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cartridges

Discussion in 'Reenactors Forum' started by marcus, Jan 19, 2010.

  1. marcus

    marcus Cadet

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    Does anyone know a source for reproduction paper cartridges for .577 Enfield and or .69 Model 1842 Springfield (buck and ball)?
    Marcus

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  3. johan_steele

    johan_steele Lt. Colonel Retired Moderator

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    The Paper Lady is a manufacturer of bulk packages of empty cartridge tubes for powder burning. They aren't correct but they are what is available from many mainstream sutlers such as Fall Creek and the Blockade Runner.

    If you wish more authentic you will have to make your own which involves nothing more than a wooden dowel, newsprint and time.

    Good Luck
  4. Henry

    Henry Cadet

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    Tallow Waterproofing

    Yes, some sorting out of the impliments and basic skills required to load the arms mentioned might be in order. Should you be a novice please contact one of the reenactor groups or Black Powder societies in order to prevent mishap. Some assembly required.

    One field improvisation as used by Florida troops during the great unpleasentness was the coating of cartridges in tallow as waterproofing. Great care required here.

    The best information I've found regarding .69 caliber buck and ball is in Small Arms Ammunition in the Battle of Gettysburg. Detail information with photographs in this worthy tome by Dean S. Thomas. ISBN:0-939631-00-8

    Enfields function fine with Ludlum type bullets, if you can find them.
  5. tomh

    tomh Corporal

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    Buck and Ball

    The practice of coating paper cartridges in tallow/beeswax dates back to 1840's England where "Sea Service" cartridges were coated to prevent water fouling. The crates that these cartridges were shipped in were also lined with thin metal sheets and also coated with a tallow mix to help waterproof the cartridges during transport and storage.

    The .69 Buck and Ball cartridge was the standard two paper configuration used in most American made cartridges, one wrapper for the powder charge and a second outer wrapper for the charger and projectile. The tails of the two wrappers were folded together to allow proper tearing. There are actually two types of Buck and Ball cartridges, the conventional style with the buck balls above the main ball (AKA "1840 style") ...

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  6. tomh

    tomh Corporal

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    ...and the considerably more rare type with the buck balls below the main ball and adjacent to the powder charger (photo 2).

    Dean's incredible series "Roundball to Rimfire" also contains quite a bit of information about cartridge specifications. BTW: Volume IV (it may actually end up being Vols IV, V and VI) of the series is being typeset as we speak and will be going out to the printer soon. This new release will be the definitive work on the CS arsenal system and contains a wealth of formerly undiscovered information.

    Hope this helps,
    TomH

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  7. Tin cup

    Tin cup 2nd Lieutenant

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    Marcus:

    Making your own cartridges is the best way to go. A template to cut out your paper case, tissue to form the bullet/balls, a correct sized forming rod, and string, and you can have something to show off, and be able to use at Living History events, or reenactments!

    The attachment is of two cartridges I form with what I listed. I can form either a round ball load, Buck-n-Ball, or Buckshot. These are what the actual size of the original rounds would be.

    If your interest is Confederate, I can also set you up with arsenal pack labels from Confederate arsenals, copied from originals.

    Email me at Kdallyrm@aol.com, I can help get you set up!

    Kevin Dally

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  8. Tin cup

    Tin cup 2nd Lieutenant

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    This sort of continues from my previous post...

    The .577/.58 ammo is easily made up like the .69cal ammo I described earlier.

    Having full sized ammo is much easier to handle in and out of the cartridge box. Having the right sized paper “Trapezoid”, and round forming rod are the essential tools.

    Tom H posted some great pictures of original cartridges, and there are no reasons you couldn’t form your own that mirror those.

    The attachment is a copy of a Richmond Arsenal Pack, with cartridge. The Cartridge is the same size as an original, but has tissue paper in place of the lead bullet.

    I'll post info on the Enfield in the next post.

    Kevin Dally

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  9. Tin cup

    Tin cup 2nd Lieutenant

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    A look at British cartridge design...

    The Enfield ammo as produced by England had the bullet nose up at the bottom of the paper case. The bullet end was dipped in wax, where as the American style ammo had grooves to hold the lubricant, and was located at the top of the case. The British design had a smooth sided bullet that was loaded into the barrel still surrounded by the waxed paper, the upper part of the case was broken off and discarded. The bullet with the paper around it was then rammed down the barrel.

    In American style cartridges, the bullet had to be pushed out of the paper down into the barrel, then rammed home.

    E. & A. Ludlow Brothers were a huge producer of ammo for the British Military, and imported ammo into the Confederacy. You see their label on the gummed strip surrounding the top of their cartridges, and on their Arsenal Packs.

    The attached picture is a reproduction of a Ludlow Brothers Cartridge and Arsenal Pack.

    The American style cartridge is MUCH easier to produce than the British style! The American style used 2 papers to form the cartridge, the Brit's used 4!

