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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Rowland's and Pope's group questions (Read 5809 times)
Schuetzenmiester
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Rowland's and Pope's group questions
Dec 1st, 2018 at 3:44pm
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1) What are all the known facts about Rowland's group? 

2) What is know about Pope's group that blew away?
  

"some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence
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Schutzenbob
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Re: Rowland's and Pope's group questions
Reply #1 - Dec 1st, 2018 at 4:01pm
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This is somewhat off topic, but close...…

From SHOOTING AND FISHING, March 8th 1906, page 452;

A RIFLEMAN’S EXPERIENCE
DR. HUDSON’S NITRO POWDER SYSTEM

  For nearly thirty years the writer has been interested in, and an enthusiastic experimenter, to as great an extent as necessary time therefore could be spared from a busy business life, along the line of endeavoring to secure the greatest attainable accuracy in rest, and machine rest, rifle shooting.
   Toward this end the products of the finest rifle makers of modern times have, in turn, been sought, studied, experimented with, to an extent seldom dreamed of except by dyed-in-the-wool enthusiasts, who are never satisfied nor convinced that the existing results, no matter how fine, cannot be improved upon.
   The pleasure of thus working for the closest possible groups has been experienced in the use of rifles from the shops of Billinghurst, Warner, Tisdell, Perry, Pope, Schoyen and several other specialists in this line; also with products from different factories. Never in this work has there been found a barrel, purporting to be perfect in mechanical construction and condition, for which a combination of powder and load could not be worked out with which good, if not exceedingly  fine targets were possible.
      Laborious and time-consuming indeed were some of the older methods in the preparation of ammunition and loading, with their hard point and soft base combination bullets, perfectly swaged, carefully seated and muzzle-loaded with the aid of fine linen or patch into the previous cloth wiped barrel.  In the opinion of the writer, the fine showings of those old-timers are even yet seldom excelled, in so far as extreme accuracy alone is concerned. Those who have followed the muzzle-loading system down to the present time of non-swaged, non-patched bullets, direct from mold to non-wiped barrel, and the unsurpassed accuracy therefrom can fully attest the great improvement of much lessened labor in preparation of ammunition and manipulation of rifle in shooting, over its cap-locked, patch bullet predecessor. Notwithstanding this seeming degree of perfection, the fact still stands that black powder, with its consequent noise, dirt, and recoil has seemed an inseparable factor in attaining the accuracy demanded by the expert shot, and in the language of the truly progressive, have we ofttimes heard the query: What next?
  
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Schutzenbob
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Re: Rowland's and Pope's group questions
Reply #2 - Dec 1st, 2018 at 4:02pm
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   In this connection many thoughtful followers of the rifle tube are most sincerely of the opinion that the next thus thought is now, and has been, for some months at least, at hand, as emanating from ingenious and painstaking experiments of our brother rifleman, Dr. Walter G. Hudson, whose nitro powder, breechloading system, with its wonderful accuracy, great simplicity of rifle, and consequent substantial reduction in cost thereof, the almost total absence of fouling in the barrel, slight recoil and report of even the 38 caliber with its 1600 feet per second velocity, and wind resisting bullet of 308 grains, as an offhand rifle, at least, has surly come to stay.
   The writer, pursuant to the experimental proclivities, therefore alluded to in this article, has yielded to the unfailing desire to investigate the new nitro system, which desire was materially augmented by personal acquaintance with the originator, Dr. Hudson, to the end that a fine thirty-two inch, .38 caliber, 9¼-pound barrel, by Schoyen, of Denver, with Ideal mold, bullet starter, etc., complete, is the result.
   It has not been positively claimed for this system by Dr. Hudson that the accuracy is quite so fine as with the best muzzleloading methods, but the results thus far secured would seem to indicate that extended practice and painstaking care catering to the individualities of barrels, would machine rest work, eventually result in groups so fine and uniform as yet produced by any system whatsoever. For the benefit of those who may be interested in the progress being made in the use of nitro powders for fine target shooting, is submitted the groups herewith shown as representing not selected targets, but every shot yet fired from this new barrel with the Hudson formula of nitro powder loads with machine rest at 200 yards distance.  While it is not intended to offer any particular comment upon the magnificent showing of this system, yet it may not be out of place to state that in this particular trial it is believed that some of the variations in elevation shown may be attributed to uneven air space caused by the bullet seater not releasing the bullet exactly alike each time. Yet, be this as it may, the fact will be well understood by experienced riflemen that eighty consecutive shots are seldom better placed than these shown, with any system upon an open range at 200 yards distance.
  
