The Interested Rifleman

For several years the high price of fixed ammunition has caused users of arms to revert to black powder, lead bullets, and home-loaded shells for short and mid range target practice. There has even been a revival of the use of muzzle loading arms, and not only have quantities of old-timers been resurrected from closets and attics, but moreover sporting goods dealers report extensive demand for them. Hence a rifleman of the present time and the near future will need a working knowledge of a wide range of obsolete as well as modern arms.

For the beginner to learn with, for the mid range rifleman's play hours, and for the sportsman afield who does not object to slow loading and a burden of paraphernalia, the muzzle loader has distinct charms of its own. And for the man whose recreation consists of a regular Saturday half-holiday spent at the 200-yard range, home loaded ammunition affords a heaping-full measure of the joy of that kind of shooting.

The owner of many arms should have a gun room. Have it on the second or third floor, not merely to be out of the family's way, but chiefly because in summer the air of upper rooms is dryer than that of those on the ground floor and less liable to cause rust.

Arms ought to be in view because they are attractive; but they ought not to be bare on the wall because they gather dust and rust; keep them under glass. The picture shows a simple, appropriate, mahogany, singlc-glass-front wall case. Several such cases full of arms are astonishingly decorative.

It is obvious that the arms themselves arc the decorative feature, not the case; the latter must be subordinate. It is simply a frame and a protector; treat it merely as such and have no ostentatious mouldings or useless gewgaws; but, on the other hand, have it of excellent workmanship, rich wood, and the best glass. In some houses, particularly those of Colonial type, and if the downstairs air is dry enough, two such cases of arms, one each side of a central window or door, may be appropriate and also distinctly decorative in a dining room or stairway hall, and of course in a billiard room; it depends upon the " atmosphere" of the house and the furnishings. But the exhibition of a large number of arms should be confined to the gun room, for the owner ought to respect the rights of his family in the home and ever bear in mind that a home is not a museum.

The best background inside a wall case is the same kind of covering which is on the adjacent walls; therefore select a wall covering in advance of locating the cases. Beware of paper with large figures or with conspicuous small bright ones which form a pattern of obtrusive spots; cartridge papers and " oatmeal " papers either in dull yellows or warm grays are sure

Larger Caliber Black Powder Smoothbores

to be satisfactory if they harmonize also with the rest of the furnishings; if greater richness of color is required try the many shades of bronzed burlap until the right shade and tone are found.

Arrange the arms in a wall case formally and symmetrically ; placed in any other way they are not at their best. Let the barrels of shoulder arms be horizontal. For the sake of convenience and also to avoid disfiguring the background with holes when changing the display, adjustable sliding hooks ought to be used. Adjustable hooks can be had of hardware and sporting goods stores; these supports slide up and down on steel rods, turn to cither side, push in and pull out to accommodate varying thicknesses of stock and barrel, and can be fastened and loosed instantly in any position, and their number increased or decreased without leaving any marks. They are well worth their slight cost above ordinary nails or screw hooks.

Furnish the gun room with at least one set of drawers for the impedimenta of arms, a table of good size, and both straight back and easy chairs. Have the furniture of a kind as to style and wood; mahogany reproductions of Chippendale patterns are eminently satisfactory. Over the fireplace a game head with a couple of valueless ancient guns, crosscd, and pendant powrder horns and ditty bag or knapsack. On the mantel the appurtenances of arms and shoot

Ordinary Air Rifle Bag

ing; not many. On the polished floor one good rug, If the-air of the room smells a bit of good tobacco and leather and scented oil, no matter, for there are no draperies to make the room stuffy; above all keep the Feminine Touch out of the gun room.

For arms-educated individuals of technical skill and good taste there doubtless will be a workroom opening out of the gun room. All other individuals ought to be penalized if they tinker with arms; and as for amateur restorations and alterations of antique arms, that is morally reprehensible indeed, for not only can a fine specimen be ruined easier than a child can spoil a toy, but worse yet, if skilful incorrect alterations are made upon ancient military arms the attempt is always made to pass them as original, and thereby historical confusion becomes worse confounded. If all of us collectors will have workrooms, let us all always bear in mind this axiom: any fool can so injure an antique that neither money nor wisdom can restore it.

