Author Topic: .58 and minie balls  (Read 17673 times)

camerl2009

  • Guest
.58 and minie balls
« on: December 15, 2010, 03:42:35 AM »
ok so what twist rate should a .58 cal barrel have to shoot minie balls

Daryl

  • Guest
Re: .58 and minie balls
« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2010, 06:23:52 PM »
36" to 48" - just a guess.  Even the 72" and 78" twists worked - after a fashion - more accurate past 300 yards than a patched round ball from the same gun, but probably not by much.

If I was to make a rifle specifically for shootng minnies, I'd probably try something 36" to maybe 40" at the slowest.  it would have 5 or 6 grooves, of .006" depth and the minnies would be drawn or swaged to .004 larger than the bore.  I would have a section of barrel & press linkage for pre-engraving them at home and a soft-block for carrying them to & at the range.

They would be useless for hunting, as-are all .58 minnie bullets of normal shape.

I used this type of barrel and pre-engraving pricipal years ago, to help a .50 cal rifle shoot 1" at 100 yards - consistantly - with a .50 cal Lyman minnie - that needed re-shaping.

The English gun with the 48" twists, ie: the 1858 2 band, was in high demand by both sides during the American Civil War.  They were more accurate & better made (& more available?) than the US minnie rifles - even though the US guns also had pregressive depth rifling - evne in the .69's (which were the most accurate btw)  Both sides were scrambling for firearms in Europe.

By the Civil war, the powder was pretty good - US ctg held 60gr. for the .54 and .58, while the .69's minie ctg.held 70gr.  Not sure what the musket (ball as well as buck and ball) .69 charge was at that time, probably 135gr. which had become standard in around 1820.

camerl2009

  • Guest
Re: .58 and minie balls
« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2010, 04:52:53 AM »
so some thing like a 1-66" will work
idk i'll just stick to round ball for now

Offline Dphariss

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9749
  • Kill a Commie for your Mommy
Re: .58 and minie balls
« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2010, 05:23:49 AM »
so some thing like a 1-66" will work
idk i'll just stick to round ball for now

You have to remember that there are serious problems with the minie ball for civilian use.
Even with a 66 twist its not very stable, 66 is one 6" faster than the 72 the military used.
The original design is largely useless at more than 1000-1100 fps since high pressure at the muzzle distorts the skirt. The service load was 60 grains of fairly coarse BP. I have seen original cartridges that were loaded with powder much like Goex Fg.
The slow twist also means that if used on game the bullet tends to deflect easily when it strikes flesh. This was noticed by British Army Surgeons during the Crimean War. Its no different today.
Lyman makes a thick skirt hollow based bullet that will tolerate heavy loads. But this does not address the problem of not tracking straight when used for hunting.
AND
Heavy loads cause problems with vent or nipple erosion do to higher and longer pressure curve.
The third problem is that they tend to not stay on the powder very well. Few "naked" bullets do in MLs. So if the rifle is carried muzzle down when hunting the bullet may move off the powder.
The problems listed above and the fact that the Minie weighs almost twice as much as a RB and for civilian use has more disadvantages than advantages means that there is little documentation for its use by civilians.

The Minie worked good for the military but for civilians? There is a reason why so many old Rifle Muskets were bored for shot.

Dan
He who dares not offend cannot be honest. Thomas Paine

Offline stuart cee dub

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 461
Re: .58 and minie balls
« Reply #4 on: December 16, 2010, 12:39:51 PM »
I too would stick to a round ball in a hunting rifle ,it does shoot flatter and it is much easler to get them to shoot accurately Camerl. 

Getting a rifle barrel other than an aftermarket  musket style barrel would be problematic besides.
Nipples and nipple erosion are not a problem if you use the readily available  musket nipples but you will never get it into a normal plug and drum set up .You would need a special patent breech of some kind. Pressure is an issue with minnie rifles, more so as the bullets get heavier, longer and in smaller calibers .I am thinking  whitworth- style rifles  especially.
And while I shoot a minnie rifle a lot in competition and have hunted with one as well ,for a civilian style hunting gun I prefer the round ball .
 
