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Wayne59
.375 member


Reged: 20/06/15
Posts: 754
Loc: Lagrange Ga. USA
Re: Westley Richards Model 1881 Needs Help [Re: TH44]
      #310808 - 22/01/18 11:36 AM

85lc I did warn him before he fired the gun, now he wont fire my 416 Rigby (or any of my large (rifles). My rifle probably ways 9 or 10lbs but with such a straight stock and a steel but plate It's no gun for light weights.

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85lc
.224 member


Reged: 19/01/18
Posts: 9
Loc: Georgia, USA
Re: Westley Richards Model 1881 Needs Help [Re: Huvius]
      #310969 - 25/01/18 06:01 AM

Yes, I did buy it from Lincoln City. It was a consigned gun. I spent quite a bit of time talking with the actual gun owner. He is a fairly knowledgeable gunsmith from that area.

I hope to get the gun sometime next week. The seller is sending some bullets to try along with some 100% cotton paper for patching.

One question that I have is the bullet diameter. I ask that because I typically used bullets that were 0.001" over groove diameter. However, with a Medford barrel, is that correct? I ask because the Medford rifling is polygonal (very shallow and smooth with no definition of shoulders or grooves). In a way, it seemed to be similar to Lancaster's oval bore in which the bullets should not be groove diameter. I would appreciate hearing your experience.

Lets see if I can get this gun to shoot nice groups.

--------------------
RB


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85lc
.224 member


Reged: 19/01/18
Posts: 9
Loc: Georgia, USA
Re: Westley Richards Model 1881 Needs Help [Re: Wayne59]
      #310970 - 25/01/18 06:09 AM

Gosh, I hope he is still politely speaking to you.

I would not expect (or perhaps hope) that this gun to kick more that my 500 bpe with 440 gr bullet and 4.5 drams of 2f. The 500 is more a strong push than kick. Of course, I hold it solidly against my shoulder.

--------------------
RB


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HuviusModerator
.416 member


Reged: 04/11/07
Posts: 2676
Loc: Colorado
Re: Westley Richards Model 1881 Needs Help [Re: 85lc]
      #310985 - 25/01/18 09:32 AM

The bore of my 1881 is .458” so the grooves must be something like .466” or so.
I haven’t got very good accuracy with my rifle yet primarily, I think, because my bullets have been undersized for this bore.
Now, however, I can swage bullets of any weight that patch right up to .458” so with a little work I am sure it will shoot great.
My other 450No.2 Musket chambered rifles have tighter bores so shoot .458” bullets just fine with smokeless but use a .450” paper patched bullet when using black. They both shoot quite good with either black or smokeless.

You will probably find that your chamber doesn’t have much of a lead into the rifling from the case mouth with the rifling running right up to the case mouth. With a chamber like this, bore sized bullets are about as big as you can chamber so they often don’t lend themselves to using smokeless very well.

--------------------
He who lives in the past is doomed to enjoy it.


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Daryl_S
.577 member


Reged: 10/08/05
Posts: 17261
Loc: Beautiful British Columbia, Ca...
Re: Westley Richards Model 1881 Needs Help [Re: Huvius]
      #310990 - 25/01/18 10:18 AM

If you are shooting black powder, then the bullet patched diameter can be undersize (right down to bore size) yet still slug up to fill the grooves perfectly. Once normally needs to use a lube wad on the powder (wax paper or beeswax disk separating powder from lube disk - 1/4" thick worked perfectly with 122gr. 2f in my RB with 580gr. bullet (.45 3 1/4"))

To do this, they must be very soft, no harder than 30:1 perhaps. 40:1 to pure lead, also usable or preferred.

If wanting to shoot harder bullets, they must be groove diameter or slightly exceed groove diameter.

Ahh - Huvius, you beat me to it. Good stuff.

