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Old December 1, 2017, 10:48 PM   #1
TruthTellers
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Burnside Carbine?

I saw Ian of Forgotten Weapons video last month of the Burnside and me being a black powder connoisseur instantly became fascinated in the rifle. I looked up to see if brass cartridges are made and Dixie gun works does sell the brass. Being that I'm a machinist, I figure I could turn my own on a lathe.

So, I want a Burnside. Any here ever owned a Burnside? What's handloading the ammo like? Do you think the Burnside is worth owning?
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Old December 1, 2017, 11:28 PM   #2
James K
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The cartridge cases made for Dixie sell for around $5 each; they also have a sort of "ring" that fills the gap but is not full length for a little less. I think I would go for the full length case. With the proviso that I have never tried to make my own Burnside cases, I would think that machining that tapered case would be a real PITA and a very slow DIY operation. The ones Dixie sells are pretty heavy (machined, not drawn brass like the originals) and should last indefinitely.

For those not familiar with the Burnside, the cartridge looks like an ice cream cone. It is dropped into the breechblock rear end down, with the front of the bullet sticking out.
Then the breechblock is closed, forcing the front end of the bullet into the rear of the barrel.

Jim
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Old December 2, 2017, 02:01 AM   #3
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Quote:
With the proviso that I have never tried to make my own Burnside cases, I would think that machining that tapered case would be a real PITA and a very slow DIY operation
CNC lathes make turning tapers a breeze and shadowgraph machines make checking the diameters easy.

For $5 a round, that's about right. I'm guessing it takes about 3-4 minutes to turn a case out on a CNC lathe. If I even got my hands on a Burnside, my plan was to buy a few of the cases at Dixie's, measure them, and go from there.
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Old December 2, 2017, 03:26 AM   #4
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There was a Trooper in my area who wrote a book about Civil War Carbines . That must have been 30-40 years ago . The list of Carbines was long ! The Spenser was the most interesting to me as it was the 7 shot repeater that could be used with tubular magazines holding 7 rounds .These magazines could be carried in a box ,making it a verypotent weapon!
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Old December 2, 2017, 10:02 AM   #5
Oliver Sudden
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I'm a former Burnside owner and shooter. The brass I used was drawn and the bullets I cast from a Dixie mold. Brass lasted about three shots then split at the ring. An unaltered Burnside trigger pull is very heavy and the sights are for young eyes. Loading cartridges was easy, pore powder into the case and press the lubed bullet into place with your thumb, no tools needed. Load as James K says then cap with a musket cap and fire. Open the breech and extract the case with the tip of your little finger repeat till all them nasty Rebs are gone! If you turn your own cases the ring in the case can be solid and I would expect they would never crack. Be sure to use a bullet lube like SPG .
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Old December 2, 2017, 02:01 PM   #6
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Oliver, you had me concerned when you said the brass only lasted for three reloads then failed, but if you're confidant about the machined brass and not drawn brass then I feel at ease.
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Old December 3, 2017, 09:25 PM   #7
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Hi, Mete,

Someone once said that the US is a nation of inventors, and the coincidence of advancements in weapons technology with the US Civil War produced literally hundreds of inventions in the firearms field.

I think the man you refer to is Andrew F. Lustyik, who literally wrote the book on Civil War carbines. AFAIK, he is still with us, though he is about my age and long retired from the New York State Police. There is not much info on him on line (be careful - there is another man with a different middle initial who seems to have a somewhat shady record!) but you can look him up.

Jim
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Old December 5, 2017, 11:02 AM   #8
Mike Irwin
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Longwood also offers cases. http://www.lodgewood.com/Burnside-Br...Case_p_14.html

On original rounds, donut shaped ring at the case mouth contained lube and also worked to somewhat seal the breach opening.

In use, it wasn't uncommon for this part of the case to tear off and go downrange with the bullet.
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Old January 8, 2018, 04:44 PM   #9
F. Guffey
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Quote:
So, I want a Burnside. Any here ever owned a Burnside? What's handloading the ammo like? Do you think the Burnside is worth owning?
Yes I owned one, the cases look like ice cream cones and forming the cases is easier than forming bottle neck cases. Price range? It always has to do with condition, $1,600 to $3,500.

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