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Jacketed bullets in old guns

stankempstankemp Member Posts: 509 ✭✭✭
I've refinished a Gahendra Martini-Henry and am shooting it.
The 577-450 load should be 80gr FG behind a .460 papaer patched hollow base bullet but all I could get for now was .458 jackected flat nose.
I shot some proofs at 100gr FFFG behind the paper patched 460s and everything looks OK. BTW , that load is pretty stiff.
Any thoughts on using these bullets (lighter loads, though)until I can get the proper mold or buy bullets?
Thanks in advance.


  • slumlord44slumlord44 Member Posts: 3,702 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    100 grains, ouch! Shoot 80 grains in mine and it hurts. Not sure about using jacketed bullets. Lots of experts say not to use jacketed bullets in the old guns. Have shot some jacketed .32-40's in my Stevens 44 1/2 with no problems. I think you would have to do a lot of shooting to do any real damage even if it was possible.
  • mbsamsmbsams Member Posts: 1,076 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    old steel is softer - jacketed bullets are rough on old guns - wears the rifling. Cast is the way to go.
  • XXCrossXXCross Member Posts: 1,379 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Many of those "older" guns have barrels that aren't made of steel at all, they are really wrought iron. That is fairly soft stuff in the bigger scheme of things. Wrought iron has been used for bullet jackets as well as the driving bands on artillery shells. It's harder than copper but not much and would wear rapidly against the friction of copper jacketed bullets.
  • stankempstankemp Member Posts: 509 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Mucho gracias for the input.
    I'll shoot a few more with the lower loads and search really hard for the 460 cast lead bullets.
  • navc130navc130 Member Posts: 1,186 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    In general, the experts say that jacketed bullets will wear out the bore of older firearms. How many: 50, 100, 500 ?? unknown. I would think a hundred or so would not be a problem (just a guess). More important might be the fit of the bullet to the bore. If undersize you would get gas cutting into the bore and that happens pretty fast.
    If oversize, you would get accelerated wear.
    Wrought iron should not be an issue with a cartridge gun. That pertains to muzzle-loaders. Even in the late muzzle-loader days (about 1850's) they were using "cast steel" barrels. To the best of my knowledge, all popular cartridge guns from the 1870's on used steel barrels of some sort.
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