https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rifled_muzzle_loader. The Whitworth rifle was equipped with modified military iron sights, but many of them were also equipped with high precision globe sights or with a side mounted Davidson scope. But it’s been a while since I read it, so there might be something in there. The mold matched the 1 in 20″ twist of the rifling. Will it come with dedicated bullet mold? The original article is clearly Figure of Merit. At the bottom of this I use a thick card wad over a hexagonal felt wad and as the card acts as a scraper, have little problem with fouling. He used 1:25” spiral for the .577 bores, but also noticed that the increased weight of the bullet needed an increased charge as well to have a flat trajectory. He ventured to say that the Whitworth small-bore rifle, fired with common sporting powder, would never foul, so as to render loading difficult. I’m going to bed now :-0. Talking expensive gun . http://www.researchpress.co.uk/index.php/firearms/gunmakers/whitworth. In similar time, Royal Navy introduced breech loading naval gun, but was so disappointed with them that switched to RML guns To do this well all parts must have accurately located holes and countersinks. This could not be done with the Armstrong breechloader due to its lead-coated projectile and chamber both being slightly larger than the bore diameter; https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/4e/RBL_7_inch_Armstrong_breech_diagram.jpg. Whitworth made a 12-pounder breechloading field gun on the hexagonal bore principle; http://civilwarwiki.net/wiki/12_pdr._Whitworth_Breechloading_Rifle. At the very least you would need a lot of powder and I think the burning properties of black powder would be very suboptimal for a true recoilless gun. Whitworth was a well-known successful engineer, but had never designed a rifle before, so he was not overwhelmed by preconceptions. Hello, No one knows. I’ve seen that quote as: At least at this anecdotal level. (Showcased armament details pertain to the. The side mounted scope allowed the use of the standard iron sights in times of need, when long range accuracy was less important when compared to the possibility of fast aiming. It could have been threaded in Whitworth or some type of trapezoidal thread. There’s another reason besides cost that the Whitworth rifle did not become standard issue: It got its increased performance partly by close tolerances bullet to barrel, and so was less tolerant of powder residue building up in the barrel. “One curious thing is the number of Whitworth bullets shown that seem to be simple cylinders. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. This caused some disquiet in the contemporary press when it came to light. It is worth nothing that Withworth applied his rifling to muzzle-loader rather than breech-loader. Here’s another set of Maxim photos, this time of an 1899 pattern gun made at Enfield. I doubt one could make a well-functioning recoilless gun with black powder. Should the bullet not expand, the gun of course would not be clean. The back end was inserted into the rifle’s muzzle (thus protecting the rifling “lip’ from being marred), the paper slip behind the powder was pulled out to the side, and the whole thing rammed down with one stroke of the ramrod. High powder demand is also the reason why the Germans did no use medium or heavy recoilless anti-tank guns guns in WW2, despite having some well developed designs by mid-war. The high-speed gas flow out the back has to balance the mass of the projectile going out the muzzle to achieve the recoilless effect (M x V= momentum). See ‘Measuring Accuracy’ which explains Figure of Merit and includes the original report from the Times newspaper with the Enfield / Whitowrth results. The one problem I could venture to speculate upon would be that the bore would, under different conditions of firing over the many days elapsed, provide different interior ballistics to the projectile, reducing accuracy (which would defeat the purpose of using a rifle like a Whitworth. 3) Perhaps the process of being fired would give them a more cylindrical appearance. All written content, illustrations, and photography are unique to this website (unless where indicated) and not for reuse/reproduction in any form. Read Tennant’s “The Story of the Guns” page 58 for the details. So the use of black powder and (probably) wooden or possibly celluloid blowouts woldn’t have been as much of a handicap as you might think. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Moultrie Please note this correction: However, the rifles were equally expensive, and were not given further consideration for military use. 16% is probably a pretty high survival rate for any gun from 1960. >>> “I have a B series which I shoot sometimes.”, Jan, is your rifle recorded in the Whitworth Research Project database? Simple, fast, and not likely to mess things up. That may be due to the photography, or mis-identification, but I wonder if simple bullets were used in a Whitworth gun, and how much accuracy was lost by doing so.”. He pioneered the recoil operating system – the concept of harnessing the […], This rifle is coming up for sale at RIA on June 23. The history of this beautiful rifle began in 1854 when Lord Harding, Commander in Chief of the British Army asked Sir Joseph Whitworth to do a full detailed research on bore rifling. 