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Old August 5, 2009, 10:06 AM   #1
prestigegunleather
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HELP!!! new Zouave musket owner needs advice

to ALL,

i bought a 1963-vintage, but UNFIRED, reproduction, 1863 Remington Zouave "2-band" musket a couple of weeks ago at an estate sale, which was made by RANSON-ITALIA for "The American Civil War Centennial".
(the company has been out of business since 1980.)

the musket looks to be "QUALITY" & "has spent its entire life" over the fireplace mantle, according to "the deceased's" nephew.

now my problem: i bought some "pre-lubricated" hollowpoint .58 caliber "hunting minie balls" by Hornaday on Monday & found that they are seemingly TOO TIGHT for the bore on the little Zouave.
(i could load them with a ball-starter, but i think minies are supposed to "just slide down the bore", aren't they???)

does anyone KNOW of the RANSON-ITALIA brand of muskets & KNOW what the PROPER minie ball size IS???

THANKS!

yours, PrestigeGunleather
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Old August 5, 2009, 11:05 AM   #2
mykeal
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You need to measure the bore in order to answer that question. Either measure with a micrometer or slug it with Cerrosafe (a gunsmith can do it for you if you don't have the equipment/experience).

A minie ball should be 0.001" over the bore (land to land) measurement, and it should have a hollow base to allow the skirt to expand into the grooves when the powder ignites. It should slide down the bore fairly easily; a short starter should not be necessary.

In the mean time, try .570 round balls with 0.015 lubed patches.
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Old August 5, 2009, 11:08 AM   #3
arcticap
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I don't know.
But there are some folks here and on THR who have them and have inquired about their Ranson. You could try asking them by sending each a PM.
You could also ask on the N-SSA Bulletin Board since it's an N-SSA approved brand of Zouave.
Or you can slug the barrel and try to determine the bore diameter and what the closest size round ball would be, or aquire a custom sizing die if necessary from Lee Precision for $29.

N-SSA Bulletin Board:

http://n-ssa.org/phpbb/

Round balls sizes available from Track of the Wolf:

http://www.trackofthewolf.com/(S(j1m...Size=25&Page=3


An individual on TFL who owns one:

okiefarmer - Post #1:

http://thefiringline.com/forums/show...33&postcount=1

Individuals on THR who own one:

Deadheadted37 - Post #1:

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthrea...ghlight=ranson

1-12 INF (M) - Post #1:

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthrea...ghlight=ranson

RevCon - Post #8:

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthrea...ghlight=ranson

Here's a thread about someone with the similar problem of their Zouave having an extremely tight bore:

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=438051

Last edited by arcticap; August 5, 2009 at 11:32 AM.
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Old August 5, 2009, 11:38 AM   #4
Smokin_Gun
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Most other 1863 Remington Zouaves take a .575"/500gr Minnie Ball...I make mine with a Lee mold using soft lead.
I myself haven't heard of a minne ball hollow point. Check the diameter at the band of the skirt and the bore of your Rifle... then bring them boolits back and tell um what you need.
Good Luck... let us know please...by the way excellant find and congrads...
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Old August 5, 2009, 12:00 PM   #5
arcticap
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Quote:
now my problem: i bought some "pre-lubricated" hollowpoint .58 caliber "hunting minie balls" by Hornaday
I wanted to add that the Hornady Great Plains bullets could be oversized. According to a post on HuntingNet.com, the Hornady .50 Great Plains measures .50 at the base and .510 at the top driving band.

Although they often shoot accurately, others have reported that the Great Plains load tight so maybe the Hornady bullet is the problem.

Last edited by arcticap; August 5, 2009 at 12:14 PM.
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Old August 5, 2009, 01:23 PM   #6
simonkenton
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I have a Zouave made by Zoli in the late seventies.
It shoots pretty well with .570 patched round balls.
That big round ball is murder on deer and wild hogs.
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Old August 5, 2009, 03:03 PM   #7
Shotgun Willy
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I've got an older Zouave, made by PR (whoever that is). It's supposedly a .58, too, but it takes a .562 round ball. To start a .575, even unpatched, took quite a smack. It fires the .562 nicely, but at 100 hards it's waaaay high.
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Old August 5, 2009, 03:47 PM   #8
Hawg
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Quote:
A minie ball should be 0.001" over the bore (land to land) measurement
Ummmm, that's not right. A minie should be .001-.003 under bore size. My Enfield bore is .580 and my home cast minies are .577 and .578. A minie should slide down the bore with no effort. I use the .577 minies most but that's just because I like that particular design best. It'll hold minute of five gallon bucket at 300 yds.
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Old August 5, 2009, 04:23 PM   #9
prestigegunleather
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arcticap,

THANKS for the advice on the minie's diameter.

when i find a micrometer, i'll measure the GP minie balls TOO, as well as the BORE.

IF the minies are near/over bore size & the bore is UNDER the marked size, no wonder that i'm having problems!!!

yours, PG
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Old August 5, 2009, 04:24 PM   #10
simonkenton
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Mine was way high, too.
I filed off the front sight.
I got a silver ring that I had bought in Mexico. I cut off a piece of this ring, and soldered it onto the front of the barrel. Makes a great front sight.
Also, for hunting, it is good to have a light colored front sight.
Dark rear sight, dark front sight, dark woods, dark hog, no contrast, hard to see the sights.
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Old August 5, 2009, 05:17 PM   #11
mykeal
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Hawg, you are correct. The minie should be .001 under. Too many fingers on my right hand and not enough on my left tonight.

