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Old November 25, 2007, 11:54 AM   #1
hashett jack
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About Remington Zouave

Hi Gents !!

Over here , in Spain , we think Remington Zouave it´s the best Minié ( OK , " Minni"!!) musket for muzzleloading competitions...but really don´t know so much about the history of this excelent weapon...
Can you show me places or links where find information about the 3-7-5 grooves rifles , Why the three models , powder meassures , minie types recomended and anecdotes about it ?

Thank´s in advance
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Old November 26, 2007, 05:03 AM   #2
Rusty.it
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Also in Italy we think the same

Other good choice is the two band enfield, but the more straigth stock of the enfield isn't good for everyone!

The so called "zouave" is really good for 3 simple reasons, (in my opinion) the short barrel and the shorter barrel time of the bullet that help in this slow velocity load, and a heavy barrel respect, for example, the two band enfield!
The hammer course isn't longer like sprigfield and so cause a faster time of ignition after trigger pulling, this help the precisione of the shot!
The best load for me is a charge of 43 grains of n2 swiss (FFFg) back a 640 grains miniè from Pedersoli mould, lubed with a mixture of beeswax, paraffin, pig fat and a drop of Lee liquid alox, the bullet must not require calibration in a sizer, it must fit well the bore and not be too loose, no corn or wad over powder (it's a miniè) the lead must be pure, or at least with 1 over 40 part of tin to lead alloy, this help when you make your bullet!
The original, if i remember right were made in 20'000 piece in 1863 and look like never issue to a fighting repart, were sold after the war to civilian owner, the original bore was of 7 rifles, the now made Armisport 7 rifles bore are made copying exactly an original that i personally handled, is in quasi mint condition and it's of guy that makes Italian muzzleload championship, the external barrel finish is satin finished for minimize the light reflection!
I shoot a 3 rifle bore, it's a very good shooter, many friends own 7 rifle and are pretty happy of it!
The zouave is the first musket replica ever made, from the late '60 and early '70 many Italian manufacturer made it, famous was Zoli, (i think the first) actually only Armisport and Euroarms have the zouave in catalog, but only armisport make the 7 rifle, i have see recently 2 Bernardelli mississipi rifle in a arms shop (similar to zouave) i don't know if berardelli makes zouave too!
Thats all i know about it
ciao
Rusty
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Old November 26, 2007, 04:41 PM   #3
Hafoc
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I'm going by memory from something I read a long time ago, so forgive me if I'm not completely accurate.

You're talking about the 1863 Remington Contract Rifle. Remington made about 12,000 of them. They were excellent rifles but for some reason they were never issued during the Civil War, or at least there isn't evidence they were. When US Civil War re-enactment started to get popular, many of the shooters used original Civil War weapons, and here the 1863 Remington rifle found its greatest popularity. Because they hadn't been issued, there were many of them still available in prime shooting condition.

Nobody seems to know why they're called the Zouave Rifle. There were units in the Civil War who called themselves Zouaves, mostly in the Union armies but also some among the Confederates. The real Zouaves were French troops recruited in North Africa.

The American Zouave units wore uniforms that approximated the French Zouave's. They had tight, fancy jackets that looked like something a circus rider might wear, matched with baggy red pants. This sort of thing didn't prove practical on the battlefield, and by the end of the war the remaining Zouave units wore the same uniforms as anyone else.

My best guess is that the 1863 Remington got named the Zouave Rifle because its blued metal and brass fittings made it flashier than the standard rifled muskets, the same way the Zouave uniform was flashier than the standard one. But again, there's no evidence the Zouave Rifle was issued to Zouave units either.

This was a rifle. Most of the Civil War shoulder arms were rifled muskets. The rifled musket had thinner barrel walls. The Zouave Rifle was built more heavily than a rifled musket, but it could handle stronger powder charges.

It was based on a model of rifle built at the Harper's Ferry arsenal, some time in the 1850s, I think.

It seems strange to me that the government would have purchased thousands of these things and sent them right to storage, while the war was still on. Would end up not issuing any of them. But the Zouave wasn't the only good weapon to suffer that fate during the Civil War.
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Old November 27, 2007, 08:06 PM   #4
Spade Cooley
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I've oned one of the reproduction Zouaves made by Uberti. What makes them so nice for muzzle loading competitions is their slow twist. I believe it is one in 72 inches. It is best for round ball and not much good for minne ball. A friend of mine shot and won a lot of matches with one with a Springfield 03 peep sight. I wish I would have kept mine.
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Old November 29, 2007, 10:06 PM   #5
44capnball
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I have a Navy Arms / A. Zoli Zoauve. It's one of my favorite muzzleloaders. With the right load it's very accurate. It even shoots patched round balls, very good.

