1861 Springfield - 160 Years Old

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by Johnm1, Feb 1, 2022.

  1. Ugly Sauce

    Ugly Sauce Member

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    And it's a heavy sucker. But I love it just the same.
     
  2. Ugly Sauce

    Ugly Sauce Member

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    DSC07207.JPG
     
  3. hawg

    hawg Member

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    My Armisport Enfield is close to an original and might pass for one at first glance. The rear sight is a dead giveaway tho.

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  4. Ugly Sauce

    Ugly Sauce Member

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    When/before I got my '61, I had a very hard time choosing between it and the Enfield. It was that wild and crazy '61 hammer that swayed me to the 1861. That, and I live about ten miles from where the 1855 was first fired in anger.
     
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  5. AlexanderA
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    AlexanderA Member

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    The Armi Sport M1842 comes in both smoothbore and rifled versions. I got the rifled version because my "hybrid" (which I already had) was smoothbore. The AS rifled version includes the long-range rear sight. Even the ramrod is slightly different, as the end is cupped to fit a Minie ball.

    The only defect I found on my sample was that the bayonet lug was mislocated by about 1/2". Since it's silver-soldered on, I was able to re-solder it. With that change, an original bayonet fits perfectly.
     
  6. hawg

    hawg Member

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    My original Enfield bayonet fits my Armisport better than it does my original Enfield.
     
  7. kBob

    kBob Member

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    I learned more about Cleaner bullets.

    two decades or so back I handled bullets with bases as I described them at a small museum in St.Augustine Fl. ( The museum is gone now and I can but hope the neat stuff in it has found good homes)

    How ever it appears the vast majority of “cleaner bullets” were a union type called a “Williams bullet”

    It seems they were actually cleaner firing and actually more accurate than the standard bullet.

    they featured a zinc “washer” on a piston and when the piston was driven by the burning charge into a tapered hole in the base of the bullet the bullet expanded much faster into the rifling and allowed almost no blow by.

    Troopers disliked them mainly because they frequently could not be removed from an un fired rifle with a bullet puller screw. This meant they had to be fired out and the trooper then had to clean a dirty rifle.

    There is more in an excellent You tube video that can be googled under “cleaner Bullets”

    I was unable to link it. But perhaps someone else might?

    Looks to me the Damn Yankee gubbrrmint got it right and folks BM&C to get rid of actually a good thing.

    Another thing I ran across was archeological evidence that Union Troops DID sort the bullets out and discard them.

    They were wrapped in different colored paper than standard rounds, so an easy thing to pick out upon issue.

    They were not intended to clean the bore ( but likely did if fired behind regular ammo) but to shoot “cleaner” in the first place.

    Neat to learn new stuff! Now about those bullets I handled in the US oldest city…..

    -kBob
     
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  8. AlexanderA
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    AlexanderA Member

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    I've read that the first Minie bullets had a plug in the base that would be driven forward upon firing, to cause the bullet to expand. At least that was the theory. Later testing showed that this was not necessary. A hollow base was all that was needed.

    The zinc washer was something different.
     
  9. Ugly Sauce

    Ugly Sauce Member

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    The British were big on the plugged base. But, I think they found it wasn't "enough difference to make a difference" as far as whanging away with not so well aimed shots when people are shooting back at you. For target shooting it can be enough difference to make a difference, but it has to be done just right. Kind of a science to it.

    I did some experimenting with bases plugged with bondo, but results were inconsistent. I believe a clay plug, that is slightly bigger and shorter than the base cavity works best, as it will be driven into the skirt and expand it better than depending on the powder charge to do it. I think the main advantage is that the base will expand at low pressure, but the skirt won't blow out with higher pressure. Having said that, I really don't know much more than that, or if that is correct or not.
     
  10. Johnm1

    Johnm1 Member

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    First of all, I would like to thank all who have participated so far. It has been a lively conversation and the information has been just great.

    In my initial post I indicated that I would take pictures while I was out hunting. I haven’t even seen a Javelina yet, but here are the pictures. I hope to follow these up with a successful hunt picture. It was made in 1862.

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    I am beginning to really connect with this rifle and those who might have Carried it before me. The sling is different but adjusted to fit me it Carries well. I can’t imagine carrying it in wartime but I suspect this isn’t the first hunt it has been on.
     
  11. forward observer

    forward observer Member

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    Good post. It's a shame that none of the ACW muskets had serial numbers so we will never effectively be able to track down any of the previous people who carried them--that is unless a musket went home with the soldier and was kept all these years by his family.

