Minie balls in a flintlock

Discussion in 'Flintlock Rifles' started by Jaeger, Nov 4, 2019.

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  1. Nov 4, 2019 #1

    Jaeger

    Jaeger

    Jaeger

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    Okay folks: How many of you have fired minie balls in a flintlock. Aside from being period incorrect, any problems or concerns doing this? I'm thinking rate of twist of the rifling might be one issue.
     
  2. Nov 4, 2019 #2

    Stantheman86

    Stantheman86

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    Not just twist but depth of the rifling.

    A Minie rifle has broad, shallow grooves to allow the Minie to expand and spin.

    Round ball rifling tends to be deep.

    That said, my Mississippi .54 rifle with round ball rifling shoots well with Minies.

    Try some and see, it's the only way.
     
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  3. Nov 4, 2019 #3

    Erwan

    Erwan

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    I'll say the twist rate and the depth of the riflig too...
    To be sure before to buy a mold: try to estimate the result with the Greenhill or Miller formulas ...
     
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  4. Nov 4, 2019 #4

    Loyalist Dave

    Loyalist Dave

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    Well the Minnie has an expanding "skirt" at it's base. ;)

    OF the modern bullets..., Hornady Great Plains Bullet has a small concave base, while other conicals such as the TC Maxi-Hunter and Maxi-Ball do not...then you have the Lee R.E.A.L. bullets (rifling engraved at loading) that swage themselves onto the rifling when loaded.

    A lot of folks have had accuracy success using all of the modern conicals, often with the well used 1:48 twist barrels. A few of the production rifles out there that have a faster twist rate also work well with conicals. The Lyman Great Plains Hunter in .50 may be had in 1:32, even in flintlock. The Pedersoli Scout flintlock in .50 is a 1:32, while the Frontier in .50 is a 1:48 (and my Frontier shot Maxi-hunters well), while the Pedersoli Jaeger is a 1:24 twist. Those rifles seem to be capable of shooting some conicals well.

    The problem as mentioned above is the "flaring" of the skirt vs. the depth of the rifling, more than the twist, as the Pedersoli Enfield Rifle, a known to be highly accurate rifle with Minnie balls even as a repro, has a whopping 1:78 twist rate. :eek: But it's pretty much designed to shoot minnies.

    So the skirt has to seal against the bore, and the problem is they tend to get only a partial seal when the rifling is deeper than that found on a dedicated Minnie ball rifle, so gas escaping around part of the circumference of the base pushes the bullet off target in an unpredictable manner. This sometimes is the case as well with a solid based conical, and some folks have had success by loading a wad of some sort between the bullet and the powder. Others have used the REAL bullets and sometimes they add a wad, as the idea behind the REAL bullet is you ensure the bullet is going to engage the rifling as the forward band on the bullet is oversized, and has to be forced onto the rifling, so you know it's going to spin.

    You should know, though, that as a hunting bullet, the classic Minnie was not liked in its day. It was meant for fast combat reloads, not for taking game, and one very well known author John Forsyth, writing in 1867 in The Sporting Rifle and Its Projectiles, didn't like the results he got from Minnie ball. Now we don't need to worry about wounding an pissing-off a tiger at 50 yards, and we have several designs available in "Minnie balls" to choose from.

    LD
     
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  5. Nov 4, 2019 #5

    Thagomizer

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    LD, I have a T/C flint carbine with fast twist that I shoot the Lee Minnie out of. It's reasonably accurate and i have killed one deer with this combo.
     
  6. Nov 5, 2019 #6

    Cruzatte

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    Never have. And yes, rate of twist is going to be a factor mitigating against firing of minie balls.
     
  7. Nov 5, 2019 #7

    Grenadier1758

    Grenadier1758

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    I fired one minie' ball in my 1803. It was one of the first shots out of the gun, so evaluation would be unfair. It did hit close to where I was aiming. Compared to the round balls I had fired earlier, the minie pushed by 60 grains of 3fg, was quite bruising. I could develop a load.
     
  8. Nov 5, 2019 #8

    Grumpa

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    My first 1803 Harpers Ferry was made by Antolio Zoli. They used the same barrels as they did on the Civil War rifled muskets, (just grinding octagon flats on the rear end) so it should fire minies as good as any. I have to admit, I have never tried them in it, even though I have a sizer for the minies.

    Richard/Grumpa
     
  9. Nov 5, 2019 #9

    Stantheman86

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    Loading and shooting sized and lubed Minies without cleaning is the best thing ever.......50 down the pipe, no problems.
     
  10. Nov 5, 2019 #10

    Erwan

    Erwan

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    With the Minié bullets the problem is't so the twist rate than the depth of the rifling...
    Whent the captains of the army Claude Etienne Minié and Henri-Gustave Delvigne invented this bullet in 1847, the twist of the rifles were very long: four grooves to 1:78 and a deepth of only 0,20mm...
    You can have long or a short twist but if the rifling is too deep these Minié bullets won't work correctly...
    I've three Tryon Pedersoli: two Tryon match an one Tryon target. The twist of the Tryon match is only 1:21 and the Twist of the Tryon target is 1:47, BUT the rifling of the target is dipper that the riflingt of the Tryon match and the twoo Tryon match can well shoot the Minié bullet and not the Tryon target for thos twoo reasons: different twist rate (not really important) and deepth of the rifling .
    I've a rifle 1822 T bis with a twist rate of 2000mm (1:78) and grooves of 0,20mm ant it shoot perfectly the Minié bullets, I've too a old Pensylvania rifle with a long twist rate of 1:66 and it can't shoot the Minié (short or long skirt) because the rifling of this is deepest ...

