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Author Topic: Milbank Amsler  (Read 638 times)

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Offline Racing

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Milbank Amsler
« on: July 19, 2019, 03:46:08 AM »
Say wut?

Oh...this is gonna get long guys. )L$
So. This is a Swiss rifle. In what´s CLAIMED to be 41 cal. Or it SHOULD be 10,4*38. Which it isn´t,but read on..

So. After seeing how wars raged around them the Swiss finally came to realize it was time to get on the bandwagon as far as breech loading rifles. What to do?
Muzzle loaders they had a few of good quality.

Solution turned out to be american,and the whole setup reminds a LOT of the Springfield trapdoor really. Invented in this case,and patented,by an american by the name of Isaac Milbank.
In essence a self locking mechanism in trap door form and style to work with a cartridge.

Now.
Cartridge can mean a lot of things right? Well,that wasn´t the prime issue. Prime issue was that federal government of Switzerland stated that these rifles were to look and work so and so...and this before Sir Joseph Whitworth had stepped forward and set up the worlds first classification system...and see these rifles were made all over the place.

Barrels have been known to be made i Liege in Belgium even,and receivers in turn...yeah well. So. When picking one of these guys up it´s about the toss of a dice.

This particular rifle i bought at an auction down in Italy marked as "target rifle". Most likely due its set trigger. However,with approx 780mm barrel length and set trigger it COULD just as well be a "jaeger stutzen",which it IMO is.
Why?
Well,someone pulled a real bubba up front removing something,which i gather was the bayonet socket.

So. What gives? Well,the cartridge used was the 10,4*38 Swiss rimfire which is a cartridge that hasn´t been commercially produced since the -40´s. Fact is,i wonder how common it was even back in the day.
Apart from MOST of the Milbanks being so chambered the later Swiss made Vetterlis (bolt action) was certainly too.
Now. These were made all over the place right. This one,no matter who produced it,is a very early one with serial 88 and THIS one has been setup as a cap n cartridge gun a´la the Monkey of mine. Why that is,no idea but..it is.

This is no lightweight rifle and IF this was a jaeger i wouldn´t have been caught dead hauling this thing around. Haven´t put it on the scale but i guess an easy 5kg.
As i got it it was covered in 150 yrs of dirt and grime why i took to cleaning the thing out and underneath was one of the most tiger striped stocks i´ve even seen!  {:(

As you can clearly see it sports a sort of "schuetzen" recoil pad too,and yes the rifle´s all stock AFAIK.
« Last Edit: July 20, 2019, 03:59:26 AM by Racing »
DVC - 2019

Offline Racing

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Re: Milbank Amsler.
« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2019, 03:57:26 AM »
Seeing how these rifles differ in dimensions i was adviced that it´s absolutely imperative to slug it.
So,i did. Came all in at 10,81mm which translates into 0,426". In other words this is a 43 cal rifle. Great,as that opens up a WAY larger variety of bullets that can be used.

Brass then? Or does it even use that? No.
Chamber of it looks to have been set by hand and as such a cartridge would have fireformed every way possible from here til sunday,so no.
Most likely it´s been used the same way the muzzle loaded MT´s were,with a breech plug,just with some sort of provision to let the cap flame enter. In other words,cumbersome.

It is a VERY lovely rifle though. Rifling is semi fast coming all in at approx 1 turn in 28 inches and the rifling looks mirror in short.
The set trigger is adjustable by the means of a small setscrew,and this i guess i need to redial as there´s a bit of creep as is.
The stock though...god help me!
What i´ve done is simply to clean it out and hand it layer upon layer of oil..and this result pops out the other end.
Beautiful doesn´t even start to explain...
Furniture/hardparts carry dark blueing. All of it,sans the barrel. Barrel is of course a bit worn finish wise "ontop" but the part protected by the stock strikes one as green-ish/teal sort of. Actual trap door and what not,in the white.

Does it require any work done?
Well. I´m going to reset the chamber. Loading it up per specs is just silly IMO and this rifle needs to be used. I´ve figured out that if i paper patch bullets of the correct dia i can reset the thing to use 45cal brass of some sorts. Rifling isn´t especially pronounced at first glance but as you measure the slug pushed through ample enough to say the least.