The curved trajectory of the minnie in my opinion is it's biggest drawback .While killing accurate out to 300 yds and sometimes more for military use these were seldom used beyond 125 yds in the War between the States  . Historically, more than anything else including  tactical doctrine ,the inability to shoot flat enough limited the exploitation of the minnie system .

The Brits actually trained their troops to estimate distance at the Hythe school of Musketry to solve this well recognized problem .The Americans had a kind of on the job training but in actual use the shooting usually started ,later in the war ,around the 125 yds frequently  closer never much further .

Lethality was never an issue .The twist rate was slow because the ''Burton ball'' as devised by Master armorer Burton at Armory ,with its weight forward design, did not need much twist .1-72 was plenty to stabilize a short fat bullet . It was tested very very thoroughly  at the time.Each military's gun was a system: the ball design , the progressive depth rifling and the gun itself was part of a well designed and researched system that worked together in a very specific balance right down to the amount of powder that worked .

So unlike a round ball you can't just up the charge to improve its foot pounds of impact or trajectory .With a minnie rifle you are stuck with what it was designed to work with .
   
The British  Enfield's .577 minnie system used  a heavier and thicker skirted bullet , paper patched , which was more accurate at ranges beyond 300 yds than the Springfield .The Brits also used the slow twist .Original three banders used a 1-78 ,the two band Naval rifles used a 1-48 . During the Crimean war the Brits  actually used a .702 caliber Minie ,not the 1853 Enfield three band we normally think of.
British Enfields imported  during the war varied in quality according to then contemporary accounts ,all were made by contract makers most frequently to the 1853 3 band pattern.Most were pretty good .The high quality Tower marked guns were not exported and were all British army property . According to offical records there were fewer 2 band rifles imported .   

The muzzleloading minnies were quickly obsoleted by smaller faster flatter shooting bullets out of breechloaders  .
After the war no modern military even wanted them. Boring them out for  shotguns made an inexpensive gun for the cash poor sodbusters .
Lots ended up overseas as exports to the third world . Afganistan still has a number of well used antique Enfields from what I have read .

Had there not been Civil War in the US,  I do not think we would even pay to much attention Minnie rifles .
Only the plethora of old guns and the weight of history kept them alive for shooters to tinker with today.
Otherwise it would have been just one of the fast evolving then quickly obsoleted  technologies the 19th Century saw .

You never see or hear much about belted ball bullets but that was a going idea for 15 years or so in the 19th century.
 
Regards
Stuart

 
 





Offline varsity07840

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 305
Re: .58 and minie balls
« Reply #5 on: December 16, 2010, 04:33:24 PM »
While I would hesitate to use a minie in a "roundball" rifle with deep grooves, I certainly wouldn't feel handicapped hunting with  a musket intended for one, at least within normal BP hunting  distances(for me no more than 100 yds). I've used original .58 and .69 cal muskets with them and they perform very well on deer with a standard service load. The longest shot was around 70 yards and in that particular case with a .58, the buck took three steps and fell over. I've only shot one with the .69 and the buck ran about 20 yards and dropped. I use a 500 gr. Rapine semi wadcutter in the .69. Recoil with the original style is brutal.  The issue of seating a minie tight enough for hunting can be easily dealt with by a few firm taps on the bullet to flare the skirt into the rifling. Any minie I've pulled at the end of the day had rifling engraved in it. I tried that same minie in a .69 that has a slow twist and shallow grooves similar to a Forsythe style and was surprised to see that with 120 gr of 2F, it grouped as good as a patched ball, at least at 50 yards.

Duane

Offline Dphariss

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9749
  • Kill a Commie for your Mommy
Re: .58 and minie balls
« Reply #6 on: December 16, 2010, 06:25:42 PM »
The civilian bullet used in America prior to the advent of the self-contained cartridge was the Picket Bullet in a couple of different forms. The flat point and flat base being the best it would see and it was, for the most part, a target bullet. It was very accurate if loaded right. But the difficulty in loading it was the result of the invention of the guide starter and the false muzzle. These inventions, as near as I can ascertain, took place in the 1830s.

