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Special Interests - Groups & Societies => Spencer Shooting Society => Topic started by: Jack Wagon on August 30, 2017, 03:46:32 pm



Title: shooting the 56-46
Post by: Jack Wagon on August 30, 2017, 03:46:32 pm
I documented my adventures with the 56-46 with my little pocket camera and posted the video to You Tube. I've still got some experimenting to do, but I got them to shoot. If you have an interest in the 56-46, check it out.  Jw       https://youtu.be/ldKxi4eOxiw


Title: Re: shooting the 56-46
Post by: El Supremo on August 30, 2017, 04:15:30 pm
Thanks for a great video JACKWAGON:

This will be a classic for us.  Probably should put the link in SORI.

All that work paid off. 

Smiles and hugs.

El Supremo


Title: Re: shooting the 56-46
Post by: Coal Creek Griff on August 30, 2017, 06:07:01 pm
That's a very nicely done video.  Thank you for taking the time to put it together so that we can all enjoy your experiences.  I like the dim light shot at the end!

CC Griff


Title: Re: shooting the 56-46
Post by: Herbert on August 31, 2017, 06:12:22 pm
Well done,those factory sporters can be made to shoot very well.Suprised the gunsmith conversion shot as well as it did,a real +,keep us updated on future tests.Have you tried the changing  the set trigger on the gunsmith barreled rifle to the factory sporter,should show what a factory  sporter can doo                   


Title: Re: shooting the 56-46
Post by: treebeard on August 31, 2017, 11:33:29 pm
Excellent video-- thanks for sharing it!


Title: Re: shooting the 56-46
Post by: Jack Wagon on September 11, 2017, 03:36:32 pm
Herbert, I haven't tried putting the set trigger on the factory sporter. The action and trigger pull on the factory rifle is very good indeed, night and day from a Spencer military rifle. It will shoot beer cans and clay pigeons off the wall all day at 50 yards. I will need to go to a public range to try it at longer distances. I am waiting on an expander  plug from Noe Bullet Co. for my Lee universal expander die, that I hope will help make better ammo for the gunsmith sporter.    Jw


Title: Re: shooting the 56-46
Post by: injun john on September 17, 2017, 09:08:12 am
Love the video!  Great job Jack. 
I wonder if shorting the length of the bullet would help to add stability in that slow twist smith gun.
Less sectional density, the lighter weight and the higher resulting velocity might help it stabilize more like a round ball that the barrel's twist would be more agreeable to.   
You'd have to increase the length of the neck to keep the AOL correct, but it might help. 
It would also give you a bit more neck to fit the heel of the bullet into than what it looks like you have now and that would improve the handling durability of the cartridge.  Never a bad thing.
Just an idea to play with. 


Title: Re: shooting the 56-46
Post by: Jack Wagon on September 21, 2017, 03:27:51 pm
John,  I got a .481 Noe plug for my Lee universal expander die and with it I can now dial in the case mouth to fit the heel of my bullet perfectly. I'm also using the flat face of the plug to seat the bullet. Here is my next batch of experimental ammo for the gunsmith new model. From left to right    fire formed case ,    .490 round ball (will not cycle through action ) ,   .482 Beagled 480 Ruger bullet .720 long,     .485 Accurate custom bullet .70 long. Since the round ball load will not cycle, it is just a test to see if it will group.  Jw


Title: Re: shooting the 56-46
Post by: Jack Wagon on October 26, 2017, 11:59:52 am
Progress made on gunsmith converted new model. The Poe .481 plug for the Lee universal expander die and the BACO .45 powder compression plug used in the Lee die have greatly improved the consistency of my ammo. Accuracy is much improved. Overall cartridge length 6.75, bullet diameter .486 loaded with 40 gr. 3f APP with card wad. Interesting note, the gun cycles perfectly only with 6 rounds in the tube.  Jw


Title: Re: shooting the 56-46
Post by: Rim fire on October 26, 2017, 07:54:19 pm
JW, where did you get the Sharps box the cartridge is set on?


Title: Re: shooting the 56-46
Post by: Jack Wagon on October 26, 2017, 10:11:09 pm
Rim Fire   I got the boxes from Dixie ( 3.50 )  They come with a Dixie Gun Works Sharps labels and I glued some  copies of original Sharps labels over them. They fit the tins of CW cartridge boxes.   Jw


Title: Re: shooting the 56-46
Post by: Rim fire on October 27, 2017, 06:41:34 am
I know where they get the boxes.  I make them myself, except I have a stamp that I apply directly to the box.  The label "with 12 caps" is a nice touch as all military cartridge packets after March 1863 had to have that on the label.  The other box would have been used prior to that date or made for the civilian market.


Title: Re: shooting the 56-46
Post by: Jack Wagon on October 27, 2017, 10:43:01 am
I think those old cartridge box labels are cool.  Jw


Title: Re: shooting the 56-46
Post by: Rim fire on October 27, 2017, 02:56:00 pm
So do I.  I was thinking of making a 42 round Spencer box with a Spencer marked no. 56 Navy and Infantry label.  I have an original I can copy.