Keep a workroom absolutely neat and orderly; have a place for everything, everything in its place, and every tool spick and span, sharp, clean and perfect. Abundant electric light is necessary to the man who works nights: electric light, because any other kind may cause explosions. The same current can be converted into power for running a lathe and other machines. Have a screw-cutting lathe, and provide it liberally with assorted face plates, dead centers, chucks, holders, and tools for both metal and wood; a lathe with its adjuncts is a wonder worker. Let the lathe have a wide variety of speeds: low for steel and as high as 5,000 r. p. m. for wood. Other requisites for the wrorkroom are a set of gunsmith's tools, chemicals in considerable variety, a small forge, and arms materials in small amounts of each but in kinds to cover a wide range of activities. All this equipment is to the end of experimentation in modern arms development; so equipped an arms w fan " will enjoy a green old age which to the very last will blossom with the joy of living.

Firing a rifle. This subject, which includes aiming, holding, squeezing, judgment of distance, etc., includes no new discoveries, and has for many years been so thoroughly treated by thoroughly competent marksmen-writers that repetition is undesirable. It goes without saying that the intelligent rifleman will have a shooter's library, and nothing can be added at this date to improve upon what has been said by such able authors as Colonel Whelan, Dr. Mann, Greener, Walsh, Winans, Sharpe, Fremantle, etc., etc. Also a beginner is referred first of all to the catalogues and pamphlets issued gratis by nearly all the arms manufacturers; some of them are admirable instructors.

Cleaning a rifle. This is a simple task for black powder residue and sometimes a difficult one for the after-results of the use of smokeless powder and nickel jacketed bullets. When using black powder and lead bullet, an excellent way is to wind the jagged end of the cleaning rod with absorbent cotton, wet with benzine or gasoline, and push through the rifle from the breech. Repeat indefinitely with fresh cotton each time until the cotton issues un-soiled. Then wipe the cleaning rod dry, saturate freshly wound cotton with gun grease, and scrub the bore thoroughly. For the mere residue of black powder this process is sufficient. But if there is lead adhering to the bore first clean as well as possible under the circumstances, paying particular care to remove all grease; strong, hot, sal soda water poured through the barrel does this; then plug one end of the barrel, fill above the lead with mercury, plug the other end, let stand about a quarter hour and shake violently several times in the meantime. Pour out the mercury and scrub the bore with canton flannel; the amalgam of lead and mercury will be so soft that it will come off onto the wiper. If a rifleman is a bit of a chemist he may hasten the removal of lead by substituting for mercury either acetic acid or some one of the many other lead eaters; but beware of the chemical that has not merely an affinity for lead but.also for any of the compounds or elements that, with iron, are in the composition of a modern 'rifle barrel.

The after effects of the use of smokeless powder and jacketed bullet need another sort of treatment entirely. In this case cleaning is best effected by a conjunction of the three processes of washing, chemical action, and residue abraiding. This is because the barrel is dirty in several ways. First, the powder residue is to be removed to make the surface as bare as possible; next, that part of the residue which has been forced by the tremendous pressure into the pores of the steel, and also that which is beneath a thin plating left by the bullet jacket, and, worse yet, the metal fouling itself which may even be lumped on the lands, must be softened by chemicals; last of all, any softened metal left in the barrel after it looks clean must be scoured out with something which will not scour the steel of the barrel; if this abrasive has also an affinity for the soft metal in the barrel so much the better. Therefore,

First, turn the barrel muzzle down, insert a funnel in the breech, and pour through it a quart of boiling water wrhich holds in solution a quarter pound of sal soda; that does the washing.

Second, cork the breech, stand the barrel muzzle up, fit a piece of rubber hose three or four inches long over the muzzle, and fill the barrel, and the hose to a point above the muzzle, with either of the following solutions: —

U. S. Army Formula

1 ounce ammonium persulphate 200 grains ammonium carbonate 6 ounces ammonia 4 ounces water or

Chas. Newton Formula

1 ounce stronger ammonia 25 grains ammonium carbonate 5 grains ammonium dichromate 50 grains ammonium persulphate

The liquid should remain in the barrel from 15 minutes to 2 hours according to the extremity of the case of fouling. It may be returned to its bottle and used again; a pint should be good for cleaning a barrel a dozen to fifteen times; but it should not be used when more than a fortnight old. The bottle must have a rubber stopper. If the liquid is spilled on the wood of the gun it will make a permanent black place; if allowed to dry in or on the barrel it will produce rust. Therefore dry the barrel thoroughly on the outside with cloth and on the inside with tufts, on the wiping rod, of either absorbent cotton or surgeons' absorbent gauze. If the muzzle of a rifle will not, from its shape, permit the use of a piece of rubber hose, it will be necessary to fill the barrel absolutely full and stay with it while it is soaking and pour a few drops occasionally into the muzzle so as to keep the barrel continually full, because the volume of the solution decreases rapidly and rust would form where the solution dried. After pouring out the solution the barrel may look clean and yet may not be clean. That is wrhy the use of a friable abrasive becomes necessary. Hence,

Third, wind the tip of the cleaning rod with absorbent cotton or with gauze and cover it liberally with Grey Powder. Swab energetically with fresh applications until the Grey Powder issues unchanged in color.

