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Author Topic: Chassepot Mle 1866  (Read 15416 times)

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Offline Miguel Loco

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Re: Chassepot Mle 1866
« Reply #105 on: June 07, 2020, 10:30:00 PM »
Gorgeous work!
-Mick
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Offline Racing

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Re: Chassepot Mle 1866
« Reply #106 on: July 30, 2020, 07:55:14 PM »
Thank you ML.

As much as the various work on guns have come to seriosly "spill over" for me there´s of course my own too. Two of them being Chassepot rifles,which just to recap is a bolt action gun that´s permit exempt for me.

Well.
The British built,by Potts&Hunt in London,last "sleeper" one..i finally got around to push it a bit further.



Well lads. The OEM Chassepot is a paper cartridge gun that uses an approx 385grain boolit propelled by 88 grains of blackpowder. As it´s a 45 cal gun it´s thus basically a 45-90 such - in essence.
As the thing sports for instance 1:20 twist and what not i this time out figured i´d step it up a bit,and took to turning myself a chamber insert for a 45-120 approx.
Seeing that i turned that insert out of high end steel but be that as it may the damn barrel is still the..by all means for the time rather serious steel..still just low grade crap compared to what´s available today.
Might be that blackpowder can only produce that much pressure,but lately having seen a few guns where crap´s gone ape.. What i did was set where that insert ends in a rather anal fashion.
I then proceeded to cut the barrel off at that spot. As i now had the bullet entry point,for the rifling that is,at close hand i opted to set jump as well as forcing cone and what not to my hearts desire.
I then set the barrel and chamber insert up snug against each other on the lathe and hit it with the TIG welder and some rather specialized TIG weldrod (as the high end steel vs the low end is a bit of a mismatch and can create cracks and god knows what else i´ve you ain´t within the loop).
So. Cut a couple of "welding ditch" into the barrel and insert both. The lathe as a make shift jig,centered the pieces using dial indicators and went at it.

The OEM piece of the barrel i had cut off (that carries the thread to bolt it to the action and so forth) i cleaned out and shoved that atop what i had welded together and..in turn hit the thing once again with the TIG,this time with regular "crap" weldrod.
This,in short,has handed me a very very strong chamber construction to play with,and there´s of course a reason for this.



Having turned and in general cleaned the welding areas out and..in all honesty feeling good about that i came to adress the scope mount.
From earlier i had turned a couple of steel bungs that i had basically just welded into the receiver. This coupled with the cast aluminium scope base though had handed me a 6-24x*50 scope that came to rest a tad to much above the barrel face than i cared for.
Thus..tossed the base on the mill and cut a few millimeters out of it. Bad move..the thing turned WAY to weak so going to have to replace that with a home brew base out of steel...
But nevermind.. I at the same time tossed the entire receiver onto the mill and cut yet a few millimeters out aaaaand..about right there i got happy again.
No. It´s not "to close for comfort" to the barrel yet. More so..cool enough.
Reason behind this is rather simple. These old rifles were never intended for scope use,and to do what i have in mind here necessitates a scope seeing the shooting distances involved here. So. Reason for getting the scope as close to the barrel as i´m comfortable with is that then i don´t have to adress the comb of the rear stock as drastically.
What i have in mind,to go with the era and looks of the gun,is one of them strap on leather jobbies. in turn i plan for a ditto butt plate/limb saver too.

Huh? Well guys. I´m by NO means a stranger to recoil but this IS a 45-120 rifle of modest weight,all said and done,why i´m going to equip it to the best of my possibilitys as far as that.
..which brings us to the next point...



Ah! Yes! The muzzle brake. Uhu. This rather simple little device i hope will help immensely. I opted to polish the barrel as a whole and ..it DOES show - the split line between the brake and the barrel.
But. Having done this i immediately thought to myself that...either rebrown the thing or blue it - the way i do it. Salts only that is,and i both hope n presume this´ll make that joint disappear more or less.



Yeah baby!!  (?^ (?^ ->i
Here we friggin go! Had a spare mid barrel band and took to turning a small collet to TIG weld to that band,thus handing me an installation point for a bipod.
Drilled the thing and tapped 6mm metric (of course) for a wing screw. Will dimple the axle on the pod to make them interact.

