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I have always thought that Minies expanded to fit the bore because of gas pressure in the cavity. Recently I read of a guy who uses OP wads with a Minie and I got confused a bit.

Will Minies work properly with OP wads?

Doesn't gas pressure drive any wads into the bottom cavity and destroy the bullets performance?
 

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I'd think it would depend on the wad material. Plastic probably wouldn't be good, maybe felt.... But either way, you are probably right, you need the gases to get into that cavity to expand it into the rifling.
 

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The wad pretty much defeats the purpose of using the minie in the first place. You are correct in thinking that the pressure of the expanding gas forces the skirt of the minie into the rifling to allow it to spin and be stabilized. The wad could jam into the base of the minie and do the same thing but it is more likely that he is using the wad to clear out some of the fouling from the barrel prior to loading the minie. If he is using a felt or cardboard wad it would have little or no effect on the minie's base expanding into the rifling.
 

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I have used a minie in my .58 many times. One of the most important things is to have a good fit. My bore likes the .577 diameter bullet over the .575. Felt wads can be used, but mostly with solid base bullets.
 
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