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  1. #21
    Gun Wizard
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    I have shot several original British percussion revolvers and they shoot surprisingly well. Leaving aside the poi which varied, the ergonomics are always really good. Some of the earlier ones were double action only, which you might think worked against accuracy but diddnt. The grip angle along with the tang (The lump) and rounded trigger work together really well. Even the double trigger Tranter revolvers that look really awkward. After twenty minutes on the range I had the operation down to an art. Just pull both together for double action or for single, cock with the bottom one, then trip the hammer with the top.
    'Diligentia Vis Celeritas'

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  2. #22
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    Do you shoot conical or ball in them? I preferred ball in mine but they did have conical. Some liked them but ball was the most popular. Remington replicas were the most popular for those that liked to shoot targets as they were similar to your solid frame revolvers. Colts were often taken apart and cleaned until the wedge system got loose. This also caused issues as they were not supported at the top of the cylinder. They had a very large cylinder pin with grooves that were designed to keep things functioning when getting fouled. The Remington had a pin release so that the cylinder could be removed. The Remington's were fine pistols and I had a couple. They all needed a taller front sight for target work. Instead of installing modern target sights I preferred to just raise the front blade. Don't have pictures of either but the Remington 1858 was more in line with your British designs.

    I have seen pictures of the big Tranter, a 577, that must have been a handful. Gathered it was designed to use against spear and sword toting enemies. The British has issues with the 303 in India and the US in the Philippines with people that did not like them there. You solved the issue at the Dum Dum arsenal, the US filed the bullet noses on the 30-40 Krags. We went to the 30-06 you changed the loadings for the 303 from the 215 to the 174 grain bullets. The US had problems with the 38 long Colt with officers getting split by a Kriss. They were said to have unboxed the old 45 Colt single actions for them. Whether they worked better no one said but as the Colt was a better pointing revolver and easier to shoot it might have worked better with more solid hits. Led to the development of our 1911 45 semiauto. From what I have seen the British liked the 45 caliber in revolvers also for military use. Seen lots of old Webley's pictured.

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  3. #23
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    One can talk about the design and which is better and so forth. I have a Colt replica and not a Remington in 44 because there is that historical mystique about the colt. They "feel" right in ones hand. I have a Rossi 92, a copy of a Winchester 92. there is still something about a Winchester, be it a 94 or 92, that just "feels" good. Marlins are better mechanically and to some extent functionally. Still, a lot of deer have been taken with a 94. I still get the urge for another one. Often I keep thinking of getting a 73. Almost did but they only had them in 45 Colt and 357 Mag. IF I get a 73 it will be in 44-40. The Colt Peacemaker still feels good in 45 Colt. Don't care for one with modern sights. They did the job in their day.

    I set up the primitive bowling pin shoot using wood chunks on a plank because I felt that bullseye shooting was not what the Cap and Ball revolver was made for. It was a combat gun, not a squirrel rifle. I won a lot of matches with the Colt in speed shooting. Beat a guy once that built his own single shot pistols. He could shoot groups I could not match, but they had a small buffalo target that was mostly horizontal in scoring. He used a 6 O'clock hold and I kept all my shots in target while he had a prettier group with 2 no scores. I may have been a bit obnoxious about that win I had an interest in the West and those older guns. I am very sure that an Englishman would have similar interests and pride in his historical weapons.

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  5. #24
    Gun Wizard
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    I will shoot both ball and conical. Tell you a secret, when I have hold of an original brass mould and before selling it on (I still trade), I fire up the melter, grab my thick leather gloves and make a jar or two of them. As you will know, it does them no harm.

    The largest Adams I have fired was many years back, a 38 bore (.50) with an 8" barrel - double action only. She was a monster, no loading lever, the early ones were a press fit. Maybe 1850 ish. Not ideal as the ball can work forward under recoil. Pleasure to shoot though, soft recoil, huge half inch slugs.
    Last edited by tranteruk; 06-06-2019 at 11:45 AM.
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  6. #25
    Gun Wizard
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    Some of those molds came in the case with other paraphenalia for shooting the revolvers. Ever get one with the whole case?

