Snider Bullets Today

When I first decided I had to get my Snider Carbine to make noise again, I started off by shooting store bought .58 caliber muzzle loader "Minie balls". They were expensive and undersized but they did what I wanted them to do...Allow my Snider to once again spew out smoke and noise!

But at over a dollar each, it doesn't take most .58 caliber lead bullet shooters long to decide to cast their own bullets from scrap soft lead.
The question becomes which mould fits the bill?

As was stated on the preceding page, the Snider CAN shoot a undersized .575 to .578 bullet accurately with SOME effort. There are quite a few fairly inexpensive moulds out there (check Ebay for many used ones) that will work to some degree.

The original engineering that produced results in the Snider's undersize bullet puzzle used wedge shaped plugs in the hollow based bullets that would be forced deeper into the hollow base under the pressure of the burning powder gasses and subsequently push out the bullet's skirt to fit the bore. Today's shooter can still duplicate this technique by forming plugs from auto-body filler or epoxy in either self built or purchased moulds. I have found that my local lumber and hardware stores carry tapered wooden plugs (to hide recessed screws in wood work projects) that work very well in most 58 caliber bullet moulds.

But if you measure the bore size at the muzzle of most Sniders you will see that the poor .575 bullets produced in most of these "muzzle loader" moulds has a lot of expanding to do before it grips any rifling.

The answer is to use an oversized mould. Luckily, there are still quite a few to be found. RCBS has a .590 mould that is quite popular. The best selection comes from a fella in the United States that is producing on a very small scale, some custom Lee moulds.
Coyoté now has a varied selection of .590 moulds that aim to match the needs of the Snider shooter both for rifling type (5 groove 1-48" fast twist or 3 groove 1-72" slow twist) and for either hunting or target use.

I use the large 535 grain, 3 lube groove bullet he produces in my 5 groove MkIII Carbine.

Once you have one of these oversize, .590 inch bullet moulds, you no longer need to engineer solutions to expand the bullet as it travels up the bore.
Next, we can look at brass cases to stuff these bullets into!