M/L Newbie

Muzzle and breech loading black powder firearms. Military and sporting.
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Dave 101
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M/L Newbie

Postby Dave 101 » Sun Dec 15, 2013 4:54 pm

Hi

I have just bought my first muzzle loader its a smooth bore reproduction Remington 1863 percussion musket , due to the laws here in the UK I haven't got a black powder licence yet so I am going to use Pyrodex . Its a .58 cal , a mould and lead balls were supplied with it plus some patches and caps , so Iam all ready to rock and roll .
My question is would I gain more accuracy and range using a Minie ball rather than round ball ?
I have seen a Lee mould for sale on ebay from the US but before I splash the cash I need to know of the benefits in doing so .
Any suggestions would be appreciated

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Re: M/L Newbie

Postby Niner » Sun Dec 15, 2013 5:05 pm

If it is smooth bore you don't need mini. The mini has an expanding rear end that upon firing engages the rifling in the bore. No rifling no point. A round ball with a patch that produces a relatively tight fit is better...and cheaper.
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Re: M/L Newbie

Postby Dave 101 » Sun Dec 15, 2013 5:11 pm

Thanks Niner , just as I suspected .

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Re: M/L Newbie

Postby DuncaninFrance » Mon Dec 16, 2013 3:39 am

Can't wait for some pis Dave. But be warned - Black Powder is the Devils work and it's addictive!
The secret to working up a load (I think) is to check weigh your balls :shock: and 'batch them' so you are shooting consistent weights. That should give you a fairly level playing field for assessing the initial results.
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Re: M/L Newbie

Postby Niner » Mon Dec 16, 2013 11:19 am

Dave...you know that you weigh Black Powder and Pyrodex by volume and not weight I imagine. If you were shooting a rifled gun the spin of the bullet would offset the unbalance of the weight in the ball itself when firing. In a smooth bore you have both the unbalance of the cast ball and the weight of one ball to the next to contend with...... but for what distances you are likely to be shooting I don't see where it will make much difference. The biggest problem encountered with the bullet...in my opinion.... is the thickness of the patch. You want the patch to be thick enough to give noticeable, but not too much, resistance when you start the ball and ram it down. You can shoot with a thin patch or with no patch like you would with a mini...but the ball will just bounce down the bore when fired and the accuracy will be less than ok.

In my 58 Caliber , rifled, 1853 Enfield, I use powder in the 50 to 60 grain load. When shooting targets you will want to test your loads and the goal is generally toward less and less powder rather then more and more. Hunting is a different thing. Ask Blackisler... the UK hunting load requirements are based on velocity rather than mass energy as I understand it from Blackisler. But that's for Blackisler to explain.
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Re: M/L Newbie

Postby DuncaninFrance » Mon Dec 16, 2013 2:17 pm

Dave, I use patches I cut from 4 x 2 and lube it with a mix of Water & Ballistol Oil 6:1 ( once mixed it never separates ) I keep it in a bottle and soak the 4 x 2 in a small dish - it uses very little liquid to wet the material.
I can't advise on Pyrodex as it is banned in France, the French class it as an explosive as opposed to a powder. :roll:
Duncan

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Re: M/L Newbie

Postby Niner » Mon Dec 16, 2013 2:43 pm

Pyrodex has the same load requirements in volume as BP. The grain size is a little different though. The largest difference between BP and Pyrodex ..to me... is when you use Pyrodex the smoke produced at discharge is less than the "real" black powder. After firing either the cleanup of your gun is the same. Very warm water and dish washing soap is all you need.
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Re: M/L Newbie

Postby Dave 101 » Mon Dec 16, 2013 3:09 pm

Thank you all for the info , this will be for target use only mainly 50 yds , but hoping to give it a go 100 yds in the new year , I will stick with the round ball . Its good to get differing opinions on what you guys use , practical experience is best and well proven .
I will see if I can get some photos in the day light tomorrow .

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Re: M/L Newbie

Postby belgmart » Sun Dec 22, 2013 2:04 pm

100 yds with a smoothbore - I hope you have a big enough target - it takes a lot of work to get a smoothbore on paper consistently at 100...
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Dave 101
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Re: M/L Newbie

Postby Dave 101 » Sun Dec 22, 2013 2:58 pm

belgmart wrote:100 yds with a smoothbore - I hope you have a big enough target - it takes a lot of work to get a smoothbore on paper consistently at 100...


Probably wont hit a target , but then its a bit of fun trying , hopefully this will be more of a social shoot with all comers trying to shoot something as its the first time our club has had a crack at a 100yd target due to lack of range facilities .


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Re: M/L Newbie

Postby M14man » Tue Dec 31, 2013 11:39 am

That musket will be rifled. I have a similar one, and I have used 3 different mini bullets/ Different weights, different shapes. Even a 'match' type. They shot no better than the round ball. Pyrodex is actually easier and cleaner to use than BP. Use Pyrodex. Oh groups won't be good at 100...stick with 50 yards and fist sized groups are the norm. At 25 yards you can easily get cloverleafs...

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