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Old July 22, 2013, 10:08 AM   #1
Join Date: April 15, 2009
Posts: 47
.58 Minnie Ball Shooters


For you folks who shoot .58 Caliber rifles:

Where do you obtain your traditional Minnie balls? I'm looking for sources of supply for bullets. Also, for a decent mold to throw bullets.


djdasher is offline  
Old July 22, 2013, 10:41 AM   #2
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Minne` balls

I use pure lead and a Lee Minne` mold. Works for me.
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Old July 22, 2013, 11:48 AM   #3
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Rush Creek sells the cheapest. I have a Lee mold also.
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Old July 22, 2013, 11:53 AM   #4
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I mold my own. I have a Lyman mold that I've had for probably 45 years. I've mever used a Lee mold to cast minies so can't comment on that particular mold but I have used Lee round ball molds - they work just fine.

The Lyman mold will cost you more than a Lee . . all depends on which one you prefer. I'm partial to steel mold blocks, but as I said, Lees (aluminum blocks) work just fine as well. If you think you'd like a Lyman mold, keep track on eBay. I've seen some sell on there for a fraction of what a new one costs. Just make sure the mold is complete - i.e. both halves of the steel blocks AND the piece that inserts into the bottom of the blocks to form the hollow base. You might find one that has the handles (large size handles) but if not, that's going to add to the cost - again, I've seen them on eBay but they seem to usually go for around $20 plus or minus depending on who is bidding.

Mine mold casts a minie that works well in my bore. Sometimes, you need to "size" them depending on what your bore measures out as to compared to what the diameter of the mini is from the mold. If you mini is too much smaller than the bore . . you'll likely end up with "key holing" of the slug - easily told on the target as instead of a round hole, you'll see the profile of the mini.

As far as lubrication - crisco in the base works well an that's all I've ever used. Once you get started, you can buy a bag of plastic tubes from the Winchester Sutler or similar. These allow you to premeasure your powder charge, pour it in the plastic cartridge tube and then insert your minie ball. When loading, you just pull out the mini, pour the charge in and insert the minie and then ram it home. The tubes are reusable - NSSA shooters use them all the time - they will last for years.

Over all, if you are going to shoot your rifle on a regular basis - you'll be better off getting set up to cast your own minis rather than buy them - a little cash outlay at first for the molding supplies - pot, ladle and mold - or a lead melting device - but in the long run, you'll save money. I use a propane gas single burner hot plate to melt my lead - I believe I got the hot plate at Cabelas a long time ago. I've also cast bullets over a wood fire. If you're not familiar with casting, etc. - do a search on here as there should be a number of threads on it.
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Old July 22, 2013, 01:17 PM   #5
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I use a Lyman mold also.
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Old July 22, 2013, 03:47 PM   #6
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I have Lee, Lyman, and RCBS molds.

The Lyman molds have a separate, detachable core pin to make the hollow base. It can be a little fiddly. Sometimes I drop it in the water bucket with the bullets. And the wooden handle is not tolerating the heat very well.

There is a fellow named Charlie Hahn who will convert it into a captive core for about $40.

I like the RCBS molds. They have captive core pins. All-steel mold, well made.

The Lee molds are good for the money, (about $20 including handles!) but the problem is that they are aluminum. The aluminum core pin easily galls when the mold halves come together.

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Old July 22, 2013, 07:37 PM   #7
4V50 Gary
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Moulding your own is the only way to go. Much cheaper than trying to buy them.

I have a Parker-Hale mould for the Parker-Hale Enfields. They were made for them by RCBS or SAECO (someone correct me please).
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Old July 22, 2013, 08:02 PM   #8
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The mold you will want depends on the use you are to put the gun through. If you are going to hunt with it I would also recommend trying the patched round ball (.560, .570, or .575 depending on bore diameter). You might be surprised how accurate a PRB turns out to be. For hunting I recommend a thick skirted minie like the Lyman 575213-OS "Old Style" or the 577611. I use a 90gr charge of either FFg or FFFg depending on the gun. The thinner skirts on the LEE molds will flare out like a shuttlecock if fired with such heavy charges and ruin accuracy. For target shooting (30-60gr charges) the thinner skirted molds should work fine. Dead soft lead is needed. Casting is more difficult with minies due to the core plug causing voids. Use hot lead and sort by both visual inspection and weighing. I probably end up tossing at least 1/3 of my castings even after the mold heats up. It is not as critical if you are plinking but for hunting I want a load that groups nicely.
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Old July 23, 2013, 05:34 AM   #9
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I use a traditional Lyman. With 60-70 grain charges it is devastating to anything it hits. My P53 Enfield will tear hell out of a five gallon bucket at 300 yards. With 70 grains of Pyrodex it leaves a hole 9 inches deep and four inches across in the soft dirt of a pond dam at 300 yards.
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Old July 23, 2013, 07:52 PM   #10
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I don't cast so I ordered mine from Track of the Wolf.
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