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TarponStalker

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Yes, The RMC is fien, also try Track of the Wolf and several others for best prices= etc. This is mine, with adaptors etc. and also my Ramrod puller, which is also a big help!
I just looked at this on their website. It says you must pull the flash hole liner. I assumed you could use it without doing that. I have white lightning vents in all my rifles. I guess it won’t work for me. Unless I’m missing something
 
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Never had to pull a ball. Occasionally had to remove the nipple then put a bit of powder under it, but stubborn loads always ignited and removed the ball. Some day I will no doubt forget to put the powder charge in and seat the ball. It is sure to happen... I recently loaded a conical bullet from a QuickShot BACKWARDS. I shot it out and actually hit the target... but I'm not gettin' any younger so more mistakes are a comin'.
 
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Why do people come up with theories (Ball pullers swelling balls) when people have been using ball pullers for decades with no trouble???? As I have said many times some people just want to make this harder than it is.

The TOTW pullers do not swell the ball and a lot of these suggestions are for after you get home.

Why in the world would you wait????

If trickling some powder in doesn't work (does 90% of the time) use a ball puller without all the mumbo jumbo and get back to shooting before the match is over!

If you want to dry ball and then go home and pour WD-40 down the bore and pump in some grease etc. tell us how that goes for you, the rest of us are going to keep on shooting.
 
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TarponStalker

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Why do people come up with theories (Ball pullers swelling balls) when people have been using ball pullers for decades with no trouble???? As I have said many times some people just want to make this harder than it is.

The TOTW pullers do not swell the ball and a lot of these suggestions are for after you get home.

Why in the world would you wait????

If trickling some powder in doesn't work (does 90% of the time) use a ball puller without all the mumbo jumbo and get back to shooting before the match is over!

If you want to dry ball and then go home and pour WD-40 down the bore and pump in some grease etc. tell us how that goes for you, the rest of us are going to keep on shooting.
Thanks for the input but please remember my original post was not about dry balling. My rifle is loaded and will shoot just fine. I’m looking to unload it without shooting it.
 
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I just looked at this on their website. It says you must pull the flash hole liner. I assumed you could use it without doing that. I have white lightning vents in all my rifles. I guess it won’t work for me. Unless I’m missing something
You don't have to pull the touch hole liner to use the C02 discharger, you just have to have a good seal to the touch hole liner. Some of the adaptors will fit in the touch hole liner, but the soft rubber nose on the discharger will work if pushed and hled firmly to the touch hole. I add a dab of TOW mink oil around the touch hole to provide a better seal.
 

Bebop Cowboy

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In all the years I have enjoyed shooting back powder I have only tried twice to pull a round ball. Both unsuccessfully.
I’ve only tried one type of ball puller. It’s one that I bought many years ago that had the brass centering collar on it. It’s probably from TC or CVA. It doesn’t start threading in the ball well then either just tears out or I can’t get it to pull out. Maybe it’s swelling the ball?
I have an idea the screw is a larger diameter and steeper thread angle than it should be. I e see some pictured that were much “sharper”.
The reason I ask if this. I hunt a lot with flintlocks. Even with great care I find that after several days hunting and keeping my gun loaded I’m likely to get hangfires. Sshheeeeeeboom!! Not want I want when the moment if truth arrives. I pick the flash hole every time and sometimes multiple times per day.
I’d really like to be able to pull the charge and reload after every couple days just to see if that’s better I don’t want to shoot/clean to do this as I do t have great conditions at camp to make sure it’s dry and clean enough to reload.
I have a 48 inch cleaning rod but it doesn’t have a fixed T handle on it. I have an idea I may need that to get the best pull. And I’d like to order another puller after I see what everyone on here uses for the job.
Some people make it sound so easy.
Thanks for your input.
Greetings! I also wrap my life around flintlocks. Love them! When you get a hang fire one thing you might want to do is to push some 4f powder into your vent hole with your pick. Most times it will allow this to shot out the ball. Yes, pulling the ball out to too laborious. 2 other things you can Google. 1) there is a type of pliers that after you hook the ball. With your ramrod the pliers lever the rod away from the muzzle (pulls the rod out). Pretty neat. Another device that was used years ago is a device that looks like a bicycle tire inflater but it will have a small tip to put over the vent hole. Works for both flintlocks and percussion. (Nice little cheat device). Bought mine on Amazon. Called “leak saver- leak shot HVAC” please let me know how it goes.
 
