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.
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.
The cartridge case is on a piece of dowel adjusted to give the right case length
Crimper – Antique in its own right! Plus a neat roll crimp it made.