Dan
He who dares not offend cannot be honest. Thomas Paine

BrownBear

  • Guest
Re: .58 and minie balls
« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2010, 08:14:40 PM »
I'm likely to try the LEE Improved minie on game someday.  A couple of friends have done so and report the big meplat changes the whole "formula" on minie effectiveness.  Evidently the skirt configuration is a little different too, because they report no issues with larger charges and skirt flare.  According to their uses, it's one of the most effective moose projectiles around when you need to anchor a moose on the spot.  Much quicker killers than 58 RBs, they say.

I haven't dinked any game with it yet, but have found them to be very accurate even with charges as high as 90 grains of 2f or 80 grains of 3f.  Based on my long experience with handguns and large meplats, I'm giving credence to their game performance claims.

Offline Dphariss

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9749
  • Kill a Commie for your Mommy
Re: .58 and minie balls
« Reply #8 on: December 16, 2010, 08:55:31 PM »
While I would hesitate to use a minie in a "roundball" rifle with deep grooves, I certainly wouldn't feel handicapped hunting with  a musket intended for one, at least within normal BP hunting  distances(for me no more than 100 yds). I've used original .58 and .69 cal muskets with them and they perform very well on deer with a standard service load. The longest shot was around 70 yards and in that particular case with a .58, the buck took three steps and fell over. I've only shot one with the .69 and the buck ran about 20 yards and dropped. I use a 500 gr. Rapine semi wadcutter in the .69. Recoil with the original style is brutal.  The issue of seating a minie tight enough for hunting can be easily dealt with by a few firm taps on the bullet to flare the skirt into the rifling. Any minie I've pulled at the end of the day had rifling engraved in it. I tried that same minie in a .69 that has a slow twist and shallow grooves similar to a Forsythe style and was surprised to see that with 120 gr of 2F, it grouped as good as a patched ball, at least at 50 yards.

Duane




This is all perfectly understood. Though I wonder about the accuracy of a minie that has been pounded with a rod.
But you miss my point about the weight of lead used in the historical sense. Its not economical to shoot deer with a 500 grain bullet when one of 270 grains, or even less, works just as well or better.
As an example a round ball weighing 500 grains is suitable for heavy game such as the Indian Elephant if properly hardened and used with 1/3 ball weight +- of powder.
The economics is likely why the Americans considered a 54 adequate for anything they were likely to encounter east or west and the English thought the 54 was hardly adequate for deer.
But the average English hunter was not concerned about lead consumption. The average American was since there was a considerable disparity in income. Plus the fact the at least in England and Europe, the landed gentry and Royalty was never far from their source of supply. A longhunter in Kentucky in 1765 or a Mountain Man in 1825 or someone leaving for Oregon in 1842 my be more miserly with his lead supply.
This carried over into the Minie ball era. If a 1/2 ounce of lead was good enough why use an ounce or more?

So the weight of lead used is a valid consideration when thinking of the calibers and bullet types used in the ML hunting rifle in America. I feel its something that a great many people overlook in discussing the historical use of firearms in America.
So while the minie ball will work for hunting the economics were against it for civilian use since the weight of lead  did not greatly enhance the effectiveness and in fact the low velocity made long shots at game animals more difficult since the issue load was under 1100 fps from what I have read.  The fact that the 19th century minie was prone to fliers if the velocity was increased is pretty well documented.

Dan
He who dares not offend cannot be honest. Thomas Paine

Offline varsity07840

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 305
Re: .58 and minie balls
« Reply #9 on: December 16, 2010, 09:33:32 PM »
Dan:

Certainly from an economic standpoint, a roundball over a minie makes sense,
and for the most part, that's what I hunt with. But,  I do like to hunt with a different gun every now and then, so sometimes a musket gets the call. I do agree with you about the English and their love of the larger bores for deer.  I have a little  7 1/2 pound Westley Richards stalking rifle that I'm told was intended for deer and the like and it's an 18 bore(.64 cal). Regarding seating the minie, pounding is not necessary. The weight of the metal ramrod when tapped a few times on the bullet a few times is all it takes. SOP for N-SSA Skirmishers.

