Barrel Harmonics or Technique?

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Always elongate the barrel pinning loopholes , so the barrel pins can work back and forth when the barrel is fired. Makes for an accurate rifle. Also , a perfect , tight fitting barrel in a stock might not shoot as well as a loose one. Just sayin'.
 
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I have shot 4 shots out of a copy of a 4 bore flintlock smoothbore used by Elephant hunter Fredric C Selous . That is 4 oz per shot , I lent forward into the gun , relaxed enough to hold the gun steady and no more and fired my first shot , My mate took a series of pictures , which started with the flash and ended with me holding the rifle vertical , thing was I was 2 full paces back from where I started , the next 3 shots were the same ,hit the 25 yard target and went 2 paces back , no pain no injury , every one else who shot that gun, including the owner , was knocked flat and knocked about . Thing is they were all tensed up and rigid , no movement meant pain . Bend like a reed in the wind
 
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Always elongate the barrel pinning loopholes , so the barrel pins can work back and forth when the barrel is fired. Makes for an accurate rifle. Also , a perfect , tight fitting barrel in a stock might not shoot as well as a loose one. Just sayin'.
I believe as the barrel warms up and starts to expand it is restrained by the barrel pins and starts to bend , Hawkens and other firearms where the barrel is held by wedges can expand and hold point of aim . I am about to lengthen the holes in my pinned stocks by the thickness of the pins fore and aft . I'm just plucking up courage to do it . I won't let them move up and down .
 

Travis186

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The pin holes are elongated horizontally. The rifle drives tacks off the bench, despite the POI shift, as shown in the first post.
 

M. De Land

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I recently missed two deer with my Kibler Colonial 58. I was going for a high shoulder shot on both and I suspected I missed both of them high. After getting obliterated in a turkey shoot match with the rifle I finally figured out something was up, so off to the range I went, and to my surprise, these are the results at 50 yards.

The bottom cluster of 4 shots is off of a rear supporting sand bag, and a front rest (the fancy caldwell type). I scratched my head and said to myself "self, you aren't THAT bad at shooting... take the gun off the bags". So then I proceeded to take my own advice, and I ditched the bags and front rest, and held the rifle in my hands, and placed these 2 shots 10" high with no change in windage. I sent 6 more after this picture in the SAME EXACT PLACE, with actually, a surprisingly better group, but still 10" high from where I had the rifle sighted in off of a rest.

Irritated by these results, I went home and grabbed ALL of my rifled flintlocks, and they all do the same thing. They shoot perfect point of aim off the bags, but as soon as I take them off the bags, and shoot them unsupported, the point of impact moves up significantly. So what do you guys think? Technique? Barrel harmonics? Gravity? Luck? Juju? Magic? I've already got a whole piss pot of brand new front sights on the way from Track O' DaWoof so I can start over. I'm going to re-sight the Kibler from field positions and re-confirm zero... can't miss again.

View attachment 106436
Does the same happen with a percussion gun?
 

M. De Land

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No, nor unmentionables. Question was address I believe on page 2.
Sorry I didn't read the whole thread before my question. It's not a flinch or the groups would open up but I think Gus is onto something like perhaps coming off the cheek weld pressure with the slower ignition. Might give it another go while concentrating on keeping your head down through the recoil.
One thing that helped me with my flinter SMR is to try and hold through the recoil and require the target after words. If that doesn't help than it may be time to elongate the pin holes in the tennons as has been said.
Odd that pin fit would be and issue in all of them though.
 
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Travis186

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Sorry I didn't read the whole thread before my question. It's not a flinch or the groups would open up but I think Gus is onto something like perhaps coming off the cheek weld pressure with the slower ignition. Might give it another go while concentrating on keeping your head down through the recoil.
One thing that helped me with my flinter SMR is to try and hold through the recoil and require the target after words. If that doesn't help than it may be time to elongate the pin holes in the tennons as has been said.
Check above your last post, they have been elongated. Also figured out slow velocity with slower lockup time, combined with such a light heavy recoiling gun was part of the problem. Started holding on much tighter and things improved. It also made me make some big changes to my custom rifle a very well known builder is making for me.
 

