Author Topic: .58 Zuave round balls, Load?  (Read 23510 times)

Barnstormer

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.58 Zuave round balls, Load?
« on: November 26, 2015, 07:03:57 PM »
I have  .58 Zuave made by Antonio Zoli.  He probobly bought it in the early 70's.  I hunted with in the 90's.  I remember having it shooting round balls pretty good,(aside from the fact that the rear site is slid way to the left). I hung it up on the wall after a very good cleaning, (to which I am thourgh) ending with bore butter (natural lube 1000) in a hot barrel.  I needed a gun for the son in law so I took it down and patched it out, (I got some red patches until they stoped for most part).  Not flakey and I put a barrel light down and looked good.  Anyway took it to the range and didnt know the powder loads that I used to use, I shot from 60 to 120 gr of Pyrodex Select.  Patches were .15 prelube. I patched out with Thompson 13, after each shot) At 50 yrds it did 2" groups.  But at 100 yrds they were all over the paper with no groupage,  period.  Anyone have any ideas or what I can do to get this thing shooting good again. Should I be useing FFF powder in it.  I know its not the best of gun makers but he cant afford his own yet and it would be a good learning gun if it will shoot straight.  Thanks for any help,  Dennis

Offline Hungry Horse

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Re: .58 Zuave round balls, Load?
« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2015, 07:30:53 PM »
 First off, lose the Pyrodex, and get a can of 2F black powder. Get some .562 round balls,( because the Zolli barrels are more like loading a smoothbore than a rifle),and patch them with at least .015 greased pillow ticking, or pocket drill. I use 85 grains of 2F, but have jacked it up too a hundred on a couple of occasions. Not a target gun, but kills big critters deader than a nit at a hundred yards.

   Hungry Horse

Offline Frizzen

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Re: .58 Zuave round balls, Load?
« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2015, 07:50:58 PM »
Mine shot like a target gun. 3 inch 5 shot groups at 100 yds. 50 yds it would make one ragged hole. Won
lots of musket matches with it.  I used 55 grs of Goex 3 F.  .575 dia cast ball  .017 thick pillow ticking
It did not care what powder charge you used. Anything from 45 grs to 90  shot well. I shot 55 only
because that's where the gun was sighted in on the "X" ring at 50 yds. Also I used the nipple that takes
No. 11 caps.  Once I did put a musket cap nipple in and it would not shoot near as accurate. Groups
really opened up. Switched back to the Ampco No. 11 cap nipple and all was well again. My Zoli was made
about 1975 and the twist was 1-72.  Three pretty shallow grooves.  That's my story.
The Pistol Shooter

Offline Daryl

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Re: .58 Zuave round balls, Load?
« Reply #3 on: November 26, 2015, 08:47:21 PM »
Had a Zouave back in the 70's, and another in the 80's.  They both shot well and were sold to someone who needed an accurate rifle for hunting.  I used 85gr. 2F to 110gr. 2F and they both responded with amazing accuracy, just as Frizzen's gun did. I used .575" dead-soft (pure) lead from (NEW) BC Tel Telephone wire cable sheaths. I cut off the soldered ends as they used 50/50 solder and added those to my modern gun lead mixes. I also used a .20 to .22 thou denim patch, of course. I didn't try the .562" balls but with the thick denim, they'd have been accurate as well.  I do shoot .562's in my Musketoon with the .574" bore diameter. I found the .575" a little snug with the thick denim, not too difficult but harder loading than desirable due to the  shallow .003" deep rifling at the muzzle.
The Zouaves will shoot very well. Most need better sights.
Daryl

"a gun without hammers is like a spaniel without ears" King George V

Offline crankshaft

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Re: .58 Zuave round balls, Load?
« Reply #4 on: November 26, 2015, 09:28:25 PM »
 Mine; .575 balls with pillow ticking required hammering down. 
Pyrodex, black powder, 777... did not make any difference with the groups.
 I Have a Tanner .570 and will try that.

