....March 2007 ~~~~ Editor:  Cliff Hanger ~~~~
Put some spin on your Bullets by Old Scout

   I believe all shooters are aware their arms have rifled bores. Those “twisty” grooves in the barrel, are hard to miss when cleaning a firearm. I’m equally sure that most shooters understand the rifling produces better accuracy by spinning the bullet. The shooter that purchases a firearm and shoots commonly produced ammo in it, isn’t likely to give any further thought to the rifling. When the shooter enters the world of specialized shooting and re-loading, such as long range activity, the characteristics of the rifling become much more important.

   Before looking at the practical side of rifling, a little historical information may be of interest. It’s really difficult to “pin-point” the introduction of rifling in the firearms trades. It’s thought to have existed as early as 1475, but the hard evidence would indicate more likely, the mid 1500’s. The National Museum of Zurich contains rifled arms dated 1544. There also exists the record of a shooting competition taking place in 1563 ( Bern, Switzerland ) in which some competitors complained that the use of rifled arms was unfair to their smooth bored arms. From this one can say that rifled arms were known by the mid 1500’s and that they were known to be more accurate than the smooth bored gun. 

   When a round ball is fired from a smooth bored barrel, it will fly fairly accurately for about 50 yards. Beyond the 50 yards or so the ball will deviate from it course becoming inaccurate. Now if that ball is rapidly spun about its axis ( center line ), it will follow the same path each time with far greater accuracy. The reason for the improved accuracy lies with forces produced by the spinning mass of the ball, which result in “Gyroscopic Stabilization”. Gyroscopic stabilization is a common facet of life. Without this force it would be hard to ride a bicycle or motorcycle, as a large part of the stability we feel, when riding, is produced by the spinning wheels. Gyroscopic stabilization tends to keep the spinning object from changing position or course ( if it’s moving ), and in the case of a bullet, if we stabilize it around its center line ( axis ), then all we need do is point the center line at the target!

   In the real world round balls are poor projectiles. They loose velocity quickly and are rather light in weight. The practical bullet is a cylinder with a length of 2 or 3 times its diameter. A cylindrical bullet fired from a smooth bore barrel will tip and tumble immediately on leaving the barrel. To secure stability and accuracy it is necessary to spin the bullet about its axis fast enough for gyroscopic stabilization to keep the bullet flying a true course to the target.

  The burning question then becomes, what is fast enough? The whole twist rate question revolves around the Minimum Twist required to keep the bullet on course. The suggestion of Over stabilization needs not be a concern. Mechanical considerations place an upper limit on bullet rotational velocities. If spun to fast, normal lead or copper jacketed lead bullets will strip from the rifling, or explode on leaving the barrel.

   The calculation of bullet stability quickly becomes a multi-page exercise in mathematics. Fortunately, for all practical purposes, we have been saved from such drudgery by Sir Alfred Greenhill.  Somewhere around 1880, Sir Alfred Greenhill ( 1847-1927), serving as Professor of Mathematics to an Advanced Artillery Officers class, developed a simple formula for the determination of minimum twist. This has become widely known as the “Greenhill Formula”, and serves as the basis for most all of the twist rate calculators, and twist rate charts found on internet sites and in reloading manuals.

   The Greenhill formula states  T = 150 ( d²/l )
                                                                                  T= twist rate in inches
                                                                                  d= bullet diameter in inches
                                                                                   l= bullet length in inches

   An example of why this is important may be seen in the currently popular H&R Target rifle in caliber 38-55. Looking through bullet mould catalogs one finds all kinds of wild looking “long Range” bullets of 320 to 335+ grs weight. I have a mould for a 38 bullet weighing 330 grs. This bullet is 1.4” long. Using a diameter of .375”, and a length of 1.4”, the minimum twist rate, as predicted by the Greenhill Formula is 1 turn in 15.06”. The barrel of the H&R rifle is made with a twist rate of 1 turn in 20”, not nearly fast enough. When fired at targets placed at 50 yds, 75 yds, and 100 yds, I found the bullet holes to be round at 50 yds. However at 75 yds the holes were becoming oval, and at 100 yds the holes were a full outline of the bullet ( and all over the 3 foot square target ). I shoot this particular bullet in a barrel rifled 1 turn in 14”, faster than the required 1 turn in 15”.

   There are other considerations when choosing a bullet design, but first and foremost don’t select a bullet that is to heavy. Secondly, keep the muzzle velocity as high as practical for the cartridge. The Greenhill formula is centered around 1500 fps. If you are shooting a large ( long ) bullet at low velocity ( 1000 to 1300 fps ), than changing the constant in the Greenhill formula to 135 produces better results.

Hi Jolly From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Hadji "Hi Jolly" Ali (1828 — 1902) was a Greek-Syrian specialist, he was one of the first camel drivers ever hired by US Army in 1856 to lead the camel driver experiment in the Southwest. Hi Jolly became a living legend until his death in Arizona. Once, insulted because he had not been invited to a German picnic in Los Angeles, he broke up the gathering by driving into it on a yellow cart pulled by 2 of his pet camels.


