Muzzleldrs I need some help!

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jwberns

Cadet
Joined
Mar 9, 2020
Howdy y'all,
I'm new to a forum and don't understand how to use it or get info. I'm 72 yrs. old and live in Houston , Tx. and I'm retired. Also, I'm a black powder shooter and want to cast my own minies. I want to check my bore sizes with a pin gauge but don't know how to do it. I also don't know where to get pin gauges for my .577/.575 cal. rifles. This is unchartered territory for me and need some guidance. I have so many questions to ask and don't know where to get answers so would y'all please be patient with me as I am a 100% disabled Vietnam vet in bad health and.........kinda slow! Many thanks!
 
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johan_steele

Regimental Armorer
Retired Moderator
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Location
South of the North 40
I think pin gauges can be found on Amazon but I don’t know.

Are you shooting originals or Italian reproduction arms? There is an enormous difference. All of my .58/.577 shoot .5745 rather well but with one exception all are originals. You can get close with a good set of digital calipers but the best way if you don’t have access to pin gauges is to call around to your local machine shops. Many will have a set and will do the work for you for a small fee.

lodgewood.com is my goto for buying anything black powder related.

Good luck.
 
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poorjack

Corporal
Joined
Jul 17, 2015
Location
NC
Howdy y'all,
I'm new to a forum and don't understand how to use it or get info. I'm 72 yrs. old and live in Houston , Tx. and I'm retired. Also, I'm a black powder shooter and want to cast my own minies. I want to check my bore sizes with a pin gauge but don't know how to do it. I also don't know where to get pin gauges for my .577/.575 cal. rifles. This is unchartered territory for me and need some guidance. I have so many questions to ask and don't know where to get answers so would y'all please be patient with me as I am a 100% disabled Vietnam vet in bad health and.........kinda slow! Many thanks!
Welcome to the forum and a new addiction.

Pin gauges are available on Amazon. You don't need the entire set. Before ordering, if you have a dial or digital caliper, check your bore size to get a ball park number. Example- if your bore measured .577 on the caliper, get pins in .574, .576, .578, .580. They're like $5ea and should be a Prime item. Then to check your bore, put a half inch fishing sinker or something similar that is about .500 into the bore (more on why later). Use your .576 pin first. If it is loose, then try .578. If .578 is too tight, then your bore is .577. If .578 is too loose, try .580, then you know your bore is .579. Don't try for anything more than a slip fit. If one sticks, no worries, just turn the gun muzzle down and the weight you put in the bore before starting will "clunk" it out for you. This size range of pins covers about any of the 58s out there except some that are waaaaay oversize and they do exist.

You didn't mention who made the gun so I'll throw out a generality, most repros measure large. I don't care what it says on the barrel or any literature Luigi sent with it. Measure and verify. That doesn't mean you can't make it shoot very, very well, it means you have to know what you are working with.

Once you get a good measurement, then time to look for a mold to start with. Lots of folks like Lee cause they're cheap and sometimes work. I have exactly one Lee mold in my pile that gets regular use and I have one more as a back up. You would know, it's a 58cal type that shoots exceptionally well in my Parker Hales and it's now discontinued.

Don't bother with any substitute powders. They all have issues in minie guns. I suggest 1) Swiss 2) Old Eynsford (a Goex product) 3) Schutzen or regular Goex.

I have two main lubes I use and each works best with a only one bullet design I shoot in competition. The Parker Hales like beeswax/lard (settled on after a couple hundred rounds of experiments) and the 62 Colts like beeswax/olive oil. As 5 different skirmishers, get 12 different answers.

I would also like to point you to a large community of people who shoot these guns in competition and can make them shoot like you wouldn't believe- the North South Skirmish Association. We have a forum where you can get real answers on what makes them shoot and not a reeactorism hearsay. There is also a N-SSA member down you way that is extremely well versed in muskets. His screen name is RaiderANV.

As said before, thanks for your service and many in the N-SSA are also prior service.
 
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