Offline Hungry Horse

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Re: .58 Zuave round balls, Load?
« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2015, 07:56:27 PM »
 I'm with you Crank. I don't even consider a load that I have to force down the barrel. My old Zolli Harpers Ferry has a .58 cal. barrel, with a 1-72 twist, three lands and grooves. With the big wide lands in this barrel it is pretty easy to get a ball stuck. To me making it shoot an inch tighter at a hundred yards isn't worth the hassle.

          Hungry Horse

Offline Daryl

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Re: .58 Zuave round balls, Load?
« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2015, 08:47:58 PM »
Mine; .575 balls with pillow ticking required hammering down. 
Pyrodex, black powder, 777... did not make any difference with the groups.
 I Have a Tanner .570 and will try that.

Interesting, I use my left hammer to hold the gun and my right hammer on the wiping stick to shove the load down - no hammering needed, except one blow to seat the ball to the length of the short starter.  I find snug loads necessary as I demand accuracy & clean shooting from my rifles.

Also- I've found these military reproductions to shoot better with round balls than they do with slugs. I've worked with a number of Zouave Repros as well as Italian and Parker Hale Enfield military rifles - all lengths, from 24" Musketoons, 32" rifles like the 2 band Enfield as well as Zouaves and to 39" 3-band Enfields.  They all required some form of sight alteration, but all were terrific shooters with round balls, less so with slugs.
Daryl

"a gun without hammers is like a spaniel without ears" King George V

Offline crankshaft

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Re: .58 Zuave round balls, Load?
« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2015, 04:16:15 AM »

With the .575 ball,  thinner patches tear, real bad.
 I know many target shooters hammer the ball down, but I don't want to .

Offline smylee grouch

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Re: .58 Zuave round balls, Load?
« Reply #8 on: November 28, 2015, 04:39:29 AM »
You might need to polish the crown some to help when you load those tight combo's. You also might want to lapp the bore some if the crown polishing does'nt cure the torn patch problem.

Offline Daryl

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Re: .58 Zuave round balls, Load?
« Reply #9 on: November 30, 2015, 09:14:56 PM »
As received from the store, ALL muzzleloading rifles need to be re-crowned. There is no such thing as purchasing a rifle with an already crowned muzzle., unless custom made and/or re-crowned by the first owner.
Typically, ALL military rifles have 'SHARP' muzzle crowns.

The rifle on the right is my Enfield Musketoon's muzzle - re-crowned as i do them - emery or wet/dry paper at 320grit and the end of your thumb. I do not use a mallet - I use a short starter, patched round balls and the rifle's rod for loading.




Rotate the barrel oft times to make the crown even - it will happen perfectly. I first shove a couple patches down the bore to catch the 'filings' and stone particles.

« Last Edit: November 30, 2015, 09:19:59 PM by Daryl »
Daryl

"a gun without hammers is like a spaniel without ears" King George V

Offline varsity07840

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Re: .58 Zuave round balls, Load?
« Reply #10 on: December 02, 2015, 06:01:22 PM »
I shoot an original 1841 Mississippi that was freshed out to .58 for the Civil War.  The Zouave is very similar. I normally shoot minies in it but use round ball for hunting. It has progressive depth 3 groove rifling so a patched ball will fill the shallow grooves at the muzzle but not at the breech end where they're around .015 deep. I use a 14 gauge
fiber cushion wad over the powder to get a better seal and a .570 ball/.018 patch with  90 gr. of 2F.

Duane

Offline Daryl

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Re: .58 Zuave round balls, Load?
« Reply #11 on: December 02, 2015, 08:56:47 PM »
All of the original Minnie rifles had tapered depth rifling.  This was an English or European practice, copied by the Armories in "The States" for their .58 and .69 Minnie Rifles.

The English version had .008" deeper grooves in the breech than at the muzzle - commonly .003" at the muzzle and .011" at the breech- or so I've read.

To the best of my knowledge, the reproduction Zouaves do not have progressive depth rifling (pretty sure mine didn't), but perhaps the newer Pedersoli Springfields may have the progressive depth rifling.

