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Thread: Chassepot Needles

  1. #1
    Boolit Master



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    Chassepot Needles

    How sharp should Chassepot needles be. I was wondering if not too sharp would be better, than as sharp as a sewing needle.
    Thanks

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    I don't know about the Chassepot but do have experience with a Dreyse needle rifle. For the Dreyse I've found that if the needle is too pointed/sharp it will occasionally pierce the musket caps that I generally use as a primer and not set them off. I've come to prefer large Berdan primers over the musket caps as they seem to be much more resistant to piercing. The paper cartridge I make isn't difficult to pierce so a blunt needle works well. I only have a small number of the Berdan primers left so I'm rationing them. I did locate a supplier of Berdan primers but would have to buy in lots of 5000 and I don't think I would use that many in this lifetime.
    BIG OR SMALL I LIKE THEM ALL, 577 TO 22 HORNET.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master



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    Here are some Berdan primers for sale in France. Maybe if you search the brand you can find someone in the US that sells them. I’ve heard they are good for Chassepots too.

  4. #4
    Boolit Man yulzari's Avatar
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    The Chassepot needle, for original ammunition, has to pierce a natural rubber disk to reach the primer and to let the disk slip off the needle when the reverse pressure behind the bolt post blows the disk forwards down the barrel once the bullet/powder case has exited the barrel dropping the pressure in the barrel.

    So yes it had to be sharp, if not 'needle' sharp. In many modern Chassepot cartridge DIY designs the rubber disk is omitted. Often due to the maker failing to understand the system as a whole. For these it can be less sharp. The sharp fires off the primer anyway. If not then the usual cause is either the powder case is not rigid enough or the cartridge is too short. Ordinary musket caps work fine.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    Basic Needles are sold by H&C Collection In France. I have Purchased there Conversion Kits as well.
    NRA Endowment Member
    International Ammunition Association
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    New York, the Empire State Where Empires were Won and Lost

  6. #6
    Boolit Master



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    Quote Originally Posted by salpal48 View Post
    Basic Needles are sold by H&C Collection In France. I have Purchased there Conversion Kits as well.
    Needles can also be made from the appropriate size piano wire.

  7. #7
    Boolit Man yulzari's Avatar
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    Bicycle spoke too.

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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