As a whole..i´m turning semi pleased with this thing. Now to adress the bolt..needs to be done. That and the firing pin(needle) and spring et al.
The Anschutz match trigger is already on there and works a million bux..so? We´re getting there...bit by bit boys  &j( (T^

Net result here is a 45 cal rifle from back in the day that´ll use a sorts of 45-120 cartridge that propels a 500 grains and up boolit down the range.
Looooooooooong distance i hope. Going to be a very very interesting trial this one. Hafta admit... M__
« Last Edit: July 30, 2020, 08:04:04 PM by Racing »
DVC - 2020

Offline Grumpy gumpy

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Re: Chassepot Mle 1866
« Reply #107 on: July 30, 2020, 09:39:42 PM »
Not sure I’d call it a Chassepot anymore...... {:(
Need a little laughing emoticon, this is really quite interesting, hows the recoil lugs going to cope with prolonged use?
I can see some of the "purists " at my club having kittens at the thought of modifying a rifle like this, I say you’re improving it from what it was
Gumpy

Offline Racing

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Re: Chassepot Mle 1866
« Reply #108 on: July 31, 2020, 04:27:15 AM »
Know all to well that i´m pushing the envelope.
No need to fret though,from a collectors standpoint,as this gun was ruined already as was. What´s more..they all in all about made 2 million of them..

Lugs in turn.
The mainstay of the bolt is fresh meat. SIS-2241 stainless to be more exact.
Again,the pressures arrived on with BP is limited after all,and even if i opt to go duplex with this thing pressures will still be within realms.
Have given thought to cutting for a pair of locking lugs up front however,have to admit to that. If nothing else from an accuracy perspective.
But already as is..
The stock setup on these things,bolt vs receiver that is,sure ain´t a close tolerance game. They more or less wiggle around in there,making that "cocking" to the one side of the bolt under fire isn´t only to be expected...it´s there.
With the fresh main body about any and all of that movement is gone. Sure..still a matter of making the thing stand still under load,which is..why i´m giving thought to a pair of locking lugs extra up front.
DVC - 2020

Offline Captainkirk

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Re: Chassepot Mle 1866
« Reply #109 on: July 31, 2020, 09:02:02 AM »
Incredible workmanship and attention to detail, Racing.
"You gonna pull those pistols, or whistle Dixie?"

Offline Racing

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Re: Chassepot Mle 1866
« Reply #110 on: August 01, 2020, 06:58:37 AM »
Thx.

To be quite honest i was real hesitant to remove the natural brown of the barrel. This was a barrel delivered in white only why that brown was a matter of natural rust over time.
Mind you,from the parting line of the barrel n stock upwards only. But... As the brake went on there and as i cut into the breech of the thing..i needed to dress both areas.
In turn i removed the bracketry for the bayonet and in turn the sights,which are soldered on. Thus..kind of ugly all said and done why i reasoned as such that i might as well rebrown,or even reblue,the thing when i´m done.

As long as the bolt is out of stainless that´s of course a no-no as far as the bolt but..rest of it will color though.

First thing´s first however why i reason as such that any and all color will have to wait until the gun´s done and have seen a first practical evaluation/trials.
No point in handing it finish until then.

Ditto. I´ve kind of grown fond of the hue of the stock to be honest. Thus the add-on of a cheek piece,well...either brown,black or actually seeing the hue even red leather will do fine.

Also giving though to go totally mental on the scope. Biggest there is... (?^
DVC - 2020

Offline Racing

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Re: Chassepot Mle 1866
« Reply #111 on: August 02, 2020, 07:18:55 PM »


Funny. All said n done though sometimes..steel is just steel. The mill made short notice of turning the edges of it 60 degrees with a Brownell jobbie made for the task. Leaving them Millet rings something to grab onto.

Now. Of course the base needs a couple of set screws or similar to keep the two rings in check as recoil enters the picture,but that´s a remedy simple enough.
Nah.
Now..for the scope..and what i´ve got in mind is the most up the wall you could ever imagine  ->i (?^
Indeed. Glass helps,and why not then add a little humor to it too while at it.

Now for the bolt itself...
DVC - 2020

Offline Racing

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Re: Chassepot Mle 1866
« Reply #112 on: August 07, 2020, 01:44:20 PM »


This IS mainly for SnG  )L$ )L$
Many claim that a front lens of more than 56mm is pointless. Might be,but this is a 35mm tube..and it´s absolutely insane.

5-50*75... (?^ (?^
Uhu. A 75mm front lens.
Total length 540mm. Ie; 21 and a quart inches worth..


