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Author Topic: Felix Escoffier  (Read 1715 times)

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Offline Racing

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Re: Felix Escoffier
« Reply #15 on: November 02, 2020, 06:48:48 PM »
Picked up a rather involved diopter for this gun.
Will need a bit of time figuring some sort of install out.
DVC - 2021

Offline Racing

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Re: Felix Escoffier
« Reply #16 on: November 08, 2020, 07:12:33 PM »


Yep. Going to defarb that and see where that takes me. One thing´s for sure, the rifle deserves a diopter worth its own weight and this sure is.
Anschutz.
Need i say any more?
DVC - 2021

Offline Racing

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Re: Felix Escoffier
« Reply #17 on: May 09, 2021, 08:00:51 PM »


Alright guys. So.. this has gotten real.
As you know we do produce our own molds since a while back.

We, me n close friend Patric, are to shoot our "nationals" with this Escoffier and to do that we of course need a "money boolit" of our own.

Which is the mold on the right.

Basically loosely based on the old Postell.

Let´s get this thing fired up, for real  &j( :-*
DVC - 2021

Offline Miguel Loco

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Re: Felix Escoffier
« Reply #18 on: May 10, 2021, 02:57:17 PM »
Looks like fun!
-Mick
"a dios rogando y con el mazo dando"

Offline Racing

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Re: Felix Escoffier
« Reply #19 on: May 14, 2021, 06:31:35 AM »


Houston, we have lift off.
EXACTLY where i wanted it, EXACT fit.. it just baaaaarely slips down the bore.
DVC - 2021

Offline Racing

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Re: Felix Escoffier
« Reply #20 on: May 14, 2021, 03:09:37 PM »
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xKSW7gATCsI

This IS the most wonderful blackpowder era rifle i know. There. I said it.
Me n Patric, in the clip, are gonna use it for national comps this season for starters.
DVC - 2021

Offline Racing

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Re: Felix Escoffier
« Reply #21 on: May 24, 2021, 04:10:00 PM »


We´re no doubt making progress, and rather good such.
Took to turning a fresh diopter disc. Simply heated the thing blue and done deal. Point being that those adjustable Anschutz deals we´re not allowed to use ´em when competing.



Right. So the day had come when we went shooting me n Patric. Bare in mind that we´re going for broke here... I designed that there boolit very loosely based on the fabled Postell...

Albeit this Felix IS a "451 era rifle" it of course HAS to be "French" in that regular boolits for a 451 gun are simply out. The rifling on these, as well as the Chassepot for that matter, is rather deep and thus..

So.
This thing fits down the barrel in a manner that it´ll come to a standstill if you just set the thing into the barrel and leave it be - no matter how deep into the barrel, and as you apply the weight of the ramrod alone..it settles with a "wooosh" - kinda.
Snug fit in other words, just what the doc ordered.

I had weighed a number of them and settled for these trials for a deviation of a full 4 grains. Ie; a tad under 1% (nominal weight being 495 grains).
Cast out of pure lead, of course.

Please keep in mind that i hold a few of these rifles, "451´s" that is. We started out with like 10 sighters but.. no good. We saw keyholing and what not. Accuracy out the door. This at a mere 50 grains of powder, a charge these rifles were never intended for.
However...
I friggin KNEW that them boolits were made of the right stuff, so after a while there we upped the charge and started using the pre weighed charges i had brought.

BINGO!  &j( At 70 grains it was like a tractor beam had taken charge of the boolits and we were at this stage down to an easy 2".
Funny tidbit, me that shoots everything in sight with a greased wad.. as it turned out we opted to delete that to make the initial "boom" make the rear of the bullet jump harder and take to the rifling.
Hm..
Just hm on that.. We´ll see. Last word certainly hasn´t been said on that.

Anyways. We spent the better part of the day evaluating what went down, trying minor changes here and there - incl a fresh nipple, which... oh the irony.. turned out to really make for a difference..  (?^ I´m an idiot and friggin KNOW better boys! Damn...
Yeah well..

At 19.00hrs we called it a day, and at that point we had arrived at 75 grains of powder followed by an over powder card, then ample amounts of grease and finally the boolit - a grease groove such as can be seen (again..Postell).

