Another Stupid Human Trick.....

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Grenadier1758

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I have learned to use some sort of indicator at each step of the loading process. I have either a funnel or fitted measure that fits in the bore when I pour powder. That is left in the barrel until I have the ball and patch material at hand and ready to load. Then the funnel or measure is removed and the next step begins. I think I may need to make a large washer for the range rod that will obscure the sights. I have a large leather hammer stall for my flintlock to cover the frizzen and part of the tab will block the sights. Admittedly it is not as catastrophic to have your flint try to draw sparks from leather, but I have been responsible for enough entertainment on the shooting line.
 

SmokepoleSam

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I capped my gun three times and pulled the trigger before I checked to see if it was loaded. Another time I shortstarted my rifle and rang the barrel. It is my only left handed gun. Both times I was distracted. I haven't shot my ramrod----yet.
 

Josephg

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I was yakking with an old duffer about moonshine and his daughter while loading a rifle. I loaded two bullets. My shot went off high but scored nicely at twelve and six o:clock. The recoil was quite heavy. Never got to meet his daughter.
 

Springerpanhead

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I've noticed talking and loading is a big issue with rifles haha. I haven't had an issue loading smooth bore with cartridge, but I almost double loaded a rifle while telling someone a story.

Wonder if anyone has launched their ram rod 🤔
Back in the early 70s the company I worked for wasn’t concerned about what the maintenance personnel did with their time on the off shifts as long as the production machines kept running. Two of my mechanics / machinists had built their own 50 cal flintlocks on company time, both quite nice by the way, and would have contests for reloading speed. A company near us repaired boat propellers, and had brazing rods of various alloys and unusually large sizes. Both my guys had visited them and procured for themselves bronze ramrods about 3/8 inches in diameter. One night as I walked into the maintenance shop, Stanley, one of the “shooters” was sitting with his shirt partially unbuttoned and was looking down at his shoulder. When he saw me he quickly closed his shirt and and tried to engage me in conversation. I could clearly see a very dark area on the side of his neck so I reached down and lifted his unbuttoned shirt to reveal his shoulder which was BLACK. The bruise extended halfway down his rib cage and a third of the way across his chest. I’m sure you can guess what he had done.
 

JCKelly

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Some time ago I was shooting alone, and sober, just North of Cincinnati. Shot some. Loaded my flint lock. Before I shot this last time it seemed that I had more memories of loading than I did of shooting. Took rifle home and unbreeched it, Out came powder, ball, powder, ball. Whoops
I was in my mid-twenties at the time.
Doesn't take much, now, to load wrong. Does it?
 

SOLANCO

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Now in my 70's and the wife occasionally reminds me to zip my fly. Imagine I am a prime candidate for launching my ram rod down range, although haven't yet.
There is a procedure in cooking called "mis en place". It means put in place and involves gathering everything you need for the dish you are cooking and setting the things out in orderly fashion. Part of that procedure is getting stuff you are done with out of your way. Maybe I'd better start a procedure like that for loading.
 

Springerpanhead

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Was just thinking about Stanley in my earlier post with his bronze ramrod. I think what saved his life is that in the 70s there was not as much available as is today in materials for building muzzleloaders, or, it’s availability was less known. Consequently Stanley and Ron, the other shooter had both built their guns with locks found on junk store antiques, and made their barrels by cutting down surplus Browning M2 barrels which could then be purchased real cheap through mail order ads in “men’s magazines “ Damn good steel in a Ma Duce.
 

Crow-Feather

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[QUOTE="
I think I remember from the distant past a case where a couple of drunks at a rendezvous got even drunker and had some sort of duel with "empty" rifles. One of them got a ramrod through the chest.
[/QUOTE]

Looked good in the movie "mountain men"
 

APG

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I've noticed talking and loading is a big issue with rifles haha. I haven't had an issue loading smooth bore with cartridge, but I almost double loaded a rifle while telling someone a story.

Wonder if anyone has launched their ram rod 🤔
Yes. I sent my ramrod down range. Don't remember exactly how. It happened sometime in 1986-7. I was shooting at a 4×4 to see how deep ball would go and Launched the brass tipped wooden rod smashing it to bits. Haven't done it since but I've loaded a ball without powder.
 

Red Bob

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Well you fellers with your story’s are make me feel a lot better about about my last time out shooting.
short started the ball primed and shot. Rifle made a funny sound and ball completely missed the target
 

slow

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I loaded powder patch ball and powder patch ball on top of the other and then shot the whole shebang out!
 

Lakeman

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Dry balling? Too many to count and all caused by being distracted or not paying attention.

There was the stake shoot one year at the Come and Take It celebration down in Gonzales. We were divided into teams and each team had a 2"X6" board driven into the ground out in front of them. The boards had a horizontal stripe painted across them about 16" above the ground. The idea was to be the first team to cut the board into two pieces without leaving any paint visible. This gets pretty intense near the end when we were shooting at splinters with paint on them. Near the finish I poured the powder charge, dropped in a bare ball, seated it with the rod, primed, and shot my rod at the board. My team did not win but someone gathered a few pieces of my rod and presented them to me as a "prize".

A couple of my red-faced moments involved young ladies. In the first that I recall, I was about 17 y/o and was setting out my gear on the bench when this cutie walked up and commented on my "pretty rifle". I let her examine it before starting to load for the first shot of the day. I explained the steps. First the powder, then the patched ball. Prime the pan, aim, and squeeze the trigger. Pffft! Flash in the pan. Checked that the ball was seated, re-primed, and Pffft! Primed again. Pffft! When I went to re-prime that time I noticed a black sludge oozing out of the vent. In my distraction I had failed to swab out the oil that remained in the barrel from the last cleaning. Of course I had to pull the ball and clean the barrel before getting the rifle to fire. The young lady had long since wandered off.

Distraction by a pretty girl struck again some years later. I always remove the flint when cleaning the lock. I install and adjust it just before loading the first shot of the day. Again the female distraction strikes. I'm chatting away as I install the flint and load the rifle. The problem was that I didn't tighten the flint firmly enough, As the hammer falls I see something flying away in my peripheral vision. The young lady said "Your rock fell out". Indeed it had.
John
 

flntlokr

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I have never launched one, but have come close a couple of times, putting the rod 'away' down the barrel instead of in the thimbles. Ther was a lady came to our club many years ago, who sent 3 downrange on the same day. We never saw her, or her hubby again. A blessing, I think.
 

RJ

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Never launched one, but have dried ball several times, always at shoots. Nice bunch of guys. Not to much kidding.
 

toot

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Well guys, I taught myself another stupid trick over the weekend. I was loading and chatting away with the neighbor, primed, shouldered, and fired. The shot made a funny hollow pfffft sound with no little recoil and I observed no impact on the target. "huh, that was odd" i thought to myself as i reloaded for the next shot. As i prepared to start the next ball i realised what I had done, my short starter was nowhere to be found.

I have now successfully short started a ball, left the short starter inserted, and fired. A search found the short starter about 30yds down range in several pieces. Thankfully no damage was done to the barrel by my slight oversite, only damage was to my ball starter and my ego.

Just thought I would share as a reminder to all to pay attention to what your doing and not get distracted!

Chris
you are not a cherry my friend. many have done it and remained silent!!
 

okawbow

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I’ve never accidentally fired a ramrod, but once, I fired a ramrod with a cleaning jag and patch that got stuck. I was able to get the rod an inch or so back up the barrel, but it stuck there. I dribbled a few grains of 4F through the flash hole, and fired the rod into the air. I never saw it again.
 
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