Correlation between accuracy and ball/patch

Discussion in 'Flintlock Rifles' started by Bugman, Dec 31, 2018.

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  1. Jan 5, 2019 #21

    brayhaven

    brayhaven

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    That was likely me. Muleskinner is my camp name, as a mule enthusiast. Raised and trained them for years. Published over a hundred articles on mules, here and abroad. My jack was national champion one year. They gave my wife a t-shirt that said “my husband has the best ass in America”. When asked about it, she’d say something like “yeah, but he shows his ass a lot”...
    true enough..
    But I always wash it first...:).
    Brayhaven is my farm name.
     
  2. Jan 5, 2019 #22

    Van1955

    Van1955

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    Dave, no shooting at NCOs, we take that kind of thing personally.
     
    32 ballard xl likes this.
  3. Jan 5, 2019 #23

    Stumpkiller

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    Do you use round bottom rifling with 0.016" deep grooves? That helps a lot. Gives the residue a place to go (and L.C. Rice swages the bore so it's smooth as a razor). I couldn't get away with it, either, until I did a whole lot of experimenting with lubes and methods. You know the drill. Change one thing at a time.

    Two, five shot groups at 50 yards from my .54 flintlock. Rifle supported on my crossed legs, sitting on the ground . Load & shoot. Wipe after five.
    [​IMG]

    Get the storage oil out of the bore with a 91% Iso alcohol wipe, run a lubed patch down & up, then load. I'm convinced the first wipe helps keep the fouling looser the rest of the session.
     
  4. Jan 5, 2019 #24

    bang

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    When younger and eyes were good I used a T C Hawken 45, .440 and .010 patch, 70gs fff and could hit 8 maybe 9 of 10 in 1.5 bull at 100 yards open sights. Pissed a lot of hipower shooters off. Over the years I found that too many people elect to believe more is better when it comes to powder. So untrue. Recently obtained an inline 50, 28" ,1:28. Read up and people were shooting 240gn .45 sabot with 100- 120gns. I started at 90 but achieved no grouping even at 65 yards. Bumped up to 100gns, got worse. Ended up at 84 gns and they lay right in. Knowing even that all guns settle different it's hard to believe people get any better groups at 90+. I might trust a .490 and 010 patch at 90 better.
    I know that same Hawken at 70g fff and 290 hb it would walk 6" right at 100. Drop down to 55g fff and on the money. Really not bad for a rifle I built 44 years ago. Just replaced the poor worn out barrel fro .45 to .50.
    I came up with a formula to figure load for ball. Good starting point.
    Radius sqd x 3.1416 x barrel length x 15.72
    So for .45, 28", barrel, patched ball: .225 x .225 = 0.050625 x 3.1416 = 0.1590435 x 28 = 4.453418 x 15.72 = 70.0045, 70 gns powder
     
  5. Jan 8, 2019 #25

    Rifleman1776

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    Your observation is accurate. Whether those 'big boomers' get better accuracy is a matter that can only be seen in the target scoring shed. I have seen some bench rest guys who use such big charges the ground shakes for ten yards around them with every shot. Their theory is the higher velocity bucks wind and gives better accuracy. Not likely I'll ever get into the heavy bench game to prove/disprove them but this is a 'do yer own thang game'.
     
  6. Jan 8, 2019 #26

    Grenadier1758

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    Bench rest is a long paper patched bullet discipline. The long bullets require the massive powder charges to get the velocity to go the distance.
     
  7. Jan 11, 2019 at 2:35 AM #27

    smoothshooter

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    Your ancestor was most likely using a locally borrowed/confiscated shotgun or other smoothbore since almost all the guns the Americans brought from home were lost when a barge transporting most of the guns sank while crossing some local body of water just before the battle.
    Jackson sent several parties of men house to house in New Orleans and the surrounding countryside conficating any firearms they could find, almost all of which were smoothbores.
     
  8. Jan 11, 2019 at 5:11 AM #28

    Artificer

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    Bugman said:

    Logic says that our forebears used combinations which were not very difficult to ram, otherwise they would have had to carry a starter and a range rod which are more recent inventions.