1 x 2.75" (70mm) gun tube (also 2.17" gun tube featured). Whitworth shooters now and today have found that round cross-section bullets of soft lead work just as well hence they are more commonly seen. The Whitworth did not shoot a 12 inch group at 1800 yards. I could see where a cylindrical bullet might be easier to load in a fouled bore. Thats the Mean Radius of the group; the group size will be more than twice the mean radius. Marcin, I haven’t found anything current. Whitworth also designed an infantry service rifle known plainly as the "Whitworth Rifle" to succeed the Enfield Pattern 1853 guns of .577 caliber. You are right about the Panzerfaust, and it does prove that at least a very low velocity recoilless gun using black powder was possible. I can add that Rikhter R-23 autocannon also have polygonal rifling (as well other peculiar solutions), so it seems to fit good with high Rate-Of-Fire (2500 rpm for R-23, which is high for that caliber and single barrel). And to finish this short essay, here are some photos of our new Whitworth rifle replica, ready to hit the market in early 2016. Whitworth Rifle production took place overseas in Britain which made its availability in the States rather restricted. The comparative tests of 1857-58 proved that the small bore military rifle is clearly superior compared to the standard issue Enfield rifle muskets. I am also bit mystified with this part. My guess is that the well-equipped sniper would carry both. Please consider, Maxim “Prototype”: The First Practical Machine Gun, Britains First Standard Trainer: the No 2 Mk IV*, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rifled_muzzle_loader, http://www.navweaps.com/Weapons/WNUS_3-15_mk12.php, https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/John_Sedgwick, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polygonal_rifling, http://www.researchpress.co.uk/index.php/firearms/gunmakers/whitworth, http://www.researchpress.co.uk/index.php/firearms/gunmakers/whitworth/loading-the-whitworth, http://www.researchpress.co.uk/index.php/firearms/british-military-longarms/small-arms-trials/measuring-accuracy, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Moultrie, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QF_4.7-inch_Gun_Mk_I%E2%80%93IV#United_States_service, http://sharpshooters.cfspress.com/arms.html, http://www.researchpress.co.uk/index.php/contact, https://archive.org/stream/Hatchers_Notebook#page/n431/mode/2up/search/merit, Whitworth Rifles and Kerr Revolvers — TOCWOC - A Civil War Blog. In any case, I recommend anyone to visit and see for themselves. Given the small number originally brought into the CSA, the number of known surviving examples is extremely low. ‘Why, they couldn’t hit an elephant at this dis….’ 10/16/2017 But one thing is certain. http://www.guns.com/2013/09/09/whitworth-rifle-fit-queens-confederates-video/. Fouling could be a problem, however. the flats did not actually touch each other, with the spaces in between being still rounded). I’m not sure why this is, but I can speculate a little: 1) The bullets were not really truly hexagonal, but more like a cylinder with flattened surfaces, with some rounding between the flats (i.e. It arrived a day late, and the designer thought of many improvements after reviewing the first few hours of battle, but it neutralized the CSS Virginia (formerly the USS Merrimack) and saved the wooden ships that had survived the Virginia’s first foray. Those are the only two passages I remember with any real mention of fouling or the “wad” used to combat it, and I don’t remember any details being given as to whether or how often they cleaned the bores during various trials. (It looks CG already addressed that issue.). Yes the soft lead bullets will assume a hex shape when fired. could afford a WW. In particular, they were used to shoot at Union artillery crews, and Whitworth bullets have been found on a great many Civil War battlefields. A rocket would be a different matter, but they tend to be very inaccurate and can be dangerous for the crews. I posted similar (briefer) comment on the YouTube page and the oversight was acknowledged. The cylindrical bullet, however, easily upsets into the hexagonal bore under the influence of the explosion of the charge of between 80 and 90 grains of fine rifle powder used for this particular firearm – recovered bullets fired from a Whitworth rifle are as hexagonal as their factory-made counterparts. You poured the lead in the to of the mold, and used a special mold handle with a rod to push the bullet out of the mold. Your email address will not be published. >> One curious thing is the number of Whitworth bullets shown that http://www.researchpress.co.uk/index.php/firearms/gunmakers/whitworth/loading-the-whitworth. It is not clear how many Whitworth rifles reached the Confederate shores, and sometimes it is also a hard task to differentiate the Whitworth armed sharpshooters from other snipers of the C.S. Does it mean that flanks of bullet were in helical form, as speculated before? We think some 250 WWs were used by the Confederacy, however some of them were match rifles made by others. When he decided to make a rifle, he decided that he could make flat surfaces more precisely than round ones, and chose to design a rifle with a hexagonal bore and mechanically fitted bullets. MOre on Whitworth on my web site: Enjoy what you read on Forgotten Weapons? https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/John_Sedgwick This number is what was used to compare the Enfield and the Whitworth. Interesting comment. He had himself fired 100 rounds one day, 60 rounds the next, then 40 rounds, and so on, and left the gun without cleaning for ten days, when it fired as well as it did on the first day.'”. The British military started using training rifles in 1883, with the .297/.230 Morris cartridge in adapted Martini rifles. Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: Yes, Wikipedia. This led crews to eventually permanently seal the breech action and load/reload their guns from the muzzle in the typical fashion - negating the weapon's one true distinct quality.