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Although the original bullet was hexagonal, the C.S.
The Whitworth rifles proved to be magnificently accurate, with a British military test showing a group of 0.85 MOA at 500 yards, and under 8MOA even at 1800 yards. Thanks I used to own a ‘D’ series Whitworth very similar to this rifle but without the scope….and would pass on some observations.
The original bullets did use a paper patch, however the rifling was a straight 1 in 20 with no gain twist.
Marcin, I haven’t found anything current.
The paper–wrapped lead slug had a tight fit in the bore and sealed the powder gases well.
At the very least you would need a lot of powder and I think the burning properties of black powder would be very suboptimal for a true recoilless gun. Roughly 30% of a recoilless gun’s powder charge launches the projectile, the other 70% provides the “counterweight” that keeps the gun from moving. We know about cca. Captured Confederate Whitworth Rifle being guarded. In particular, they were used to shoot at Union artillery crews, and Whitworth bullets have been found on a great many Civil War battlefields.
No way a private making $13 mo. One curious thing is the number of Whitworth bullets shown that seem to be simple cylinders. >> seem to be simple cylinders. This led crews to eventually permanently seal the breech action and load/reload their guns from the muzzle in the typical fashion - negating the weapon's one true distinct quality.
Here’s another set of Maxim photos, this time of an 1899 pattern gun made at Enfield. >>> “I have a B series which I shoot sometimes.”, Jan, is your rifle recorded in the Whitworth Research Project database?
Extrude lead at a factory through a hex die and then machine the tip and cut it to length on a lathe? You poured the lead in the to of the mold, and used a special mold handle with a rod to push the bullet out of the mold. I goofed, and interpreted Figure of Merit numbers as whole group sizes. I’ve bought that rifle.
https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/John_Sedgwick Bullet molds should have come with the full rifle package, right? Written in 1864, it’s a review of then-recent developments in English arms and ordnance, with a focus on the transition of both muskets and cannon from smoothbore to rifled. One of the major drawbacks in the Whitworth Rifle's design was the breech system's fragility over the course of extended combat exposure. OTOH, the Confederacy grasped at any straw that might compensate for their inferiority in industrial capacity and manpower, and most of those ideas failed and put the CSA even further behind. As embarrassing as this is, I can offer the following from wikipedia: “Two types of bullets were used in the Whitworth rifle, hexagonal and cylindrical. The Whitworth did not shoot a 12 inch group at 1800 yards. And this was long before EDM machining. Simply amazing.
I’m not sure why this is, but I can speculate a little: 1) The bullets were not really truly hexagonal, but more like a cylinder with flattened surfaces, with some rounding between the flats (i.e.
Even if making black-powder recoilless was technically possible, I doubt if they would found it useful in 1860s. 5700 Whitworth rifles manufactured by different British companies. Oh yes, and blackpowder rockets, both Hale (spin-stabilized) and Congreve (guiding-stick stabilized) types, were used by both sides during the ACW.
Yes the soft lead bullets will assume a hex shape when fired. Whitworth made a total of about 13,700, selling them to high level competitive marksmen and wealthy shooting enthusiasts. 16% is probably a pretty high survival rate for any gun from 1960. They are expensive (US$300) and require punching the bullet out of the mold. (there was a whitworth rifled target rifle in the main homestead office, a rifle by Eli Whitney, there is a long story there) Unfortunately I have none of those bullets now, but they had quite a deep hollow base with quite heavy skirting. WW rifling worked with muzzle or breech loaders. He ventured to say that the Whitworth small-bore rifle, fired with common sporting powder, would never foul, so as to render loading difficult.
I posted similar (briefer) comment on the YouTube page and the oversight was acknowledged. The internal stresses added to the bore during the compression process proved helpful in absorbing the stress of increased loads, lengthening the lifetime of the barrel. But now because we averaged the radial distances, that 9 inch circle only contains approximately 50% of the shots fired. Not that I’m interested in it… Well, maybe a little bit… I am , Hello again,
My guess is that the well-equipped sniper would carry both. The bullets were a mechanical fit and load quite easily.
The Whitworth ammunition. http://brettschulte.net/ACWBlog/archives/wwbullet.jpg. http://www.researchpress.co.uk/index.php/firearms/gunmakers/whitworth. The hexagonal form bullet did not need to expand to properly grip the barrel, and therefore could be made out of a harder alloy than pure lead”. The shot group measurement in use at the time was the Figure of Merit or what we now call the Mean Radius. Of interest is that the author, Sir James Emerson Tennent, was also a shareholder of Manchester Ordnance and Rifle Company – the company he so ably promotes in his book. Please consider, Maxim “Prototype”: The First Practical Machine Gun, Britains First Standard Trainer: the No 2 Mk IV*, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rifled_muzzle_loader, http://www.navweaps.com/Weapons/WNUS_3-15_mk12.php, https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/John_Sedgwick, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polygonal_rifling, http://www.researchpress.co.uk/index.php/firearms/gunmakers/whitworth, http://www.researchpress.co.uk/index.php/firearms/gunmakers/whitworth/loading-the-whitworth, http://www.researchpress.co.uk/index.php/firearms/british-military-longarms/small-arms-trials/measuring-accuracy, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Moultrie, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QF_4.7-inch_Gun_Mk_I%E2%80%93IV#United_States_service, http://sharpshooters.cfspress.com/arms.html, http://www.researchpress.co.uk/index.php/contact, https://archive.org/stream/Hatchers_Notebook#page/n431/mode/2up/search/merit, Whitworth Rifles and Kerr Revolvers — TOCWOC - A Civil War Blog. I used a hex bullet mold that was a tube type mold that had a plug in the end for the minnie type base. The bullet obviously has to have a more be a complex shape than normal, and I wondered if that would cause issues with the ad hoc making of the bullets. The type did not enjoy the numbers nor exposure of its competing brethren but was notable in that it was an artillery piece loaded from the breech (rear) of the gun tube at a time when artillery was still generally loaded from the muzzle (as in the Napoleon 12-pounders popular with both the Federals and Confederates). The figures Ian uses are derived from the same British report that I included in my article.
That said, the Enfield delivered a Figure of merit of 27 inches which paled in comparison to the Whitworth. Army preferred to use standard paper, The standard load of the rifle was between 70-85 grains fine British powder that propelled the 530 grain bullet. Armstrong-Whitworth went on to become a major aircraft company. There’s another reason besides cost that the Whitworth rifle did not become standard issue: It got its increased performance partly by close tolerances bullet to barrel, and so was less tolerant of powder residue building up in the barrel.