I'm seriously considering purchasing a model 1861 Springfield rifle. I've done considerabe research on the net and have come up with mixed results. I want top quality for a reproduction that I can fire for a long time. Can you steer me in the right direction? I'm lost. Also, where do I purchase the equivalent of 58 caliber minie balls? The more I read the more confused I get!:confused:
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February 7, 2011, 08:59 PM
A year and a half ago I picked up a Colt Signature Series 3rd Generation 1861 Rifled Musket in unfired condition for under $600. Found it on GunBroker. They seem to run in groups, there won't be any for awhile then several will come up for sale.
February 7, 2011, 09:06 PM
Check out the Dixie Gun Works catalog, they've got everything under the sun for blaclpowder shooting. http://www.dixiegunworks.com/default.php
February 7, 2011, 09:38 PM
This should prob. be in the black powder forum. In any case, what are you going to use it for? I ask because there are some functionally fine Italian 1861 Springfields which will work great for general purposes. For reenacting folks usually want a "defarb" job on it to remove all the anachronistic marks.
The very best 1861's are either the originals or custom built recreations. Those are not going to be cheap.
You can buy Minie Balls and molds many places. Track has them in stock:
To save costs and make casting easier, lots of folks use patched roundball (PRB) instead. And obviously for reenacting they don't use anything as a projectile.
February 8, 2011, 01:22 AM
I've had a Euroarms 1861 Rifled Musket for some years now. Has generally been trouble free. If you go with that rifle, you might want to send it along to a fellow like John Zimmerman to not only defarb it, but also tune it up (http://www.edsmart.com/edsmart/jz/).
One major thing I like about Euroarms is that they are designed very closely to the original spec - I've interchanged several original parts with mine. Euroarms is being bought out by Pedersoli, which might improve quality a bit, but will more likely just raise pricing by quite a bit :(
February 8, 2011, 08:49 PM
+1 to taking it to John Zimmerman. I have a Euroarms 1853 Enfield that I took to Zimmerman. He did an excellent job of defarbing it.
February 8, 2011, 10:39 PM
I was in the market for an 1861 Springfield after receiving an authentic one from my FIL, albeit not in the best condition. Rather than ruin the history of the old warhorse by trying to restore it for shooting, I decided to purchase a modern reproduction to actually shoot.
After some research, I changed my mind on the model and decided on a Zouave rifle instead. I found mine on GunsAmerica and paid around $200 for a used/excellent condition Zoli. I haven't yet shoot it yet due to time constraints, but it's built incredibly strong. The thickness of the barrel even at the muzzle is impressive (though contributes to weight).
I understand this design was intended to use minie ball, so that helped guide my decision. Though the Zouave was around during the civil war, I understand it wasn't fielded by either side. It still has the history behind it though.
I purchased .577 513gr minie ball $17/50 from "3625Matthew" (http://www.auctionarms.com/closed/displayitem.cfm?ItemNum=9965457) from AuctionArms and found them to be very uniform, so I'll be ordering more from this fellow when I run through what I have.