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Thread: Loads for the Reproduction Smith Carbine

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    11

    Default Loads for the Reproduction Smith Carbine

    Hi All
    What are others using for loads in the Smith Carbine Reproduction?
    I am shooting with 40 grains of 3F in the Plastic "shells" pushing the Dixie Gunworks pre cast smith carbine bullet.
    With this, shooting at 1 lb coffee cans at 75 yards I get about 5 hits out of 6 shots
    As far as Blanks, I use the same 40 grains of 3F and top it with florist foam and a little old zip patch grease.
    Any and all help will be appreciated.

    Yours
    Mike
    Mike Foley
    Quatermaster Sgt.
    3rd US Artillery Reserve Battery L
    California Historical Artillery Society, CHAS.
    Warhorse.org
    " Load em Heavy Boys "

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Fort Wayne, IN, far from the sea
    Posts
    178

    Default Smith

    I use the same plastic rounds with enough powder to almost fill it, topped by a pre-cut thin piece of corkboard. Some folks I know who object to powder leakage from the touchhole place a thin, small piece of tissue paper in the bottom of the cartridge before filling.
    When live firing I have seen trouble closing the breech if I don't firmly force the cartridge down into the receiver, which seats the bullet into the rifling. Sometimes it's a tough job, since installing a bullet into the plastic shell expands it enought to make a very tight fit. Still, it's a joy to shoot and very reliable.
    Bob Dispenza
    US Naval Landing Party (www.usnlp.org)
    Navy and Marine Living History Association
    (www.navyandmarine.org)

    "George, you may be thankful that you can go to school instead of having the school houses used as Hospitals…And if you never see me again, remember that my advice was never to throw away three years of the best of youthful life in hunting for men with intent to kill."
    William Clark Allen, Company K, 72nd Indiana Volunteers, December 21, 1862

  3. #3

    Default

    Hallo!

    It is probably irrevelent, but it has been said that the Italians are using Mike Yeck's rifling machines...

    In my N-SSA Daze, in my Yeck Smith I shot a load of 36 grains of FFF with corn meal filler. It gave a bench-fired group of half a dollar at 50 yards.
    In my wife's WSA Daze, in her Yeck Smith she shot a load of 30 grains of FFF with corn meal filler, for a fifty cent piece group.

    And even though the cartridges had grommets in the vents, we had to insert a small square of toilet paper to keep the FFF from dribbling out (an actual cause of a burst barrel in someone;s else's Smith). However, FFF dribbled out, but FF did not.
    Some lads simplified loading and skipped the TP, going to small self-stick "inventory dots" over the vent that they either scraped off with their finger nail or simply let the German caps burn through.

    CHS
    In gleichem Schritt und Tritt, Curt Schmidt

    Not a real Civil War reenactor, I only portray one on boards and fora.
    I do not portray a Civil War soldier, I merely interpret one.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    11

    Default

    Hi Curt
    Thanks for the information.
    I was using 40 grains of 3F because thats what the Dixie Gunworks catalog recomended.
    After loading I keep the "Cartridge" bullet end down to reduce the powder loss. I have a C D Jard. Smith Cartridge box, as well as blocks of wood to store the loaded rounds in a 30 cal ammo can.
    What amount of 2 F were you shooting? As I stated I have been using the Dixie Gunworks Cast Bullets, But I also have some 375 Grain Kuzu Plow Works Hollow Point cast bullets. I use the wonder Lube from Dixie for all aplications.
    Yours
    Mike
    Mike Foley
    Quatermaster Sgt.
    3rd US Artillery Reserve Battery L
    California Historical Artillery Society, CHAS.
    Warhorse.org
    " Load em Heavy Boys "

  5. #5

    Default

    Hallo!

    Herr Mike..

    "What amount of 2 F were you shooting?"

    If that was directed at me, we shot 3F (FFF). My wife the lesser charge to reduce "kick" for her. She was a "shot" in her Day...

    I would have to go and look in the "Mould Drawer," as I do not recall whether that was a Smith style bullet that was .515 or .520 as it has been a few years. Methinks .515. Lubed in beeswax/Crsco and sized either to .515 or .520.
    Some of my "team-mates" used the turned brass Smith cartridges, and allowed the pressure of the hinged action to completely seat the bullet in the cartridge.

    Some lads report success with a hollow base bullet in a breech-loader, but I have greater success with the oversized solid bullet being squeezed down into the rifling myself.

