Author Topic: Historical question...  (Read 2276 times)

Offline Virgil Lantey

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Historical question...
« on: May 24, 2022, 08:24:30 AM »
Back in the day, did ammunition manufacturers ever use fillers in black powder cartridges to reduce the powder charge for a lighter load? Or were they always full rock & roll?
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Offline Froogal

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Re: Historical question...
« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2022, 09:11:11 AM »
I can only guess, but based on my experience with smokeless powder factory loads, I will guess that the black powder loads were pretty all full on rock and roll.

Offline St. George

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Re: Historical question...
« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2022, 10:01:54 AM »
Back then, there were no 'reduced power' loads - they used their guns for things other than games - they either got used to the recoil of a .45 or got something like a .38-40.

In fact, Texas Ranger James Gillette did so and noted it in his book 'Six Years With the Texas Rangers'.

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Re: Historical question...
« Reply #3 on: Today at 05:55:31 AM »

Offline Dave T

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Re: Historical question...
« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2022, 10:37:13 AM »
In the late 1800s there were "gallery loads" for indoor target shooting. The ones I've read about consisted of a round ball seated over a light charge of powder.

Those indoor ranges must have had good ventilation or a line of competitors shooting at the same time would fill the place with BP smoke, even shooting reduced charges.

Dave

Offline Coffinmaker

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Re: Historical question...
« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2022, 11:48:55 AM »

 :)  Ah Gosh  ;)

I'm not exactly a connoisseur do cartridge, however, other than the "gallery" loads mentioned by Dave T, I know of no reduced loads.  The only real reductions I know of were the "step down" to 45 Schofield or 45 government.  44 Russian was a step back and 38-40 was a little lighter.  All the period cartridge cases I have taken apart were all full cases.

Offline cheatin charlie

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Re: Historical question...
« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2022, 05:20:10 PM »
The arsenals 45-55-405 carbine load used card wads to take up the 15 grain difference from the 45-70-405 issued for the rifle

Offline greyhawk

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Re: Historical question...
« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2022, 06:01:26 PM »
The arsenals 45-55-405 carbine load used card wads to take up the 15 grain difference from the 45-70-405 issued for the rifle

Charlie 
I heard that (or read it) do you know how much wad they used ? I figure you would get at least half the difference by just using less compression,
One big wad ? two or several?   interested if you have seen one of these dismantled ?
cheers   

Offline Virgil Lantey

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Re: Historical question...
« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2022, 07:35:55 PM »
 Thank you for all the thoughtful responses.  It appears that it is as I suspected,  and as I had hoped.
More questions about black powder are forthcoming as I am flirting with the notion of changing up my entire loading procedure and going entirely to black powder. I must be nuts!
Stay tuned....
"Around Dodge City and in the territories out west, there's only one way to handle the killers and the spoilers, and that's with a U.S. Marshall and the smell of...Gunsmoke!"

Offline Galloway

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Re: Historical question...
« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2022, 07:42:59 PM »
Many of the cartridges with the short prefix, both rim and centerfire 22, 32, 38 etc were cheaper in price. And I think they were popular for informal shooting rather than having guns specifically chambered for them. 

Offline cheatin charlie

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Re: Historical question...
« Reply #9 on: May 25, 2022, 06:49:54 AM »
No personal experience but here is one of my resources on the web. 
https://www.oldammo.com/november04.htm

Offline Coffinmaker

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Re: Historical question...
« Reply #10 on: May 25, 2022, 07:48:18 AM »

 :)  HPlummer  ;)

While there is a very good possibility your Moon Barking Knutz, I doubt it extends to which that we are discussing.

Of course, there is the attendant possibility, we, whom also dabble in the Dark Arts are also Bat Sh## Crazy as well.

One must consider, Original gun Powder, and the attendant Subs are so much more satisfying than that Fad, Heathen, Smokeless stuff.  As well as so much easier to load.

Remember:  People Are Hazardous to Yer Health!!

Offline FriscoCounty

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Re: Historical question...
« Reply #11 on: June 08, 2022, 12:22:08 PM »
Yes, there were commercial reduced loads.  The two most common were the

.45 Government, Carbine loading of .45-55-405 vs the .45 Government loading of .45-70-405 and

.45 Colt USA 40-250 vs 28-250 vs Round ball 7-138 (UMC 1889 Catalog)
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Offline Froogal

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Re: Historical question...
« Reply #12 on: June 08, 2022, 02:23:09 PM »
Thank you for all the thoughtful responses.  It appears that it is as I suspected,  and as I had hoped.
More questions about black powder are forthcoming as I am flirting with the notion of changing up my entire loading procedure and going entirely to black powder. I must be nuts!
Stay tuned....

I've had the same thoughts, and done a little experimenting. I am not yet Bat sh** crazy, but it is a lifelong goal of mine.

Offline StrawHat

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Re: Historical question...
« Reply #13 on: November 05, 2022, 05:51:31 AM »
The arsenals 45-55-405 carbine load used card wads to take up the 15 grain difference from the 45-70-405 issued for the rifle

That was the second version of the reduced carbine load. It included a “C” on the headstamp to distinguish it from the rifle load which had an “R” on the head stamp.

The first version of the carbine load used a coil of cardboard or a cardboard tube to reduce the volume of the case.   It also required the “C” headstamp.

The final iteration of the carbine load merely seated the bullet directly on the powder and resulted in a visually distinct cartridge that did not require a “C” on the headstamp.  Seating the bullet on the powder streamlined productio, saving money.

Kevin
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Offline Ranch 13

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Re: Historical question...
« Reply #14 on: November 05, 2022, 07:55:50 AM »
 With the exception of the 45 govt loads basically no. If you wanted less powder/power you bought a gun chamber for the shorter cartridge.
Altho at one time there was a "gallery and practice" case available for the 45 government cartridge that was a machined case with a very long flash hole, that held something like 12 grains of powder and used a collar button bullet.
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Offline Black River Smith

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Re: Historical question...
« Reply #15 on: November 05, 2022, 03:25:10 PM »
Back in the day, did ammunition manufacturers ever use fillers in black powder cartridges to reduce the powder charge for a lighter load? Or were they always full rock & roll?

I don't know how I missed this posting way back when, but I will try to give you some form of definitive info.

What most have stated about downloading of factory casing is totally correct.  When a company developed a 'new cartridge' it was for a reason and they produced them as developed.  But as someone stated above the 'reduced 45 Colt' load was one of the best examples of manufacturing a known round for a specifically different market.

But to change your question into a different direction than the primary manufactures, I will point out this little know piece of information.  This come out of the book 'Sharps Rifle -- The Gun that Shaped American Destiny' by Martin Rywell.  In this book are several Sharps Company ads or booklet write-ups.  The one I am referring you to is on page 111, under the title 'Reloading Implements, Sight, etc. -- Long Range Reloading Implements'. The last entry on this list of available purchase items -- is "Corks use in loading shells, when a charge of powder less than the capacity of the shell is required, per 100.

As you can see the manufactures did know that not everyone always wanted to fire 'full loads' in the only firearm they had 'all the time'.  So they did accommodate for that factor.  Yes, these are not as you posted factory load but 'Your Self-Loading Desires'.

Hope this helps your questioning.

BRS
Black River Smith

 

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