' The bore of the rifle is then probably perfectly clean. But to make sure, it is best to use the gauge test. A gauge of this sort is a short, cylindrical piece of metal with or without rifling ridges on it, and it goes into the barrel end through it with the least possible tolerancc. In America this necessary adjunct to a rifleman's equipment cannot be bought ready-made, presumably because arms manufacturers wrould not be pleased at the revelation of the inferior boring of their barrels; but in Great Britain at least one arms plant issues barrels so accurately bored that it also issues (at moderate price) gages guaranteed correct to the ten-thousandth of an inch, which not only prove the accurate workmanship within the barrel but also serve, subsequently, as gages of cleanliness. These English gages test the bore only, not the grooving. Ultimately we must have them. The American rifleman using a barrel having corners to its grooves would do well to have a gunsmith cast an antimony-compound gage for his barrel, which, gently slid along, not only would test for metal fouling on the lands (bore) but would also at the same time push out residue from the corners of the grooves. Never thrust a gage of any kind, hard or soft, forcibly through a barrel; when pushed gently it either goes hard or sticks if it meets even the thinnest obstruction. Hence it not only detects but also locates a metal fouled or otherwise unclcancd spot.

When a barrel has been made clean and then tested, and stands the test, it can be set away, after being thoroughly covered inside and out with a chemically pure grease, and remain perfect indefinitely. To be sure that the grease is not rancid and will not become so, and that with age it will not break down, it is best to use one of the gun greases that the sporting goods sell; there are many of them with different names, one as good as the other.

These preceding directions are intended to meet the needs of difficult cleaning. There is a vast difference in the steel of rifle barrels — in hardness, porosity, and in susceptibility to take metal fouling and to rust — and manv a man who has found that his own particular rifle could be kept perfect without the use of a cleaning solution and with almost no work may turn up his nose at these directions. But if he gets a new rifle, or changes his ammunition, all of these, and gumption besides, may be required to the fullest extent.

Reloading used shells. If they have considerable residue inside, wind enough absorbent cotton on a dowel to fill the diameter of the shells, spin the dowel in the lathe and use it as a brush inside the shells. Then use accurate decapping and recapping instruments. When loading the powder in them, the best results will come from weighing each charge accurately, and tolerances should not exceed plus or minus one-tenth of a grain; the less tolerance the better. Gage or caliper the bullets to insure getting all alike, and weigh each one; load them only into shells that are precisely of the same length, and that are of precisely the same external and internal diameter at the mouth, and that have even wall thickness for the distance that the bullet touches. For rough-and-ready short distance shooting these precautions are not necessary; but to make a rifle do the best that it can do these are but the outlines of the refinements necessary; bear always in mind that accurate repetition of the complex depends absolutely upon accurate repetition of all the individual components.

Bullets and molds. Bullets, if metal jacketed — full or soft nose — must be purchased, because the expensive and powerful machinery for making them lies outside the realm of the amateur. But other bullets may be home-made. Molds for casting ail the common kinds are commercial commodities; molds for special bullets the amateur can make, preferably, because easiest, by recutting an old mold. The first step is to prepare a cherry having the exact size and shape of the desired bullet, except that in some cases its dimensions should be a thousandth of an inch greater to allow for shrinkage as the lead cools. The cherry is turned in the lathe on one end of a steel rod previously annealed. It is then cut with a file to form teeth running either lengthways or diagonally; then hardened; then put in the lathe chuck and the halves of the mold clamped upon it while it turns. The cherry "beds" in the mold and makes the impression in which the bullet can be cast.

