Author Topic: Length of cartridge  (Read 4846 times)


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Length of cartridge
« on: October 01, 2005, 02:35:17 PM »
I have tried to shoot an original with a centerfire block installed, but the bore was bad and the backstop was the only thing hit with some regularity.  A friend in Mississippi sold me his Taylor's 56-50 and I tried it last Tuesday but could not chamber a single round.  My ammo was loaded by a N-SSA team mate who shoots an original Spencer.
What over-all cartridge length works in a Taylor (Armi-Sport) Spencer?
#31 >:(

Harve Curry

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Re: Length of cartridge
« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2005, 08:54:31 AM »
For my original 56-50 I make cases to 1-3/16th, overall length with bullet is 1-3/4" .

An original sample cartridge I have measures:
case is 3/4" and OAL is 1.5" .

My sample Spencer 1865 Carbine original 56-50 is .520" groove diameter.

The Taylors I understand is .508" ? Any way they are not interchangeable.
I think the maker did this to take advantage of standard 50 cal diameter modern barrels.

The ammo made for the Taylor/Spencer probably rattled down the barrel of the original. Also was the original a 56-50?

Offline Two Flints

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Re: Length of cartridge
« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2005, 11:21:02 AM »

Thanks for responding to #31's question.  Since I only shoot the .45 Schofield Taylor Spencer I can't comment on those type of questions and always hope another SSS member will respond with the right answer.  ;) ;) ;)

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  • Guest
Re: Length of cartridge
« Reply #3 on: Today at 04:03:57 AM »


  • Guest
Re: Length of cartridge
« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2005, 12:55:49 PM »
Yes, the original was a 56.50, so I have learned, thank you.

Offline Hell-Er High Water

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Re: Length of cartridge
« Reply #4 on: October 02, 2005, 01:37:33 PM »
In my Taylors 56-50, I am using Starline brass, untrimmed, and the Rapine 512-350-T bullet, 358+/- grains cast from straight wheelweights.  The overall cartridge length is 1.510" - 1.515".  This feeds through the magazine without any problems.  A couple of days ago I shot 5 magazines full, one right after the other, without a hitch.  This round is loaded with 29.0 grains of GOEX FFg powder and Winchester Large rifle primers, no wad over the powder and the bullet lubed with SPG lube and sized to 0.512".  This gives about 0.020" compression and the bullet is crimped in place.  At 100 yards this cosistently hit the gong that I was shooting at offhand.  I haven't had to chance to check it from a rest yet.  That's next. 

Good luck and good shooting.

Hell-Er High Water

Offline Black River Smith

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Re: Length of cartridge
« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2005, 06:16:53 PM »
I am providing this as only information that I have gathered so far.  I bought my Taylor in the end of July and have not yet fired it.  Only experimented and researched.

Now a very good friend of mine has an original Spencer in 56-50.  His first bullet were made from modified 348's loaded with the Lyman 515139 bullet.  The case was cut to ~1.146 with an expanded base.  Neither loaded bullet he gave me will fit in the Taylor chamber.

A plain 348's case cut by me to ~1.15 does not easily fit either and would need fire forming.

The Starline web provides the following information on the brass casing made specificly for the Taylor 56-50.  Rim =0.629 to 0.632; Rim thickness = 0.057 to 0.061;  thickness at mouth = 0.0125; Bullet seating depth = 0.375.  and  I think the brass is 1.15 or shorter.

Taylor barrel diameter is stated at 0.512 grooves and  0.504 lands.  Info obtained from Dixie Gun Works 2005 catalog.

Documentation on original 56-50's and 56-52's provided the following info(all values are average measurements).  info obtained from measures listed in a book called The American Cartridge:  Rim = 0.64; Head = 0.558; CM = 0.531; Bullet dia = 0.516; C/L = 1.16; OAL = 1.626

I have decided to attempt to make an OAL bullet of 1.63 using Starline brass at ~1.15 and a bullet that is 0.855" long.  1.15 + (.855 - 0.375) = 1.63".  I will modify the length until the gun functions smoothly. or change bullet.  The bullet is a modified Lee mold 515-450gr with the bottom flat and bottom grease groove removed.  This has created an ~ 350 gr bullet (alloy dependent).  All this depends on finally getting the brass die and sizer.  I have noted that the cartridge guide is shorter on the Taylor than the originals, this could affect the functioning of certain bullet lengths.  The original 1.63" could be too long for the Taylor.   

Hope this helps you.

Black River Smith
Black River Smith

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Re: Length of cartridge
« Reply #6 on: October 07, 2005, 09:11:52 PM »
In my Taylor's (which does use .512 bullets, unlike the original .520s) I use Starline brass and a Buffalo Arms BAC 350512 Spencer mold.  I crimp min the crimp groovee, and the feed flawlessly.  I have no Idea what the OAL IS, THOUGH.  OOOOPS.  SHOOTS GREAT.
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