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1863 Zouave .58 for hunting ??

Discussion in 'Hunting, Fishing & Camping' started by RugerFan58, Jan 17, 2005.

  1. I've heard nothing but good things about these rifles. Cabela's has them for $420. I'm interested if finding out if the ones Cabela's have are any good. Anyone here ever shot one? Dixie Gun Works also sells them for a little more money. Might be made by someone else? Would appreciate any info that you might have. Thanks, RugerFan58
  2. isp2605


    Oct 2, 2002
    One of the guys I deer hunt with uses a Zouave. Kills deer dead.

  3. CanyonMan

    CanyonMan In The Saddle

    Jul 26, 2002
    Well, I am about to post the kind of reply, that 'i usually hate to get...' "that is." No, i have not personally shot one....

    But.... I have been dealing with muzzleloaders since the early 70's, and have taken 'record class' deer with them, in 50, 54 cal. .58cal; being a very accurate caliber, more than people give it credit for.

    I am pretty "familiar" with the 'Zouave,' and i have 'total confidence,' from what i 'do know' about the gun, (and i "do know" about the 'caliber'...58 )

    Which choice to make concerning the purchase.... Man i do not know that. It would be a 50/50 call with "me." I have confidence in both cabelas, and Dixie Gun Works as well. Personally, i 'do know,' that the return poicy, with cabelas is fantastic to say the least. Even on Muzzle loaders, i've had to do it before. They are good people to do business with.

    As for the 'caliber' itself, you bet! As..." isp2605 " said in his post... "Kills deer dead."

    The .58 caliber has been ignored far to much in this 'modern world of muzzle loading we now live in, with all the bells and whistles, and do-dads, and making a 'muzzle loader' look and shoot like a 30-06. Not for me. ('no offense' to anyone else, 'at all' )

    But the .58 cal. is a very good caliber, and with careful loading, and some practise.... it is a real accurate caliber, that carries plenty of punch behind all that lead.

    Just some advise... 'stay simple' with that model, and caliber. What i mean is, use the 'real deal,' with the powder, FF G, ( 2FG ), and place a good cut of 'pillow ticking' over the muzzle for a patch, soaked in 10% water soluable "machine oil," and 90 % water..."Moose Milk." Use a good quality .58 round ball, and this gun, and caliber, will be a deer killer way out there as far as you need it to be with 'open sights..'

    ( if anyone is interested in 'the details' of the "Moose Milk" recipie, and patch let me know) This is the most accurate formula i have ever used in over 30 years of muzzle loading, i really works great.

    Have fun, and good luck to ya Hoss.

  4. tjpet


    May 14, 2001
    Utah-Idaho border
    I've had Zouave for awhile. It's a well made, stout rifle. Round ball or Minie are both accurate. The Minie is easier to load and hits harder but does generate more recoil.

    I've killed deer, elk, and bear with mine. I favor the Hawken style rifle so don't use it much anymore. But that's no indictment on it's form or function.
  5. If you don't mind me asking what brands is yours and where did you buy it? They look like they'd be alot of fun to shoot. I've always wanted a .58. Thanks. ;c
  6. Thanks CanyonMan, I'm going to call Cabela's and Dixie and find out if the ones they sell are made by the same companies. Never heard of "Moose Milk" before. I use patches made by Thompson Center Arms that have Natural Lube 1000 on them. Seem to work OK. Thanks for the info. ;c
  7. tjpet


    May 14, 2001
    Utah-Idaho border

    I bought mine from EMF, a west coast outfit about 10 years ago. Their website is
  8. CanyonMan

    CanyonMan In The Saddle

    Jul 26, 2002

    You are welcome..... That is a good idea, i would be interested as well to know if they are the same brand, or manufacture.

    The "moose milk" concept, has been around for a long, long time.
    the "water soluable" machine oil, "replaces" what was once used in the 'mountain man days,' as bear grease, or lard, or fat, etc.

    The idea is to take a plastic bottle, (like an empty, and "totally clean" ivory dish washing soap bottle), go to a machine shop, and ask them to give you some "water soluable" (important), machine oil. They will usually "give it to you free." Make sure you only fill 10% of the bottle with it. Then go home and fill it up with tap water. Shake the fire out of it, and it will turn "white as snow.".... "moose milk."

    Now, you have got a "fantastic", and safe lube, slicker than heck, from the oil, and very safe and protective to the barrel, "PLUS," you have water, which helps keep the bore clean from all the fowling of 'real black powder.'

    This has, over 30 odd years i've used it, not only increased my accuracy with a 'round ball,' but gave me approx, 40% more shots between cleaning, maybe more.

    Here's how it all comes together...

    Get a 'square yard' of "pillow ticking material," (the blue and white striped stuff the old feather pillows were made of years ago), you can get it at wally world, or a place that sells materal and such. Take it and put it in the washing machine, ('without' any detergent/s), after it is done, 'dry it'. (this removes all the starches).

    Now, cut it in strips, about 1 3/4" - 2" wide, full length of the material.

    Now you will have " X " amount of strips in front of you. Put some 'moose milk,' in a bowl, and place a 'strip end' in there, and 'zip it through,' till completely soaked, "wring out" all excess, so it is "damp", but "not dripping," Roll it up, and put in a container of choice, (as many strips as you will need for your outing), a small 'tin container' works great, or 'plastic skoal can.'

    Pour your powder charge down the tube, and lay the strip across the muzzle, place a ball on there, use your 'short starter,' to pop the ball in a tad, then take your knife and "cut the cloth 'even' with the muzzle," (this gives a "PERFECT FIT" all the way around the ball). Then ram that sucker home.

    I promise you, if you have followed these instructions, you will have a 'very good' shooter! "Plus", it holds up very well in all kinds of weather. I have left a ball on the powder charge for 2-3 days, and still had a perfect firing charge.

    There is 'no way,' to get as 'perfect' a fit, with a 'precut' patch.
    Plus, the 'pillow ticking' gives a great bite on the rifeling as well.

    I know it "sounds like a lot here,".. but it is really 'quite easy' to do.....and hey, it will only cost you about $2.00 - $3.00 to find out how it works for you. And you will have "plenty" of patches!

    It really is very 'fast' once you pop that strip up on the muzzle, and slice it off right quick, then send it down the barrel. No more trying to 'center' the ball on the patch!

    All i can say is... It works excellent for me, and gives geat reliability, and accuracy. Hope it will work as well for y'all.