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Old April 19, 2011, 06:21 AM   #1
MikeKPP
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58 cal minie bullet

hello I just bought some 58 cal minie balls size .575 for my armisport enfield musket would like to know if this is the correct size its seem that the bullet is tight going into the barrel. is this the correct size or it's just a poor made bullet
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Old April 19, 2011, 02:32 PM   #2
sewerman
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usually the .575 is correct for the Italian guns.
i have an armisport 1861, springfld & 1853 enfield and they both use the .575.
historically the enfield was calibred in .577...but the .575 works and i have found it very POA , POI. i know several mold companies produce different sized minies ...lee offers the largest size selection,but usually the .58 cal fall into the .575-.578 sizing. the R.E.A.L. bullet comes in .592 but this is not a traditional minie.

you may have a deformed bullet as you mentioned. though i have never experienced a minie just dropping down the barrel. they fit loose and the hollow base is expanded by the gas & pressure, forced into the lands and grooves of the barrel as the bullet is pushed down the barrel.

when these rifled muskets were front line weapons there were clean out bullets type I-III which looked like a minie but used a zinic disc at the base which flattened out as the gases pushed the zinic base into the bullet on it's way down the barrel to clean out powder residue. they were packed every fifth bullet in the cartridge boxes. most soldiers in ignorance just through them out ...?

so you will have to brush your bore every 3rd or 4th shot if range shooting for any length of time.
also the ffg powder works better than the prefered fffg. the larger granules allows more oxgyen to be trapped when loaded which helps for a better burn contrare to popular belief.

enjoy your musket!

S.M.
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Last edited by sewerman; April 19, 2011 at 02:48 PM. Reason: addendum correction, spelling
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Old April 19, 2011, 04:32 PM   #3
Hawg
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Quote:
so you will have to brush your bore every 3rd or 4th shot if range shooting for any length of time.
I don't agree with that. I have an Armisport Enfield and I use a traditional minie that mics at .577. I lube it in the grooves with a beeswax/Crisco mix and the weight of the ramrod will push it down the bore to the last three inches or so whether it's the first shot or the 50th.
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Old April 19, 2011, 09:51 PM   #4
Hellgate
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I have 4 different 58 cal rifles and the St Louis Hawken will let a 575213-OS minie slide right down without ramming. No good, if you let the muzzle point too far down it could slide right back out or worse yet, get half way an cause a barrel burst. I also have oversize molds in .577 & .580 for that one. If the minie needs a gentle push down the barrel you have a nice fit. Use plenty of BP compatible lube and go have fun.

Which minie are you using? The thinner skirted ones do best with light charges but the heavier skirted ones do best with heavy hunting loads.
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Old April 21, 2011, 11:10 AM   #5
sewerman
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fellas,

they (minies) fit loose was in my statement .......yes, some may fit loser then others...or tighter .....
depends on the bullet material, whether it was quenched in cold water & the size of the bores...or bullet size/style and even the molds being used......or as the poster mentioned deformed.......i doublt that ALL repos mike in at the same perfect bore size.
i don't believe any mention of ramming was touched upon. inferred?

my suggestion to brush the bore is just that a suggestion not written in stone. fouling depends on powder type, amount of load, humidity, type of minie, bullet hardness (friction) resistance to bore.... etc, etc. in other words many variables....

why wait for the fouling to build up? i have owned rifled muskets with a clean bore the minie would slid/ drop or as stated slid back out... but after a few shots, fouling prevented the drop and though fitting loose still needed a lite touch to be SEATED against the charge.

original enfield minies were smooth sided. packaged /configured opposite the normal federal minie in the cartridge wrapping and were loaded backwards by many troops not trained with the british cartridge. also the enfield was loaded with the inner tallow saturated paper patch to provide lube.
early ones had a boxwood core that was designed to assist with skirt expandsion but was later dropped by the british ordinance after further tests revealed core's use unnecessary.

this is just a lite hearted forum here with each member passing on their experiences trying to educate and help those seeking help while none professing to know anymore than our own personal knowledge through the school of hard knocks and some reading too.


enjoy your rifled muskets....my worst fouler is the 1842 when loaded with lubed paper cartridge.....

s.m.
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Old April 21, 2011, 12:44 PM   #6
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For what it's worth, the .58 Minies that I buy from Dixie for my original 1862 Springfield fit a little tight - they require a bit of pressure most of the way down. Now, that could be because LG&Y made the barrel a little small or just that, after 150 years, it's just not in perfect condition anymore

I suspect that, other than my great great grandfather and me, nobody really cleaned it the way that it was supposed to be cleaned after shooting it. Fortunately, other than a few years during the 1860s, it did not get shot much.

I shoot it so rarely that I honestly don't know what the diameter of the bullets is - I bought 50 of them a few years back and probably have 30 left. But I think that they're .575s.
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Old April 21, 2011, 03:11 PM   #7
Hawg
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Mine are pretty tight in my original .577 Enfield. Soldiers in the war often used .58 Springfield minies in their Enfields but not without problems after a few shots. I've read accounts of pushing the ramrod against a tree to seat a .58 minie in an Enfield.
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Old April 22, 2011, 02:11 PM   #8
maillemaker
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I shot my Euroarms for the first time two weekends ago in my first NSSA shoot. My bullets measure .575. With a clean barrel, they go down easy with just the weight of the ramrod taking them down to the powder. After just one shot, they require light pushing after that. I could tell it took more effort the more shots that were fired. I don't think I ever fired more than 7 shots during any course of fire, though, and I cleaned between each one.

Took home 3rd place in 100 yard musket and 3rd place aggregate musket. Not bad for my first try!

Steve
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Old April 28, 2011, 04:54 PM   #9
sewerman
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maillmaker,

congrats on the good shooting first time out too!


s.m.
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Old May 10, 2011, 09:23 PM   #10
Southron
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Sizing Is The Key!

Dear MikeKPP:

When Minie Balls come out of the mould, their sizes can vary somewhat depending on how hot the mould was, how fast the molten metal was poured in the mould, rate of cooling, etc.

Best accuracy is obtained by running your Minie Balls thru a sizer. That way, you know that they are all of the EXACT SAME DIAMETER.

Ideally, and for best accuracy you want a Minie Ball that is 1 to 2 Thousands of an Inch UNDER your Enfield's bore diameter.

I have one of those simple "C" Frame reloading presses and made my Minie Ball sizer on a lathe. All I had to do was to machine out the ram and then the actual sizer that I screw down in the top of the press.

After I size my Minie Balls, I weigh them on an electronic scale. Of course, I automatically reject the Minie's that have casting flaws like wrinkles, etc. But by weighing the ones that LOOK GOOD, I always find a small percentage of those that are dramatically UNDERWEIGHT. What that tells me is that those Minies have an "air bubble" somewhere in them. They get thrown back into the casting pot.

Also, get some AAMPCO NIPPLES from Dixie Gun Works for your Enfield. They are made out of Beryllium and are 1000% BETTER than the steel nipple that comes on your gun. Just make sure you get nipples with the correct thread for your gun.

Consider casting your own bullets. All you need is a Lee lead pot and a mould. If you do so, be sure to use pure (soft) lead as that is what works for making Minie Balls.

By casting your own Minie Balls you are in control of the quality and also save money. You will get a great feeling of accomplishment!

GOOD LUCK!
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