Lead bullets are commonly made of 39 parts lead and 1 part tin melted together. Adding tin hardens the bullet. A bullet harder still, yet not brittle, can be made of 89 parts lead, 10 parts mercury, and 1 part tin, by weight. Another good mixture is lead and antimony, varying according to the hardness required ; it will be well to start with 1 of antimony to 35 of lead and increase the antimony only if the fired bullet shows signs of stripping; it is well to have the bullet as soft as possible. In case a mold casts a bullet a trifle small this antimony-lead composition is especially useful because it swells in cooling. And perhaps valuable results can come from experiments with Babbit Metal as a bullet material; this metal has remarkable minimum-friction qualities. Whatever a bullet composition, melt first that ingredient which has the highest melting point, and add the others in order, the lowest last. The melting points of metals are given in nearly all encyclopaedias. If there is a wide difference in this respect between the ingredients cover the melted composition with charcoal, or with a floating iron cover, to prevent excessive oxidation by the air.

The degree of hardness necessary to a bullet will depend upon the speed it is to have, whether the powder is quick or slow burning, the depth of the grooves and the pitch of the rifling. With deep rifling and slow pitch use a soft bullet; with high pressure powder and shallow7 grooves and quick pitch use a hard one.

Experiments with explosive bullets may be productive of valuable results. One may start by drilling, on the lathe, a hole in the front of the bullet of a size to take a rim fire cartridge, the rim of the cartridge being at the front of the bullet. In drilling lead use a lubricant freely or the drill will break. A more powerful explosion may be obtained by filling a hollow bullet with equal parts of sulphuret of antimony and chlorate of potass, mixed dry on a clean plate with a feather, and stoppered in the bullet with wax. This is a safe mixture to the extent of not being exploded in the rifle barrel by the jump of the bullet. Be careful with others.

Bullet coverings offer an excellent field for valuable research. The nickel-plated and nickel-alloy jackets now in use arc poor ones because of the affinity that nickel and steel have for each other under the influence of heat, pressure and friction, and the resultant metal fouling of the rifle barrel. An ideal covering would be one neutral to the steel, hard enough only to stand the strain on it, and slippery either from its composition, or with grease or other lubricant. One can start a line of experiments by binding bullets with insulated wire, by covering a lead core with a jacket of papier mache containing ozokerite; by making composite bullets with bearings of Babbit Metal; by making copper, bronze, antimony, or other composite or homogeneous bullets having the periphery of their cylindrical parts spongy and filled with high-flash lubricant. In bullet design there is yet a great chance; but certain rules of the game must be followed; for instance, the desirability of — weight equal to or greater than that of present bullets of similar size; ease and cheapness of manufacture; center of gravity at or in front of center of length or of wind resistance; an outline which offers a minimum of resistance to the air at speeds exceeding 2,500 foot seconds. All this of course for bullets for average use; special bullets not included.

One line of experiments with bullets that is almost as old as rifles and as unprofitable as seeking perpetual motion is rifling a bullet instead of a barrel. The attempts nowadays rarely get to public notice, but still they persist. The last to be widely bruited was the McLeod attempt, but a short period of trial of this bullet proved its utter uselessness. Unquestionably a bullet from a smooth bore can be kept point end foremost by a drag behind and also it can be spun on its axis by the action of the air on " feathers M or on external or internal spiral channels; but the air resistance is so high that such a mechanical feature added to a projectile reduces the range to a mere fraction of that of a bullet operated by spirals in the barrel.

There is, however, another line of experiments, one connected with the revolution of a bullet on its axis, that will stand a lot of investigation, and that is the result of the speed of spin upon the object struck. For instance, we know that at some ranges a high speed sharp point full jacket bullet entering flesh drills a hole of its own size, while the same bullet at a different range may pulp the surrounding tissue within at least an inch radius, causing in effect a two-inch wound. The reason for it at present current is that the high speed entrance of a wedge into flesh causes the juices in the path of the bullet to fly sideways with macerating force. This has a logical sound but does not agree with the fact that the greatest pulping occurs at a distance from the rifle, while if the wedge-action theory were correct it would occur close to the rifle, where the bullet velocity was highest. But if we assume that the speed of the bullet on its axis causes the pulping by centrifugal force acting on both tissue and juice, the items of distance and laceration coordinate. Look at it this way: — using our '06 military bullet as a subject, at the muzzle the forward motion is about 2,700 f.s. and the rotary motion about 3,200 r. p. s.; the relation of the two is fractionally expressed if§17. As the bullet travels, at first the velocity decreases rapidly while the spin remains almost undiminished, so that at a distance of, say, 400 yards, the velocity is only about 1,845 f.s., while the spin is still up to about 3,000 r. p. s.; fractionally expressed vSH, and indicating a very different relation between the velocity and the rotation. Thus, apparently, the tremendous rotary motion has its best chance to do work when the bullet has traveled far enough for its velocity to be sufficiently reduced so that the passage of the bullet through a substance is slow enough compared with rotation to permit the rotation to get in its work. Under such circumstances pulping is probably accomplished mainly by centrifugal force. Hence it may be profitable to experiment toward augmenting the damage,not merely for sporting bullets, but especially for military ones. Try the effect of | inch prongs or of a series of lumps lying flush along the sides of the bullet while it is in flight but raised by leverage or by wedge action upon che impact of the forward part of the bullet. By such means a one-inch hole may be cut by a small calibre bullet and perhaps a three to four inch laceration produced, which certainly wrould put any ordinary soldier out of action even when merely grazed.

