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#604713 10/18/21 02:47 PM
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Dear All

Thank you for your advice and insights so far, I have subsequently been able to find and secure three die sets for both .450 BPE 3 1/4 and .500x2.5" (which happens to be Sharps 50-90 so guessing James Beattie copied this Buffalo calibre, chamber cast clarified).

My next questions feel 'naive' but searching the internet does not give away much!
1. Does anyone paper patch their .450 BPE bullets? If so have you any tips (I have the Paper Patch paperback)
2. Can you/should you (does anyone?) shoot FMJ ammunition in a BPE rifle using BP?

All help welcomed.

Meanwhile will get pics of the James Beattie on here, it really is stunning and came with all teh original ancillaries including bullet mould, sling etc. Unbelievable sleeper.

Best wishes


Let he who casts the first stone - be accurate.
If he cannot be accurate, he should practice first.
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I shoot nothing but paper patches and bp in .45-70, .45-90, .45-100 cartridges as well as .45 muzzleloaders and a few thins in various .38 calibers as well.

I doubt .45 BPE much different. I'd be happy to help, but what are your goals?


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Baz, First thing is to cast a bunch of bullets from the original mold. I'd suggest 20 or 16 to 1 lead/tin. Find a paper that patches up the required diameter. Work up your load and when achieved have a mold made to match it and you are all set to hunt the daylights out of it.

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old steel does not do well with FMJ ammo.

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Originally Posted by Baz Smiles
1. Does anyone paper patch their .450 BPE bullets? If so have you any tips (I have the Paper Patch paperback)
2. Can you/should you (does anyone?) shoot FMJ ammunition in a BPE rifle using BP?

If your Paper Patch paperback is "The Paper Jacket" by Paul Matthews, then that is a good source of info. You can find a ton of information on the internet too.

The mold that came with the gun may or may not drop the desired diameter bullet for paper patching.

When you ask about shooting FMJ bullets in a Black Powder Express rifle, did you perhaps mean to ask about regular soft point jacketed bullets, and not FMJ bullets?


A true sign of mental illness is any gun owner who would vote for an Anti-Gunner like Joe Biden.

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All - thanks for the replies much appreciated:

@BrentD - that is a good question. I would say foremost, to shoot these rifles sympathetically and do this in as 'original' way as possible. From simple 'range time for fun' to taking medium game at distances up to 150yds once happy with loads and accuracy. Simply hanker that old guns should be fired wherever possible.

On the paper patch in 450, do you have a template that you could share/any advice?

@Eric375 - that is helpful ratios, the sort of thing I would have had to ask.

@Mike Harrell - excellent steer Mike, it's the sort of rookie mistake that could be easily made. Am guessing this is friction and wear physic.


Let he who casts the first stone - be accurate.
If he cannot be accurate, he should practice first.
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Keith - you are right, I did mean SP jacketed bullets - does this make a difference?


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It all depends upon the composition of the bullet jackets. Expanding bullets with soft copper jackets were certainly used without problems in rifles prior to the widespread use of chrome-moly alloy steels for barrels.

However, there are soft point bullets that have jackets made with harder alloys for controlled expansion. So more research is needed before using them. For all the shooting I will do with my own .450 BPE double, I will just stick with paper patch or grease groove cast lead billets.

Full metal jacketed bullets typically utilize harder jacket alloys to resist deformation upon impact. Naturally, they would be more likely to cause premature wear in old barrels made from softer steels. Chamber pressures would also tend to be higher too, assuming equal powder charge, bullet bearing surface, weight, etc.

Remember too that bullets for Black Powder Express rifles are typically light for caliber. Usually on the order of 270 to 300 grains for .45 caliber. I started with smokeless for black loads with 4198 and dacron filler, but switched to all black powder because of concerns about ringing chambers. I've been dealing with the minor chore of cleaning flintlock rifles for years, so no big deal.


A true sign of mental illness is any gun owner who would vote for an Anti-Gunner like Joe Biden.

1 member likes this: Baz Smiles
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Baz,
It is rather impossible to post things here effectively, but we can try to discuss it off line if you wish, or slog along in slow motion instead.

I'm guessing that you have the book, "The Paper Jacket" by Paul Matthews. Correct? It is a good enough book but not necessarily complete. We have learned (relearned actually, a lot since Paul wrote his tome).

This is a competition load for a Sharps .45 2.6" or .45-100. Similar to what you have. It is a load that generally requires wiping between shots to be effective.
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

Here are some photos of original Sharps cartridges - some are obvious hunting-only rounds, others are target only.
My guess is that you want something a little more like hunting ammo, which is actually a little more complicated. But it will generally involve less powder, lube wads, card wads, and a bullet seated more deeply in the case. Bullet diameter can be greater also. Powder choice will also play a big factor in bullet choice as well, with black powder being a bit more flexible.

Of all of these things, the angle of your patch cutting pattern is the least important, but anything between 45 and 90 is going to work. I generally opt for around 60 degrees. The length and width of the patches are more important. The length is, of course, just enough to wrap around the bullets 2x without overlapping the width should be just enough that patch travels from where the ogive of the bullet nose meets the shaft of the bullet to the base plus just enough to cover about 2/3s of the base when folded over. So something that extends 0.100-0.125" past the base before folding under is ideal. Can be a little longer or shorter, but, that's the sweet zone.

Here are a couple of simple videos that I made on how to cut patches and roll them on bullets.




The real issues come from choosing or designing a bullet. You start with measuring the bore and land diameters. The bore diameter is generally most important, but it depends on the type of load you are looking for, the powder you intend to use and possibly your chamber dimensions. A chamber casting and accurate bore measurements will be critical before buying bullets, paper, or moulds.

I can post you how I have made hunting loads for Africa, Alaska, and all the places in between. But it would be lots easier to do that via email off this forum. email me at
brentd@iastate.edu
and I will send you an outline of how it is done.

24.1945


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1 member likes this: Baz Smiles
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18 hrs later, the photos of the Sharps cartridges didn't make it through. Lets try again.

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]



25.1410


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