On the other hand, the brass mounted (Confederate version) Italian (Armi-San Polo) Model 1861 that I have does have progressive depth rifling. I have not measured it but a bore scope easily shows this feature in it's 5 groove barrel. I was initially concerned there would be powder gas blow-by causing patch burning, however the denim I use (10ounce) survives the trip down the bore and out again at over 1,300fps in perfect condition.  For this reason, I figure there must be 'some' obturation of the ball by the charge.  I use ONLY real black powder.

In the initial work-up of loads for this rifle, I was able to get it to shoot 3", 5shot groups at 100meters off the bags using 85gr. 2f GOEX.  The only loads I chronographed were with my initial starting load of 75gr. GOEX, which gave 1,308fps average, some 300fps faster than Lyman's old book from the 70's gave for equivalent loads.  I felt this accuracy was probably as good as I could accomplish with the short sight radius and military sights on the 24" barrel along with my failing eye sight at that time.

I present this under the premise that tapered depth rifling does not spell doom for a patched ball.  The muzzle of my rifle has only .003" deep rifling and a .574" bore diameter. The .575" balls I started with, would sit on top of the muzzle with NO patch. I then purchased a Lee Double Cavity mould casting .562" X .562".
These balls are easily loaded with both my 10ounce denim I measure at .0225" compressed and the thicker mattress ticking that I measured at .0235" compressed. I do not use a hammer nor a mallet. I do use a moose antler tipped short starter. Once started, they go down easily.

Starter second from the right is my Musketoon ball starter.



« Last Edit: December 02, 2015, 08:58:21 PM by Daryl »
Daryl

"a gun without hammers is like a spaniel without ears" King George V

maineguy

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Re: .58 Zuave round balls, Load?
« Reply #12 on: December 03, 2015, 06:45:07 PM »
I have a Antonio zoli  I shoot58 caliber minis with 50 grains at 50 yards  bullseye  good groups I shoot this gun in competition

Offline Hungry Horse

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Re: .58 Zuave round balls, Load?
« Reply #13 on: December 04, 2015, 09:29:43 PM »
A civil war collector I know has quite a collection of battlefield spent bullets. He showed me a couple he had found that had a .44 pistol ball wedged in the hollow base of the bullet. The balls were tightly sledged into the bullet base, I indicating they had been fired that way, and the marks of the rifling were visible on the bullet skirts. Have any of you seen this before? Have any of you tried this?

   HungryHorse

Offline Bob Roller

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Re: .58 Zuave round balls, Load?
« Reply #14 on: December 05, 2015, 02:15:37 AM »
A civil war collector I know has quite a collection of battlefield spent bullets. He showed me a couple he had found that had a .44 pistol ball wedged in the hollow base of the bullet. The balls were tightly sledged into the bullet base, I indicating they had been fired that way, and the marks of the rifling were visible on the bullet skirts. Have any of you seen this before? Have any of you tried this?

   HungryHorse

I did this about 60 years ago and also reshaped the Lyman Minie bullet mould to a rounded nose like a modern .600 Nitro Expreass. It added a lot of weight and with 90 grains of 3fg DuPont hit like a pile driver.
The .451 ball added about 140 grains and the reshaped nose I don't recall what it added.
This would make a dandy hunting load IMHO.

Bob Roller

Offline Daryl

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Re: .58 Zuave round balls, Load?
« Reply #15 on: December 08, 2015, 08:09:10 PM »
Here's the mould "we" bored for my .69 English styled gun.  It is adjustable and casts smoothsided Minnie's that must be rolled with a coarse wood rasp for slight enlargement and cuts to hold lube.  This mould casts from 580gr. on up to 1,200grs. I used the heavy bullets for weights for my duck decoys by casting cheap fish hooks inside them for "cod-line" attachment.

Lighter 650gr. bullets shot well, but the recoil was a bit more than I liked.



You can see a .69" 580gr. "rolled' bullet from this mould, with the 730gr. .69 Minnie above it, then .684" ball, then an expanded .684"pure lead ball from an aspen tree, then above that about  5/8's of a .684" ball for string & card cuts, an experiment that actually worked very well, but felt unfair.



