MidSouth Shooters SupplyInline FabricationTitan ReloadingLee Precision
RotoMetals2Graf & SonsStainLess Steel MediaADvertise here

Results 1 to 12 of 12

Thread: How much under bore diameter should Minie' ball be sized?

  1. #1
    Boolit Man mrappe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    92

    How much under bore diameter should Minie' ball be sized?

    I have finally received my pin gauges to measure the bore on my 1861 Pedersoli Springfield Musket and the .577 is the largest one to fit in the bore. I have cast some Minie' balls with my Lyman 575213 OS mold so I need to know what sizer to buy to get the balls to drop in and shoot accurately. I think I have seen suggestions of .001 and .002 under bore size. I am assuming that that is under the bore diameter but I want to make sure that the ball will not get hard to insert when the barrel has already been fired and is 'dirty'.

    Thanks,
    Mike
    God is fluxing me which is good but it is not fun.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Central VA
    Posts
    2,290
    I size mine to slide in with the slightest of a push (or even just drop in) with a fouled barrel. I shoot N-SSA team matches with my Zouave musket, and since I'm under time constraint in the matches, I can't waste too much time beating the bullet down into the bore! Just as a rule of thumb, a clean dry Minie Ball I plan to use should freely drop into a clean, dry bore so I'm going to say sizing to .576" ought to be about right. You might even want to go a thou smaller. BTW, what is the as-cast size of the bullets you are making?

    Froggie
    "It aint easy being green!"

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    MI (summer) - AZ (winter)
    Posts
    3,061
    I always figured .002 undersize. Always worked in my original rifled muskets as well as my Remington Zouave. For shooting skirmishes, it always worked fine - all I used was crisco in the base and it keeps the fouling soft. Get it too tight and after a few shots, the fouling will make it difficult to get it in the bore. Froggie describes it well - "to like in with the slightest of a push".

    As far as sizing your minie balls - before you go to the expense of buying a sizing die - have you tried the minie balls you've cast to see how they fit in your bore? If they drop the correct size - that's all you need. My 575-213 drops them right at 575 - the same mold I've been casting in for 50 years. I picked up an old Ideal "old style" 575-213 that drops them the same way as well as several of the lighter weight semi-wadcutter molds. I just sold my ArmiSport 1855 but the bore on that was .577 and the "as cast" (.575) were perfect. I re-barreled my vintage 1960 Zouave with a Zoli barrel and the .575 work perfect in that particular barrel - unlike the original barrel which needed oversize minies as it had a bore of about .583. I bought the rifle in the early '60s - a very high quality gun (repro) but not marked as to maker - only markings is the serial number - easy to remember - 1492 - same year that Columbus sailed.

    If your mold's boots are close to .575 - try them out first. You might just be surprised how well they shoot if they fit the bore as Froggie describes.

  4. #4
    Boolit Bub
    one-eyed fat man's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Elizabethtown, KY
    Posts
    26
    I too have had good results using the Lyman #575213- Old Style mold. Crisco works OK when loading loose balls. For making up paper cartridges I pan lube the Minies with the same beeswax canola lube i use for black powder cartridges. Lately, I have been experimenting with British style Pritchett bullets and have come to the conclusion those old boys at the Royal Arsenal at Woolwich had it figured out. Using .550 diameter dead soft bullet and 68 grains of Goex 2F in the 1859 pattern cartridge I easily get accuracy every bit as good as any greased Minie. Using this ammunition, the P-53 Enfield will fire 60 or more rounds without difficulty loading.

    According to "Musketry Instruction at Hythe", (Hans Busk, 1860) "When proper care has been observed, the Enfield has frequently been fired 200 times successively without any difficulty in loading. Indeed, a test was conducted later, when one Enfield rifle, at a rate of twenty rounds per day, was fired a total of 16,000 times over the period from 5 August 1863 to 5 May 1866, without cleaning.


  5. #5
    Boolit Man mrappe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    92
    Quote Originally Posted by bedbugbilly View Post
    I always figured .002 undersize. Always worked in my original rifled muskets as well as my Remington Zouave. For shooting skirmishes, it always worked fine - all I used was crisco in the base and it keeps the fouling soft. Get it too tight and after a few shots, the fouling will make it difficult to get it in the bore. Froggie describes it well - "to like in with the slightest of a push".

