Authentic Paper Cartridges
The historical cartridge is shown in the diagrams from an 1859 publication; the modern recreation is on the left
Enfield paper cartridges come ready to be filled with powder (like the ones on the left) and they will look like the cartridges on the right when filled and twisted closed.
Enfield Paper Cartridges
These Enfield paper cartridges are made to an historical pattern dating to the late 1850s and utilize a 550-caliber, 540 grain Enfield Pritchett bullet fitted with a base plug, like the originals. In 1859, the 550-caliber bullet was adopted for the Enfield rifle, marking the final refinement to the military muzzleloading firearm. There would be no further developments before breechloading rifles with metallic cartridges were adopted in the late 1860s. This modern recreation is the result of the better part of a decade of research, and I have attempted to recreate the historic English ammunition down to the smallest detail, including:
· 550-caliber, 1.09-inch long Pritchett bullet cast from pure soft lead
· bullets fitted with expanding plugs like the originals
· cartridge made with 13lb weight 100% cotton rag paper (not wood pulp paper, which absorbs wax)
· three small cuts in the paper around the bullet to facilitate separation at the muzzle
· bullet end of cartridge lubricated up to the shoulder of the ball with beeswax
· overall cartridge length when filled with powder and twisted closed is 3 inches
· completed cartridges are gauged at .568-inch diameter
Intensive and deliberate scientific experimentation at the British Army's School of Musketry at Hythe ultimately produced this highly refined cartridge. It successfully solved the chief problem of military muzzleloading rifles of the black powder age: the difficulty of loading a rifle with a buildup of fouling in the barrel. Tests at Hythe found that the P1853 could be continuously loaded and fired dozens or even hundreds of times with this ammunition, without difficulty and without loss of accuracy. I've personally fired sixty rounds from my Enfield rifle in a little over 20 minutes, with the sixtieth round ramming as smoothly and as easily as the first. The superior qualities of the "English cartridge" were so evident that, in early 1864, the Chief of Ordnance for the Confederate Army officially adopted the Enfield cartridge as the sole ammunition for all 58-caliber rifle-muskets.
The cartridges contain NO POWDER. Before shooting, you need to fill the cartridges with powder and twist the tails closed. The period charge was 2.5 drams, or approximately 68 grains. I get much tighter groups at closer ranges with a 50gr charge. Only use a charge that is safe for your rifle.
These cartridges are time intensive to create. This is precision ammunition, made by hand within tolerances measured by a thousandth of an inch. I can fit up to 28 into a small flat rate box (this is the best shipping option due to the weight of the lead). Contact me if you need more than 28. US Shipping Only -- International buyers please contact me.