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Thread: Why I can't find any short conical bullets for 58 cal?

  1. #1
    Boolit Bub
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    Why I can't find any short conical bullets for 58 cal?

    Hi,

    One of my favourite bullets for my .50 hawken is a Lee 250 gr. short REAL bullet. Now that I'm waiting for arrival of a new .58 cal double rifle with 1:48 twist I'm looking for some equivalents in 58 caliber, but I can't find any. All conicals I find are at least 440gr. Even REALs available are only the 4 band variety - no 3 band.

    I saw this bullet in a youtube video where it was said it was from a custom mold:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    It is something I would really want to test, but ordering a custom mold just to test a projectile seems like a bit of an overkill. Does anyone know of any commercial mold maker that makes a mold for a bullet like this? Or perhaps there is some way to prototype few bullets like this without the expense of a custom mold?

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    I picked up a Navy Arms Buffalo Hunter in .58 caliber which came with a bunch of extra stuff in a possible bag. Along with the usual heavy minnie ball conicals in the 535 grain range there were a handful, maybe a dozen of shorter conicals that weighed 325 grains. Don't know who made them but they shot nice over 45 grains of 2F. No mold or info on them but I would hope that they are still being produced. Good luck with your search. I'll try to get a picture of one posted if I can find them.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    I suspect there isn't much call for the type of bullet you are wanting to try so, most likely, the only way to get such a mould is make one or have it made. If you have a lathe or mill or a friend that does you can make your own mould or you may be able to shorten the Lee real bullet mould to make it lighter.

    Good luck with your project and post pictures when you get your rifle shooting.
    BIG OR SMALL I LIKE THEM ALL, 577 TO 22 HORNET.

  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by flynth View Post
    Hi,

    One of my favourite bullets for my .50 hawken is a Lee 250 gr. short REAL bullet. Now that I'm waiting for arrival of a new .58 cal double rifle with 1:48 twist I'm looking for some equivalents in 58 caliber, but I can't find any. All conicals I find are at least 440gr. Even REALs available are only the 4 band variety - no 3 band.

    I saw this bullet in a youtube video where it was said it was from a custom mold:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	bullet.jpg 
Views:	10 
Size:	21.4 KB 
ID:	245016
    It is something I would really want to test, but ordering a custom mold just to test a projectile seems like a bit of an overkill. Does anyone know of any commercial mold maker that makes a mold for a bullet like this? Or perhaps there is some way to prototype few bullets like this without the expense of a custom mold?
    Look at Moose Moulds. They make a semi wadcutter minie that's 350 grains. You're not going to find a .58 conical the weighs much less.
    Last edited by varsity07840; 07-10-2019 at 08:00 PM.

  5. #5
    Boolit Bub
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    Thanks for your suggestions. I had a look at Moose Molds and they do have a hollow base wadcutter that looks similar. They don't mention sample bullets on their website, but I'll send them an email asking if they have any samples for sale to try.

    I do have a lathe and metalworking is also a hobby of mine. If I don't find a source of those bullets to test I'll have to consider cutting my own mold, or turning few of those bullets from lead cast into a cylinder to test.

  6. #6
    Boolit Buddy
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    Lyman makes a 315gr 58 cal miníe, #575494. I use it in replica 1853 Enfields, and it shoots very accurately at 50 yards with light charges. I suppose you could modify the base plug if you wanted.

  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by flynth View Post
    Thanks for your suggestions. I had a look at Moose Molds and they do have a hollow base wadcutter that looks similar. They don't mention sample bullets on their website, but I'll send them an email asking if they have any samples for sale to try.

