which 1861 Springfield?

Discussion in 'Percussion Rifles' started by brewer12345, Aug 27, 2019.

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  1. Aug 27, 2019 #1

    brewer12345

    brewer12345

    brewer12345

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    After discovering that I have several ancestors that served in the Union Army, I find myself hankering for an 1861 Springfield reproduction so I can experiment with minie balls. Who makes these things in the modern era (not necessarily right now, but in the last 30 or so years)? Rough idea of what they cost? I assume that the design and twist of these things means that a minie should shoot OK with a bit of fiddling with the charge?
     
  2. Aug 27, 2019 #2

    Swampweasel

    Swampweasel

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    I have the Pedersoli 1861 Springfield. its a really well made gun, and accurate if you size the minie bullets 1 to 2 thousandths under the bore diameter. Check bore diameter with plug gauges, then get a sizing die 1 to 2 thousandths under and you are good to go.
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2019
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  3. Aug 27, 2019 #3

    brewer12345

    brewer12345

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    Dumb question: how do you size a minie?
     
  4. Aug 27, 2019 #4

    Swampweasel

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    Just push it through a proper diameter push through sizing die, or use a sizing die made for a reloading press. Either way works fine. I lube them before sizing.
     
  5. Aug 27, 2019 #5

    Stantheman86

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    I bought a cheap Arbor Press from Harbor Freight for $35 and use it to push Minies through a sizer with wooden dowels . I also use a candle warmer to melt SPG lube and hot dip the bullets and I make 1863 Pattern cartridges.

    I feel if you're not making cartridges for a military service rifle-musket you're not experiencing the full historical aspect of shooting them.

    I use .575 sized Minies and 60 gr of 2f , as close to the original US Army Ordnance Dept specs as I can get.

    I think Pedersoli is probably the way to go, I have several of their firearms but my Armi Sport CS Richmond is good too.

    I have no problem at all loading 50 down the pipe without cleaning , if you have to force them down they are sized too big.
     

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  6. Aug 27, 2019 #6

    TFoley

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    As STM notes, the Pedersoli offering can be a good buy, but there is a BIG but. Having been looking at them, and occasionally getting to shoot a couple, over the last ten years or so, the QC can be pretty patchy, especially bearing in mind the north-of-a-grand cost. IMO you'd need to see your prospective purchase out of the box and in your hands, to avoid a certain amount of disappointment when you get home. One German guy on Youtube unpacking his new Pedersoli rifle ripped it a new one, right there. Ill-fitting lock and keeper plate, ill-fitting tang and a stupidly floppy trigger did not inspire confidence.

    My own plan is to visit a certain gun store in Springfield OR next year, and buy a real one. Around the same price as the Pedersoli version gets you one with real history worked deeply into each and every part - I know which I'd have.
     
  7. Aug 27, 2019 #7

    wcubed

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    Regarding pricing, why does Pedersoli sell for a grand while Mirokus sell for about half that? From what I've been reading, the Mirokus seem to be the most accurate reproduction in many aspects except for that Navy Arms billboard on the lock.
     
  8. Aug 27, 2019 #8

    Steve Blancard

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    Many consider the Miroku (Japanese) made 1861s the best repros made. They are no longer available new. but can be found on the used market with a little patience. The main issue with Italian made muskets is their weight. They are usually a pound or more heavier than originals. My 1861 Miroku weighs almost the same as an original.
     
  9. Aug 27, 2019 #9

    Steve Blancard

    Steve Blancard

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    Not all Mirokus have navy arms stamped on them.
     
  10. Aug 27, 2019 #10

    Stantheman86

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    If you get lucky you can find a "hybrid" or a Bobby Hoyt relined original that is being sold by a skirmisher for the same as Pedersoli.

    I'm not patient so I just bought an Armi Sport.

    Bear in mind the Pedersoli 1861s / Richmond rifles are simply rebranded Euroarms, since Pedersoli bought all the tooling and parts for Euroarms when they went under. Pedersoli now offers Zouaves, Mississippi rifles, etc because of this.

    Also , your ancestors may not have even used 1861 Springfields during the War. If you can find out what Unit, etc they were in you can research back , probably to this forum and find what weapons they were issued. Your ancestors may very well have been issued 1842 Smoothbores, Enfield rifle-muskets , Lorenz rifles , etc. There is a lot of data out there concerning weapons issue.

    Armi Sport often gets treated like Indian muskets but they make very good stuff in my opinion. I got my Richmond for $800 total including shipping and tax and all that, I almost got the Pedersoli but I wanted to replace the Armi Sport 1861 I sold 10 years ago , and I'm very happy with it. Still kicking myself for the Armi Sport 3-band Enfield I saw at a gun show for $400 and passed up.

    If I buy Pedersoli it's always one of their big .69 Muskets , they are made very, very well. Those are the meat and potatoes of the lineup for them. My 1816 Percussion conversion blows the Pedersoli 1861 I looked at, out of the water for fit, finish and lock "feel".

    The CS Richmond is pretty much exactly the same as the 1861 Springfield.
     
  11. Aug 27, 2019 #11

    Rat

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    I had heard, over the years, that the Armi-Sport 1861's were not that great, inferior to the Euroarms and and Pedersolis, etc. Now I don't know how that rumor ever got started. But I do know how such rumors get perpetuated on the forums.