Powder. Experiments by amateurs with modern high pressure powders are altogether too risky to be advocated, and it seems advisable, at least in this edition of Our Rifles, not even to give the compositions of nitro and pyro cellulose compounds. But our old friend and stand-by, common black powder, is a fairly stable article, easily and safely made, and many a gun user w-ho would prefer to make his own powder can do so at a considerable saving. Perhaps the simplest directions for making black powder can be gleaned by each individual from a brief statement, omitting special processes, of how the deed is accomplished, on the average, in powder mills, because each man's home is variously equipped.

The ingredients are nitre, sulphur and charcoal. The nitre may be either saltpeter (KNO3), or sodium nitrate (NaN03), or barium nitrate (BaNOa). Saltpeter is for general purposes the best, sodium nitrate is usually cheaper, and barium nitrate is the best for a very damp climate. The functions of the three ingredients of gunpowrder are, briefly: nitre supplies the oxygen necessary to combustion; sulphur lowers the temperature of ignition; charcoal assists in producing gas volume. Their usual proportions in gunpowder are, nitre 75%, sulphur 10%, charcoal 15%. These proportions may, however, be varied considerably to suit special purposes, the sulphur sometimes being reduced to 5%.

Crude saltpeter, technically known as " grough," reaches a powder mill in lumps and full of impurities. It is refined by boiling in water, removing the scum, filtering, crystallizing, washing, and drying.

Crude sulphur, just as it comes from the mines, also arrives in lumps, but mixed with sulphur meal and sulphur powder. The stuff is dumped in quantity into a cauldron and vaporized by heat to separate it into the kind of sulphur good for gunpowder and the kind good for domestic purposes. The vapors are passed through a water cooled pipe in which they liquify, and, of the consistency of treacle, they arc run into wooden casks, where they solidify. Neither of these refining processes is open to the amateur, partly because of the excessively abundant and disagreeable fumes, and also and very particularly because at one stage, when the vapor is at a certain temperature, it is very dangerous, contact with the air causing a violent explosion. These data are given merely to satisfy curiosity and to emphasize the fact that all sulphur is not good gunpowder sulphur. Flower of sulphur, for instance, is not; the amateur will be most successful if he buys, through a wholesaler, crystal or stick sulphur; he can grind it with perfect safety as he needs it.

Charcoal, in American gunpowder, is made from either willow or alder; but it is entirely probable that some other soft light wood would do as well. The bark is first removed from the wood, otherwise there would he scintillation to the powder, which would be dangerous. The wood is then cooked in air-tight containers at a temperature not exceeding about 500 degrees Fahrenheit until it is evenly black and porous all the way through. The reason that the cooking temperature must not much exceed 500 degrees is that high temperature in cooking means high temperature necessary for exploding. The charcoal must not be used fresh; it is safe to incorporate it with the other ingredients after a few hours, but a much longer aging is better.

In some mills each ingredient is ground separately and in others all are ground together. After being reduced to fineness they arc triturated together for a day or two to blend the three as perfectly as possible and then given great pressure (about a thousand pounds to the square inch) to form a slab about an inch thick. In some mills the rolling is one process and the slab making is another; in either case the mixture is first moistened; in the latter case the pressing is done just as a matrix is pressed in a cider mill. The object of pressing is to decrease the bulk and make stronger powder; also less friable grains of powder. The slab is broken into fragments and these are granulated. All this is safe if done so as not to produce a spark. The granulated powder is sifted in revolving drums covered with cloth of varying mesh to sort the grains according to size. Grains of a size are then put into revolving barrels where by friction with each other they become polished. Last of all comes kiln-drying, which is done slowly at low heat. The best powder nowadays is not graphited to blacken and polish the surface of the grains, but is merely friction polished.

