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Old July 5, 2016, 04:24 PM   #1
desidog
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Cut down a Zouave?

I've wanted to get a Parker Hale musketoon for quite a while; but i haven't run across one that is in good enough shape and also in my financial wheelhouse. However, this past week i was on gunbroker and put in a lowball bid on an Italian Remington Zouave, and i guess everyone else was thinking about the 4th... so it's coming in the mail!

However, I already have a (Lyman) Zouave. So, i'm contemplating chopping one of them down to about 24"; and dovetailing a new from sight. I'm not concerned about the loss of the bayonet lug, but am wondering about rifling twist rate and minies, general balance, and some factor(s) that i haven't thought of yet...

My goal is to have a short handy deer hunting musketoon. Any thoughts yeah or nay? Ideal barrel length? I haven't received the gun yet, so i haven't been able to verify the twist rate.

Thanks for your 2cents!
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Old July 5, 2016, 05:59 PM   #2
Jim Watson
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The last US Musketoon I can find in Flayderman was the 1847 smoothbore with 26" barrel. A handsome little gun but of course sawing off a rifle to that length will not be authentic. Do you care?

There was an 1855 rifled carbine with 22" barrel in half stock. Looks ugly to me.
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Old July 6, 2016, 12:57 PM   #3
Cooldill
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As long as you don't care about it being "authentic" (most replica Zouaves aren't that authentic to begin with before defarb anyway) then I think it will work fine. I highly doubt the replicas would have gain twist rifling.

You can do the barrel shortening yourself, there are videos how to cut the barrel and then crown it using a pure brass screw and some valve lapping compound. I've done that and the results looks professional. Cutting down and refinishing the stock should be relatively easy as well. You might want to have a gunsmith install the front sight back to make sure it's done correctly.
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Old July 6, 2016, 01:19 PM   #4
Hellgate
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The Antonio Zoli zouaves were the best made so chop whichever isn't a Zoli. For a while Zoli made a "Buffalo Hunter" for Navy Arms that was a sporterized Zouave with a 26" barrel. Mine has a dovetailed front and rear sight but I don't know if that is stock since I bought it used. My Zouave has a 33"bbl, the Euroarms Musketoon has a 24" bbl and the St. Louis Hawken has a 28"bbl. All the above in 58cal. There also was a 24" St. Louis Hawken made by the same company (Investarms). I sold mine 'cause the big ole minies kicked too much and it has a narrow butt pad. The Zoli has a shotgun sized butt pad. I shoot 90grs of either FFFg or FFg under either a Lyman 575213-OS or the 577611 thick skirted minie for hunting. Sighted in to be 5" high@50 yards puts them right on at 100. Those are my heavy hunting loads for the Zouave and Musketoon respectively. YMMV
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Old July 7, 2016, 08:43 PM   #5
25cschaefer
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I chopped a Zoli Zuave for a guy because it had a crack in the stock and pitting in the bore starting at the 16" mark and going all the way to the muzzle. The barrel was reamed to something like 62 cal smooth bore. I cut the barrel to 15", wrapped the forestock to the barrel with copper wire, outlined the stock with tacks and hung some hawk feathers from a concho in the middle of the buttstock. When I got done, I tried buying it from him for double what he paid for it but he chose to pay me for my work instead.

I will say, 150gr of ffg with a palm of buckshot on top makes a fireball that can be seen from space, and will cause a smile that lasts for hours.
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Old July 8, 2016, 11:39 AM   #6
desidog
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Interesting; I hadn't considered reaming it out to .62 / 20 gauge... mainly because that's beyond my mechanical equipment and ability!
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Old July 8, 2016, 11:07 PM   #7
25cschaefer
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I gave much thought to belling the end out to a blunderbuss but I decided 20ga was too small to be a respectable blunder.
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