.58 caliber?

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SBJ

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If one wants a .58 cal. replica fli

Yes, but no one's ever seen a real sasquatch let alone shot one! Although the earliest settlers would have! Should their existence ever be confirmed, they will instantly be placed on the 'protected species' list!
Humor is absolutely lost on Flat Landers. Come to my neck of the woods. Put you on a Sasquatch faster than you might think. I hunt right smack dab in the center of one of the largest clusters of sightings, in the Western US. I personally don't care for them. They tend to scare off the game, and its hard to get the stink out of the hippies, when they share the same swimming hole.
 
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Well, many military muskets of the era of the American Civil War were .58 caliber. Also the British Enfield musket, whose ammunition was the ultimate culmination of the evolution of muzzle loading ammunition, was .58 caliber.

So getting into .58 caliber percussion guns means you will probably be getting into military muskets, which is a lot of fun. There are many avenues to explore. The Union stuck with the "Burton" ball (commonly known as the Minie ball, though he had little to do with the bullet by his name). This was a hollow-cavity "expanding ball" bullet that had grooves on the outside. These grooves functioned both to carry lube but also were to function like a shuttlecock and provide air resistance so that the bullet flew nose-first over long ranges, rather than staying pointed skyward over its parabolic trajectory as a football might. One of the benefits of the Burton bullet was the paper cartridge it came in was discarded on loading - no paper went down the barrel. So the only thing that has to be controlled during manufacture was the diameter of the bullet itself.

You can then get into the variations of paper cartridge for US cartridges - the 1855 pattern and the 1862 pattern:



The Confederacy also produced the US style cartridge as above for their .58 caliber guns. But they tried throughout the war to adopt the British style of cartridge, which integrated a paper-patched bullet into the cartridge itself. They were never able to pull it off because of the lack of consistent quality paper which is required for the Enfield cartridge. With the Enfield cartridge you must consistently produce bullets of the proper diameter and paper of the correct thickness so that when the bullet is wrapped up in the paper it comes out to the proper .575 diameter. Just procuring accurate gauges for all the Confederate arsenals was a challenge for them.

The British style of cartridge - the Enfield cartridge, when through 3 different iterations of bullet. Initially, it used the "Pritchett" bullet, which is a smooth-sided bullet with a very shallow cavity in the base. This bullet did not function as an expanding ball, but rather, it collapsed on its length when fired, causing it to swell and take up the rifling. It was paper patched. The paper carried the lubricant (actually an anti-fouling agent more than a lubricant) and prevented leading. The Pritchett bullet was .568" in diameter. When wrapped in paper, it was a very tight fit in the bore which would prove a problem for loading in combat conditions. What doomed the Pritchett bullet, however, was the fact that if the bullets were manufactured at the low-end of tolerance - .566, and the musket bore was at the high-end of tolerance, the Pritchett, with its "bump up" expansion method, could not expand sufficiently to take up the rifling and so accuracy suffered horribly.

The second iteration of Enfield bullet was the Hay bullet. It was also .568" in diameter, but had a deep cavity in it. Initially this bullet had a spherical steel cup placed in it to drive forward into the cavity to expand the bullet. Later this was a conical iron cup. Later still it was a boxwood plug. But being still .568" in diameter, the finished paper-wrapped bullet still was a very tight fit in the bore. While this worked great on training grounds, with ammunition that had been shipped in ship holds around the world and delivered to front lines by wagon and loaded into dirty muskets in combat conditions, it was found that very often on loading the paper would be stripped away on loading, pushing the bullet out of its paper cocoon naked down the barrel. Of course the naked bullet would be vastly undersize for the bore and would not take up the rifling and shot horribly. But extensive testing indicated that the Enfield cartridge with the Boxer bullet performed splendidly. Initially it used a boxwood plug, but boxwood was found to be expensive and hard to obtain as an import. So, the final iteration was to utilize a fired clay plug.

In desperation, Colonel Boxer made the radical call to reduce the diameter of the bullet massively - by .015" - resulting in a bullet .550" in diameter. When wrapped up in paper it easily loaded in muskets in any condition. There was great concern that the bullet, being so under-size, would never expand enough to take up the rifling.

Here is a video that shows how to make the final iteration of the Enfield cartridge:
 
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I have a Dixie Hawken Hunter in .58 and it is an awesome rifle but with the 620 grain maxi and 150 grain charge of 2F it likes, it's plumb grim to shoot ! I had a Buffalo Hunter from Dixie for awhile but it was not as accurate as the Hawken Hunter.
I have a .58 Zouave and a .62 Baker, wife insists, kind of, that she gets a cannon next!!
 

shorthair

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Fell in love with .58"s when I bought my Navy Zouve. Have since bought a T/C Big Boar, Pedersoli Kodiak Dbl Brl and a Pedersoli Harpers Ferry Flintlock, all in .58. Wife thinks I have enough!
I try really hard to not mention gun purchases to mine on the belief that what she doesn't know won't hurt me.😇
 
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