    I do have a lathe and metalworking is also a hobby of mine. If I don't find a source of those bullets to test I'll have to consider cutting my own mold, or turning few of those bullets from lead cast into a cylinder to test.
    I just reread your original post. First, if you're dead set on conicals, you are going to need a longer, heavier bullet for the 1:48 twist. My suggestion would be to measure the bore diameter of both barrels and look for a cast minie on line that is 1/1000" under bore size and is in the 500 gr range. More importantly, be aware that if the conical in the barrel for your 2nd shot does not tightly engrave on loading, there is the chance that the recoil from the 1st shot will move it off the powder charge. That's a dangerous condition. I would buy some .58 cal Maxi Balls from Track of the Wolf and give them a try.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master swamp's Avatar
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    I cast the Lyman version. I had the base plug reduced to 1/8 inch. It shoots well in my P/H Musketoon. I can see if I have any cast up if you are interested in trying it.
    swamp
    There is no problem so great, that it cannot be solved by the proper application of high explosives.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master Good Cheer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fgd135 View Post
    Lyman makes a 315gr 58 cal miníe, #575494. I use it in replica 1853 Enfields, and it shoots very accurately at 50 yards with light charges. I suppose you could modify the base plug if you wanted.
    Yeah, was thinking the same thing.
    And just maybe, filling the base with a solid hardening filler might let the charges be increased without blowing the skirts. That's a trick I'm threatenin' to try instead of altering or replacing a base plug. Might let me jack up the charges on minies in a 60" twist rifle with deep round grooves and narrow lands.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master Bad Ass Wallace's Avatar
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    Cast Bullet Engineering make a 420gn or a 480gn boolit mould which is suited to the 58 cal

    http://www.castbulletengineering.com...fle/577-snider

    I use the 480gn in my 58cal.

    Hold Still Varmint; while I plugs Yer!

  11. #11
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by fgd135 View Post
    Lyman makes a 315gr 58 cal miníe, #575494. I use it in replica 1853 Enfields, and it shoots very accurately at 50 yards with light charges. I suppose you could modify the base plug if you wanted.
    I believe the Moose bullet is also 315 gr., not 350 as I stated. My bad.

  12. #12
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by flynth View Post
    Thanks for your suggestions. I had a look at Moose Molds and they do have a hollow base wadcutter that looks similar. They don't mention sample bullets on their website, but I'll send them an email asking if they have any samples for sale to try.

    I do have a lathe and metalworking is also a hobby of mine. If I don't find a source of those bullets to test I'll have to consider cutting my own mold, or turning few of those bullets from lead cast into a cylinder to test.
    I checked my bullet inventory and I have some of the Moose .575 semi wadcutters that I use in one of my muskets with a .577 bore. They cast around .576 unsized. You're welcome to a few to try. PM me your address and I'll send you some.

  13. #13
    Boolit Bub
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    Thanks a lot varsity07840, PM sent.

    I managed to get 25 of those classic Minie's shown below, and a 440gn Lee REALs.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    I'm planning to shoot some patched round balls too with that rifle, but I think my primary projectile will be a short conical mainly because I saw it working pretty well in the youtube video I took the screenshot from. The author uses the same caliber and twist. Also, I tried few values in the bullet stability calculator and it appears that this twist favours conicals that are under an inch long.

    I'm interested in conicals for this rifle because of few reasons. I don't need to use a patch with them, they retain energy better than a round ball, and it should be possible to find one that is not too heavy to shoot pretty flat out to 100-150m.

  14. #14
    Boolit Bub
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bad *** Wallace View Post
    Cast Bullet Engineering make a 420gn or a 480gn boolit mould which is suited to the 58 cal

    http://www.castbulletengineering.com...fle/577-snider

    I use the 480gn in my 58cal.
    Thanks, it is pretty much a design I'm after (similar to Moose Molds one) - I could always fill the base if needed. I'll look into getting some samples if I don't manage to get them from elsewhere.

    Hopefully I'll get the rifle tomorrow and weather permitting I should be able to shoot it next week

  15. #15
    Boolit Grand Master

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    The difference between a short bullet and a round ball in 58 isn't that much. My Buffalo hunter is dead accurate with a 562 rb and 75 grains of FFg. I would try the RB in your double and see how it shoots. In my old Kodiak cape gun the RB was accurate but shot way off the sights. I would guess yur double would be regulated for a heavier bullet. If it is regulated you can expect the lighter or heavier bullets to shoot off POA and won't converge.

    With the Kodiak cape gun at 50 yards I got a bullet and a 12 bore ball to shoot into 2 inches by working with bullet weight and powder charge, BUT it was a 50 calibre 450 grain bullet. Lighter bullets wouldn't come within a foot at the same range.

  16. #16
    Boolit Buddy arcticap's Avatar
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    This outfit also makes a 315 gr. .58 hollow base mold. --->>> http://oldfoxtraders.com/TnMolds/molds.htm

  17. #17
    Boolit Bub
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    Articap, thanks.

