Rifle Musket /53 .568 Cartridges

Brothers Edwin and Alfred Ludlow were Birmingham small arms ammunition manufacturers. Illustrated is an original pack of ten of their cartridges for the Enfield Pattern 1853 Rifle Musket, dated 1864. With their .568 diameter bullet they were probably intended for Rifle Volunteers engaged in target shooting competition. The service bullet at the time was .55 diameter.

Homer Fisher: A Brief Introduction

Homer Fisher sold his own brand of long range muzzle loading match rifle and other American breech loading long range rifles. He noted in his adverts that “All Long Range Rifles will, if desired, be tested and sighter at Creedmoor, without extra charge.” Fisher was a member of both the Amateur and Empire Rifle Clubs of New York and the US Team to Ireland in 1880.

Homer Fisher, New York, USA

INDEX. New York dealer who sold Fisher’s Muzzle-Loading Long Range Match Rifle and other American breech loading match rifles. Fisher was a member of both the Amateur and Empire Rifle Clubs of New York and the US Team to Ireland in 1880.

Snider Cartridge Creaser

James Dixon & Sons, Cornish Place, Sheffield, manufactured a huge variety of implements for muzzle loading, pin fire and centre fire breech-loading arms. Included were cartridge creasers and this short article features that for the .577 cartridge.

Drams or Drachms?

Problems in the measurement of gun powder charges resulting from the use of different terminologies. De Witt Bailey and Bill Curtis investigated a wide variety of authors from Benjamin Robins in 1742 to Sir Henry Halford in 1888, with a view to finding out if these writers meant what they said. The basic conclusion was that while most did, for a certain period in the early 19th Century, a number became involved in the perpetuation of what appears to have begun as an incorrect translation of a French measure late in the 18th Century.

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.

The Long Enfield 1853

Target shooting by Rifle Volunteers in the National Rifle Association (NRA) matches was primarily with their arm of issue, which in the 1860s was the Pattern 1853 Enfield rifle. Following enquires to the NRA, in April 1861 Captain Edmond H. St. John-Mildmay, the Secretary, sought a ‘definition’ of the rifle. He wrote to Major-General Charles Hay, the Commandant and Inspector-General of Musketry, at the School of Musketry, Hythe (1853-1867). Hay responded and the NRA distributed the correspondence in May 1861 which was published in numerous newspapers of the time. Mildmay’s brief covering note to the newspaper editors, and Hay’s definition follow.

War Department Notes

In the mid 1860’s a fortunate event occurred, the vast majority of the activities of the Ordnance Department of the British Empire was captured on paper. That is to say that an immense amount of information in the form of written descriptions, original drawings, official printed reports, circulars, proformas & tables etc were bound together in the shape of 5 handsome leather covered volumes.

Military Percussion Caps

Arthur B. Hawes in his ‘Rifle Ammunition’ (1859) describes the manufacture of the military percussion cap, his notes also including information on packing the finished 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

For today’s researcher into Enfield ammunition, the definitive reference is “Rifle Ammunition. Being Notes on the Manufactures connected therewith as conducted in The Royal Arsenal, Woolwich” by Arthur B. Hawes, Captain (r.h.p.), Bengal Army and published in London, 1859. Hawes writes in his introduction: “These notes, intended at first only for myself, were, I am happy so say, useful to others; and from that reason more than any other, I am induced now to offer them, imperfect as they are, for the perusal of all who feel interested in the preparation of ammunition of different descriptions, with the exterior of which all soldiers are so familiar.”

Managing the Enfield

The family of British Service Rifles and Carbines introduced during the 1850’s and 1860’s in 0.577 calibre marked the culmination of the soldiers’ muzzle loading firearm. This article does not attempt to deal with the historical aspects of these arms but merely to cover their modern use by enthusiasts. It has to be assumed that the person wishing to shoot these arms can show that he is a competent shot with rifles that are already established as being accurate. The author hopes that these notes intended for the guidance of the newcomer to that superb rifle, the Enfield, will prove of assistance and that, perhaps, there may even be a useful hint to the more experienced.

Measuring Velocity

The ballistic pendulum invented by Benjamin Robins (1707 – 1751), was first used in 1740, with the object of measuring the velocity of projectiles and the resistance of the air. Electro-ballistic apparatus was seeing use by the mid-19th Century. One such device was Navez Apparatus, which saw use in Great Britain with both small arms and artillery.