Yes. Yeeeeeeeees....
DVC - 2020

Offline Racing

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Re: Chassepot Mle 1866
« Reply #113 on: September 13, 2020, 05:46:12 PM »







Yeeeeeeeez...yet another one. It´s like they friggin FIND me. This one´s seen woodworms,so i´ll look into that. Stock needs a different hue anyways so..
This one is remarkably tight tho,as far as the action. Metal parts what´s more in good working order,as is the rifling.
Thus..worth the effort to make it all it can be.
DVC - 2020

Offline Racing

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Re: Chassepot Mle 1866
« Reply #114 on: September 14, 2020, 04:42:05 PM »
That one up there in the post above,tore it down even further and started cleaning the stock out.
The wood worm damage is...extensive to part. Especially so around the bolt handle for some reason. As i got it cleaned i handed it some dye and have applied a bit of linseed oil here as i got home.
Tomorrow will entail mixing glue and sanding dust to more or less use as "bondo" for that most severly damaged area beneath the bolt handle.

Well. Why leave a good thing along then  )L$ )L$ ?
As much as i appreciate that US residents might regard the Chassepot as something of a solution looking for a problem,i´m also aware that there are enthusiast that go through the effort and trouble to buy one even in the US.
Here in Europe though it´s another matter. Legislation of course differs from country to country but on a general whole modern day firearms are under permit,and these permits can be more or less of a hazzle to get.
Us here in Sweden,knowing at least bits of how it works rest of Europe i´d say we´re "semi well" off from that regard.

None the less. Enter the Chassepot,that for shooting enthusiast represent a rifle of modern both workings and performance. A 45 caliber rifle intended for use with at least decent rates of powder,sporting all the features of a modern day rifle - to extent.
Ie;the Chassepot is often referenced as "the first modern rifle" and indeed i´d say it is. A bolt action in its own rights,just using paper cartridges in original form.
This can of course be tossed and turned to hearts desire,all depending on local legislation. Which..is what i do. Which is..why i keep returning to them. Over and over.

So. Dutch friend is heading this way with a....



Yep! You friggin guessed it!  (?^







This one,by the looks at least,in better condition. At least for starters,as a platform.







Keep in mind. This is,as a free translation,in stock form a 45-90 gun. One sporting approx 1:20 rifling twist and that with a rather thought through setup. Approx 30" of barrel..and so on and so on.
In essence the first of the "45cal cartridge era guns",be it the later Sharps or 451 era British guns no matter. Guns that were the ones just before we arrived at the 8mm "universal size" to fit all.
Like the Kropatscheck,the Mauser and what not. Then AGAIN the French first on the ball back in 1886 with their "Poudre B" and the 8mm Lebel..and the world would never look the same again.

In short?
The performance of a head on loaded Chassepot (or similar gun) can by any measure be compared with what´s used today for long range blackpowder shooting.
..we just needed to figure them out,and we did...with them cartridges using straws for cartridge and bore rider boolits.
DVC - 2020

Offline Racing

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Re: Chassepot Mle 1866
« Reply #115 on: September 17, 2020, 06:35:10 PM »
The Dutch boys Chassepot hasn´t turned up still.
Postnord for ya... (?L

None the less. Range day,them Dutch boys have traveled up here for a damn good reason. Indeed i brought this Chassepot,basically just to have it fire as "proof of concept" if nothing else.

Had a bunch of "jumbo straw" cartridges laying around surplus since my last outing,which is a while ago.
To my pleasure and joy that wood worm eaten piece up there works like clockwork.  )%R )L$ )L$

So. Now for what to do with it. Or.."handle" it. Giving thought to restocking the thing,the original stock to be kept for safe keeping in such a case.
There´s a really nice adjustable stock for an Anschutz match rifle up for grabs on British e-bay. That might very well be the trick actually....

To hand you guys an idea. Back when the French army used these Chassepot for target practice at...1000 meters. As were. With open iron sights.
HELLO!
But it also tells a bit as far as the capacity of this.."the first modern rifle".
DVC - 2020

Offline Racing

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Re: Chassepot Mle 1866
« Reply #116 on: September 21, 2020, 05:44:34 PM »
The Chassepot from "my Dutch connection" showed up.
As it turns out a rifle in really really nice nick.



Actually to the point where all it needs is a tad of service in the form of a good clean,a fresh needle and obturating rubber and a few odd small screws that are missing...



..like that one there. The "anchor" screw for the leaf spring for the rear sight.



These rifles were on a general whole delivered in white. Due that the ones that hasn´t seen service,and are in dire need of it,always sport pitting and so forth.
This one does not so albeit polished the thing has never been "let go" for lack of better wording. Something that shows as you take a closer look...