    As far as sizing your minie balls - before you go to the expense of buying a sizing die - have you tried the minie balls you've cast to see how they fit in your bore? If they drop the correct size - that's all you need. My 575-213 drops them right at 575 - the same mold I've been casting in for 50 years. I picked up an old Ideal "old style" 575-213 that drops them the same way as well as several of the lighter weight semi-wadcutter molds. I just sold my ArmiSport 1855 but the bore on that was .577 and the "as cast" (.575) were perfect. I re-barreled my vintage 1960 Zouave with a Zoli barrel and the .575 work perfect in that particular barrel - unlike the original barrel which needed oversize minies as it had a bore of about .583. I bought the rifle in the early '60s - a very high quality gun (repro) but not marked as to maker - only markings is the serial number - easy to remember - 1492 - same year that Columbus sailed.

    If your mold's boots are close to .575 - try them out first. You might just be surprised how well they shoot if they fit the bore as Froggie describes.
    They do not fit into the barrel without a lot of force.
    God is fluxing me which is good but it is not fun.

  6. #6
    Boolit Man mrappe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    92
    I ordered a .575 Precision Sizing Die with Plunger from Lodgewood Mfg so now I need a recipe to the lube that used beeswax as I have a lot of it and I am going to load at least 50% of them in paper cartridges.

    Thanks,
    Mike
    God is fluxing me which is good but it is not fun.

  7. #7
    Boolit Bub
    one-eyed fat man's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Elizabethtown, KY
    Posts
    26
    There must be a jillion recipes, but my friend Dan gave me some of his. It worked for me pan lubing for black powder cartridges, so I use his recipe:

    2 parts of bee's wax, 1 part canola oil, one part pure Neats-foot oil and 3 to 4 oz lanolin to a 4 pound batch of lube.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Central VA
    Posts
    2,290
    My old friend Dale53 gave me this recipe for Emmert's lube several years ago;

    50% Pure Natural Beeswax, 40% Crisco, and 10% Anhydrous Lanolin

    I've used it for a bunch of pan lubing for both Minie Balls and carbine rounds for my Maynard. Never a problem with this particular combo, and I even know of folks using it for smokeless (that's actually what it was originally designed for) with pan lubing and even in sticks in a lubri-sizer.

    Froggie
    "It aint easy being green!"

  9. #9
    Boolit Man mrappe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    92
    I just got my sizer in the mail yesterday and I just finished sizing a bunch of them. The sizer/plunger that I got from Lodgewood seems to be working fine. It screws into the loading press that I have and just scrapes off the areas that are slightly to big. I the balls now appear to want to easily slide into the barrel but I have not allowed them to go all the way in since I don't want to have to fish them out. I have a lot of beeswax and some beef tallow to make the lube. I want to be able to put them in paper cartridges so I need that will not melt int the Texas heat and contaminate the powder. I have heard that the original cartridges were lubed with beeswax and tallow but I don't know the ratio that was used. Does anyone know?

    Thanks,
    Mike
    God is fluxing me which is good but it is not fun.

  10. #10
    Boolit Man mrappe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    92
    Quote Originally Posted by one-eyed fat man View Post
    There must be a jillion recipes, but my friend Dan gave me some of his. It worked for me pan lubing for black powder cartridges, so I use his recipe:

    2 parts of bee's wax, 1 part canola oil, one part pure Neats-foot oil and 3 to 4 oz lanolin to a 4 pound batch of lube.
    Thanks , I may try this but I don't have neatsfoot oil or lanolin right now so I may try the tallow and beeswax mixture for now since I have them.
    God is fluxing me which is good but it is not fun.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master

    Wayne Smith's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Hampton Roads, Virginia
    Posts
    10,194
    Quote Originally Posted by mrappe View Post
    I just got my sizer in the mail yesterday and I just finished sizing a bunch of them. The sizer/plunger that I got from Lodgewood seems to be working fine. It screws into the loading press that I have and just scrapes off the areas that are slightly to big. I the balls now appear to want to easily slide into the barrel but I have not allowed them to go all the way in since I don't want to have to fish them out. I have a lot of beeswax and some beef tallow to make the lube. I want to be able to put them in paper cartridges so I need that will not melt int the Texas heat and contaminate the powder. I have heard that the original cartridges were lubed with beeswax and tallow but I don't know the ratio that was used. Does anyone know?

    Thanks,
    Mike
    Mike, the ratio varies. For more heat tolerance - i.e. a harder lube, use more beeswax. For a softer lube, use more tallow.
    Wayne the Shrink

    There is no 'right' that requires me to work for you or you to work for me!

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
    Eddie Southgate's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    Southern Middle Tennessee
    Posts
    235
    My old Zoli barreled Zouave likes the 575213 OS as cast . I use a Lithium based wheel bearing grease for lube . Shoots like a rifle with the minnie unsized but not near as good if sized smaller than they drop from the mold.
    Grumpy Old Man With A Gun....... Do Not Touch !!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
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