First shots with Parker Hale 1858 Enfield
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.
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!
"And lo, did I see an ugly cat. Smoke. Brimstone. Holes in parchment. And this ugly cat was much amused." --- The Prophesies of Gatodamus (1503 - 1566)