Duane

Daryl

  • Guest
Re: .58 and minie balls
« Reply #10 on: December 16, 2010, 09:37:33 PM »
I seem to recall the Lyman book also showed a 400gr. .58 Lee modern Minnie with blown skirt.  They used heavy charges, though.    

I shot .58 cal minnies and 'thickened' skirt minnies from 480gr. to 700gr. with up to 140gr. of powder. I got good accuracy and now I've got torn cartilage in my shoulder - are the 2 related - maybe?

Even with heavy charges, I found it difficult to get over 1,325fps with them - which speed created rainbow-like trajectories. The same loads with round balls were easy to shoot, gave me 1,900fps and quite flat trajectories to 200yards in comparrison - the 275gr. round balls won out.

Duane - I've tested round balls in a number of US and English minie rifles - they were all more accurate with round balls - 2" or less was the norm for 100yards.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2010, 09:39:54 PM by Daryl »

BrownBear

  • Guest
Re: .58 and minie balls
« Reply #11 on: December 16, 2010, 10:22:52 PM »
The LEE Improved Minie is distinctly different than their Modern Minie.  I have no affection for the Modern, but a growing esteem for the Improved.  Here is a pic of the Improved, though I'm using the "oversize" .578.  The LEE Site has pics of all three for a better comparison.

Daryl

  • Guest
Re: .58 and minie balls
« Reply #12 on: December 17, 2010, 05:28:17 PM »
Their flat nosed improved minie is the one I meant.  I bought or was given the .58 cal. 400gr. mould many years ago, and thought at that time, the skirt was too thin & that to remoe the pin and turn down the plunger would be a pain.  It was easy to do with the Lyman moulds, on the other hand.  The Lyman 57780 or whatevr that 570gr. flat/rounded nosed slug was, had a plunger shank the same diameter as the bullet shank. Thus, an adjustable bullet mould was easily made with it - after thickening up the skirt, from 600gr. to 1,200gr. What fun that was - with 140gr. 2F and a Hawken butt plate.
« Last Edit: December 17, 2010, 07:05:57 PM by Daryl »

BrownBear

  • Guest
Re: .58 and minie balls
« Reply #13 on: December 17, 2010, 08:37:11 PM »
.... from 600gr. to 1,200gr. What fun that was - with 140gr. 2F and a Hawken butt plate.

Ugh.  I used to shoot heavy cast 405 bullets an original Win 1895 with the cresent butt.  I think I know what you're talking about!  And gladly sold the thing.

Offline stuart cee dub

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 461
Re: .58 and minie balls
« Reply #14 on: December 18, 2010, 12:00:52 AM »
Daryl ,you are pretty knowledgeable about the english half stock rifles .My question is as follows .

Is it true that the english often used larger bores but faster twists which limited the speed with which they could push the ball?

Dan brings up a valid point about the lead -penny pinching  nature of the Americans .

Some where I recall hearing years ago that the Brits used large bores more frequently but did not drive the ball as fast nor could they because of their rifling was too steep and somewhat shallow .
It seems to me that the Brits were pretty sophisticated gunmakers by the early 19th century and had to have known what they were doing  

On a seperate subject the English also used a wooden then a clay plug in the bottom of their minie balls in addition to having them paper patched on their Enfields .This filling of the hollow skirt may well have prevented the ''blown ''Miinie ball skirt that the American loads experienced with heavier than spec.

American loaded Enfield ammunition  charges did not follow this pattern..
« Last Edit: December 18, 2010, 12:55:15 AM by stuart cee dub »

Daryl

  • Guest
Re: .58 and minie balls
« Reply #15 on: December 18, 2010, 02:52:32 AM »
There were many makers in England who made fast twist large bore rifles. There were others who made them with slow twists, known today as Forsythe rifling - 1/4 turn in 24" to 26" of barrel to as slow as 10 to 12 feet per turn.  There are barrel makers today who will make any twist you want - ie: Ed Rayle.

You can download Forsyth's book, "The Sporting Rifle and it's Projectiles" from - HA! - can't remember the name of that on-line book store - HA! Anyway, a google for the book's name should bring it upi

Offline varsity07840

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 305
Re: .58 and minie balls
« Reply #16 on: December 19, 2010, 06:24:31 PM »
There were many makers in England who made fast twist large bore rifles. There were others who made them with slow twists, known today as Forsythe rifling - 1/4 turn in 24" to 26" of barrel to as slow as 10 to 12 feet per turn.  There are barrel makers today who will make any twist you want - ie: Ed Rayle.