As near as anyone can determine, he was born either somewhere in Syria or in Smyrna around 1828 of Greek and Syrian parentage. There is no record of what his parents named him. Some sources allege his father was of Greek origins and mother was Syrian, reporting that he was born Philip Tedro and he took the name Hadji Ali when he converted to Islam during his early life after making the pilgrimage to Mecca. While other sources report his mother was of Greek origins and his father was Syrian. Hi Jolly's membership in the Army's Camel Experiment was not his first quasi-military adventure. Hi Jolly served with the French Army in Algiers before signing on as a camel driver for the US Army in 1856)

Ali was one of several men brought over by the American Government who were to drive the camels as beasts of burden in transportation across what was then known as the "Great American Desert." Eight of the men, including Ali, were of Greek origins, having arrived at the Port of Indianola in Lavaca County, Texas aboard the USS Supply. In Go West Greek George by Steven Dean Pastis, which was a published both in Greek and English, it specifically identifies all eight men. These pioneers were Yiorgos Caralambo (later known as Greek George), Hadji Ali (Hi Jolly aka Philip Tedro), Mimico Teodora (Mico), Hadjiatis Yannaco (Long Tom), Anastasio Coralli (Short Tom), Michelo Georgios, Yanni IIIato and Giorgios Costi. The Americans acquired 3 camels in Tunis, 9 in Egypt, and 21 in Smyrna, 33 in all. Ali was the lead camel driver during the US Army's experimental US Camel Corps in using camels in the dry deserts of the Southwest. After successfully traveling round trip from Texas to California, the experiment went bust, partly due to the problem that the Army's burros, horses and mules feared the large animals, often panicking, and the tensions of the American Civil War led to Congress not approving more funds for the Corps. In 1864, the camels were finally auctioned off in Benicia, California and Camp Verde, Arizona.

After the Camel Corps, Ali attempted to run a freight business between the Colorado River and mining establishments to the east using a few camels he kept. Unfortunately, the business failed and Ali released his camels into the Arizona desert near Gila Bend. In 1880 Ali became an American citizen and used the name Philip Tedro (sometimes spelled Teadrow) when he married Gertrudis Serna in Tucson, Arizona. The couple had two children. In his final years Ali moved to Quartzsite where he mined and occasionally scouted for the US government. He died in 1902 and was buried in the Quartzsite Cemetery.

Gravesite and Monument

In 1935, Arizona Governor Benjamin Moeur dedicated a monument to Hadji Ali and the Camel Corps in the Quartzsite Cemetery. The monument, located at his gravesite, is a pyramid built from local stones and topped with a copper camel. The monument is the most visited location in Quartzsite.


    * The folk song Hi Jolly is based on Hadji Ali's exploits.
    * 1976 movie, 1995 video release, "Hawmps" was loosely based on this camel experiment.

U.S. Camel Corps From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The U.S. Camel Corps was a mid-nineteenth century experiment by the United States Army in using camels as pack animals in the Southwest United States.

While the camels proved to be well-suited to travel through the region, their unpleasant disposition and habit of frightening horses is believed to be responsible for their failure to be adopted as a mode of transportation in the United States.


The idea of using camels for military transport in the US dated back to 1836, when second lieutenant George H. Crossman began pressuring the United States Department of War to use camels in campaigns against Native Americans in Florida. It was not until after the Mexican War (1846–1848) that the idea was taken seriously.

Newly-appointed Secretary of War Jefferson Davis found the Army to be in need of a solution to its transportation problems in the western US. The rough terrain and dry climate was seen as being too rough on the horses and mules used by the Army, and camels provided a possible solution.

On, March 3, 1855, the US Congress appropriated $30,000 for the project. Major Henry C. Wayne, a promoter of the idea, was assigned to procure the camels. On June 4, 1855, Wayne departed New York City on board USS Supply, under the command of then-Lieutenant David Dixon Porter.

The ship crossed the Atlantic Ocean, and purchased camels at ports in North Africa (sources differ as to exactly where). On April 29, 1856, Supply arrived at Indianola, Texas, with thirty-three camels and five drivers.

Use in the southwest

After allowing the animals a few weeks to recuperate from their sea voyage, they were taken to Camp Verde.

Reports from initial tests were largely positive. The camels proved to be exceedingly strong, and were able to move quickly across terrain that horses found problematic. Their legendary ability to go without water proved valuable on an 1857 survey mission from Fort Defiance to the Colorado River. The survey team and their camels continued on into California.

While camels were suited to the job of transport in the American Southwest, the experiment still failed. Much of this was due to the less desirable qualities of the camels. Their stubbornness and aggressiveness made them unpopular among soldiers, and they frightened horses.

End of the experiment

With the arrival of the American Civil War, the Camel Corps was mostly forgotten. Many of the camels were sold to private owners, others escaped into the desert. These feral camels continued to be sighted through the early 1900s, with the last reported sighting in 1941 near Douglas, Texas.

Hi Jolly (Hadji Ali), a Syrian camel driver who took part in the experiment, lived out his life in the US. He died in 1902 and is buried in Quartzsite, Arizona. His grave is marked by a pyramid-shaped monument topped with a small metal camel.

