View Full Version : Need a mold reccomendation

12-19-2005, 03:37 PM
Hi, all!
I just received a nice gift from a friend who just returned from Afghanistan with the Tennessee Army National Guard, an original Pattern 1853 Enfield rifle! It's in good shooting condition, and I'd like to cast some .577 caliber Minie'-style pure lead bullets for it. Does anyone have a reccomendation for a suitable mold? BTW, I've got a .54 caliber Lyman Maxi-Ball mold in virtually unused condition, if anybody's in the mood to horsetrade!

12-19-2005, 09:46 PM
...............Don't believe I'va had a chance to welcome you to the board yet, so welcome!

First it would be good to know what the land diameter is. May just be closer to .580" then anything else. Best accuracy will come with a slug that is a gentle thumb press, and doesn't just fall down the barrel :D

I hate to recommend a mould number that I have that may cast a particular size, as you go buy one and it's bigger or smaller. So then you wonder what that jack leg recommended it for, ha! But for starters Lee makes 2 excellent moulds that are in-expensive enough so you won't get hurt if one or the other isn't optimum.

One is a generic Minie' at 505grs and then they make an 'oversize' one at 485grs that drops close to .580" or a thou more. It's much easier to size one down just a bit for a perfect fit then it is to bump one up. Congratulations on the rifle BTW.

Got pictures?


12-20-2005, 09:09 PM
Here's a couple of pics:



The stock has been broken across the lock area, but I've done a very strong repair with Brownell's AcraGlas. A new replica stock is available from Atlanta Cutlery, but I'd prefer to stay wityh the original, if possible. I dropped a small MagLite down the barrel, and the rifling is sharp and clean, with no rust pits. I'll have to mike the bore with my digital caliper, and get back to you on the size. I've done a little research, and it seems that the stock and barrel were made in England in the late 1850's, with a lock assembly from 1870, possibly from a Snyder/Enfield. It looks like it's going to be a shooter, not a wallhanger collector's item.

12-26-2005, 12:52 AM
Well, I've won two eBay auctions for Minie' bullet molds. One is a 560 grain mold, not sure of the brand name. Here's a pic:


The other one is a new Lyman mold, #57730, with the base plug missing.


I can make a base plug on the lathe, no problem, or maybe several, to change the skirt length and bullet weight. Now, what about a lube? BP or synthetic ML propellant leaves a lot of soot, so the classic lubes are very soft to keep the barrel fouling from building up. Got any suggestions? My smokeless-powder cast bullet lube is a beeswax/chassis grease mixture that works well up to 1500+ FPS with my hardcast loads in my Ruger Blackhawk .45 LC, but I think the BP rifle is going to need something softer.

12-26-2005, 03:42 AM
Try plain old crisco. Not any of the butter or other type criscos. The flavored ones have salt in them and can cause pitting of the bbl. Many years ago a buddy had such a rifle as yours.
He just stuck a finger in the crisco and applied it onto the minnie bullet and loaded it up. Velocities if I remember correctly will be around 1000 feet per second or somewhare around that number. Frank

12-26-2005, 09:46 AM
.................That mould in the top picture looks like a Challanger. Does it have a wide flat bar the corepin is screwed to?


12-26-2005, 12:03 PM
I don't know, as I only won the auction yesterday. It should arrive in a few days. I've got a similarly-made mold from Lee that has a stud for a hollow point on a .45 Auto bullet. It's aluminum, however, like all the Lee molds I've seen so far.

12-26-2005, 09:05 PM
Looks like a older type Rapine to me.It will be stamped so if it is.I have a couple un marked moulds that look a lot like a Rapine except the handles are a bit diffrent.Never figured out who made em. Maybe they are a Challanger I never heard of them. Buckshot,you got any more info on them?

12-28-2005, 02:36 AM
"............Maybe they are a Challanger I never heard of them. Buckshot,you got any more info on them?"

No I don't. I bought the mould from Maven maybe 7 years ago? It IS kind of "Raphine-ish" looking.


Drops these slugs. Nice aluminum mould with a captured core pin.


12-28-2005, 10:15 PM
The mold with the captive base plug arrived today, and it's a Rapine #575460, which probably traslates to the "as cast" diameter and the grain weight. It's going to need just a little lapping and adjustment before I start casting with it, but it's well worth what it cost. The other guy wants a money order mailed, not an online credit card payment, so it's going to be a few days before he ships it.

12-29-2005, 02:37 AM
I figured,I have a least a dozen of Rays moulds.They all cast nice boolets for me. Just use hot and soft lead.Rapine makes a good mould prep also but I have gotten lazy and use the spray graphite stuff now. Let us know how that Enfield shoots.

01-02-2006, 08:38 PM
Hi A few years ago I had a zuave replica .58 I didn't have much luck with it. Then it got stolen.
Later on I was around some shooters who really knew their stuff. They were shooting simular guns. They were shooting original type mini molds with 43.5gr 3f bp. spg works for lube, crisco is cheaper but too thin I think. You might mix some bees wax in if you are shooting in warm weather. A damp patch between shots helps a lot. Too much powder blows out the skirt when the bullet leaves the bore and shoves the bullet away from the true path. Some people shoot a heavier skirt and heavier loads.
Have Fun