Sizing minies

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by Ironhand54, Sep 27, 2021.

  1. Ironhand54

    Ironhand54 Member

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    I was just given an older Lyman lubrasizer. I plan on sizing BP pistol bullets with it but I can't find dies for 58 minies.

    Any ideas where I can get them,and perhaps some appropriate lube sticks as well?

    What size would be best? I have a Zoli Zouave and a PH Enfield.

    Thanks
    Ironhand
     
  2. MEHavey

    MEHavey Member

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    Normally you shoot Minnie balls as-cast.
    When thoroughly lubed, will they not go down the barrel?
     
  3. .38 Special

    .38 Special Member

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    Very generally speaking, the point of the Minie ball is that it does not need to be sized. Originally, at least, the idea was that it could be rammed home even in a fouled barrel, and that the force of the combusting powder would be enough to expand the skirt and give reasonable accuracy.

    The same plan works just as well today. If it is absolutely necessary, though, the bore can be slugged and the Minie can be sized to .002 smaller. This is reported to give best accuracy, but also requires that the user be familiar with slugging a bore and, most likely, ordering a custom sizing die.
     
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  4. dave951

    dave951 Member

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    I shoot minies in competition.

    No, you do NOT need to slug the bore. That would entail removing the breech plug or some other heroics. You need to use a machinist pin gauge. They are available in a range of sizes from amazon. There are several places to get sizing dies. Since you're looking for a Lubrisizer die, I suggest you contact Tom Crone of the N-SSA. He makes the best sizing dies around. He doesn't have a web site. I can get you his contact info if you want it.
     
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  5. Rebel Dave

    Rebel Dave Member

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    You can get sizing dies for minnies at S & S Firearms, or Lodgewood. BUT......... as Dave951 says You have to use pin gages to find out your corect bore size. Idealy you want to size the minnie to .001-.002 under the actual bore size.
    Also....... just so you know, you must use pure lead, no alloys. With alloys you might sneak in 2-3 good shots, and then will come a flyer of some kind. So use pure lead only.
    Dave
     
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  6. .38 Special

    .38 Special Member

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    I slug the bore of all my muzzleloaders. I wasn't aware that anyone considered it difficult.
     
  7. MEHavey

    MEHavey Member

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    All you want is to be able to run the fully lubed Minnie down the (warm)
    fouled barrel -- shot after shot after shot -- w/o having to pound it down.

    No more science/precision sizing required than that. Shoot as-cast.
    That's what Minnie balls were expressly designed for.


    ps: Use pure lead.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2021
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  8. Twocanary

    Twocanary Member

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    +1 on pin gauges. Got mine from amazon; .576, .578, .580, .582, .584. Got lube sizer dies from S& S firearms and lodgewood. My first minie rifle was a Pedersoli Enfield musketoon. Lyman and Lee as cast minies would give me 12" groups at 50 yards if that. The .582 pin gauge fits that bore. Long, painful story short, .581 sized minies give me 3 inch groups at 50 yards in that rifle. If you want to minimize owning dies and molds then having a pin gauge set will be handy when shopping. Buy a rifle that will work with your sized mines.

    Why not make your own lube? Pic of my pin gauges. They got a dicropan (cold blue) bath.
     

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  9. Mike OTDP

    Mike OTDP Member

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    Depending on your bore diameter and what the mold drops, you may need to size Minies. My Enfield is OK with the Parker-Hale bullet unsized...my father's muskets always required sizing the bullets.
     
  10. desmobob

    desmobob Member

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    I bought a beautiful sizer and luber from Pedersoli. The prices are a bit (a lot!) high these days...
     
  11. dave951

    dave951 Member

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    Tom Crone's sizers are the ticket and IIRC only about $45. NE Trader also sells push through that fit a 7/8x14 thread, a normal single stage reloading press.
     
  12. APG

    APG Member

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    I size my minieballs to .577 to use in my Pedersoli 1861 Springfield. I cast them using a Lyman 575213 mold.
    I wrote earlier that I used a .575 sizer when I use a .577. I have fixed my mistake and blame it on home schooling my 9 year old grandson. I'm the teacher, principal, custodian and the damn lunch lady. Loosing my marbles.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2021
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  13. Ugly Sauce

    Ugly Sauce Member

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    I seem to have more trouble finding a mold that does not cast a slug too small. !!! .575"s pretty much free fall down all three of my .58's. Would it not work to put a REAL, for instance, down the bore, poof it out with compressed air (into a pillow or fluff or water) and then measure it? Just seems like it would be less expensive than buying gauges.

    Also, I've never had a problem pulling balls or bullets from a barrel. ?
     
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  14. Twocanary

    Twocanary Member

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    Ideally, you would want your buddy to buy the gauges so you can just borrow and go straight to buying the correct sizer and mold (if necessary):). I think if you tapped a REAL into the bore and measured, you will get something close to groove diameter. You want to size minies one or two thou less than the lands. Btw, nice Jaeger!
     
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  15. .38 Special

    .38 Special Member

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    I'm a bit mystified that any experienced muzzleloading shooter would.

    I use either a slightly oversized pure lead ball, or if I don't have one, a slightly undersized ball mashed with a hammer. Then I put a wood screw into it and take it back out. Then I lube it and tap it into the muzzle with the screw hole facing up. Then I put the screw back in and pull out the ball with pliers. The only down side is that it doesn't necessarily show me the tightest part of the bore, but so far I have not had any problems in that regard.
     
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  16. BCRider

    BCRider Member

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    Gauge pins or slugging and then measuring the grooves in the slugs that gives the bore. Both will provide the results needed. But one costs more than the other. I fail to see where one method is better than the other.

    The REAL slug would also work provided it's a size that gives a clear and clean grooving. And that one has a REAL slug the proper size at hand.
     
  17. APG

    APG Member

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    My bad, I miss wrote the size of the sizer I use. It's a .577 not a .575.
     
  18. SlowFuse

    SlowFuse Member

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    I've had a positive experience with all of Tom Crones sizers. But they don't fit lubesizers, just standard presses. Ive seen the lube sizers in large diameters, S&S and Lodgewood come to mind.

    For measuring, I went the pin gauge route... I bought them from mcmaster Carr (I think) in all of the common diameters to check 36, 44, 54, 58 and 69 caliber bores.
     
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