    CHS
    In gleichem Schritt und Tritt, Curt Schmidt

    Not a real Civil War reenactor, I only portray one on boards and fora.
    I do not portray a Civil War soldier, I merely interpret one.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    18

    Default Shooting the Smith Carbine

    Gentlemen,
    Thank you for the information provided. This forum has provided more information than many searches I have tried.
    I am now the proud owner of a Pietta Smith carbine and I am looking forward to a range day soon as weather permits.
    There are a few questions that I have that I hope you can help me with:
    on cartridges, Curt, you mentioned reenforced bases, where did you get these from? What is considered the average life from one of the Dixie "rubber" cases? On the brass cases: "who's make is perferred?" I got some brass cases from Dixie and they fit well. Pietta's are over sized and will not fit the chamber.
    Bullets: I have both the Dixie Rapine mold 365 grain cast and I have cast up Lymans 56-50 Spencer bullets that throw 355 grains soft lead. Both measure .515". The barrel slugs out at .512". Is there an advantage of using a harder alloy?
    Any advice would be welcome.
    I hope to give my range results soon.

    Thank you,
    Maurice

  7. #7

    Default

    Hallo!

    There are a few questions that I have that I hope you can help me with:
    on cartridges, Curt, you mentioned reenforced bases, where did you get these from?

    A tough one, as I am out of the loop. My Smith shooting goes back to the 1980's, and endded in 1991, and at that time the "white nylon" cartridges found at the N-SSA vendors were sold as the more expensive reinforced type with brass grommets in the touch-holes, and a cheaper version without the grommets.

    What is considered the average life from one of the Dixie "rubber" cases?

    Someone else will have to answer as I never tried them. I have about 15,000 rounds through my two Yeck Smiths' white tubes without any apreciable burning of the brass grommets. I had tried the soft vinyl tubes but found them too "dirty" due to blow-back.

    On the brass cases: "who's make is perferred?" I got some brass cases from Dixie and they fit well. Pietta's are over sized and will not fit the chamber.

    Again, someone else will have to chime in as I never tried brass. The two lads I knew that used brass were machinists and had lathe fitted them to their Yeck Smiths.

    I seated the bullet further into the cartridge as it set on a competition load of 36 grains of FFF and corn meal spacer/filler. When chambered, it "fit."
    A pard, with brass cartridges, used the hinge action of the Smith to seat and compress the bullet. Whehter that worked better, I do not know, as he was consistantly the 4, 5, or 6th "shot" on the team, and was inconsistantly the 4-7th.

    Bullets: I have both the Dixie Rapine mold 365 grain cast and I have cast up Lymans 56-50 Spencer bullets that throw 355 grains soft lead. Both measure .515". The barrel slugs out at .512". Is there an advantage of using a harder alloy?

    I used either .515 or .520. I liked .515 best. But that was in a Yeck Smith.

    Different opinions on that. I hold that it does make an accuracy difference in breechloaders, and used pure lead hardened a bit with tire weights so that a finger nail would hardly scratch (not gouge) it. Not very scientific... (Plus there was the Drop Test." Tha tinvolved the difference in sound in dropping an ingot of pure versus alloy onto a hard concrete floor.)

    But benched, the Yecks would shoot a half dollar size or less group at 50 yards, suitable enough for N-SSA competition.

    I may still have some loaded and dirty empty "white nylon" Smith tubes around here somewhere form 1991.

    CHS
    In gleichem Schritt und Tritt, Curt Schmidt

    Not a real Civil War reenactor, I only portray one on boards and fora.
    I do not portray a Civil War soldier, I merely interpret one.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    18

    Default

    Curt,
    Thank you for your reply. I am looking forward to the range day when ever Arkansas weather allows the chance.
    I am looking forward to trying out various loads, various lubes, and various powders. humm lots of various here.
    Shooting a black powder breech loading carbine is a interesting experience. To watch the faces of the AR crowd when a Sharps, Henry, and soon to be Smith touch off, well eyebrows get raised.
    When was the last time you egged on Glock shooters to compete wih a Patterson.
    Gentlemen, it is an experience to teach modern shooters that the past had "real" guns.
    Thank you all for your input.

    Maurice

  9. #9

    Smile

    Hallo!

    "When was the last time you egged on Glock shooters to compete wih a Patterson."

    In the Way Back Daze when an N-SSA team of eight shooters would go up against a two man team with M16's on a 16 mounted clay pigeon board....



    CHS
    In gleichem Schritt und Tritt, Curt Schmidt

    Not a real Civil War reenactor, I only portray one on boards and fora.
    I do not portray a Civil War soldier, I merely interpret one.

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