    Kevin Dally

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  10. marcus

    marcus Cadet

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    Thanks

    Thanks for all the information. I am mostly an author and weapons collector, not a re-enactor, so the information is great to have to include in my book. I just placed an order for the Dean book that was recommended. I would appreciate any lines on other good available reference books.
    I was basically interested in just getting a couple samples for illustrations in my book. I'm afraid if I tried to take up the art myself, my first results would be too unprofessional.
    Marcus
    P.S. My Enfield is 1855 dated British military issue P53, not an export model. Based on the regimental markings, I believe it went to Canada with the 30th as a consequence of the Trent affair. My smooth-bore is an 1842 Springfield.
  11. johan_steele

    johan_steele Lt. Colonel Retired Moderator

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    I'm suer others will add suggestions, below are what reside on my bookshelf along w/ my wish list.

    Barry, Craig L., The Civil War Musket: A Handbook for Historical Accuracy-Lock, Stock and Barrel, Watchdog Press, 2006.

    Bilby, Joseph G., Civil War Firearms , Combined Books, 1996.

    Coates, Earl J. & McAulay, John D., Civil War Sharps Carbines & Rifles, Thomas Publications, 1996.

    Coates, Earl J. & Thomas, Dean S., An Introduction to Civil War Small Arms, Thomas Publications, 1990.

    Edwards, William B., Civil War Guns, The Stackpole Company, 1962.

    Fuller, Claud E., The Rifled Musket, The Stackpole Company, 1958.

    Fuller, Claud E., Springfield Shoulder Arms 1795-1865, S&S Firearms, 1986.

    Hess, Earl J., The Rifle Musket in Civil War Combat Reality and Myth, University Press of Kansas, 2008.

    Houze, Herbert G., Colt Rifles & Muskets from 1847-1870, Krause Publications, 1996.

    McAulay, John D., Rifles of the U.S. Army 1861-1906, Andrew Mowbray Publishers, 2003.

    Reilly, Robert M., United States Military Small Arms 1816-1865, Eagle Press, 1970.

    Smith, Graham, Civil War Weapons, KP Books, 2005.

    Sword, Wiley, Firepower from Abroad The Confederate Enfield and the LeMat Revolver, Andrew Mowbray Inc., 1986.

    Sword, Wiley, Sharpshooter: Hiram Berdan, his famous Sharpshooters and their Sharps Rifles, Andrew Mowbray Inc., 1988.

    Whisker, James A., Hartzler, Daniel D. & Yantz, Larry W., Firearms from Europe, Tom Rowe Books, 2002.

    Whisker, James A., Hartzler, Daniel D. & Yantz, Larry W., US Civil War Carbines, Tom Rowe Books, 2001.

    Whisker, James A., Hartzler, Daniel D. & Yantz, Larry W., US Model 1861 Springfield Rifle-Musket, Tom Rowe Books, 2000.

    Yee, Gary, Sharpshooters 1750-1900, Sharpshooter Press, 2009.

    A couple more that might be useful nut are apparently harder to get.

    Small Arms 1856 U.S. Army reprint Dean Thomas

    The British Soldier's Firearm: From Smoothbore to Smallbore 1850-1864 by C. H. Roads

    James Severn - Colt Firearms

    Howard Blackmore. British Military Firearms, 1650-1850.
  12. tomh

    tomh Corporal

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    Tin Cup,

    That repro Ludlow is scary good. I hope that we don't start running into those being sold as originals. At a relic show a couple of years ago we actually saw one dealer that was making and selling repros that were as nice as yours. The problem was, almost directly across the aisle was an unscrupulous dealer that was selling artificially aged versions of the same repros as originals. Do you do anything to your cartridges to identify them as repros?

    All the Ludlow cartridges contained bullets with an "L" basemark and the bullets themselves are valued collectibles. L1, L2, and Ldot marks are the most common and there are rarer L3 and L12 marked bullets claimed to exist (but I have never seen either). Here is a photo of an original Ludlow so everyone can see how good your repros are.

    TomH

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  13. tomh

    tomh Corporal

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    Another sought after British manufactured cartridge that was labeled by the maker is the Eley Brothers enfield cartridges. These were embossed with the company name and are very difficult to find today. The bullets were originally basemarked with the number "57" but after the study done by Hawes, who was trying to improve cartridge design for use by British troops in India, where low temps in the mountains were causing problems with the tallow/wax lubricant. Hawes suggested the reduction of the bullet diameter from .565 inches to .555 inches and the resulting bullets are basemarked with the number "55".

    If you would like to see more Enfield basemarks this link is to an article that I wrote for my projectiles forum. The bullets are at the end of the article.

    http://www.civilwarprojectiles.com/articles/anderson_machine.htm

    TomH

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  14. tomh

    tomh Corporal

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    Also, If you are reenacting CS troops then the British style cartridges are appropriate. While the CS did import both British Enfield Rifle Muskets and cartridges the Federals only imported the weapons and never imported the cartridges. They substituted conventional American style .577/.58 cartridges for the British versions. The CS also produced their own British style cartridges early in the war but later abandoned the style because of increased production time and the scarcity of suitable cartridge paper.

    The photo show three identified CS manufactured Enfield cartridges.

