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Login Name Post: What size round ball in 20 guage?        (Topic#253735)
thomp shooter 
40 Cal.
Posts: 128
01-12-11 02:23 PM - Post#942591    


Hello,
I am working out a deal with a guy that has a 20 guage smooth bore for sale. Im buying it. What size roundball/patch combo work the best and how much powder behind them?

thanks aaron

 
nessmuk 
40 Cal.
Posts: 121
01-12-11 02:30 PM - Post#942593    

    In response to thomp shooter

I use a .600 round ball and .015 spit patch with 60 gr. of goex 3F powder in my smoothbore with a 36" barrel. This load is good to about 60 yds. and gives me good groups.

 
BrownBear 
Cannon
Posts: 13969
BrownBear
01-12-11 02:51 PM - Post#942602    

    In response to thomp shooter

If the 20 has a Green Mountain barrel, you'll need a .595 for use with ticking. Their bore is really tight, and even a .600 ball requires you to use very thin patches. There appears to be quite a range in what "20 gauge" or 62 cal means, because a bud has one that requires a .610 ball with ticking.

That's kind of the normal range, but unless you know the maker or can take a mike to the bore, it's a crapshoot. Track of the Wolf and others sell several sizes, so even without a mike you can experiment cheaply before buying a mold.

 
Roundball 
Cannon
Posts: 22964
Roundball
01-12-11 02:58 PM - Post#942607    

    In response to thomp shooter

  • thomp shooter Said:
Hello,
I am working out a deal with a guy that has a 20 guage smooth bore for sale. Im buying it. What size roundball/patch combo work the best and how much powder behind them?
thanks aaron



My advice is wait until you get it then carefully mic the bore diameter.

My 32" GM bore diameter is .610" and it likes a .595" + .018" + 100grns Goex 2F for typical thick woods distances with whitetails;

My 38" Rice bore diameter is a full .620" and shoots like a rifle with .600" + .022" + 110grns Goex 2F.
Roundball's ML Formula:
"Whompability...Across The Fields and In The Woods"


 
tg 
Cannon
Posts: 10776
01-12-11 03:15 PM - Post#942619    

    In response to thomp shooter

If you follow the logic of some who have posed on the gauge system the bore size will be approx .615 by the British standrds estabilshed in the 1860's wich as mentioned is also the same as the balls per lb which results in a ball over .610 by most charts there is usually some slight differences in various charts as to the diameter of various balls per lb bt it is usually slight, some say the a 20 bore or 20 gauge will have the bore size the same as a ball of 20 per lb or .615 approx this is so one can now how many shots one gets per lb, so if you have a .615 bore and use balls that are .615,this will make shooting such a gun/load interesting, most likely the bore size will be some what larger than the actual size of ball or "balls per lb" used, if the bore is .615 or so (typical 20 gauge)the gun will likely shoot balls of 21 or 22 per lb or .600-.580 give or take

 
flinch 
45 Cal.
Posts: 742
flinch
01-12-11 05:33 PM - Post#942673    

    In response to tg

I use a .590 ball in both of my colerain barrels, around .017 patch. A .600 loads too hard for me. flinch

 
Anonymous 
01-12-11 05:54 PM - Post#942687    

    In response to flinch

I agree with Flinch but use a .015 patch.
Mark

 
lockjaw 
40 Cal.
Posts: 190
01-12-11 06:13 PM - Post#942703    

    In response to thomp shooter

...i use a .600 with 70gr 2f and a lubed cushion wad split in two...one half under one half over...no patch...

 
Rich Knack 
40 Cal.
Posts: 192
Rich Knack
01-13-11 07:47 AM - Post#942928    

    In response to lockjaw

I use a .600 ball from a Rapine bag mold. My Northwest gun has a .618 bore, so I use unbleached muslin for patching. My Middlesex Village howdah pistol has a .629 bore, so I use pillow ticking for a patch. Bore Butter for lube in both guns.