From left to right, they are 4-bore (1"), then .735", .715", .684", .662", .575" with expanded ball from Aspen, 577" Minnie and 750gr. RN Solid - then tiny insignificant balls and some .45 bullets.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2015, 08:18:36 PM by Daryl »
Daryl

"a gun without hammers is like a spaniel without ears" King George V

Offline Hungry Horse

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Re: .58 Zuave round balls, Load?
« Reply #16 on: December 09, 2015, 12:29:13 AM »
 hey Daryl, none of what your saying has anything to do with a Zoli .58 cal with 3 wide lands, and 3 narrow grooves, 1 in 72" twist. Loading a close to bore size ball, with that thick of patching is going to take a sledge hammer in this gun, no matter how much you monkey around with the crown, or grease the patch.

         Hungry Horse

Offline bones92

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Re: .58 Zuave round balls, Load?
« Reply #17 on: December 09, 2015, 12:40:08 AM »
Why would one use a round ball in a Zoli Zouave?  Weren't these made to fire .58 caliber Minie ball?
If it was easy, everyone would do it.

Offline Hungry Horse

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Re: .58 Zuave round balls, Load?
« Reply #18 on: December 09, 2015, 02:30:33 AM »
 Yes the Zoli Made guns were theoretically designed for shooting a bullet, rather than a ball. Theoretically is the key phrase. Three lands, and grooves, and a slow twist, isn't very good for shooting a bullet, but can do tolerably well with a round ball. This is why you may see some Zoli's shooting in re-enactments, but serious live fire target work is often done with something with more traditional bullet twists, and rifling configurations.

  Hungry Horse

Offline Daryl

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Re: .58 Zuave round balls, Load?
« Reply #19 on: December 09, 2015, 08:21:30 PM »
hey Daryl, none of what your saying has anything to do with a Zoli .58 cal with 3 wide lands, and 3 narrow grooves, 1 in 72" twist. Loading a close to bore size ball, with that thick of patching is going to take a sledge hammer in this gun, no matter how much you monkey around with the crown, or grease the patch.

         Hungry Horse

You are in error, Hungry Horse.

My post has everything to do with it loading a Zouave, the crown and load. No sledghammer needed - but I do and did use dead soft balls I tend to call pure lead, even though some could and would argue (because the like to) that they are only 99.6% pure, so therefore they are not pure.

I was using the 10ounce denim (.022")and a .575" ball in my Musketoon which has a .574" bore and only .003" rifling at the muzzle. They took a good smack with my palm on the start starter's knob, but once started, they went down just fine. I now load an easy load, a .562" in the .574" bore, with the same 10 ounce, .022" thick denim patch in those .003" deep rifling.

For my Zouave with 3 grooves .58" that had rifling only about .003" deep, I used a .575" ball and 10 ounce .022" denim patches, just as I use that same ratio of combination in most of my rifles - or if a smaller ball, usually tighter yet.

I load a bit tighter in my .69, a .684" ball, with a 12 ounce (.030")denim patch. I will admit that load is too tight (but not impossible and NO sledghammer) for a WW alloy ball (brinel 12)
Daryl

"a gun without hammers is like a spaniel without ears" King George V

Offline Daryl

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Re: .58 Zuave round balls, Load?
« Reply #20 on: December 09, 2015, 08:22:32 PM »
You must have missed this one - earlier on.

Had a Zouave back in the 70's, and another in the 80's.  They both shot well and were sold to someone who needed an accurate rifle for hunting.  I used 85gr. 2F to 110gr. 2F and they both responded with amazing accuracy, just as Frizzen's gun did. I used .575" dead-soft (pure) lead from (NEW) BC Tel Telephone wire cable sheaths. I cut off the soldered ends as they used 50/50 solder and added those to my modern gun lead mixes. I also used a .20 to .22 thou denim patch, of course. I didn't try the .562" balls but with the thick denim, they'd have been accurate as well.  I do shoot .562's in my Musketoon with the .574" bore diameter. I found the .575" a little snug with the thick denim, not too difficult but harder loading than desirable due to the  shallow .003" deep rifling at the muzzle.
The Zouaves will shoot very well. Most need better sights.
Daryl

"a gun without hammers is like a spaniel without ears" King George V

Offline Hungry Horse

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Re: .58 Zuave round balls, Load?
« Reply #21 on: December 09, 2015, 08:35:34 PM »
 What I'm trying to say is not all Zouves were made by Zoli. Some may have been more receptive to a tighter patch ball combo than others.

