Minie bullets for C&B revs?


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Krzysztof
September 7, 2006, 06:17 PM
Has anyone ever cast a minie type hollow base bullet for use in a Remington or Colt? I've shot round balls and conical bullets but is there any reason why you can't make a minie type expanding skirt bullet? Would they fall out of the chamber (since they are usually undersized for easy loading in muskets) ?

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frosty
September 7, 2006, 06:46 PM
Generally speaking, Those types of bullets would probably be to heavy-I'm currently shooting a T.Center Maxie Hunter in my old army, and even in this powerhouse, ya just cant get'em going fast enough...There are some conicals for pistols that are similar to ones used in the old days...:evil:

RON in PA
September 8, 2006, 02:52 AM
The major purpose of the Minie was to provide a projectile for a rifled muzzleloader that loaded as easily as a bare round ball in a smoothbore musket. The shape was also much better ballistically than a round ball. Since the bullet diameter of a Minie is less than that of the bore the Minie seals the bore by expansion of its hollow base upon firing thus filling the rifling.

In a cap n' ball revolver the ball or bullet diameter is determined by the diameter of the cylinder chamber bore. One wants the chamber bore to be at least as large as the groove to groove diameter of the barrel and in fact probably 1 or 2 thousands larger. The projectile needs to be slightly larger than the chamber bore to seal the chamber (that's way you need loading levers) and to resist moving out of the chamber and jaming the gun when another chamber is fired. The loose fit of the Minie would defeat this.

Smokin_Gun
September 8, 2006, 03:29 AM
I agree with Ron. Minnies would not be an accurate or safe way to go.
I have tried some 190gr hollow base conicals ment for cartridges, but swage down the bottom band leaving a heeled fit in the cylinder and the upper band and boolit was a pressed fit into the .450" chamber... 1858 Uberti and a Colt Dragoon. Anyway they did not prove to shoot real good groups. But they did hit water bottle targets pretty hard. I have not found anything that shoots tighter groups than the round ball do.

bfoster
September 8, 2006, 08:26 AM
Lyman used to offer a hollow base mould for this purpose, #450229. The base plug, while of such a shape as to allow expansion of the skirt, isn't proportionately as deep as many Miniť type designs. Bullet weight when cast from 1:160 (just enough tin to "help" in filling the mould) is about 155 grains.

The bullets that this mould drops are near nominal diameter (0.450"). This is large enough to correctly fit the chambers of my Remington New Army (which run between 0.448" and 0.449" diameter), but not large enough to secure a proper and safe to use fit in many of the reproduction revolvers and some original revolvers.

My shooting experience with these bullets is similar to what Smokin_Gun reported: with the 450229 hollow base bullets 25 yard groups run consistently larger than do groups fired with round balls.

Bob

Krzysztof
September 8, 2006, 01:50 PM
Thanks for the thoughts fellows, its kinda like I expected but you never know unless you ask! Still I can't help thinking that all the old Colt ads and paper cartridges you see advertised from those days always seem to have conical bullets. The tips of loading loading levers on Colts, Remingtons (and even my old 0.36" Whitney repro) are bored out with a profile to fit conicals not balls. Yet everyone tells me that round balls are more accurate. So what did the old timers do to go for conicals? Have we lost something somewhere,or maybe great grandpappy was less interested in accuracy than in survival?

Krzysztof

bfoster
September 9, 2006, 02:02 AM
Krzysztof,

I own a ranch and occasionally use the old Remington for vermin control.

LY #450229 is a HBSWC, though it does not have the lines of the more modern forms of SWC's. This is probably the best bullet I have a mould for if we're discussing hunting loads. The RN mould LY/ID #450225 performs about as well as RB's insofar as killing goes, neither seems to do quite as well as #450229. The true period sugar loaf style conicals (cast in an old, though probably not mid 19th century mould) I've tried on game aren't notably efficient on vermin, I do not recommend the use of this sort of bullet for either small game or vermin.

