Author Topic: Using B.P. In Trapdoor  (Read 941 times)

Offline treebeard

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Using B.P. In Trapdoor
« on: September 24, 2020, 04:09:26 PM »
Took a few rounds of Black Powder charged 45-70’s out to the range to use in my first model Trapdoor. I used 55gr of Old E with wad below 405 gr hollow case Bullet. I was able ( with my 73 year old eyes) to keep the shots in a large black bull at 100 yards. The lube was not appropriate for BP — the residue build up very fast and was hard. Also the front band would work forward past retaining spring so that needs fixing. The rear sight was original first model and made me think about acquiring a Buffington.
In short had a lot of fun but see a lot of room for improvements in shrinking the groups— at least I shot well enough to hit the chest area of a Buffalo— at least if it was no further that a 100 yards!

Offline Trailrider

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Re: Using B.P. In Trapdoor
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2020, 07:03:35 PM »
When you say, "First Model" are you referring to the M1873 Trapdoor?  Is it a rifle or carbine? Is this an original or a replica? Just curious. I am a bit surprised that you were able to hit a bullseye target with original M1873 sights, as the originals were set for a zero of around 320 yards, which would put them about 15-18" high at 100 yds. That load you used was basically a duplicate of the original .45-55-405 carbine loading. Sounds like you had fun.  Wish I could get out and do some shooting, but all the ranges I've shot at are closed down due to the virus. :'(
Stay well and safe!
Ride to the sound of the guns, but watch out for bushwhackers! Godspeed to all in harm's way in the defense of Freedom! God Bless America!

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Offline treebeard

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Re: in answer to Trailrider
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2020, 08:36:22 PM »
attached is a picture of the original 1873 Trapdoor I shot yesterday. It’s in 51,000 serial number range which I believe makes it manufactured in 1874. All original including high hump breech block. It’s seen a lot of use up to having been sent to Mass. Nat’l Guard at some point so I suspect it went with them to Cuba in the Spanish American War. The cleaning rod is also First model but at some point the tip was broken off and the front end shaped like a mushroom.

Offline ndnchf

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Re: Using B.P. In Trapdoor
« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2020, 05:19:13 AM »
That's a beauty!  I have M1866 and M1868.  The M1868 I shoot quite a bit. I'm partial to the .50-7s :-)
"We're all travelers in this world.  From the sweet grass to the packing house, birth till death, we travel between the eternities"  Prentiss Ritter, Broken Trail

Offline treebeard

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Re: Using B.P. In Trapdoor
« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2020, 07:27:35 PM »
That's a beauty!  I have M1866 and M1868.  The M1868 I shoot quite a bit. I'm partial to the .50-7s :-)

One day I hope to get to shoot one of the 50-70 Trapdoors —- seems like great fun.  I was at the museum in Cody and saw Buffalo Bills 50-70– hard to imagine how many times it must have been shot to get in that ragged out condition.

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Re: Using B.P. In Trapdoor
« Reply #5 on: Today at 04:33:54 PM »

Offline treebeard

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Re: Using B.P. In Trapdoor— picture added
« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2020, 07:37:01 PM »
This is the target I shot at 100 yards. I think I will stick with the 405 grain bullet in back of the 55gr of O.E. As the height seems about right as i was holding center of bull. If I keep working with the different elements I should get a tighter group. How are those Buffington sights for those that have used them?

Offline mtmarfield

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Re: Using B.P. In Trapdoor
« Reply #6 on: October 04, 2020, 12:38:13 AM »
      Greetings, Treebeard!

   I recommend that you get ahold of the book, "Loading Cartridges for the Original .45-70 Springfield Rifle and Carbine" by J.S. and Pat Wolf; therein is described the best techniques for duplicating the Frankford Arsenal Cartridges with modern components. Personally, you seem to be doing rather good with the original sights, and I wouldn't change anything, except replace broken or missing parts with original, period replacements.
   With proper BP cartridges, you might be surprised with what your rifle can do! I believe that you're right about your bullet lube; you definitely want to change that to a good BP lube. SPG is great, and Wolf's book gives a recipe for BP Bullet Lube that I can personally recommend as well.

                     Keep Us Posted!

                                 M.T.M.

Offline wildman1

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Re: Using B.P. In Trapdoor
« Reply #7 on: October 04, 2020, 05:08:12 AM »
My trapdoor likes about 45 to 49gs of 2f, anymore and the velocity exceeds 1200 fps.
My most accurate load is 47gs and a 405 govt. It runs about 1150 to 1160 fps. Averages a 2" group at 100 yds.
wM1
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Offline Arizona Trooper

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Re: Using B.P. In Trapdoor
« Reply #8 on: October 04, 2020, 08:16:42 PM »
Check the cleaning rod lock. It may be broken. The front band jumping forward can be a sign of that, and when it breaks accuracy really suffers. Take the barrel out of the stock and look for a crack across the metal plate in the bottom of the barrel channel up by the nose cap. Trapdoorcollector.com has locks and top band springs for very reasonable prices. I'm not affiliated with them, just bought a lot of parts there.

