View Full Version : Overshot card?

December 28, 2009, 09:28 PM
What is the purpose of an overshot card? I have an 1853 3-band Enfield replica and plan on shooting .577 swaged minies. I have seen some folks saying they use an overshot card, is this necessary? Can't I just put lube in the base?

December 28, 2009, 09:50 PM
Presumably you mean overpowder card. If you're shooting a true hollow base mini it's neither necessary nor desirable; you want the powder to enter the cavity in the base of the bullet so that the base is forced to expand and engage the rifling. On the other hand, if you're shooting a solid base conical the overpowder card is useful to prevent the bullet lube from contaminating the powder.

December 29, 2009, 12:33 AM
Using an overshot card would help to prevent the undersize minie from migrating up the bore in between loading it and shooting it, such as in the field when hunting with a loaded rifle and especially when the bore is clean and there's not much of a friction fit to hold the minie in place.
The overshot card would be positioned on top of the minie unlike an overpowder card which would be positioned underneath the minie.
So yes, I believe that in some instances using an overshot card is desirable and even recommended by some of those folks who load slightly undersize minies.

December 29, 2009, 07:40 AM
Interesting. I hadn't heard of that.

December 29, 2009, 08:02 AM
what you risk is a buldged barrel as the over the bullet wad tips side ways and is run over by the bullet. old time pumpkin balls(complety round) for shotguns did the same thing,and you still can find old shotguns with buldged barrels from it, foster type shotgun slugs with out a over the ball wads stopped buldged barrels. in my mini rifle i glue a 1/2" wide strip of news paper around the mini ball and that cures the movement of the mini problem . after 2-3 shots my mini,s fit snug with out the paper wrap. eastbank.

December 29, 2009, 11:05 AM
Interesting. I hadn't heard of that.
Neither have I and some very good replies to the original post. Have never encountered this problem with my conicals and now know what to do, if ever I do!! ..... ;)

Be Safe !!!

December 29, 2009, 12:19 PM
Wasn't it common practice, back when muskets were actual millitary weapons, to use the paper wrapping of the cartridge as an overshot wad to keep the minnie ball, or the round ball used in smoothbore muskets seated against the powder charge?

Not having the bullet firmly seated on the powder charge is really asking for a bulged barrel, or so I understand.

December 29, 2009, 01:56 PM
yes it was common in muskets and rifles to use the paper from the powder packets to help seal and keep the bullet in place, but it was paper that was burned up by powder blow by,some thing that would not happen to a card or wad rammed on top of the bullet. eastbank.

December 29, 2009, 02:15 PM
Found this: a manual of arms of a sort.
To load the musket from a non-firing state to a firing state the following steps need to be taken. This assumes the use of the standard cartridge that was supplied to soldiers in the Napoleonic War.

1. Bite the cartridge with the bullet in your mouth.
2. Push the frizzen forward to reveal the pan and pour a small amount of gunpowder into the flash pan.
3. Snap the frizzen back to position covering the flash pan.
4. Hold the musket vertically so that the muzzle is near the face.
5. Pour the remaining powder down the barrel.
6. Spit the bullet down the barrel.
7. Push the catridge paper into the barrel (used as wadding)
8. Remove ramrod from hoops under the barrel and use to push wadding and bullet down the barrel.
9. Replace the ramrod in the hoops under the barrel. A very important step which is not always followed in the heat of battle!
10. Hold musket in firing position with the butt against the sholder.
11. Pull back the hammer.
12. Aim and pull the trigger.

December 29, 2009, 07:26 PM
Thanks for the info guys, it has been a long time since I shot a BP rifle and this is my first Enfield. I have always used round balls with a patch before, so it sounds like I can skip the cards altogether and just put in my charge and put a lubed minie on top of it.

December 31, 2009, 01:41 PM
Smilin Jack posted about how he uses a felt wad underneath and a cardboard wad over his Lyman cast Minies shot out of his .58 along with a photo of a 100 yard target.
On his target he notes that on his 2nd shot his bore was dirty and he flinched.

See post #7 and the attachment:


And in post #10 below he says that the card wad is actually made from a Corn Flakes box:


January 2, 2010, 09:29 AM
Why not get a minnie that is a good fit in the barrel? Not available in moulds?
A minie that fit well could be bumped up with the ramrod at loading so the bullet won't migrate towards the muzzle end right?

January 2, 2010, 11:17 AM
Why not get a minnie that is a good fit in the barrel?
This is true but obviously there are those that do not fit tight enough to hold. I have heard of this with round ball where no patch was used in it's evolution. All the concals I currently use, do hold and have to admit that some are just too tight to be tolerated for any length of time. I shoot about four different conicals and either through fit or surface contact area, they all hold. However since this post started, I have learned how to treat one that might move out of position. I think added compression might have a slight benefit.

Be Safe !!!