Parker-Hale Musketoon Help!!


January 1, 2011, 10:48 AM
Hello to all. First things first is I am a noob when it comes to Blackpowder shooting. I have always wanted to try blackpowder but I have never shot nor been around anyone shooting it.
So this Christmas I was visiting my parents and sure enough my dad gives me a beautiful Parker-Hale 1861 Musketoon he bought back in the early 70's (SN# 3xxx). First off let me say if there is one think about my dad when it comes to his guns he is meticulous with regards to cleaning, so even though the rifle has not been shot in close to 25 years from what i can see there is not a speck of rust or corrosion.
Now Here is the problem. All that came with the Rifle is the Sergeant's tool and the Nipple Protector. I have been doing tons of research online but there just doesn't seem to be much information regarding the Musketoons. I am looking for a manual or something for that rifle. From what i gather people seem to love the rifle and have posted what they shoot in regards to powder. Yet i would like something from the factor saying... here this is what we recommend...
Thanks to all any help would be greatly appreciated. Happy New Year!

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4v50 Gary
January 1, 2011, 11:08 AM

I use 60-65 grains of FF. That is the historical military load for the gun. It is within my comfort range to shoot too. My minie is casted from a Parker-Hale mould. Alternatively, you can get the smooth sided pritchett ball which is what the Confederates were using in their Enfields.

January 1, 2011, 12:07 PM
I use the Parker-Hale bullet myself in my P1858 2-band musket. Try a 45 grain charge of 3F.

And head over to the North-South Skirmish Association forum at They have the most expertise in Civil War era arms.

January 1, 2011, 12:09 PM
4v50 Gary.. Thanks for the info. Yeah from what i have read people seem to like 55-60 grains. Do you recommend shooting minie's? I would like to shoot regular round balls as well. which is more accurate? also any idea on where to find a manual. i'd be happy with even a .pdf if you know where to find it till i can get my hand on a copy.
January 1, 2011, 12:43 PM
I have one and shoot nothing but round balls. Mine will load either a .570
with .022 patch or a .575 loads well also. Try about 50 grs Goex FFF. I did
change the nipple to one that will take no. 11 caps. I believe this is a much
better way to go. They sure shoot nice.

January 1, 2011, 01:36 PM
So this Christmas I was visiting my parents and sure enough my dad gives me a beautiful Parker-Hale 1861 Musketoon he bought back in the early 70's (SN# 3xxx). First off let me say if there is one think about my dad when it comes to his guns he is meticulous with regards to cleaning, so even though the rifle has not been shot in close to 25 years from what i can see there is not a speck of rust or corrosion

You lucky dog!. Wish I had one.

Got on the Navy Arms site, and this is the current Musketoon

The Enfield carbine popular with the Confederate cavalry and artillery. Barrels are cold forged, produced by Parker Hale Ltd. of Birmingham, England. Fullstock, 39" tapered round, .577 blued barrel. Front sight is blued steel base and blade. Rear sight is blued steel lip-up w/elevator- marked up to 800 yards. Features brass nosecap, triggerguard, buttplate, blued steel barrel bands, color case-hardened lock with engraved lockplate marked "1861 Enfield" ahead of hammer & crown over "PH" on tail. Barrel is marked "Parker Hale LTD Birmingham England.

If your barrel is .577 diameter you should not use a Minie ball less than .575 in diameter.

The ball must fit tight to the bore, no more than .002" smaller than bore size. With my .577 Musket, in a clean bore, I can drop a minie ball and hear the air escape as it falls. Sounds like a comical kids musical instrument, I don't remember the name.

Minie balls must be pure soft lead.

This lead, purchased from a scrap yard, was used to seal big pipes. It was dead soft.

Heavily grease the mine ball. I use a mix of 50/50 Crisco and Beeswax. The colder it is , the less Beeswax. Also, fill the hollow cavity with your lube.

I have been using Minie ball molds which are thin on the skirts. With them a load of 50 grains FFG works well.
January 1, 2011, 02:42 PM
Here's mine. It's a Euroarms.

January 1, 2011, 03:16 PM
kwhi43- Nice Looking Rifle. So you changed the nipple to take #11 caps. does that mean it the origional (mine) was #10. and if so why did you change it to #11

SlamFire1- Yeah mine is the .577. if i'm correct you don't have to use a patch when shooting the Minie's, so when shooting them do you find you have to clean the barrel more frequently due the lead residue from the minie?

4v50 Gary
January 1, 2011, 05:32 PM
I don't recommend round balls in it. I tried and it's very inaccurate. It prefers minie balls.

January 1, 2011, 05:43 PM
The original Euroarms 8mm X 1.25 nipple fit a musket cap which kwhi43 switched in order to use a #11 percussion cap.

