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Discussion in 'General Muzzleloading' started by Smokey Plainsman, Dec 15, 2019.
That's only because you never been at the same match or Rendezvous at the same time I was.
lettin others get ahead friend... LOL
I DON'T WANT TO BUTT IN ON GETTING THE RIGHT SIZE JAG AS THAT IS IMPORTANT. WHAT IS ALSO OF IMOTANCE IS THAT WE USE SOFT BRASS IN JAGS SO THEY DON'T WEAR DOWN THE RIFLING IN THE BORE OF THE RIFLE. OTOH THE HARD STEEL OF THE BARREL RIFLING TENDS TO WEAR DOWN THE SOFT BRASS OF THE JAG. THIS MAKES IT SMALLERABOUT THE THIRD OR FOURTH YEAR I WAS AWARE THAT MY JAG WAS MORE OF A ROUND BALL THAN IT WAS LIKE THE HONEY DRIPPER IT HAD BEEN WHEN NEW AND THAT IT PROBABLY WASN'T DOING THE SAME JOB AS IT DID WHEN NEW. SO I REPLACED IT.
I HAVE OFTEN SUGGESTED WRITING DOWN EVERY SMALL THING INVOLVED IN YOUR LOADING WHEN EVERYTHING IS GOING RIGHT.SIXE OF BALL, AMOUNT OF POWDER, COMPRESSED THICKNESS OF THE SHOOTING PATCH, COMPRESSED THICKNESS OF THE WIPING PATCH AND THE WIDTH OF THE SOFT BRASS JAG.
IF YOU DON'T THINK THOSE MEASUREMENTS ARE IMPORTANT, TRY CHANGING ONE OR TWO AND SEE WHAT HAPPENS TO DAS WUNDERGROUPEN YOU HAVE BEEN PRODUCING.
Thank you Dutch.
To reiterate to my fellow shooters still looking for consistently excellent results: Record EVERYTHING.
I know, I know...a lot of folks in this sport of shooting patched roundballs out of 18th century rifles will tell you "Don't none of that matter" and for them, it probably doesn't, which is fine. Not a problem. OTOH: Some of us are wound a little tighter and have a hard time accepting "minute of Deer", when deep down we know that if we work at it..."minute of gnat's butt" is achievable.
And what would be harder to measure was the very probable thickening of the residue attaching itself to the bore. Oddly, in your experiment you didn't notice it was getting harder to load.
Apparently your patched ball must have been tight enough to sweep all that residue into the breech creating the "ball creep " you speak of.
I wonder if you were able to continue would the breech fill to the extent that the spark from the ignition channel couldn't reach the powder?
None of this really matters as the only way to judge a load is WHAT KIND OF GROUPS ARE YOU GETTING?
I think I have had two Dan Steels subscribe in the pst. One is a uniform wearing gentleman of California. A ranger of some variety and another in Florida/
If you don't write down absolutely everything when things are going right what will you do when suddenly things start going wrong. The deterioration means you changed something and going back to your notes of the good time will show you what change might have been.
My vision has kept me from any shooting but if I went back out there I would go as a newbie because all my notes, rifles and equipments are gone and my memory of those details is faint at best.
What the h** are you using for a patch lube? You should be having NO detectable change in fouling from one shot to the next. If you are, I suggest wiping between shots, but try wetter patches for a start. (I use just detergent in water. patches soaked at least over night; a stack of patch for the day is squeezed until I can barely get half a drop of water out. That's about right wetness. If they dry out while on the range, I give them a lick. 50+ shots with no wiping necessary. The only way I can think of to get your amount of fouling is via incomplete burning of the load. Are your patches very loose? (shooting unpatched balls will foul things within a couple of shots)
Thick (very thick) solution of soap flakes
NOT SURE WHAT YOU DO WITH THE THIC SOAP FLAKES AND HOW THEY ARE APPLIED/
DOESN'T SOAP HAVE LYE IN IT?
Some do, some don't. Some soap uses sodium hydroxide.
My advice would be to lose the oiled patches except perhaps, for hunting, when the gun may be left loaded for an extended period, or when it is extremely cold. A water based lube will dissolve fouling, carry it down to the load, and will shoot out with the next shot. You will only encounter one shot's worth of fouling. If (for whatever reason) some fouling does happen to build, load the round, then swab the bore with a wet cleaning patch. (by loading first, you avoid wetting the chamber)
Thanks, sir! Yes I experimented with a spit’s patches last time at the range and it improved dramatically. Here in Las Vegas it’s very dry all year. In winter, it’s about -200% humidity constantly and it wreaks havoc on my skin!