Offline treebeard

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Re: Using B.P. In Trapdoor
« Reply #9 on: October 05, 2020, 07:18:28 PM »
Thanks to all the posters with their advice which is much appreciate. I looked and the cleaning rod retainer was not broken. The front barrel band retainer spring was sinking too far into it’s slot and the part that prevents the band from moving forward was not connecting with the band.  Ran into this problem several times in my NSSA days and followed Bill Osborne’s(ex of Lodgewood) tip to place small piece of wood into the slot to keep band spring from sinking too deep.
Also going to try some of my large left over supply of BP lube on the next shooting session — Spent a boring amount of time melting off the original lube— I also may all ready have some SPG — will have to look.  I have a lot of left over supplies from those NSSA days.
Also will experiment with some of those lighter powder charges along with using cream of wheat filler instead of a felt wad. Wolff’s Book said something about the filler wads causing accuracy problems in the 55gr carbine loads. I won’t repeating my adventure in bore slugging except to say I was surprised at the .455 land to land diameter of the front part of the barrel.
Thanks again for the help.

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Re: Using B.P. In Trapdoor
« Reply #10 on: Today at 04:33:54 PM »

Offline wildman1

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Re: Using B.P. In Trapdoor
« Reply #10 on: October 07, 2020, 06:25:40 AM »
Thanks to all the posters with their advice which is much appreciate. I looked and the cleaning rod retainer was not broken. The front barrel band retainer spring was sinking too far into it’s slot and the part that prevents the band from moving forward was not connecting with the band.  Ran into this problem several times in my NSSA days and followed Bill Osborne’s(ex of Lodgewood) tip to place small piece of wood into the slot to keep band spring from sinking too deep.
Also going to try some of my large left over supply of BP lube on the next shooting session — Spent a boring amount of time melting off the original lube— I also may all ready have some SPG — will have to look.  I have a lot of left over supplies from those NSSA days.
Also will experiment with some of those lighter powder charges along with using cream of wheat filler instead of a felt wad. Wolff’s Book said something about the filler wads causing accuracy problems in the 55gr carbine loads. I won’t repeating my adventure in bore slugging except to say I was surprised at the .455 land to land diameter of the front part of the barrel.
Thanks again for the help.
Easiest way to remove unwanted lube from bullets is place them in oven at 175 to 185 degrees on an old cookie sheet that is covered with newspaper or paper towels for 20 mins or so. The lube melts off with literally no work.
wM1
WARTHOG, Dirty Rat #600, BOLD #1056, CGCS,GCSAA, NMLRA, NRA, AF&AM, CBBRC.  If all that cowboy has ever seen is a stockdam, he ain't gonna believe ya when ya tell him about whales.

Offline treebeard

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Re: Using B.P. In Trapdoor
« Reply #11 on: October 07, 2020, 04:29:27 PM »
My trapdoor likes about 45 to 49gs of 2f, anymore and the velocity exceeds 1200 fps.
My most accurate load is 47gs and a 405 govt. It runs about 1150 to 1160 fps. Averages a 2" group at 100 yds.
wM1

What do you use for a filler for these moderate charges? I have used cream-of-wheat in the past in my percussion Civil War carbines and cap revolvers.

Offline ndnchf

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Re: Using B.P. In Trapdoor
« Reply #12 on: October 12, 2020, 03:02:32 PM »
I took my .50-70 m1868 trapdoor to the range saturday. It really likes the Lee 515 450 bullet.
"We're all travelers in this world.  From the sweet grass to the packing house, birth till death, we travel between the eternities"  Prentiss Ritter, Broken Trail

Offline wildman1

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Re: Using B.P. In Trapdoor
« Reply #13 on: October 12, 2020, 05:53:48 PM »
What do you use for a filler for these moderate charges? I have used cream-of-wheat in the past in my percussion Civil War carbines and cap revolvers.
I use my Mec Jr to get even, consistant compression. I use an ldpe wad over the powder, grits for filler, then a hard cardboard wad followed by a news paper wad on top of that, compressed again to about 40  on the MEC then seat the bullet by hand and a light crimp.
wM1
PS I tap the case full of powder about a dozen times before compression so the powder is settled in the bottom of the case as well as the top.
WARTHOG, Dirty Rat #600, BOLD #1056, CGCS,GCSAA, NMLRA, NRA, AF&AM, CBBRC.  If all that cowboy has ever seen is a stockdam, he ain't gonna believe ya when ya tell him about whales.

Offline pony express

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Re: Using B.P. In Trapdoor
« Reply #14 on: October 12, 2020, 08:35:56 PM »
I use a solid base 405gr bullet with a fiber wad filler with no problems. I think the accuracy problems come from the wad getting stuck in the hollow base. You can also just seat the bullet deeper and crimp on the nose, that's the way Drydock loads his.

Offline wildman1

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Re: Using B.P. In Trapdoor
« Reply #15 on: October 13, 2020, 04:04:50 AM »
I use a solid base 405gr bullet with a fiber wad filler with no problems. I think the accuracy problems come from the wad getting stuck in the hollow base. You can also just seat the bullet deeper and crimp on the nose, that's the way Drydock loads his.
Thats why the very thin paper wad is used on top of the cardboard wad.
wM1
WARTHOG, Dirty Rat #600, BOLD #1056, CGCS,GCSAA, NMLRA, NRA, AF&AM, CBBRC.  If all that cowboy has ever seen is a stockdam, he ain't gonna believe ya when ya tell him about whales.

Offline Dick Dastardly

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Re: Using B.P. In Trapdoor
« Reply #16 on: October 22, 2020, 03:40:27 PM »
FWIW, I've been bested by a shooter with an original Trapdoor.  They can be very accurate.  He was shooting my 400g Big Lube® bullet.  The bullet has two Big Lube® lube groves.  His rifle ran the whole course without any need for cleaning.  The fouling remained soft and was easily removed with a spritz of Moosemilk and a tug of a boresnake.  I was humbled with my 45-70 Remington roller and my 45-70 500g Big Lube® bullets.  Perhaps it's my old eyes. . .

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