BTW - SG I think I said the skirt was hollow, not the point.
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Old August 5, 2009, 05:25 PM   #12
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Quote:
now my problem: i bought some "pre-lubricated" hollowpoint .58 caliber "hunting minie balls" by Hornaday on Monday & found that they are seemingly TOO TIGHT for the bore on the little Zouave.
Mykeal I wasn't quoting you sorry for the corn_fusion :O)
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Last edited by Smokin_Gun; August 5, 2009 at 11:19 PM. Reason: Typo's bug me :O)
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Old August 5, 2009, 05:51 PM   #13
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I think the bullets he's referring to are put out by Buffalo Bros. I forget what they're called but they do have a hollow point and a hollow base. The skirt is so thick I don't see them expanding in the bore tho. They may call them minies but real minies have a thin skirt and with soft lead you don't need a hollow point.

These are my home cast with a .45 ACP for comparison.


Notice how thin the skirts are.


This is one of the traditional minies. It was recovered from a pond bank after being fired from 300 yds. with 70 grs. of powder. It left a hole nine inches deep and four inches across.
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Old August 6, 2009, 10:58 AM   #14
prestigegunleather
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to all,

NOPE. NOT Buffalo Brothers minies.

what i actually bought was:

Hornady (product number) HO6640, .58caliber, 525grain, HBHP, Great Plains Pre-lubricated Bullets, 15 per box.

btw, THANKS for reading/answering my post.

yours, PG
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Old August 10, 2009, 09:51 AM   #15
prestigegunleather
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to all,

THANKS for your input- FYI, the bore on my musket is REALLY tight - it's a "slide fit" for a minie ball sized to .572.

i found a nice man in ebay who will provide them, already loaded with solid lube, at 26.oo a hundred shipped to me.

yours, PG
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Old August 12, 2009, 11:41 PM   #16
James K
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That bore is too tight. The original bullet diameter was .577, so it fit right into the correct .58 bore. No patches or round balls were ever used with a rifle-musket, although folks today use them.

Jim
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Old August 13, 2009, 06:31 AM   #17
sundance44s
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I can`t find the maker on my Zouave carbine ..all I can read on the barrel is F.A.R.A. Italy ...........any ideas ?
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Old August 13, 2009, 11:42 AM   #18
prestigegunleather
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Jim,

i was told "by someone who is supposed to know" (i.e., a local "expert" from N-SSA) that Ranson's bores were INTENTIONALLY bored tight for "target shooting".===> i don't know whether he is correct or not.

fwiw, while Billy Yank never used patched round balls, Johnny Reb OFTEN did use patched roundball because he had nothing better.
(when you are trying to fight for your freedom against a MUCH larger war machine, with little, you use what you have. - SADLY bravery, honor, morale & "make do" was not enough to win against the Leviathon out of the north.)

THANKS for your response.

yours, PG
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Old August 13, 2009, 11:51 AM   #19
arcticap
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Quote:
I can`t find the maker on my Zouave carbine ..all I can read on the barrel is F.A.R.A. Italy ...........any ideas ?
This linked page does list FARA as an Italian trade name but that's the only information provided.

http://www.earmi.it/armi/database/brand_f.htm

It must have been made by one of the registered Italian gun making outfits or gunsmiths on the following page but who knows which one was doing business as FARA.

http://www.earmi.it/armi/database/armieri.htm
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Old August 13, 2009, 12:00 PM   #20
sundance44s
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My eyes are bad .....there is probally something else on the barrel I just can`t see....I`ll get out my reading glass and recheck latter ...thanks arcticap .......................I had been thinking mine was made by ArmiSport ..don`t remember why I thought that though ..
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Old August 13, 2009, 06:55 PM   #21
mykeal
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My Zoli Zouave (made by Antonio Zoli in Gardone) has the F.A.R.A. stamp:



I understand from my research that several people in the Gardone area made 1863 Remington 'Zouave' replicas, including two the Zoli brothers. Many have the F.A.R.A stamp, so it doesn't really help identify the manufacturer.
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Old August 13, 2009, 07:11 PM   #22
Smokin_Gun
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Cool Sundance you have a A. Zoli Zouave Carbine F.A.R.A. .58(probly) ... xlint!

Mykeal you can't get much more exact than that :O)
Job well done
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Old August 14, 2009, 08:15 AM   #23
sundance44s
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Well I took another look at my Zouave carbine with the reading glasses on ....
It is 58 cal .......made in 1965 XX1
all that is on the barrel is of course the normal Italian proof marks ...
V P F.A.R.A. and there is a symbol I have never seen it looks like a Viking helmet with mooose horns on it ??????????? // I`ve not seen this one before .
I didn`t take the barrel off yet .....being proofed in 1965 does make it pre EuroArms /Polo but I can find any marks like the ones on Mykeals makeing it a Zoli eaither ...so I`m still puzzled
It does shoot the .575 patched round balls and .575 mini`s quite well ....was shooting a little high so I found another sight that was taller and shaped it to look like the one that came on it .

Last edited by sundance44s; August 14, 2009 at 08:28 AM.
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Old August 14, 2009, 11:21 AM   #24
prestigegunleather
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to ALL,

once more, THANKS for your help.

also, do any of you know what the PROPER sling was for the Remington 1863 Zouave.
(at the price of ACW "stuff", i don't want to buy the wrong one.)

yours, PG
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Old August 14, 2009, 11:33 AM   #25
sundance44s
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Here is the sling at Dixiegunworks ....been meaning to order one myself ...
http://www.dixiegunworks.com/product...oducts_id=5174

The Tompion is a nice touch to have also ...
http://www.dixiegunworks.com/product...oducts_id=1199
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