Author Topic: case capacity 56-50?  (Read 664 times)

Offline sixtus

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case capacity 56-50?
« on: May 13, 2019, 06:51:38 am »
Just wondered if someone has measurement for the total water capacity to the case mouth for the 56-50? Has proved to be elusive to find online

Offline El Supremo

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Re: case capacity 56-50?
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2019, 07:33:20 am »
Hello, Sixtus:

Never bothered to measure because that sort of thing is not much use for pistol length black powder shooters.
Case capacities vary because of internal taper differences and the seating depth of different weight bullets.
I have found at least EIGHT different 56-50 cases have been used over the past 20 years. 
Now, it's down to STARLINE, RMC and cut-down 50-70's from STARLINE and the 32ga case of MAGTECH.
AND there are SIGNIFICANT internal variations within these brands that require carefully matched loading dies.

Practically speaking, with BLACK, and the OAL ctg factor, most can load around 35gr by weight of 3F with a 310-350 grain bullet and a SLIGHT bit of compression for the heavier bullets.

This produces around 900 -1000 fps muzzle velocity from a carbine.

Hunters here have reported effective deer shots at 75 or a bit further with well placed bullets. 

All the best,
El Supremo/Kevin Tinny

« Last Edit: May 31, 2019, 09:12:15 am by El Supremo »
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Offline sixtus

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Re: case capacity 56-50?
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2019, 08:19:08 am »
Yep I know brass theory.

Still after a general ballpark for the cartridge. If anyone knows or could measure theirs in water would be great. Starline if its the most common. I am just trying to get an idea alongside the modern 50 cal cases( AE, SW, linebaugh etc) for general interest.

Offline Blair

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Re: case capacity 56-50?
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2019, 12:41:07 pm »
The 35 gr. by weight of BP, with a 310-350gr. bullet is probably the best you will get for a modern 56-50 Spencer cartridge case for a "ballpark" estimate.
 The 56-50 is the longest and largest of all the 56 size series of cases.
You need to know the overall bullet length to case length that will feed through the action of your firearm correctly. Powder capacity comes once you have set up dummy round "s" that cycle properly. This info will give you an idea of how much powder room you have in a workable cartridge (PB only! You are on your own with smokeless)
My best,
 Blair
A Time for Prayer.
"In times of war and not before,
God and the soldier we adore.
But in times of peace and all things right,
God is forgotten and the soldier slighted"
by Rudyard Kipling.
Blair Taylor
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Offline Oregon Bill

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Re: case capacity 56-50?
« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2019, 03:39:34 pm »
I weighed a fired Starline case with spent primer and got 180.5 grains, and 228.8 filled with water, so 48.3 grains or so.

Offline Herbert

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Re: case capacity 56-50?
« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2019, 04:22:28 pm »
If you want the most powder in a case the cut down 32 ga brass shot shell is way to go I can compress 45gr of Wanno FF in this case and seat a 395gr bullet on top no trouble with this case with the Starline case 40grs with the same bullet is the most I can get booth are very good loads capable of taking big pigs past 100 yds with ease
« Last Edit: May 13, 2019, 06:46:39 pm by Herbert »

Offline sixtus

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Re: case capacity 56-50?
« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2019, 08:51:47 pm »
I weighed a fired Starline case with spent primer and got 180.5 grains, and 228.8 filled with water, so 48.3 grains or so.

Oregon Bill much appreciated, thats all I was after. So its in the ballpark, a little smaller than most of the modern 50 cases. I spent a lot of time with big bore wildcats and so forth, some people like me just want to know these things.   :)

Thanks all for the general information, very helpful!

Offline sixtus

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Re: case capacity 56-50?
« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2019, 08:53:20 pm »
If you want the most powder in a case the cut down 32 ga brass shot shell is way to go I can compress 45gr of Wanno FF in this case and seat a 395gr bullet on top no trouble with this case with the Starline case 40grs with the same bullet is the most I can get booth are very good loads capable of taking big pigs past 100 yds with ease

Thanks Herbert that is what I would like to do myself, a load for pigs up here.

Offline Oregon Bill

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Re: case capacity 56-50?
« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2019, 08:12:04 am »
Happy to answer your question, Six.
Herbert, thanks for the 32 gauge shotshell tip. I was wondering how I might build suitable hunting loads. The Starline brass capacity seems to limit most BP loads to under 1,000 fps.

Offline Oregon Bill

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Re: case capacity 56-50?
« Reply #9 on: May 22, 2019, 08:41:49 am »
Sixtus, I re-measured water capacity after full-length sizing the once-fired Starline .56-50 case I had used before, and got 45.5 grains of water.