 
BrownBear 
Cannon
Posts: 13969
BrownBear
01-13-11 08:48 AM - Post#942967    

    In response to Rich Knack

I was just looking at a Pedersoli 20 ga SxS at Track of the Wolf. According to their measure the cylinder bore is .628 and the IC bore is .618 at the muzzles.

 
hanshi 
Cannon
Posts: 8343
hanshi
01-13-11 10:32 AM - Post#943015    

    In response to flinch

I bought a .590 mold with the intention of using WW metal. A .600 pure lead ball with .015 patch shoots well enough but seats with protest especially after the first shot. The load is still a work in progress.
Young guys should hang out with old guys; old guys know stuff.


 
Deadeye 
54 Cal.
Posts: 1944
Deadeye
01-13-11 10:48 AM - Post#943026    

    In response to thomp shooter

I have 3 "20s", one measures .610, one .620 and the other .625. They all shoot great with .600 ball and .007, .015 and .023 patches. I've used from 70 to 140 grs. of 2F. When you get your barrel mike it, figure out your ball and patch and start with about 70 gr. 2F or 3F.
Deadeye

 
satwel 
40 Cal.
Posts: 181
01-20-11 10:17 AM - Post#946626    

    In response to thomp shooter

When I got my 20 ga, I started with a .600 ball and a .018 patch. Too hard to start and load plus accuracy was mediocre. Switched to a .010 patch--loading was easier, but accuracy remained mediocre. Like Hanshi, I bought a .590 mold. Now I shoot a .590 ball with a .015 patch, 70 grains 2F. Starts with thumb pressure, loads easily plus 50 yd. accuracy greatly improved. Placed first in a local 50 yd smoothbore (no rear sight) event using that combo.

You'll have to experiment with various ball and patch combos to optimize a load for your gun as bore diameters vary. My bore seems to be on the tight side. Experimenting is part of the fun! Good luck.

 
paulvallandigham 
Passed On
Posts: 17538
paulvallandigham
01-20-11 10:35 AM - Post#946635    

    In response to thomp shooter

I don't think there are any TRUE 20 ga. barrels out there- at least I haven't seen many.

This means that you HAVE TO measure the bore of your barrel(s) with a micrometer, or caliper, before choosing the size ball, and patch thickness to use in that gun. Some barrels are as small as .605". Other are as large as .627" That runs the gambit from a 21 gauge to a 19 gauge bore!

YOU CANNOT RELY ON THE FACT THAT THE BARREL IS MARKED "20 GAUGE", NOR ON WHAT SOMEONE TELLS YOU IT IS BY LOOKING AT THE MUZZLE.

My particular " 20 ga. barrel ", for instance, is closer to that 19 ga. size( .629" nominally), so I am using .610" diameter balls, and a .015" thick patch in my gun. I have read here of members having to use balls as small as .585" in their smaller diameter barrels to get good accuracy.

The good news is that you can buy wads, and cards from Circle Fly, and other suppliers, in any numbered gauge you need for that barrel. I am using some 20 ga. "cushion wads"( 'cause they are loaded much easier) on top of a 19 ga. OP wad, and a 19 ga. OS card to hold PRB, or shot loads in the barrel of my gun. When I finally use up those 20 gauge cushion wads, I will buy something else, but right now, these "Pre-lubed" cushion wads load much easier, while helping to lube the bore as they are compressed against the bore walls, when the gun is fired.

