1st time figuring out a load

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rafterob

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I agree that your load starts to look promising at 70 grains. Linen not the best for patching, I agree to try a pillow tick or tight cotton canvas. If you follow the advice to try all the powders, patches and load combos you will be at it a loooong time. So stay with the Goex, the .530 ball and get a better patch material. Then start at 70 grn. shoot 5 shots, then increase by 5 grains. Look for the best grouping. Sight-in comes after you find the best grouping.
 

Mockingbird

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So before I go to the range tomorrow I wanted to try something out. I took my tightest jag (.525 IIRC) and ran a pillow tick patch down and up. It was a tight fit ( not quite as tight as the ball) but low and behold it looked as if the patch was cutting in the same ring. I took some pics of the muzzle as well as the patch where you can see if you look close the wear points. I will report again after the range. Let me know your thoughts.
 

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Just insert your jag, don't run the patch the full barrel length, and see if it is cutting at the crown. You need to determine if the crown is cutting the patch or the rifling.

Cut patches are detrimental to accuracy.

Looks as if you need to take the sharp edges off the crown. Time for the use of your thumb and some 400 or 600 grit wet or dry sandpaper.

If its the rifling, you need to wrap 0000 steel wool around a loose jag or scotch brite and run that up and down the bore to take the shar edges off the rifling.
 

Greenjoytj

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The lube is mink oil in the bush and Hoppes (mostly) at the range. This allows almost unlimited shooting without any need to wipe the bore.

To which of the many Hoppe’s products are you referring to in the partial quote above?

I looked on the Hoppe’s web site and this product:

“Hoppe’s No. 9 Black Powder Gun Bore Cleaner is both a powder remover and patch lubricant”

Is this the product it, looks like it maybe the logical choice.
 
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I would go to a tighter weave patch material - try all cotton pillow ticking or pocket drill. (you don't want any synthetic material in your patches: it will melt while firing and leave a dreadful mess - don't ask me how I know) put a few hundred round through it, and then cut to the chase and buy Dutch Schoultz' method. I believe the link is blackpowderrifleaccuracy.com. Dutch guarantees that if you use his method, your groups will shrink.
 
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THE ONLY THING THAT COMES TO MIND IS THAT YOUR PATCH MATERIAL IS SUCH A LOOSE WEAVE THAT THEY ARE ALMOST BLOWN APART..

I WOULD SUGGEST GETTING A DENIM OF SIMILAR THICKNESS AND THE SHOOTING WITH 80 0R 85 GRAINS, SHIMMING WITH PAPER BETWEEN BLL AND PATCH IN PROGRESSIVE AMOUNTS.
FIVE SHOTS WITHOUT, F5 SHOTS WITH ONE SHEET OF PAPER, 5 SHOTE WITH 2 SHEETS ETC.
IF THE GROUP TIGHTENS UP, TAKE A COMPRESSED MEASYREMENT OF THE SUCCESSFUL COMBINATION OF PATCH AND PAPER AND THEN LOOK FOR A DENIM THAT COMPRESSES THE SAME.

OTHERWISE YOU SEEM TO BE DOING EVERYTHING RIGHT.

DUTCH SCHOULTZ


Looking for some wisdom. So I have had my rifle for a bit now and life has finally permitted me to start shooting again. The rifle is by Brad and Shane Eming of Cabin Creek. After my first try at working up a load I am quite puzzled as things don’t seem to be going too well. I feel like there is something I am missing, here are the details. Distance 30 yards, shooting from bench with bags, temp 50 deg F, Cal .54, Ball is cast round ball in .530 by Rush Creek Roundball weight .222-.224 gr, patching is natural linen thickness of .012 compressed .0115. Lube is the moose milk “dry patch” method that was highly recommended. Patching was cut at muzzle and a short starter was needed to get the ball started / just below the muzzle. I shot 3 shots at each load level swabbing between each shot. Powder was Goex 2f in the tube and in the pan. Loads were 1st 60gr, 2nd 70gr, 3rd 80gr, 4th was also 80 gr ( was trying to see if it was just some weird fluke) started in the lower right quadrant and moved counter clockwise for each set. 1st shot was often close to center and would start drifting away each proceeding shot. Below are pics of the target the recovered patches and the original material. I could really use some advice and help figuring out what might be going on. I was really expecting starting at such a short distance , shooting from the bench that the groups would be a lot tighter starting out. Any help would be VERY much appreciated.
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To which of the many Hoppe’s products are you referring to in the partial quote above?

