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Thread: Veteran Arms 56-50 blanks

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    599

    Default Veteran Arms 56-50 blanks

    Has anyone had any experiance with the Spencer blanks from these guys?
    Regards,
    Jeffrey Cohen

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    169

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffrey Cohen View Post
    Has anyone had any experiance with the Spencer blanks from these guys?
    They offer a low cost blank for the Spencer. I could only get about 10 grains of powder in the case. I had cases split lenghtwise. The chamber fowled after a few rounds. I did have some issues with feeding and ejecting. However it does allow you to shoot your Spencer. They are what they are, so to speak.

    There are other alternatives.
    Andrew L. Bresnan
    Victory Thru Rapid Fire
    National Henry Rifle Company http://44henryrifle.webs.com/index.htm
    LBL Tactical 1991 7th Illinois Veteran Volunteer Infantry Henry Company
    Bentonville 2010

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    34

    Default Spencer Blanks

    Full Disclosure: I own the company.

    With that said, I've fired many thousands of these blanks and sold many thousands more to others for use in their 56-50 Spencers - both original and reproduction.

    Below is a link to a video containing additional info about how the blanks work:

    How To Use Veteran Arms Blanks

    As Andrew mentioned, the cartridges hold 10-15 grains of powder and are topped with a 209 shotgun primer. This amount is sufficient to achieve a satisfactory report and plenty of smoke. The cartridges are designed for a single use, so there is no need to collect them after firing. At 20 cents each unloaded, and 25-26 cents each loaded, they are the most economical of the 56-50 blanks to shoot. They require no special loading equipment or tools.

    There are some very slight drawbacks to using a plastic blank cartridge. The main one is that there is no way for the cartridge to fully seal the breech upon firing as would the brass case when firing live ammo. This results in some fouling of the breech area. The fouling does not seriously affect the functionality of the piece under normal circumstances. Members of my group typically fire 200-500 cartridges per event without the fouling becoming a problem. A little extra care does, however, need to be taken during clean up of the piece after an event.

    As Andrew mentioned, there are other options. Brass blanks can be had for $1.50 each. Or shotgun shell blanks for 75 cents each. If you already own all of the equipment for reloading and are familiar with that process, you can get the dies necessary to make your own shotgun shell blanks at a cost similar to that of our blanks. Buying the reloading equipment involves an investment of several hundred dollars.

    One word of caution is that shooters should never attempt to mix different types of blanks during an event. Andrew and I found this out at a reenactment when after firing our respective blanks, we decided to try each others. The result was that because of the different fouling patterns produced by the cartridges, both of our rifles became jammed. The cartridge extractor ripped through the rims on both my plastic cartridge and his shotgun shell cartridge. Once the issue was cleared, we went back to using our own blanks without further incident. In short, once you start with a particular type of blank, continue to use that type of blank for the duration of the event. A different type of blank may be substituted after the piece has been properly cleaned.

    I hope this is helpful.

    Charles Misulia
    Veteran Arms, LLC

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    169

    Cool

    Charles I watched your video and it looked very good. Looks to be an easy loading process and about the same as I did when I loaded the ones that you gave me to try. They look like they function good and I can see where for some they would be great.

    As you mention the downside of what I shoot is that they are time consuming to make at around 3 hours or so for 100 rounds but then I have the time. The cost for a loaded round is about 25 cents. I load 35 to 40 grains in what I shoot in my Spencer. Even with that load, there is zero fouling in the action. These feed and extract almost flawlessly. This also means zero blow back in my face or out the bottom of the action. For a person that is already a reloader the cost of the dies you need is a small investment.

    Firing link: .56-50 Blanks in my Spencer rifle


    I do agree that you definately do not want to mix blanks as we both found out at Selma. I am looking forward to Selma again for the 150th and hope to see you there if not sooner. We will have 11 or 12 Spencer rifles and about 20 Henry rifles at Chickamauga next year portraying Wilder's Brigade 17th Indiana Infantry.

    I don't think anyone is manufacturing the brass ones anymore mainly because of the expense. Todd does make the same ones that I am shooting. It is like everything in this hobby, "whatever works for you", it is a hobby.

    To all: Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year
    Andrew L. Bresnan
    Victory Thru Rapid Fire
    National Henry Rifle Company http://44henryrifle.webs.com/index.htm
    LBL Tactical 1991 7th Illinois Veteran Volunteer Infantry Henry Company
    Bentonville 2010

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Detroit, Michigan
    Posts
    228

    Default

    Any plastic fouling? Thinking of getting a few for my Henry.
    Frank Perkin
    WIG

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    34

    Default 56-50 Veteran Arms Blanks

    Plastic fouling is not a problem so long as regular cleaning procedures are followed. Running a bore snake through the barrel a couple of times as part of one's post event clean up will remove any particles and leave the bore free from any build up.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Richmond, VA
    Posts
    6

    Default

    I have a .44-40 Spencer and use the Veterans Arms blanks. I love them! Quick and easy to make, and to me, less time consuming than the shotgun shell blanks (and I have all the stuff to make those). The only problem I've had is after about 120-150 rounds I start having trouble extracting. Not sure if its fouling or heat from the barrel warping the plastic. But a little water down the barrel out of my canteen and I'm back in action (something that I'm VERY familiar with having to do with a Sharps! )

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Da ATL
    Posts
    150

    Default

    I also have had no issue with the blanks from Veteran Arms. The fouling was minimal in my Henry breach as well. Nothing that some elbow grease and cleaning rods couldn't tackle.
    Herb Coats
    Armory Guards/WIG
    O.C.N.
    www.armoryguards.org

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Port Wentworth, GA
    Posts
    1,170

    Default

    used the VA blanks in my Henry as well, and found them wonderful..... only complaint was a slightly sore thumb from pressing in the primers, but that faded. All in all, I will be using them again.... Charles, you carry a great product!!
    Bobby Hughes
    Co A, 2nd Battalion Ga Sharpshooters/64th Illinois Vol Infantry "Yates' Sharpshooters"
    Savannah Republican Blues
    Co C, 3rd US Infantry
    Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum & William Scarbrough House, Savannah, GA


    "I hope to live long enough to see my surviving comrades march side by side with the Union veterans along Pennsylvania Avenue, and then I will die happy." - James Longstreet at a Memorial Day Parade in 1902.

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