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Joined: Jan 2005
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Tinker Offline OP
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Hello gang-

I have an absolutely fabulous pinfire double. It's a two barrel set with twelve bore shotgun barrels and sixteen bore rifle barrels, probabally made in the mid late 1860s.
Both barrel sets are in near new condition, with what is likely original laquer over the finished damascus.
Once I get myself set up with some brass and make some loading equipment, I'll have it out somewhere in the woods of California and Oregon.
Hopefully someone out here on the list is running a sixteen bore rifle and can help me get started with a load and some suggestions for projectiles.
The gun's cased in oak and leather, there is a pile of round balls that mic out to about .666 in diameter.
The gun's bullet mold has somehow gone lost over the years, but I recently found a sixteen bore ball mould (a nice belgian pistol came with it at no extra charge...) that seems as if it'd throw a ball of similar size.
I just got a brick of chamber casting alloy and will likely cast the chambers later this evening or some time tomorrow.
I'll post what I find here on the list when I have something to note.

I really don't know where to start with bullet alloy. I'd like to hear what others have done with bullet types in the sixteen bore size too. I'm guessing that the balls that were in the case may have actually ended up working out with this gun, but I don't have a proper hardness tester for bullet alloy or even know if these are of a batch that even worked with this gun.
As yet, there are no bulges in the rifle (or shotgun for that matter) barrels, so at least no one's murdered this thing yet. I'd rather not harm it myself before I get the chance to run it as a hunting gun.

I expect the immediate -good luck finding reloading gear and hulls/brass- comments, I'll likely manufacture the cartrige cases myself out of brass, using pistol primers in the cases and some sort of semi-hard bronze rod for the striker pins.
I'd happily take directions to find case dimensions (web, base...) from anyone who knows where to find them.
I'll be making my own loading tools too and would love to see a decent capper/decapper that someone knows to work well and somewhat elegantly.


Looking forward to hearing what you all have to say here, thanks for taking a moment to read my note.


--John

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Congrats on your wonderful gun. If you somehow tire of it than I will be glad to give it a good home in the wilds of MO. In the Autumn 2004 DGJ there is a writeup of pinfire tools that you will find interesting. Good luck and safe shooting.
Shep


Indecision may or maynot be my problem. Jimmy Buffet
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Tinker,
I have an 18 bore percussion double rifle (Joseph Lang) that I use with roundballs. I got a mold from Dixie Gun Works - they are cheap scissors molds made in any diameter in 0.005" increments. Frankly they work perfectly for me. I was amazed.

I cast pure lead bullets at a slightly hotter than normal temperature (about 800-825 degrees F).

If you measure the rifling twist and decide to try for a conical bullet check out Mountain Molds . If you can figure out how to work the Online Bullet Design, you can have a mold made to any diameter you want. I've not done this yet, but I'm contemplating it.

Brent


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...never pay Dave "one more dime"
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pwm Offline
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looks like a dream combination

I shooting my 16 bore pinfire double shotgun with shot and roundball loads and be the only one in europe making brass pinfire cases in all gauges and all length.
What have you for brass, which length?. think this gun was build for pure lead round balls, dont try hard aloy. pinfire cartridges are a science, have two very big books, the work of many collectors in over 20 years. you find all different bullet in all case length but the most common is the simple round ball load.

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Tinker Offline OP
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PWM-

Do you have a copy of the book or books you speak of?
I'd love to see those texts, that would be great.

I will be casting these chambers tonight. I'll know what things really are in there once my chamber casts stabilize in temperature when they get out of the gun.

Shep-

Thanks for the note, I'll look at the autumn journal for what they have on the pinfire tools.

Brent-

Thanks for the note on molds. I'll start looking at that once I see what the dims are in the chambers.


Fun fun fun...


--John

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Posts: 209
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this is a collection , maybe over 1000 pages, dont know it exactly. it contains every pinfire cartridge or case knowing today. many cartridge collectors( I have done a little help) have work for this books. its not for reloading this things again, its a collector book.
would like to see your cases, the old one's you get with the gun.

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Tinker Offline OP
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So-

Did the chamber cast tonight, also measured some other features of what I have here.

To start, the rifling rate on this gun is about 1 in 40 inches. That was measured having pushed a tight patched jag through the bore on a dewey rod with timing marks drawn in pen on a piece of tape at each hundred and eighty degrees. A half revolution took about nineteen and seven eighths inches, measured once the patched jag was started and -just- got the rod turning.

The balls that came with the gun weigh in at 28.3 grams, they measure .666" in diameter.

There were two RWS gastight paper cartriges that came with the gun, they'd been cut to just about 1.695"
A cartrige with one of the sixteen bore balls set into the hull by having the ball sitting on the rifling then pushing the hull into the chamber gets the overall cartrige length from the head of the cartrige to the tip of the ball to 2.038"

The sixteen bore ball mold I got throws a cerrosafe casting of a ball at .666" in diameter.