You can download Forsyth's book, "The Sporting Rifle and it's Projectiles" from - HA! - can't remember the name of that on-line book store - HA! Anyway, a google for the book's name should bring it upi

My Westley Richards has a pretty fast twist for an 18 bore-about 1/60, in a 30 " barrel.
According to the little information I've found on these rifles, the powder charge was around 75 grains, which is what I use in it with 2F Swiss.

Duane

Offline Dphariss

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9749
  • Kill a Commie for your Mommy
Re: .58 and minie balls
« Reply #17 on: December 19, 2010, 06:37:44 PM »
There were many makers in England who made fast twist large bore rifles. There were others who made them with slow twists, known today as Forsythe rifling - 1/4 turn in 24" to 26" of barrel to as slow as 10 to 12 feet per turn.  There are barrel makers today who will make any twist you want - ie: Ed Rayle.

You can download Forsyth's book, "The Sporting Rifle and it's Projectiles" from - HA! - can't remember the name of that on-line book store - HA! Anyway, a google for the book's name should bring it upi

My Westley Richards has a pretty fast twist for an 18 bore-about 1/60, in a 30 " barrel.
According to the little information I've found on these rifles, the powder charge was around 75 grains, which is what I use in it with 2F Swiss.

Duane

Forsythe used 5 drams in his 16 bore.
75 grains in a 18 bore is OK for short range.
The light powder charges were generally required for fast twist rifles in the larger bore sizes.
60" is slow enough to use about any charge you would like. But in vintage guns moderation is often a good policy.
I use ff Swiss in my 16 bore flintlock.
Dan
He who dares not offend cannot be honest. Thomas Paine

Offline Dphariss

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9749
  • Kill a Commie for your Mommy
Re: .58 and minie balls
« Reply #18 on: December 19, 2010, 07:49:20 PM »
Daryl ,you are pretty knowledgeable about the english half stock rifles .My question is as follows .

Is it true that the english often used larger bores but faster twists which limited the speed with which they could push the ball?

Dan brings up a valid point about the lead -penny pinching  nature of the Americans .

Some where I recall hearing years ago that the Brits used large bores more frequently but did not drive the ball as fast nor could they because of their rifling was too steep and somewhat shallow .
It seems to me that the Brits were pretty sophisticated gunmakers by the early 19th century and had to have known what they were doing  

On a seperate subject the English also used a wooden then a clay plug in the bottom of their minie balls in addition to having them paper patched on their Enfields .This filling of the hollow skirt may well have prevented the ''blown ''Miinie ball skirt that the American loads experienced with heavier than spec.

American loaded Enfield ammunition  charges did not follow this pattern..

The British gunmakers, a majority it would seem, really dropped the ball with the fast twist rifles in the early 19th century. They were very accurate, we are told, but the velocity got so low they became largely useless and many hunters of heavy game overloaded the rifles and tolerated the inaccuracy or used smoothbores as a result. The ranges were often very short, Elephant being shot at 15-25 yards in a great many cases, read some of John Taylor's books, "Pondoro"is a good choice and has a short section on his shooting Elephant and Rhino with a 10 bore percussion smooth bore in the 1930s.
Baker used a belted ball rifle for large game at one point. He decided a conical would work better in his 5 or 6 bore and had a mould made for one, but stated that it made the rifle, which he called his "Devil Stopper" since "it never failed to floor a charging Elephant", nearly useless and apparently nearly got him killed (having "scrapes" when hunting African Elephant can easily prove fatal). But the belted ball had no advantage over the plain ball if the rifle is rifled properly.
Sir Samuel Baker's books are also available for download.

