Chewed roundball

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blackhorse

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I just saw something on another ML site that mentioned chewed roundballs. What are they. The post mentioned no need for a patch. I am assuming that if your rough up a RB it will form to the lands and grooves???
 

Nobody85

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I’ve heard of people making dimples in rb in attempts to add longer range accuracy in smooth bores. I guess trying to mimic a golf ball? I don’t know how much success can be gained by this, but some people swear by it…
 
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@blackhorse, it's called a chewed ball, but it is made by rolling the round ball on a coarse rasp to make dimples. The dimples slightly enlarge the diameter of the round ball to kind of - sort of have the ball ride on the tops of the dimples in the bore. Sometimes it helps with accuracy depends on how closely the ball fits the bore. The dimpled ball in a wad of tow can hold the ball a bit more securely in the barrel. Sometimes accuracy is improved and sometimes not.
 
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Dualist 54 did some testing on it and didn’t get any better, I’ve seen some guys swear by it
I suspect those getting better accuracy think it will work better, so it removes a tiny amount of doubt in the mind, making the shooter more confident. Which ends with better accuracy. Nothing to do with the dimpled ball and everything to do with psychology.
 
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Dualist 54 did some testing on it and didn’t get any better, I’ve seen some guys swear by it
The Bevel Brothers in Muzzle Blasts did an article about it. Some guys roll the ball over files or something to roughen it up. I personally don't see all the work being worthwhile, but no one wants to actually 'chew' on lead!
 

dave951

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Guys- in N-SSA competition, there is a Smoothbore class where the only projectile is a round ball. Believe me, you want to get to the bottom of things, make it a competition and watch the research that goes on to find what works well and consistently. In the N-SSA there are guys who use the file, a "dimple" machine, or nothing. If you get into a detailed discussion, you'll find that those who "rough up" the surface of the ball have windage in the order of .020 or more. Those who do nothing have windage of about .005. The bore sizes of smoothbores varies. For my smoothbore, I tried all the above methods. My mold casts at .005 under my actual measured bore size so my windage is about .003. Roughing actually harms accuracy in my gun. I load as cast and do nothing.

For dimpling to work like a golf ball, you have to be able to impart a consistent spin, something that isn't happening in a smoothbore.

From my research and chats with fellow competitors, I've come to the conclusion that there are a couple factors that are vital- a straight barrel (you'd be surprised how many are bent), proper windage (however you deal with it), real black powder, type of lube on the ball
 
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At the last N-SSA skirmish, one of the guys had devised a device to roughen up the round ball so that it would hold the lube better plus would provide a gripping surface to insure that the ball doesn't slip in reload. The N-SSA max smoothbore range is 50 yard, so I'm not sure that any alchemy is going to change the accuracy at that range.
 
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I have read that in the old days and lead was scarce a ball retrieved from a game animal would be chewed round and shot again.
and that was before they knew the effects of oral lead poisoning.
but again, life expectancy was so short then that few lived long enough to have any serious effects from it.
 

Surfinator58

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There's a great video on YouTube of a Native American I believe his handle is bad hands and he does a great job of explaining loading a Flintlock on horseback and the subject comes up about holding lead balls in the mouth so as to reduce the time of a Reload. Title of video is Plains Indian guns
 
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and that was before they knew the effects of oral lead poisoning.
but again, life expectancy was so short then that few lived long enough to have any serious effects from it.
I'm sure alot of us opened and closed split-shot fishing weights with our teeth. I know I did when I was a kid. Not saying it was smart by any means 🤣
 
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What kind of fool puts lead in their mouth?
There must be a Darwin award for this.
Tumble them with steel shot.
I have read but am not making this as factual, just what I’ve read, that chewed balls were balls one would bite during medical care
We can think of it for amputations, but could be used for lancing a boil.
They didn’t know in the old days that lead was poison. Pewter might be lead based, pots soldered together, men on the frontier would pop a lead ball in their mouth to ward of thirst when crossing dry areas.
Mike used a circular rasp on a drill press. And I’ve read not done, but one could do it with two furrier type rasp.
 
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