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. Depending on your Snider, a bullet between .585" and .600" in diameter may work best. Just fire a few rounds of undersized bullets to expand your brass. Now measure the inside of the case mouth to see what will chamber. That is usually a fairly good guide on what bullet size you will want to buy a mould for.

Luckily, there are quite a few moulds to be found. RCBS has a .590 mould that is quite popular. There are a few custom Lee moulds that have been created by groups of enthusiasts that range in diameter and length. There are also companies now producing very nice moulds in a solid base configuration. Let Google be your guide to find them! Lots of good accuracy reports are coming from people that simply use a suitable diameter round ball seated in the brass case.

I use the large 535 grain, 3 lube groove bullet a fella by the name "Coyote" produces for my 5 groove MkIII Carbine. I use a custom .595" bullet in My MkIII 2-Band Rifle with one brand of brass and a similar bullet of .600" in another brand of brass. Its all about what chambers best.

Once you have one of these oversize 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!