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Schutzenbob
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Re: Rowland's and Pope's group questions
Reply #3 - Dec 1st, 2018 at 4:03pm
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   In conclusion, it may be of interest to state that no inconvenience whatever has been experienced by leading of the barrel, and that simple wiping, after shooting, with one small piece of muslin, rendered the bore absolutely clean, with no reappearance of acid or stain whatever upon succeeding days of non-use of barrel.

C. W. Rowland, Boulder, Colo.

Note…the loads used in his experiments were;

Eighty consecutive shots at 200 yards, machine rest by C. W. Rowland, Boulder Colo. Rifle; Schoyen-Ballard, 38-55: Hudson-Ideal No. 375272, 308 grain bullet. Charge, targets #1 #3 and #5 12 grains Laflin & Rand Sharpshooter, balance of shell filled with DuPont #1 Rifle Smokeless; targets #2 #4 #6 #7 and #8, 17 grains of Laflin & Rand Sharpshooter, balance of shell filled with cream of wheat. Original targets, except #7 and #8 made on blotting paper, hence the appearance of the reproduction.
  
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Schutzenbob
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Re: Rowland's and Pope's group questions
Reply #4 - Dec 1st, 2018 at 4:18pm
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This is Dr. Hudson's reply to Rowland's article;

SMOKELESS TARGET LOADS.

C. W. Rowlands article, “A Rifleman’s Experience,” in Shooting and Fishing, issue of March 8, was interesting to me in several respects, and I am compelled to add a few supplementary remarks.
  In the first place Mr. Rowland gives me more credit than I deserve as being the originator of this load, and I want to acknowledge the generous help and encouragement given by my old friend and fellow experimenter, Ed Taylor, who worked beside me in all of these experiments. Also, what could the American rifleman do without the help of Mr. Barlow and his Ideal Mfg. Co.?
I note also what Mr. Rowland says about having no trouble with erosion. This may be true for excessively dry climates, but while recognizing the benefits obtainable from this load, we are by no means oblivious to its deficiencies; and the chief one is in this matter of erosion. And I therefore want to repeat, with as much emphasis as before, that one cannot be too careful nor too through in cleaning out the barrel of a rifle after using smokeless powder, first immediately after the day’s shooting and again on the next day. Washing soda solution, ammonia water, or household ammonia, the various cleaning solutions I have recommended in previous articles, and Hoppe’s No. 9 nitro cleaner, are all good if accompanied by a wire brush and the necessary amount of elbow grease during the cleaning, and plenty of gun grease after.
In the matter of powder charges, there is nothing particularly new to recommend, this subject having been covered rather fully before. In the special handmade barrels, 7 grains weight of Sharpshooter and about 16 grains weight of DuPont No. 1 seems to give the best result in the 38 caliber, and a proportionate load in the 32-40. With factory barrels, the 18 grain weight of Sharpshooter, with about 1/8-inch of cereal on top of it to guard against fusion seems to be best; while the shell full of DuPont No. 1 gives quite good results in almost any gun, but not quite so good as can be obtained with the other two, these of course applying to seating the bullets ahead of the shell, If they were seated in the shell, less powder would have to be used as the air space would be diminished.
  
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Schutzenbob
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Re: Rowland's and Pope's group questions
Reply #5 - Dec 1st, 2018 at 4:18pm
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The load of Sharpshooter seems to work the same in almost any climate; but since moving about the country so much as I have as late, I have had an opportunity to observe that the bulk powders like DuPont No.1 become very much stronger after storage for a while in a dry climate. For instance the 16 grain load recommended above in connection with Sharpshooter makes a stronger load in Colorado than 17 grains does in New York.  But both of these powders when used properly give as fine results as one could desire. It is only the matter of adjusting the load to suit the conditions. It is best to get the elevation with the 18 grains of Sharpshooter, then not to use more of the DuPont No. 1 than will give the same elevation, whether it is used alone or in connection with Sharpshooter.
There is something quick and pleasant about this smokeless load that makes one stick to it in preference to the black powder load, after he has once used it, even though it does take a little more trouble to clean the barrel after shooting.
 
W. G. Hudson M. D.
« Last Edit: Dec 11th, 2018 at 3:19pm by Schutzenbob »  
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Redsetter
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Re: Rowland's and Pope's group questions
Reply #6 - Dec 1st, 2018 at 4:27pm
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Schutzenbob wrote on Dec 1st, 2018 at 4:03pm:
   In conclusion, it may be of interest to state that no inconvenience whatever has been experienced by leading of the barrel, and that simple wiping, after shooting, with one small piece of muslin, rendered the bore absolutely clean, with no reappearance of acid or stain whatever upon succeeding days of non-use of barrel.