A lot of guys used them for deer hunting and still use them. I wouldn't part with mine for anything.
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Old December 4, 2007, 12:53 AM   #6
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A Hardware Store Sight

I recently acquired a nice .58 caliber Zouave rifle that is a real fun shooter.
The only problem is my old bifocal eyes can't see that danged military rear sight. Here's the gun.



And here's the factory sight. With it, the gun shoots about a foot above point of aim at 50 yards.



Here’s the sight disassembled.



That disk in the center of the sight base is the screw holding the sight to the barrel. When I got it out it turned out to be metric - 4mm / 0.70 pitch.



So I went to the hardware store and bought three bolts (1/2" X 20 threads per inch), and a nut.



I also bought a 4mm X 0.70 machine screw, a small rubber "O" ring, and a nylon washer.



(continued in next comment.)
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Old December 4, 2007, 12:55 AM   #7
Semisane
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A Hardware Store Sight (continued)

Then I cut the head off of the machine screw and put it in the barrel in place of the sight base screw.



I drilled a hole in one flat of the nut and tapped it with 4mm X 0.70 threads. Then ground it flat on both sides and rounded it except for the tapped flat.

Here's a picture of the process in three steps.



Then a buddy with a lathe drilled the bolts with 1/8", 3/16", and 1/4" holes, rounded and dished the heads, and shortened the shanks to the thickness of the modified nut.



I then put the "O" ring on the barrel stud, then the nylon washer, then screwed on the modified nut.



This in itself makes a pretty dandy low-light ghost ring sight.
Or, you can screw in any one of the apertures for finer sighting in good light.
Here's a picture with the 1/4" aperture in place.



As soon as I can get some cold blue solution, I'll turn the whole works blue and it will look a little better.

RESULTS??? Well, I shot with it from a bench and put six shots in a 3" group at 50 yards using the 3/16" aperture. As it turned out, the windage was perfect (I figure if I ever need to adjust windage I can just make another nut with the mounting hole drilled a little off-center) but It was still shooting well above point of aim.

I needed to raise the front sight to bring the point of impact down. So - back to the hardware store. Got a couple of 4 X 40 socket head screws and a brass nut. Rounded the nut, filed the factory front sight flat, and soldered the nut to the flat. Now I can screw in different lengths of screw shanks (or screws with the head on) and change front sight height at will. The threaded post is real sharp when looking through the aperture. Works great with my bi-focals on.



GO AHEAD - LAUGH, but I do think I'm about ready to hunt with this sucker. It's about the best $5 aperture sight you'll ever find.
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Old December 5, 2007, 10:38 PM   #8
44capnball
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Every one I've seen shoots high at 50 yards. I think they're supposed to be on at 100. Then the flip up sights are for 200 and 300 I think?

Well that's a real neat idea for a sight you have there!
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Old December 5, 2007, 10:47 PM   #9
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The "Improvise, Adapt and Overcome' Award definitely goes to Semisane for that one. Fine bit of ingenuity there, and one I can appreciate. I built a rear peep for an AK clone a couple of years ago using an old sling swivel center, and it worked perfectly.
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Old December 13, 2007, 12:00 PM   #10
Spade Cooley
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Just find an old 03-A3 peep sight and put it on. Then you need to make a wrap around metal front sight that is fairly high.
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Old December 13, 2007, 05:39 PM   #11
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Just aim low at short range.
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Old December 14, 2007, 01:42 PM   #12
hashett jack
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zouave

thank´s at all from Spain !!!
Carlos
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Old January 13, 2008, 06:48 AM   #13
Texas Phil Peeno
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Question about the Zouave

I received a replica Zouave for Xmas (A. Zoli 25+ yrs old) and I am new to muzzle loading. I've shot a 290 grain .573 PRB with 60 grains of APP. At 50 yards the Zouave shoots six inches to the right and six inches high from POA. I have three questions I was wondering if you could help me with.

1) I heard that the Zouave is more forgiving with MB than PRB. Is this correct?

2) Besides finding the correct combination of powder and bullet weight, what other methods to get this rifle zeroed on dead center?

