I finally own a Whitworth

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Widows Son

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Today I bought a Parker Hale Whitworth rifle, serial number 191. Thrown in with the deal was about 300 cylindrical projectiles, a sizing tool, a couple of hundred musket caps, hex wad cutter, a big bunch of cork wads, a short starter and a range rod with a brass hexagonal tip. I’ve got a lot of things to learn and no doubt plenty of mistakes to make.
The barrel is engraved .451 but I have my doubts. The resizer tool presses out a .448 projectile and they still sit tight inside the muzzle. I haven’t loaded it yet but I think it would take quite a lot force to load that size bullet. A couple of hexagonal bullets came with the rifle. They measure .443 and and there is hardly any wiggle room around them. I suspect I’ll end up needing something like .445. Anyway the adventure begins.
 

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Terry Lightle

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Congratulations,most of us have a dream gun and it appears you now have yours.ENJOY!
 

Widows Son

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Thank you for your well wishes. No doubt I’ll be posting results and ask heaps of questions. I’ll actually begin now…

Should a bullet fit so that it doesn’t take much effort to load? As many videos show “the weight of the ramrod “ being all required to seat it. Those of you with experience, what size bullet are you using to achieve this?

And would anyone know what year serial number 191 might have been made?
 

Whitworth

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Suggest if you are on Facebook to join the Whitworth group there too. First let me state I know just enough to be dangerous, second my shooting results can't be used to determine anything. I cast my hex bullets from a Pedersoli mold and shoot unpatched. They fall down a clean bore, my paper patched .442 cylindrical bullets load effortlessly too. Clean your bore between shots. I have been shooting rock hard linotype hex bullets, this may be a mistake as they don't bump up to bore diameter. Going to try a soft lead hex next.
 

ResearchPress

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. . . would anyone know what year serial number 191 might have been made?
Likely 1978 for no. 191. If you ever remove barrel from stock and can confirm the tiny proof date code, two letters and a number either between crossed swords or within a circle after the proof load information, I can confirm the year the barrel was proofed. All helps with my understanding the P-H production time line.

Some historical information on the Whitworth rifle on my web site.

David
 

Baxter

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Nice site David.

Today I bought a Parker Hale Whitworth rifle, serial number 191. Thrown in with the deal was about 300 cylindrical projectiles, a sizing tool, a couple of hundred musket caps, hex wad cutter, a big bunch of cork wads, a short starter and a range rod with a brass hexagonal tip. I’ve got a lot of things to learn and no doubt plenty of mistakes to make.
The barrel is engraved .451 but I have my doubts. The resizer tool presses out a .448 projectile and they still sit tight inside the muzzle. I haven’t loaded it yet but I think it would take quite a lot force to load that size bullet. A couple of hexagonal bullets came with the rifle. They measure .443 and and there is hardly any wiggle room around them. I suspect I’ll end up needing something like .445. Anyway the adventure begins.
Congratulations! I like the rifle and envy you a bit.
Were I 50 years younger, I would, no doubt, own such a PH rifle.
I hope that you have great success and keep us posted.
 

Widows Son

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Many thanks again. A wonderful thing about blackpowder shooters is they like others to succeed.

I intend to buy tang target sights eventually but for the moment I’ll make use of the factory sights. What I’m focused on at the moment is a mould. I think I’ll choose a cylindrical bullet for the time being. There are so many to pick from!

My dropped my digital calipers and now get screwy readings, so I can’t accurately measure anything.
 

muzzlecap

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Congratulations on finding your rifle. I have one with serial # 171. Mine has Rigby rifling instead of Henry rifling. I wouldn't be surprised if yours has Rigby rifling as well.
 

ResearchPress

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I have one with serial # 171. Mine has Rigby rifling instead of Henry rifling. I wouldn't be surprised if yours has Rigby rifling as well.
Now that's confusing - someone in Canada gave me serial number 171 for my records, along with the proof date code and told me it was a Whitworth.

The original post says a Whitworth has been acquired and the images clearly show that and the hexagonal rifling. The early Parker-Hale 'Volunteer' model had Rigby rifling, but was later ones changed to Henry rifling, the serial numbers of which are prefixed with 'H'.

