Could a round ball about .001 inch less than bore diameter be used?

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You probably missed out on the best shooting ball shooter you’ve ever owned… just sayin’… :doh:

I know what you mean though, I have all kinds of ideas rattling around in there. Sometimes I’m told it’ll never work only to discover that the conventional wisdom was just conventional and not wisdom at all. Often it’s the other way round. But what the heck, burning powder isn’t a bad thing is it?
I still have the balls, but I keep getting sidetracked by other things like P53's that won't group or shooting stocked revolvers 😀

I was going to "chew" them with files
 

dylan84

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I don't see why it would be that big of a deal. Powder, wool felt wad that fits bore tight, healthy load of grease and soft lead ball. Initially it might be tough to start, but once it forms to bore it will go right down like you are slugging a bore. Later loadings will be fine without swabbing if you use the right amount of grease behind the ball.
 

RAEDWALD

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My opinion is that no obturation takes place on a round lead ball.
A doctorate thesis on 17th century muskets using experimental archeology demonstrated that soft lead round balls do obturate. For the same reason that solid lead conical in muzzle loaders obturate, in that the softness of the lead causes the rear portion to start moving under the pressure whilst the top is not yet moving. The only place for the lead to go is outwards. One has to note that the ring thus produced on the round ball also demonstrates that the ball remains in the same alignment going down the bore and does not roll around any axis. The author also noted evidence of erosion through the action of gas upon the ball.
 

Sun City

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Some of you folks are working overtime to make something that's really simple....to become akin to rocket science! When in all instances what you have to do is pour a little powder down the bore, seat a patch on top of the muzzle with a correct size ball, hit it a lick then push down with the ramrod! Seat a cap, hold hard, and it goes bang!! Way too much over-thinking!!

Untitled by Sharps Man, on Flickr
 
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On FLINTLOCK sub-forum I posted a thread for lubricating a round ball to try my years old DOUBLER device. DOUBLER creates stochastic indentations that act on the severe air drag on smooth round balls, the thing that those pock marks in golf balls that add many yards to golf shots until the green is reached. If the DOUBLER really adds yards — that is, significantly improves retained velocity, significantly reduces ball deflection from side winds— could a larger diameter round ball about .001 inch less than bore diameter be used? Gene Gordner, the Kalispell, Montana, gun maker who created my beautiful matched pair of English-style percussion rifles, informed me that ramrod loaded conicals can use bullet diameters .001 inch less than bore diameter. This allows several-to-many bullets to be conventionally loaded before fouling becomes an issue.

Bullets carry lubrication with them as they travel up the barrel. Round balls are surrounded during such travel by lubricated patches. If the patch becomes an unnecessary unlubricated wad or card protecting only powder from lubricant, if pebbled surface of round ball run through a DOUBLER is dry lubed like what some hand casters use, the bullet diameter stolen by the patch is again bullet diameter. Incrementally sized new/used/loaned round ball molds are cheap in several calibers. if DOUBLER is no longer available, a facsimile can be made for chump change. My English-sytyled big bore rifles do not have cheaply available round ball molds available. I have used only mallet-loaded conicals in them. My "hunt cape buffalo in South Africa" fantasy is no longer possible. I cannot take the beating I practiced to take, and I don't want to. Mold makers offer, for example, many nominal .54-caliber round ball molds that change in .001-inch increments. My .72-caliber rifles don't have such easy availability.

So before I invest $200–250 for a .72x or .73x bullet mold, discussing things with experienced round ball users seems like a worthwhile idea.
I think the Bevel Brothers did experimenting with roughing balls, and probably many others. If there was anything to it, people would know by now. If you get too far away from traditional muzzleloading, you might as well just go 'cartridge' as the people did after the Civil War. Your rifles sound really nice!
 

dylan84

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Some of you folks are working overtime to make something that's really simple....to become akin to rocket science! When in all instances what you have to do is pour a little powder down the bore, seat a patch on top of the muzzle with a correct size ball, hit it a lick then push down with the ramrod! Seat a cap, hold hard, and it goes bang!! Way too much over-thinking!!

Untitled by Sharps Man, on Flickr
What else would we blab on about when we aren't shooting or hunting? I think most of us are here because our other friends and family members have heard enough! haha
 

M. De Land

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Now I get, Semolina flour. I’ll just sick with grits or cornmeal. It’s a southern thing.
Corn meal is not nearly as firm and dry as Cream of wheat and tends so emit oil when compressed. I've used both and Cream of wheat is far better as a filler.
 

Bigpete

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Have actually tried this with lubed .495 "chewed" rb in my 50 cal as a quick to load finishing deal. They seemed to load easy even though they miked at .505 after " chewing " and shot accurate enough for what I needed. Didn't shoot enough of them to come up with much other information though
 
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