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Old December 23, 2017, 11:11   #1
Brian in MN
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Black powder loads in lever guns???

My black powder experience is limited to a little playing around with an Italian 1860 Army. Not zero, but pretty close.

My question is about the practicality of the 73 and 76 rifles in a military role during black powder days. How many rounds do you guys think that you could get out of one of these in a single go, without cleaning? Does that round count go up significantly in a single shot rifle like the Sharps?
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Old December 25, 2017, 03:36   #2
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Plenty, I would say.

If you were firing furiously, you would probably have to slow down because the gun got uncomfortably hot rather than because it was too badly fouled. BP burns hot!

You would want to clean them on a daily basis to keep them running smoothly but how often depends on the cartridge and the climate. The thin brass walls on the 44-40 seal in the chamber pretty well; much less fouling gets into the mechanism. The only really tight fitting moving component that is close to the breech is the carrier.

The Sioux put on a demonstration at Little Big Horn that strongly suggests the lever guns can contend with a military opponent in a pitched battle.

For further consideration: Gatling guns worked with essentially the same ammunition components.

How many rounds did you have in mind?
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Old December 26, 2017, 16:15   #3
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I have a Uberti 1866 Yellowboy rifle in .45 colt, that I shoot Cowboy Action with. I only shoot black powder. I also have an 1876 in 45-60. Same deal.
Side by side power loads too.

Use SPG lube on your cast lead bullets. The red and blue lubes are meant for smokeless.

Lube is important with black; spg avoids a sticky gooey mess.
Seems to work well. No leading and ez cleaning.

I only poke the barrel out with soapy water, wash the elevator section, and blow dry.

The internals do not have to be disassembled very often, as the cartridge case does expand to seal the chamber, even with black.

If you have the red or blue lubed bullets, dump them into a large pot of boiling water and that wax will melt off. Skim the wax off as it cools.

Place the bare bullets in a cake pan, and heat the SPG lube up in a pan, in another larger pan of boiling water. That way it keeps the SPG lube from burning...don't heat it up too fast.

I then just pour the melted lube into the cake pan with the 75 or so bullets sitting on their base. Let it set up, peel the whole layer out and poke the bullets out of what now looks like a perforated sheet of wax.

Repeat as necessary.

Black is what you shoot for authenticity and that "boom".
Do not use the black powder substitutes.
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Old December 27, 2017, 14:55   #4
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fouling was a problem in muzzle-loading after 8-15 shots, depending upon powder and rifling design and caliber/projectile. in breach loading cartridge guns it is dealt with by bullet design. forward sweeping grooves cut fouling with successive shots.
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Old December 29, 2017, 16:40   #5
Brian in MN
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This,, conversation between Ian & Carl is what prompted the question. The real question is why did the US military select the trapdoor Springfield?

You guys have pretty well eliminated fouling.

That leaves reliability, especially in adverse conditions, durability and simplicity.

There is a little insight here:
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