Range report, Armi Sport 1861 with round ball.

Discussion in 'Percussion Rifles' started by Rat, Aug 24, 2019.

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  1. Aug 24, 2019 #1

    Rat

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    DSC06997.JPG
    This may not look like the best 100 yard target you have ever seen, but I was out back throwing some REALs down range, trying out the wax wads in it, and was curious as to how well the Armi Sport 1861 would do with round balls. I've fired a few balls through it before, and they seemed to go where I wanted, but I've always considered this rifle a "slug gun", since the barrel is 40 inches long and the thing weighs 10 pounds. Might as well make it the power house of the stable...know what I mean? So I fired up four round ball loads.

    This was with a pure bee's wax wad under a Wonder Wad, under a .570" ball with my thinnest patching, about .010" I'd guess, and over 100 grains of Goex ffg. Wonder lube for lube. I keep trying other lubes, and just keep coming back to Wonder lube. Seems to work best for me.

    Patches were a bit torn, but not burnt. I was able to thumb press the ball and patch into the muzzle, but used a short starter after that. Then she went down okay, but tight. This was in a clean barrel every shot, I believe it would be a bit hard to ram in a fouled barrel.

    But it was promising. Would like to try a .565" ball and .018" patch. I think the super thin patch is tearing at loading. Or not. Step down in power from a slug, but that long barrel probably churns up some good velocity with a ball.

    I think fffg works a little better in this rifle, then ffg. Not sure, just a feeling.

    Most important observation, the wax-wad REALLY keeps the barrel clean. Made it real easy to clean between shots. Noticeable difference between loads with no wax wad, and those with.
     
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  2. Aug 24, 2019 #2

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    Pretty sure the recommended military load going to be 60gns. Mine shoots dang good at 65gns with a .562 and .020 patch. My bore is a tad under. You are right to go with thick patch. More forgiving and grabs rifling better. Check this out.

    https://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=534645
     
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  3. Aug 24, 2019 #3

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    I added the clamp on sniper sight for my old eyes and at 50 yards and 65gns with ball it will put hole on hole et al. Expect similar on out. Haven't got to see what the 478gn .575 mod mini I cast will do. It's popcorn dry here and my range doesn't allow bp during these times for fire caution. Will hit it again this fall
     
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  4. Aug 24, 2019 #4

    Rat

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    Service load is indeed 60 grains, and of course light charges will usually produce better accuracy, although generally there is a "sweet spot" as far as powder charges go.

    This is one of my hunting rifles, kind of the rifle I take when it's super wet, and I'm feeling too lazy to keep the drips and drizzle out of the pans of my flintlocks. Not that I can't...just a lazy thing sometimes.

    But, I hunt in a Grizzly recovery area, (wow I saw a HUGE track this spring)(or was it last fall?) and really don't want to face off with Grizz, with a 60 grain powder charge in my rifle. I think that I can get decent accuracy with the 100 grain charge. If just deer were on the menu, yeah, 60 grains would work okay.

    The group above is far from "great", but I think it shows promise. And, I was surprised to get that much accuracy out of a ball, in a shallow groove military rifle. If I can tighten that up just a little, I'm sure I can plunk them into the vital zone at 100 yards. Actually, how it shot today is "passable", or "hunting accuracy" but I must strive for a little better. !!! :)

    I think, but may be wrong, that I can get the ball to shoot a little better than a slug, and certainly getting a minie' to work over a 100 grain charge would be extremely difficult. The REAL works good for me, but this will be fun to get a ball to shoot good. ??? Again, I am a round ball guy, but always kind of thought of this rifle as my slug-gun.
     
  5. Aug 24, 2019 #5

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    45 Cal.

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    If a 60-70gn load will give you placement that's better than a 100gn missplacement.
     
  6. Aug 24, 2019 #6

    Treestalker

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    How about a thick-skirted minie? The lyman book lists up to 150 gr 2f iirc and that would be a duck stomper for bear. What would you use for a backup on griz? They are really big and scratchy, I'm scared of them and don't even live close to any.
     
  7. Aug 24, 2019 #7

    Rat

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    Truth, but if I miss a grizz coming at me, at 20 yards, (or less) it won't be because my 100 yard group is six inches instead of three inches. Under those circumstances, a 100 grain smack-down will be better than a 60 grain smack. !!! :) The group (pattern?) above is 5.5". That will achieve placement on the side of a deer or elk, as long as I do my part, and me myself or I don't misplace the shot. Won't be able to blame the rifle, or the load or a 4-5" group size. But, yeah, I want to get it down to 4" at least, but powder puff powder charges are not an option, for me, in Grizz's neighborhood. :)

    Did you cast your .562's or buy them? I cast all my balls and bullets, but for experimentation I'll want to buy a box or two of .565's or .562's (since you have good luck with them). Then I'll get a mold if they work well, which they should. Darn...my .58" just turned into a .56"!!! Oh well, guess it was only a .57" anyhow. At least it's not a .54", then I'd have to get some tweezers to load it. :) :)
     
  8. Aug 24, 2019 #8

    Rat

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    I have one thick skirted minie', but it don't shoot well. Minie's seem to require a large amount of voodoo to get them to work, and it's usually with light charges. But...just don't have time to do that.
    I don't carry a back up pistol, just a light caliber one like my Remington Navy. Don't think I'd have time to use it, if I needed it. I mostly trust in a heavy load, and large caliber, and the fact that I'm more likely to be maimed or killed in a traffic accident, on the way to hunt, then to actually be scratched by Grizz. But it is kind of scary. I have to take a test, every year, to prove I can tell a grizz from a black bear where I hunt. (only required if you are going to be hunting black bear) But again, powder charges under 100 grains are not an option, in my mind.
     
