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Thread: What is the best Minie' ball mold for live firing of Pedersoli 1861 Springfield

  1. #1
    mrappe is offline
    Visitor (non-N-SSA Member)
    Join Date
    Nov 2017

    What is the best Minie' ball mold for live firing of Pedersoli 1861 Springfield

    I just got a new Pedersoli 1861 Springfield and while I do reenacting also ,my primary hobby for the past 23 years is Cowboy Action Shooting which is using live ammo. I do reloading and have cast round balls for my cap and ball pistols. I have never shot a musket with live ammo so if I buy any gun even for reenacting I would also like to shoot it at the shooting range with authentic type Minie' balls. I was wondering which bullet molds and sizers would be best for this particular manufacturer's barrel .
    Thank you,

  2. #2
    ms3635v's Avatar
    ms3635v is offline
    1st Pennsylvania Cavalry
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    suburban Philly
    Middle Atlantic - New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey
    there are many good minie moulds available. I use a Moose Old Style minie in .578" that I size to .576" in a bore that measures .577" (.001" under bore size works best). Always use soft lead. With 45 grains of 3F it will shot a five shot group with all rounds touching from the bench at 50 yards. I am shooting a two band Springfield equipped with a Dan Whitacre barrel.
    Last edited by ms3635v; 4 Weeks Ago at 07:29 AM.
    Mike Santarelli 03635V
    Co. B, 1st Pennsylvania Cavalry, #229
    Middle Atlantic Region
    Small Arms Committee
    Member since 1979

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Deep South - Georgia, Louisiana, Tennessee, Mississippi and Texas
    Hi Mike,

    Here is a video of CapandBall shooting the Pedersoli Springfield:

    He has good luck getting good accuracy out of the Pedersoli guns.

    A lot of skirmishers in the N-SSA like to shoot the RCBS-Hodgdon "skirmish" bullet. It is a semi-wadcutter that makes good clean holes in the target, and it is relatively light (400+ grains) and shoots with a charge of 45 or so grains of 3F powder. It also has generous lube grooves.

    Some people also shoot a more historical expanding ball bullet, like the Lyman 575213OS.

    As Mike S. pointed out, you'll want to use pure lead in an expanding ball, or otherwise the bullet will not expand to take up the rifling very well. Also as he pointed out, most of us size our bullets to insure a tight fit to our gun and insure roundness. I run them through sizers in .001" increments until I find the size that won't fit down the bore, then back off by .001". Some people will also weigh their bullets and discard any that fall outside of, say, +/- .5% of average.

    I am coming around to the conclusion that it is very hard to get voidless hollow-base bullets using a bottom-pour pot. Ladle casting gives much better results. You can verify this yourself by casting up a dozen via bottom pour and casting up a dozen via ladle pouring and weigh them and notice the difference in consistency in the weights. With bottom-pouring of hollow-base bullets you will very often notice a void, or bubble, at the apex of the hollow cavity. But I suspect that even when you do not see it break through into the cavity it is still there in the bullet at least some of the time.


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