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Thread: Loading .577 snider?

  1. #1
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    Loading .577 snider?

    Hey guys, im sure some of you have experience with this.

    Im wanting to make up some .577 snider ammo.

    My plan is to load a 525gr .58cal projectile behind perhaps 65gr of "holy smoke" FFg black powder. (the hornady great plains .58cal projectile) Iv never done anything with black powder before, but I understand I might need to use some kind of "wad", and/or some kind of case filler?

    I guess im seeking info on wads or "fillers" in black powder (rifle) cartridges in general...

    Is some form of wad, and/or some kind of filler absolutely necessary? What is its purpose? What are the pros and cons if its optional?

    If some form of wadding or case filler is the way to go - what might be a good choice to use? Is there anything I might already have around the home, or something readily available that could be used
    Im obviously a complete amateur when it comes to this stuff, and know a bunch of you will no doubt be pros
    Cheers..appreciate the advise.

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    Last edited by ChrisW; 25-06-2020 at 04:40 PM.

  2. #2
    Member norsk's Avatar
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    The filler is used to take up the air space that *might* cause damage to the gun as the powder burns.Also the theory is that if the powder is lying flat,the sparks from the primer ignite a larger surface and this can cause detonation.

    You can use anything for a filler that is pliable,Kaypoc,cotton wool,newspaper,foam backer rod,raw wool..

    Wether either of the two things happen in actuality is a whole other subject.I always use fillers for reduced loads but never for "full house" loads in black powder cartridges with straight walled cases.

    A fiber wad(s) is used to either help take up air space or to sweep fouling from the barrel with each shot.The lube helps keep the fouling soft and reduce the amount of lead deposited in the barrel.Because the surface of this wad is generally rough then a "card wad" another wad generally made from Milk carton is placed waxy side up so the felt wad is not pressed into the base of the bullet and accuracy is ruined,

    The hollow base bullet you mentioned sounds like the original Mine Bullet that was designed to expand into the rifling upon firing.It only does this sometimes and was one of the reasons Sniders had a reputation for poor accuracy.
    ChrisW likes this.
    "Sixty percent of the time,it works every time"

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by norsk View Post
    The filler is used to take up the air space that *might* cause damage to the gun as the powder burns.Also the theory is that if the powder is lying flat,the sparks from the primer ignite a larger surface and this can cause detonation.

    You can use anything for a filler that is pliable,Kaypoc,cotton wool,newspaper,foam backer rod,raw wool..

    Wether either of the two things happen in actuality is a whole other subject.I always use fillers for reduced loads but never for "full house" loads in black powder cartridges with straight walled cases.

    A fiber wad(s) is used to either help take up air space or to sweep fouling from the barrel with each shot.The lube helps keep the fouling soft and reduce the amount of lead deposited in the barrel.Because the surface of this wad is generally rough then a "card wad" another wad generally made from Milk carton is placed waxy side up so the felt wad is not pressed into the base of the bullet and accuracy is ruined,

    The hollow base bullet you mentioned sounds like the original Mine Bullet that was designed to expand into the rifling upon firing.It only does this sometimes and was one of the reasons Sniders had a reputation for poor accuracy.
    Thanks very much for the info. Very helpful.
    Do you think this "stack" would be ok? Pour powder charge into case, pack cotton wool on top of the powder to take up space, then place a disk fashioned out of milk carton type material on top of the cotton wool - then seat projectile?
    Also, from what you said - I don't really need to run any wad or filler, unless there is a lot of free space in the case?

  4. #4
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    Long time since I fired any of my Sniders.

    IIRC I used SPANZ brass which was machined from solid stock.
    I never used substantial loads - my favourite Snider is a Cavalry Carbine. Heavier loads just end up blowing a lot of powder out the muzzle (need to do the sheets of newspaper laid out in front test).
    I used an over powder thin card wad then a felt wad which was saturated with my bees wax and lithium grease brew (melted lube with felt wads in it, left to cool, removed wads with wad cutter).
    I used minie projectiles, lubed, but then paper patched. I then put a slug of lube into the hollow base over the folded paper.
    The projectile sat low in the case on top of the powder. Didn't look like a commercial round but shot well.

    I used tradional minies (Lyman) and the Lee flat nose minie which shot superbly. Couldn't use the Lee in comps though as it wasn't in the historical spirit of the event.
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  5. #5
    Member norsk's Avatar
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    The stack you describe will work fine.You can experiment by weighing the amount of filler but it's not a good idea to have to much compression in a bottle necked case as it will increase pressure.

    Wether or not you actually need a filler depends on who you believe. I don't know enough about the subject to say either way.But if you have a load 80% or more of the service charge,I wouldn't and havnt bothered with a filler.

    What action are you going to use for your project?
    ChrisW likes this.
    "Sixty percent of the time,it works every time"

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by norsk View Post
    The stack you describe will work fine.You can experiment by weighing the amount of filler but it's not a good idea to have to much compression in a bottle necked case as it will increase pressure.

    Wether or not you actually need a filler depends on who you believe. I don't know enough about the subject to say either way.But if you have a load 80% or more of the service charge,I wouldn't and havnt bothered with a filler.