Offline sixtus

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Re: case capacity 56-50?
« Reply #10 on: May 24, 2019, 08:00:34 am »
Thanks Oregon Bill! So that's getting down closer to 480 ruger/45 colt capacity. I like the sound of this as my plan would be to try and load single digit amounts of TB. I dont use BP its too noisy for my area.

 I'm still not decided between the 20" and 30" versions. I'd like to take on the 30" barrel to be honest but the length is beyond my normal experience levels.  I am thinking my estimates of working loads of TB may have to be adjusted to a slower burner to ensure projectiles actually exit :o

I assume this is one of the sites where we can't talk precise data but if someone wanted to PM me or even provide some links for smokeless , would be interested to see what works for 20 and 30" barrels.

Online mgmradio

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Re: case capacity 56-50?
« Reply #11 on: May 24, 2019, 08:45:35 am »
I chronographed loads last month in my carbine and heavy rifle using Unique and am going to the range tomorrow and plan on shooting over the chronograph again.
  Muzzle velocity out of the carbine with 8.5 gr of Unique was around 950 fps. MV from the heavy rifle with 9 gr Unique was 1044 fps. I'm going to try 9 gr in the carbine this time. Also going to crono the 1869 rifle.

Offline sixtus

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Re: case capacity 56-50?
« Reply #12 on: May 24, 2019, 08:51:32 am »
mgmradio, sounds like a perfect couple of loads, sir. I am betting that load from the rifle barrel is pretty quiet by comparison What bullet weight is that btw, and also do you measure groups for accuracy? Very interested to hear about any more chronying you do.

Online mgmradio

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Re: case capacity 56-50?
« Reply #13 on: May 24, 2019, 06:49:28 pm »
The bullet I am using is from a mould I bought from Buffalo Arms. It's a double mould and drops a 387 gr bullet at .520 in pure lead. As I shoot only original Spencer's and the average grove diameter is .518.
   I do keep track of my group sizes. On my heavy rifle I average around 2" groups at 100m and 3 1/4 " groups at 200m. That's troughing out the filers. With the carbines the groups depend on the one I'm shooting as the sights are different between the Spencer made and Burnside made carbines. The Burnside rear sight notch is so small I can't see it. Also the sight radius makes a difference. I can still keep the carbines inside a 3-3 1/2 " group at 100m and 4 1/2 at 200m.
  That's all off the bench. My new glasses will be coming in next week so hopefully my shooting will improve.
 Both the carbines and heaven rifle will knock down the steels all the way out to 400 m , and I can barely see the turkeys at that distance.

Offline Coal Creek Griff

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Re: case capacity 56-50?
« Reply #14 on: May 29, 2019, 04:15:00 pm »
To add to the discussion...

First of all, be VERY careful about load data from the internet.  You don't know me.  I could be an anti-gun terrorist hoping to blow up all gun owners one overload at a time.  I could be a 10 year old kid making this all up as I go along.  You have no real way of knowing.  OK, there's my disclaimer.

I have an Armi Sport (Chiappa) Spencer carbine in 56-50.  I use a bullet from Accurate Molds, which can be viewed here: http://www.accuratemolds.com/bullet_detail.php?bullet=51-350S-D.png

That bullet feeds fairly well in my reproduction carbine, although I do get some hitches which I think may be somewhat inherent in the design or my technique.

From MY carbine, using 8.0 grains of Unique, I chronographed a MV of 950 (the same that mgradio got with 8.5 grains from HIS carbine).  I didn't get that load from a book or any other approved source, so I'm taking all the weight of risk on my own head.  If you try to mimic me, you take all of the risk too.

I have not done any serious accuracy testing with that load.  My main targets are tin cans at 25 yards and it works just fine for that.

Good luck in your quest.

CC Griff
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Offline sixtus

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Re: case capacity 56-50?
« Reply #15 on: July 09, 2019, 05:38:27 pm »
To add to the discussion...

First of all, be VERY careful about load data from the internet.  You don't know me.  I could be an anti-gun terrorist hoping to blow up all gun owners one overload at a time.  I could be a 10 year old kid making this all up as I go along.  You have no real way of knowing.  OK, there's my disclaimer.


CC Griff

Can't say I have run into many terrorists seeding the internet with fake data  but with 20 years loading large cases, I'd hopefully detect anything too bizarre.

« Last Edit: July 11, 2019, 06:03:53 am by sixtus »