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  1. #1
    Senior Member Nickjc's Avatar
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    1884 Trapdoor - BPCR Check

    Hi ! Thanks for reading...

    I have reloaded a LOT over the years...pistol rifle etc... also shot quite a bit of BP ML.

    Never did a BP Cartridge...so just wanted to bounce it off some folks.

    I have read a lot abt it...smokeless..duplex loads, airgaps etc.

    I am looking at a pure BP round.

    Rifle is in remarkable shape..excellent bore, all of the action appears very sound and all functions work with a made to 'spec' dummy round.

    So before i do head to the range and touch a few off this is the round and process...ill work to an accurate load later and will prolly look to the lee 405gr hollow base bullet.

    For now...480gr swaged bullet, 65.9gr 2f Goex veg fiber wad, and lr magnum primer... i didnt modify the brass flash hole.

    You can see the powder dumped into the case and then when i tap it to settle and the rest of the round.... the bullet crunches the powder..so i am sure there is no airgap...

    Whaddya think? Opinions? Hints tip things to look out for etc...?










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    Advisory Panel Patrick Chadwick's Avatar
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    The 480gn bullet will probably be more accurate than the 405gn. The service load was a 405gn bullet, but a 500gn load was introduced for target/competition shooting (it's mentioned in Frasca & Hill, "The 45-70 Springfield".

    Re. bullet crunching the powder. Tap a lot (I drum on the table 10 times) and the powder will settle some more, so less "crunch".
    Opinions differ, but I reckon that "crunching" should not be more than 1/16" - absolute max. 1/8" - otherwise you may be breaking up the powder grains, which could affect the burning rate. Best is no crunch,as that is yet another variable that affects the ballistic consistency, i.e. grouping.

    Check how far the bullet can be seated out to touch the lands. My experience is that seating the bullet about 1mm off the lands give the best results. In my rifles this typically means that the first grease groove is exposed, so one must take care to keep the loaded cartridges clean.

    Pure lead bullets slug up quite considerably. Hard lead alloys don't. So there is a strong interaction between bullet size and the appropriate alloy. The harder the mix, the closer the bullet must be to groove diameter. As it says over and over again in the Lyman manuals: Slug your bore and size accordingly.

    Use only pure lead or lead/tin for bullets. Something in the range 5-10% tin should be OK. Anything with antimony is likely to be too hard.

    Let us know how you get on!
    Last edited by Patrick Chadwick; 06-14-2020 at 05:28 PM.

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    Senior Member old tanker's Avatar
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    I use the 530 grain Hoch nose pour bullet and 67 grains of Goex 2F. The alloy is 30:1 lead/tin. The bullets drop around .459-460 and are pan lubed and shot unsized. I use a compression die to seat a card wad. The recipe for the bullet lube, 2 parts of beeswax, 1 part canola oil, one part pure neatsfoot oil and 3 to 4 oz lanolin to a 4 pound batch of lube. Blow tube between shots and the gun comes clean with 4 or 5 wet patches.

    I have never had good luck with very pointy bullets like the Lyman #457658. The Lyman 457125 or Saeco 881 are both are 500 grain round nose bullets and almost always the least fussy to get to shoot acceptably well. Your 1884 should have the Buffington sight and either of the government profile 500 grainers should shoot pretty close to the sights.


    Last edited by old tanker; 06-15-2020 at 09:46 AM.

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    Senior Member Nickjc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Chadwick View Post
    Re. bullet crunching the powder. Tap a lot (I drum on the table 10 times) and the powder will settle some more, so less "crunch".
    Opinions differ, but I reckon that "crunching" should not be more than 1/16" - absolute max. 1/8" - otherwise you may be breaking up the powder grains, which could affect the burning rate. Best is no crunch,as that is yet another variable that affects the ballistic consistency, i.e. grouping.
    Quote Originally Posted by old tanker View Post
    The Lyman 457125 or Saeco 881 are both are 500 grain round nose bullets and almost always the least fussy to get to shoot acceptably well. Your 1884 should have the Buffington sight and either of the government profile 500 grainers should shoot pretty close to the sights.

    Thank you both for taking the time to respond.

    The amount of "crunch" is about 1/8-3/16 max as far as I can measure reasonably well

    I will look at both of those molds and see !

    I was going to get out to shoot it tomorrow afternoon - but I have a bit of a busy day Sat. and want to be sure that I can give it a cleaning after the range and a follow up - it will be one of those things to keep an eye on so I do not want to have too much else going on.

    I keep reading about blow tubes etc. - I am not sure this is going to be a rifle for extreme accuracy - more of a fun range gun with some real history....

    With my ML's after a few shots I always gave it a good wipe with a patch and Bore Butter - would the same principle apply here to keep the BP soft etc..?

    If there a favored method for a good cleaning of the Trapdoor that others have honed in on?


    Thanks for all the guidance.

    Peace

    Nick
    Thanks ! NickJC North western hills
    9-11-01 - In memory of Mom, Loli, Gerry, Donald & Vinny...

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    Senior Member old tanker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nickjc View Post
    ...If there a favored method for a good cleaning of the Trapdoor that others have honed in on?...
    It doesn't get much more elegant than this steam cleaner from Pedersoli, but Harbor Freight has a much cheaper alternative that can be adapted. My preference when using a rifle vise for cleaning is to place the stock up (unlike the video) and the muzzle down so liquids are less likely to leak into the channel under the barrel. Since you have to clean a trapdoor from the muzzle, a bore guide is useful to prevent damage to the crown. Plain hot water works fine. Wet patch, dry patch until clean.

    Make sure you have container of soapy water to put the fired brass in until you can wash it out prperly later when you get home.

    Last edited by old tanker; 06-18-2020 at 03:40 PM.

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    Senior Member Nickjc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by old tanker View Post
    more elegant than this steam cleaner from Pedersoli

    WOW !

    Link for the harbor freight - just curious....

    Gotcha just like my ML's - ! Thanks
    Thanks ! NickJC North western hills
    9-11-01 - In memory of Mom, Loli, Gerry, Donald & Vinny...

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    Senior Member old tanker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nickjc View Post
    WOW !

    Link for the harbor freight - just curious....



    Gotcha just like my ML's - ! Thanks
    Here ya go...

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