Sights on the thing is a damn joke. Adjustable in every manner thinkable but the real issue is the rear sight blade where a U cut simple don´t go with the front post IMO. But hey..that´s just me.

Nah. Going to be a hoot getting to fire and use this thing down the road.  (T^
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Offline Mad Dog Stafford

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Re: Milbank Amsler.
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2019, 07:05:38 AM »
That's a very nice rifle.
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Offline mazo kid

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Re: Milbank Amsler.
« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2019, 11:12:36 AM »
That is a desirable rifle in the set-trigger configuration. Many of the Vetterli rifles had very nice wood too. Go to the Swiss Rifle forum for much more information.

Offline Racing

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Re: Milbank Amsler.
« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2019, 02:30:48 PM »
Thx guys!

@ Mazo. Ahead of ya broh..  {L*

Looking into making a universal "slider" scope base setup for guns like this. Non intrusive is of course a must,and with this particular rifle that isn´t an issue as the rear sight is dovetailed in place...no worries.

As i´m striving more n more towards long range..at my age that brings a scope install. Simple fact so..and i believe i might be on to something.
Will get back to you guys asap as soon as i´ve put things into motion.
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Offline Hawg

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Re: Milbank Amsler.
« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2019, 05:13:50 PM »
That's a new one on me. Nice rifle with extraordinary wood.
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Offline mazo kid

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Re: Milbank Amsler.
« Reply #6 on: July 19, 2019, 07:08:35 PM »
At one time I had about 14 Swiss Vetterli rifles, and that site was extremely helpful. I converted some to centerfire and formed brass cases. There were some rifles on that forum that had wood like yours. I have ONE that has wood with some figure. The set-trigger Stutzers are quite expensive, always wanted one.

Offline Dellbert

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Re: Milbank Amsler.
« Reply #7 on: July 19, 2019, 07:47:11 PM »
That's a fine looking rifle Racing. (T^
If it's not broke don't try fixin it.

Offline Racing

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Re: Milbank Amsler.
« Reply #8 on: July 20, 2019, 03:59:09 AM »
@ Mazo
FOURTEEN?!?  {:( I thought I was a nerd!  )L$ But yeah. The stock on this thing is out of this world. Really. It´s downright insane.
Set trigger aso...i´m leaning more and more vs this being a jaeger from the onset. No matter really though,imperative part now is to get it to shoot.

Thx Hawg and Delbert.  ])M

Got to pick the trigger assy apart yesterday and as it turned out it didn´t need adjustment. The adjuster was missing! So replaced that set screw in a hurry and HELLO!
Got this thing set so that the hammer falls if someone raises his voice! NOW we´re talking hair trigger!
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Offline Racing

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Re: Milbank Amsler
« Reply #9 on: July 23, 2019, 04:54:48 PM »
Alright.
Turned a chamber insert for it out of tool room steel,which brings that it now chambers 45-90 shells.
A cartridge i´ve come to enjoy,have to say. Just that..the ones i´ve got around at the moment are the ones for my monkey tail and they sure won´t work as this gun will fire the thing through the primer pocket.
So.
Fresh ones ordered. While at it i got to fab an extractor that actually works downright great...so much so that i believe i´m going to pull the same stunt for my Monkey.

Then..a slider setup for a scope. Indeed. Fiddled around with this a bit and the point here isn´t one of "ready product" but one of proof of concept.
After spending a bit of time with the actual slider...this´ll work. For trials. In essence this,if happy,will work for any trap door style rifle - which is what i hope for.

All in all though,happy as pie! The thing has REALLY come together and done so in a rather effortless manner so...

Now for some fresh 45-90 meat.
But hey!
This ain´t no 45 cal rifle! No,no it´s not. The bore slugs to 10,81mm which renders that a 0,430 cal boolit will work well. Huh?
Yeah.
You guessed it. Paper patch.  M__
Seeing the technique has been around since the Flintstones and i DO need an ample sized cartridge to make this happen,why not?
So. Alloyed lead it is..and 430 as dropped.
DVC - 2019

Offline Racing

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Re: Milbank Amsler
« Reply #10 on: July 28, 2019, 06:12:51 AM »
So.
I turned some 457/500 RN down to cater to a 430cal bore.
In turn bought a LEE 430/310 mold and went at it. What can i say?

