Orginal scopes during the Civil War

Talk with other Shiloh Sharps shooters.

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DAMN YANKEE
Posts: 292
Joined: Sat Jan 28, 2006 2:40 pm

Post by DAMN YANKEE » Wed Mar 01, 2006 7:40 am

Kenny, yes that one is real...I get that alot throughout my life. See photo below.

Doc, Listen let us really help you here..

1. You said the shot is at 300 yards. Alot of period rifles could do the job when scoped at that distance. The engraving I sent you (albeit with the mods) was an original etching of a Union soldier with a scoped sharps rifle, so you can stick with the scoped Shaprs rifle story.

2. Having said that the Whitworth rifle is a simpler more direct story line and they are available today as well. That rifle would "ring true" to an informed reader.

For Kenny,
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dbm
Posts: 249
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Location: UK
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Post by dbm » Wed Mar 01, 2006 12:51 pm

Trigger Dr wrote: Dixie sells a Parker-Hale Whitworth manufactured by Gibbs Rifle Co. It is a very faithful reproduction.
The Parker-Hale reproduction of the Whitworth is really a generic style copy of a military match rifle of the 1860's. The Volunteer model made by P-H is the same rifle but with a Henry rifled barrel. For a comparison between an original Whitworth rifle of the Civil War era and a P-H see:
http://www.lrml.org/historical/whitwort ... thc423.htm
Trigger Dr wrote: They also sell a Pedersoli Mortimer Whitworth rifle. However, It is a half stock and does NOT have the hex rifling.
This is not intended to be a reproduction of a Whitworth rifle. The Muzzle Loaders Associations International Committee's ( www.mlaic.org ) competitions all have names - the Whitworth competition is the 100m free rifle match. The Mortimer Whitworth rifle is so named as a marketing ploy by Pedersoli based on the event name rather than any connection with Joseph Whitworths rifle.
Doc wrote:If this re-enactor should carry a Whitworth rifle, where would he buy it? This character is very careful and calculating. .... He would not use anything but the best. This leaves out reproductions from Europe. He would not have one!
Despite the characters short sighted approach to where he buys his equipment from, the British made Parker-Hale Whitworth rifle is highly regarded and there appears to be a ready market in the US for the so called 'first generation' P-H's. I don't know of any US makers of the Whitworth, nor anyone in the US who makes Whitworth barrels.

There is British barrel maker who still makes traditional barrels, including Whitworth, and his barrels are used by many world class riflemen. There is another barrel maker in Switzerland who may also be able to provide Whitworth barrels (he certainly makes Metford barrels).

I have seen pictures of custom reproductions of Davidson side mounted scopes on Whitworth rifles, but am not aware of any commercially available.

David

DAMN YANKEE
Posts: 292
Joined: Sat Jan 28, 2006 2:40 pm

Post by DAMN YANKEE » Fri Mar 03, 2006 9:41 pm

Finally found this one in the rack.

Interestingly, Whitworth first took out a patent in 1853 for "Fluid Compression Steel" inwhich ingots were cast and while still ina fluid state in the inside (yet hardening in the outer) were put in a hydraulic press which eliminated "blow holes" in the metal and gave the finest grain structures found in that period. All such barrels were marked "Wheatsheaf".

"In 1852, Lord Hardinge, Commander-In-Chief of the British Army, being much discouraged with the rifles then used in the Army, commissioned Sir Joseph Whitworth, then the foremost mechanician on the day in fine measurements and accurate manufacturing, to make through investigations of the subject of rifling small-arms in order to discover the best form of rifling and most practical type of rifle for the British Service, After some two years of experimentation he invented and patented in 1854, the Whitworth hexagonal bore rifle with its mechanically made hexagonal bullet fitiing the bore of the rifle. This rifle was .450 caliber, the paper patch was 1.32 inches long weighing 530 grains, the hexagonal rifling having one turn in twenty inches. The Whitworth rifle was tested by the British Ordinance Board early in 1857 in competition with the Enfield rifle, at ranges from 500 to 1800 yards. The Whitworth rifle gave a mean deviation of 4.62 feet at 1,400 yards and 11.62 feet at 1,800 yards.

During the Civil War the U.S. Government important quite a number of fine Whitworth rifles and bullets for use by Sharpshooters, after having been equipped telescopic sights. They were considered among the finest and most accurate long range rifles used in that war."

Interestingly, Whitworth first took out a patent in 1853 for "Fluid Compression Steel" inwhich ingots were cast and while still ina fluid state in the inside (yet hardening in the outer) were put in a hydraulic press which eliminated "blow holes" in the metal and gave the finest grain structures found in that period. All such barrels were marked "Wheatsheaf".

Also, found this shot of an actual gov issued, scoped Civil War piece made by Morgan James. It was issued to Berdan's Sharpshooters. It seems James removed the Remington and Sons barrels and replaced them with a .58 caliber, 6 groove barrel of his own making using a mini bullet. Then, get this, he made an internally adjusted telescope and soldered the scope solidly to the barrel! The scope was 11 power.

Now, I have other notes saying the first internal adjustable scope was first produced by R. Noske of San Carlos, Ca. But, as he was born decades after James died...I guess not!

Anyway enjoy.

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