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  9. Aug 24, 2019 #9

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    There are differences in all of them. The true test is that placement. I'll still take the science that provides the load that gives placement over macho maybe placement. When you are shooting not so fast reloading single shot placement is paramount. A bear 40-50 yards away intent on charging you will be on you faster than supersonic goose crap through a screen door. Best bet is to stay down wind, quiet and next to a tree they can't climb, which ain't many.
     
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  10. Aug 24, 2019 #10

    Rat

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    Nope, can't argue with that.
     
  11. Aug 26, 2019 #11

    Stantheman86

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    I've had good success using .570 balls and .005 or .010 patches in my P-H Musketoons and the Armi Sport 1861 Springfield I had. I've replaced it (with a Richmond) but haven't tried round balls yet.

    I'm going to play around with "Mississippi" round ball cartridges with a ball and tied on patch.

    The Minies load so nice and are fun to shoot , so I get spoiled.
     
  12. Aug 26, 2019 #12

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    Really like my Zouave. Sights are a pita for use old blind guys. Figured what the heck. Got one of the clamp on sniper sights. Boy did that make a big difference. Can't see the cross hair in it but having that big O out there make a lot of difference.
     
  13. Aug 26, 2019 #13

    Rat

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    Funny that they (round ball) shoot as well as they do in the military muskets. Wish I had a PH Musketoon. Don't have old blind eyes yet, but as much as I love my 1861, that ten pounds is getting heavier every year.

    I just dug out one of my 1863 Remington Contract Rifles, I'll see what I can get it to do with ball. I really like the "Zouave". But, first I need to get some smaller ball, I was wondering why/how Bang chose .562", kind of an odd diameter, (next size down from .570" would be .565") but I see Track of the Woof sells them in that size. I'll try them out before I get another mold.

    I have a mold that throws a nice minie', about 525 grains with a flat nose, but in all three of my .58's it is very undersized. Maybe I'll see how it shoots in a fouled barrel, and maybe carry them for that second or back-up shot, if they hit near POI and are reasonably accurate....which normally they are not with loads much over the service charge.
     
  14. Aug 26, 2019 #14

    Stantheman86

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    Truth be told the main reason why I love military Rifle-Muskets is because I hate fighting patched round balls down fouled bores , but now I'm once again testing out patched round balls in them :)
     
  15. Aug 27, 2019 #15

    Rat

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    True. But it's fun, and interesting to get them to shoot ball. Since the primary use of my 1861 is for hunting, mostly as a "back up" to take when I hunt with my flintlocks in case the weather turns super wet, I'm only concerned with getting two shots, maybe three out of it in a hunting situation. So if I can get this 5.5" group down to 4", I'll be perfectly happy.
     
  16. Aug 27, 2019 #16

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    My bore was an odd under size. Tried a .570 but even before the patch it was too tight. I'm partial to lee molds and the only one I saw readily available was a .562. I knew it would clearly roll down the barrel so it was just a matter of patch. The barrel was a bit difficult to measure with just calipers being a 3 groove. After the .570 was tight I slugged it and the minimum was .568. Max was .578/9. The .562 with .020 patch is a mild palm slap on starter and tight but easy smooth ram. From the feel I'm sure there will be patch impression at the lands on the ball and complete tight fill of patch in grooves.
    Had similar issue with mini. Where most use .578 it will work but a real pain to get started. The .575 pips right in with thumb pressure so it's the right one for the bore.
     
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  17. Aug 27, 2019 #17

    Rat

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    All three of my barrels seem to be right at, or very close to .580". A .575" minie' will fall down my barrel. With a .010" patch, the .570" loads okay, but "snug", but I'm seeing a little bit of tearing of the patch. It's not burn through, so I really need to try smaller ball/thicker patch. The .570" ball would require a short starter and some serious shove on the ram rod for sure, if I tried a thicker patch on it. Maybe my bore is tighter than I think, as one would think a .570" in a .580" bore would take a thicker patch.

    Also didn't realize Lee made a .562" mold, but again will want to try a .562" before I buy another mold. .565" should be right on the money, but the difference between it and a .562" is pretty small, so I'll get some .562" from TOW.

    But again, if I keep down-sizing on these balls, I'm going to end up with a .54" gun. !!!
     
  18. Aug 28, 2019 #18

    Columbus

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    Do you have a bayonet? Might want to keep that on the musket when you're in Grizzly country. After you piss one off with your one and only shot at least you could try to stab it to death while you're being mauled.
     
  19. Aug 28, 2019 #19

    Rat

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    Trust me, I've thought about it. I do keep my K-bar strapped to my lower right leg.
     
  20. Aug 28, 2019 #20

    azmntman

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    I personally would rather have a can of bear spray ready than about any firearm. Too many stories of "guy shot a griz in the heart 3 times with his 44 mag and got kilt, bear got 250 yds away before he died".

    Don't think there's many if any) documented fatalities from bears once spray was activated.
     
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