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Questions about Zoli Zouave & accuracy issues with minie ball

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JB67

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I may have a chance at a 1970 A. Zoli copy of the Remington Zouave. The seller says it's not very accurate with minies, but decent with PRB.

I've been reading up, and asked a few questions. A bad nipple can cause blowback and affect accuracy, but it has a new nipple. He says he tried using hollow-base minies, but I don't know just what size or hardness. He is claiming the 1:66 twist is too slow, but it's right in range of the originals (1:60-1:72, from what I've found.)

Maybe he just didn't have the right type of minie? Does anyone think it would be worth getting for $400? Or should I pass?
 

bang

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My Zouave has slight undersize bore. The .578 is too tight and the .575 is easy thumb pressure start. The military recommend charge is 60. Depending on the skirt thickness of the pure soft lead mini the charge can vary but typically not over 70. Mine shoots pretty good at 68 but admittedly I need to shoot it more. The twist is really better for a PRB. Conicals, maxi, mini and real bullet do better in faster twists but the minis expanding skirt can shoot pretty good once you find the correct charge pressure. IMO start at 60. Work up 10% at a time till it walks a bit. At that point you know the pressure on the skirt is enough to cause a bit of over expansion when it clears the muzzle and it may very well be some over 70. Back off the charge 5% till the walk stops and that is the top limit. Adjust for accuracy from there.
 

EN

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I have a Zouave and also an 1861 Springfield replica. The Springfield is an Armi Sport and the Zouave is a Euroarms. Both shoot the wadcutter minie ball by Lee (90475 mold number) very well. That mold is no longer made but you might find one. The minie weighs about 470 grains and is about .575 dia. My Zouave likes 40 grains Goex ffg the Springfield likes 30gr. Pyrodex RS. Go figure. Also if you don't already, set the minie down hard on the powder. I have had no luck just pushing it down till it stops. I give mine about 5 good raps with the rod. This minie ball is very consistent.
 

bang

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I may have a chance at a 1970 A. Zoli copy of the Remington Zouave. The seller says it's not very accurate with minies, but decent with PRB.

I've been reading up, and asked a few questions. A bad nipple can cause blowback and affect accuracy, but it has a new nipple. He says he tried using hollow-base minies, but I don't know just what size or hardness. He is claiming the 1:66 twist is too slow, but it's right in range of the originals (1:60-1:72, from what I've found.)

Maybe he just didn't have the right type of minie? Does anyone think it would be worth getting for $400? Or should I pass?
400 decent price. Mine is a 1975 unfired 480 shipped.
 

hawkeye2

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1 in 66" twist is fine for a minie. They don't require the faster twist of a solid. Many years ago I need a barrel lined and I asked Hoyt what his most accurate minie barrel was, his reply, 1 in 60". He has done several barrels for me since then, they are all good shooters and are 1 in 60"

There are many factors that'll affect the accuracy when using a minie and a lot of folks will try a few and give up without trying to understand what it takes to make them shoot well. I don't think I have ever heard of a Zoli that wouldn't handle a minie if the shooter did his part. If the bore isn't pitted or worn out or there isn't a lot of ramrod wear at the muzzle I wouldn't be afraid of it.
 

towgunner11h

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You need to get a good bore measurement. You can get a series of pin gauges from Amazon fairly cheap. Or slug the bore- google is your friend. My Zoli has a .581” bore. You want your Minie 1 or 2 thousandths under bore size.
 

sawyer04

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I have been silent about prices, but here in the midwestern plains the reproduction muzzle loaders just doesn't demand the price. Custom weapons, yes.
A good Zoli can be picked up for $150. I bought one at an auction last fall along with a flint lock Thompson Center Hawkin for $125. I replaced the Hawkin lock as soon as I could because as far as I am concerned the coil spring flint lock is not reliable.
The replica's are over priced brand new, as far as I am concerned, even the kits, however, I guess they are inexpensive enough and accurate enough to for a first weapon, or are they? If they are not tinkered with and improved they are considered an after thought by many and then abandoned in the closet.
Yes, a custom built is some times cost prohibitive, but so is a 50,000, dollar pickup truck. I bet if a person wants the truck they will find a way to get it. Why not a custom built muzzle loader, just saying.
So, come on, let's hear it. I am not a Democrat, I can take it, throw the rocks.

The replica Zoli, two of them I have are accurate at 100 yards and have shoved a Minnie ball to three hundred yards with in two inches of center, running 60 to 80 grains with a 575 Minnie.
 
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dave951

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I may have a chance at a 1970 A. Zoli copy of the Remington Zouave. The seller says it's not very accurate with minies, but decent with PRB.

I've been reading up, and asked a few questions. A bad nipple can cause blowback and affect accuracy, but it has a new nipple. He says he tried using hollow-base minies, but I don't know just what size or hardness. He is claiming the 1:66 twist is too slow, but it's right in range of the originals (1:60-1:72, from what I've found.)

Maybe he just didn't have the right type of minie? Does anyone think it would be worth getting for $400? Or should I pass?
Doesn't surprise me on the original owner. Many people don't know what it takes to make a minie shoot well. First off, I'd talk him down a bit to the $300 range. Then-

1) Know the actual bore size
2) Use pure lead minies sized to .001 under bore size
3) Use only real, quality black powder like Old E or Swiss
4) Use beeswax/crisco,lard,olive oil for lub
5) Moderate powder charge in the 40-50g 3f range
6) Enjoy accurate shooting

I haven't seen a Zoli yet that didn't respond very well to those things if it wasn't abused.
 

Larry (Omaha)

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I may have a chance at a 1970 A. Zoli copy of the Remington Zouave. The seller says it's not very accurate with minies, but decent with PRB.


Maybe he just didn't have the right type of minie? Does anyone think it would be worth getting for $400? Or should I pass?
Others have said to get the price lower. We all want lower, but if it is in good shape IMO it is worth the $400. My Zouave Zoli likes .580 mini's coated with my patch lube. My patch lube is a water soluble oil mixture liquid.
Flintlocklar
 

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