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Thread: How to shoot minies?

  1. #1
    Boolit Master brewer12345's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Denver Metro Area

    How to shoot minies?

    Finally got around to a black powder casting bonanza (2 sizes round ball, two 45 conicals, a 54 conical and a 54 minie). The minie is a long discontinued Lyman hunting minie with relatively thick skirt walls and it is designed to take heavier charges. I haven't ever shot one before. I know I need to lube the grooves. Lube the base? I assume a wonder wad under the bullet is a bad idea? Only reason I ask is that this rifle shoots fer better with a wad under round balls and conicals.
    "If you see me running something has gone poorly, and you should probably run too." - any beekeeper

  2. #2
    Boolit Master Nobade's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Albuquerque, Nuevo Mexico
    I size my minie bullets .001" under bore diameter, dip lube in gatofeo #1, and shoot over 60 gr. FFg. No wads, they kill accuracy when they jam into the base. Remember these bullets only work right when cast from pure lead. Just a little too hard and they're awful.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    brisbane ,qld,australia
    Ive always filled the cavity with lube ...with blackpowder ,too much lube is barely enough.

  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Don't use a wad under the bullet, as you want powder gases to hit the skirt directly and expand it to the rifling.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master Good Cheer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    the Ark
    Lube in the base works sometimes. And sometimes the back flow through the ignition channel carries lube and unburned powder down that path and creates a terrible mess to clean out. Won't know until you see what your lube and your piece does.

    The thick skirted minie design can help overcome the deep grooves in round ball barrels. Thinner skirts expand more easily but deep grooves are more damaging to the skirt wall. You will have to slam it hard enough with enough powder to seal it off, so the deeper the rifling the harder you have to slam it. That process either works or else creates other problems. The shooter is part of the loop just like the purity of the lead and quality of the lube and the geometry of the rifling and the ignition channel so once again whatever works for you and your piece by golly is what works.

    Just for conversation, paper patching the #533476 is on my list of things to try out in .54. That thing has a WFN front end that makes me wonder if hunters haven't been using it.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Las Cruces, NM
    Not familiar with that bullet. If it is a simple 'cupped' base instead of a true minnie hollow cavity, then you can use a wad. You can tell by looking. If the wad will fill the cavity and still 'squish' to fill the bore then it will work fine. I use a veggie card wad on top of powder, followed by lubed felt, then the bullet (usually paper patched).

    I also agree with the soft lead only, but, I think you know that since you shoot conicals.

  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy

    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Brewer, Minies work best in a gun with shallow rifling. Most Round ball guns the rifling is too deep for a good seal. Best of luck. You might try the bulletin board at for info

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    I use a ball of paper wasp nest over powder and behind the bullet cavity, expansion is not interrupted! never a hiccup!

  9. #9
    Boolit Buddy iron brigade's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    My son killed a buck last November with my original Lorenz musket using the 533476 minie. Load was 46grains of 2f old eyensford. We shoot the Lorenz in civil war skirmishes and it is very accurate.

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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