    What action are you going to use for your project?
    Its an original MKIII snider manufactured in 1874
    I hope to get the brass sized, then maybe a couple rounds made up tonight - I guess ill see how much space is left in the case then make a call on it. Maybe make a few with and a few without filler materials.

  7. #7
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    Starting at the beginning, have you seen these two videos on YouTube. I found them very helpful.

    https://tinyurl.com/y7v83xc3

    https://tinyurl.com/y86sj2u3

    Secondly, looking at your brass, I wonder if it is "out of the box" Magtech 24 gauge " If so the cases will need to be trimmed and formed.

    Ask if assistance needed as I found snider projectiles available her unsuitable and brought in sets of dies for my Snider as well as the Martini Henry. IF you have been sourcing your brass and ball from our friend Phil in the South Island (Bromley) neither of these points will be an issue.
    Last edited by Kiwi Sapper; 25-06-2020 at 06:08 PM.
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    I'm not absolutely certain of the facts, but I rather fancy it's Shakespeare who says that it's always just when a fellow is feeling particularly braced with things in general that Fate sneaks up behind him with the bit of lead piping.

    It was a confusion of ideas between him and one of the lions he was hunting in Kenya that had caused A. B. Spottsworth to make the obituary column. He thought the lion was dead, and the lion thought it wasn't

  8. #8
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    I just use 28g shotgun shells shortened to 2 inch loaded with 60gr of homemade black powder and push a .600 round ball on top. Done. The rims are a little to small to eject reliably so just knock them out with a ramrod.
    Maca49, Moa Hunter and ChrisW like this.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiwi Sapper View Post
    Starting at the beginning, have you seen these two videos on YouTube. I found them very helpful.

    https://tinyurl.com/y7v83xc3

    https://tinyurl.com/y86sj2u3

    Secondly, looking at your brass, I wonder if it is "out of the box" Magtech 24 gauge " If so the cases will need to be trimmed and formed.

    Ask if assistance needed as I found snider projectiles available her unsuitable and brought in sets of dies for my Snider as well as the Martini Henry. IF you have been sourcing your brass and ball from our friend Phil in the South Island (Bromley) neither of these points will be an issue.
    Thank you , I will check those out. Yes it’s 24ga Magtech brass which iv trimmed to length but not yet sized . Just got dies today so tonight’s mission is to get to get a few finished loads together that will chamber.

  10. #10
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    BP traditionally measured by volume/column height rather than mass.
    Generally with BP: "Fill it"
    If that shoots OK, keep doing that.
    If not, try drop tubed/compressed loads. You almost literally cannot put too much in. (It's just wasteful past a certain point) As above shoot over snow/ bed sheets to see if you're burning much outside the muzzle.

    I believe airspace is more likely to cause an issue with BP than smokeless, though this is not based on facts or evidemce.
    Coffee grounds are another option for filler.
    As above wad is to keep fouling softer.

    If you're not a puritan about shooting black, duplexing the load (a few gn of smokeless against the primer, topped off with bp) will keep you clean for longer, but not a major issue with the big bores.but worth a think.
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  11. #11
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    Stack of corrugated card discs? Basically squishes flat and runs out with the pill but flies free straight after the muzzle?
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  12. #12
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    I have heard that in order to be in maximal accuracy from a Snider you have to have the action bored out and the barrel shank threaded almost up to the block.Since you are going to put a new barrel on it I would look into this.

    Half the case sits in the action and the first half the barrel on a Snider.This is another reason why they can start chucking flyers after a few rounds.

    I shot my two a hell of a lot over the years.I have five different molds and a pile of brass.

    They are fun guns in original form if you don't expect to much from them.
    ChrisW likes this.
    "Sixty percent of the time,it works every time"

  13. #13
    Member Marty Henry's Avatar
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    Rolled oats is the best filler I've ever come across.
    Filling the cavity with something like lube can improve accuracy or have no effect at all. Experimentation, like cats is what sniders are good for.
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  14. #14
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    I managed to get a couple rounds thrown together last night and test fired. Not at a target so no idea re accuracy, but the gun didnt blow up which is a real good start. Brass also extracted / fell out of the chamber which was nice. I just stuffed some cotton fabric ontop of the powder for these test loads, but I like the sound of using the Rolled oats, so next ammo I make up ill use that.
    I find this ammo almost comical.

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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisW View Post
    ........................................ I like the sound of using the Rolled oats, so next ammo I make up ill use that.
    I find this ammo almost comical.
    Rice works well and may be cheaper. As for your projectile..........................who makes that mould?
    Last edited by Kiwi Sapper; 26-06-2020 at 04:54 PM.
    ChrisW likes this.
    I'm not absolutely certain of the facts, but I rather fancy it's Shakespeare who says that it's always just when a fellow is feeling particularly braced with things in general that Fate sneaks up behind him with the bit of lead piping.

    It was a confusion of ideas between him and one of the lions he was hunting in Kenya that had caused A. B. Spottsworth to make the obituary column. He thought the lion was dead, and the lion thought it wasn't

 

 

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