    I am extremely leery of suggesting that they had coned barrels in the 18th century and even into most of the 19th century - that is covered by the period of this forum up through the UnCivil War.

    Though we don’t have a plethora of sources of 17th and 18th century written gunsmith techniques and not much more on early 19th century techniques, and as far as I know, none of them talk about what we would consider “coning” at least in the modern use of the term. Admittedly we have even fewer engravings and descriptions of gunsmithing tools for most of the period, but “modern style” coning tools don’t show up there either. They had the technology to make tools like it, but again, those tools don’t show up.

    MOST original rifle barrels (when you include the early to mid 19th century rifles) don’t have “coned” muzzles, again in the modern sense of the word. However, there is evidence on some original 18th century rifles that a “sort of” hand filed “coning” was done. IOW, both the lands and grooves were hand filed in a rounded fashion that went back a little ways into the bore. This would have allowed thumb pressing the ball into the barrel even with a fairly tight patch. However, this technique did not seem to be carried over much into the early 19th century. So one logically can/should ask the question, “Why not, if it worked well for loading and accuracy?”

    Adding to what Curator mentioned, in the 1840’s through the 1860’s when they actually HAD precision calipers inexpensive enough they could be afforded by many in the mechanical trades, significant improvements in steel barrels and machine tools, better gun powder, etc., etc. did target rifles use the “hand filed coning” mentioned above? NO, they did not. As Curator mentioned, most of the Target Rifles had false muzzles even after the early smokeless powders were used.

    OK, leaving aside the Target Rifles, how much evidence is there for hand filed coning of rifle muzzles in the early to mid 19th century? Not much at all. However, by the second quarter of the 19th century, short starters begin to show up rather commonly in original pouches.

    Now, I remain open minded that one day we may find period documentation on using short starters in the 18th century, even though it has been demonstrated by experimental archeology they were not needed for hunting and as late as 1810 we have Audubon’s quote about pushing the ball into the muzzle with the knife handle. I also remain open minded that one day we might find evidence of “modern style” coning tools or coned muzzles. However, until such documentation evidence comes to light, I don’t believe we can logically say they had modern coned muzzles and short starters before they actually begin showing up, as in the case of short starters.

    Gus
     
  9. Jan 11, 2019 at 5:31 AM #29

    Artificer

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    Oh, I also have found tighter PRB's shoot better than loose ones.

    Before Forum Member LaBonte aka Chuck Barrows passed, he also mentioned that with period grease/s and balls as tight as we use in modern times, that he used brain tanned leather as a patch material and did not need a short starter for hunting.

    Gus
     
  10. Jan 11, 2019 at 8:22 PM #30

    hanshi

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    I load pretty tight in rifles but not so much in smoothbores. I found by using a ball .010" or .005" smaller than bore diameter and a .019" cotton canvas duck patch or a .024" unbleached canvas patch results in as good accuracy as I'm capable of shooting. Also the accuracy is not affected by continuous shooting. The tight combo pushes the fouling down with each load which only leaves one shots worth of fouling in the bore each time. Oddly, The heavy canvas generally loads easier than denim or even the cotton duck. All three give fine accuracy and I don't have to wipe until it's time to go home.
     
  11. Jan 12, 2019 at 5:29 PM #31

    Shawnee Mike

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    Great thoughts. Something i need to try this spring.
    I am thinking Gus may be correct as its more about what modern people think of as "Coned" Mike Brookes coned my rifle by hand with a file. But i know of the tools you speak of.

    Hanshi, your experience intrigues me. Do you use the standard wood wiper to load, or do you have something else ? I would love to try this, as i believe you may be on to something.
     
  12. Jan 13, 2019 at 12:02 AM #32

    hanshi

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    Shawnee Mike, I do use the wood rods on the rifles. I have to use a short starter with these loads; but once started they go down with little pressure. Even at the range I use wood rods about half the time or more. Now, the rifles are not coned but the muzzles have been rounded and polished so there is no abrupt transition into the lands. This is easily acomplished with sandpaper/cloth and a thumb or finger. It takes a little while but is certainly worth it. Best thing is that the patch never gets torn when short started into the muzzle. I can give you more details if you want to PM me.
     

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