Dry ball

Discussion in 'Percussion Rifles' started by Kansas Jake, Mar 16, 2019 at 8:52 PM.

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  1. Mar 16, 2019 at 8:52 PM #1

    Kansas Jake

    Kansas Jake

    Kansas Jake

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    Okay guys I did it this morning. I was shooting at the local range and had a couple of non-muzzleloading shooters watching me including a new at the range RSO (range safety officer). So while visiting and showing what I was doing I swabbed the bore, grabbed the ticking and a ball, started the ball, cut the patch, and short started the ball down the bore with the short starter. Do you see what's missing, Yup, no powder. Not to worry, I've got a screw in ball puller, and it is only started so, I'll just pull the short started ball. Nope, the threads on the ball screw are different than the range rod and ram rod I'm using.

    Well, I looked at it as an opportunity to educate the new RSO who has no BP experience. I seat the ball, pull the nipple and using a nipple pick I force a few grains of powder into the drum and breech area. I replaced the nipple, cap the piece, point it down range, pull the trigger and am pleasantly rewarded with a poof and see the ball and patch fly down range. The .490 ball manages to fly about 40 meters before touchdown. I sure wouldn't want to be hit by that slow speed projectile.

    It only took about 5 minutes to accomplish the clearing and I was back in business of making things go bang again. So, if you haven't dry balled, you need to try it just of the enjoyment of going though this embarrassing process.
     
  2. Mar 16, 2019 at 9:02 PM #2

    Britsmoothy

    Britsmoothy

    Britsmoothy

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    I like the witness of powder in or around the muzzle. If I don't see that I think 'hang on'!
     
  3. Mar 16, 2019 at 9:13 PM #3

    Kansas Jake

    Kansas Jake

    Kansas Jake

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    I use an adjustable measure with a little funnel shaped spout and it usually doesn't leave much powder around the muzzle. When I realized I couldn't pull the ball, I just rammed it home and then measured the ram rod to make sure it was a dry ball. It was.
     
  4. Mar 16, 2019 at 9:44 PM #4

    Juice Jaws

    Juice Jaws

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    Welcome to the club.
     
  5. Mar 16, 2019 at 9:46 PM #5

    Juice Jaws

    Juice Jaws

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    I am surprise the small grains of 4F show up that well.
     
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  6. Mar 16, 2019 at 9:58 PM #6

    Britsmoothy

    Britsmoothy

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    ;)
     
  7. Mar 17, 2019 at 3:04 AM #7

    Woodnbow

    Woodnbow

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    I’ve only done it once... and yes it’s embarrassing and most likely to occur while you’re showing other shooters “how it’s done”.
     
  8. Mar 17, 2019 at 7:16 AM #8

    homebrew .357

    homebrew .357

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    Yep, been and gone and done it, so have now made up dry ball screw puller. But I`ve had more fun actually firing the rifle. We have a general practice day at our range and anyone can come along for the day and pay a bit to have a shoot. This means I was the only one with a black powder rifle, .50cal, so loading 50gr 3f and ramming down the p r ball the Asian guy beside me thought I was cleaning the bore. I caped up and lined up target at 50m and let her go, All hell broke lose as the guy jumped up screaming "Budy hell, you blow gun up? . I then had a crowed around me to see how this "blow up gun works. P1010466.JPG
     
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  9. Mar 17, 2019 at 10:33 AM #9

    Sinner

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    I don't personally know anyone who shoots BP that hasn't forgotten the powder a time or two... it's a good reason to make sure your nipple is never too tight.
     
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  10. Mar 17, 2019 at 11:57 AM #10

    Logcutter

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    I shoot at my place and for most of my shooting I am alone. Both times I've dry balled a rifle I was at another range and talking with other shooters. Socializing I just lost tract of my steps. When I shoot with others now I don't talk, I shoot. I can and do enjoy talking and socialize when the rifles are put away. I am considering joining a local sportsman's club that has BP shoots. If I do they will have to get used to my inability to shoot and talk at the same time.:)
     
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  11. Mar 17, 2019 at 3:20 PM #11

    Kansas Jake

    Kansas Jake

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    Juice Jaws and others, I'm becoming a pro a dry balling. I just thought I would share with you my day and the humor of it. My point was that it was easy to get that ball out with only a few grains of powder and also show a new person that it wasn't super hard to remedy a dry ball in most cases.
     
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  12. Mar 17, 2019 at 4:36 PM #12

    Rat

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    Nipples, lock bolts, and spark plugs should always be just "snug". Many people don't get that, and think they need to be as tight as possible without actually stripping the threads. But it never ends well. :)
     
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  13. Mar 17, 2019 at 4:42 PM #13

    Bledfor Days

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    I've done it a couple of times. "Excuse Mr. Flinter, could I perhaps trouble you for a few grains of your FFFFg to clear my dry ball. I'm an idiot." Lol.
     
  14. Mar 17, 2019 at 4:43 PM #14

    Rat

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    When we acquired our original long rifle, which came down through the family many generations, (and was with the Donner party, until it split into two parties) it had been dry-balled for about 70+ years or so, and no one had ever fixed it. It's a drum and nipple gun, so I only had to remove the drum, put in a bit of powder, and pop the ball out of there. It took two tries, first try just moved the ball up an inch or so, then I was able to get more in there, and ram the ball back down.
     
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  15. Mar 18, 2019 at 1:09 AM #15

    Woodnbow

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    The guy who sold me my Seneca .45 dryballed it th first time he took it out. I was there and showed him how to remove the nipple and trickle a few grains of 3f in there... he fired a half dozen balls and then suddenly turned to me and said, “I think I just shot my ramrod.” Yep, he had... We looked high and low for the better part of an hour but it appears to have made it to low earth orbit.

    Some days it’s just not worth chewing through the restraints.
     
  16. Mar 18, 2019 at 1:22 AM #16

    Black Hand

    Black Hand

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    My first dryball was also an object lesson as to why the threaded end should be pinned to the rammer - two lessons in one. I wish someone had showed me the remove the nipple and add powder trick before I dryballed...
     
  17. Mar 18, 2019 at 1:51 AM #17

    Eutycus

    Eutycus

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    Why do you suppose that on these "rare occassions" it seems like you're never alone? Its like there is always an onlooker or two around.
     
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  18. Mar 18, 2019 at 2:41 AM #18

    Juice Jaws

    Juice Jaws

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    You are a 100% right about taking the nipple out ,few grains of powder and bang the ball is out. I see guys getting the CO2 out messing with that , oh no air in CO2. etc. Messing around with pulling a ball, it is so easy just to pull the nipple. Now a flintlock is a little different. I have got a few grains in the touch hole and that works, but I have also pull the ball out in a flintlock. But hey its all part of the game. It really gets fun when you dry ball in a time event. (standing there with egg on your face)
     
  19. Mar 18, 2019 at 2:45 AM #19

    Juice Jaws

    Juice Jaws

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    I really wish I could learn that, I tighten every thing tight, and then one turn and a half more, after the cussing the boss goes "why do you always do that".
     
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  20. Mar 18, 2019 at 3:21 AM #20

    Griz44Mag

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    Wisdom in words, they are...
     

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