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10 ga 1887 Length of the shell
February 12, 2021
8:23 pm
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February 12, 2021
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Have a very nice 1887 10 ga that was my fathers “duck” gun.  It was routinely used years ago when he hunted and I was but a wee lad…like maybe 65 years ago.  I recall reading somewhere that there was a issue with “modern” shells concerning the length of the shell.  I understand it was made for black powder only and I have recently found a source for black powder 10 ga shells.  The question is what length should be used.  They offer them in 2 and 1/2 inch, 2 and 5/8 inch and 2 and 7/8 inch.

In examining the “chamber” there does not appear to be any restriction which would prohibit the shell from being fully in the chamber.  Is the critical thing having a shell that when fired will fully open?  The rounds offered appear to not have a crimped end but rather a fiber wad with a small rolled end.

Also, powder is expressed in “drams” and that varies as well.  Suggestions needed.

Thanks  ACS

February 12, 2021
8:48 pm
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Winchester listed the 10-ga Model 1887 shotguns as having a 2-7/8″ chamber in their catalogs.  That stated, one of our WACA members states this his 10-ga Model 1887 has a 2-5/8″ chamber.  To be safe, you should have a gun smith measure the chamber on your gun to determine the precise length.

In regards to the powder type, it is imperative that you stick with black powder or low-pressure smokeless.

Bert

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February 12, 2021
9:36 pm
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Thanks.  I’m good with the use of black powder only.  But as to the chamber it seems like there is no point there the “chamber” ends and the barrel begins.  Looking down the barrel from the breach end it looks like one long tapered tube…maybe that’s the way it is with the important aspect being the inside diameter.  Finding a competent gunsmith around these parts is not easy.  I guess shorter is better that longerSmile

February 13, 2021
3:11 am
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I would stick with the 2-5/8″ shells that you mentioned.  My gun is the one that Bert is referring to.  I absolutely can not use 2-7/8″ brass shells.  2-5/8″ slip right in.  I have not tried paper shells.  If a shell has the crimped end, not just rolled to hold the over shot card, there has to be some room for this material to open into so it does not obstruct the load and wads.  I can’t help you on the powder charge.  Start low and work up. What shot sizes do they offer?

February 13, 2021
3:20 am
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The shells are either plastic or paper based on the look but they say they have no plastic inside, just fiber wads.  Shot is #7.  I think the article I read did make a mention of paper/plastic shells vs brass.  2 and 5/8’s sounds good.

 

https://www.buffaloarms.com/obsolete-hard-to-find-ammunition/shotgun-ammo

February 14, 2021
12:45 am
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Those rounds have a roll crimp to hold in the over shot card/wad.  These will open a little.  To be safer I might try the 2-1/2″ ones.  I use rubber cement to hold my cards in so no crimp. 

February 14, 2021
4:37 am
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woodsrunner50@gmail.com said
Thanks.  I’m good with the use of black powder only.  But as to the chamber it seems like there is no point there the “chamber” ends and the barrel begins.  Looking down the barrel from the breach end it looks like one long tapered tube…maybe that’s the way it is with the important aspect being the inside diameter.  Finding a competent gunsmith around these parts is not easy.  I guess shorter is better that longerSmile  

Woodsrunner,

A shotgun chamber looks nothing like the chamber in a rifle or pistol/revolver chamber.

There is no sharp shoulder in a shotgun.  It is called a “forcing cone” and gradually gets smaller at the end of the chamber to the actual bore.  Probably over a distance of an inch to maybe a little longer.  That forcing cone should be visible from the breech end.

Just don’t look for a sharp shoulder at the end of the chamber.

You can make a pretty simple but accurate chamber gauge.  See a photo of ones I have made below.

Just get a plastic (preferred) fired hull and cut it off cleanly at the junction of the base and plastic body.  Use a file to square it off if necessary.

To measure the length of your chamber, insert the squared end of your gauge into the chamber until it stops.  Presumably at the beginning of the forcing cone. Then with a machinists scale, or something similar, just measure how far the end of your gauge is in the chamber from the breech end and add that to the length of your gauge and that will give you the chamber length.

Make one for 10, 12, 16, 20, etc and you’re all set.

Jolly

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February 14, 2021
12:50 pm
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I actually did try something like that by rolling a length of paper.  And I see the diameter of the shell is supposed to be .775 inches so if I can find or make something that size I should be able to check.   The shells I plan to buy have 3.75 “drams” on bp.  That works out to be over 100 grains…I am accustomed to grains in muzzle loader shooting and that seems like a lot of powder.  Wonder what they use, FF or FFF ??

BTW, I can see something of a surface variation which is probably the effects of the shell firing.  The back end of the chamber has one surface characteristic but at the front there is a different “look” to the surface however it is not a clear single line.

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