A properly balanced minie ball load will do the same thing, but faster
PEOPLE INSIST THAT EACH SHOT PUTS MORE RESIDUAL CRAP IN THEIR BARRELS AND TELL US ALL ABOUT IT AND THEY ARE ALL PRETTY ACTIVE IN THEE DON'T WIPE BETWEEN SHOTS CROWD.. EARLIER TODAY SOMEONE WITH A BESS, A SMOOTHBORE HAD A BALL AND CARTRIDGE JAMMED HALF WAY DOWN THE BARREL. FAR BE IT FROM ME TO POINT OUT THE LACK OF LOGIC WHERE PEOPLE HAVE A PROBLEM THE CAUSE STARING THEM IN THE FACE AND THEY WILL NOT ADMIT THE SILLY WIPE BETWEEN SHOTS HAS OBVIOUS MERIT.
Did it not occur to you that grafs powder might be part of the problem. Its even cheaper than Goex which is hardly a premium powder. I have a pretty good idea what the stuff is assuming its made in the US. Don't shoot low grade powder and then complain about fouling. There was a reason back at the time of our Revolution that the riflemen wiped a lot. The powder was pretty poor by modern standards. You might also try blowing down the barrel. Something shooters have used for a very long time to ease loading problems. Some ranges require a blow tube for this. But it works very well in dry climates. I live in Montana and in summer our humidity goes below 20% unless its raining and sometimes single digits.
Water based lubes can cause their own issues and I don't use them anymore. Tallow, carefully made from, kidney fat (check a butcher shop) does a pretty good job of reducing fouling. PURE Neatsfoot oil works well also. There are others, all cheaper than the stuff you can buy as ready made patch lube. Beef fat boiled 3 times. Boil for 10 minute or so in a stock pot with a quart or two of water, let cool so the tallow solidifies, take the tallow tallow off the now cold water, you may need to cool this in a refridgerator in your climate to get is solidified, unless it gets pretty cool at night. Reboil the tallow with clean water twice more. The cool down takes longer than the cooking. After the third boil remove the solidified tallow and let air dry. I then heat in a double boiler and decant into jars or small tins. Rubbing one sides of the patch on the tallow usually will put enough on the patch to work well if a blow tub is used. The multiple boilings will remove anything that might cause corrosion. I left both barrels of my swivel breech loaded for several months after hunting season about 5 years ago then pulled the balls and there was no since of anything over than clean tallow. For really serious target work I use mix of water soluble cutting oil and water IIRC its 5 parts water to 2 parts WS oil. The patch material is wet with this, allowed to dry, the water will evaporate, leaving just enough oil to make material feel waxy or just very slightly oily. A high friction lube like this will often produce the best accuracy. But requires "heavily damp" patch, not dripping, wiping between shots then dried. Always done the same way everytime.
I may be a mite late to this "party", but what is this "ball creep" of which you speak?
Any "ball creep" off the powder charge, no matter how slight, creates a barrel obstruction.
In a single shot rifle or pistol, unless the ball and patch are way undersized and you point the muzzle down, the patched ball is not going to move. (same holds true for a side by side or over-under two shot. The recoil won't move the PRB or conical in the second barrel if loaded properly.)
If you load a C&B revolver properly, you shave a ring of lead off the ball when loading.
The ball is not going to move in any cylinder chamber except for the one you are firing,
"Naked" conicals will move they have almost no friction in the bore, paper patch cylindrical bullets are a little better. PRB or the cloth patched picket bullets will not move.
I have never had a conical or a RB move in a C&B cylinder.
To answer ugly old guy, What is "Ball Creep"? Lets return to the original post.
In the original post, @Smokey Plainsman was talking about a fouling crust ring building up where the ball would rest on the powder. As the crust ring built up, the ball would not seat as deep as observed on previous loads. He too was concerned about moving off the powder charge and creating a barrel obstruction.
After 60 posts we have determined that it is important to deal with the fouling crust ring to allow us to load with the ball seated firmly on the powder. Most of us solve it by wiping with a damp patch which keeps the fouling soft and the crust wiped out of the bore. How to eliminate the crust ring is a balancing act of jag size, wiping patch thickness and cleaning material The fluff up is that we have different means to achieve the same result.
Use what works for you while avoiding pushing fouling into the breech and causing failures to fire.
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