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    Legacy Member oldfoneguy's Avatar
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    M1888 Trapdoor Back To The Range 3rd Times A Charm

    I've been practicing with the trapdoor trigger and sights. Trigger is long and heavy at 7-1/4 pounds but has a consistent break and is very predictable with practice.

    Well it paid off however the sight is another story. Having a devil of a time getting it to hold zero. It works for a shot then drifts for 2 then holds. POI is usually off by a couple of inches from POA however once it gets where it wants to be it holds tight. Elevation is right on with my replacement high front sight. I knew this rifle had accuracy in it and it was just a matter of time and effort finding it. I'm sure the quality of my reloads helped the effort a lot too.

    The tighter group is 3 shots of the 300gr bullets. Light recoil and easy on the shoulder that seems to be an excellent load. Oddly enough they have a lower POI than the heavier slugs. The larger group are the 405gr bullets. Slightly more recoil but definitely manageable and holds a tight group as well. In all I'm satisfied with the results but will have to keep working with the sight until I'm happy. Bill
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    Contributing Member ssgross's Avatar
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    What's the mould or bullet type and load data for the 300 gr bullets?

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    Legacy Member oldfoneguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ssgross View Post
    What's the mould or bullet type and load data for the 300 gr bullets?
    Not much info on them they came with the rifle. Swaged and pre lubed with a flat nose profile. Don't know what the alloy or hardness is. They're old and the lube has dried up and chipped out of some of them so I gave them all a good roll in some Alox. The formula is from the Hodgdon load book.

    30.0 grs H4198, Federal 210 primers, these bullets with a COL of 3.390" and just a kiss of a crimp with the Lee factory crimp die. This bullets profile didn't match anything listed that I could find. Initially loaded to the listing at 3.465" but no good they were hitting the throat and not letting the block close. A force closing showed 3.400" so I reduced the length by 10 thousands for some freebore. Of course the excellent bore of this rifle is a huge help also.

    This brass like all I shoot goes through an extensive prep including uniforming case length, primer pocket depth with a chamfer and flash hole reaming with hole flash removed.
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    Advisory Panel Patrick Chadwick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldfoneguy View Post
    Oddly enough they have a lower POI than the heavier slugs. The larger group are the 405gr bullets. Slightly more recoil
    "Slightly more recoil" is the clue. Similar to handguns (where it is more noticeable). While the bullet is travelling down the barrel, the barrel is pivoting upwards, as the axis of the recoil force (= barrel centre line) is above the contact area of the butt. Longer barrel time and/or higher recoil thrust = more rotation = higher POI. The reason why modern designs aim to have all forces acting along the same axis and in line with the buttplate.

    BTW. What was the range? It seems that you have a very good Trapdoor.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Chadwick View Post
    "Slightly more recoil" is the clue. Similar to handguns (where it is more noticeable). While the bullet is travelling down the barrel, the barrel is pivoting upwards, as the axis of the recoil force (= barrel centre line) is above the contact area of the butt. Longer barrel time and/or higher recoil thrust = more rotation = higher POI. The reason why modern designs aim to have all forces acting along the same axis and in line with the buttplate.

    BTW. What was the range? It seems that you have a very good Trapdoor.
    Thanks for explaining this Patrick. My brother claimed flinching but that just wasn't so. I'm going to wave your post in his face, maybe he'll shut up this one time....but I don't think so.
    This was at 100 yards and boy did I get lucky with this one. I've enclosed muzzle area photos. This would be a great bore for a WWII rifle for 130 years old I consider it amazing.
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    Contributing Member ssgross's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldfoneguy View Post
    This would be a great bore for a WWII rifle for 130 years old I consider it amazing.
    many trapdoor's have great bores like this from metal protected by a thin glazing of soft lead and/or wax, but with the crown chewed up from cleaning rod wear. At least that's what I found in the ones I've cleaned up, and read other accounts of. Looks like you got still got lucky with an absence of cleaning rod wear. I think I'm going to invest in a crowning tool. I think I saw PTG will make a large diameter round-crown cutter for big bores, with whatever diameter pilot you specify for $65, which can then be turned by hand to set back the crown. I think 1/16 or a bit less will do it on my trapdoors.

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    Legacy Member oldfoneguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ssgross View Post
    Looks like you got still got lucky with an absence of cleaning rod wear.

    I think I'm going to invest in a crowning tool. I think I saw PTG will make a large diameter round-crown cutter for big bores, with whatever diameter pilot you specify for $65, which can then be turned by hand to set back the crown. I think 1/16 or a bit less will do it on my trapdoors.
    That's the reason I haven't had a trapdoor until I found this one. I'm all about bore condition and shootability. I have probably looked at roughly 200 of them since the 80's. Every milsurp I own with the exception of my very first from 18 years old has an excellent bore all the way to the muzzle. Fortunately for me unfortunately for my bank account I have found 3 milsurps meeting all my expectations in the last 6 months. A Garandicon this Trapdoor and a Krag and all together they cost about double what my first car did. I am close to finishing my US cartridge fed martial arms collection however I'm done for this year.

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    "...for 130 years old I consider it amazing."

    Very true. A "top Trap" indeed!

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