That done,trials time  ])M
In short the gun works flawlessly. It just performs. As i had set the scope with a bore sighter we started off at the 100 meter line and..what can i say?

Point of impact of course shifted with the two different bullets,no argument. That said though less that one would think. Loads were simple,70grains of Wasag 3F across the board,an over powder card followed by a greased wad and in turn the just as greased bullets,that were paper patched to fit the 45-90 cases.

That slider for the scope in turn,works..that simple. If it´ll deliver pinpoint over time we´ll see...

In short happy as pie!  {_K

Yesterday started with a gig on my behalf like 60km east of where i live in MASSIVE heat (being around here). Then off stage and pack up..head for home,dump the guitars and what not just to load the firearms up.
Then for the range 40 km south..

Spent the rest of the day and evening shooting,so GUESS if i was spent as i got home  (T^
DVC - 2019

Offline Racing

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Re: Milbank Amsler
« Reply #11 on: August 04, 2019, 06:51:37 PM »
Blurting out some thoughts here..

The more i dive into this piece the more understanding of it i of course get. Ambition being to make it perform to all it can be.
Of course.

Turned me a tight fitting jag and as i´ve fired the thing a bit..then cleaned it out with Hoppes within and in turn a couple of pulls of wet patch turpentine..well. Barrel,rifling,is to the letter spotless.

In fact,as i´ve gotten the thing THAT clean within i want to slug the thing once more. In turn,order a ,430" sizer. Mainly as i want a uniform platform to work from bullet wise.

Extractor setup of it i fabbed needs a tune up. It´s spring loaded right and the mere fact is that the spring is a tad to soft. Of course i could always reharden the piece,making it stiffer,but to be honest i´m as is giving thought to installing a set screw to maximize travel before going solid.

6kg worth. Hefty rifle in its own rights. No doubt.

I took to checking rifling twist and that comes in at approx 1 turn in 28",which in my book should make this rifle a contender for a "semi" along the lines of the volunteer rifle bullet weight and length.
I´ve tried to get other Milbank owners to spill their guts as far as bullet choice and it seems many of them have turned to Tom at Accurate molds but..they seem to mainly stick to what was offered for the Vetterlis.
In short that is a 300+ grains bullet of rather minimal dimensions aaaaaaand... i dunno. Some have complained that heavier and longer bullets have become instable,buuut...
My rifle differs at one major point. The 45-90 shells. Nevermind the size per se,what´s at work here is the load and where an original Vetterli gulps down like 55+grains of powder..well,need be i can go 40 above that if i compress the living crap out of the charge.
This of course hands me a completely different battle field to take into account and energy as well as muzzle velocity the stock guys´ll never experience.

Is this a since the convert a high power rifle? Indeed,and then some. As i´ve come to receipt that the chamber insert certainly is doing its job i guess its also time to toss that barrel onto the lathe again and hand the insert its final polish. 1000 grit coupled with oil should do nicely.
Then..i need to set headspace is a real anal fashion too. Point being that the "door",i have no idea how level it is or how well it actually fits/works against the cartridges. So..now or never i guess.

I´ve come to evaluate the slider setup for the scope and..thus far no real downsides really. If that result stands i´m going to replace the scope in itself down the line.
If nothing else for when i get to terms with the thing for the long haul and distance starts to crawl up there....

In my opinion a rifle like this is about...the shot. So..main focus is what leads up to that i guess. Therefore... It sports a cleaning rod right and this goes into a 10,5mm diameter hole/recess in the stock. Reinforced up front by steel.
Going to make that dual purpose i believe as a bipod that you just shove on/in there would make for a practical update no doubt.
DVC - 2019

Offline Racing

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Re: Milbank Amsler
« Reply #12 on: August 22, 2019, 05:55:46 AM »
It was bound to happen i guess.
The Milbank is now completely ready for service i´d say. Only thing left is to develop loads,and seeing that i´ve come to ponder how to handle heavier bullets.
Going to look into that.

