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Historical Firearms, Long Range Target Shooting & Military History

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Gunpowder projectiles, history of the cartridge from paper tube to solid-drawn case. Contemporary information on loading.

  • Drams or Drachms? - Problems in the measurement of gun powder charges resulting from the use of different terminologies.
  • Joshua Shaw, Artist And Inventor - This biography of Joshua Shaw also features the early history of the copper percussion cap [1869].
  • Manufacture of The Copper Percussion Cap - A short description [1858].
  • Eley's Patent Wire Cartridge - The term 'Cartridge' in the context of the muzzle loading era did not always mean 'a complete round with powder'. In shotgun terms, it meant a package containing the shot charge and possibly the wadding which could be loaded intact onto the powder charge already in the barrel.
  • Military Percussion Caps - In 1858 British military percussion caps were issued in packs of 75 along with 60 cartridges. That year an additional 20 Eley waterproof caps were also issued.
  • Enfield Paper Cartridges - This article draws from Hawes' work on Rifle Ammunition (1859) and other contemporary sources.
  • Snider Cartridge Creaser - A James Dixon & Sons ball cartridge creaser model 1182, for .577 cartridges.

for Target Shooting

  • Metford & Bullet Alloys - W.E. Metford's correspondence with Sir H. Halford provide a fascinating insight into the experimentation conducted by these gentlemen in the pursuit of accuracy.
  • Rigby, Quicksilver & Bullet Alloys - Contemporary comment from the 1870s on bullet alloys and in particular the use of quicksilver (mercury) as a bullet-hardener.
  • Report of Experiments - In the Annual Report of the National Rifle Association for 1875, General Alexander Shaler (President 1875-1877) reported on experiments with powder charges for long range shooting.
  • The Perils of Hand Loading and How to Wrap Bullets - Observations from the 1880s on hand loading and paper patched bullets.
  • The Science of Long Range Shooting - Edwin Perry shares in his Modern Observations on Rifle Shooting (1880), some of the major changes / advancements at Creedmoor, in particular regarding bullet alloys.
  • The Record Long Range Score - Contemporary insight into long range rifle shooting in the US during the 1880s, and a rich resource for detail on practices of the time.
  • Sharps Long Range Bullets - Pictorial feature of boxed sets of long range bullets for the Sharps rifle, manufactured by the Winchester Repeating Arms Co.
  • Paper Patching: A Pictorial Guide - A quick tutorial on paper patching bullets.