Question about Armi Jager Italy loading

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Hodgeman19

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I have a muzzle loader that my grandfather gave me that only says Armi Jager Italy on it. My grandfather says it shoots a .58 caliber bullet, is there different diameters for this or can I just buy them in a gun shop? Do they have to be round balls or can I use a bullet? I have .50 caliber round balls, can I shoot those out of it? Also, what kind of primers does it use? Four wing musket primers?
 

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I have a muzzle loader that my grandfather gave me that only says Armi Jager Italy on it. My grandfather says it shoots a .58 caliber bullet, is there different diameters for this or can I just buy them in a gun shop? Do they have to be round balls or can I use a bullet? I have .50 caliber round balls, can I shoot those out of it? Also, what kind of primers does it use? Four wing musket primers?
Howdy...,

First, put the ramrod down the barrel, and see how far it goes, then remove it and compare that depth to the length of the barrel by holding the rod next to the barrel to be sure it's not loaded. Don't take a person's word, CHECK!

Armi Jager was a joint venture between and Italian gun making company, and a German gun making company. They did some modern stuff, and they did some Civil War style black powder stuff. They were in business from the early 1950's thru 1993.

It should be marked someplace with " .58", but as the previous owner told you it was a .58, then it's likely going to shoot either patched round ball in .570, OR some sort of pre-lubed Minie Bullet. You can find some here: October Country Minie Bullets. The .50's won't work.

.58 MINNIE.JPG


The "primers" are called musket caps. No big deal here as we all understood you when you wrote "winged" next to the word primer. BUT..., unfortunately you need correct terms when going to the store as a LOT of clerks out there are not into black powder, and if you say "musket primers" they will likely be confused.

You probably want to get a powder measure, and Black Powder or a Black Powder Substitute powder. Check the label when you buy, and look for "black powder" or "black powder substitute" on the label. Remember the clerks I mentioned above? Well they will sometimes screw up and hand you modern powder which will blow you up when using a muzzle loader.

You're going to need a powder measure. 60 Grains of 2Fg size powder, or of "rifle" in the black powder substitute should be a good start.

LD
 
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@Hodgeman19, yes, there are different diameters for a "58" caliber rifle. The differences are not much, but the differences are significant. To determine the diameter you need for your specific rifle, you will need to measure the bore diameter at the lands. First, of course is to determine if the rifle is loaded. Your Grandfather should have told you but verify anyway. Second, count the number of lands. Hopefully it will be an even number of lands and you have a digital or Vernier caliper to measure inside diameters. If not, you may have a round barrel at the muzzle. Measure the diameter from land to land if you have an even number of lands. If the number is odd, then measure the inside diameter. This will include the land to land diameter and the depth of one groove. Measure from the outside of the barrel to the top of one land and measure from the outside of the barrel to the bottom of one groove. Subtract the land measurement from the groove measurement to determine the depth of the groove and subtract that from the land to groove measurement of the bore. Now you have the land to land measurement. With that information you can go looking for a Minie' ball that 0.001" to 0.002" smaller in diameter than the land to land measurement.

A round ball can be also used. With a ball of 0.570" diameter and a lubricated patch of 0.022" thick cotton material, your rifle can shoot that ball with a charge of 65 grains volume measured or real black powder or a suitable black powder substitute such as Pyrodex or Tripple Seven in the rifle grade. Ignition is in the form of the winged musket caps. I suggest the RWS or Schuetzen brands of musket caps.
 

Hodgeman19

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@Hodgeman19, yes, there are different diameters for a "58" caliber rifle. The differences are not much, but the differences are significant. To determine the diameter you need for your specific rifle, you will need to measure the bore diameter at the lands. First, of course is to determine if the rifle is loaded. Your Grandfather should have told you but verify anyway. Second, count the number of lands. Hopefully it will be an even number of lands and you have a digital or Vernier caliper to measure inside diameters. If not, you may have a round barrel at the muzzle. Measure the diameter from land to land if you have an even number of lands. If the number is odd, then measure the inside diameter. This will include the land to land diameter and the depth of one groove. Measure from the outside of the barrel to the top of one land and measure from the outside of the barrel to the bottom of one groove. Subtract the land measurement from the groove measurement to determine the depth of the groove and subtract that from the land to groove measurement of the bore. Now you have the land to land measurement. With that information you can go looking for a Minie' ball that 0.001" to 0.002" smaller in diameter than the land to land measurement.