***

Before I retired I owned a tool and die shop. I made a tool to seat the sugar loaf type conicals, the point of the bullet was invariably seated to within 0.05 mm (0.002") of true with the centerline of each chamber. The timing of my Remington is OK (checked with a range rod). Despite an effort to find a superior load I can't report that I was able to approach the accuracy easily obtained with RB's.

***

I have not tried long range shooting with LY #450229 or with sugar loaf conicals. I suspect that at some point, perhaps 125 M, these two bullets may exhibit superior accuracy to that obtainable with RB's. When a rifle is "set up" for sugar loaf type conicals, including a false muzzle and starter, very good accuracy can be obtained. I could speculate as to why these conicals are less than satisfactory in a revolver, but I do not know why this is so...

regards,

Bob

A side note: The bullet I use over black powder in a .476/.455 '94 Webley WG is rather akin to the Miniť design. There cylinder throats of the WG are 0.457" and the barrel groove diameter is 0.4605". The bullet drops from the mould at 0.4545" in 1:12, the alloy used in period ammunition. While not as loose as a Miniť ball, the skirt clearly functions as designed. Accuracy closely approaches what can be produced with a S&W New Model #3 target revolver chambered in .44 Russian.

Bob

Tommygunn
September 9, 2006, 12:44 PM
Thanks for the thoughts fellows, its kinda like I expected but you never know unless you ask! Still I can't help thinking that all the old Colt ads and paper cartridges you see advertised from those days always seem to have conical bullets. The tips of loading loading levers on Colts, Remingtons (and even my old 0.36" Whitney repro) are bored out with a profile to fit conicals not balls. Yet everyone tells me that round balls are more accurate. So what did the old timers do to go for conicals? Have we lost something somewhere,or maybe great grandpappy was less interested in accuracy than in survival? Krzysztof

During the Civil War, some revolver ammo was issued in cardboard boxes. These were coneoidal rounds with nitrated paper "cases" filled with BP. They were issued in a pack of six. They also used loose powder and ball a lot, too.
If you check the loading levers of modern repros, you won't always find they're milled for a conical bullet. I learned the hard way about 10 years ago when I first started and had made up some coneoidals and found when I loaded them, the point got mashed down. I was using a Pietta, and subsequently realized that Piettas use a round profile in their plungers. Uberti and Armi San Marco (now defunct, I believe) used a conical hollow.

Bullet molds often had a conical mold and a spherical mold in the same mold so you could choose what you wanted. Primitive ones might have been available either as sphereical or coneoidal, possibly. A lot of people back then molded their own bullets so they would be able to choose what to make.

Krzysztof
September 10, 2006, 04:34 PM
Thanks bfoster and Tommygunn. Shooting vermin with any handgun is not an option here in the UK, where Tony Blair's government banned all handguns except BP muzzleloaders and revolvers. All such shooting is limted to approved ranges at gun clubs. My local club is the Ham & Petersham Rifle and Pistol Club near Richmond (Surrey, not VA!) and we have a good 25yd BP range which has kept a lot of us happy after having to hand in our semi-autos and cartidge revolvers to the law. Boys, you don't wanna have to live through that anquish... The police sargent who took in my handguns said he cried because he too had to give up his own personal 0.375 S&W (only specially trained SWOT team police get issued guns here). Meanwhile today a 15 year old boy got gunned down in Manchester with a 9mm handgun when some gang members mistook him for some one else. Funny how they can get guns and us law abiding folks can't! Anyway, to get back to the point...

The aerodynamic shape of a round ball ain't too good so I guess range drops off more quickly than with a conical bullet, which is more streamlined and should have less drag to slow it down. As regards accuracy, Geoff Allen, writing in the March 1998 edition of Target Sports magazine (a UK publication) says that the best groups he got with a Uberti Dragoon were using a 230 grain 0.452" bullets from an old 0.45 ACP mould pushed by 45 grains of black powder. With that load the recoil was "impressive" but he got a 2" group at 25 yds!

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