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I've heard it said that if one can shoot a flint gun well than he can shoot any gun well ................ I believe that is true!
One of my shooting friends got to where he was always winning our muzzle loader matches with his percussion .40 cal and so only shoots flint guns now and still he wins his share of them. He just seems to get better with each match and is in his mid 70s. He's and inspiration to me !:)
 

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I've heard it said that if one can shoot a flint gun well than he can shoot any gun well ................ I believe that is true!
One of my shooting friends got to where he was always winning our muzzle loader matches with his percussion .40 cal and so only shoots flint guns now and still he wins his share of them. He just seems to get better with each match and is in his mid 70s. He's and inspiration to me !:)
It is true, get good at these things and you can shoot anything well. My little Ted Kramer 40 cal (actually a 38 since it takes a .380 roundball, but that's another story for another day) is such a good shooting little rifle. I shoot it extremely well and I attribute it to the straight profile colerain barrel and the weight it adds which means no recoil. The front sight never moves!

I'm considering knocking the load down on my Kibler from 80gr to 70 to see if that helps... less recoil, maybe easier to control thru the shot sequence. I'll try as high as 100 too just to make sure, because it shots 100gr great as well. 70gr will still kill just about anything deader than dead inside of 100 yards.
 
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I've heard it said that if one can shoot a flint gun well than he can shoot any gun well ................ I believe that is true!
One of my shooting friends got to where he was always winning our muzzle loader matches with his percussion .40 cal and so only shoots flint guns now and still he wins his share of them. He just seems to get better with each match and is in his mid 70s. He's and inspiration to me !:)
If the shooter can shoot well , but more importantly is the rifle is set up properly and the lock is well tuned
 

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More improvement today. This picture is a replication of about how this gun would be shot out of my climbing stand. Front hand propped on the bar, with my elbows locked into the rails. This is also what 100gr of 2F Olde Eynsford looks like at 50 yards. Off hand the gun shoots about 7" high with the new zero, front sight height, and load, and I attribute that again to the recoil of this light gun. With my elbows unsupported off the shooting sticks it's only about 3-4" high, which is minute of deer. At this point I think I'm going to have to live with it, and chalk it up to lesson learned. I changed my custom rifle build from a 58 to a 54 caliber straight profile barrel because of this gun.
IMG_6188.jpegIMG_6185.JPEG
 

M. De Land

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More improvement today. This picture is a replication of about how this gun would be shot out of my climbing stand. Front hand propped on the bar, with my elbows locked into the rails. This is also what 100gr of 2F Olde Eynsford looks like at 50 yards. Off hand the gun shoots about 7" high with the new zero, front sight height, and load, and I attribute that again to the recoil of this light gun. With my elbows unsupported off the shooting sticks it's only about 3-4" high, which is minute of deer. At this point I think I'm going to have to live with it, and chalk it up to lesson learned. I changed my custom rifle build from a 58 to a 54 caliber straight profile barrel because of this gun.
View attachment 107512View attachment 107513
Boy you sure have the windage nailed down ! I'm really curious about this and see and oportunity to learn something here! The more I chew on what your experiencing the more it looks to me like something mechanical. I would think cheek weld variation would also show up in the windage and that looks to me very solid.
 

Travis186

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Boy you sure have the windage nailed down ! I'm really curious about this and see and oportunity to learn something here! The more I chew on what your experiencing the more it looks to me like something mechanical. I would think cheek weld variation would also show up in the windage and that looks to me very solid.
It's just elevation... windage could be tweaked but it's probably perfect, and any slight variation is just me. I've got an eye doc appointment scheduled in a few weeks, it's time. The elevation is definitely recoil control thru the shot sequence, and that I am confident of at this point. It would explain why less support means the elevation moves up, which by the time I get off hand and there is nothing stopping the rifle from doing exactly what it wants to do as that big roundball moves down the bore, it shoots higher. Just to give an idea, I've burned 1.5lbs of Olde Eynsford this week out of this gun. I'm going to get it back in the woods next week, and just keep my shots under 70 yards. I was hitting an 8" pie plate at 100 yards with it but it's hard to see the open sights well enough for me to want to take an animals life with it at that range.
 