Some of the camels were purchased by Frank Laumeister, a veteran of the corps, and taken to the new Colony of British Columbia in 1859-1860 where they were engaged in freighting on the Douglas Road, Old Cariboo Road and other gold-rush era routes there. Between the region's rocky trails and roads and the mutual hostility between camels and mules, the experiment was a failure and the camels were set out to pasture, with the last sighting of a wild camel in British Columbia was in the 1930s. Their presence in local history is reflected in the name of the Camelsfoot Range near Lillooet, and in a local basin called "the Camoo".

Quartzsite by Richard Busch (FGMS Member) (in part)

The town of Quartzsite, Arizona wasn't always named "Quartzsite." Quartzsite began life in 1856 when Charles Tyson settled there and built a single, fort-like, adobe building known, appropriately enough, as Fort Tyson. After Tyson located a reliable supply of water, the "fort" was renamed the Oasis Hotel and the settlement, now called "Tyson Wells Stage Coach Station," became a stop on the Ehrenberg-to-Prescott line. Tyson's Wells, as the town came to be known, flourished until the mid-1890s when it was abandoned as the stage lines ceased operation.

The discovery of gold and silver in the areas surrounding Tyson's Wells led to a small mining boom in the late 1890s which, in turn, revitalized the town. Due to the mining activity and the widespread occurrence of quartzite rock in the area, Tyson's Wells was renamed Quartzite. Unfortunately, a clerical error by the local Post Office resulted in the name being misspelled as "Quartzsite." The error was never fixed.

Turn-of-the-century Quartzsite was a mining supply center. The town sported a hotel, a general store, a barber shop, a Chinese restaurant, and a handful of saloons in addition to other amenities. Miners came from Ehrenberg, La Paz, and nearby mining camps to resupply. As was to be expected, Quartzsite's success was closely related to the quality and quantity of the gold and silver ore in the surrounding area. High quality ore was not plentiful and, as a result, Quartzsite's life as a boom town was short. By 1900, less than 20 people lived in the town.

One of the major factors affecting the productivity of the mining operations was the lack of water at the mines. In his article "Gold Deposits Near Quartzsite, Arizona," Edward Jones states that water packed from La Paz to the placer deposits brought $5 a gallon during the rush period and that gold was recovered entirely by dry washing. Jones describes the dry washer machines used during this time:

"The machines used in 'dry washing' are of several types, but probably the most efficient is that of the 'bellows' type. In capable hands 6 cubic yards of material can be handled by a machine of the largest type by one man in 8 hours, and the capacity of those of the smaller types, more commonly used, is 2 yards a day.

"The machine consists of a wooden framework to which is attached a coarse screen, hopper, crank and gears, riffle board, and bellows. The material is passed through a screen having a quarter-inch mesh into a hopper having a capacity of 1 cubic foot, and then passes on to the inclined riffle board, 10 by 20 inches, which also has a screen surface with wooden riffles at right angles to its length. The pulsations of the bellows keeps the material in motion. Underneath the riffle board is a muslin cloth stretched over the air chamber.

"The power for operating the bellows is a crank on geared wheels; and, as the material passes over the riffle board, the heavier particles are intercepted by the riffles and drop through the screen on to the cloth, while the waste material passes over the end of the board or is blown away by the air blast. The gold is obtained by panning the concentrates.

"It is apparent that the gold-bearing wash must run well above 50 cents per cubic yard in order that the operator may make miner's wages. Sporadic placer mining has been done with this machine by the miners at Quartzsite, but because of the variability of the gold content of the wash and the limitations of the machine, no large areas have been thoroughly or continuously worked."

Quartzsite's population fluctuated erratically from 1900 to about 1960. Election records reveal a population from as few as 14 people to a few hundred (during the depression) in the 60-year period. By 1960, only 50 people lived in the town on a permanent basis.

During the winters though, the population of Quartzsite swelled to 1,500 or more as travelers from colder areas of the nation flocked to the town to weather out the season. A number of permanent residents recognized the economic advantages of establishing Quartzsite as a winter haven and chartered the Quartzsite Improvement Association (QIA) as a means to organize themselves. The QIA decided that a managed activity was needed to capitalize on the influx of winter visitors and, after due deliberation, decided to host an annual gem and mineral show.

A local resident of Quartzsite, Sig Sigurdson, donated four acres of land upon which a civic center was built and upon which the QIA Pow-Wow (the name given to the gem and mineral show) was held. From the 1,000 people who attended the first QIA Pow-Wow in 1967, attendance grew steadily over the years: 12,000 in 1969, 200,000 in 1974, and 500,000 in 1975. In 1978, just 11 years after the first Pow-Wow, attendance topped one million!

Today, the Quartzsite experience is one that shouldn't be missed. If you've never before driven to Quartzsite during the Pow-Wow, you'll be amazed to see several thousand RVs camped across the desert as you approach the town. Once in the town, you'll notice additional thousands of dealers selling gems, minerals, jewelry, and other handcrafted merchandise. It all begins on the first Wednesday in February and lasts about a week. 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ information on Hi Jolly was left out due to repetition

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