Barrel Harmonics or Technique?

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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...
MOST International ML Shooters, who actually win or at least do very well in that competition, weigh every load and put them in individual glass or plastic vials for each shot, before coming to shoot. Of course, since I mostly competed in primitive matches, that wasn't allowed there.

Gus
 

Travis186

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MOST International ML Shooters, who actually win or at least do very well in that competition, weigh every load and put them in individual glass or plastic vials for each shot, before coming to shoot. Of course, since I mostly competed in primitive matches, that wasn't allowed there.

Gus
Drop tube and all. It's fun to watch... my wife would kill me if an underhammer chunk gun or a Gibbs rifle showed up at the door step at this point.
 

M. De Land

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Drop tube and all. It's fun to watch... my wife would kill me if an underhammer chunk gun or a Gibbs rifle showed up at the door step at this point.
My offhand percussion target gun is an underhammer with GM barrel in .45 cal. It likes 65 grains of 3F Goex !
With me the double aperture (front and rear cartridge gun) sights are nearly as accurate as a scope if the light is good. I find shooting in the low light of this time of year in Alaska that a hooded sight (Lyman A-5 type) is to dark early or late in the match. I have an offhand gong match on Sunday so will use one of my match guns with a rear aperture and a wide no hood blade up front.
I usually make my front sights of bar stock on a milling machine and like to cap them with a brass strip flat top soldered on in partridge profile. I then file a .45 degree angle at the rear top as a lead into to the top of the blade which will catch any available light early or late in the day. I find this flat top partridge shape is the least effected by sun movement and light change.
It took me quite awhile to believe that a wide front is actually more accurate than a thin one up front even with good eyes. It simply imprints definition better against any target. The elevation definition is what I noticed most.
 

Travis186

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My offhand percussion target gun is an underhammer with GM barrel in .45 cal. It likes 65 grains of 3F Goex !
With me the double aperture (front and rear cartridge gun) sights are nearly as accurate as a scope if the light is good. I find shooting in the low light of this time of year in Alaska that a hooded sight (Lyman A-5 type) is to dark early or late in the match. I have an offhand gong match on Sunday so will use one of my match guns with a rear aperture and a wide no hood blade up front.
I usually make my front sights of bar stock on a milling machine and like to cap them with a brass strip flat top soldered on in partridge profile. I then file a .45 degree angle at the rear top as a lead into to the top of the blade which will catch any available light early or late in the day. I find this flat top partridge shape is the least effected by sun movement and light change.
It took me quite awhile to believe that a wide front is actually more accurate than a thin one up front even with good eyes. It simply imprints definition better against any target. The elevation definition is what I noticed most.
You're slowly convincing me, and I may try it. I just prefer an aperture because if wind and mirage are just slight right to left, or left to right, I can shade the silhouette and get away with no sight adjustment.
 

M. De Land

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You're slowly convincing me, and I may try it. I just prefer an aperture because if wind and mirage are just slight right to left, or left to right, I can shade the silhouette and get away with no sight adjustment.
Yeah, I know exactly what your saying but once you get the confidence in what your seeing in wind and mirage you will get the same in knob twisting to account for it ,which is tough to do. Shading is what my head wants to do but I think knob twisting is what the"Gullo's" of the world do to stay in the winners circle !
This is the reason I like good turn knobs on my rear open sights on my muzzle loaders. I make my own rear adjustable open sights as well as the fronts for my target muzzle loaders.
I've stayed with the volumetric charging with pretty fair success with BP but don't use a drop tube with muzzle loaders only cartridge guns.
I use my muzzle loaders only for target shooting which require open sigts but would have no trouble at all with a ghost ring aperture ( 3/32nds) or so diameter rear for deer hunting. You will need it pretty open for dawn and dusk shooting. The brass topped front with the 45 degree lead in angle will still show up like a sore thumb in pretty dim light which is what you will need against deer hide.
 
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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.
I have always sighted my rifles in with a low six o'clock hold at 50 meters on an International target , this gives me a slight white line so I can see my sights clearly , the bullet rise at 50 meters is just over 4 inches for a 10.1 score , the rifle is then dead on center again at 100 meters when holding in the black . This also gives me minute of deer out about 120 meters . after that it is by guess and by luck .
 

dave951

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I have always sighted my rifles in with a low six o'clock hold at 50 meters on an International target , this gives me a slight white line so I can see my sights clearly , the bullet rise at 50 meters is just over 4 inches for a 10.1 score , the rifle is then dead on center again at 100 meters when holding in the black . This also gives me minute of deer out about 120 meters . after that it is by guess and by luck .
And this is exactly the thing I was pointing out about trajectory for those who love the 6oclock hold. It will hit "high" when aiming at game in the field if not allowed for. It's far easier to set up the gun for a center hold. In N-SSA competition, many of us use a center hold but there are also those who still like a 6oclock. I prefer center as I shoot post and notch on my Enfield. To me, it's far easier to line up everything across the center of the target both left to right and up and down. The fun comes in when they shoot a "novelty" event at 25yd at targets like marbles and such. We'll also shoot a "ladder" made of 1in wide strips of wood. As with all N-SSA targets, have to break it to count. With my Enfield, I do practice at 25yd offhand and I know that my hold will be about 2in under the center of the target.

