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Large Calibre Whitworth Match Rifle.
#1
A couple of years ago I aquired a large calibre Whitworth Match Rifle by JWs company Manchester Ordnance and Rifle Co, as follows:- half stocked Horn forend Cap Checkered Butplate,Pistol grip with cap.Detented Lock,Barrel 36",1turn in 25",.568 across bore flats, .600 at corners,  Rifle no E698.
Entered into corespondence with Bill Curtis for his Whitworth research program.Mr Curtis kindly gave me much information regarding this unusual calibre Whitworth.
working on the 3 calibres principle I produced a bullet mould.The resulting bullet turned out to be a lumbering monstrosity struggling to get down range.My next step was to swage down a standard hollow based P53 Bullet.Low and behold she shoots good driven by a modest 70 grain powder charge.
I anyone has any info regarding this cal Whitworth rifle I would be gratefull.Thereis lots of info regarding the 451 out there but this one almost draws a blank.
                                            Regards.
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#2
I think a member of the Long Range Muzzle Loader email list has posted about one of these in the past.

http://sports.groups.yahoo.com/group/lrml/

David
Research Press - www.researchpress.co.ukwww.facebook.com/ResearchPress
Firearms, long range target shooting and associated history
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#3
Thanks David,Whilst on the subject would this calibre be accepted for MLAGB long range competition.
                                                               Regards.
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#4
The large bore Whitworths are very rare and I have not seen a bullet for one.  I am pretty sure the bullet included a very deep plugged base and a deep nose cavity probably filled with wood. The example in our Museum has an eight and a half pound barrel and a Whitworth type telescope. The rifle exceeds the normal NRA weight limit of ten pounds which suggests to me that it was intended for the 2,000 yards trials of 1865/6 but was quite incapable of matching the Gibbs Metfords. Plugging the noses was also done by Gibbs and at least part of the 2,000 yard shoots by the Metfords was with explosive bullets as easier to spot impacts. 

I think that the Whitworth bullets would have lacked sectional density and been that much more susceptible to wind at very long ranges.
W. S. (Bill) Curtis
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#5
Thank you Bill for the valuable information,I am surprised at the lack of original data for Whitworth rifles of this calibre.The pluged bullet sounds interesting.Was it in Hexagonal form.I would be gratefull if you could give me an aproximate length of this projectile.I agree that other rifling systems where successful to a greater degree than the whitworth form and featured highly in the target competitions of that day.To me this Rifle is evocative of past mechanists competing to produce the finest shooting piece they could.
                                 Regards.
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#6
Quote:.. would this calibre be accepted for MLAGB long range competition.
The Whitworth would be eligible for MLAGB 'free rifle' competitions as there is no bore size set.

The Long Range Rifles Branch of the MLAGB hold an annual competition in October at 600 yards specifically for Whitworth rifles.

David
Research Press - www.researchpress.co.ukwww.facebook.com/ResearchPress
Firearms, long range target shooting and associated history
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#7
Thank you David,Lots of Bullet and Powder combinations needed to sort out a satisfactory load.
                                                       Regards.
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#8
[img][Image: Bulletfor575CalWhitworth001.jpg][/img]View of a bullet I am testing for the large calibered Whitworth rifle,shown next to a standard P53 Bullet.The bullet on its side has a Wooden Plug.A Plug is shown in front of upright long Bullet.Some success with this long Bullet at 300 Yards.
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#9
[img][Image: Bulletfor575CalWhitworth002.jpg][/img]
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#10
You need to be careful that the centre of gravity is not too far forward. I would suggest a shorter base cavity and a bored out nose in the style of the Boxer Snider Bullet.
W. S. (Bill) Curtis
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