The Modern Pritchett Bullet

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Author: Øyvind Flatnes
Category: Muzzleloading
Published: 11.24. 2007
Edited: Saturday 24 Nov. 2007, at 23:13 (GMT +1)
Views: 20420

Original Pritchett-kule

What is a Pritchett Bullet?

The Pritchett, or Metford-Pritchett, bullet was used in the .577" calibre family of muskets in the British army from the introduction of the  Original PritchettP-1853 Enfield musket in 1853. Basically the Pritchett was a hollow based smooth sided conical bullet that was loaded paper patched in the musket. The diameter of the un-patched bullet was .568", but in 1858 the diameter was reduced to .550". It weighed 530 grains.

Most bullets of this type are called minié balls today. The US Army used a similar ball in their .58 calibre muskets, but this had grease grooves and was loaded without paper patching. However, a lot of Pritchett bullets saw service in the American Civil War. Huge amounts of cartridges with Pritchett bullets were imported from the trade in England, and confederate armouries produced many variations of the Pritchett.

What is the "Modern Pritchett Bullet Mould"?

Pritchett Pritchett

Pritchett balls.

The "Modern Pritchett Bullet Mould" is basically a slightly shortened version of the original Pritchett projectile. Why shorten it? Well, from the beginning the P-1853 Enfield rifle muskets had a three groove barrel with a 1 in 78" rifling twist. In addition, the P-1856 and P-1858 Army Short Rifle plus several carbine variations had barrels rifled with this twist.This is a very slow twist for a heavy conical projectile. In 1858 the British Royal Navy adopted a two band rifle, the P-1858 Naval Rifle which had a five groove barrel and a 1 in 48" twist. The accuracy was superior compared to the three groove 1 in 78" twist rifles. The British Army adopted the 1 in 48" twist in their P-1860 and P-1861 Army Short Rifles. The P-1861 Cavalry Carbine and the P-1861 Artillery Carbine also had the new fast twist.

Find out more!
You can learn more about the history and use of British and American rifle muskets and the Pritchett and Minié balls in the brand new book From Musket to Metallic Cartridge: A Practical History of Black Powder Firearms.

The "Modern Pritchett Bullet" is made to stabilize better in slow twist muskets, both original and replica. It can also be used in the fast twist muskets. All .58 calibre muskets and rifles, such as the 1855, 1861 and 1863 Springfield, CS Richmond Musket, 1863 Remington ("Zouave") etc. can shoot this bullet.

Specifications:

  • .568" diameter unpatched
  • 450 grains

Pritchett

The mould.

The bullet moulds are produced by Lee Precision to my specifications. The mould blocks are machined from aluminium and handles are included. The mould is made in 25 copies. If you have questions, use this contact form. I planned to have another batch of mould made, but Lee no longer makes hollow based or hollow point moulds. This means that I have to get another maker to make the new batch.

The price is $72 + shipping. Sold out!

Pritchett

Paper cartridges and paper patched bullets.



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