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It's difficult to say. Page 74 of Wirtgen's book has two pictures of the Treibspiegel, one of which shows some delamination in the base end of the sabot which supports the theory of a "wound" construction. However, I will note the outer surface of the sabot shows no signs of a vertical paper "edge" that would be there if it were wound. The outer surface has a smooth, mottled look similar to the shiny side of hardboard/Masonite. The more I consider it, the more I'm thinking that these may have been an early form of that (50 plus years before hardboard was invented!) and the top and bottom of the sabot may have had some final turning operating, as you said, on each end to ensure they were all finished to the same length. That final finishing operation may be what gave the concentric lines.

Wirtgen references the Festungs-Waffengeschichtliches Museum Phillipsburg when noting Dreyse having the special machinery made. They may have more information regarding the machines.
 
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I have that book. From a manufacturing point of view making sabots from rolled paper and then turning them from both sides seems to be a very inefficient method. Forming them from paper pulp (papier-mache) would be a lot more productive. But I don't speak German and I am unable to find the proper text on sabot fabrication.

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papier mache is impossible, it would never stand the stresses.
Disagree. There were even shells with sabots of papier-mache for muzzle loading rifled cannons. I need to check with the book on exactly what model, don't remember right now.

PS. Schenkl used papier-mache sabots. 3-inch Schenkl Shell - Case Shot
 

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Hello Nick,

In response to the ongoing confusion regarding sabot construction. They were initially rolled under tension from a pre-cut length of paper strip with a taper (dimensions provided in our book). The rolled sabot is then swaged in a robust press using forming dies for each of the different sabots required. For example: M.41, M.47, M.55 etc. This resulted in a solid yet flexible sabot that grips both bullet and firmly engages the rifling. The sabot must have a finite wall between primer housing and base of the bullet; if not, the initial expanding gas forces the bullet forward out of engagement with the sabot, which in turn cannot impart rotation on the bullet resulting with loss of accuracy. On the other end of the scale – were the “Brummer” shots in which the sabot did not disengage from the bullet when fired – causing a buzzing sound down range and total loss of accuracy! We have experimented with this by adhering the bullet to the sabot to replicate a “Brummer”.



In our book, there are examples of intact sabots retrieved from the range showing rifling engagement with the sabot mouth open after releasing the projectile. Also shown are recovered bullets, including the very accurate experimental one which we evaluated for the sake of research.



Many of our experiments show paper debris shot out of the barrel, these were part of ongoing research in perfecting the sabot. The sabots must remain intact when shot. However, we have also experimented with blank rounds as well.



Included are pictures of recovered bullets and sabots. To obtain optimum results, the process of making the forming dies and tool is quite an involved process as can be seen in the illustrations – but from our experiences quite worth the time spent for the sake of authenticity. Standard reloading presses can be used.



In our collection we have several original cartridges and sabots and have had to unfortunately dismantle (sacrifice) cartridges to obtain data in order to faithfully reproduce a ‘Dreyse Cartridge’ for up-to-date evaluation, purely for the purpose of ongoing research.



We hope this concludes and clarifies the arcane subject of the Dreyse sabot.



With very best regards,



Leonard and Guy A-R-West FHBSA

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Guy and Leonard, your knowledge is amazing! Thank you!
 

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Good Evening All,

From my small sampling of Dreyse cartridge and sabot construction, I must respectfully disagree with the Brothers West on not creating allowing a pathway between the musket cap pocket and the base of the bullet. As you can see from my photos above, I use a custom drill bit to drill out my wooden sabot in one pass. This necessitates punching a hole in the bottom of the sabot that creates the pocket for the cap. The Brothers West suggest that we leave some material intact to prevent combustion gases from pushing the bullet out of the sabot greatly affecting accuracy.

In my limited amount of shooting, I have always had very good accuracy out to 75m. Next time I take the '41 out, I will seal off the hole from the primer pocket to prevent any gas leak.

Randy
 

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papier mache is impossible, it would never stand the stresses. the sabot is coiled and everyone made sabots do this.
From a manufacturing perspective, it would be easy to deal with wood pulp or paper mache as a slurry (a lumber or paper mill byproduct), which is then fed into a heated die to be compressed under high pressure. "Art class" paper mache would certainly be useless.
 

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I don't want to be the doubting Thomas, just being curious. If the sabot is made of rolled paper, then the edge of the paper strip would be visible on the outside surface of the sabot. Could you tell me if that's the case?
 

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Hello Randy,

Our sabot construction is based on the original format that Nicolas Dreyse designed. Dreyse was also involved in the development of primers and formed a company with his partner Carl Collenbusch. This shows that Dreyse was a man of original ideas and he designed the ready-to-fire “Einheitspatrone”.



After many experiments he developed the early M.41 cartridge (spherical bullet) which used the sabot. Various developments followed, but all the sabots were basically the same except for the later M.55 and N/A which had four diametrical cuts in the mouth to release the bullet on leaving the muzzle. Notably the bullet was seated in a recess, and if a through hole was advantageous it would have been adopted. We have faithfully reproduced this format – and it performs very well. As we stated previously, a though hole would certainly upset ballistic performance.



You state that at 75 m you obtain very good accuracy – how accurate would it perform at longer ranges? We wish you continuous success with your birch-wood sabots. We welcome input from Dreyse enthusiasts.



Best regards,



Leonard and Guy A-R-West FHBSA
 

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Good Evening,

I completed 50 cartridges (40 with holes and 10 without) last night and will be heading to the range in 10 days. I will give 100 yards a go and report back on my accuracy. Please note that I have never used a scope, sandbag, or rifle stand to fire my weapons. So, my accuracy, also informed by my much less precise manufacturing skills, will display more variablity in accuracy than Guy and Leonard who are originalists and prefectionists. The excellence of their books are testaments to their patience and diligence.

My objectives have been to first, simply get lead on the paper, second be in the black, and third a few rounds through the x. Time to manufacture original rounds is a problem right as my college calls on me to work a very long hours helping my students. So the shortcuts/hacks are a necessity right now.

When retirement comes, I will switch gears and become more of a originalist and see what my Dreyse, Chassepot, and Carcano can do in a 19th century reality.

Randy
 

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Thank you. Is the edge/seam visible from the side?
 

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Amazon sell 16 mm fishing sinkers mould. 20 gauge slugs will work too. If you replace needle with firing pin / no modifications for original parts needed/ it is possible to use centre fire cartridge / 20 gauge brass, shortened, with rim removed./
 
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