Ammo from 1876

November 18th, 2008  

Dr. Piazza,

Thanks for your story about the 35 year old ammunition.

Many years ago I bought a .43cal spanish Remington Rolling block rifle and 100 rounds of amunition by mail order. That shows you how long ago it was. The ammunittion was loaded in Spain in 1876 and was black powder loads with a solid lead bullet lubricated on the outside by beeswax. I fired that rifle many times with the old ammo and never had a missfire. When fired, there was a 20 yard column of white smoke in front of the muzzle and I had to move to one side to see if I hit the target. The beeswax did not do a good job of lubing bullet and the bore showed lots of lead in the groves. Hoppes #9 removed it with a bronze brush.

This ammo was so coroded on the outside of the case that after firing you could see small pinholes in the brass. I kept the brass just as a curio with no intention of trying to reload it.  So it is possible to fire very old ammo. As long as it is reasonably dry it will fire.

Thanks again for your story.


Entry Filed under: From the Mail Bag,Front Sight.

Ignatius Piazza
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