Thing basically looks just as well looked after no matter where you look. There´s nothing to service really. That said though i AM going to hand it a fresh crown,as the rifle is to be used and muzzles DO wear over time. I really don´t care what anyone thinks as far as that.
As we´ve proved these rifles can be had to be real tack driver handed the ammo they crave,which lends that no stone should be left untouched to reach that.



It´s like it´s a ..fresh wind in the door. For once a gun that can stand its own as is.  {L* Of course,it needs a few hrs of attention,they all do - if nothing just seeing their age,but this one as far as i´m concerned could really be left to rocknroll already as is.



Yeah. This one was made in 1867. Many Chassepot lacks the markings that tell what arsenal made it and so on on the upper diagonal part of the receiver. This has very very often been ground off.
As a result of the loss of the Franco / Preussian war of 1870-1871 hundreds of thousands of them were impounded by the germans and given new work tasks.
This is one of those but no fret as due the serial we can to this day tell that this gun,due its "F" prefix of the serial,was made by St Etienne.

As i´ve told before the rifling of these guns are rarely shot. On this one the rifling looks just about new,and i presume it will thus shoot accordingly.

ON THAT NOTE!!
Cartridges has always been an issue with the Chassepot,down to the basic fact of making them go boom. Well,we kind of set a new level last time out with them cartridges made out of jumbo straws,and that coupled with turned down versions of the old 500 grain government roundnose to become bore-riders kind of put the lid on it.
Curiously enough we haven´t really heard all that much of a hurrah...  (?^ (?^
Well well. Be that as it may there´s still two culprits to handle as i regard it. First up repeatable cartridge bases. Now please recall that i´m prohibited by legislation to make this into a "all brass casing" gun why different approaches are in dire need.
So..
That and the FACT that these SOB´s soot like there´s no tomorrow leading to that like 4 shots..then you HAVE to clean the chamber to be able continue chambering fresh rounds.
Of course this is just pure BS.

So?
What to do about it then? Hm. For my "sleeper" in 45-120 i´m all set i believe,however..for stockers.?
What about this..
Now PLEASE have in mind that my hands to a large extent are bound by the law!





Well then,WTF is this? I used a regular LEE shell holder for the bolt for the 45-120 sleeper gun right? These LEE parts are cheap..
So that there is a cut down original "umbrella". I just cut the nose off of it and then adapted a LEE shell holder.
But?
Won´t that make the gun a permit gun? No. Cause see the idea here is to use cut down 45-70´s. Preferably ones at end of life,and what we reuse is the "culot" part of that casing ONLY.
Be aware that the chamber of this thing is of ample diameter... Thus,IF you were to shove a regular 45-70 shell in there it´d be at the risk of life n limb cause that thing WILL rupture!
Idea is to shove a piece of jumbo straw outside that drastically cut down 45-70 and through that get yourself a "base" for the primer really,that´s it.
What´s more you´ll get yourself a repeatable "base" for each cartridge to work from,and by that ensure conformity. Sure..the entire enchillada will move slightly backwards upon firing,but the important part here is that you´ll get the exact same positioning of the bullet..over and over and over...
In short you´ll get a system that is guaranteed to go boom every time,you get a system that is repeatable and due that you´ve got the option to vary COAL too.
What´s more as the thing is rather much shorter than the original setup it will increase cartridge length by a fair margin and my HOPES are that using this added volume for grease cookies will once and for all come to terms with one of the very real drawbacks of the Chassepot.
Soot.

In other words there´s more to this than meets the eye and it´s going to be very very interesting to see where this touches down.
DVC - 2020

Offline Racing

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Re: Chassepot Mle 1866
« Reply #117 on: September 23, 2020, 12:37:57 AM »


Ok guys. I think i´ve got it.
Now. Recall that this is a solution to a given problem,and that the execution of it is due Swedish legislation in its own right but..it will remedy a few issues with the Chassepot for all so interested.

The Chassepot is a paper cartridge gun right,but as it turns out that paper cartridge brings a few issues that has never really been solved.
One is the lack of accuracy and the other the guns perverse tendency to soot up the chamber,finally making the chambering of a fresh cartridge impossible.

What i did as a proto was weld up a stock "umbrella" to a LEE 45-70 shell holder. Then shorten the obturating rubber ever so slightly and voila..
Now.
To be able to still use the straws that we´ve developed the "system" around the actual "culot" of a 45-70 shell needs to be turned down ever so slightly,but as the 45-70 base used is as large as it is it´ll be a one time job,hopefully,as it´ll be impossible for the 45-70 base to follow the rest of the debris produced out the barrel due its size.

