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Need help with 1858 Enfield clone.

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I'm new to all this, just bought a used 1858 two band Enfield clone, and a Lee 0.575" mini-ball mold was included as part of the sale. Cast about 70 miniballs and went to the range. Went to load the first one, it rattled down the bore to the powder, turned the gun over, and it rattled back out into my hand. No rod required! I loaded and fired about ten of them anyway. Group size was about a foot at 25yds, around 1in5 keyholed and went through the backer sideways. Took it to a friend's who slugged the barrel, and it measured 0.585" noticed the rifling was 5 groove, then noticed that it has a barrel liner installed. Don't know the history there, but still want to be able to participate in club skirmishes, so I need help to find a mold that will work for it.
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I had a similar issue with a Miroku 1863 Springfield - the bore measures .5835. I got lucky and found a Rapine 583-455 “International Style” Minié ball mold that casts a .583 ball. It works well sized to .581. I could be talked into casting a few for you to try out but finding another Rapine mold would be quite a challenge. (Sorry - mine isn’t for sale. :)

When I was struggling with what to do and before I scored the Rapine mold I asked folks on the N-SSA site for help. Their advice then is probably relevant to your situation: https://www.n-ssa.net/vbforum/showthread.php/19058-WTB-58-caliber-Minie-ball-mould.

PM me if you want to try some of my larger Miniés just to see if they will work for you. Good luck!
 
Lots to unpack but I shoot N-SSA-

1- who made your Enfield?
2- use only PURE lead for casting minies. Not wheel weight, not range scrap
3- what powder?
4- what caps?
5- how did your friend manage to "slug" the barrel without unbreeching it (not recommended)
6- what lube?

As for the mold, I have only seen ONE, 1, Lee mold that works well in minies in .58cal and it's discontinued.

Get things in balance and wonderful stuff can happen.......

62Colttrashcan.jpg
 
Lots to unpack but I shoot N-SSA-

1- who made your Enfield?
2- use only PURE lead for casting minies. Not wheel weight, not range scrap
3- what powder?
4- what caps?
5- how did your friend manage to "slug" the barrel without unbreeching it (not recommended)
6- what lube?

As for the mold, I have only seen ONE, 1, Lee mold that works well in minies in .58cal and it's discontinued.

Get things in balance and wonderful stuff can happen.......

View attachment 298085
I'm not sure, no manufacturer marks, but suspect it might have originally been Euroarms but am not sure. Don't recognize proof marks. Used 60gr Grafs FFg, and CCI musket caps. Tried to lube a couple of them with olive oil / beeswax, most wherent lubed at all. Was so loose, didn't see the point. At some point a barrel liner was installed. Miniballs where cast with new pure lead ingots. Basically my friend tapped a 60cal ball into the muzzle, pulled it, and measured 0.585" Using a micrometer. The only marking on the Lee miniball mold is 90481
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The best way to actually measure the bore is with a pin gauge. You don't need the entire set, just a range of sizes relevant to musket calibers or you could take it to your local machine shop. They're very likely to have a full set and can measure the bore for you. With the actual bore size known, then order a sampler of minies from-

https://www.lodgewood.com/Bullets_c_7.html

Get the size for your bore at .001 under measured bore size. There is NO other commercial source for minies that I trust, not Track, nobody. Lodgewood specializes in military arms and they know what it takes for a quality minie. Molds- once you determine what shoots best, then buy the mold. Again, there is nothing in the Lee lineup currently that shoots accurately. In molds, you get what you pay for.

Get some Scheutzen caps or RWS if you can find them. Anything CCI current production are rubbish for accuracy and are designed for blanks. Pressure for them is inconsistent. Your powder is decent but Swiss is probably going to give better results. Lube results tend to vary from gun to gun and you'll have to experiment. I've found the best, most consistent results with a lard concoction but one of my muskets doesn't respond to it.

IF you're anywhere near McKinney, TX, I can put you in touch with an expert who's a long time N-SSA member and a personal friend.
 
Before I got your very good advice and ordered from Lodgewood, I ordered some minies from TOTW. They are shiny, which indicates a lead-tin alloy.
The bullets from lodgewood are made by a N-SSA member who understands what it takes for a good minie. The other vendors might be good on traditional round ball but I've found them lacking on minies and military stuff from the Civil War.
 
Lots to unpack but I shoot N-SSA-

1- who made your Enfield?
2- use only PURE lead for casting minies. Not wheel weight, not range scrap
3- what powder?
4- what caps?
5- how did your friend manage to "slug" the barrel without unbreeching it (not recommended)
6- what lube?

As for the mold, I have only seen ONE, 1, Lee mold that works well in minies in .58cal and it's discontinued.

Get things in balance and wonderful stuff can happen.......

View attachment 298085
I'm not an N-NSA guy, but have the greatest respect for the organization.
 
The best way to actually measure the bore is with a pin gauge. You don't need the entire set, just a range of sizes relevant to musket calibers or you could take it to your local machine shop. They're very likely to have a full set and can measure the bore for you. With the actual bore size known, then order a sampler of minies from-

https://www.lodgewood.com/Bullets_c_7.html

Get the size for your bore at .001 under measured bore size. There is NO other commercial source for minies that I trust, not Track, nobody. Lodgewood specializes in military arms and they know what it takes for a quality minie. Molds- once you determine what shoots best, then buy the mold. Again, there is nothing in the Lee lineup currently that shoots accurately. In molds, you get what you pay for.

Get some Scheutzen caps or RWS if you can find them. Anything CCI current production are rubbish for accuracy and are designed for blanks. Pressure for them is inconsistent. Your powder is decent but Swiss is probably going to give better results. Lube results tend to vary from gun to gun and you'll have to experiment. I've found the best, most consistent results with a lard concoction but one of my muskets doesn't respond to it.

IF you're anywhere near McKinney, TX, I can put you in touch with an expert who's a long time N-SSA member and a personal friend.
Pat said he had never heard of a lined bore that large, and couldn't help me. Have had several people tell me they just don't believe it's that large, have someone who knows what they are doing measure it. I asked a friend who works in a machine shop to borrow their pin Guage set and measure it for me, but until he can do that, I know this isn't exactly pin gages, and I may turn out to be wrong, but I offer these images as evidence I am not just lying.

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20240228_040615.jpg
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20240226_210127.jpg
 
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I have an 1858 and a 1853. The 53 is an Indian smooth bore, the 58 is rifled. I'm just a plinker and I shoot PRB.s in both. Never have been able to have good luck with the minies.
 
Definitely try pin gauges, with odd number of lands and grooves you are probably measuring from land to groove instead of from land to land. I got a few from Amazon, they were pretty inexpensive.
 
Well, since Patrick @ lodgewood said he couldn't help, I probably should have sold it and bought something else, but am too stubborn about stuff sometimes, so spent probably as much as the rifle cost, buying and trying used molds,
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Cast and tried a number of them today.
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Here where the results.
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First choice is the Rapine, three touching, Second choice is the Lyman, both are 0.585".

Now, I just need to get it to shoot to point of aim, or modify the non-adjustable sights, to point of impact.
 
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