Thin skirt minie molds

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Steve Aubrey

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Hello the forum. It seems my Pedersolis 1861 Springfield does not care for the Lyman OS minie ball. I would like to try to find a mold that casts a thinner skirt. Can anyone recommend a mold plz? Ty in advance!
 
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I make my own molds and found out that "skirt" thickness is critical. Too thin and they tend to seperate, two thick and they don't expand to seal properly.
 

dave951

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Moose makes one he calls the "International" with a thin skin.
 

Steve Aubrey

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Everything I've read suggests one should be able to deform the skirt w/ finger pressure. It take channel locks to deform this Lyman old style. But I don't want to go to the opposite extreme either
 

dave951

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Your other choice would be RCBS Hogdon with an aftermarket base plug from NE Traders
 
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Just get a secondary plug for your mold.

By the way, on a lot of the old Lyman minie designs the base plugs are interchangeable so if you buy two molds you then can make four different bullets. Buy a third and you have too many different designs to test!
 

Steve Aubrey

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Everything I've read suggests one should be able to deform the skirt w/ finger pressure. It take channel locks to deform this Lyman old style. But I don't want to go to the opposite extreme ei
Just get a secondary plug for your mold.

By the way, on a lot of the old Lyman minie designs the base plugs are interchangeable so if you buy two molds you then can make four different bullets. Buy a third and you have too many different designs to test!
Really!? Where can I order these plugs?
 
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Hello the forum. It seems my Pedersolis 1861 Springfield does not care for the Lyman OS minie ball. I would like to try to find a mold that casts a thinner skirt. Can anyone recommend a mold plz? Ty in advance!
There's a couple of factors to take into consideration here. Before anyone should make a suggestion for a different mold, we need to know more about your rifle, the lead, and your Minié Ball.

Are you using pure soft lead to cast your Minié Balls?

What is the diameter of your as cast Minié Balls?

What is the diameter of the land-to-land diameter of your 1861 Springfield Rifle from Pedersoli?

For best function the Minié ball should have a diameter of 0.001" to 0.002" less than the land-to-land diameter of the rifle. The ball should be made of very soft lead to allow the skirts to easily deform to fit the lands and grooves of your barrel.

The Pedersoli barrel may be significantly larger than the diameter of the ball or the lead used to cast the Minié ball is too hard to properly expand into the lands and grooves.
 
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Everything I've read suggests one should be able to deform the skirt w/ finger pressure. It take channel locks to deform this Lyman old style. But I don't want to go to the opposite extreme ei

Really!? Where can I order these plugs?
The skirts should be easy to deform if the Minié ball is cast from pure lead. This sounds like someone added too much tin to help the mold fill for a better-looking result.
 

maillemaker

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It seems my Pedersolis 1861 Springfield does not care for the Lyman OS minie ball.

I agree with Grenadier1758.

How did you conclude that the bullet is not working well? Did you do a load workup? What charge are you using? Are you using pure lead? Have you determined your bore size? What size are you sizing the bullet to?
 

dave951

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Ok guys, full disclosure, Maillemaker and I belong to and shoot with the North South Skirmish Association and there are others on this board besides us. We compete with Civil War arms in both speed and accuracy and that means not only small arms and minies, but artillery as well. We might know a thing or two about minies. Since the OP only has 10 posts, I'll suggest this, use the Search function. Not to be snarky but we've been down this road many times already. There is no mystery to getting a minie ball gun to shoot well if the barrel and gun are in good condition. Follow the basics and you will most likely be successful. Use commercial minies, or alloyed lead, and all bets are off.

After reading the Search function results on minies, a couple things need to be settled before we can help you. First off, have you measured your bore? I don't mean what Pedersoli says it is, it HAS to be measured. It seems Luigi just can't get a bore exactly right every time. Second, we need ALL your load data- cap brand, powder brand and "f", lead type, bullet size, lube and loading methodology. Third, your casting methodology- alloy, temp, type of pot, etc. Finally, there's lots of bad advice and "reenactorisms" floating around on utoob. Be very skeptical of who you take advice from.

But what would we know about shooting minies?
parkerhalegroup2.jpg
 

Steve Aubrey

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Ok guys, full disclosure, Maillemaker and I belong to and shoot with the North South Skirmish Association and there are others on this board besides us. We compete with Civil War arms in both speed and accuracy and that means not only small arms and minies, but artillery as well. We might know a thing or two about minies. Since the OP only has 10 posts, I'll suggest this, use the Search function. Not to be snarky but we've been down this road many times already. There is no mystery to getting a minie ball gun to shoot well if the barrel and gun are in good condition. Follow the basics and you will most likely be successful. Use commercial minies, or alloyed lead, and all bets are off.