That said i´ve loaded up a few rounds of duplex. Ie;where i mix BP and smokeless. This for one reason and one reason only,to make the thing run cleaner.
Have read up to the best of my abilitys and the rounds are 45-90 shells alright,loaded with 65g of 3F and 7 gr of Norma 200. A mix that should be "cool" to use. We´ll see,and these will of course be fired "by string" with the rifle strapped to the shooting bench of mine. 10 rounds all in all and we´ll take it from there.
Please keep in mind that this rifle sports a 45-90 chamber insert out of tool room steel. Only question mark i´ve got is if the forcing cone area will take the abuse really.

Had an an absolutely WONDERFUL day at the range the other day tgt with a few friends. British old school to say the least,we had all in all 3 Monkey tails at hand!  (T^
The Milbank,which is on the main agenda at the moment,excelled tho. Firing away like nobodys business. With a more potent cartridge at hand it seems this rifle has entered a different league. No doubt.

Seems many claim that the 1:28 twist of the Milbank becomes a handicap as bullet length is increased. Why that is i have no idea,but please keep the more potent cartridge in mind (vs the stocker).
We´ll see where it all ends up.

Rifle was handed the full monty as far as a fresh crown. It´s been shown time and again that the muzzle when in absolute order DOES make for a difference as far as accuracy. Go figure.
DVC - 2019

Offline Mad Dog Stafford

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Re: Milbank Amsler
« Reply #13 on: August 22, 2019, 06:29:44 AM »
Racing, I like it!

Looks mean looking.
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Offline Racing

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Re: Milbank Amsler
« Reply #14 on: August 26, 2019, 04:54:52 AM »
Thx Mad Dog!

As many of you are well aware i´ve rechambered a few of my guns to take brass cartridges. In doing so i install a tool room steel chamber insert,and this of course makes for a way more sturdy chamber.

Now. A while back i cracked the riddle of how to get a Chassepot to perform by using so called bore rider bullets. All good and dandy but the flipside to that was black powder fouling. That in combination with that insanely long forcing cone of the Chassepot made for...three shots,then clean.
Of course that´s not an option for a battle rifle so.. Since i´ve pondered this in more ways than one,but suffice it to say that ONE of those ideas has been so called duplex loads.
Mixing smokeless and blackpowder NOT to get "better" performance out of the gun but to get the gun to run cleaner. The presence of smokeless will in essence blow the chamber and barrel clean of black powder residue. Of course not completely,but way way way better than as is.

So. I set out reading and when i had read a bit..i read some more. The use of duplex can be lethal if you´re not REALLY ontop of what you´re doing but that said the use of duplex is also rather common spread as you start to dwell on it.
In many a competition for single shot rifles duplex is within the rules,and indeed used.

In short,time for some anal put together of cartridges aaaaand...range time.

Albeit the Milbank carrying a tool room steel insert we´re not complete idiots why we strapped the rifle to the shooting rest of ours.
10rds all in all.
First up 10 grains of Wasag 3F (as black ignites easier than smokeless) followed by 7 grains of Norma 200 and then yet another 60 grains of Wasag.
Ontop of that a bullet sized to 0,430" paper patched/wrapped to meet up with the 45cal casing. Grease grooves filled but that´s it.
Right. So one "proof shot" with black to see that we were all systems go. Then careful examination of the chamber and rifle as a whole for each duplex load fired.
Extraction was as easy for the first as for the last round and the difference in residue was no joke..

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dWdj3HALMEQ&feature=youtu.be

Here the "full on loads" doing its thing. Fired by a string and us covered by the car.

As the rounds had been fired i pushed a dry patch through there...and as the saying goes,the proof is in the pudding.
Difference is like night and day. Be aware that Wasag generally is considered a real "dirty" burning black powder. Extraction was as simple for the first as the last round.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Le9v4Mk1L0&feature=youtu.be

For the sake of comparsion,here the same rifle and same everything else...just with bare black powder at 70 grains.

In short the use of duplex seems to be the ticket and this kind of opens the doors of the dam in my case. See the text for the Chassepot above for instance.
Indeed duplex loads is within sanctioning bodies for various competitions. Then,as far as i´ve read to a max of 20%. But again,the main idea here isn´t one of better performance but one of getting the guns to RUN way way cleaner.
Some report that SD and ES comes down too,i guess due to smokeless burning way more consistent too.

Well. That´s ONE major culprit handled in my case. Thank you... :) &j(
« Last Edit: August 26, 2019, 04:59:02 AM by Racing »
DVC - 2019