Dimpling A Roundball

Discussion in 'Smoothbore' started by FishDFly, May 11, 2019.

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  1. May 11, 2019 #1

    FishDFly

    FishDFly

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    I know that some pistol shooters will dimple a round ball between two (2) wood rasps for their smooth bore pistols.

    Does this really make a difference in accuracy or is this a rumor?

    What I heard was that it caused the ball to increase in size slightly, thus with a slightly larger diameter ball it and the patch would grip the bore better.
     
  2. May 11, 2019 #2

    billraby

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    It works just as good as wearing your lucky socks.
     
  3. May 12, 2019 #3

    Grenadier1758

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    It might hold a bit of lubricant better. Some smooth bore shooters have claimed to find it beneficial. For the most part, the "gnawed" balls fall in the category of if you believe it will improve accuracy, most likely it will.
     
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  4. May 12, 2019 #4

    Smokey Plainsman

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    The old timers would do it to increase accuracy. It really works. Sharpshooters were very prone to lead poisoning for this very reason.
     
  5. May 12, 2019 #5

    dave951

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    In my 1842 Macon (a cut down 1842 Springfield smoothbore), I found roughing the ball did nothing for accuracy. After lots of experimentation, in frustration, I decided to just shoot a plain ball with lube on it and even left the sprue on. Shazam! With 65g 3f, it shoots 2in groups at 25yd now with regularity. So at least in my gun, the dimpled ball is not beneficial.
     
  6. May 12, 2019 #6

    Columbus

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    It works on a golf ball, why wouldn't it work here?
     
  7. May 12, 2019 #7

    FishDFly

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    The dimples on a golf ball have something to do flight and air resistance.

    What I heard was roughing it up between 2 raps was supposed to increase the diameter and have a tighter fit in the barrel.

    This most likely falls into what is best, etc. category of subjects.
     
  8. May 12, 2019 #8

    SDSmlf

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    Knurling a projectile increases its effective diameter and allows for an easier sealing fit in the bore that you can still load. Our friends on the unmentionable side of muzzloading use this technique with quite a bit of success, at least in their opinion. Doubt we’re taking about aerodynamics similar to a ball used in pasture pool here.
     
  9. May 12, 2019 #9

    tenngun

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    I tried it and did not see improved accuracy, some find it works. It cost you little to give it a try. And you got nothing to loose
     
  10. May 12, 2019 #10

    Loyalist Dave

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    The dimples on a golf ball are consistent, not the random defacing of a lead round ball, and the golf ball spins perpendicular to the flight path, a little or a lot, while the ball from a smooth bore does not spin at all.
    GOLF BALL.jpg

    LD
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2019
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  11. May 12, 2019 #11

    Loyalist Dave

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    The guys on other forums who swear by this, mostly for fowlers, the ball is close to the diameter of the bore and when they rough up the ball the tiny raised portions actually touch the insides of the barrel wall, THUS giving them consistent central placement of the ball each and every time. A bare ball, even very close, has some "play" as it exits the barrel, and patches don't fold the same way each time. So it's not a flight characteristic, but a loading consistency situation. I submit that for some who have not had some success with this, perhaps the ball when roughed up was still not snug in the bore, and thus there was no improvement ??

    LD
     
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  12. May 13, 2019 #12

    FishDFly

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    Thanks, your explanation makes sense.

    I have noticed that over time roughed up balls will become smoother over time from riding around in a vehicle. Time to get the rasps out again.
     
  13. May 20, 2019 #13

    hawkeye2

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    LD's 2 posts are spot on. It's the backspin on the golf ball that makes the dimples work.
     
  14. May 20, 2019 #14

    dave951

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    And that backspin is consistently imparted by the club face. The inside of a barrel isn't going to do that. I tried the dimples on my 42 Macon and one of my teammates did as well. While I was able to keep them on a 24in sheet of paper, there was nothing even resembling a pattern much less a group. My teammate had identical results.
     
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  15. May 21, 2019 #15

    hawkeye2

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    What if you tried a wedge shaped wad? A 4 iron might be a good place to start. :D

    Another of those topics we are doomed to discuss repeatedly for all eternity.
     
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  16. May 21, 2019 #16

    dave951

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    The closely guarded secret to shooting smoothbore well involves arcane occult rituals, howling at the moon, and possible membership in obscure fringe cults. Only then shoot well with you be with the smoothbore.
     
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  17. May 21, 2019 #17

    FishDFly

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    I have to agree, it seems to be that way.

    I can shoot smooth bore pistol, but smooth bore rifle is a mystery at 100 yards to me.
     
  18. May 21, 2019 #18

    Grenadier1758

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    One must be true of heart and certain of belief in order for the angels or imps that ride smooth balls for sport to decide if the ball is to fly true or erratic.
     
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  19. May 21, 2019 #19

    Maven

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    I've tried this with two different RB diameters, i.e., .603" and . 618", in my 20 ga. smoothbore (.618" - .619" bore) and haven't seen an effect on accuracy in either instance. Btw, it's easy enough to do, so if you're interested, by all means try it. As for my results, none of my tests showed greater accuracy than a patched .598" or .600" RB in my gun, but I needed more powder to get the roughened RB's to hit the X ring (or near it, LOL!) @ 25 yd. Moreover, when roughened, the .618" RB needed no over powder wad to hold it in place: Adding one only changed the point of impact (to the right).

    The scientist in me suggests we can't know the effect of a roughened RB until experienced bench rest shooters test at least 1k roughened RB's, all else being equal, and then evaluate, visually and/or statistically, the results. Just my experience and $0.02.
     
  20. May 21, 2019 #20

    dave951

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    In my experience, a plain ball with the sprue left on, will fly straight and true if you're pulling the trigger with one foot held high in the air while passing gas and looking cross-eyed at the target.
     
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