Title: Re: shooting the 56-46
Post by: Fazer on October 28, 2017, 09:56:03 am
Thanks for the post. It has me thinking that I need o get my strange one going

http://www.cascity.com/forumhall/index.php/topic,56548.0.html

http://www.cascity.com/forumhall/index.php/topic,56548.0.html (http://www.cascity.com/forumhall/index.php/topic,56548.0.html)


Title: Re: shooting the 56-46
Post by: injun john on November 02, 2017, 01:21:12 pm
Progress made on gunsmith converted new model. The Poe .481 plug for the Lee universal expander die and the BACO .45 powder compression plug used in the Lee die have greatly improved the consistency of my ammo. Accuracy is much improved. Overall cartridge length 6.75, bullet diameter .486 loaded with 40 gr. 3f APP with card wad. Interesting note, the gun cycles perfectly only with 6 rounds in the tube.  Jw
Wow! Now that's hitting the ball out of the park!


Title: Re: shooting the 56-46
Post by: injun john on November 02, 2017, 01:34:15 pm
AOL of the cartridge is 1.675?   That puts you in the range of the "56-46 Long", as does the powder capacity of 45grs.
What a fun pig and deer gun that will be.  What does your bullet weigh in at? 


Title: Re: shooting the 56-46
Post by: Jack Wagon on November 02, 2017, 10:50:28 pm
John,   Bullet weight is 307 grains.  Jw


Title: Re: shooting the 56-46
Post by: Jack Wagon on November 09, 2017, 09:27:00 pm
Fazer,  It took me over 2 years to get my strange Spencer to shoot and cycle well. Fortunately members of the SSS talked me out of re-chambering it to 56-50. It was worth the journey.   Jw



Title: Re: shooting the 56-46
Post by: injun john on January 07, 2018, 12:47:34 pm
Hey Jack,
My latest experiment:
I have purchased 20 rnds of Original 56-50 Spencer rim fire cartridges that I intend pull, de-prime, reform into 56-46 long to fit my gun, then re-prime and reload with the copy of original bullets from my latest mold.
The the 56-46 bullets (3 from Sage ammo co.) I pulled averaged 297grs, which lighter than I expected.
Barnes' book claimed that 320grns was standard but ammo companies were all over the map with there loads in this caliber.
My mold is casting an average  294grn bullet but I add a little tin (2 or 3%) to my lead. 
The bullet I pulled from one of 56-46 tested dead soft. 
I will use 2f black powder since every rnd of 56-46 and 56-50 that I have unloaded so far has been loaded with 2f.
I may even use the recovered powder if after vacuum drying it tests out well. Dixie gun works sells the very nice powder tester that I'm using.
I'll chronograph the loads and check the groups to compare them with the data from Barnes' book and Marcot's book.  Should be fun! I'd like post the results here if that's ok with you.


Title: Re: shooting the 56-46
Post by: Jack Wagon on January 07, 2018, 08:48:32 pm
John,  That sounds like a very ambitious and interesting project. Looking forward to the results. Jump on in !   Jw


Title: Re: shooting the 56-46
Post by: treebeard on January 07, 2018, 09:48:01 pm
Looking forward to your posts on this project. Also like to hear how you reprime the rimfire cases.




Title: Re: shooting the 56-46
Post by: injun john on January 08, 2018, 08:57:23 pm
Hey Treebeard,
I'm using Prime-All priming compound available online.  I got the kit offered by the same company to reload 22 RF as practice and have found that the method works well on all of the rim fire ammo that I've tried it on.  I've got successful and dependable ignition on every round of .22, .32, .38 and .41  that I've loaded so far.  
It isn't rocket science but it's not a practical way to produce ammo since loading each round is sort of labor intensive but up scaling the inside the rim scraping tool and the priming packing tool was simple enough.
Even came up with a method to take the dent out of the fired rim so that you don't have to worry about getting the same area under the firing pin the next time. That way you will have priming compound under the complete rim.  
On the down side, copper has to be brought to cherry in order to soften it. So you are stuck with coal or MAP gas in order to get it there before quenching. But until I stumble into a way to manufacturer new rim fire cases in brass that is all I have.
The good part of cherring the case is that it carbonizes the ignition fouling and makes removing it pretty easy.
I'm looking at ways to spin pack the ignition compound but I still think that it will need a bit of hand packing afterward just to be sure that it is distributed completely.
Right now it takes me about half the day to cast 100 bullets, size them and load the 100 rnds of rim fire in any caliber  I've tried so I don't see this replacing my center fire ammo.  My intent is mostly just to test the ammo and compare it to the available published data.  
That and of course shooting my old Spencer Sporting Rifle, maybe even taking a deer or two next season with the ammo that it was intended to use. That would be just too cool.  :)


Title: Re: shooting the 56-46
Post by: treebeard on January 08, 2018, 10:56:16 pm
Thanks Injun John for the information. Those reloaded rimfire opens up not only Spencer’s but also Henry’s and 1866’s to being shot with ammo originally meant for them. Of course  the value of Henry’s might give an owner pause before chancing actually shooting live ammo in one.