The bore diameter of the rifle barrels is .650"
The groove diameter of these barrels is .666"

The chamber allows for a cartrige case length of 1.650"
Rim diameter is .785"
Rim thickness alowance is .053"
From the rim to the origin of rifling it's 1.666"
Diameter at the base is .756"
Diameter right at the throat of the chamber is .740"

I have yet to throw charges of black powder from the powder measure at each setting and weigh them, but I'll share that info once I do. I can't be sure the measure is the one made for this gun, but we'll just see...

Thinking about cartrige case designs tonight with an associate, we noted this thing definitely seems as if it's set up for paper hulls, the twist rate seems appropriate for one ounce balls.
I'll likely make my cases out of stainless and brass, with the heads of the cases done in stainless with inserts to hold pistol primers and the case walls made of brass, the walls silver brazed to machined stainless heads, the primer inserts done in stainless or brass (just typing this gives me the thought that brass will likely be the material for the inserts) and doing pins from a hard brazing (bronze alloy) rod. This'll make them easy to get the primers in and out, the pins will be cheap and easy to make, and the whole system should be relatively easy to load and clean.

Stuff to consider from here...

Bullet jump?
I wonder if this should be set up to slightly engrave the balls. The case walls will have miles of meat to work with and shouldn't stretch at all. They can be set up to cradle the balls -juuust right- to get the bullet jump to whatever would be optimal.
Powder charge?
The barrels and action on this gun look nearly showroom fresh. The rifle bores are absolutely goregeous. Load the thing till it hits at point of aim?
Hmm...
The powder measure that came in the case with this gun's been 'adjusted' with a cut plug of cork in the base of the cup. I found it in it's shortest adjustment. One of the cartrige hulls has what seems to be a pencil line on the outside, holding the powder measure next to that hull gets the base of that cork and the base of the cartrige to relatively the same spot when the top of the measure is at the pencil line.
Also of note about those two RWS Gastight hulls is that there's a liner of very thin sheet metal (very thick foil...) inside the hulls, it sets deep into the base of the hull and stops at about that pencil line.
For whatever it's worth, an Eley Gastight hull that I have that appears as it's never been fired or even loaded with powder or shot has a similar foil liner that is about as long as what I see in these specially cut RWS hulls.
I'd get about .330" or something like eight millimeters (or just better than 5/16") for wadding between the top of the powder charge and the ball when loaded out to where the ball just touches the rifling.

The evening's getting old, time to put the tools away till the sun comes up again.
Looking forward to what y'all you have to say about this.


thanks for your time

--John

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tinker

your gun have an unusual small barrel dia, if the word "unsual " exist for pinfire guns. the only standard we know is the old RWS bullet catalog. the 16 bore "catshead" bullet have a .711 dia., the upper "stopring" have .716 dia. .
the 20 bore have a .657 / .659 " bullet.
I think you can load any blackpowderload you can get in you case,it will be safe.
The case length your gun was chambered is 40mm / 1,57". what you have measured with your old cases is only a "home"cut. pinfire case for bullet cartridges are 33, 40, 50, or 65mm long. bigger ones like 10 or 8 bore can be found with longer cases. the fact that your gun have such a small bullet diameter shows it was build for paper cases. RWS had have 2 different bullets for brass and for paper cases. the paper case have a thicker wall and this help to fit your small roundball. I am working now only with Magtech shotgun brass cases, have made pinfire cases from paper and plastik center fire shells, also from copper tube with steel base. lot of work but only the magtech brass is it worth. I have an old box with 100 unloaded shells also old reloading tools but never shot an old case. collectors dont like to destroy collector stuff.
I believe you have a lathe, rigth?
working with magtech brass will be the best, you have work with any basic case. the magtech brass will survive all other many times.
I am a maker of rare cases, if you are interested.

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Tinker Offline OP
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I had noticed that the bore on this gun had seemed somewhat undersized compared to other sixteen bore rifles I'd seen. I feel quite lucky to have found a sixteen bore ball mold that throws a ball of appropriate size for this gun too, it makes balls the same size as those found in the maker's case the gun came in.

As far as machinery goes, I have five lathes, one of them is a 3-D capable five axis tool maker's lathe.
I have mills too, one of them a CNC machine with 3-D capabilities.
Making the cartriges for this gun will be fun.
Even more fun will be making the 32ga cartriges for the Lefaucheux made pinfire garden gun.
Those will be tiny.

Do you have any images of your special pinfire cartriges you can send me?
I'd like to see what you've done with the pinfire system.


I took volume comaprison measurements with the powder measure the gun came with, it throws 75, 90, and 105 grain black powder charges as it's set up with it's cork 'adjustment' plug.

The chamber walls are quite thick, 5mm at the breechfaces, and the metal is perfect.

Do you load the bore rifle cases with cloth or felt wads between the ball and the powder charge?

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Oh yes, and for what it's worth, this gun has nine groove rifling.

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