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1863 Springfield hasn't been fired in 40 yrs?

wdpete737wdpete737 Member Posts: 7 ✭✭
I'd like to begin hunting with an original 1863 Springfield. My dad purchased the gun new through a magazine ad from Springfield Armory in the early '60s. I clearly remember it coming in a wood box and him taking it out, cleaning the creosote off and assembling the musket. It was brand new! Altogether it has maybe been shot 100-200 rounds. My dad hunted with this musket and it was the very first gun I ever shot. After he passed away the gun was stored in a closet for perhaps 10yrs until I retrieved it. Unfortunately, during that time nobody tended to it and it did have some surface rust and minor pitting which I cleaned. The bore was also cleaned at that time using boiling hot water then brushed and oiled, as I remembered my dad doing. It did not appear to have much contamination. Since then I've cleaned it periodically to maintain its appearance. The gun is priceless to me and so has not been fired, just hangs above the fireplace. I shoot a TC modern muzzle loader so am familiar with the general process of loading a musket. but am not sure about this older gun. My questions are: Is there any risk of damaging the musket in shooting it after so much time? Is there a "check-out" proceedure I should follow? How much powder do I use? Can I shoot pyrodox? Will the miniballs need to lubed with a specific type of lube? Does this gun require a wad or patch? Any guidance from you experienced antique shooters is apreciated.

Comments

  • eastbankeastbank Member Posts: 4,215
    edited November -1
    assuming its safe to fire, use 40-50grs of 3f black powder and a 575213 hollow base mini cast of pure lead,lubed with crisco. eastbank.
  • wdpete737wdpete737 Member Posts: 7 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Thanks for the reply. What is the proper method used to determine "safe to fire?" I've seen small flashlights that slide down the barrel. Is that sufficient to inspect the bore for potential weakness or is there a preferred meathod?
  • eastbankeastbank Member Posts: 4,215
    edited November -1
    i would tie it down to a old tire and load 100grs fff and a mini ball and fire it with a string, put weight inside the tire so it don,t flip over. eastbank.
  • dcinffxvadcinffxva Member Posts: 2,830 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    This is a couple weeks old, so I hope this isn't too late of an answer.

    I have a Model 1861 that I still shoot on a regular basis. All I did was make a good visual inspection and cleaning before loading it up the first time, and it is still nailing targets with ease at the 100 yard range.

    I use a cloth patch and ball, with 80 grains of FFF
  • wdpete737wdpete737 Member Posts: 7 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Thanks to everyone for the comments and suggestions. I will have the bore "scoped" just to be sure there is no major corrosion, then load with 50gn., then 80gn of fffblack powder. From what I've read so far it appears that the skirt of the miniball will deform when loaded with more than 80gr and accuracy will diminish significantly.
  • team roper ozzyteam roper ozzy Member Posts: 411 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    the skirt is designed to expand into the grooves giving the mini ball the proper spin..it is not distortion..what you will end up doing is just blow burning powder out the muzzle by over charging due to the burn rate of the powder...all depends on the weight of the lead your using and the distance your shooting at as far as dialing in the proper powder load
  • wdpete737wdpete737 Member Posts: 7 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Thanks, since I live in the Ozarks, with pretty dense hardwood forestation, it's unlikely to shoot over a hundred, hundred fifty max, yards at whitetail deer. In fact, almost all shots are inside of fifty.

    I'm not sure of the weight of the miniballs I have since my Dad made them many many years ago. I used to have the mold and will try to locate it if possible. If not, I'll get them weighed at my local bow shop. They have a grain scale. But what about the 80grn powder charge? And, no one has said anything about pyrodox. Is it okay to use instead of regular fffblack powder? It seems to burn with less residue in my modern muzzle loader.
  • firstharmonicfirstharmonic Member Posts: 1,057 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    80 grains is heavy; the service load during the Civil War for .58 caliber rifle-muskets firing a minie ball varied slightly but all were around 60 grains. And that was with the equivalent of modern day ffg, not fffg black powder. If you're going to use 3f, reduce the load another 10%. Too heavy a load can result in deforming the skirt of the bullet or actually causing the skirt to be expanded into the rifling to the extent that the skirt can separate from the front of the bullet.

    And pyrodex will work just fine. Have fun.
  • wdpete737wdpete737 Member Posts: 7 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Thanks, I only wish we'd kept the box and paperwork that the musket came in. My Dad actually bought tow of them and my uncle has the other. I think it was purchased through an ad in Field and Stream magazine but am not positive. I have pics, how do I upload one?
  • firstharmonicfirstharmonic Member Posts: 1,057 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
  • mbsamsmbsams Member Posts: 1,076 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    While working up loads, understand that loads for muzzleloaders are measured by volume. Don't weigh out xx grains of pyrodex on a scale. Throw an equivelant black powder charge by volume.
  • MUZZLESMOKEMUZZLESMOKE Member Posts: 17 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    I would not worry about a 40 year old musket. I have a 3 band enfield 58cal made by Tower of England. On the lock it has the crown and 1857. It is 157 years old and I shoot it. Barrel is pitted. But I cleaned it up with steel wool. Left the outside or should i say the whole gun the way it is. The guy next door had it.
    and i got very good price from him. When I take it the range I put the bayonet on. And everybody wants to shoot it or buy it. At 25 yards it does about a 4" groups. Which isn't that bad for that old of a rifle.
  • wdpete737wdpete737 Member Posts: 7 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    I appreciate all of the replies to my inquiry. The guidance is appreciated. Will look forward to better weather coming in the spring and firing the old musket.
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