What i´m saying is that this looks REAL promising! The series we´re running is a matter of a mere 50 meters standing (13 shots) and 100 meters prone (13 shots). Patric will do the standing up part and i´ll handle the prone bit. No worries.
We´re allowed to use a sling, which we of course do. (Those not into the use of a sling when shouldering a rifle, read up.. it makes for a world of difference as far as stability on target and thus your ability to hit.)

So what we can arrive on this day to an end is what we basically already knew. That these rifles, when used with a flat base boolit (which they ARE designed for), needs a bit of a boom before they get to do their job properly, that arrived on tho do they EVER as you get there.
In short next outing will be from 70 grains up to and incl 100 grains. Yes, all to aware that we would get away with lesser charge with a different boolit (with for instance a Minié style base/rear) but that´s completely detrimental as far as us as the idea here is for the same charge, same rifle and so on and reach out to 600 meters eventually. Something you simply won´t muster with a minie style boolit and 35 grains of powder..

So no.
The work invested is by any means anything but wasted.



It still amazes me how low key this rifle is. This one set with a heap of others on a gun rack and i PROMISE most of you would pass it sans any second glance.
But.. OH were you ever mistaken. This IS da bomb and as i´ve told earlier.. it´s just a 451 rifle where a bunch of Frenchmen were let to go ape on designing every part of it.
To the point where it makes my Whitworth come off as a coarse log in comparsion...  {+* (?^ (?^

Felix Escoffier knew his shit. It´s that simple.



Then a kick in the ass vs Swedish legislation. To the left there an Anschutz i 22lr and to the right a flinter of 17,2mm caliber. The Anschutz under permit, the flinter (or this Felix for that matter) is not.
Don´t get me wrong. I´m all good as far as permits, it´s just that.. sometimes legislation turns friggin insane.  {L*

Anyways.
Look forward to the next update boys! This spring has been just awful here on the west coast of Sweden.. rain rain rain rain and then some more rain.. As we´re closing up on june i sincerly hope that´ll come to a halt.
Blackpowder and rain ain´t the most fun of combos exactly.. keep your powder dry n all that.
No matter.
I´ll update and be sure to shoot pics per usual as we get there fellas. You can take that to the bank  _l
DVC - 2021

Offline Racing

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Re: Felix Escoffier
« Reply #22 on: June 10, 2021, 05:33:36 AM »
Well guys, we went up for the nationals (1st inning) and it was...
Pure disaster.

As it turns out that boolit there is NOT stable, and some heavy duty thinking was in order.

When i took a seat for a few sighters at 100 meters i´d shoot and 8 and a 9 on that intl pistol target (diopter only) when the third shot hit like 18 FEET HIGH!  {_K

I believe we´ve come to terms and concluded why and i have since really dived into the Greenhill as well as Miller formulas, taken design aspects into consideration and what not...



Beaded the thing.. wood is a "living" material after all and indeed the foremost part of the stock was putting pressure on the barrel like say 100mm in from the muzzle.
Handed it a fresh crown again and so on and so on...



Something was amiss here tho. The amount of lead debris in the barrel was no joke and what i presume has happened is that the rearward drive band of the bullet was simply to narrow to cope pushing that 500 grain slug into an "aggressive" as rifling twist as 1:21.
Yes. Now measured.



That was not all though. Knowing the just as French made Chassepot i believe they used the same rifling bench to make these Escoffier guns and that brings that the rifling depth is nothing short of insane. Approx 2,5/10mm rendering 0,5mm total and there´s no WAY any bullet will conform to that and still keep integrity.

When we loaded the gun we just ran powder - overpowder card - grease - greased boolit. This brings that most likely we´ve seen a fair amount of gas cut too, seeing how deep that rifling is.

In short, back to the drawing board and this time out i tossed the entire book at it, so yes.. that HP calculator of mine has seen hard core duty this time out which resulted in a fair amout of changes.



