Help with improving accuracy on Armisport 1861 Springfield

Joined
Apr 29, 2008
Messages
40
Location
South Dakota
#1
I went out yesterday to shoot my Armisport 1861 Springfield. Unfortunately, I had a problem with it shooting high. I am shooting a .577 minie ball with 60 grains of FFg. I understood this to be the original load for the '61 Springfield during the Civil War. Any suggestions on how to improve accuracy?
 

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Joined
Feb 16, 2016
Messages
81
Location
Oldham UK
#4
iam sure ive seen a recent you tube video of a guy with the same problem and had the foresight extended slightly to drop the sight picture down the barrel .....I will have another look for it and put a link on if I find it
 

Booner

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
May 4, 2015
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#5
Again, what range were you shooting at?
Where you shooting off hand or from a rest?
How large was the group?

The first thing you would want to do is to get the rifle to group, (combination of powder charge and bullet), then you'd go about getting the sights to line up where it's grouping.
And don't expect it to shoot it's best group with what was used during the CW. My Euroarms Enfield liked 52 grains of 2f and a round we called a tin can when it shot it's best. Every gun likes something different; original, reproduction, black powder or smokeless.
 
Joined
Oct 24, 2008
Messages
418
Location
Fairfax, VA, USA
#6
ChapK,

I think this might explain why you were shooting high, assuming that you were shooting at 25, 50, 75, or 100 yards using the stock sights on your rifle musket:

The following is a post I made on the N-SSA web site about the sights on Civil War firearms, and posted previously on this forum in January 2015.. The discussion was related to the N-SSA's decision to open a new match for muzzle loading Civil War military long arms with completely unmodified sights and paper cartridges:

"So if you went with actual historical arms, were these things just not sighted in at the ranges we now shoot (50/100 yards)?"

No, they weren't. Armies of the time were concerned about "minute of man," not target accuracy at the ranges the N-SSA shoots. Some examples:

There was an expectation that revolvers would be effective to 75 yards. Using the original sight heights, at 25 yards you aimed at your target's crotch, at 50 yards at his center of mass, and at 75 yards at his head. All three aiming points would produce a hit at roughly center of mass. None of them will necessarily produce even 8 ring accuracy on the pistol target used by the N-SSA.

The shortest marked range on the Sharps carbine sight ladder is for 200 yards. The point blank sight would have been used for shorter ranges using hold offs.

On the System Lorenz Austro-Hungarian rifles, both the Type I block sight and the short range portion of the Type II sight were calibrated for 300 Schritt (a military pace 29.5 inches long). At distances to 150 paces, Austro-Hungarian Army soldiers were taught to locate the top of the front sight at the lowest point of the sighting notch in the rear sight and aim for their target's crotch. From 150 to 250 paces, the top of the front sight was placed even with the sighting notch of the rear sight and you aimed for the target's center of mass. From 250 to 300 paces, the base of the front sight post was placed even with the top of the rear sight aiming notch and you aimed for the target's center of mass. Similar adjustments were made for longer distances on the sighting ladder of the Type II sight.

Through consideration of the very curved trajectory of black power arms, all of the above gave you "minute of man," not fine target accuracy. So, if you want to use original unmodified sights at N-SSA distances you will have to use some very deep hold offs unless you bend the barrels, which defeats the purpose of originality. By the way, bending barrels is prohibited by the international sanctioning body -- MLAIC -- for international competition with these types of arms. So, there are people who have done it.

American Civil War soldiers were not generally provided enough marksmanship instruction to understand how their sights worked, which is why at about 125 yards your enemy was generally shooting over your head. [This is because the soldiers were alining the top of the front sight with the top of the rear sight like they did when hunting small game at short range. The skill set required to use military firearms at militarily useful distances is much different than the skill set required for hunting at short range and requires training.] Hence the contemporary reports of soldiers fighting in forested areas being showered with leaves and branches.

Regards,
Don Dixon
 
Joined
Jan 8, 2012
Messages
515
#7
Again, what range were you shooting at?
Where you shooting off hand or from a rest?
How large was the group?

The first thing you would want to do is to get the rifle to group, (combination of powder charge and bullet), then you'd go about getting the sights to line up where it's grouping.
And don't expect it to shoot it's best group with what was used during the CW. My Euroarms Enfield liked 52 grains of 2f and a round we called a tin can when it shot it's best. Every gun likes something different; original, reproduction, black powder or smokeless.
Just don't ever use "smokeless" i.e., modern gunpowder in a black powder firearm.
 

Booner

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
May 4, 2015
Messages
2,147
Location
Boonville, MO
#8
Just don't ever use "smokeless" i.e., modern gunpowder in a black powder firearm.
I didn't mean to imply using smokeless in a black powder firearm. My point being that in my experience, every firearm (black powder and smokeless), likes it's own combination of load.

We both have the exact firearm. What give your firearm a very accurate load my not do so in mine.

But thanks for pointing out never to use smokeless in a black powder arm. It can't be said often enough.
 



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