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  7. #26
    Gun Wizard
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    Quote Originally Posted by northmn View Post
    Some of those molds came in the case with other paraphenalia for shooting the revolvers. Ever get one with the whole case?

    DEP
    Try this for size. Bought it some years back. Its a forth model Tranter in 54bore, c.44". Essentially a percussion version of a modern double action revolver. Pretty rare, pretty special. The jag end of the cleaning rod unscrews to reveal a worm for removing bullets if needed. Its a double cavity mould, both conical. Also included is a turnscrew and nipple key, also an oil bottle, top left, a powder flask, and tins of caps and grease.

    Back in the 1860s you would be pressed to be better armed with a handgun. These were the last before centrefire took over. Some were converted I believe.

    20170918_215056.jpg
    Last edited by tranteruk; 06-06-2019 at 03:23 PM.
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  8. #27
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  9. #28
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    Poor folks didn't buy those pistols. Case and contents probably cost as much as a Colt as they are very well made. There was a lot of speculation about the hooked breech on rifles. Most modern shooters thought it was for easy take down and cleaning. I saw pictures of early English sporting rifles and realized they permitted rifles to be taken down to fit in cases similar to the one for the pistol. The sporting rifles were beautiful rifles of the time. Usually larger bore than an American rifle. Cases included molds, flasks, and other needs and accommodated the travel of the sportsman. They hunted a lot in America in the early days.

    The conversions were made on Colts also. Some of the cartridges are now gone. The 38 caliber designation for a 358 diameter bullet came from those old conversions. A colt 36 had a 380 cylinder bore and a case using a bullet with a case diameter of 38 was used, similar to the 22LR. 44 Designation came from a similar situation as the 44's were actually 454. Why they called them a 36 and 44 I can only speculate. Your gauge designations were also in common use back then. 54 gauge meant 54 balls tot he pound which had a lot of meaning shooting round ball.
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  10. #29
    Gun Wizard
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    Northmn, your right about the bore measurement. 38 bore, 38 balls that fit the bore to the pound weight. 12 bore, 28 bore, all the same and makes sense. I have noticed many of the later calibre's seemed to be born of those originals. 54 bore for example is .44 /.45", 38 bore .50". That cant just be chance. Why go .44" otherwise?

    Calibre's are interesting. I remember being told once when a young man 'there is only one way to learn calibre's, the hard way'. Wise words.
    'Diligentia Vis Celeritas'

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  11. #30
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    When I built muzzle loaders and researched some of the older guns I have found that the "caliber" designation was not as common back then. Firearms were a large trade item for the natives back then and our government also supplied the Natives with firearms. Their designations were in gauge not in caliber, like you are stating. Caliber is a confusing method of designation. The 45 caliber muzzleloader generally took a .445 inch ball due to the patching we used for loading. The 36 cal cap and ball took a .380 ball. I assume because they used the land to land measurement and rifling back then tended to be a little deeper. The 303 British is land to land measurement as it takes a bullet of .311-.312 diameter. The popular 308 uses a 308 bullet. The use of bullets probably made more sense for the use of caliber.

    In the days of using lead ball some trading posts and whatever sold them and could count out the ball if sold by the pound. So if a customer wanted a pound of 54 bore ball they would just count them out. A Briton roofer by the name of William Watts made this more popular when he invented the shot towers. They could then mass produce shot for both rifle and shotgun. Shotgun pellets were pretty laboriously made before then. Some mold for shot have been found where they cast them. dropping shot through a strainer as developed by Prince Rupert tended to give water drop shaped shot. Some cut shot off a lead sheet then rolled it to get it somewhat round. The government was a large order for rifle round ball and the shot tower offered more mass production over a group of casters.

    English firearms were likely about the best crafted ones in their day. The Southern gentry imported many of them, including dueling pistols. As a builder I do not attempt to try to duplicate an English Sporting rifle as it was said that while hand built, 28 different sets of hands made them. The hooked breech system I mentioned was so well fitted as to be hardly noticeable. The English rain proof flintlock was the best flintlock ever developed. In addition to the rain proof features, it utilized a stirrup system on the main spring for more lock speed and a roller on the frizzen. But as I say, they were not bought by most common folk like our firearms were.

    DEP


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