First up, a WAY wider rear drive band. What´s more i took to careful measuring of the bore this time out, and i had been off mark. Now..
This becomes an issue as the former mold was cut 11,05mm diameter. When i cast out of pure lead i just dump the boolits into water, and upon closer examination it turns out that the shrinkage present was no laughing matter. The boolits, on an average, dialed in around the 10,97-10,98 mark.
That´s a fair amount of shrinking and CERTAINLY way to much to make any use of the boolit vs the bore in case.

So.



I´m an engineer right and engineers are lazy. So what i did was reuse an old die for 375 H&H. Took to widening the center of it on the lathe and then turned a bullet sizer eye to be installed into the recess i cut. Presto, a perfect 11,11mm sizing die.

Point being that seeing the rather extreme shrinking going on we decided to cut the new mold 11,20mm. That should bring us boolits around the 11,12-11,13 mark which in turn will be a breeze to size to 11,11mm. Not only that, the sizer will also guarantee that the boolits in case come out perfectly round.
Mind you, still out of pure lead.

Now. When you start tossing the Greenhill n Miller around a few things come to strike you. One of being the stability factor of a given boolit. The Postell is 36mm long and 45cal right. Well. After tossing the figures back n forth i decided on a somewhat shorter boolit as this boolit is NOT for long range but for 100 meter use primarily.
This handed me a design that will be stable to 1000fps and even lower while it´ll hand me an "s" factor inxs of 2 while at approx 1400fps.

Grease groove pack was moved accordingly... From now on out in turn this gun will NEED to be fired with a greased wad behind the boolit to produce a seal for the boolit in case. This to eliminate the chance of gas cutting any further.

So where we´re at right now the new mold has been cut and i´m off for the shop to cast a few and size them to see what comes out the other end.
Will report back, as do i always  (T^
DVC - 2021

Offline Racing

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Re: Felix Escoffier
« Reply #23 on: June 13, 2021, 07:56:33 AM »


Right. So as you can see there´s a distinct waist to the mold... as we´re idiots and tried getting the CNC to cut a 1,9mm cut with a 2,0mm piece of mill bit.

That said though i felt that it might be... "just as well" as the issue was midships and thus the ogive and rear of the boolit in case was on the money and i NEEDED some sort of receipt on that we were in the game or not.



So i cast a number of them and weighed them in at 420grains +/- 2 grains and we went shooting....

In short summary it seems we´re on the right track. Hits are coming in all of a sudden and the rifle seems to take to lighter loads as well.
As to how this´ll iron out, remains to be concluded but the difference vs what was is staggering.
DVC - 2021

Offline Racing

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Re: Felix Escoffier
« Reply #24 on: June 13, 2021, 05:15:20 PM »


Hm. You might recall that i took to bed the barrel? Well, an awful lot of shooting went down the other day as stated, and that rendered a crack in the stock. Between the rear tang and the lock mortis.
Easy and simple enough to handle but also a receipt that i need to bed that rearward part of the barrel hookup. So..release agent and some two comp epoxy coming up...



Now, i´m by NO means a stranger to recoil. But..there IS a line. Firing like 130-140 shots the other day divided between two shooters, first time in 35yrs i came home with a sore shoulder. That.. made me pull this very temporary stunt. Yup. Says Beretta. True.
It actually fits rather well, and i´m absolutely positive that the piece will make firing 90 grains of powder beneath a 500 grain pill in a 5 pound rifle somewhat..easier over the long haul.



No. Still haven´t remedied the issue there with the "waist band" on these boolits, but whatever for now. We´ll get there, but meanwhile we also need to push forward.
Thus i cast yet another batch today, and we´ll need it..

That calibration eye i made, going to make yet another one.. one that´s 3/100 of a mm smaller i diameter. Point here being that we´re not allowed to clean the barrel between shots and thus.. ample amounts of grease but also a boolit that isn´t excessively large - seeing all bets in.
DVC - 2021

Offline Len

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Re: Felix Escoffier
« Reply #25 on: June 16, 2021, 02:26:02 PM »
Hi Racing, I experienced a crack in the stock of an old flintlock pistol. Used to shoot it with 15 grains of Swiss. Then one day I got bold and said "what the heck", let's try 30 grains. Got a substantial recoil and a crack in the grip parallel to the barrel. Crack was heard above the bang.
 200+ years of walnut goes brittle and the fibres are often aligned in an unfavourable direction. But then of course any damage is a welcome challenge to address.

