General discussion > Black Powder Shooting

False muzzle rifle

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There are some 3' long scopes on the market, but nothing with this narrow a tube (slightly larger) with better optics. of course.

I'd go with a .450" bore & .456" groove - likely 18" twist, wide grooves, about 2x land width.

Reason is easier access to bullet mould size range that will work (after sizing), such as a .457/8" sized and lubed bullet, then sized in
standard .452" sizer die, or perhaps that die lapped out to .454". Lee will actually make you bullet sizing dies that fit standard presses.
A phone call is needed as this "custom" work is not listed on their web site.
If bullets are trued and lubed first, then can be quite reduced in size without ANY damage to their integrity, however the condensing of
the material will show on target as a plus.
Just a suggestion to promote discourse.

Thanks Daryl. That is great information.  What type of bullets are you using for this load? Are they cut for lube, or are they just plain, like the paper patched bullets? Do you know if anyone makes a type of mount that attaches to the wrist area like this one would have had originally? The mount that is on this one is just to hold the scope in for display. It's not even close to fitting.

With the 18" twist, I would look to a decently long bodied, grooved, like a Lovern design, short nose, 5 to 7 grooves.
For powder, likely 70 to 90gr., whatever the gun demanded.  At some point, the obturation of the bullet will be perfect
and the bullet will be accurate and shoot cleanly, without leading due to gas-cutting blow-by.
No, all the long scopes made for the long range shooters, are barrel mounted, seems to me.  You may have to make up
a mount that duplicates the one on your rifle.
NOE Bullet Moulds has some lighter weight .454" bullets, but most of those designs are not for black powder. Black Powder
grease grooves are usually larger and square in shape, as-with the Lyman #457125 mould, with 4 square grease grooves.
That is the round nose in this picture. The pointed bullet is the Schmitzer bullet, designed for silhouette shooting. It has 3
square grooves.
I've never cast these in a soft alloy, so I don't know the size they would cast with suitable alloy.
You can click on the picture a couple times to enlarge it.
Now, Lyman did make a .451" Lovern Design, short nose lots of square grooves for the Parker Hale Volunteer rifle, that might be a good one.
It would have to be bumped, maybe, but I don't know what size it actually cast.  It was labeled as Lyman #451112 (275gr. to 485gr.) or #451114
(450gr.), I think. Whether they are still made today, I don't know.  I would check NOE, Buffalo Arms, NEI and anyone else you can think of, even Lee,
except theirs have smokeless powder lube grooves. I think a long bearing surface bullet will be best, as nose riding designs are critical of nose diameter
in how well they shoot.

Here are what NOE offers in .459".
It comes in gas check and plain base of which they have 3 in stock.

Thus, in soft alloy, they will be closer to .457", thus sized and lubed in a .457" sizer, then reduced in a smaller die to about .002" to .003" larger than the bore diameter, I suspect.

Once it gets rifled you might have to go to a bigger or smaller dia. mold.   Custom mold makers can make you most anything you want, they are do it all the time.   I always recommend a bit larger mold and like Daryl is saying you can size the bullets down some.

For my .451 Alex Henry double rifle I am having to use a bullet that is a few thousands bigger then my buddy with the same rifle made years apart  I just borrowed his mold for a paper patch bullet and I dont have to size the bullets, however he does.

The bullets we are shooting our of these ML are fairly short when it comes to a .451 bullet.   My buddy fitted the mold with removable stem to make them hollow points.  He has two different stems that are used to change the bullet weights.   I am using the lighter bullet that checks in at 287 grains.   With 75 grains of 2f swiss they operate well.   These are more of a 100 yard or less rifles.

The 75 grains of powder and 287 grain bullets are much more friendly on my shoulder.

Good luck with your project it is a very nice rifle.



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