Just another bit of minutia about trajectory. There is a term called "Point Blank" range. PB ranger is the distance where you can hold center target, and the bullet rises and falls an acceptable amount and still have a "hit". The distance of the targets between the highest and lowest hit because of trajectory is the distance you can aim with a center hold and still put Bambi in the freezer. Many casual shooters don't take this into account when hunting.

Sight picture is also a useful way to compensate for distance. Where you put the post in relation to the notch can greatly change where the bullet hits. Example, put the post lower in the notch for close shots, and elevate the post for further shots.

All this is meaningless though without experimentation with your gun and practice, practice, practice. If you only go through one pound of powder a year, you ain't shooting enough.

MOST International ML Shooters, who actually win or at least do very well in that competition, weigh every load and put them in individual glass or plastic vials for each shot, before coming to shoot. Of course, since I mostly competed in primitive matches, that wasn't allowed there.
For load development, I always weigh each and every charge. In N-SSA competition, we put them into plastic tubes that use the bullet as a "stopper". When making up quantities of ammo for competition, I set the powder measure and weigh the first couple charges to insure it's within an acceptable range and then only weigh every 10th charge. This is what N-SSA musket ammo generally looks like-
SAM_0424.JPG
 

dave951

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A further comment, many hunters are lousy at range estimation. If you're hunting from a stand, you can use a range finder to identify things around your stand as "range stakes". So like the maple tree just over there is 25yd and the laurel thicket is 50yd, then you aren't shooting at unknown distances.

Also, shooting "downhill" from a stand will cause you to shoot high. It's the physics of trajectory.
 

M. De Land

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And this is exactly the thing I was pointing out about trajectory for those who love the 6oclock hold. It will hit "high" when aiming at game in the field if not allowed for. It's far easier to set up the gun for a center hold. In N-SSA competition, many of us use a center hold but there are also those who still like a 6oclock. I prefer center as I shoot post and notch on my Enfield. To me, it's far easier to line up everything across the center of the target both left to right and up and down. The fun comes in when they shoot a "novelty" event at 25yd at targets like marbles and such. We'll also shoot a "ladder" made of 1in wide strips of wood. As with all N-SSA targets, have to break it to count. With my Enfield, I do practice at 25yd offhand and I know that my hold will be about 2in under the center of the target.

Just another bit of minutia about trajectory. There is a term called "Point Blank" range. PB ranger is the distance where you can hold center target, and the bullet rises and falls an acceptable amount and still have a "hit". The distance of the targets between the highest and lowest hit because of trajectory is the distance you can aim with a center hold and still put Bambi in the freezer. Many casual shooters don't take this into account when hunting.

Sight picture is also a useful way to compensate for distance. Where you put the post in relation to the notch can greatly change where the bullet hits. Example, put the post lower in the notch for close shots, and elevate the post for further shots.

All this is meaningless though without experimentation with your gun and practice, practice, practice. If you only go through one pound of powder a year, you ain't shooting enough.



For load development, I always weigh each and every charge. In N-SSA competition, we put them into plastic tubes that use the bullet as a "stopper". When making up quantities of ammo for competition, I set the powder measure and weigh the first couple charges to insure it's within an acceptable range and then only weigh every 10th charge. This is what N-SSA musket ammo generally looks like-
View attachment 107704
I can agree with much of what you said except one. The six o'clock hold will always give better vertical definition with a wide front post/blade on a bull or even silhouette target , but on animals where one must pick a spot on the hide, center hold with wide post/blade gives better definition and definition is the name of the game on any target.
 
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A further comment, many hunters are lousy at range estimation. If you're hunting from a stand, you can use a range finder to identify things around your stand as "range stakes". So like the maple tree just over there is 25yd and the laurel thicket is 50yd, then you aren't shooting at unknown distances.
Great tip. If one shoots from a or multiple tree stand/s and you can do so before season opens, you can also make a "distance" log book for each stand.


Also, shooting "downhill" from a stand will cause you to shoot high. It's the physics of trajectory.
Yes, but if one is using the Point Blank Range technique you described earlier, and a patched round ball, this doesn't become something to worry about until at close to the maximum distance of the gun's PBR. For example, with a .45 cal. PRB, it doesn't become relevant until close to 100 yards. Have to admit I'm not sure about Minie Bullets, but it's worth checking on it for them as well.

Here's a ballistic calculator to check drop for round balls.
Rb ballistics (ctmuzzleloaders.com)

Gus
 

dave951

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I can agree with much of what you said except one. The six o'clock hold will always give better vertical definition with a wide front post/blade on a bull or even silhouette target , but on animals where one must pick a spot on the hide, center hold with wide post/blade gives better definition and definition is the name of the game on any target.
Not exactly, it depends on the coloration of the target and the sights. If they're all black, good luck. That's why I use a colored front post.
 
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Not exactly, it depends on the coloration of the target and the sights. If they're all black, good luck. That's why I use a colored front post.
I suspect in part, this is also the reason why many NSSA shooters prefer the much taller/soldered on front sights to be Brass instead of Steel as well?

Gus
 

M. De Land

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I suspect in part, this is also the reason why many NSSA shooters prefer the much taller/soldered on front sights to be Brass instead of Steel as well?

Gus
Yes, a wide, brass topped, angled lead in sight will show definition on any game animal hide even at dusk or dawn.. Probably ivory is a bit better but not by much and is not as durable.
 
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