Forsythe's book is available for down load at
http://books.google.com/books?id=Gm4CAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA92&lpg=PA92&dq=download+The+Sporting+Rifle+and+Its+projectiles+james+forsyth&source=bl&ots=hWKd7LoBxY&sig=KWKahubrrnDCRgDzGP0TJctQbRA&hl=en&ei=CSgOTZ2-E4KVnAfvzvGYDg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=6&ved=0CDUQ6AEwBQ#v=onepage&q&f=false

and at
http://www.archive.org/details/sportingriflean00forsgoog

Amazon has hard copies as well but not many.

For people that hunt with a ML rifle, a traditional one at least, its required reading. I got mine when John Baird reprinted it years ago.

As Daryl will also attest Forsythe's  information is easily duplicated today with similar rifles.
As with many 19th century or earlier writings the science is often a little silly. But his trajectories, accuracy and effectiveness parallel  my experiences.

Back in the 1960s ML shooters went to great lengths in some states to prove that a ML would actually kill game. To get ML seasons it was often necessary to work with the states F&G to get MLs approved. This was before mass produced "Hawken" and other such rifles arrives for consumption by the general public. But the separate seasons caused people with no real interest in MLs to buy one to hunt with, the same companies then produced naked slugs for the guns. This way the modern hunter who was used to shooting elongated bullets in his 30-06 or 30-30 would not have to bother with patches etc or a round bullet that did not in anyway resemble what they were used to. As soon as the bullets came on the market the RB became useless. It had no sectional density and would not penetrate etc etc. Of course if it DID work then there would be no reason to buy the slugs and/or the moulds that cast them. Gunwriters whose only interest was keeping the editors happy (whose prime concern was keeping advertisers buying advertising) wrote what the bullet makers wanted to see. As a result we have had decades of ridiculous BS concerning the RB as a hunting projectile largely the result of magazines catering to advertisers and/or clueless gunwriters.

Dan
« Last Edit: December 19, 2010, 08:37:03 PM by Daryl »
He who dares not offend cannot be honest. Thomas Paine

Daryl

  • Guest
Re: .58 and minie balls
« Reply #19 on: December 19, 2010, 08:54:12 PM »
After reading Forythe's book, Taylor and I gathered the parts needed to build me an English Sporting Rifle in 14 gauge - ie: .69 calibre and he began the build. I chose 14 bore as that was Forsythe's favourite bore size for an all-round gun- elephant, tigre, buffalo, bear or Sambar Stags.

 We were unable at that time in 1986, to get a barrel with the recommended slow twist, and ended up with a 60 or 66" twist - whatever Green River Rifle Works was producing. It's been so long since I measured it, I can't remember - 6" doesn't make much difference. What I was delightfully surprised with, was that it's relatively fast twist for that bore size didn't restrict me to squib loads and delivered wonderful accuracy with heavy loads.  I had to use a tighter ball?/combination than Fortythe said worked in his slower twist rifles, but for me it still loaded easily and what marvelous accuracy - the more powder I put in, the more accurate it shot.  I found even 3 drams, 82gr. shot poorly past 50 yards, and actually shot larger groups at 50 yards, then did twice that amount of powder at 100 yards.  I still use 82gr. for plinking and trail walks for the close targets,  but up to 125gr. or so for the longer shots.

I stopped accuracy testing witht he 'new rifle' at just over 7 drams which is 191gr., but the accuracy was not improved after 165, which I chose as my heavy moose load.  To duplicate Forsythe's trajectories, I needed 1,550 fps with the 484gr. round ball and it took 165gr. of our powder in 1986 to do that. I was happy with the results.

The accuracy was amazing - 1" to 1 1/2" for 5 shot groups at 100 meters, benched, resting my left hand on a sand bag, no rear bag.

Offline varsity07840

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 305
Re: .58 and minie balls
« Reply #20 on: December 19, 2010, 11:56:32 PM »
There were many makers in England who made fast twist large bore rifles. There were others who made them with slow twists, known today as Forsythe rifling - 1/4 turn in 24" to 26" of barrel to as slow as 10 to 12 feet per turn.  There are barrel makers today who will make any twist you want - ie: Ed Rayle.

You can download Forsyth's book, "The Sporting Rifle and it's Projectiles" from - HA! - can't remember the name of that on-line book store - HA! Anyway, a google for the book's name should bring it upi

My Westley Richards has a pretty fast twist for an 18 bore-about 1/60, in a 30 " barrel.
According to the little information I've found on these rifles, the powder charge was around 75 grains, which is what I use in it with 2F Swiss.