A round ball can be also used. With a ball of 0.570" diameter and a lubricated patch of 0.022" thick cotton material, your rifle can shoot that ball with a charge of 65 grains volume measured or real black powder or a suitable black powder substitute such as Pyrodex or Tripple Seven in the rifle grade. Ignition is in the form of the winged musket caps. I suggest the RWS or Schuetzen brands of musket caps.
What's the difference between a round ball and minie ball? Can I use a normal muzzle loader bullet for it or does it have to be a ball? I'm sorry if this is a ridiculous question, but what is a land?
 

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What's the difference between a round ball and minie ball? Can I use a normal muzzle loader bullet for it or does it have to be a ball? I'm sorry if this is a ridiculous question, but what is a land?
Alright,

Here is a simplified reply to your questions…. Please forgive me if it’s so simplified that’s my writing sounds a bit silly....,

So a Minie Ball is a length of lead with a tapered tip, which we today would look at and say “bullet”. Technically, the projectile from a rifle or pistol whether they are a round ball which is a sphere, a flat nosed bullet, or one with a rounded or pointy nose, are all bullets.

More than a century and a half in the past, A French Army officer, Colonel Claude-Etienne Minié designed a new projectile for military rifles and a simpler, faster reloading, so the bullet is named after him and called a Minie-Ball today. Sounds like “Miniball” but there is nothing minimized about them. Not only being heavier, and better when flying through the air than a sphere, the design worked because the base of the bullet would engage the rifling, so the bullet would be spinning and stable when it flew from the rifle muzzle, and thus accurate.

.58 MINNIE.JPG


A round ball when used in our traditional rifles, is smaller than the bore size of the barrel. SO, to get the ball snug enough inside the barrel so that the ball will be spinning for stability and thus flying stable and accurate toward the target, a “patch” is wrapped around the ball. This is normally a piece of cloth with some sort of grease on it. This acts like a gasket, and also helps the ball engage the rifling.

PATCHED ROUND BALL.JPG



The rifling, the grooves cut into the inside of the barrel of the rifle, impart a spin to the bullet, very very similar to an American football being thrown in a forward pass. The spin on the bullet or the spin on the football, makes it much more stable as it flies downrange. A plain barrel had the grooves cut when it was made into a rifle barrel. The cut areas are called the grooves, but the remaining areas are called the lands. The patch gets the ball snug against the lands, but since it also is touching the grooves, when the patched, round ball is fired, the ball spins in keeping with the twisting of the grooves within the barrel.

RIFLING.jpg


So a "normal" muzzleloader bullet , here in the Traditional Forum is a patched round ball.

Your rifle is a reproduction of a Civil War Rifled Musket... we'd call it a "rifle" today, and it's "normal" bullet is a minie-ball.

There are other bullets out there that will likely work. For example, the Lee company makes bullets and molds to make your own bullets, called the REAL bullet. "REAL" stands for "Rifling Engraved At Loading", and those bullets will also engage the rifling and spin when shot.

Thompson Center company came up with the Maxi-ball, and the Maxi-hunter, very similar to the antique style minie-ball. They work well.

Hornady makes their own bullet, known as the Great Plains Bullet.

There are a lot of options, all of the above are good choices, but here we don't use modern, jacketed bullets, nor do we use sabots. Which one should you use? Well the most accurate one, but you won't really know until you test them out. The patched round ball is often very accurate, and often has the less recoil, but it's the slowest when loading. The more modern bullets like the minie-ball or the Maxi-ball, are quicker when loading, but may kick more.


LD
 
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Hodgeman19

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Alright,

Here is a simplified reply to your questions…. Please forgive me if it’s so simplified that’s my writing sounds a bit silly....,

So a Minie Ball is a length of lead with a tapered tip, which we today would look at and say “bullet”. Technically, the projectile from a rifle or pistol whether they are a round ball which is a sphere, a flat nosed bullet, or one with a rounded or pointy nose, are all bullets.

More than a century and a half in the past, A French Army officer, Colonel Claude-Etienne Minié designed a new projectile for military rifles and a simpler, faster reloading, so the bullet is named after him and called a Minie-Ball today. Sounds like “Miniball” but there is nothing minimized about them. Not only being heavier, and better when flying through the air than a sphere, the design worked because the base of the bullet would engage the rifling, so the bullet would be spinning and stable when it flew from the rifle muzzle, and thus accurate.