All these processes can be done on a small scale with home-made press and implements. The result should be nearly as good as the product of the mill. Test it to see. Explosion should occur at close to 540 degrees Fahrenheit wrhen the temperature of the surrounding air is about 70 degrees F. The result of explosion should be about 57% residue and 43% gas. Send a sample to an ammunition plant requesting the chamber pressure given by the powder when exploded in an '06 government shell behind the regulation bullet; the breech pressure should be about 43 tons to the square inch.

Try some experiments in raising the temperature of the powder before firing by using a water jacket of varying heat: at 212% see if the breech pressure is increased about 50%; note any tendency to detonate; note the effect upon the bullet: what useful application can you make of increasing the velocity of the bullet by heating the powder? How can you detonate the front tenth part of a charge in a shell wherewith to explode the remaining nine-tenths, and in what sort of rifle and with what sort of bullet would that be advantageous? Look up detonate, and explode, in a book on explosives. And once more, for emphasis, don't measure experimental charges; weigh them.

1 dram = 271 \ grains: 16 drams = 1 ounce =437^ grains: 16 ounces = 1 pound =7,000 grains.

Gasolene in guns. Gunpowder —- of some sort — has for centuries remained a bullet propellant because it is dry, clean, safe to handle, and unaffected by ordinary climatic variations. But it is only one of a great many explosives, and it is nowadays much more expensive than many of the others.

In consideration of the facts that a bullet is propelled by a gas engine, that an automobile is propelled by a gas engine, and that the principles of the latter are applicable to the former, it seems remarkable that so little has been done in adapting gasolene to guns. It certainly is cheaper and much more powerful. A pound of gasolene, with the air mixture correct, equals in explosive power more than ten pounds of dynamite. Besides gasolene as a cheap explosive there is the even more powerful benzol, which, during the war, was used in the manufacture of TNT and other hi-power explosives. Oil chemists are fully capable of adapting the molecular construction of both gasolene and benzol to firearms, to use either separately or mixed.

In experimenting to substitute gasolene for gunpowder the inventor would best confine his efforts at first to machine guns having very stout barrels only a few inches long; and since the rate of fire can be very high the easiest way to feed the bullets to the gun, until a suitable hopper can be devised, is by a slight modification of the friction dial in use in ammunition factories. Otherwise the application of the principles of the automobile or the airplane engine to the machine gun is quite simple.

Statistical imperfections. In the very beginning let it be understood that all statistics as to ammunition and ballistics whether here or in some other book are approximate. They arc sometimes right (when other things coordinate), and always helpful; but they are not and cannot be definitely and unvaryingly exact. The ballistical data which follow arc, of course, very elementary, because advanced ballistical mathematical formulae and rules are of use only to certain scientists who know their origin and faults and what allowances to make; they would be neither useful, interesting, educational, nor even welcome to the average man. But with the full understanding that 7,000 grains in a pound divided by 12 bullets to the pound does not produce a bullet weighing exactly 583 grains; that a black powder weight of 2 and a spherical bullet weight of 1 does not produce exactly 2,135 foot seconds velocity; that the rule for finding muzzle velocity will not give it within 1 foot per second, nor even, at times, within 10 feet per second, on account of mitigating circumstances; nevertheless the data which follow are of sufficient accuracy to be valuable for ordinary circumstances.

Spherical bullets, unrivaled for certain short range purposes, will come into their own again with the return swing of the pendulum of fashion. The following table of spherical bullets to the pound is based on the supposition that the lead is pure and the temperature just below the melting point. The diameter given is theoretical and average. The weight per bullet is given without the fractional part of a grain which usually remains from division. The table begins with four to the pound, because no larger bullet is fired from the shoulder. The old-fashioned test for the right size ball for any rifle was to select the one which would slide down the clean barrel from the weight of the ramrod. Unpatched balls from which accurate work is expected must be gaged on account of the wide variations in diameter of those cast in the same mold, due to the expansion and contraction of both mold and melted lead under the influence of fluctuating temperature. (See p. 313.)

Bullet speeds with black powder. The following table gives an approximate to the average muzzle velocity of spherical bullets with varying charges of black powder. The proportions are by weight.


Powder Speed, f.s.

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