Bare Ball Size

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TreeMan

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I’m gonna order a mold to make some round balls to try in my 20ga/62 Pedersoli Indian trade gun. My cheap Mic shows a bore anywhere between .618-.622 depending how on I hold my mouth and the pressure I put on the mic when measuring. What size do y’all suggest for shooting bare balls? .610? .600?
 

TreeMan

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Before spending anything on a mold, you could order some .600 and .610 balls from Track of the Wolf.
I was gonna do that but it’s actually cheaper to buy a $22-24 Lee mold on amazon than a balls from track. I have about 400lbs of lead that needs turned into some more round balls.
 

tenngun

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Describe your loading process. Bare ball covers a little of ground.
I will shoot a tow wad. A ball of tow is stuck in the muzzle and the ball pushed in to it as a nest. I don’t need a top wad, but smaller ball.
Over a paper wad with a wad on top and below I want a bigger ball.
When I load a paper cartridge I need a .575 in my .62 to load well.
 

Many Klatch

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I shoot a .60 ball either with .010 spit patch or bare out of my Getz smoothbore. Bare ball works best after the bore is dirty from shooting patched balls. Accuracy is about the same as well.
 

TreeMan

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Describe your loading process. Bare ball covers a little of ground.
I will shoot a tow wad. A ball of tow is stuck in the muzzle and the ball pushed in to it as a nest. I don’t need a top wad, but smaller ball.
Over a paper wad with a wad on top and below I want a bigger ball.
When I load a paper cartridge I need a .575 in my .62 to load well.
Well I went ahead and just ordered a .600 Lee mold. I’ll try to shoot them a few different ways to see how it works out. I thought .600 would be middle of the road in case I want to use a patch also.
 

Notchy Bob

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It is very difficult to get an accurate inside measure of a round hole with a caliper. If the tool is the least bit off center or canted, you'll get an undersized measurement. Even the thickness of the edges of the caliper jaws can affect the reading. You about have to slug the bore or use a plug gauge to get an accurate measure. I can't justify the expense of plug gauges and slugging the bore is more hassle than I'm willing to undergo, so I just invested in several different sizes of pre-cast balls to try. Your approach may be different, and I respect that.

I don't own a Pedersoli 20 gauge, but I do have a NSW Northwest Gun and a Jackie Brown fowling piece in that bore size. A .600" ball was too tight for me to load with a patch, but if you're shooting bare ball, you may be happy with it. Also, round ball moulds are sized to cast pure lead. Harder alloys, such as lead scrounged from a range, will cast over size. Recycled range lead in my .600" Lee mould makes balls of about .603".

For me, shooting bare balls in smooth bores with wadding of tow, shredded juniper bark, or palmetto fiber caused a lot of fouling buildup. You would think a bare ball under bore size would just drop in, but even markedly undersized balls, up to 0.030" undersized, had to be forcibly rammed after just a few shots.

Anyway, it sounds as if you made a decision and moved ahead with it. Experimentation is a big part of the fun in this game.

Best regards,

Notchy Bob
 

smo

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My gun mics .653, I shoot. .642 ... but a .648 shoots well too.

It seems as if a ball close to the actual bore size works better than a smaller one when shooting bare ball loads.
At least in my gun it does..
 

Intosomthin

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Just posted results of todays trip to range im my thread 62 cal ball groups. My bore is .625. I was getting good groups with patched .600 lee mould balls. Tried a .615 pedersoli brass mould. 1st time out not real impressed shooting same as .600. Changed the load & wow! Its all in the recipe i recon? Same load with .600 ugly...
 

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griffiga

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I shoot a .60 ball either with .010 spit patch or bare out of my Getz smoothbore. Bare ball works best after the bore is dirty from shooting patched balls. Accuracy is about the same as well.
I would suggest the .600 for the above reason. After a few shots, the fouling reduces the size of the bore, then if you ever wanted to use a patch, you don't have to have different size round balls.
 

Intosomthin

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I should probably clarify that i did run a dry patch down n up bore after every shot...
Maybe made a difference, maybe not. I never (as of yet) reload without at least a dry patch up n down.
 

Intosomthin

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I would think, (thats what gets me in trouble lol), that if i did not swab, using this load, its kinda self swabbing? Powder 1st, nitro .125 card...that should shove most down...then a lubed .5 fiber olive oil, that should get rest, then bare ball, topped with 2 os cards. Lot a stuff scrapin barrel? Hell next time out I wont swab see what happens. This is my 1st smoothy, so old habit of swab or the sob wont go down after 2 in a rifgled barrel, fresh in brain.
 

Many Klatch

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I would think, (thats what gets me in trouble lol), that if i did not swab, using this load, its kinda self swabbing? Powder 1st, nitro .125 card...that should shove most down...then a lubed .5 fiber olive oil, that should get rest, then bare ball, topped with 2 os cards. Lot a stuff scrapin barrel? Hell next time out I wont swab see what happens. This is my 1st smoothy, so old habit of swab or the sob wont go down after 2 in a rifgled barrel, fresh in brain.
You are working too hard at shooting a smoothbore. I don't swab between shots, never have. I can get 10 to 20 shots off before the carbon ring makes it difficult to load. A simple spit patch is all that is needed. I only use bare ball if I'm in a speed match. For that matter dropping an extra ball in makes for an interesting load as well.
 

TreeMan

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Update: So I ordered myself a .600 Lee mold and made me up some round balls. Dont remember if I mentioned I’m shooting these from a Pedersoli Trade gun. At 25 yards I tried all kinds of different loads using Tow, cards, wads amd different powder charges using a bare ball. Everything was all over the place. I decided to use 80gr of 2F and one of my .018 mink oil pillow ticking patches and ball just on top of the powder. Nothing else. The first shot on my paper plate was a fine bead and hit a tad low. I held a full bead for the next three rounds and got this group. The ball loads almost easy enough to get the ball started with my thumb. I swabbed between shots. I think I’ll stick with this and when daylight permits move my target out to 50 yards. I’m happy!!! I should have started off simple and saved a bunch of lead.
 

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