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Thread: ?? for those who shoot BP "paper patched" rifled musket (.58 cal)

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    ?? for those who shoot BP "paper patched" rifled musket (.58 cal)

    I didn't know which was the appropriate forum for this but put it here since it is paper patch/BP related even it if isn't "cartridge".

    I've had an interest in shooting paper patch for a while and have done some reading, watched some videos, etc. as well as done some reading on the paper patched "Pritchett" bullet out of .577 Enfields.

    So this is what I have - two rifled muskets - a Armi Sport 1855 Rifled Musket and a 1862 Remington Zouave.

    I have a 575-213 mold and a 577-611 mold (minie ball). (I have the 575-414 SWC as well). My 575-213 seems to drop right at 575 and seems to be a perfect fit in the 1855 - so no real interest in shooting PP out of that unless I got one of NOE's Pritchett molds.

    My 1863 Remington Zouave is a different story. I purchased it about 1963 or so - a good quality used rifle but unmarked as to manufacturer (cost me a whopping $65.00 back then - a lot of yard mowing for a kid to pay for it! - especially at $2.50 a yard at that time with a push mower!).

    So - I shot the Zouave a lot in N-SSA when I was active in it. I always had to get oversize minies when I could get them. The barrel that came with the rifle was the traditional 3 groove but if I remember correctly, it measured about .583 to .584. It did fairly well but if I had to use minies cast from my 575-213 - it was guaranteed to "key hole" (which was to be expected) even though I could knock off clays on the board or flower pots.

    Last year, I had a chance to buy a Navy Arms Zoli Zouave and I pulled the barrel to replace the original barrel on my Zouave (parted out the rest of the Zoli) - bore is within spec and the 575-213 fits well as dropped. BUT, I still have the old larger bore rifle barrel and I am thinking it might be a good candidate to try paper patched minies out of.

    My question is this - if the bore of that barrel measures out to be .583 - .584, will my 575-213 minie balls work with paper patching - i.e. - is the difference between .575 and .583 (.008) - figuring that they would need to be able to slide down the .584 bore - be alright to use? I'm guessing i would try rag onion skin that is .002 or similar and a single wrap should expand the diameter to .579 or a double wrap to .583 (in theory). I do have sizers I could push the paper patched minies through if necessary. Then I would dip patched minie in very hot BP lube - if I did it that way, should they be sized before or after lubing the PP?

    Your thoughts or advice?

    In looking and watching in regards to some others doing paper patched minies, I figure the bottom edged would be wet and tucked under the skirt and in to the hollow base slightly which would still allow for lube in the base. One source said they had trouble with the patch sticking to the minie so they made three slits in the patch after it was in place and dried so it would separate in flight from the minie. What disadvantage is caused if the paper patch remains on the minie until it impacts? Key holing or other?

    Or, would I be better off buying one of the NOE Pritchett molds and which size if I went that route so that I could try it out of both bore sizes - .576 or so in the Ami Sport 1855 and the Zouave with the .583 - 584 bore?

    At what point does too small of a minie and too thick of a paper patch become ineffective in a rifled musket?

    I know that a lot of it is going to be "trial and error" but I'm looking forward to giving the paper patching a try - just need some input from those who shoot paper patched in rifled muskets. Thanks for any information and helpful hints you might have!

    Jim

  2. #2
    Boolit Master

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    The paper thickness x 4 added to bullet dia will get you close to wrapped bullets size. IE 2 wraps eguals .002 .002 on each side so .008 added so 2 wraps of .002 paper will add .008 and your .575 bullet should come out .582-.584 depending on tension and stretch of the paper. On folding over into the hollow base it should be fine there and length to leave part of the lead showing ( no tail) I think will be preferable. As to lube in the hollw base that may cause the patch to stick. This causes uneven drag, out of balance, and other problems. If the patch always remains intact to the target then its no issue other than some reduced bcs and such. Ideally the rifling should cut the patch and release be right at the muzzle for consistency. ( I normally find my paper patches 3'-5' in front of the muzzle on my cartridge rifles shreaded with under wrap and base intact). These are bore riders so........... Angled edges on the patch and .030 gap when wrapped makes for a very round PP bullet. Your template may need to be modified for stretch after wrapping due to your tension. the .030 gap allows for the wrap over the edge of the paper to not create a bulge on the side.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    No need for lube /paper is the jacket at least in my guns

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    Thank you! I greatly appreciate the info/suggestions.

    My thinking (in regards to lubing the hollow base) obviously needs to change for PP!

    I'm assuming that if I wrap and let them dry, then dip in hot lube and let cool - that I can then run them through a push through sizer if necessary and the lube soaked paper patch will provide lube through the sizer (to go through smoothly)? I have a number of different push through sizing dies for the 58 caliber range and I have always pushed though nose first with a push rod profiled to the hollow base. Should PP hollow base minies go through the sizer nose first or base first? My thoughts are it should be base first which should be doable in the sizers I have in order to "compress" the PP and prevent peeling back the patch if put in nose first?

    Since the PP will provide the lube, I'm guessing that the bore may have to be swabbed more often than it would be if just shooting standard unmatched minies with lube in the hollow base? Not really an issue but just asking. Since I will mainly be shooting PP fto see how accurately I can hit the target, should it be subbed between shots like many BP cartridge shooters do with their rifles?

    Thanks again - I'm looking forward to working on this little project!

    Jim

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    I wipe between shots w/vinegar/windex and as cast with 2 wraps 9lb you do not need sizing ,just dry wrap and shoot if I read your sizes correctly . All of my molds are bought with PP in mind (sizing wise) and do not require sizing .Often roll mine at the bench and it works for me/Ed

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    Thanks Ed - I have a feeling that the PP is one of those things a person can "over think" and once they get in to it and you get your hands dirty, it all comes together and works out.

    It's funny how things come and go over the years and a person disposes of something they think they will never use. I had a heavy 45 cal fast twist octagon barrel that I though I would never use - it was a 1 1/8' across the flats and a pristine, never shot bore. I though I'd never use it on a percussion or flint build so I ended up selling it to a guy who wantded it pretty badly. The more I read on the BP PP, the more I regret selling it! But, I'm sure the rifled muskets will keep me busy for a while and I'll learn a lot playing with them and PP. Thanks!

    Jim

  7. #7
    Boolit Master

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    I lube my PP bullets just before I load them ( saves any dust or dirt adhering to them and is simply easer to store dry). To lube them I put a drop of Jo Joba Oil on my fingers and lube 3-5 bullets depending on caliber then wipe down with a clean dry flannel cleaning patch to remove any excess. This seems to help the bore riding bullet load easier in the cartridge and may help to toughen the paper some. I'm assuming here that you will be loading from a paper cartridge. I have a grease cookie in my loads of spg or emmerts between the over powder wad and a playing card wad to seal it off from the bullet. In a paper cartridge this may work for you instead of the hollow base filled. My grease cookies are .090-.125 thick depending on caliber. I do blow tube 2-3 breaths between shots for moisture in the bore also. After a string ( 10-15 shots) theres is no hard crusty feeling spots normally. The big thing is your fouling control and keeping fouling down and soft, not building up or getting hard and crusty. This last is not a real constant as damp cooler weather makes this easier hot dry weather makes it harder to accomplish.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check