News of the New and a Faux Pas

I need to start with an apology. I incorrectly provided a web address in last month's column, an error for which I am deeply sorry for. The correct web address for the Model 1816 Musket home page is I left the "t" in "pallte" out in my original reference. Check it out, the page is completely devoted to the Model 1816 Musket.

Well, after a dreadfully dry summer, the 1998 Skirmishing Season is winding down. As you read this, there will be little time left before the Fall National Skirmish at Fort Shenandoah near Winchester, VA. However, there are a few new developments which have hatched out this summer, and I wanted to let all three of my avid readers in on these fresh findings.

Readers of the Civil War News have heard from fellow correspondent Joe Bilby about Greg Edington's and the Rifle Shoppe's (Jones, OK) efforts to produce in kit form a faithful reproduction of an Austrian Lorenz Musket. Greg is in the process of assembling all the necessary parts in one place, and as you read this it is hoped that the last few pieces (but important pieces, alas) will be on hand and ready to go.

I personally consider this a major breakthrough in reenacting and skirmishing arms production. Greg has proved that one individual, or a small group of individuals, can set out to produce a historically accurate reproduction of a military arm and succeed. Mr. Eddington has used many different sources to produce the required components, and this has caused some time delays. However, Greg has persevered and now succeeded.

Greg has used top notch suppliers to provide his barrels, stocks, castings and other components. Look for the Lorenz Rifle Musket Kit to be a big hit in the reenacting community, especially with units like the 6th New Hampshire Vol. Inf. that. originally were armed with Lorenzes. More than 300,000 Lorenzes were used in our Civil War on both sides.

Greg has even recreated a .54 bullet just for the Lorenz, which carried a big punch due to it's slow twist. The load had to be supersonic to stabilize the bullet, creating quite a bit of muzzle energy in the process.

For an up-to-the-minute report on Lorenz Kit availability, access Greg's homepage at Bridesburg Armoury, which can be found at

There's more goings on in the new development department for .50 caliber shooters as well. RCBS has developed and is beginning to produce a new adjustable mould for half-inch shooters. The mould will cast a 235 grain to 400 grain flat base or hollow base bullet at .520. The adjustability comes from a threaded base plug, which a can be adjusted up or down in the base of the mould to suit the caster. With an adjustable base, you should be able to get this mould to satisfy the diet of any Maynard, Smith, Spencer or Sharps that requires this caliber projectile.

Fellow writer Tony Beck says he has been using the mould this summer, and is completely satisfied with the quality of the mould. Tony tells me that the mould has an expert finish, like all RCBS moulds, and a coat of Rapine (r) Mould Prep was all that was required to get this steel demon to throw perfect bullets every time. Tony even liked the bullet for his Spencer, but warned that the nose may be a little pointy for work in the magazine tube.

Tom Magno of the Dismal Swamp Rangers was so enamored with the new mould that he's telling everyone on the N-SSA Bulletin Board that he won two medals with the new bullet this summer. Seems Tom used the projectile in his original Smith, and even with a pitted bore shot a 93-2X and 93-1X at 50 yards. That's pretty good shootin' with any bullet, but Tom credits the new RCBS.

If you're looking for a projectile and you don't want to make your own, you might look into Tom and Lorraine Ball's line of competition bullets. I started using their .517 Smith/Maynard bullet in my Harper's Ferry Maynard last month, and I can't get to enough skirmishes to show-off. On top of 28 grains of FFF Goex, the new bullet shrunk my group size from 3 to 2 1/2 inches. The only thing I changed was my bullet, so I know it had to be that. The .517 weighs in at 355 grains, and holds up well at 100 yards, too. The bullet is available already lubed with SPG in .516 or .517 sizes, and is absolutely consistent round to round. Five hundred bullets cost me $58.00 Yankee dollars, but if you pick them up from Tom at his booth at the National you can save the eight bucks shipping. If you can't come to the National, reach Tom at Ball Accuracy, RR #1, Box 241, Millville, PA 17846 (717) 458-5197. I saw Tom at the Gator in August, and he said they will be coming out with a line of pistol bullets for .44 and .36 as well. I plan on trying these out as soon as I can get my hands on them. Now, if I could just get Tom to cast my Minie Balls for me....hmmmm.

Until the next time, promote responsible gun ownership, shoot safe and have fun.

1998 by Tom Kelley

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