    Erwan.
     
  11. Nov 9, 2019 at 5:44 PM #11

    Sun City

    Sun City

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    One must have a good bit of historical data stored in the DNA for the love of shooting a flintlock and PRB! In my opinion nothing could be more revolting than shooting anything other than a PRB in a flintlock or Hawken type rifle!
     
  12. Nov 9, 2019 at 6:50 PM #12

    Rudyard

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    I don't know how its' revolting' particularly . I have a 58 flint rifle and mindful of simplicity I made up Enfield Pritchett cartridges using the Lee multy channelured Minie . Thusly I need only a belly box, take a cartridge bite it open, prime then loaded per service manner and I'me ready to go ..I have used many patched ball loading guns and carried the usual accoutrements for many years . This seemed like a worth while alternative experiment and certainly for shorter ranges worked fine . I think I am a very conservative M L buff but I don't see it as some how immoral to try new loads . Wouldn't be seen dead with an inline or any plastic & stainless abortions . The only modern factory gun I've owned was a Parker Hale Enfield but only briefly & I did have a 36 Colt Navy . Nothing wrong with factory guns they serve a need If many are ugly affairs .
    Rudyard
     
  13. Nov 9, 2019 at 8:09 PM #13

    Erwan

    Erwan

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    I'm shooting BP since now sixty years (time to be tired for somes guys) et you know what: I'm now an old man but always testing something new.
    The pleasure with the BP is that you can test almost everything without risk but always with pleasure and only for the fun...
    Nothing is set in stone and if someone like to test the Minié bullet in a old rifle with a very long twist rate and deep rifling why not, I don't see what is revolting.. ;)
    I don't have enough time to spend in my life anymore to think at what is good or not for accuracy or something like the "Traditional shooting" and politically correct of it, so I do all that I never did before and I'm glad... :)
     
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  14. Nov 9, 2019 at 8:33 PM #14

    Thagomizer

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    Well, Sun City, that's what's so great about our land of the free-you can shoot what you like and the rest of us can do the same. We can even discuss it within the framework of this forum. I will not disparage you for your views -even though they were aimed at me. I'm leaning some things from this thread and hope you do too.:D
     
  15. Nov 9, 2019 at 9:41 PM #15

    Loyalist Dave

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    Hunt some more with that....you'll get some more deer. :D

    Yes the TC were not know to be super deep in rifling. Probably why they shoot round ball and conicals reasonably well. OH the reason the classic minnie was not liked in its day was not because of inaccuracy. It was because of poor performance on game.
    Here are drawings of the classic Minnie Ball of it's day...,
    MINIE BALL DRAWING.JPG

    Note the rounding of the exterior to the very pointed tip.

    Here is what was observed:
    MINIE BALL RESULTS.JPG
    MINIE BALL RESULTS 2.JPG
    MINIE BALL RESULTS 3.JPG


    LD
     
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  16. Nov 9, 2019 at 10:28 PM #16

    nkbj

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    There's a Pedersoli 1816 in the rack with an excellent trigger pull that yeah, maybe some day it could have a minie barrel ;)

    I'd really like a minie mold in fifty caliber that was a scaled down #575213OS. There's flinter and percussion rifles that I'd try it out.
     
  17. Nov 9, 2019 at 10:44 PM #17

    nkbj

    nkbj

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    By the way, one of the problems with minies is they're being hollow based limits their utility in many rifles. If you jack up the loads hot enough to slam shut the rifling grooves then you're over powering the design of the bullet. That's why plain flat based bullets with a card wad found favor in muzzleloaders designed for long range accuracy. Sooo...

    What if the hollow base was filled with a moldable hardening substance, to perform somewhat as the wooden plugs that were used in minies. Then could a card wad be used behind the minie? This has had me scratching my head and wanting to do some experimentation. The badminton birdie flight characteristics of the minie would still be preserved to a large extent. The card wad wouldn't become lodged in the hollow base. And perhaps the bullet would behave in the barrel as a plain base and thus resist gas cutting better, be usable with slow twists as are minies...
    And all those .575 minie molds are there just waiting to be tried.:eek:

    Any how, it's just something I'm kinda threatenin' to try some day.
     
  18. Nov 9, 2019 at 11:09 PM #18

    Erwan

    Erwan

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    Well, I think that in this domain all or almost had be tested...
    If you can't read help you with something like this https://addons.mozilla.org/fr/firefox/addon/imtranslator/
    and go at this page: http://www.littlegun.info/arme francaise/collection fusils/a a coll fusil evolution projectiles fr.htm

    - http://www.littlegun.info/arme francaise/technique/a acceuil technique fr.htm

    Erwan.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2019 at 11:24 PM
  19. Nov 10, 2019 at 12:05 AM #19

    Grenadier1758

    Grenadier1758

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    There's more than a couple of threads that talk of putting body putty (Bondo) in the base of a minie ball and the resultant improvement in accuracy. Search the Forum for Bondo.
     
  20. Nov 10, 2019 at 12:22 AM #20

    nkbj

    nkbj

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    Thanks on the bondo, I will look it up.

    Jaeger,
    These are for the .52 flinter Renegade but as you can see, not hollow base.
    [​IMG]
     

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