View Full Version : ? on Zouave rifling

10-17-2011, 08:05 AM
I am contemplating getting a Zouave but have a question about the rifling, The ones that I am looking at (Chiappa Armi Sport) says the rifling is 1 in 1660 mm which equates to 1 in 65 if I am doing my math correct, I contacted the company because I want to shoot minnie balls because that is what they originally shot and the company says that is what they recommend to shoot out of them but am concerned because the rate of twist seems very slow for a minnie balls, what do you guys think, Thanks Todd

10-17-2011, 08:46 AM
If the twist is 65" that is about right for a minie shooter. The original Zouaves had 70+" twist. Sounds like a roundball twist if you're not used to the slower twists or normal twists for the old rifled muskets. Those guns usually do very well with the patched roundball BUT they were designed for the minie.

The physics involved as I understand it. The skirted minie with it's relatively low weight to length ratio added to the fact that the center of gravity in the minie is forward compared to a solid base conical allows for both gyroscopic stabilization from the spin AND aerodynamic stabilization from the center of gravity being forward. An extreme example would be a badminton shuttle cock. The cock is stabilized in flight primarily because its center of gravity is forward of its center of aerodynamic pressure.

10-17-2011, 08:35 PM
also remember the service load was 60 gr. of 2f. now i no that does not sound like much. but it will put down a deer, man or horse with no problem.

10-17-2011, 10:40 PM
Perzaclty. They tend to do best with moderate loads. Over the years I've become convinced that accurate shooting of the skirted minie takes either sheer luck or some serious tinkering and thought.

Patched roundballs for example... if the basics of good snug patching are followed.... have a wide velocity/pressure range of accurate performance. Not so with the minie.

That skirt and that type of dual stabilization calls for paying close attention to details of the right minie, the right sized minie, the right alloy and the right charge. My theory is: (depending on the style and design of the minie and how thin the skirt is, etc.).... too much pressure will distort/damage the skirt, cock the whole minie off axis in the bore and ruin the chance for good accuracy. If the skirt doesn't expand just right at ignition... same outcome- poor performance. I think it is critical that the minie stay in as pristine condition and as true on axis as possible for its entire trip down the bore. It has to be going straight and it has to have a little spin to keep its nose forward and plumb to the bore (they do need a little spin especially during the first part of their flight thru the air). Equally critical is that instant it clears the muzzle because of what's called "muzzle pressure". That skirt has to be perfect at the instant of clearing the muzzle and not get blown or ripped just as the skirt clears the muzzle as a result of that "muzzle pressure". When you think about it that's a lot to ponder. But when it all comes together, the properly loaded minie works extremely well.