David
 

TFoley

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Many thanks again. A wonderful thing about blackpowder shooters is they like others to succeed.

I intend to buy tang target sights eventually but for the moment I’ll make use of the factory sights. What I’m focused on at the moment is a mould. I think I’ll choose a cylindrical bullet for the time being. There are so many to pick from!

My dropped my digital calipers and now get screwy readings, so I can’t accurately measure anything.
What country are you in? That will help us to help you and/or offer meaningful/useless advice. I see from your spelling of 'mould' that you might just be in UK.

NOE in the US make moulds for around the $200 mark.

Up in Manitoba KAL does much the same for much the same price.

In Germany, Hensel make a beautiful hexagonal mould for mucho dinero.

In UK L.E.M - aka Glenn McGuire, will make anything you want for a not unreasonable price.

And to sum up, although the bore was nominally .451", in practice they can be anything but, as you've just found.
 

muzzlecap

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Now that's confusing - someone in Canada gave me serial number 171 for my records, along with the proof date code and told me it was a Whitworth.

The original post says a Whitworth has been acquired and the images clearly show that and the hexagonal rifling. The early Parker-Hale 'Volunteer' model had Rigby rifling, but was later ones changed to Henry rifling, the serial numbers of which are prefixed with 'H'.

David
I am the one who gave you the info on the Whitworth #171. I misspoke in my earlier post when I said my Whitworth has Rigby rifling. I was thinking about too many guns/threads at one time. It is my Volunteer that has the Rigby rifling. Sorry for the confusion.
 

jimairwin

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Suggest if you are on Facebook to join the Whitworth group there too. First let me state I know just enough to be dangerous, second my shooting results can't be used to determine anything. I cast my hex bullets from a Pedersoli mold and shoot unpatched. They fall down a clean bore, my paper patched .442 cylindrical bullets load effortlessly too. Clean your bore between shots. I have been shooting rock hard linotype hex bullets, this may be a mistake as they don't bump up to bore diameter. Going to try a soft lead hex next.
I've found 40:1 lead:tin to work best. Soft enough to upset, hard enough to resist deformation. And the tin makes them cast beautifully!
 

Widows Son

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What country are you in? That will help us to help you and/or offer meaningful/useless advice. I see from your spelling of 'mould' that you might just be in UK.

NOE in the US make moulds for around the $200 mark.

Up in Manitoba KAL does much the same for much the same price.

In Germany, Hensel make a beautiful hexagonal mould for mucho dinero.

In UK L.E.M - aka Glenn McGuire, will make anything you want for a not unreasonable price.

And to sum up, although the bore was nominally .451", in practice they can be anything but, as you've just found.
Thanks mate. I live in Queensland Australia. The L.E.M. seems the pick of the litter so far, though it seems like it would be slow.
 

Widows Son

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Does anyone know what thread size is on the male end of the ramrod? And what size the little clean out screw is? I tried removing it for cleaning and it won’t budge and I can see I did burr the slot a little bit. If I mess it up and have to replace it I’d like to know what I could substitute for.
 

TFoley

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Does anyone know what thread size is on the male end of the ramrod? And what size the little clean out screw is? I tried removing it for cleaning and it won’t budge and I can see I did burr the slot a little bit. If I mess it up and have to replace it I’d like to know what I could substitute for.
I am told that the 'clean-out screw' is not a 'clean-out screw', but is a screw that fills a hole made during the manufacturing process of the bolster, and should not be removed under any circumstances, as it has been put there to stay there on a permanent basis. However, it is your rifle, so you must do as you wish.

The thread on the end of the ramrod is usually the Enfield thread - all my Parker-Hale brushes fit, but no others do - Hoppes etc.
 

Widows Son

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I am told that the 'clean-out screw' is not a 'clean-out screw', but is a screw that fills a hole made during the manufacturing process of the bolster, and should not be removed under any circumstances, as it has been put there to stay there on a permanent basis. However, it is your rifle, so you must do as you wish.
I‘m glad you mentioned that! I like to get inside there with a pipe cleaner and ear bud but I don’t want to mess with it!
 

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