A patch on a mini??

Discussion in 'Percussion Rifles' started by Larry (Omaha), May 30, 2019.

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  1. May 30, 2019 #1

    Larry (Omaha)

    Larry (Omaha)

    Larry (Omaha)

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    Mini's are still new territory for this old timer. Trying to get my mini's to load easier and cleaner. (no lard or grease) Has anyone tried to patch a mini ball? The .580s I use in my Zouave shoot well and load very easy, too easy. I am concerned that the mini might slide away from the powder if I should forget and point the muzzle down while aiming at the target. Would a .010 patch be worth a try? .585 minis are a real chore to start once the barrel is dirty, let alone ram home. I realize the skirt needs to flair, but think a thin patch would not restrict that . Any experience in this area would be appreciated.
    Flintlocklar:confused:
     
  2. May 30, 2019 #2

    dsayer

    dsayer

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    No direct experience with Mini's, but I've just started toying with small caliber pre-cut 0.010 patches on Lee REAL bullets because they are generally too small for my bore (Investarms 54cal). Using the small caliber patches so it just covers the first and/or second band (depending on the size). So far results have been mixed but I'm still playing with it.
     
  3. May 30, 2019 #3

    bang

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    One thing I have read is when shooting a conical/bullet make sure the tip on the ramrod is such that it centers the round on ram. As far as minis I don't know this would apply. I think a solid base mini would have to be bit of tight start but ramable. A hollw base can be a bit loser but the charge has to be just enough to force the skirt into the riflings but not cause further spread when it leaves barrel and if you cast your own always use softest lead. A patched round can be harder but anything that will contact the barrel needs to be soft.
     
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  4. May 30, 2019 #4

    hawkeye2

    hawkeye2

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    The only time I ever saw anyone try to patch a mini it turned into a total disaster. It stuck almost half way down and so tight the breech plug had to be removed to drive it back out. Many years ago someone (I've forgotten who) posted about using a cigarett paper patch on his lubed & sized minies to provide just enough friction to hold it on place while hunting and apparently it worked well for him for a first shot. I have shot thousands of minies, mostly rapid fire, and have never pointed the muzzle down or had a problem, I think you may be worrying to much. With a correctly sized mini after the first shot there is enough fouling that you need a rammer and the ball will not move off the powder.
     
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  5. May 30, 2019 #5

    Eterry

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    The Lee REAL conical is designed to be undersized on the bottom 2 bands, and over sized in the top one. If the top band of your cast REAL bullets are not hard to load then check out their website faq's about shimming your mold.

    Mini balls aren't supposed to be so undersized they slide out the barrel. If they are, get a bigger mold or shim yours. If they're too big you need to size them to a snug fit.
    Don't pound a mini or REAL to seat it, use an overpowder wad between the REAL BULLET and powder.
     
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  6. May 30, 2019 #6

    dave951

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    IF your minie is sized correctly to your bore, it shouldn't slide off the powder charge with just a casual tilt of the barrel. After the first shot, the fouling in the barrel makes this not a problem for subsequent shots.
     
  7. May 30, 2019 #7

    dsayer

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    Thanks for the tip on the Lee FAQs. I was aware that the lower two bands are intended to be undersized but the bullet would leave the powder charge on the regular. I've heard this is a common issue with the Investarms rifles and REAL bullets. FYI for others interested, here is a copy/paste from Lee about increasing bullet diameter size.

    If you need the mold diameter of your cast bullets to be increased just slightly, there is a way to accomplish this at no cost.

    Apply some lube to the mold blocks face, away from the bullet cavity. Place a small piece of cigarette paper or writing paper to the lubed block.

    When casting the bullet, the diameter of the bullet will be increased by the paper thickness. You can actually go up to about .010 before you begin to see lead flashing appear. While the bullet will be slightly out of round, this very minimum amount will not effect accuracy or the manner in which the bullet travels through the forcing cone and barrel of your gun.
     