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It's just elevation... windage could be tweaked but it's probably perfect, and any slight variation is just me. I've got an eye doc appointment scheduled in a few weeks, it's time. The elevation is definitely recoil control thru the shot sequence, and that I am confident of at this point. It would explain why less support means the elevation moves up, which by the time I get off hand and there is nothing stopping the rifle from doing exactly what it wants to do as that big roundball moves down the bore, it shoots higher. Just to give an idea, I've burned 1.5lbs of Olde Eynsford this week out of this gun. I'm going to get it back in the woods next week, and just keep my shots under 70 yards. I was hitting an 8" pie plate at 100 yards with it but it's hard to see the open sights well enough for me to want to take an animals life with it at that range.
One more thing I've leaned about elevation and open or rear aperture sights is that most folks use to thin of a front blade. I shoot steel offhand monthly with single shot cartridge guns and rear aperture sights mostly and have found that a wide front really helps hold elevation using a six o'clock hold. I like .100 wide for a front on both my muzzle loaders and cartridge guns.
Most of these kit guns show up with a front sight that is far to narrow to hold elevation well because of not enough definition against the target but especially round bulls.
In regard to the windage I was talking consistency not position. That much left windage could be changed by a different sun position. The old adage of 'Suns up Sight up is true for HP shooters and equally true of windage light.
 
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dave951

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Ok, after reading through this entire thread-

Yes, barrel harmonics are a thing. Every gun barrel does it and I mean every barrel. Think of a sine wave. As the barrel crosses the X.\/Y=0, that is the "node" where accuracy is at it's maximum possible for that gun/load. This hold for every gun. Next you add in the "squishy" variable, the guy holding the gun. The gun recoils differently when benched v offhand. It's a fact that recoil impulse is affected by your stance. If you plan on shooting out of a stand, practice the same stance as you'll be using in the stand. If you will be taking the odd offhand shot, practice that shot with the inevitable point of impact change in mind for your sight picture.

Which brings us to sight picture. The classic "6 oclock" hold with post and notch is problematic for accuracy at a known distance. It can be accurate, but a more accurate hold is a center hold. In short, a 6 oclock will impact higher than point of aim and that distance is whatever the distance is between your point of aim on a given target and the center of your target. If your black is 6in in dia, then your point of impact is going to be 3in above your point of aim for a zero at that distance. That's why I advocate for center hold especially for guns used in the field. If you know your gun will impact at point of aim at 50yd, then it's easy to adjust through practice at varying distances.

Shooting offhand v bench, think of your gun as a balance beam that can vibrate. When you're on a bench, there is upward pressure likely forward of where you will be holding offhand. Your shoulder exerts a downward pressure to control elevation when shooting offhand. If the gun was completely in balance, if you could remove your shoulder and it would stay pretty much horizontal. Try it sometime. Get a good offhand stance and pull your shoulder back. I guarantee the muzzle will fall. That's not a bad thing because a bit of weight to the muzzle helps dampen movement when aiming, but too much is a bad thing.

Finally, for most guns, the bullet will cross the line of sight at 2 places downrange for most normal sight settings. First time is as it rises fairly close to the shooter and again downrange at the target. Keep that in mind.
 

M. De Land

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Ok, after reading through this entire thread-

Yes, barrel harmonics are a thing. Every gun barrel does it and I mean every barrel. Think of a sine wave. As the barrel crosses the X.\/Y=0, that is the "node" where accuracy is at it's maximum possible for that gun/load. This hold for every gun. Next you add in the "squishy" variable, the guy holding the gun. The gun recoils differently when benched v offhand. It's a fact that recoil impulse is affected by your stance. If you plan on shooting out of a stand, practice the same stance as you'll be using in the stand. If you will be taking the odd offhand shot, practice that shot with the inevitable point of impact change in mind for your sight picture.

Which brings us to sight picture. The classic "6 oclock" hold with post and notch is problematic for accuracy at a known distance. It can be accurate, but a more accurate hold is a center hold. In short, a 6 oclock will impact higher than point of aim and that distance is whatever the distance is between your point of aim on a given target and the center of your target. If your black is 6in in dia, then your point of impact is going to be 3in above your point of aim for a zero at that distance. That's why I advocate for center hold especially for guns used in the field. If you know your gun will impact at point of aim at 50yd, then it's easy to adjust through practice at varying distances.