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Never had a problem with the wood screw type pullers you referred to in the OP. Have used them probably a half dozen times over the years. You have to use considerable force while screwing into the lead and you need a good grip on the rod to pull the ball or slug. Using a wood loading rod is not advised.
 
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Regarding air pressure: remember Lewis and Clark had an air rifle that accidentally killed a woman. It probably had more pressure than a small compressor, but I wouldn’t discount the compressor’s being able to eject a ball.
 

Johnny Tremain

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JT you've got me on that one. What the heck is a pancake compressor?
pancake.jpg

$150 on Amazon
 

Red Owl

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I agree that a lot of ball pullers are poorly designed- something for someone to improve upon. I think a puller with prongs and a THIN screw. You pull the ball down and the prongs dig in and then you can screw in the puller- SORT OF LIKE pulling corks on a wine bottle. I had the threads on the ball strip so the screw was worthless- bought a co2 dispenser and have never used anything else since then.
 
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I agree that a lot of ball pullers are poorly designed- something for someone to improve upon. I think a puller with prongs and a THIN screw. You pull the ball down and the prongs dig in and then you can screw in the puller- SORT OF LIKE pulling corks on a wine bottle. I had the threads on the ball strip so the screw was worthless- bought a co2 dispenser and have never used anything else since then.
What would the prongs do? Are they supposed to keep the ball from spinning?
 

Notchy Bob

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We have lots of good answers here. I don't know that I can add much to the fund of knowledge, but will offer some thoughts.

Not all ball pullers or screws are created equally. The screw-type ball pullers from Track of the Wolf are specifically designed for this task. They have sharp points, deep, sharp threads, and a proper taper. The collar keeps it centered. Track has the right tool for the job.

The two-pronged gunworms or "wipers," now commonly called "tow worms," used to be made with the points angled slightly down. Somebody already alluded to this, but it bears repeating. These could be wrapped or entwined with tow for swabbing the bore, but could also be used for pulling wads from a smoothbore, or retrieving a lost patch, but not for pulling a ball. The custom "tow worms" that I have seen recently from a couple of makers/vendors are made with the points flat or horizontal. They are nicely made and work well for wiping with tow, but they don't work for pulling anything.

In olden times, it was standard practice to plug the vent of a flintlock with a feather, to keep it from leaking powder, to keep the vent clear, and to keep moisture from getting into the powder charge through the touch-hole. This is pretty well documented. Several fellows mentioned using a toothpick for this, but I think a feather quill would be more compressible, to make a better seal, and more flexible (less likely to break). I feed birds, and see small feathers in the yard almost daily. Some of these may not be legal, though.

I have had to clear three guns so far this year. All were percussion. One was loaded with Pyrodex pellets and a Minie bullet, and failed to fire. The owner evidently carried the loaded gun around with him in his truck for about three weeks, hoping to find someone to help, before somebody sent him my way. It took about 90 seconds to pull the bullet and the pellets with the ball puller from Track. The second gun was an antique that had "something" in the barrel. This turned out to be rags filling the bore for about half its length. These were harder to remove than the bullet, but an old-fashioned worm did the job with multiple passes. The third gun was a used T/C Hawken, a pawnshop acquisition, that was found to be loaded when I got it home. You don't want to shoot a "mystery load" out, because you never know but some fool might have put in smokeless powder. I poured in about a tablespoonful of WD-40 and let it sit for a few minutes. This lubricates the bore and (hopefully) some seeps around the projectile to make the powder charge inert. The Track of the Wolf ball puller screwed right in, but I ended up clamping the rod in my bench vise (with leather pads) and pulling on the barrel. I don't know how long the bullet had been in there, but it had made a home for itself. However, once it got started, it came on out. The projectile appeared to be something like a Hornady Great Plains Bullet, and there was a massive powder charge of some sort of very coarse, black granules. I couldn't positively identify it, but just washed it down the drain of my laundry tub.