  8. May 30, 2019 #8

    TFoley

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    I only shoot MiniƩ bullets in my old P-H Musketoon, with the mould that I got along with it. The Lyman mould makes a bullet just 1.5 - 2 thou smaller than the bore, and it's a 'thumb-in fit' as, indeed it is described in the MoA. With its comparatively stiff lube, once it's on its way down the bore, the only way it's coming out is in from of a column of fire. I have to admit that I've never actually pointed the gun at the ground after loading it, but then that's just me and range safety. If I'm shooting from standing - as in the Charging bloon shoot - then it gets raised to waist level but pointing downrange and capped and shot. But if it's a noob on a guest day, then it's on a front rest and back-bag, and gets capped when they, and I, am good and ready. No shooting at live game over here with mine, so no experience of carrying a rifle around pointed anywhere else except a target.
     
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  9. Jun 2, 2019 #9

    Griz44Mag

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    I see info about paper patching, maybe a thin paper like rolling paper would work for what you are wanting, just wrap it instead of patching it. I think that is something along the lines of what IDAHORON does.
     
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  10. Jun 2, 2019 #10

    BrownBear

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    A bud tried it and came away laughing. He calls the experiment "Lipstick on a Pig." In his rifle with his load combo anyway, a cloth patch on a mini was a sour failure. Perhaps you can work out a combo for better results. Keep us posted on your efforts!
     
  11. Jun 2, 2019 #11

    dsayer

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    After watching a YouTube video on the topic, I'm going to use 3M Flue Tape to increase the diameter of my REAL mold. It's good up to 600 F. Might work for your Minie as well.

     
  12. Jun 2, 2019 #12

    Stantheman86

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    The original intent of the Minie was as a bullet to be loaded in combat , so that soldiers could quickly reload a fouled bore and keep up the volume of fire.

    I dont generally believe soldiers loaded a Minie ball and then marched around for days, so a bullet moving off the powder wasnt a problem.

    The ideal size was .05 below bore size , i.e. a .575 Minie was what the Ordnance dept specified. It may have dropped down some bores and been a bit tighter in others given that a rifle musket bore was not always going to be .580 on the dot.

    Given the era and the technology of the time , they pretty much had an idea of when battle was going to be commencing and then would be ordered to load.
     
  13. Jun 3, 2019 #13

    Larry (Omaha)

    Larry (Omaha)

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    Well, very interesting! I do like both pigs and lipstick, although not together. My wife has some .006 cotton "PINK" (Eee Gads) no less scrap material. The .580s are shooting well, but messy and just a tad loose on loading. My plan: (no laughter here guys, cuz even the "A" Team always had a plan) Looking both ways up and down the the range making sure no one is observing my patch color, I will soak it with a favorite patch lube (Pevine's Perfect) and then load similar to RB. After reading all the replies from the good gents here, I am probably OK with the mini/barrel fit. I really would like to eliminate the messy crisco or lard lube. Now, to find a range as mine went down the tube last month when my Bud sold his farm.
    Flintlocklar
     
  14. Jun 3, 2019 #14

    45man

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    NO PATCH! Since we do not shoot combat with them anymore a good fit is needed for accuracy. Civil war was another thing with fouling so many troops carried smaller and smaller to account for fouling. The twist was lost of course.
    I do not like the tape idea and just lap molds to get fit. A good thumb push to start is good. The Minie' should ride lands and expand into grooves.
     
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  15. Jun 8, 2019 #15

    Eterry

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    You don't need any kind of tape or 3M products to shim a mold...a piece of receipt paper works fine. A dab of anything sticky (alox) will keep it in place. I've cast 100's of minies this way. Im not sure how thick the 3M product is, the receipt paper was .003".

    It must be recalled the civil war minie was loaded in a paper cartridge to facilitate fast loading, so the minie was, of course, undersize.

    The whole point of using the minie was a bullet more aerodynamic than the prb, which increased the effective range and lethality while being able to load quickly.
    The hollow base allowed the exploding gases to expand the base enough to engage the rifling. A cloth patch covering the base would impede expansion, causing accuracy to decrease.

    I've hunted with a snug fitting minie the last 5years, and for a while was checking my load frequently to see if it'd moved. It hasn't yet.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2019
  16. Jun 8, 2019 #16

    Stantheman86

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    Ya'll got Col. Minie rolling in his grave, patching a bullet designed to load fast and expand upon firing :)
     

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