Shooting offhand v bench, think of your gun as a balance beam that can vibrate. When you're on a bench, there is upward pressure likely forward of where you will be holding offhand. Your shoulder exerts a downward pressure to control elevation when shooting offhand. If the gun was completely in balance, if you could remove your shoulder and it would stay pretty much horizontal. Try it sometime. Get a good offhand stance and pull your shoulder back. I guarantee the muzzle will fall. That's not a bad thing because a bit of weight to the muzzle helps dampen movement when aiming, but too much is a bad thing.

Finally, for most guns, the bullet will cross the line of sight at 2 places downrange for most normal sight settings. First time is as it rises fairly close to the shooter and again downrange at the target. Keep that in mind.
Yeah, I agree center hold for game shooting but a wide front sight will help you hold elevation just as well on hide as it does paper espcially on moving shots.
 

Travis186

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One more thing I've leaned about elevation and open or rear aperture sights is that most folks use to thin of a front blade. I shoot steel offhand monthly with single shot cartridge guns and rear aperture sights mostly and have found that a wide front really helps hold elevation using a six o'clock hold. I like .100 wide for a front on both my muzzle loaders and cartridge guns.
Most of these kit guns show up with a front sight that is far to narrow to hold elevation well because of not enough definition against the target but especially round bulls.
In regard to the windage I was talking consistency not position. That much left windage could be changed by a different sun position. The old adage of 'Suns up Sight up is true for HP shooters and equally true of windage light.
Funny you mention the thicker blade. I tried a post and lollipop on 200m chickens at one time and did fairly well. It's going to take teeth pulling to get me to ditch aperture altogether though.
 
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It is true, get good at these things and you can shoot anything well. My little Ted Kramer 40 cal (actually a 38 since it takes a .380 roundball, but that's another story for another day) is such a good shooting little rifle. I shoot it extremely well and I attribute it to the straight profile colerain barrel and the weight it adds which means no recoil. The front sight never moves!

I'm considering knocking the load down on my Kibler from 80gr to 70 to see if that helps... less recoil, maybe easier to control thru the shot sequence. I'll try as high as 100 too just to make sure, because it shots 100gr great as well. 70gr will still kill just about anything deader than dead inside of 100 yards.
Travis,

Because of barrel harmonics in every barrel, as dave951 already mentioned, there are actually TWO best accuracy loads for each rifle. Now many, if not most folks may not know that unless they target shoot a lot and instead just go for a deer load and shoot everything with that.

In my .45 flinter, my target load is 42 grains of FFFg and I've also used that when squirrel and small game hunting. My hunting accuracy load is 70 grains of FFFg. I developed those loads by going up and down 5 grains at a time for both. However, this is the only rifle I have ever used where it was noticeably different for target accuracy by only two grains more than 40 grains.

Gus
 

Travis186

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Travis,

Because of barrel harmonics in every barrel, as dave951 already mentioned, there are actually TWO best accuracy loads for each rifle. Now many, if not most folks may not know that unless they target shoot a lot and instead just go for a deer load and shoot everything with that.

In my .45 flinter, my target load is 42 grains of FFFg and I've also used that when squirrel and small game hunting. My hunting accuracy load is 70 grains of FFFg. I developed those loads by going up and down 5 grains at a time for both. However, this is the only rifle I have ever used where it was noticeably different for target accuracy by only two grains more than 40 grains.

Gus
Oh I'm well aware. I have a hunting load, and a target load for just about every flinter I own. I'm concentrating on hunting loads with the Kibler as that is what I built it for.

It's funny you mention your favorite load for your 45 is 42gr. For cartridges I measure my BP by weight, and even dispense it via a chargemaster combo. The thought has crossed my mind to try dispensing by weight for my flinters, maybe even my little 38 cal, to see what type of accuracy I can achieve. Treat it like cartridge load development. I know people who do this for whitworths, gibbs etc...
 

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