Burnside Carbine

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by whughett, Oct 20, 2020.

  1. arcticap

    arcticap Member

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  2. StrawHat

    StrawHat Member

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    For the best advice on loading these, go to the N-SSA website. Those fellows shoot these for speed AND accuracy and have developed loads that are proven.

    Kevin
     
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  3. MEHavey

    MEHavey Member

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  4. StrawHat

    StrawHat Member

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    Here are 5 empty Burnside cases.

    1E9F86FA-3B89-420D-A98E-E08544DE31B7.jpeg

    Here is how they were frequently found on battlefields.

    8FD58B2B-D97D-4AAD-980A-565EC2726A9A.jpeg

    And you can see how they fit together.

    F794FE41-4098-4B2C-881F-1934E1E869FD.jpeg

    A soldier would fire the carbine and work the lever. If the round did not pop clear of the chamber, he would take another round and push it into the empty. A 1/4 turn twist and the empty comes out. There have been long strings of these found.

    I have used the same technique. It works well but if the chamber is smooth, picking the empty out with fingers is faster.

    Kevin
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2021
  5. StrawHat

    StrawHat Member

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    Here is an original cartridge.

    6255FA44-E160-4BD8-A672-D3AB2D72E344.jpeg

    Growing up I probably shot 100 of these. Now, I use the brass case and reload them. Here is one of my reloads next to an original.

    9A3C7A8A-2459-4ADD-8128-4787553E0759.jpeg

    My bullet is less pointed and I have forgotten what mold I used. I have maybe 150 cast up, more than enough to outlast me.

    Kevin
     
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  6. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

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    Interesting carbine by a most unloved man. Failed miserably at a job he didn't want (Commander of the Army of the Potomac and fiasco at Fredericksburg) but redeemed himself at Knoxville (which he held against Longstreet) and post-war founding president of the NRA.
     
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  7. StrawHat

    StrawHat Member

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    Yes, perhaps some insubordination by other officers played a role in his lackluster performance as CotA. But that is best debated by those more learned than I.

    He was also the Governor of Rhode Island.

    He designed the carbine as an improvement over the Hall rifle. It sealed the gap between the breech and the barrel to prevent the leaking of gases mere inches in front of one’s face. It worked well!

    Kevin
     
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  8. whughett

    whughett Member

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    I’ve looked at that catalog a dozen times now. Just can’t decide which bullet. Another consideration is how to seat the bullet in those ice cream cone shaped hulls. The roundballs I’ve been shooting this past summer just “snap” into the nylon cases I’ve bought from Lodge Manufacturing. I had a few .558 hollow base that came with the gun. They were difficult to seat in either nylon or brass case.
     
  9. MEHavey

    MEHavey Member

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    We only had a few Burnside shooters on our N-SSA team back -- going on -- 40 years ago (how time flies :cuss: :confused:)
    Most carbines were Maynards and Sharps at that time.

    This might help:

    I find it interesting that he's using 50-50 (rather than the usual Crisco/Beeswax) to effectively hold the bullet in the case,
    but any slightly stiff lube mix would work/
     
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  10. whughett

    whughett Member

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    I may have watched that last year when the gun came in. I’ll tune in again just in case.
    I’ve found I can measure the powder into the cases at home then cap the powder with a drop of melted 50/50 crisco bees wax for transport to the range. At first I placed a wax card atop the powder then later discovered I didn’t really need to. At the range the charged cone is then inserted into the breech (?) and the ball is then just placed atop the cone and the action closed.
    The ignition in these carbines is amazing. In 300 shot or so I’ve never had a delayed or failure to fire.

    I’ve got to take #Strawhats advise and join the cast boolits forum. See if some one can sell me a few different bullets before committing to an expensive bulletin mold. Round balls work ok, accuracy is ok at 50 yards but rounds ball aren’t historically correct in this gun.
     
  11. MEHavey

    MEHavey Member

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  12. StrawHat

    StrawHat Member

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    I watched but did not listen to the video. A couple of things I would recommend. If you are going to load for this cartridge, a proper loading block in necessary. You can see the cases in the video leaning and almost falling from the plastic box. Take a 2x4 and bore as many holes as you need for you cartridges. I use 10. The holes do not have to be tapered but should be at least 1/2”. This allows the cartridges to stand upright but still leave enough to grab.

    I made a scoop from an old case, might have been 45 long Colt or maybe 45-70, (I don’t have my reloading stuff unpacked yet from the move.). I dip my charges and funnel them into the case. A felt wad holds the powder in place.

    I bell the case mouth just enough to let the bullet start and thumb press it home.

    I have used a “dot” of tissue paper over the flash hole but have also forgotten it and not noticed a difference.

    Best of luck, it is a fun cartridge and rifle to use.

    Kevin
     
  13. whughett

    whughett Member

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  14. forward observer

    forward observer Member

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    Here's a bit of trivia that I bet most don't know about Ambrose Burnside

    He was noted for his unusual facial hair joining strips of hair from the sides of his head to his mustache with a clean-shaven chin

    This style became known as the "burnsides" at the time but later the two parts of the word were reversed to give us the well-known term used today for side hair. That's right it was the origin of the word "sideburns".

    https://static.wikia.nocookie.net/totalwar-ar/images/2/22/Ambrose_Everett_Burnside.jpg/revision/latest/scale-to-width-down/250?cb=20190625162425

    250?cb=20190625162425.jpg
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2021
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  15. whughett

    whughett Member

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    A book by Edward Hull, Breechloading carbines and Rifles covers several years of the rifles development and its inventor. There were five improvements to the orginial carbine . The most common and the one I have is a 5th model. By its serial number I’m guessing late 1864. No military markings but has a set of initials line cut into the stock.
     

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  16. desmobob

    desmobob Member

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    And, in my experience, they are very willing to share their knowledge and give you any other help you ask for. An NSSA member provided me with a dummy round to gift an elderly friend who has a very nice original Burnside Carbine. I had gone to the site to get info and ended up with all the information and help I could ask for. And it turns out the guy who helped me used to roadrace motorcycles at the same place and time that I did... we exchanged a lot of e-mails and shared a lot of fun memories.
     
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