Duane

Forsythe used 5 drams in his 16 bore.
75 grains in a 18 bore is OK for short range.
The light powder charges were generally required for fast twist rifles in the larger bore sizes.
60" is slow enough to use about any charge you would like. But in vintage guns moderation is often a good policy.
I use ff Swiss in my 16 bore flintlock.
Dan


Apparently, from what I've read, these stalking rifles were intended for short range work, with relatively light charges considering the bore size. That's fine with me, since I like to keep my shots within 50 yards if possible, with my bifocals. Also, while I do not consider myself recoil sensitive, 75 gr. of Swiss 2F behind that big ball in a light weight rifle will get your attention, at least off the bench. I use the Swiss because I feel it's closer to what was fed to the rifle way back when, and I'd bet it would take  90 -100 gr of Goex to get the same performance. My rifle has ten lands and grooves. Other than that, it's almost identical to a Purdey owned by Ross Seyfried. His is a 16 bore with Forsythe rifling but externally they are almost exactly the same.

Duane

Offline Dphariss

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9749
  • Kill a Commie for your Mommy
Re: .58 and minie balls
« Reply #21 on: December 20, 2010, 08:16:53 AM »
In reading Prospecting for Gold In Montana by Granville Stuart there is an account of his acquiring an English rifle that was about the bore size of Daryl's with a Tiger on the lock IIRC. This was circa 1860 while he was in the Virgina City area.
Granville was a rifleman and liked accuracy, to get the rifle to shoot well took quite a bit of powder and he states that it turned him 1/2 around when he shot it.

Dan
He who dares not offend cannot be honest. Thomas Paine

Daryl

  • Guest
Re: .58 and minie balls
« Reply #22 on: December 20, 2010, 05:25:42 PM »
Mine doesn't kick much either - neither does Dan's.  He has a similar photo of his 16 bore going off.



I find there are few people want to shoot this rifle once, let alone twice once they've had the pleasure, which I have difficulty understanding, as it's sooooo accurate. If you roll with the recoil, it doesn't hurt at all.  Trying to stop it from kicking might cause injury - it's going to move, might as well let it.  I shoot fairly light charge of 100gr. 2f in my .58 double rifle to obtain regulation and aimed rights and left hits on 50 to 60 yard gongs are only 1 second apart.

My 14 bore is not very accurate with anything less than 100gr. at 50 yards, although I do use only 3 drams for these close targets as the heavy ball is hard on steel targets. It tends to break chains and welds.  At rendezvous, the gloves are off and I use only accurate loads.

 I can see that small 75gr. charge of Swiss being equivalent to about 85 to  90gr. 2F which is 15% to 20%. 82gr. 3F GOEX delivered 1,225fps from the rifle.  The same charge of 2f is just behind by about 100fps.

The light 3 dram charge doubles accuracy load group size at 100, so it's not good enough.  I need all the help I can get for offhand shooting.

Offline varsity07840

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 305
Re: .58 and minie balls
« Reply #23 on: December 20, 2010, 07:28:48 PM »
My 12 bore flint with 150 gr of 2F Goex is more pleasent(or less punishing?) to shoot off the bench than
the 18 bore with the 75 gr Swiss charge.  Of course it weighs about twice as much-30'' x 1 1/4" barrel with no taper.

Duane

BrownBear

  • Guest
Re: .58 and minie balls
« Reply #24 on: December 20, 2010, 07:37:46 PM »
It's always a trade-off in gun weight between recoil management and ease of field carry, isn't it? 

My favorite 58 cal for field carry weighs less than 8 pounds and features a 24" 1 1/8" barrel tapered to 15/16". It balances like a fine shotgun and carries easy, but it's a dirty stinker at the bench.  At the opposite extreme is a 62 cal smoothie with a 32" straight 1" barrel.  It's truly not bad for recoil even at the bench, but when I load it with shot it's a dirty stinker to mount and swing for running or flying game.

Bottom line, I've never found a single gun that does it all.  In fact, I'd rather not!   ;D