   Hungry Horse

Offline Daryl

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Re: .58 Zuave round balls, Load?
« Reply #22 on: December 10, 2015, 02:47:51 AM »
Maybe:
My first Zouave (not sold by Lyman) was back in the mid 1970's- then another of different make in the mid 80's, then the one Taylor bought in around 2005. All responded to the same loads I started using back in the 70's, although probably of different Italian make ?Antonio Zoli, Armi-San-Polo, etc..

The all had the 3 groove, shallow .003" deep rifling and not of progressive depth as it should have been. Only the Parker Hale and Italian Enfields had progressive depth rifling.  They all shot well with .020" denim patching and .575" dead soft lead round balls - Lyman mould- as did the 2 and 3 band Enfields.   The 2 band and Musketoon Enfields have 5 groove barrels & 48" twists, while the Zouaves and 3 Band Enfields had 3 groove barrels. The Zouaves also had 72" twists, while the long Enfields had 78" twist.  I saw that Lyman in their BP Hand book used the Zouave that they marketed, cut to various barrel lengths from 22" to 32" with .562" balls and .020" patches in all their .58 testing. I chose to use the larger .575" ball and the same thickness patches or thicker yet.

Friend of mine back in the 70's then had a .54 rifle (.535" + .022" denim patches) and his wife a .58 Zouave. She used .575" balls from a 4-cavity Saeco round ball mould for her rifle along with a denim patch. She, as he did, used a short starter then the rifle's rod for ramming it home. Neither had to wipe their bores - ever. Later, he built her a .58 full stocked cap-lock Hawken, in which she used the same ball and patch along with 100gr. 2F.  he daughter uses that rifle today, with the same load with no difficulty loading it with a short starter and the rifle's rod.

Lyman's book also had a diagram of what a ball is supposed to look like if pulled after being seated into the rifling - the picture showed cloth marks impressed heavily from the lands and lightly from the grooves - but MARKED all the way around it was.  That is how I loaded then and still today in all my guns and I do not have to use any hammers or mallets and certainly not a sledge hammer.

Also- those guns shot well right to the maximum loads listed by Lyman back then with the powders available to me - then.  More recently, I use only up to 100gr. 2F and find excellent accuracy with that load, but - I did experiment right up to their load of 180gr. of 1970's era G-O and Curtis And Harvey's 2F, which was closer to musket powder than a rifle powder, power wise.
« Last Edit: December 10, 2015, 03:04:10 AM by Daryl »
Daryl

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Barnstormer

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Re: .58 Zuave round balls, Load?
« Reply #23 on: December 10, 2015, 06:36:51 PM »
Thanks guys.  Sorry I didnt get back in here but I been hunting and cutting up game and hunting some more.  I will try some of these suggestions.  I tried mini bullets, (Buffalo Bullets,) long time ago and it didnt shoot good at all. I figured the twist rate was not fast enough.  I had this gun shooting rnd balls good at one time.  And yes the sights have been up graded a long time ago.  Recently I had it shooting close groups at 50 yrd with 60 grs powder but when I move to 100 yrds it was low off the paper so I put in more powder but never did get any grouping.  My question about Goex and Pyrodex,,, why is Goex better that Pyrodex when Pyrodex is soo much cleaner burning. 

Barnstormer

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Re: .58 Zuave round balls, Load?
« Reply #24 on: December 10, 2015, 06:39:10 PM »
 O, and one guy said to use FFF and others said FF.  Whats best//

Thanks