After reading the Search function results on minies, a couple things need to be settled before we can help you. First off, have you measured your bore? I don't mean what Pedersoli says it is, it HAS to be measured. It seems Luigi just can't get a bore exactly right every time. Second, we need ALL your load data- cap brand, powder brand and "f", lead type, bullet size, lube and loading methodology. Third, your casting methodology- alloy, temp, type of pot, etc. Finally, there's lots of bad advice and "reenactorisms" floating around on utoob. Be very skeptical of who you take advice from.

But what would we know about shooting minies?
View attachment 154616
Wow! I didn't even think of most of that! No, I have never liked the bore. I don't have the yools- yet, and I'm not actually sure how to do that. I was just going off what Pedersolis website said the bore diameter was.

The lead was purchased from Rotometals. It SAID it was pure lead and I didn't add anything to it.
Temperature of the lead when casting, gosh, I didn't think that played a factor as long as it was molten.
The caps were RWS winged musket caps. The powder was 60 grains of Goex 2f.

I'm going to read up on all these suggestions and start over!
 
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Everything I've read suggests one should be able to deform the skirt w/ finger pressure. It take channel locks to deform this Lyman old style. But I don't want to go to the opposite extreme ei

Really!? Where can I order these plugs?
In the past I've obtained some from Erik at hollowpointmold.com. There are others as well but I don't recommember who. Hopefully someone will chime in with recommendations.
 

dave951

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Wow! I didn't even think of most of that! No, I have never liked the bore. I don't have the yools- yet, and I'm not actually sure how to do that. I was just going off what Pedersolis website said the bore diameter was.
Either have a machine shop measure it or you can get the plug gauges yourself from Amazon for about $5ea. You'll need .575, .577, .579
The lead was purchased from Rotometals. It SAID it was pure lead and I didn't add anything to it.
Temperature of the lead when casting, gosh, I didn't think that played a factor as long as it was molten.
Your lead is fine. Roto is about as pure as it gets. In casting minies, you'll have to run the pot about as hot as it will go and pour fast. Forget this stuff about 700f, minies like to be cast at about 850f+ if you want good quality ones.

The caps were RWS winged musket caps. The powder was 60 grains of Goex 2f.
Good basic components. If you have it, try 3f at 45ish and vary about 2-3gr each direction to find the "sweet spot". Lube is also very, very important in minies. My goto is beeswax/lard/lanolin. If the minies are sized correctly to the bore, like .001 under size, just dip lube the rings. Don't put anything into the base, it will upset the balance and lead to flyers.

Revisit the load with the above suggestions and your current mold and let's see what happens.
 

maillemaker

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Wow! I didn't even think of most of that! No, I have never liked the bore. I don't have the yools- yet, and I'm not actually sure how to do that. I was just going off what Pedersolis website said the bore diameter was.

The lead was purchased from Rotometals. It SAID it was pure lead and I didn't add anything to it.
Temperature of the lead when casting, gosh, I didn't think that played a factor as long as it was molten.
The caps were RWS winged musket caps. The powder was 60 grains of Goex 2f.

I'm going to read up on all these suggestions and start over!
If you bough pure lead from Rotometals, then your lead should be good to go.

I recommend ladle-pouring any hollow-base bullet like a "minie ball". I have never had success with bottom-pour pots and a hollow cavity bullet. Even when tipping the mold at an angle as was suggested, while you usually can no longer see the void in the cavity, the erratic weights tell me that it is still there, just internal. Ladle-pouring puts the lead into the mold much faster and you will get much more consistent bullets.

As was suggested, you can get low-cost pin gauges from places like Amazon and Travers.com. Here is an example:


Or go to a local machine shop and have them use a pin gauge for you. It's hard to get a good bore measurements with simple calipers on a barrel with odd numbers of grooves.

Once you know your actual bore diameter, then you want a bullet that is sized to .001"-.002" under that bore size. If you are lucky, you can shoot your bullets as-cast. But most competition shooters like to push them through a sizer as it insures consistent size and roundness.

Tom Crone makes inexpensive sizing dies of both push-through and press-mounted types. His number is 301-473-5699. He does not do computers. I do not recommend the sizing dies from North East Trading Company. Lee used to make nice sizing dies but they have changed their design and no longer offer anything larger than I think .515".

Once you have a good-fitting bullet for your bore, the next step is to do a load workup. Make 5 shot groups of powder charges going up 5 grains in each group. Start at 40 grains and do 40, 45, 50, 55, 60. You will probably find 45-60 grains will give maximum accuracy. You can also try 2F vs. 3F.
 

APG

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I use the Lyman 575213 mold for my Pedersoli 1861 Springfield and they shot just fine. As you can see the shirts are pretty thin.
 

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There were two types 575-213 molds. The one pictured above is the New Style which has a thin skirt for lighter loads. The Old Style mentioned in the OP had a thicker skirt.
 
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