Offline Hawg

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Re: Felix Escoffier
« Reply #26 on: June 16, 2021, 07:18:14 PM »
You'll get there Racing, of that I have no doubt.
Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for thou art crunchy, and tasteth good with ketchup.

Offline Racing

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Re: Felix Escoffier
« Reply #27 on: June 17, 2021, 06:30:56 PM »
@ Len.
Yeah, i hear ya on that one. As this is a hooked breech rifle though i´m going to bed that tang so the impact/force is equaled out as best as it can at least.
What to keep in mind here is that the stock is REAL slender for a 451 gun.

So. We went shooting.



Nope. Still not even close. Of course this could always be reasoned as driver induced but once and for all.. When we sit down at 100 meters with the Anschutz both me and Patric will deliver groups that to the LETTER can be covered with a regular man sized thumb nail.
What i´m saying by that is.. we´re no newcomers to this.
Sry to say this is rifle induced and i´m currently doing my damndest trying to figure out what´s going on here.

Thing is.. The difference in min diameter comes down to like 6/100mm and that might very well be the idea of a choked barrel. But in that case, what WERE they thinking as far as loads at St Etienne at the time cause this is getting nowhere... fast.

ALL the needed attributes are there! This is no doubt a fast twist 45 cal rifle made back in the day as a high accuracy smoke pole! No two ways about that...
That shorter bullet i designed, idea was for a "short range" pill. But.. we´re still all over the map. As we get even a HINT of "we got it!"... nope.

What we´re going to try now is to physically drill a "minie hollow" out rear and see if that aids any. Thinking being that.. might be we´re asking the bullet to expand from a solid base way to much?
Please keep in mind this rifles downright INSANE rifling depth. Idea we´ve got is not to make the bullet seal but just to get it to take to the rifling earlier than it SEEMS to do deep within the barrel upon firing.

We really should fire into water to get an idea of how the bullet looks as it exits the muzzle. Where to pull that off tho?



Here they are. Sized to 11,09mm and that brings that as we shove them down the pipe.. we simply can´t ASK for a better fit. It´s that simple.
Bullet stays that tight for like.. 600mm out of the barrels 800mm total. As it closes in on the breech it´s like it rattles in place.

If this goes to hell in a handbasket i´ll friggin turn the tools needed out of SIS-2241 steel to scuff that insane rifling down, 1/10 of a millimeter at a time (which equals 5/100mm per land) and keep doing so until i see a uniform dimension at around 11,45mm. Or.. 450 caliber if you so wish.
The grooves are all in at approx ,460" so.. spare to go need be.

But.
For my own sanity, and as an engineer, i friggin NEED to get to terms with what Felix Escoffier had in mind down at St Etienne in France back in the mid 1860´s.
It´s a real bummer he´s not around to ask anymore..  (?^
DVC - 2021

Offline Len

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Re: Felix Escoffier
« Reply #28 on: June 18, 2021, 12:24:36 PM »
Hi Racing, now I'm just trying to think out of the bloody box. In gas turbines the sealing is achieved by a row of thin flanges along the axle (labyrinth seal) and in gut surgery  they insert silicone tubes with thin flanges. Why not try a bullet with thin flanges, not with a waist, but more like love handles, i.e. more than the diameter, so that when pressed into the breech the flanges bend backward. And maybe the cylindrical aft of the bullet should be shorter. You could easily turn out some samples in the lathe.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2021, 02:45:39 AM by Len »

Offline Hawg

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Re: Felix Escoffier
« Reply #29 on: June 19, 2021, 12:04:19 AM »
Back in the early 2000's I was admin of a now long defunct forum. One of the other admin had a single shot rifle that belonged to his great grandfather. He also had several original 45-70 cartridges that went with it. The rifling on that thing was the deepest I've ever seen. It made yours look like a smooth bore. He said he did fire it a few times and it was accurate but it leaded the barrel up bad.
Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for thou art crunchy, and tasteth good with ketchup.