Edited by paulvallandigham on 01-20-11 10:38 AM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
Dave K 
58 Cal.
Posts: 2474
01-20-11 11:30 AM - Post#946651    

    In response to thomp shooter

My Colerain barrel likes a .590 ball with .018 patch. If I go to a .600 ball and thinner patch that will allow me to get it down the bore, it is not fun to load at all and I get burned patches. Like many have said, you need to measure the bore to now for sure. Then it is a matter of testing to see what works best. IMO a patch thickness under .015 in any gun is usually not good for me and my guns. It wants to burn to easily. Your mileage may vary.

 
majg1234 
45 Cal.
Posts: 847
majg1234
01-21-11 08:35 AM - Post#947024    

    In response to Dave K

My bobby christian loads a 600 round ball cast from WW scrap,I don't patch but use an OXYOKE 20ga wool felt wad with bees wax and Olive oil lubricant, over 60gr FFg, over the ball I use another same wad,groups @ 60yds as less than 3" with only a front site, I posted it here several weeks back. The guy I bought it from recomended the set up and it works.I think all and all it'll take some experimententing ,measuring and such to sort it out (thats where all the fun is)

 
paulvallandigham 
Passed On
Posts: 17538
paulvallandigham
01-21-11 09:16 AM - Post#947032    

    In response to majg1234

Don't Guess! Please. Its too frustrating! Without actually knowing the EXACT diameter of the bore of your barrel, by MEASURING IT YOURSELF, you are GUESSING!

You don't tell us the source or even the manufacturer of the gun barrel you have. Green Mountain is know for selling 20 gauge barrels, for instance, that are bored UNDERSIZED, often .605"- which is actually the nominal diameter of a 21 gauge barrel!

If you want better than " minute of deer" accuracy, you need to measure that bore, and buy components according to what that measurement tells you will FIT.

 
hanshi 
Cannon
Posts: 8343
hanshi
01-21-11 01:55 PM - Post#947142    

    In response to paulvallandigham

After measuring my bore with calipers several times I've come to the conclusion it is .625". A lead ball at a true .600 dia and .015 patch loads with difficulty especially after the first shot. Same with a .605 WW ball and .010 patching. This is why I acquired the .590 mold. The tight seating got me to thinking, is it a .615-.620 rather than a full .625? It could just be my inexperience with smooth bores. I do know the absence of grooves crowds the patch since the material has nowhere to compress. What say the forum?
Young guys should hang out with old guys; old guys know stuff.


 
paulvallandigham 
Passed On
Posts: 17538
paulvallandigham
01-21-11 02:27 PM - Post#947149    

    In response to hanshi

I think you have it right, about smoothbores not giving any Leeway for patch fabric to move or "stretch", compared to what happens in rifles.

My first shots with RB that were .600" diameter, in my .6265 bore were with very thin denim, that my brother gave me from some stash. Neither of us like the results. Clearly they were too thin, for that ball/bore combination, as shown by the dark wide, black ring, and streaks on the spent patches. I have thrown what I had left of that stuff away.

I bought some Mattress ticking, and its been washed. I need to iron it to make it easier to cut into strips, and then I can get back to testing. Its measuring close to .015" thick, right now, but I want to measure it again after its ironed.

I also was given a handful of .610" balls to try. We will see. I would much prefer to use a thick patch, and a smaller diameter ball, than a larger ball, and a thin patch.

I also tried using an OP wad, under both my RB, and shot loads, and saw an immediate, and substantial increase in velocity, using the 19 gauge, .125"thick, Vegetable Fiber wads. I am taking over 200 fps! In rifles, I have found using an OP wad will increase MV by 50-75 fps., but never as much as I found with this fowler. POI at 25 yds rose 8 inches, Too!

One of the reasons I am trying to find the correct patch/ball combination for this barrel is so I don't have to use an OP wad. Its not much of a hassle, compared to loading shot loads, but like most everyone else, I am searching for the simplest loading procedure that produces the best result. Since the air in front of my OP wad is pushed through the powder charge, and out the TH, putting the OP wad down is no big problem. Its just another step. If I can avoid it, I will.