View attachment 177500

A round ball when used in our traditional rifles, is smaller than the bore size of the barrel. SO, to get the ball snug enough inside the barrel so that the ball will be spinning for stability and thus flying stable and accurate toward the target, a “patch” is wrapped around the ball. This is normally a piece of cloth with some sort of grease on it. This acts like a gasket, and also helps the ball engage the rifling.

View attachment 177501


The rifling, the grooves cut into the inside of the barrel of the rifle, impart a spin to the bullet, very very similar to an American football being thrown in a forward pass. The spin on the bullet or the spin on the football, makes it much more stable as it flies downrange. A plain barrel had the grooves cut when it was made into a rifle barrel. The cut areas are called the grooves, but the remaining areas are called the lands. The patch gets the ball snug against the lands, but since it also is touching the grooves, when the patched, round ball is fired, the ball spins in keeping with the twisting of the grooves within the barrel.

View attachment 177503

So a "normal" muzzleloader bullet , here in the Traditional Forum is a patched round ball.

Your rifle is a reproduction of a Civil War Rifled Musket... we'd call it a "rifle" today, and it's "normal" bullet is a minie-ball.

There are other bullets out there that will likely work. For example, the Lee company makes bullets and molds to make your own bullets, called the REAL bullet. "REAL" stands for "Rifling Engraved At Loading", and those bullets will also engage the rifling and spin when shot.

Thompson Center company came up with the Maxi-ball, and the Maxi-hunter, very similar to the antique style minie-ball. They work well.

Hornady makes their own bullet, known as the Great Plains Bullet.

There are a lot of options, all of the above are good choices, but here we don't use modern, jacketed bullets, nor do we use sabots. Which one should you use? Well the most accurate one, but you won't really know until you test them out. The patched round ball is often very accurate, and often has the less recoil, but it's the slowest when loading. The more modern bullets like the minie-ball or the Maxi-ball, are quicker when loading, but may kick more.


LD

Do I have to use musket caps or can I use #11 primers? Nowhere local to me sells musket caps so I’d have to order them from somewhere online.
 

dave951

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Do I have to use musket caps or can I use #11 primers? Nowhere local to me sells musket caps so I’d have to order them from somewhere online.
I'd stick with musket caps. They have far more power than #11s. And yes, they, and real black powder are available regardless of the chicken littles opinions.

Sounds like you are completely new to this. I strongly suggest you contact the NMLRA and find a charter club or certified instructor near you. Don't trust utoob and be careful who you listen to on the net.

LD has given you a good overview. The term "ball" is still used by the military today but it goes back all the way to patch round ball days. Round ball and Minies are very different critters in loading and casting techniques. For Minies from a commercial source, I don't trust anyone but Lodgewood. They deal in military muzzleloaders and since I shoot Civil War arms in competition with Minies, I can tell you for a fact they know their stuff with Minies. The rest are pretty good at Round Ball.
 

Hodgeman19

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I'd stick with musket caps. They have far more power than #11s. And yes, they, and real black powder are available regardless of the chicken littles opinions.

Sounds like you are completely new to this. I strongly suggest you contact the NMLRA and find a charter club or certified instructor near you. Don't trust utoob and be careful who you listen to on the net.

LD has given you a good overview. The term "ball" is still used by the military today but it goes back all the way to patch round ball days. Round ball and Minies are very different critters in loading and casting techniques. For Minies from a commercial source, I don't trust anyone but Lodgewood. They deal in military muzzleloaders and since I shoot Civil War arms in competition with Minies, I can tell you for a fact they know their stuff with Minies. The rest are pretty good at Round Ball.
I am new to this, but I do have somebody local that can help me with the gun. I am very familiar with modern muzzle loaders, but nothing like this.
 
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@hawkeye2 is correct. A long time ago I switched from the musket nipple to a #11 nipple. I do recommend using the #11 magnum caps. The extra percussive compound makes the magnum caps almost as hot as some of the weaker musket caps.

Of course, @Hodgeman19 needs to know the thread size for his Armi Sport Jaeger rifle. There's three differ thread pitches available at Track of the Wolf. Probably the MRI-S Nipple, but please verify.

 
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