Wonder how he avoided the common bore rusting problem caused by use of corrosive primers with early smokeless, unless, instead of cleaning with petroleum-based nitro-solvents, he was still using water, as with BP.

So now I see this remark of Rowland's caught Hudson's attention too!  He might not have known at the time he wrote that the primer, not the smokeless powder, was the culprit.
« Last Edit: Dec 1st, 2018 at 4:34pm by Redsetter »  
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Re: Rowland's and Pope's group questions
Reply #7 - Dec 1st, 2018 at 4:35pm
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Very interesting and what really sticks out is the 38, the load being used and it achieving 1600 fps with a 300 grain bullet. Also seems to point more away from BP being used by CW than towards it if taking place during the same time frame as the small group was being shot. Does anyone know of this possibly holding true.

And thanks Bob!
  
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Re: Rowland's and Pope's group questions
Reply #8 - Dec 1st, 2018 at 4:45pm
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John, these articles are from 1906, so these were written five years after the famous group was shot.
« Last Edit: Dec 1st, 2018 at 4:51pm by Schutzenbob »  
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Re: Rowland's and Pope's group questions
Reply #9 - Dec 1st, 2018 at 5:09pm
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Interesting also is that Hudson had no compunctions about using a wire brush for every cleaning, something that some shooters today say will never be used in their barrels.
  
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Re: Rowland's and Pope's group questions
Reply #10 - Dec 1st, 2018 at 6:03pm
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Thanks Bob!  I did not realize that group was shot machine rest. 

I suppose the corrosive primers had something do with with the requirements for cleaning in the early 1900s and he willingness to use a wire brush with sufficient elbow grease.

  

"some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence
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Re: Rowland's and Pope's group questions
Reply #11 - Dec 1st, 2018 at 6:26pm
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His brush method was the accepted way at the time. Now, most of us avoid them if we can. In a few years it'll likely revert to brushing. S--t changes now and then. Depends on where we are getting our latest misinformation.
Bob, thank you for these interesting lines from over a hundred years back. One thing not pointed out yet is that two of the top dogs in competitive shooting were treating each other in a very gentlemanly manner, and including other alpha personalities in their discussions. Bravo.
  

happily ignored by J. "Sonny" Louis
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Re: Rowland's and Pope's group questions
Reply #12 - Dec 1st, 2018 at 6:37pm
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Schuetzenmiester wrote on Dec 1st, 2018 at 6:03pm:
I suppose the corrosive primers had something do with with the requirements for cleaning in the early 1900s and he willingness to use a wire brush with sufficient elbow grease.



Smokeless deposited a chemical fouling that could not simply be washed away with hot water, as that of BP.  The various kinds of nitro-solvents introduced for cleaning smokeless were supposed to dissolve that residue, esp. with the help of a wire brush, but unless they also contained water, they couldn't remove salt from the primers forced into the pores of the steel.  Since Hudson mentions using #9, I wonder if the formula at that time included water.
  
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Re: Rowland's and Pope's group questions
Reply #13 - Dec 1st, 2018 at 6:39pm
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BobT at around one o'clock and two outside of the group it appears to noted 9/16 and also 420 or 429 is that supposed to be reflective of the center to center group size. Or maybe what I should be asking is have you ever seen it mentioned what it is representative of knowing the group size has been noted as being larger. 
And yes indeed BobZ the use of a machine rest is new to me as well.

JLouis
  
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Re: Rowland's and Pope's group questions
Reply #14 - Dec 1st, 2018 at 8:06pm
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The article is contradictory to CW Rowland's personal interview in October 1902 Outdoor Life, as to his load. I suspect that he had stopped using the duplex load he gave for the interview in 1902, and had switched to the smokeless load by 1906. Did he forget his previous description of how he fired the record group? Or did he simply relate the charge he was using in 1906?
And there are two groups that Rowland shot back then. The most famous being his 10 shot, 200 yd. group, and then the 40 shot group that measured .5"x.5" fired from a Pope machine rest. The second being published in a later July 1903 Outdoor Life article.

And smokeless back in the early years ruined a lot of bores. Not just because of primers, but because it was actually "semi-smokeless" and was somewhat corrosive. Most shooters were lead to believe it was no longer hard on their bores like BP, so cleaning wasn't as stringent as what they did with BP. Consequently a number of bores had to be re-bored and re-rifled to a larger size when shooters found them corroded.
  

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