    KCSO, I'm going to test the round balls too. The gun I'm waiting for is a Pedersoli Kodiak Express VI with a short barrel and a ghost tang sight. The manufacturer recommends round balls with it, but based on the twist I'm expecting it'll work equally well with short conicals. I was hoping for the gun to arrive today, but it turns out the shop that was supposed to have it "in stock" was going to order it from a distributor. Somehow they forgot to do so until I called them today so I ended up cancelling with them and ordering the gun directly with the distributor. Hopefully it arrives mid next week. When it does I'll post the results of my testing

  18. #18
    Boolit Buddy masscaster's Avatar
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    Ohaus made Minie moulds for the .58 in the exact design in your pics. They are .575, and range in weight from 250 - 325 grains depending on the base pin length.
    I think i have a couple in the shop, and could check if your interested. I log on every day so a PM will do.

    Jeff
    I'm an over indulged Hobby Caster with 150 + moulds and 40+ years of experience
    Any Questions?

  19. #19
    Boolit Bub
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    Thanks Jeff, I'll send a pm.

    So I finally received the rifle and I had a chance to shoot it. I had a good amount of fun shooting it, but It'll take me some time to be able to show the true accuracy of the rifle. I tested patched round balls (with and without overpower wads, with and without cleaning between shots) and Lee REALs with various amounts of powder between 65 and 100gr. However I had few issues that made the result probably quite far from the best this rifle can do.

    The list of issues I had is:
    - my patch lube was a couple of drops of ballistol in a small container with around 50 patches left for 24h. Patches had adequate amount of ballistol on them, but I found that despite quite a tight fit it didn't scrape the powder residue during seating the next ball and around projectile number 4 it became very difficult to seat the ball. Also the accuracy was pretty bad without running a moose milk soaked patch through the bore between shots.
    - I'm not used to the ghost sight on the gun. I have another 50cal (single) muzzle loader that came with the same sight. I replaced it with a 40 thou (1mm) peep sight. I think I have to do the same with this rifle to test it properly. Don't get me wrong, I specifically chose the gun because it had the gost tang sight(other models have two sights one for each barrel). I think it is a great sight in low light conditions etc, but for some reason I find it very difficult to be very precise with it's 5/32 of an inch (4mm) aperture. Once I finish testing I'll put the original ghost sight on it. I bought it as a short range rifle, but I still would like to find out what it is capable of.
    - I should have weighted and sorted the Lee REALs I bought. It turned out many have casting imperfections and the dimensions vary. Although I could disregard badly casted ones before putting them down the bore I only found out about subtle diameter differences when it was hard to seat one and the next one almost fell into the bore on its own. From now on I'll be checking the bullets I buy. I assumed they would be good because the shop I bought them from had good reviews (here in PL). Well, one learns constantly.

    So having listed my excuses for pretty dismal results here are the pictures all targets pictured were shot at 50 meters with Czech black powder called vesuvit (it is made as mixed ffg and fffg granularity)

    The first two shots I made off hand at a target at 20m to check the sight alignment. Both bullets made a slightly elongated horizontally one hole. This was quite encouraging. However the first group shot with 65grains, PRB no wad, and no cleaning looks like this:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Upping the powder to 90 gr (and shifting the sight two turns up) and I got this(one of the holes on the left was slightly enlarged by a second ball - the number of shots is 4 per barrel) :
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    Then I added a wad keeping 90 gr powder charge:
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    And I added cleaning between shots (here again on both sides there is a hole that two balls went through per barrel) :
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    This was the best group I got with patched round balls.

    I also tested REALs with erratic results most likely due to bullet quality. I got some groups that were quite good and some that were pretty bad with the same powder charge, lube, wad etc. This is the best and also confusing group I got. The right barrel got all 4 shots into one vertical string. The left barrel got only 3 out of 4 shots on paper... This was with 90 grains.:
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    More testing will follow when I have time to go to the range again (hopefully next week).

  20. #20
    Boolit Bub
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    Interestingly, I had 4 round balls left and I tried to shoot them using spit as patch lube. There are only 4 so it may be a coincidence, but I got two "groups" of holes almost touching each other about 4 inches apart. This is much better than anything I saw before with the rifle. I'll have to test this more when more balls arrive.

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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
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