The Battle of Leipzig, or Battle of the Nations, was fought at Leipzig, Saxony. The coalition armies of Russia, Prussia, Austria, and Sweden, led by Tsar Alexander I of Russia and Karl Philipp, Prince of Schwarzenberg, decisively defeated the French... Read more ...
The Battle of Leipzig
The Battle of Leipzig, or Battle of the Nations, was fought at Leipzig, Saxony. The coalition armies of Russia, Prussia, Austria, and Sweden, led by Tsar Alexander I of Russia and Karl Philipp, Prince of Schwarzenberg, decisively defeated the French army of Napoleon I, Emperor of the French. Napoleon's army also contained Polish and Italian troops, as well as Germans from the Confederation of the Rhine. The battle was the culmination of the 1813 German campaign and involved nearly 600,000 soldiers, making it the largest battle in Europe prior to World War I.
Being decisively defeated for the first time in battle, Napoleon was compelled to return to France while the Coalition hurried to keep their momentum, invading France early the next year. Napoleon was forced to abdicate and was exiled to Elba in May 1814.
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The flint and percussion locks are the most commonly used ignition systems used in today\'s black powder firearms. Other systems, such as matchlock, snaphaunce and wheellock are also used, but in more limited quantities. This article gives you a brief overview of the different systems.
Published: 19 September 2008 by Øyvind Flatnes.
Edited: 19 September 2008.
A precondition for good accuracy with minié bullets are properly dimensioned bullets that fit the barrel. Many .58 calibre bullet moulds have a .575" diameter, while the bore diameter of many muskets is .580 or more. Bullet moulds also have a tendency to cast smaller bullets than specified on the mould. Be aware that muskets that have progressive depth rifling may shoot better with under dimensioned bullets compared to muskets with ordinary rifling.
Cut away view of minié ball
You don't have to have custom bullet moulds made to fit your musket. If you have an undersize bullet mould they can be enlarged quite easily. You don't need sophisticated tools either. Note that the following applies to steel and brass moulds. I'm uncertain whether it is possible to enlarge an aluminium mould. You need the following equipment to enlarge a mould:
- A hand drill
- Fine grit valve grinding compound
- Brass or steel wood screws
- A file
- 4-5 perfect minié balls cast from the mould you are going to enlarge
- A vernier calliper or micrometer
Find out more!
You can learn more about bullet moulds and bullet casting in the brand new book From Musket to Metallic Cartridge: A Practical History of Black Powder Firearms.
Before you start
There are basically two ways to find out whether your bullet has correct diameter: with or without micrometer/calliper. I recommend using the micrometer/calliper method, but if you don't have any you can use the other method.With a micrometer or vernier calliper
Slug the barrel of the musket that shoots the bullet from the bullet mould you plan to enlarge. When you slug it you must remove the breech plug, which is a job for the advanced. When the breech plug is removed you force an oversize lead slug through the barrel. Force the slug from the breech towards the muzzle. When the slug exits the muzzle it has a perfect print of the rifling. Use your measuring tool to measure the bore diameter (diameter across the flats). Remember, that on a slug the bore diameter is the smallest diameter and the larges diameter is the rifling depth. If your musket is .58 calibre you will probably find that the diameter is about .58". Afterwards you measure the diameter of the bullet you are going to shoot. If the diameter is below .578" in a .580" barrel it may be smart to enlarge the bullet mould slightly.Without micrometer or calliper
Take a perfect cast bullet and insert it into the muzzle of the weapon you are shooting. The weapon should be wiped clean and free of oil. Insert the entire bearing surface of the bullet into the muzzle and wiggle it a bit. Does it feel loose? If it does feel loose you should enlarge it. I really recommend that you use the first method as this is more accurate. With some sort of measuring device it is easier to avoid enlarging the bullet too much.
Enlarging the bullet mould