According to Euroarms USA:

Parker Hale in Birmingham discontinued the production in the 90es and sold all the parts and machineries.
Euroarms bought most of the parts and obtained the legal right to use the Parker Hale mark.
The barrels of our replicas are made in Italy. Therefore the Parker Hale marking do not attest that the barrel was made in England by Parker Hale.
The Parker Hale marking (only for some models and versions of rifles) is on the top of the barrel.

Euroarms may send you one of their manuals if you email them:

Here's the schematic for the 1861 Euroarms musketoon with a 24" barrel:

January 2, 2011, 01:17 AM
They are a great little big game gun. See pics attached. 90 grs BP+ 577611 minie. Cow elk. I do have a slip-on shotgun recoil pad on the gun. I put a sandbag between me and the gun butt when working up heavy hunting loads from the bench.

January 2, 2011, 03:10 PM
The original Euroarms 8mm X 1.25 nipple fit a musket cap which kwhi43 switched in order to use a #11 percussion cap.

According to Euroarms USA:

Euroarms may send you one of their manuals if you email them:

Here's the schematic for the 1861 Euroarms musketoon with a 24" barrel:
Thanks for the info i will for sure send them an email and see what they might have available.

4v50 Gary
January 2, 2011, 08:19 PM
Hellgate. 90 grains FF? That's about what was stuffed down a Whitworth. Kudos on your harvest. What distance did you fetch that cow elk at?

January 3, 2011, 12:12 AM
50 yards off hand. She hesitated just long enough for me to jump out of the rig, cap and snap shoot. Never found the slug. Went through both shoulder blades, clipped the aorta, the spine and off into the timber. Dropped her where she stood. A true gift from God (the shot and the elk). My dad had died about 3 days before and my brother & I decided that "the Old Man" would not have wanted us moping around on his account blubbering over his passing with elk tags for a hunt 30 min from home so off we went. I swear he or God sent us the elk to cheer us up. I am grateful for what both father figures taught us.

January 3, 2011, 09:24 AM
I just joined the forum and I am probably at about the same level (or less) of knowledge on the muzzleloading scene. However, I think I can at least help you out on a manual for your Parker Hale Musketoon. When I was stationed in Scotland during the late 70's, I bought 2 Musketoons directly from Parker Hale in Birmingham - one for me and one for my father. My father never fired his and after his passing a few years ago, I obtained his. I have fired mine, however and am not getting the accuracy from it that I like with the Lyman mould for the PH Minie ball. This is probably due to a shortcoming on my part and not the rifle's. However, I have the orignal boxes for both and all the literature that came with it, including the manual. The best I can do is to scan the manual on a .pdf file and email it to you when I can find the time to do so if you can provide me with your email address. I recently latched onto a large supply of sabots for a .58 cal. and as soon as they get here, I'm going to give them a try.

January 3, 2011, 01:30 PM

As Mike suggested in post #3 you'd be a ton better off heading over to the
N-SSA website where we shoot these and all other War of Northern Aggression arms in LIVE FIRE competition. You'll learn more then you need to know about your new toy from getting molds to fixing the sights so it'll hit what you want.

I only use 38 grains of 3F Goex in one I have and a regular mini I cast myself AND size to properly fit the bore which is really important! While it is a bit low on the powder it has taken deer at my farm with in one side and out the other shots.

The N-SSA's main page is

The message board where you can read all the posts which already answer about any question you can conceive or post your own question is

Where are you located? Guessing you may be close to members in the N-SSA as there are over 4000 of us. Anyone in the N-SSA would be happy to help ya out.

January 3, 2011, 03:07 PM
RaiderANV: Thanks for the suggestions. I did head over to the N-SSA forum and posted pretty much the exact question. I posted in the Civil War Small Arms section. the reason i posted here is there are many, many more people on this sight. I have gotten great feedback from both sights. Just trying to cover all the bases. Also i am in the south Houston area.

Thanks to everyone, although i can't reply to every post i have read and am taking notes from everyone.

January 8, 2011, 09:33 AM
Finely made rifle. Old style minie balls work well as they have grooves designed to scrape out fouling as they are shot. As one old timer put it, "de next one you fires, the last one you cleans."

Some shoot round balls quiet well. I had a short lived record at Friendship way back in the early seventies shooting a .570 ball, indian head linen patch, a 20 ga card wad on the powder and 65 grains of real Dupont FFg powder. Fifty yards offhand musket match. Broke old record by a couple points and several Xs. Held up for six months til someone used my same method and shot better.
January 8, 2011, 10:58 AM
I shot musket at Friendship also, Boy that 200 yd offhand match was something. I think I had a 93 0r 94 at 50 yds. Pertty good at 100 but lost
it at 200. I was shooting a lot wit my old buddy JL Hargis. That old boy is
still winning.

