View Full Version : .58 minie question

January 24, 2009, 12:55 AM
I have an 1862 C.S.Richmond replica that I want to start casting for. The only bullets I have ever put through it were some .577 old style minis. I forgot where I got them. They were fairly accurate at 50 yds. but I always felt that they needed to be .578. What mould would you recommend? I would prefer an old style mini but don't want to break the bank for one seeing as how I will not be doing this for competition purposes.

January 24, 2009, 02:29 AM
I use a Lyman traditional minie out of mold #575213A which is a 460 gr.
I also use a Lee improved minie out of mold #90478 which is 478 gr. Lee also makes a traditional but I don't know what it weighs off the top of my head.
The Lyman casts minies at .577 and the Lee at .578. Both work great in my three band Enfield. I see no difference between the two with accuracy or ease of loading. I can tear a five gallon bucket up at 300 yds. with either one.

January 26, 2009, 05:29 AM
Can i ask you the powder load do you use and wich kind of grease?

Wiht the lee miniè, (i have two kind, one is very short, i think is the improved),
and a Lyman that cast a 510 grains (modern miniè?) i find difficolt to hit the target in the 50mt range!
The only miniè that give good results is a Pedersoli mold that cast a 640 grains miniè with small and flat cavity!
I shoot in the 50 mt range that's the distance for muzzleload competition in stand up position!
I have 2 zouave, one three rifle barrel and one seven rifle "mach" barrel, plus 1863 springfield, but in the time i had a colt special contract musket (signature series) and a enfield mosketoon!
At the time the best in my hands is the standard 3 rifle zouave.
I'm courious why me and my friends that compete in the national muzzleloader championship here in italy find very difficolt to get good precision with the .58 rifed musket, and we have the same Italian made replica musket that is today all over the word (many are really poor and junk pieces)

January 26, 2009, 06:24 PM
I use 70 grs. of Pyrodex.
These are my two minies. The .45 ACP is just for size comparison.


Here's one of the traditional ones after firing at 300 yds. and penetrating aforementioned five gallon buck and nine inches of soft ground.


I have used Bore Butter with good results but it's pretty runny in summer heat. I now use a homemade mix of beeswax and Crisco. Loading is easy whether it's the first shot or fiftieth. I don't swab between shots and the weight of the ramrod will push them down the bore to the last three inches. My bore measures a true .580

January 26, 2009, 07:09 PM
may i ask how one slugs the bore of a musket?

January 26, 2009, 08:22 PM
Tightly pack the bore about an inch down with paper towels or patch material. Pour melted lead and before it cools stick a wood screw in it so you have something to grip to remove it. I just mic'd mine with a set of calipers.

January 26, 2009, 08:30 PM
If you don't wish to use molten lead, Brownell's sells a special metal under the brand name Cerrosafe that melts at 160 degrees; it can be used the same way and is much easier to handle.

January 26, 2009, 10:13 PM
If you don't wish to use molten lead, Brownell's sells a special metal under the brand name Cerrosafe that melts at 160 degrees; it can be used the same way and is much easier to handle.

Not to mention much safer and easier to extract. The stuff shrinks as it cools, then expands back to true after a couple of hours. At $20 it is a bit more expensive than lead, but I much prefer to handle it than molten lead in tight quarters.


January 27, 2009, 05:36 AM
The bore measurement should be land to land, which is a problem in a rifle musket barrel. They have three lands and grooves, so when you measure straight across you are measuring from groove to land. There is a cone shaped measuring tool that measures it properly. I used various sized minies that I measured and checked to see what size fit the bore snugly.

January 28, 2009, 06:54 PM
You don't want too snug a fit or you'll have loading problems after a few shots. My improved minies are .578 diameter and the weight of the ramrod will seat them down to the last three inches or so. If my bore was any less than .580 I don't think they'd load that easy, especially after 20 or 30 rounds. I don't swab between shots either.

January 29, 2009, 06:08 AM
Yeah sorry, I meant use the snug one to see what size the bore is, not necesarily use that one for shooting. It is usually suggested to use a minie .001 to .002 under bore size. My Armi sport Springfield works well though with a minie that has to be pressed into the muzzle to fit. I have fired a dozen shots with no loading difficulty, don't know how it would do after that. You have to use pure dead soft lead too, so the bullet will expand properly.

January 29, 2009, 05:47 PM
You have to use pure dead soft lead too, so the bullet will expand properly.

Or real close to it. I use stick on wheel weights with a BHN of 6. Pure lead has a BHN of 5.

February 7, 2009, 11:42 PM
All my muskets are .577 bore, and I size to .576. I can shot all day long and never have a problem loading. I use beeswax and crisco as a lube.

LEE, Lyman, raypine and RCBS make molds. If you find that your mold is casting to small of a round, try some shim tape in the mold to hold it open a hair. then size it to what you need.