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Thread: Struggle with the .577 cal Parker Hale 1861 artillery carbine continues

  1. #1
    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Kachemak Bay Alaska

    Default Struggle with the .577 cal Parker Hale 1861 artillery carbine continues

    Well the struggle with the .577 caliber Parker Hale made 1861 artillery carbine continues.

    With the lack of good soft lead here in Alaska. ( yeah odd ) I bought a couple hundred Minie' bullets from the Civil War Bullet Man.

    This 24 inch carbine is not as easy to shoot for groups as is a regular long barreled Zouve or Enfield.

    Originally I tried some tight fitting Minie that I was using in my old Italian made Zouve.. They shot groups the size of a turkey platter at 50 yards from the carbine..

    I was also stuck using crappy CCI ( re-enactor musket caps) ,,, BUT last Sunday a friend of mine gave me two tins of very old ALCAN musket caps. Made in Alton Il. They work......

    So I hit the range with some Lyman OS Minies sized to .576 and some thick skirt Rapine Minies also sized at .576.

    With a clean bore the weight of the steel ram-rod is enough to darn near seat these Minies. Of course that changes after one shot.

    I played around with Swiss 1.5 F and Goex 2F.
    The sweet spot so far seems to be between 55 and 60 grains by volume. And this carbine really prefers the Lyman OS.

    So far the best I can do at 50 yards is a 2.0 inch group with the Lyman OS. 4 in 1.25 inches and the last round out to 2.0 inch

    The Rapine heavy skirt Minie bullets were a 5 inch group. The first 4 shots in a 3.0 inch group with the last round flying out.

    The sight is fixed for windage and of course it shoots a little off to the left...

    I tried 60 grains of Swiss 1.5F and it was a much hotter load than Goex. The group centered, but I was getting odd flyers from what was a super good group. I think the hotter load is making the bullet skirt deform from the muzzle blast.

    I am starting to think that .577 sizing might work a little better than .576. I am spit patch or dry patch cleaning between shots.

    I should add that my trigger pull is horrible....
    Floatplane,Tailwheel and Firearms Instructor- Dragonfly Aero
    Experimental Hand-Loader, NRA Life Member

  2. #2


    Good report. I agree with your assessment of what's going on with the Swiss. Dropping the charge a little might sort that out.

    Makes me wonder what lube you're using, and if you've tried filling the rear cavity with lube in addition to the grooves.

    Any chance to clean up that trigger a little?

    I'm shooting in the dark mostly from my limited experience with Minies, but repeating suggestions I've heard from experienced shooters.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2010


    I think 2-3" @ 50 is pretty decent for that gun. What are you expecting it to do? I never managed better3-4" or so from my Enfield 3-bander .577.

    BTW, are you doing some reenacting up here? (Formerly a Pvt. in Company K, 7th Florida Vol Infantry, Army of Tennessee)


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