May 202015

bakers side

Baker’s Patent of 1874 retailed by Playfair of Aberdeen – an unusual early breech loader of which about 200 were made – this is No. 169

More on reloading black powder cartridges below……

I am planning to go to the Scottish National Muzzle Loading Championships next week as Tom lives nearby in St Andrews, so I thought I’d sort out a few guns to take, and have a go at the hammer gun competition – using my Double 12 Bore  Baker’s Patent bolt action, not exactly a hammer gun, but certainly contemporary with the earliest hammer breech loaders.   That means loading up 60 or 70 Black Powder cartridges, so last weekend I picked up around 100 used 70mm cases from the shooting ground – I don’t have any fancy gear for reloading, but I do have an old Jeffries of Norwich crimper and a de-capper and capping tool. I found I had 100 or so primers of the CCI 209 variety or the equivalent from my father’s junk.  I made up a case trimmer to cut off the crimps as the chamber on the Baker’s is quite short, and turned up a punch for making the necessary cards to put either side of the lubricated wads (Kranks 13 bore wads). I wanted to load with a standard muzzle loading load of 2 1/2 drams of Black Powder and 1 oz of No 7 shot, so I fiddled around and got the case length right for 1 lubricated wad plus a small slice of one – about 1/4 of a wad – around  3mm.   I put a 1 1/2 mm thick card wad either side of the lubricated wads to keep the oil away from the powder and stop the shot embedding itself in the wad. A bit of pressure from the piston in the crimping tool leaves about 5 mm clear to crimp, which seemed to give a nice rolled crimp after a few turns of the handle and a bit of pressure on the lever.


reloading bits1

This is what went into the reloads –  primer, trimmed case, 2 1/2 drams, card, wad, 1/4 wad, card, 1 oz No 7, overshot card.

trimming tool

 The cartridge case is on a piece of dowel adjusted to give the right case length

crimping tool

roll crimp

CrimperAntique in its own right!   Plus a neat roll crimp it made.

  6 Responses to “Baker’s patent breech loader & reloading Black Powder cartridges”

  1. Dear Tim,

    I’ve found the same one somewhere els.

    Thank you anyhow,


  2. Sorry for my late reply. I was ones at the fair in Birmingham and didn’t find any but if you do please let me know. If you are interested in my old IDEAL Paper shotshell trimmer than let me know.



  3. I wander if the (Jeffries) crimping tool is for sale.

    Kind regards,

    Jan van Doornik

    • Hi Jan,

      I’m sorry but its too useful! They do come up from time to time at sales and auctions. If I see one I’ll let you know.
      I’m going to the Birmingham Arms Fair and I’m sure there will be one or two there.


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