The previous straw based cartridges,what we found out was that the inherents of the Chassepot could be taken benefit of by turning bore-rider bullets. The issue as far as accuracy was solved when we basically jumped the culprit entirely by the use of bore riders - namely the absolute insane forcing cone setup of the original Chassepot.
But.
Doing so we still had the issue of the rear of the cartridge being able to tilt around to hearts desire,and see that´s ONE of the issue this setup solves.

Remember. What sets the limit here is Swedish legislation if we want to stay permit exempt with the gun. Cartridge can NOT be a gastight unity cartridge. Indeed,what i´ve dreamed up here is not...

Second up the entire idea of using a musket cap "inside out" at the base of the cartridge brings that ignition with these guns can be so-so on occasion. We for starters handled that by ever so slightly wedging the four wings of a regular musket cap apart,and then have it bottom out on the straws rear end,the straw carrying integrity enough to make the cap "stand still" as the firing needle came running.
Before that..we HAD to fill the cartridge to the brim and then some to ensure this happening. By the use of this 45-70 "culot" we jump this issue entirely as we replace the musket cap with a regular large pistol or large rifle primer.

Third. The rifles downright INSANE will to soot up. We´ve played around,running around like one legged chicken,with placing grease all over that´s needed to keep the fouling soft,except having it inside the cartridge as the cartridge needed to be stiff as a door nail to make the musket cap stay still as the firing pin came pushing,and all said and done to no avail.
Well. This 45-70 culot based plastic cartridge will be longer than the original due the physics inherent and thus hand us a cartridge that we not only can guarantee ignition on..but also more room/volume,that can indeed be used for instance for grease cookies and thus the downright problem with these guns sooting up should have come to roads end.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2020, 12:46:11 AM by Racing »
DVC - 2020

Offline Racing

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Re: Chassepot Mle 1866
« Reply #118 on: September 24, 2020, 06:57:00 PM »
Mark.
Again.
This is an excersize in how to conform to Swedish law AND still wring what´s there out of it...
For accuracy out of these rifles though it doesn´t really matter where you live,then it ALL applies no matter.

Ok.
Having that said.







We did it! We friggin made it!  {L* {L* {L* I really can´t express it in any other way.
That there cartridge sure grew tho. Now about on par with a 45-120,and mind you this STILL for an original rifle. Ie;not modified in any appreciable manner. All it takes is a few fresh parts and a screwdriver really.
But we friggin did it!

These are WAY more sturdy than can ever be needed. They cater to adjustment as YOU see fit of COAL. They will contain all the grease cookies and what not you´d ever ask.
They work and they are accurate. In short this has come to "open the Chassepot rifle system up" per se. Enough of the inherent limitations already! Ie;you can now adress the ammo for a Chassepot as would you basically any other cartridge gun and this while STILL keeping it legal as permit exempt.
Yep. These ones you even load up as do you regular brass.

The straw setup we´ve used since a while back,and that in itself was a leap forwards..when in turn coupled with bore-riding boolits the thing became a tack driver when served what it asks for.
Now tho?
You can alter primer performance. You can alter COAL. You can alter internals. You can set bullet jump,bullet depth and what not. You can opt to even compress the powder with a tool wish be. You can pick n turn as you wish as far as 45 cal bullets. Use wads,cards n grease as you see fit.

..and the best part is,you put it together as was it made of/by Lego.
What it takes is 45-70 or similar bottom ends. 10mm "long" incl the rim. Turn the body of these "culots" down to 11.35mm as this lets you push the straw on interference fit style. These culots are in essence forever parts. They do not expand or the likes,they´re just there for the ride.

Iow this stops the Chassepot downright silly "feature" of sooting the chamber and throat up to the point where you HAVE to clean it out..as a fresh cartridge simply won´t chamber,as you can now add grease where it friggin COUNTS. WITHIN the actual cartridge.
Due the capacity of added grease cookies...no more.

No matter what cartridge used before one of the real drawbacks is the stock idea of install of the cap,in that it rests on the powder. Ie;the powder HAS to be compressed to make sure the cap doesn´t move around as the firing needle comes running. This in turn renders that a grease cookie for instance is out of the question as it´s simply to soft to suffice for ignition. No such worries anymore,and this by the app of cheap and readily available parts really.

We friggin did it boys! AT LAST we cracked this one...exciting times ahead!

NOW i can finally get to pull REAL load ladders and what not. Check various "money bullet" designs out and what not..and the list just goes on  )L$ )L$ )L$
DVC - 2020