    On that note, I just won a nice Springfield model 1863 type II over the weekend. I discovered the auction too late to be able to send a message to the auction house inquiring about the bore but the exterior is in such good shape that I'm hoping it will have a bore to match. The E.S. Allin (Springfield's master armorer until 1879) cartouche is still very readable plus the lock plate and hammer still appear to be showing some original case colors. Erskine S. Allin was responsible for the initial "Allin" breech-loading conversions of the Springfields which eventually became known as the "trapdoors". The first model 1865 and 66 trapdoor conversions were made with leftover 1863s. The M1868s were the first muskets out of the Springfield armory to bear serial numbers since they were not considered conversions.

    Cheers
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2022
  12. Johnm1

    Johnm1 Member

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    I’m not sure serial numbers would have helped. There’s no real way to track a 1903, 1917, Garand other than the non governmental Springfield service. At least I think it’s non governmental. Come to think of it, How many civil war soldiers actually had birth documents for that matter?

    Interesting thought though. Made in 1862 I can’t think of a scenario where this rifle didn’t serve in the Civil War. In battle, we’ll never know. I’d like to think it fought at Chickamauga or some other famous battle. I can imagine.

    Most of my other military rifles either didn’t or likely didn’t participate in any battle. My Trapdoor was made too late for the Spanish American war and is very unlikely to have served in China. My 1903A3 was made later in the war and almost certainly didn’t leave the states. My 1917 was made just as the war was ending. I doubt it left the states. My Garand was made after hostilities in Korea ceased. They are all great rifles and I love them all. But none hold a place in my heart like my 1861. What did it see? When I fix the bayonet it brings chills to think of the aftermath of that back in 1862 through 1864.

    I have held a couple of 1863’s and would love to have one. But the prices were a bit out of my range.
     
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  13. Johnm1

    Johnm1 Member

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    Bonehead comment on my part. I mixed my trapdoor with my Krag. What I meant to say was that my Krag was made too late for the Spanish American War and almost certainly didn't go to China. It was manufactured in 1903 and probably went into a training role. I can't really remember when my Trapdoor was made but remember that I thought it couldn't have been used in the Spanish American War for some reason. I just can't remember the reason.

    You probably got the point either way.
     
  14. Johnm1

    Johnm1 Member

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    Well tomorrow is the last day of the hunt. Nothing. I’ve seen 11 deer but only 3 javelina. Because my last sighting session was cut short due to a broken cleaning rod I was only able to confirm a 50 yard zero. And that confirmation was tenuous at best. I finally shot the round I loaded a week ago Friday and it did hit where I was aiming. This isn’t the first hunt this rifle has been on. 6 or so years ago I took my oldest on this same HAM javelina hunt. But that time it misfired and they layed the rifle down and took the javelina with the 45 on her hip. They have ice water in their veins.

    I’ll take home what I most often take home. Pictures.
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    Last edited: Feb 13, 2022
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  15. Johnm1

    Johnm1 Member

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    As I suspected, pictures are all I will take home. But the rifle carried well other than I think I lost 10 or so caps it was a pleasure to carry. It is well balanced at Trails End and
    I even carried it reverse Trails End so I could keep an eye on the cap. Second Best carry position was best described as Cradled in the left arm with the muzzle pointed back. I rarely carried it With it slung over my shoulder. That way exposed the cap to my clothing and
    Made it susceptible to losing a cap when unslung. I could have slung it over my right shoulder to minimize that but that just feels odd to me.

    I did jump a couple of rabbits and The rifle swings to target well.

    After I successfully tested the rifle last night I reloaded it. The bullets I sorted for the hunt were left in the truck in the heat of the day (+80 degrees) and the lube had softened and ‘moved’ a bit. I didn’t think that would be an issue. I brushed and swabbed the bore but when I loaded the minie ball there was a “Rough” spot that took more force to ram home for a couple of inches. I shot the round this morning and it hit the ground 10 yards and in front of the target. Makeshift target on the ground with uneven terrain between me and the target but this round clearly was lower the the rest.

    I loaded 3 more Rounds taking care To smooth the lube back in place on each minie. Each of these rounds loaded easily with no unusual resistance and seated Using only the weight of the ram rod. Is it Possible that the condition Of the lube has a significant impact on the trajectory of the minie ball?

    I need to make my lube a little bit stiffer.
     
  16. eastbank

    eastbank Member

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    in the late 60,s i got a navy arms rem 63 copy(zouve) .58 cal. i had a good friend who was a gunsmith glass the barrel,rework the trigger pull to 2.5-3 lbs and put a higher front sight and a good reciever mounted peep sight. i shot the 575213 heavy skirt with 70 grs fff. i killed deer-groundhogs-fox and a few racoons, from a rest it would shoot three shot 2-2.5" groups at a hundred yards.
     
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