--------------------
Daryl


"a rifle without hammers, is like a Spaniel without ears" Edward VII


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85lc
.224 member


Reged: 19/01/18
Posts: 9
Loc: Georgia, USA
Re: Westley Richards Model 1881 Needs Help [Re: Daryl_S]
      #311080 - 26/01/18 10:33 AM

Guys,

Great feedback. That is well appreciated.

Huvius, apparently the bore of my rifle is similar to your rifle. Also, I will start out with 2f black powder.

Huvius, are you using a hard, grooved bullet of soft pp bullet?

Daryl, using lube wads seem to work very well with the limited bpe shooting I have done. With the exception of some oval bore Lancasters, all have accurately shot with a veg wad over the powder, a soft wax wad, and a second veg wad between the wax & bullet.

Brian, the Lincoln City gunsmith that sold me the rifle, said that a 458" bullet would slide down the barrel to the choke. He also said the barrel has a gain twist and is choked about 4" from the muzzle.

I will give feedback after I have shot this gun.

--------------------
RB


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HuviusModerator
.416 member


Reged: 04/11/07
Posts: 2676
Loc: Colorado
Re: Westley Richards Model 1881 Needs Help [Re: 85lc]
      #311092 - 26/01/18 02:36 PM

So far, I have tried paper patched bullets of roughly .450” .
I mistakenly thought that the loads that shot so well in my other 450No.2 Musket rifles would do in this rifle as well.
Of course, that is not so in my rifle and you seem to have the same bore as mine being .458”

Moving forward (or back to 1882 in this case) I will use almost pure lead bullets.
This is for two reasons.
One, is that my swaging dies like to form pure lead more than any alloy - in fact, I cracked my core die trying to swage 30/1 alloy.
The second reason is that, regarding paper patched bullets, pure lead will surely bump up to fill the grooves better than anything else.
That will be my plan for my rifle and I will report on how that is all working.

85LC, I hope you will report on how you get along with your 1881 and if you need some swaged bullets of whatever weight, I will be happy to provide some. I bet our rifles will like very much the same formula.

BTW, I just bought a supply of really good paper so I will be in paper for quite a while. Eaton 9lb 25% cotton kokle finish typewriter paper.
This is one I just patched which had a tiny bit of overlap - hardly noticeable.



There is something about this paper that works really well. It just seems to pick up really well when wet and once dried, is very smooth and secure to the bullet and very sturdy.
I very much recommend this paper and it can still be found on EBay occasionally as well as estate and yard sales.
I bought a box of Kimberly Clark paper a while back which I have been using which works just as well as the Eaton so I recommend both of these papers.



--------------------
He who lives in the past is doomed to enjoy it.


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85lc
.224 member


Reged: 19/01/18
Posts: 9
Loc: Georgia, USA
Re: Westley Richards Model 1881 Needs Help [Re: TH44]
      #311986 - 09/02/18 04:14 AM

TH44,

Why do I need to use magnum primers?

I use Win LR primers in my NfB loads for my 500 BPE and 450/400 BPE. I use 4198 as my powder.
I normally use a filler to keep the powder near the primer but have not had any issues without the filler.

--------------------
RB


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3DogMike
.300 member


Reged: 29/01/15
Posts: 177
Loc: Colorado USA
Re: Westley Richards Model 1881 Needs Help [Re: 85lc]
      #312005 - 09/02/18 05:03 AM

Quote:

TH44,
Why do I need to use magnum primers?
.




One word: Insurance
- Mike

--------------------
“On the Western Slope of Colorado, USA"
&
"Will Rogers never met a fighter pilot"
- Anon


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Daryl_S
.577 member


Reged: 10/08/05
Posts: 17261
Loc: Beautiful British Columbia, Ca...
Re: Westley Richards Model 1881 Needs Help [Re: 3DogMike]
      #312015 - 09/02/18 05:22 AM

Yes - I agree - insurance. I would also use a plug of foam to fill extra space.

Ignition in straight sided cases, is the most difficult of all, due i suspect, the easy with which smokeless powder can be pushed away from the primer flash, but the pressure front of the flash.

