yards

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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
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HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
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