I looked on the Hoppe’s web site and this product:

“Hoppe’s No. 9 Black Powder Gun Bore Cleaner is both a powder remover and patch lubricant”

Is this the product it, looks like it maybe the logical choice.

YES. That is the best I ever used in 46 years (now mostly using Dutch system though)....if I have a gun that has not been accurized by the "dutch system" thats all I use.
 

Le Loup

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Looking for some wisdom. So I have had my rifle for a bit now and life has finally permitted me to start shooting again. The rifle is by Brad and Shane Eming of Cabin Creek. After my first try at working up a load I am quite puzzled as things don’t seem to be going too well. I feel like there is something I am missing, here are the details. Distance 30 yards, shooting from bench with bags, temp 50 deg F, Cal .54, Ball is cast round ball in .530 by Rush Creek Roundball weight .222-.224 gr, patching is natural linen thickness of .012 compressed .0115. Lube is the moose milk “dry patch” method that was highly recommended. Patching was cut at muzzle and a short starter was needed to get the ball started / just below the muzzle. I shot 3 shots at each load level swabbing between each shot. Powder was Goex 2f in the tube and in the pan. Loads were 1st 60gr, 2nd 70gr, 3rd 80gr, 4th was also 80 gr ( was trying to see if it was just some weird fluke) started in the lower right quadrant and moved counter clockwise for each set. 1st shot was often close to center and would start drifting away each proceeding shot. Below are pics of the target the recovered patches and the original material. I could really use some advice and help figuring out what might be going on. I was really expecting starting at such a short distance , shooting from the bench that the groups would be a lot tighter starting out. Any help would be VERY much appreciated.
View attachment 415 View attachment 416 View attachment 417
The rifling may be cutting the patches, but they also look blown to me. I suggest a 15 thou patch, close weave. I don't like the look of the material you are using at present. If too tight, you may have to use a smaller ball size. Try using tallow on your patch material, it has been working fine for the past 300 years or so.
Keith.
 

Stumpkiller

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Mockingbird, Lwscrim correctly pointed out that your patches are torn and burned. And I agree that one to two hundred shots are needed to break a barrel in. For patches, I go thicker, .024" unbleached canvas. The lube is mink oil in the bush and Hoppes (mostly) at the range. This allows almost unlimited shooting without any need to wipe the bore. First you'll likely need to smooth the crown and continue shooting to get the bore in shape.

I agree with Hanshi and Lwscrim. It takes a bit of shooting to "wear down" the rough edges.

Your linen looks more like Linsey-Woolsey. I have a frock made of that. I use a 0.017" to 0.018" patch (mattress tick) with a 0.530" ball in my .54. Try dampening your patches a bit. I use semi-dry twice-dipped and dried Moose Juice lube (a variation on moose milk but with castor oil), but that is in a well smoothed and used rifle.

You didn't mention your rate of twist. In a .54 that is 1:66 to 1:72" it usually likes a bit of speed before it will settle in (in my experience). But at 30 yards of bags you should be having shots touch. Go with the 80gr FFg and try up or down 5 gr.
 

Tim L

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This is what I have followed for patch and ball fit in barrel. I use a strip of patching lube the middle of it, push it 6” in pull it out and look at the marking on the ball
 

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Flintandsteel, Dane that group looks really nice. Please may I ask:

What is your patch lube for that group?
Do you swab between shots?
Do you have to hammer that patched (.020) ball (.445) down the barrel?
Do you have any other comments on your loading etc. for this target? Thanks!

Glen
 

vedaray

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Back in the mid 80s I had a Dixie Gun Works Tennessee Mountain rifle in flint. Lived in Boone Co., IN and bought my powder from Danial Boone. You older folks will remember he and his sons won a lot of matches at Friendship.

Didn't know beans about shooting a flintlock and Dan gave me some pointers. He suggested that I use 4f in the pan for quicker ignition. Noticed you are using 2f and while this won't affect accuracy it might slightly improve ignition time and give less time for flinches.
 

