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Old 03-16-2010, 08:08 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Rural - Rapid City, SD
Posts: 8
First Test - 1884 Trapdoor Carbine


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Hey kdub, finally warmed up enough around here to test fire the 1884 Trapdoor Carbine I have been bugging you with questions about. Still awfully muddy, so I just shot two rounds to see if it was going to go bang.

Couldn't find any of your pet powder here locally, so I loaded up a couple of rounds with AA 5744 using some .460, 405 gr Beartooth bullets. Used 24.3 gr in the first round and 27.0 in the second. Published data shows 1226 fps for the 24.3 load and 1394 fps for the 27.0 gr load. Surprisingly both of mine chrono'd exactly 5 fps higher than the published data. Couldn't find any unburned powder like I have read about with the 5744 either. I will load up the remainder of the 50 bullets in increments between the above loads to see what sort of groups I get when it dries up a little more.

As you might recall I was really worried about the lack of rifling in this gun. Shooting at 50 yards there was no sign of key holing and both shots were right on center left to right. Only problem is that both rounds are about 20 inches high at 50 yards with the Buffington sight set as low as it will go. Looks like whoever had this gun before me had it set up for longer range shooting than what I would be comfortable with shooting at a deer.

I will try it at 100 yards, but, assuming this trapdoor is still set up in battle sight configuration, my ballistics calculator shows that if we are roughly 20 inches high at 50 yards, then bullet is still rising to over 30 inches at 100 yards, so it looks like a taller front sight is in order. The front sight is pinned. Any experience in changing out a pinned front sight would be most appreciated to help me avoid major screw-ups. Also appreciated would be suggestions on front sight height and where to find one.
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