 
majg1234 
45 Cal.
Posts: 847
majg1234
01-22-11 05:59 AM - Post#947388    

    In response to paulvallandigham

agree with you completely ...that is why I tried the OP and OB felt wads as suggested by the previous owner...I guess he did all the other work cause done that way the thing SHOOTS..not saying it'll work for everybody but sure works for this SB pour the powder stick a wad in the bore set a ball on the wad add a wad and shove the whole shebang down prime and KABOOM Heck this thig @ 60yds shoots about as accurate as my old investarms hawkin shoots TC maxi's

 
paulvallandigham 
Passed On
Posts: 17538
paulvallandigham
01-22-11 10:12 AM - Post#947453    

    In response to majg1234

Roundball, another member here, has described his use of Wool Felt Wads, but he uses ones that are one gauge size at least, Larger than his bore diameter. The larger diameter wool wads form a cup behind his PRB, filling in the air spaces. He used two 1/8" thick wool wads. ( 16 gauge wool felt wads in a 20 gauge, 12 ga. wads in a 16 gauge, etc.) The use of two such wads puts enough material against the bore to provide a seal, even when the gases are trying to push past the edges. The forward wad cups the PRB, while the rear felt wad has only one job, and that is to seal the gases from escaping past both it, and the forward wad. The PRB's inertia forces the forward wad back against the rear wad, helping to create the needed seal. This allows the use of a thinner patch around the ball for easier loading( with cold fingers), because the wool felt wads also serve as a firewall, and that thin patch only needs to center the ball in the smoothbore, and help grease the bore as the PRB leaves the barrel.

Since there is NO rifling in a smooth bore, the patch does not have to Grab the ball, and transfer the "spin" of the rifling to the ball.

The fewer jobs you ask of any wad, or patch fabric, the more consistent the gun shoots from shot to shot.

It would be interesting to learn what kind of MV and SDV you get with those felt wads.

 
hanshi 
Cannon
Posts: 8343
hanshi
01-22-11 06:27 PM - Post#947657    

    In response to paulvallandigham

I've tried - still not through testing - using an op card wad then a cushion wad under the patched ball. I also intend experimenting with a cushion wad and unpatched ball. Lots of experimentation to do. As soon as I can mold up some .590 WW ball I'll be trying that with various combos. I prefer to use WW for the fowler and save the pure lead for the rifles. I would tend to think a cushion wad would be a great gas sealer.
Young guys should hang out with old guys; old guys know stuff.


 
majg1234 
45 Cal.
Posts: 847
majg1234
01-23-11 08:40 AM - Post#947854    

    In response to paulvallandigham

yep I'd like to know too and will do a chrony testing later in the spring and will report on the forum meanwhile shes being used for "tree bacon" with shot.....BTW any of you guys know a good way to remove cushion wads that are made of something that looks like fiber board,Shooting it works but then the cleaning needs to be done I could not get the ball puller to hold on to it well enough to get it out,(saw no tree rats)and needed to pull the load

 
bud in pa 
36 Cal.
Posts: 63
01-23-11 09:13 AM - Post#947867    

    In response to thomp shooter

I just purchased a Lee .575 Mould. I am using it with paper ctgs. accuracy with 80 gr. of 2F is minute of a deer at 50 yds. . The reason for this is a much quicker reload and an average of 15 shots before having to wipe the bore.

 
buttonbuck 
50 Cal.
Posts: 1486
buttonbuck
01-23-11 11:16 AM - Post#947915    

    In response to bud in pa

I have 2 moulds for the gm .615 (62)smooth bore One Lee that casts .60 and a tanner that casts .590. The 60 cal balls were a PITA with .015 patches to load the .010 held up OK with 70 grains of 3f goex and shot good not great. Plan to try more of the experiments with the gun; Including type of powder, ball, patch and wad combos. I hope to use one type of ticking in my riles and smooth bore but every gun is different and each has its own merits. You also have to consider that Most of the 62 shooters are shooting flintlocks from what I gather? Mine is percussion so I use a bit less powder. MY end goal is to use the "muzzleloading Shotgun" in a public hunting area that is "Shotgun Only" meaning no pistols or muzzle loaders.

 
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