RHensley

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At 25 yards, the group should be a no bigger than a nickel. A good barrel will do that easily. At 50 and 100 yards, 1.5in and 3.0in groups are readily possible in good conditions and a solid bench. You’ve got a good start, keep trying to improve, consistency in everything you do is the key. Especially, wiping between shots. Good luck.
1.5 to 3.0 in. groups at 100 is what a good barrel and young eyes should do. My rifle did that in the 80's but now 3.0 to 5 is what I get now. I don't really think it's the rifle. I'm 69. Welded most of my life. For patch material I would use bed ticking and for lube I use lambs tallow mixed with bees wax. I was having patch troubles and that fixed it. Each rifle likes different combinations so it's really trial and era to find the right one.
 
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Reviewed all the comments on this thread and from 40+ years as shooter, noticed no one mentioned this tid bit I go by. Start at powder charge equal to the caliber and increase by 5 gn increments until you notice red cherries develop near the muzzle. You may need to look down the barrel to see them. Depending where they show up, deep and at muzzle increase or decrease by 2 gn increments until the cherries appear at the muzzle crown area. This is your maximum powder charge where all the powder is burning in the barrel. Using more powder is a waste and gets blown out unburned. If you don't believe me, shoot over snow and observe the black slick. I lap all my guns to remove machining marks, burrs, high spots etc. Pour a 6 in long lead plug cast around a bronze cleaning brush. Make sure to index the plug before you pull it out of the barrel. It has to return exactly the way it was cast. Smear with lapping compound and give the barrel a hundred strokes.
Concerning choice of patch and lube, I prefer the blue and white striped ticking. If one shops the fabric stores, may find it in different thickness. Sales lady often wonders what I am dong with the digital caliber in the stacks. Having shot BP single shot cartridge for 25 years, the best all purpose lube I have come to use, is a take off of a Harry Pope concoction made with Sta Lubes moly-graphite grease from Harbour Freight mixed 1:1 with cheese wax or bees wax. This stuff stays stiff in the summer and soft in the winter. I pre-grease all my patches then punch into circles for the various cal sizes.
 
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The red cherries are unburned sulfur and the sulfur cherries don't always occur with optimum charges of powder. Obviously one needs to be shooting with real black powder. The substitutes don't have sulfur to form the red "cherries".

The advice to start with a powder charge equal to the powder charge is good for a start. It is group size that is the best measure of the optimal load.
 
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As far as I know the BP substitutes won't work in flintlocks unless combined with a BP pre-charge of +5 gn. (This is the flintlock thread) BP Substitutes work in cap guns. I agree tight group is the measure to achieve. The red cherries are the indicator that use of more powder is at the point of deminising returns. Once one knows the approximate powder limit, then changing other factors such as patch material, projectile weight, powder granulation will alter velocity or point of impact.
 

satwel

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Looking for some wisdom. So I have had my rifle for a bit now and life has finally permitted me to start shooting again. The rifle is by Brad and Shane Eming of Cabin Creek. After my first try at working up a load I am quite puzzled as things don’t seem to be going too well. I feel like there is something I am missing, here are the details. Distance 30 yards, shooting from bench with bags, temp 50 deg F, Cal .54, Ball is cast round ball in .530 by Rush Creek Roundball weight .222-.224 gr, patching is natural linen thickness of .012 compressed .0115. Lube is the moose milk “dry patch” method that was highly recommended. Patching was cut at muzzle and a short starter was needed to get the ball started / just below the muzzle. I shot 3 shots at each load level swabbing between each shot. Powder was Goex 2f in the tube and in the pan. Loads were 1st 60gr, 2nd 70gr, 3rd 80gr, 4th was also 80 gr ( was trying to see if it was just some weird fluke) started in the lower right quadrant and moved counter clockwise for each set. 1st shot was often close to center and would start drifting away each proceeding shot. Below are pics of the target the recovered patches and the original material. I could really use some advice and help figuring out what might be going on. I was really expecting starting at such a short distance , shooting from the bench that the groups would be a lot tighter starting out. Any help would be VERY much appreciated.
View attachment 415 View attachment 416 View attachment 417
As previous posters have suggested, you need a thicker patch with a tighter weave. I use 40lb pocket drill from Joannes Fabrics or an old piece of pillow ticking with a .530 ball. Both are 100% cotton. They both mic at about .018. The new rifling will eventually stop cutting the patch as it wears in. You know you've got it right when your recovered patches are good enough to reuse.
 
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