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Thread: Small caliber muzzleloading rifles

  1. #1
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    Small caliber muzzleloading rifles

    What is the smallest usable caliber for muzzleloading rifle used in Vetterli (50m) and Whitworth (100m) competitions?

    I began to think about this as I found a bulge in the barrel of my .45 rifle last night when cleaning the gun after competition.
    Bulge is 23cm from end of barrel. Havenīt noticed bulge before, so it propably came there yesterday. Have to test if accuracy is still there.
    Shot 93pts in Vetterli with last 7 shots being the better ones, so barrel might still be good for 50m shooting. If it is, following is just theoretical discussion...

    What if a gunsmith bores the barrel open and installs a liner made from 7.92x57 Mauser barrel?
    Wikipedia says that the land to land diameter of that caliber is .311 so .30 caliber moulds could be modified to make suitable bullets - or used as is.
    Maybe something like this: http://leeprecision.com/mold-dc-tl309-230-5r.html or this: http://noebulletmolds.com/NV/product...59sqlgq441tbh4

    Another option might be using the barrel of 7.62x54R Maxim machine gun and bullet like this: https://www.buffaloarms.com/300-140-...wood-jim300140

    What disadvantages are there using smaller caliber? I know .38 muzzleloading rifles are used in Vetterli/Whitworth, but donīt know what dia. bullets they use. Tilo Dedinski makes .38 ML rifles with twist of 600mm/revolution. 7.92x57 twist is 240mm.
    Last edited by JiriK; 30-07-2017 at 09:10 PM.

  2. #2
    harry mac's Avatar
    harry mac is offline You can't say muntjack without saying mmmmm
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    Be aware there are 2 versions of 8mm Mauser. The one you are describing is the old version with a .311 bore and .318 groove diameters. The more modern and more common version, and the one you're most likely to get in a take off barrel is .318 bore, and .323 groove. The twist sounds too fast for black powder and lead.
    IIRC Kranks used to sell a muzzle loader called a "Squirrel Rifle" that was .32 calibre, so the bore size should be at least workable.
    The South of England has 2 good things, the M1 and the A1. Both will take you to Yorkshire.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by harry mac View Post
    Be aware there are 2 versions of 8mm Mauser. The one you are describing is the old version with a .311 bore and .318 groove diameters. The more modern and more common version, and the one you're most likely to get in a take off barrel is .318 bore, and .323 groove. The twist sounds too fast for black powder and lead.
    IIRC Kranks used to sell a muzzle loader called a "Squirrel Rifle" that was .32 calibre, so the bore size should be at least workable.
    Yes, .32cal is the smallest muzzleloading rifle calibre, purely for reasons of the rapid fouling of such a small-diameter hole of great length.

    Any modern rifling intended for a nitro-propelled BULLET will be waaaay too fast for a small patched ball, which is typically at least 1:48 right out to 1:72.

    tac
    Several guns and trains.

  4. #4
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    Ok, thanks for your responses.

    This is just theoretical discussion now, as the MLAIC rulebook says that gun caliber, no. of grooves etc. must be close to original. I doubt these guns were ever made with .32 cal barrels.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by JiriK View Post
    Ok, thanks for your responses.

    This is just theoretical discussion now, as the MLAIC rulebook says that gun caliber, no. of grooves etc. must be close to original. I doubt these guns were ever made with .32 cal barrels.
    http://www.guns.com/review/why-muzzl...irrel-hunting/

    This will tell you all you ever want to know about the smallest practical muzzleloading rifle calibre.

    tac
    Several guns and trains.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by tacfoley View Post
    http://www.guns.com/review/why-muzzl...irrel-hunting/

    This will tell you all you ever want to know about the smallest practical muzzleloading rifle calibre.

    tac
    Damn you Tac now thats something else I need
    A man can always use more alcohol, tobacco and firearms.

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