January 8, 2011, 01:16 PM
Hargis is the guy who "interviewed me" when I shot the record and then reset it six months later. I thought he was a reporter. Asked me questions about every aspect of my loading process.

January 8, 2011, 03:00 PM
The N/SSA website also has a reference area with past postings on casting, accuracy, etc. so you might want to browse it in a little more detail. There are words of wisdom from the ancients there for musket shooting.

January 9, 2011, 09:36 PM
It's a Euroarms Enfield Musketoon, been shooting it for years. I cast my own minie balls with it, .575" Lee and Lyman as well (one of my Lyman molds casts a .577" diameter mini ball, which fits easily in the slightly oversized Euroarms bore).

I use 60-65 grains of FFg (2f) blackpowder. Never used the "fake" blackpowder products like pyrodex. I usually fill the hollow base of the minie balls with crisco vegetable shortening, works just like much more expensive lubes like Bore Butter. (Just don't let a crisco-lubed minie sit for a few months--it turns nasty rancid.) Round balls? In a civil-war era musket that was designed to shoot minie balls? Heresy! And minie balls are MUCH easier to load.

Does your musketoon already have a musket-cap sized nipple? If so, there is no reason in the world to change to a #11 nipple. If it has a #11 nipple by all means get a musket nipple.

You've got a great gun. E-mail me direct if you have any Q's.

February 20, 2011, 01:15 AM
Ok so finally an update. Last week myself and a buddy decided it was the perfect day to go to the range. He was sighting in a new scope on his hunting rifle and I finally had all the supplies and felt I knew what to do at least enough to not blow myself up. So we loaded everything up and headed out. Once we got to the range I realized I had forgotten my powder flask. Luckily I had the can of powder so I had to try and pour the BP out of the can and into the powder measure. The only thing that saved me is the funnel that came with the powder measure.

On a side note, many people seem to absolutely abhor the use of anything other than “real” black powder. Well, our local Bass pro has got to have the worst supply of BP stuff so low and behold my options were Pyrodex or Pyrodex. So I picked up a can or 2F and set out. Although I have never shot real BP the Pyrodex was great and I had no issues. It does seem to be quite dirty though. Again I have no comparison.

At the range I got into a rythem and was able to load the rifle pretty efficiently. My only gripe with the day was trying to load the round balls. I was using a box of speer .570 lead balls with pre-lubed .011 patches. I have no idea how anyone is able to shoot anything thicker. Other than once or twice I could not load other than tapping the ball down to seat it. I thought it might be buildup from the BP so after every other shot I cleaned but still same thing. So now I am ordering some minie balls. That should help. I hope.

Other than the loading issues it was a very enjoyable time. The rifle is super accurate. Had to aim about a foot low at 50 yards but at 100 it was right on. Me and my buddy were amazed at how little kick (really a push) there was. I was using a somewhat mild 55 grains load.

After the range it was back home to do some cleaning. As suggested by my dad and a few other members I took the barrel off, cleaned it out and then set it in the bathtub full of hot soapy water. After some more cleaning I pulled it out, dried it off (the hair dryer worked great), oiled it and let it sit for the night. In the morning I re-oiled it and put it back together.

In the end this was a great first experience with black powder shooting. I had some issues with getting the proper equipment, it is a dirty and time consuming both shooting and cleaning but I can’t wait to do it again.

To everyone thanks for the help.

And Now some pictures first the rifle when i got it, then at the range...

Foto Joe
February 20, 2011, 11:05 AM
If all you can get is Pyrodex then Pyrodex it is but....since you're in the Houston area, locate a Gander Mountain store. They carry Black Powder and there should be one near you.

Once you get started on the real stuff, you'll probably get hooked on it.
February 20, 2011, 11:12 AM
Boy, That sure is a good looking Musketoon. I load .575 with .020 thick
pillow ticking patches in mine OK. You have to wipe between shots. You have
to tap them just into the bore with a brass hammer and a short starter. After
that they will push down the bore very easy. One little thought, I see in the
picture the Musketoon laying on the table pointing down range and I see
somebody is down range. At all Muzzleloading clubs that is a No No. You might
want to get in the habit of standing it up so the muzzle is pointing up in the
air, when anybody goes downrange. Un loaded. Good looking pictures, Thanks
for the report and sharing.

February 20, 2011, 03:29 PM
His club may have the same safety rule that my club has: whenever someone is down range (yellow flag is up) all other shooters must stand behind a yellow line about 6 ft behind the shooting benches so no one can be fiddling with a gun while anyone is out in front. The photo looks like it was shot plenty far behind the bench. That's my take, anyhow.

February 20, 2011, 06:32 PM
Yeah the rule at the range is that they make an announcement of cease fire and everyone has to make sure their firearms are unloaded and then the range master walks down and verifies that each firearm is unloaded and open. once clear everyone must stay behind the yellow line until the range is clear.

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