    I have an Armi-Sport 1861. It is absolutely perfect, gorgeous, top notch wood, not a single flaw in the entire gun. Metal to wood fit on every part is as good as any custom gun. Seriously. And it shoots very well. Even been running some round balls through it lately. But my point is, unless this rifle is a total fluke, a one of a kind perfect rifle that came off the line by accident, or was meant as a presentation piece for the Queen of Sheeba, and got shipped accidently, I sure would not pass on any decent deal on an Armi-Sport. Certainly anyone who puts the Armi-Sport in the same basket with the Indian guns is a.....wait for it....fool.

    The trouble with Pedersoli is that anytime the Quality Control guys are sick or on vacation, they hire drunk monkeys from the zoo to take over. If you get a Pedersoli, just make sure you can actually handle it and inspect it first. Be careful of buying one online, or a new one from a distributor.

    If you stick with the service load, or even lower, with the minie' and experiment a bit with sizing and lube, the service rifles will shoot ultra accurate. From what I have read, 45-55 grains seems to be a magic number. Where they will fall short on accuracy is with hunting loads, although that can be corrected with different kind of slugs, or ball. But it sounds like you will be paper punching, and again they are capable of very good accuracy.

    Another thing about accuracy you might want to consider is do you want to shoot all day without wiping the bore, or wipe after "X" amount of shots. Shoot all day accuracy might be a bit less than wipe after five or ten shots accuracy.

    On a Moruku (Miroku?) you might want to check the bore very carefully. I have two Miroku's with "lumpy" bores. Might want to run a tight oiled patch down the barrel on a jag, and feel for lumpiness.
    Both my Miroku barrels are very early production, three didget (SP!) serial numbers, (within ten numbers of each other) and they probably corrected that problem.
     
  12. Aug 27, 2019 #12

    Rat

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    Just want to mention, many complain about the "floppy" triggers, but floppy triggers on military muskets (rifled) are quite authentic. The originals had floppy triggers. Floppyphobia is a modern disorder.
     
  13. Aug 27, 2019 #13

    Swampweasel

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    I must have really lucked out with my Pedersoli Springfield, because it is absolutely perfect and a dream to shoot. I did buy it at Cabela's in Maine so I was able to examine it before buying. They had 2, one with dark wood and one with much lighter wood. The darker one looked much more authentic so thats the one I bought.
     
  14. Aug 27, 2019 #14

    Rat

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    Wasn't luck if you happened to examine it first. I bought my Armi-Sport online, and was quite shocked at it's condition when it arrived. I suppose that Armi-Sport/Chiappa also hires a drunk monkey in quality control on occasion to sub for when Tony has to take a day off. However, have heard more Pedersoli horror stories lately.
     
  15. Aug 28, 2019 #15

    dave951

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    Of the ArmiSports that I've seen, they are heavier than the originals and as stated, QC often is suspect. They're fine for the reenactor who isn't going to shoot live and will have Lodgewood or somebody else "defarb" it. Part that gets me, after buying a repop and then adding the cost of the "defarb", it's very easy to be north of what an original would cost. Go figure.

    Being in the NSSA, we're blessed by not having to be stuck with 3 band guns and can choose what we want to shoot in competition so I'm shooting either a 62 Colt Contract, a 2 band Springfield, or my 2 band Parker Hale Enfield depending on conditions that day. Both are very accurate but the Colt has a peep and the Enfield open post and notch. That makes a huge difference when lighting is suspect or smoke is hanging on the range obscuring targets.
     
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  16. Aug 28, 2019 #16

    Rat

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    Yes, my 1861 is a very heavy gun. I don't really mind, as it's the barrel that is heavier, and that can't hurt accuracy too much. Also, as I'm not into the historical details, those differences don't bother me. As long as it has the very cool hammer!! :) Certainly not into de-farbing. I would like an original, and perhaps may get one some day.
     
  17. Aug 29, 2019 #17

    Artificer

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    FWIW, this information comes from repairing and doing "Trigger Jobs" on UnCivil War period muskets for about 2/3's of the Spring and Fall Nationals at the NSSA Championships from 1974 -2005.

    I remember working on some Navy Arms Miroku made Springfields, but don't remember exactly what we had to do for replacement parts. BTW, I'm not sure they were 1861 models, but rather 1863 models, anyway?

    Most of the reproduction 1861's shot by Skirmishers during those years were made by EuroArms. Though the lock parts were not as good as original parts, they were still very serviceable. The accuracy was acceptable for novice shooters, though many folks had custom barrels installed when they really became competitive at the Nationals.

    In those years and again that was up to 2005, the ArmiSport muskets were not as good as the EuroArms and most Skirmishers considered them OK for reenacting, but not for Target Shooting. I can attest the lock parts on the ArmiSport guns were not as good quality as the EuroArms.

    Now, ArmiSport may have increased their quality since 2005, but I don't know as I have not worked on any of them since.

    I'm glad to hear Pedersoli bought the machinery from EuroArms to make the 1861's, as it is possible the lock parts may interchange, but I don't know that for certain. Parts for the EuroArms 61's are drying up since they went out of business, but some are still around.

    I have not inspected a Pedersoli 1861 yet, so I can't comment on them.

    Bottom line, most folks new to shooting a repro 1861 Springfield, would be happy with a EuroArms in good condition, if they find one.

    BTW, again, I'm not trying to disparage the more recent ArmiSport '61's, as I have not worked on them since 2005.

    Gus
     
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