Whitworth rifle range report

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TFoley

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The Whitworth has a hexagonal bore. The Volunteer has "normal" rifling, perhaps Alexander Henry style. All are good, but a Volunteer is NOT a Whitworth.
I've owned a Whitworth rifle, and a .451cal Volunteer rifle since the early Eighties, and the Musketoon since the late 70's. I know what a Volunteer rifle is. I have a Pritchett Volunteer rifle as well.
 

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I very much appreciate a look at your Volunteer rifle, please. I'm not surprised that your shots went high. You are using the general 60g load, but of finer grade than usual in a rifle designed to start shooting at 300 yards.
It's a Euroarms. According to my local ML Shop, they bought everything from Parker Hale to make these. That's the load and powder recommended by My 2008 Dixie Gun Works Catalog. Although, the previous owner made some notes on the outside of the box!

I was hoping that by dropping it down to 40 grains, I would obtain a lower point of impact but to no avail. I may go with a coarser powder as that's what they used between 1840 and 1940 for Long Range Precision Shooting.

The great thing about Muzzle Loaders is the Trial and Error. And folks with inquisitive minds like myself, love that sort of thing. It's what makes it fun!

Thanks!

Walt
 

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TFoley

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A lot of these EuroArms guns have beautiful wood that NEVER came from Birmingham!
 

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A lot of these EuroArms guns have beautiful wood that NEVER came from Birmingham!
I heard they made these with American Walnut. They actually had a PH Musketoon a while back that had nice wood. It was immaculate! I thought about purchasing it as a hunting rifle but the thought of taking something that nice and collectible in to the woods didn't set well with me.

Walt
 

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This is information that I can’t provide (but I should know). I get my lead from the scrap metal merchant and just pic out the softest most malleable lead I can find. It’s mostly old roof flashing and down pipes. Then I flux it well.

I should find a source of certified pure lead
Old Roof Flashing should be fine! BTW, some of the, old timers (1840s and up) used a two-piece bullet which was swaged together. The base was pure lead with the front half being somewhat harder.

Walt
 

Collector54

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I have owned a Whitworth since the 80's a PH from Navy Arms. I am using the swaged bullet but not PPatched. I use a 80 grain charge of 2F but I've seen where the granulation was recommended to be FG. I haven't yet tried that yet. Some years ago I shot in 1000 yd match at Scales Mound Ill. I was amazed at how well I shot even though I'd never shot that distance before. If the sun was right you could actually see the bullet go to the target. We had a light on the target that lit up when hit then some time later the sound of the hit would ring from the metal buffalo we used. I've shot several deer with it and it is my favorite rifle to use in our Ill deer season with my Kodiak a close second. They are a very well made gun and worth every penny I paid. I hope you have a long time to shoot it and really get to know what it is capable of in terms of accuracy.
 

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Thank you Sir! That sounds relatively easy. I thought I was going to have to swap out the whole front sight. I've read elsewhere that folks have gone with the Lyman.

Walt
I think I'm going to acquire the correct bullet (500 grains hopefully) or a mold before making any kind of adjustments.

Walt
 

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sorry for the bad picture done with the phone.
Very Nice! I didn't know that anyone had replicated them.

A Google search found some old auctions of originals. One went for over $8000US. It came with everything Brockway provided.

Thanks!

Walt
 

fleener

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Fleener,
My disagreement was not to imply malice nor directed to anyone individual. It is simply based on the results I have found during the past 10 months shooting the Whitworth rifle with a paper patch cylinder bullet.
On a side note. If this Shooters development class is offered again, I would recommend it to anyone wishing to advance their skill in long range shooting. You'll meet some very experienced shooters in this field.

Kno-ie

Kno-ie

No worries my friend! I was not offended!

Currently I do not have any plans to host another shooters development class this year. I appreciate the kind words on the class. It was fun to do and great to meet some new folks like yourself.

Fleener
 

Widows Son

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Here is an update on my progress with the Whitworth. It’s been a fortnight until I could get back to the range because I have to coordinate a day off work with a day the range is open for practicing.

I’m having to aim about 5-6 inches low at 50 meters and I‘m only using the standard ladder sight as I’m still saving up for good target peep sights. I’m also using ordinary #11 caps which is a relief to me as musket caps are damn hard to find but #11 caps are plentiful. I never had any ignition problems and could perceive no difference between them and musket caps.

I weighed out 20 vials of Wano PP (more consistent granules size of ffg) in 65gr, 70gr, 75gr and 80gr.
0848ADF1-E3AB-4A49-ACD7-F7AEFC4585F9.jpeg


I weighed 40 projectiles within one grain of each other and patched 20 with onion skin 9lb paper and the other 20 in a tissue like tracing paper I had laying around. I used saturated greased felt wad between powder and bullet and wiped between shots. I set up a target at 50 metres and tried to get the best group size from each powder charge using a stable rest. I was very mindful of doing everything just the same way every time I loaded. The only variable was the different powder charges.