    Hope this helps,
    TomH

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  15. marcus

    marcus Cadet

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    Books

    Thanks for the recommendations Johan. I have several of them and will certainly look into getting some of the others. Incidentally, I just read Small Arms at Gettysburg by Joseph G Bilby, (Westholme Publishing, Yardey PA, copyright 2008). I recommend it highly.
    Marcus
  16. Tin cup

    Tin cup 2nd Lieutenant

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    Tom H…Great pictures of British & Confederate Enfield style Cartridges!

    I noticed that you find originals with the gummed strip missing! That strip keeps the inner wrapper attached to the outer wrapper, so they don’t separate. An earlier design had only 3 papers used to form the cartridge. The problem is that to tear open the cartridge, the paper was too thick. The inner & outer wrappers were close to the same size, so there was more paper to tear. They went to having a much shorter outer wrapper that stopped a bit short of the top, the inner wrapper continued well above the top to help make the tail easier to tear off to expose the powder. The gummed strip was pasted at the junction at the top of the outer wrapper where it contacted the inner wrapper. This gave you only one layer of paper to tear off.

    Pictures you show of the Confederate versions, have no gummed strip, obviously they used the early design of 3 papers to form the cartridge. You would have to have stringent quality control in producing British style ammo. I have a dropped Confederate Enfield bullet I dug myself, it measures .571”. Now you form it into a Enfield style cartridge, the paper surrounding that bullet makes it TOO big to load! No wonder it was dropped.

    There were complaints about Confederate Arsenals making bullets too big to load, my dug bullet confirms this.

    Another problem is that the Enfield cartridge is too tall to fit US style cartridge boxes. The picture I have attached shows US style cartridges in the upper tin, along side the taller Enfield cartridges…you can’t close the flap cover because you would crush the Enfield cartridges. If you have a US style box, (or Confederate copy of one) you would have to get rid of the tins to fit your cartridges. British box design readily fit those taller cartridges.

    I appreciate the complements on my reproductions, and as far as selling them as originals, it would be the classic case of buyer beware! You have to know something of what your dealing with.

    Kevin Dally

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  17. tomh

    tomh Corporal

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    Kevin,

    CS manufactured Enfield style bullets have been found in conventional American style 2 paper cartridges so a diameter of .571 would work when loaded in the American style. CS manufactured enfields have a cone cavity instead of the british plug cavity and generally are large diameter. If you go to my site at www.baymediapro.com/collection and click on the "bullet and cartridge" database, select "search the bullet database", and select "Enfield" in the "Number of Grooves/Rings" you will see most of the enfield style bullets in my collection (more properly called British Rifle Musket style since the Enfield was only made in .577 cal and that style bullet has been found in .52 and .54 cal variants).

    The original spec for British manufactured bullets was .565 diameter. That was later reduced to .555. The CS Ordnance department was plagued with inconsistencies in manufacturing including unloadable oversized bullets, and so was the Federal system. I have a copy of a letter written by Superintendant Gorgas describing an experiment that he conducted. He visited all the major eastern CS arsenals to compare his guages and templates with those being used at the arsenals and found that no two instruments agreed!!!

    You are completely correct in your "buyer beware" statement. I am constantly amazed that people will spend $2000 on a rifle musket but not pay $50 for a book to research the subject. If you do not know exactly what you are buying then it is best to keep your wallet in your pocket.

    The photo is a few other British manufactured enfields, all with the "cigar band".

    Nice to see another bullet nerd on the forum,
    TomH

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  18. unionblue

    unionblue Colonel

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    To All,

    What a great, informative, and fun thread!

    Thanks to all who took the time to share their knowledge and their photos of their work and repros.

    Thanks again all,
    Unionblue
  19. Nathanb1

    Nathanb1 Brigadier General Moderator

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    You guys are all so amazing. I am truly humbled to be privy to all this. Wonderful photos..even I can understand what you're talking about. You all rock!
  20. Tin cup

    Tin cup 2nd Lieutenant

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    I have posted a sequence of pictures that show how the Enfield cartridge was loaded…

    1. Grasp the cartridge with the tail end facing up, bullet end down, tear off the tail to expose the powder. (The teeth are generally used, but the thumb and finger works)
    2. Place opened end of the cartridge to muzzle, tip up and over the muzzle and dump the powder into the barrel.
    3. Turn the cartridge up and over, place the bullet end (waxed paper included) into the muzzle.
    4. Break off the upper section of the paper cartridge away from the bullet, and discard the upper portion of the paper case.
    5. Ram the paper covered bullet down the barrel onto the powder charge in the usual fashion.
    6. Cap and fire.


    This system works great, you don’t have to fumble with getting the bullet out of the paper casing, as you do with the American style cartridge.

    As soon as I can, I will post pictures of how the cartridge is formed, so it’s more clear how they did it.
    Respectfully:

    Kevin Dally
    PS. Tom H. rocks, he post’s pictures of the real thing, I can only come up with a close reproduction!

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  21. marcus

    marcus Cadet

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    however

    Won't someone skilled at making these please consider helping me out with exemplars?
    Marcus

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