John Buhmiller (Old John) of Kalispel Montana went to great lengths and experimentation to achieve good ignition from straight cases.

In my own .458 American, I tested one of his ideas, of having a primer, cup-down, on top of the powder, the bullet's base holding it in place (full load, not reduced). I found that with a magnum or standard primer over the powder, cup-down, I could achieve the same ballistics using 6gr. less powder, so a drop tube was not needed, whereas to get that extra 6gr. powder & bullet into the case, I needed the 28" tube.

You are on your own, as I was however I did have very good results. This clearly shows poor ignition and powder burning with standard magnum primers. I had been using CCI250's and Federal 215's at that time - this was in the 1980's.

--------------------
Daryl


"a rifle without hammers, is like a Spaniel without ears" Edward VII


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HuviusModerator
.416 member


Reged: 04/11/07
Posts: 2676
Loc: Colorado
Re: Westley Richards Model 1881 Needs Help [Re: Daryl_S]
      #312033 - 09/02/18 07:42 AM

I know this topic has been hashed over in a few threads here, but I had a thought regarding the use of foam backer rod.
In the beginning of my using it, I cut the foam rod to the length equal to the distance from the powder charge to the bottom of the bullet.
Then, I started cutting the rod even with the case mouth and letting the bullet compress it a little - saw no difference other than an occasional piece of foam could be found on the ground.
Now, I am considering going the other direction and trying a much shorter piece of foam against the powder, maybe .5” or so.
My rationale is that a snug fitting foam piece will do the job just as well as a long piece. Very similar to the guys using a toilet paper square rolled into a ball.
Any thoughts on this?

--------------------
He who lives in the past is doomed to enjoy it.


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TH44
.333 member


Reged: 21/02/09
Posts: 495
Loc: West UK
Re: Westley Richards Model 1881 Needs Help [Re: Huvius]
      #312055 - 09/02/18 10:20 AM

85lc

The reason I insist on Magnum primers is from my own experience

Several years ago I tried out a 4198 BPE equivalent load in my Williams and Powell .577 Snider DR

With no prior knowledge I used standard primers

The bullets only just got out of the barrel and went 20 yards downrange leaving much unburnt powder everywhere around the action (I reported the problems on this forum at the time)

The problem is that under these circumstances there is a possibility of complete ignition (i.e an explosion with extreme pressure issues)

Magnum primers solved the problem

Others have reported similar issues

I cannot remember whether I used a filler but I do now

I can only assume the charge was not ignited correctly

The problem seems to have gone away for me as I now longer use BPE instead of BP, having a BP licence here in the UK

Good luck in your shooting whichever way you choose

TH 44

Edited by TH44 (09/02/18 10:39 AM)


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Daryl_S
.577 member


Reged: 10/08/05
Posts: 17261
Loc: Beautiful British Columbia, Ca...
Re: Westley Richards Model 1881 Needs Help [Re: Huvius]
      #312057 - 09/02/18 10:32 AM

The idea of filling the space, was to fill the air of compressed air between the coming flame front and the bottom of the bullet. It was thought that the resulting compressed air was responsible for the odd ringed chambers that occurred with must using a small square of Dacron.
The foam filling this area removed or eliminated that possibility.
When I used kapok (from an old life jacket) as a filler, I filled the space to a compressed load. I was doing this back in the 70's, when I didn't want to go out and buy Dacron for a filler like everyone else seemed to be using. Most of the writers wrote of using 1/2gr. or 1 gr. 'square'. They(might have been Lyman) even showed pictures of a sectioned .45/70 case with a miniscule fast burning powder charge, like 10gr. unique or something, then a tiny ball of Dacron holding it in the bottom of the case.

I do think the excess space should be filled & it seems maybe foam is the best filler so far. If a section or it only as long as the air space works, that's great. If the velocity variations high to low are narrower with compressed foam, then THAT is the way to go.

The best results are what drives us.

--------------------
Daryl


"a rifle without hammers, is like a Spaniel without ears" Edward VII


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