The conical projectiles mentioned above were likely just a bit under bore size, I.E. not as tight as a patched ball. However, I have pulled patched round balls from my guns after "dry balling," and the ball puller has worked. I would like to point out that if there is a known or unknown powder charge under the ball, you are dealing with a loaded gun, and it's a good idea to not linger in front of its muzzle. I've never owned or used a CO2 discharger, so can't comment on these. I've been thinking of getting one, though.

Best regards,

Notchy Bob
 
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gunnyr

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I carry about 6 ft. of stout cord. I wrap one end around the ramrod and the other end around a sapling. The added weight of the gun helps to move the ball, almost like a slide hammer.
I carry a length of leather boot lacing . Tie it around the rod on one side then wrap the ends
around the rod and tie it again and then repeat , sort of like a daisey chain effect . Then simple tie the two ends to something an pull on the rifle , out pops the ball. This I do in the field if
needed , at home I use a T on the rod. While hunting I tend to carry the least amount of
gear I can gert away with.
gunny
 
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"While hunting I tend to carry the least amount of gear I can get away with."
I examine my kit for excess weight on a regular basis. Doesn't matter quite so much if you are going to hunt from a blind or a stand. But if you are following a dog all day every ounce you shed is a blessing. Especially if you need to carry water for both of you.
My horn for that hunt is less than 6 inches long. And I only bring a commensurate amount of shot and wads. Do NOT need a Bowie knife for birds, bunnies or squirrels.
If there is any chance for cel service I do bring my phone. If I need help I like my voice amplified. Plus its compass app is more accurate than my old GI compass. I have an app which remembers where I parked my car. Useful if you get "turned around" while hunting.
And I bring my snubnose unmentionable. I have met one or two people in the Game Lands who made me uncomfortable and who I was glad to see move on.
 

gunnyr

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SOLANCO , Times they are a changing, I understand about the snubnose unmentionable.
.I carry my colt 45 . A few years ago , a hunter was found hanging by his feet in a tree , a knife
was used. They finally caught the guy. Ever since then I carry when out hunting the places I
go to. It is pretty much NO MANS LAND. Safety is much more relevant now that at any time
in my life of hunting and fishing
gunny
 

Red Owl

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French Colonial- that was my idea. Maybe it wouldn't work. I suppose if you had time- a dab of epoxy glue on the end of a dowel? I've never seriously considered the problem but the way to test these thing is to NOT dry ball but have a charge. If you can't pull the ball, just seat it and shoot it out
 
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Disagree, Gren. If in the field or hunting, where would oils come from? My practice before a hunt is to swab thoroughly with damp, then dry patch. I often squirt carburetor cleaner into the nipple or vent then swab again. That makes the inside pure and dry. Then load. As for humidity, I don't buy that as an excuse for no ignition on the first shot. bp by itself does not attract moisture. After shooting, the remaining gunk is a different story, the flint pan can readily turn into a mud puddle and the bore, if not swabbed and reloaded promptly, the same.
Careful carburetor cleaner contains a little bit of oil. Brake cleaner is more or less pressurized acetone and strips oil completely. I use the carburetor cleaner on my hand gun frames to clean fouling. It leaves them slightly oiled.
Hold Center
Bunk
 
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The problem with gas dischargers is they put condensation moisture in the bore /chamber and if you are wanting to reload you will have to wipe the bore out to dry it .
Screw pullers by their very nature displace lead when screwed into the ball , a drill lessens that problem and if done properly centers the hole in the ball. Screw pullers need a collar of just under bore size to keep the screw centered on the ball and stop it wandering to the side of the ball and jamming against the barrel , potentially damaging the rifling , most balls will need some sort of lube down the barrel to be removed easily , again the bore will need cleaning afterwards .
If you are using the rifle rod you will need a hole through the end and a bar ( nail) to be able to get enough purchase on the rod to turn it , or use a rod a hand width longer than the barrel so you can get a grip
The old time hunters used covers or feathers to keep moisture out of the flash hole . I have read where they have stopped and pulled the ball after rain .
As others have said rope or a leather thong tied to the rod and a tree or some such is the best way to pull the ball .
 
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