First 5 shots with 65 grains scored 9/7/9/9/8
B1D469D6-5BE1-473E-8552-A086E8B0FDE1.jpeg
Next 5 shots were with 70gr and scored a bit worse 8/6/8/7/6
9808A9F7-B484-444A-8C6D-E46C0AB5F2D2.jpeg
I kept the same point of aim for those two strings, a 6’oclock hold with the front sight post just under the black ‘7’ ring.
My next string was with 75gr using a dead centre hold on the bullseye. Remember I’m going for group size and not a score. 2/3/2/0/2
3993D194-97E3-43EE-93CA-82C61257E023.jpeg
I got a similar grouping to what I got with 65gr but the 75gr charge raised the impact over 8 inches high from the point of aim.

I was about to try the 80gr charge when out of nowhere a rainstorm hit. And I mean a storm! Wow! It was a lovely warm calm early spring morning so I was lightly dressed. I got soaked in freezing rain and decided I would stop for the day.
FEF37C1D-C9D4-4C04-9C56-A2CFE30F2F91.jpeg
I didn’t get a chance to try the 80gr powder charge. I want to set up a target at 100 metres next range day but I will likely be another fortnight before I can go.
Anyway, those of you with more experience than I, please advise me how to proceed from here. I think my main learning experience is that the 65gr charge is worth further exploration and that the onion skin paper has given the best results so far.
39E4ADB0-FF29-4FD6-A948-9DF24D505817.jpeg
 
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ResearchPress

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Good to see this discussion back on track with the subject heading; thanks for sharing your report.

Your 65 grain charge produced a tighter group than 70 grains, if you're confident that shot out to the right was called a good shot when fired. Your shift in group with 75 grains will be a combination of the increased charge and change in the point of aim. This may have potential to out perform you 65 grain group - depends how confident you are in taking a centre aim. The 6 o'clock hold may have been more repeatable; is it possible that taking a centre aim resulted in the vertical stringing with 75 grains. I'd try that one again with a 6 o'clock aim so you can keep comparing like-with-like. I'd also keep going up to 85 grains.

Have a think about what sort of distances you are likely to be shooting at - while 65 grains may work well for short range, it may not perform so well as range is increased. Keep with making just one change at a time so it can be properly evaluated.

David
 

fleener

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So we all have different ideas on group sizes and how many shots are in a group for accuracy.

I shoot 3 shot groups for measurement. The reason I do is that when shooting a ML, even with 3 shots, conditions change. Light, wind, etc. As conditions change so does your point of aim.

Now I can crank on the sights to raise, lower or go left and right. But that does not tell me how my rifle is shooting. Cranking on my sights simple tells me if I made the right call or not as a shooter.

How long does it take you to shoot a 5 shot group? Do the conditions change?

For me when I am working up a load and shooting a long range English sporting rifle, I will shoot 3 shot groups at 100 yards. If I can not get a MOA or sub MOA group at 100 yards I keep working on my load. I have an original rifle that I got a few years back. The best 3 shot group I could get was just over 2" at 100 yards. Certainly not good in my opinion for what I wanted in a target rifle.

It took me quite a few session at the range with powder, wads, bullets etc but I was determined to get better groups if possible. I was able to get that rifle to shoot less then MOA at 100 yards.

It can be frustrating, but sometimes it just takes time.

Fleener
 

cal.43

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From my point of view I thougt that the 75grain group is a good starting point, two flyer and a tight group.
I don´t like the Wano PP for the 451, the Swiss No.2 is much better , burn faster less foulings.
Let get that peepsight and shoot at 100m.
 

fleener

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When you are showing your targets with the holes in them, I would like to see you number your shots in the order you shot them. That might help us and you if you are not already doing that.

Fleener
 

Craig "Wildcat" Wilcox

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The great thing about Muzzle Loaders is the Trial and Error. And folks with inquisitive minds like myself, love that sort of thing. It's what makes it fun!

Thanks!

Walt
Walt, you said it all in that simple sentence. Love testing loads, different weights, different charge of powder, different powder. Sights, smells, sounds - all thrill to the core.
 

Widows Son

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When you are showing your targets with the holes in them, I would like to see you number your shots in the order you shot them. That might help us and you if you are not already doing that.

Fleener
Hi fleener, hope you’re well. When I post my ‘score’ that is what is meant by the order of shots (9/7/9/9/8) but I see your point…exactly which hole in the 9 ring was the 3rd shot? In future I’ll notate them on the target. Good idea, thanks.
 

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