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First shots with Parker Hale 1858 Enfield

GatofeoGatofeo Member Posts: 230 ✭✭✭
Was out yesterday for the first time with my Parker Hale-made 1858 Enfield.
Set up a target at a measured 50 yards and shot from a benchrest.
Didn't get a whole lot of shots off, because my buddy is a videographer and wanted to get video of me shooting it. He'd never seen a muzzleloading rifle, so for him it was a treat. Got some nice video with the camera set on a tripod, and me shooting to the side of the tripod.
But ultimately, I put 3 shots into a 1" group about 2 inches above the point of aim. This was with the Enfield's sight at its lowest setting, presumably 100 yards.
Theload was:
Kik FFFG black powder, 60 grains measured by volume.
Lyman 575213PH bullet of 566 grs., soft lead.
Bullet lubricated with Gatofeo No. 1 Lubricant, a homemade lubricant I've used for all blackpowder purposes for years.
CCI Musket cap

We also shot some plastic 2-liter bottles filled with colored water, my buddy brought along. He set his camera on a tripod about 20 feet from the jugs, turned it on, retreated to behind me, and we got some fun footage of the bottles exploding in a spray and mist.

My last shot of the day was to try to hit a desert rock at about 1,500 yards, with the Enfield's ladder-type sight set to 1,000 yards. Alas, we didn't see the bullet strike. The ground was wet. If it had been summer, we surely would have seen a cloud of dust erupt.

This was my first outing with the 1858 Enfield and I just love it. Got it in November, but it's been so dry this winter that I've been reluctant to take it out. We had a long, wet spring and summer and the dry, brown Cheatgrass and other grasses are high. I've been afraid of one spark starting a range fire.
We fired from an area that was bare ground for 25 or 30 yards ahead of the muzzle. Beyond that, the grass was damp from recent snow.

I was a little surprised at the recoil of the 1858 Enfield. I'd equate it with roughly a 20-gauge shotgun and upland loads. Not uncomfortable, but I guess I've been spoiled by my Hawken-pattern .50 caliber and its lead ball in a cloth patch.

Today is dreary, rainy and just above freezing. More snow is forecast through the week, but I hope this weekend will clear and I can get out again. I'm fortunate to live in the remote Utah desert, where I can shoot as far as the eye can see. Rather anxious to see what the ol' girl can do out to 500 yards or more.
But first, I need to practice at 100 and 200 yards.
I've been shooting cap and ball revolvers for more than 40 years, but this is my first .58-caliber Civil War era rifle. I think I just found a nice adjunct to my longtime hobby!


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