3) What are the two distances for the rear sights? I saw 200 yrds and 300 yrds from a earlier post but didn't see a confirmation. If so, using the 200 yrds, the Zouave will always shoot high at 50 yrds. How do I fix the horizontal without doing major reconfigurations to the rifle?

Thanks for the help.

Texas Phil Peeno
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Old January 13, 2008, 07:11 AM   #14
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Phil, from what I've garnered from the different forums most rifle muskets shoot minies to the right. PRB's are supposed to hit closer to center but lack long range accuracy. I filed the rear sight out on my Enfield to get it on target. The front sight is soldered on. You could heat it and slide it over a tad. Some folks advise bending the barrel to get it in line but that goes against the grain for me. With the PRB you might try different patch thickness also.
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Old January 13, 2008, 08:47 AM   #15
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Texas Phil,

First thing to check is the crown - if the crown is not symetrical, it'll throw any projectile off be it MB or PRB because it's the un-even muzzel blast that will steer the bullet as it leaves the muzzle.

If that doesn't do it, you can shave & shim the sight blades to move them in the horizontal plane but I doubt you'll have enough to get 6" @ 50yds out of it, I'd look to tweek the barrel if need be.

Going off memory but I think the 100, 200, 300 yard is correct for the sight blades.

MB's are not going to be any more accurate than PRB's, the only two small advantages MB's offer is that they will tend to retain more velocity at longer ranges and are a little less susceptable to crosswind drift. There are at least a dozen, maybe more, different designs of the MB and slight variations from brand to brand in skirt length, rear cavity depth/shape as well as nose length/shape and diameter can all mean the difference between one that works in your individual rifle and one that doesn't. ML's are no different than any center fire gun, each and every one must have a load combination tuned to what it wants in order to obtain the highest level of accuracy. If you intend to use the rifle for hunting, PRB's create a better wound channel than a pointed MB.

The slow twist rifling doesn't really matter between the PRB & MB either. PRB's will do better with a slow twist because spinning them too fast causes the minor flaws to become amplified like an out of balance tire trying to tear itself off the vehicle as the speed is increased. MB's are a weight-forward design just like a slug for a smoothbore gun. The weight-forward design means the largest portion of mass is leading and the skirt is an air drag just like the stick on a bottle rocket applies the required drag to keep it flying in the direction in which it was launched. This weight-forward design means the bullet needs very little twist to keep it stabilized just like the round ball.
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Old January 13, 2008, 09:22 AM   #16
Steve499
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Quote:
How do I fix the horizontal without doing major reconfigurations to the rifle?
I solved that problem in my 1861 Springfield by cutting a small dovetail into the front sight block which is soldered, I assume, to the barrel. Then I made a new, taller sight blade which was attached to a longer dovetail base. I drifted the new front sight until it was zeroed for windage and then filed the protruding ends of the base of the sight off even with the block on both sides. The tall sight was filed shorter until it shot where I wanted it, elevation wise. I even gave it a brass bead, not authentic looking but a real help to my older eyes.

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Old January 13, 2008, 11:08 AM   #17
DMZX
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I have had my "Zouave" for over 20 years. I have used it for hunting during muzzle loading only hunts. I always found it a hoot to shoot.

The day I bought it (used) I bought some Minie balls and musket caps. I took it out to the gravel pit where I always shot. There was an old 55 gallon drum out there that was fairly well perforated, so my first shot was aimed at it from ~50 yards. I hear a big metallic "thunk" and the drum fell over like a tin can. Hah.

Here are somethings I have learned shooting my 1863 Remington over the years:

- The best load is 70 grains of ff under a Minie ball.

- It will not shoot patched round balls accurately at all.

- It shoots paper patched Minie's very well and can easily put 5 shots into a paper plate @ 100 yards with the 100 yard folding sight. (I once produced a nice 3 shot cloverleaf group @ 50 yards shooting over the hood of my old Chevy truck)

- Cleaning is easy with the barrel removed and using hot soapy water, followed up with Hoppes #9.

The rifle came with a horrible brown paint on the beechwood stock, so I sanded it off and stained it. I finished it up with linseed oil.

I have probably shot it around 700 times. I have killed 3 mule deer with it. I have used it to hunt elk, but never got close enough for a good shot.

Presently the stock is darkened and shows lots of outdoor use. The brass has a nice patina and most of the blue in worn off around the muzzle and the breech. It has taken on a much more distinguished and authentic look as it seasoned.
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