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Ever shoot a stuck ball...what happened?

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Best advice I received about 10 years ago was to pour some water down the barrel. Let it soak in and then you should be able to push the ball down. If you can get it pushed down, try to fire it off right away. This has worked for me on a couple of occasions and the gun fired off both times.
That is good to know. I was considering sending some ballistol down the barrel but was afraid to lose the option to shoot it out by doing so.
 
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The good old boys that are members of my gun club wouldn't suggest shooting it out unless the ball was seated at the breech. But then, we have access to steel range rods, assorted solvents to soften fouling at the obstruction, and suitable hammers to gently seat the stuck ball at the breech.

While shooting out the obstruction may ar may not ring the barrel, there is no need to take that chance. I did, inadvertently, shoot a short started ball out of my 1 1/8" 45 caliber rifle with no ill effect. Still, I don't recommend such practice. Yes, I have read the article by the Bevel Brothers in "Muzzle Blasts" and in their tests they did ring any barrels. For me and by my recommendation, don't shoot out a stuck ball unless it is seated on the powder charge.
I'm going with that. I didn't realize the full potential of the danger at the time. I've been the victim of Murphy's Law enough times already!
 
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I short started my ball and patch. When I removed the short starter I discovered that the brass end of the starter had come off in the barrel. I rammed it the rest of the way down. Poured a little patch lube down on top and fired it. No damage to barrel. Now I make sure the starter end is pinned. Gonna need a new end though.
 
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It didn't take me long being lazy and not swabbing the barrel often enough between shots to get a ball stuck halfway down the barrel. The delrin ramrod was too flexible to move the ball even with a "T" handle and hammering. I figured I'd break the hickory rod so I didn't even try using it. No steel range rod or ball puller so I took a chance and shot it out. 50 grains pushing a .490 ball with a 12" air gap. Fortunately for me it seemed like a normal discharge and the gun still is a great shooter. I don't want to take that chance again so I now have a steel rod to be used for an event like that. And I've decided that in the long run it's easier to swab every other shot. Probably helps accuracy also.
So I'm wondering if anyone done something similar and what happened?
Yep, years ago. Took off the nipple and added a trickle charge of powder in that sucker...
 
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It is truly a wonder some of the things that we get away with. It's a wonder some of us are as old as we are with some of the things that we have chosen to do.
 

flntlokr

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It didn't take me long being lazy and not swabbing the barrel often enough between shots to get a ball stuck halfway down the barrel. The delrin ramrod was too flexible to move the ball even with a "T" handle and hammering. I figured I'd break the hickory rod so I didn't even try using it. No steel range rod or ball puller so I took a chance and shot it out. 50 grains pushing a .490 ball with a 12" air gap. Fortunately for me it seemed like a normal discharge and the gun still is a great shooter. I don't want to take that chance again so I now have a steel rod to be used for an event like that. And I've decided that in the long run it's easier to swab every other shot. Probably helps accuracy also.
So I'm wondering if anyone done something similar and what happened?
Just work up a soap and water lube for range use, and never have to swab between shots again. Look at the archive regarding this, and you will find a ton of info.
 
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I shot a stuck ball out of a TC Hawken .45 rifle ages ago when I was young (around 20 yrs old) and so far as I know nothing happened to the barrel. Just dumb luck I suppose.
 
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It didn't take me long being lazy and not swabbing the barrel often enough between shots to get a ball stuck halfway down the barrel. The delrin ramrod was too flexible to move the ball even with a "T" handle and hammering. I figured I'd break the hickory rod so I didn't even try using it. No steel range rod or ball puller so I took a chance and shot it out. 50 grains pushing a .490 ball with a 12" air gap. Fortunately for me it seemed like a normal discharge and the gun still is a great shooter. I don't want to take that chance again so I now have a steel rod to be used for an event like that. And I've decided that in the long run it's easier to swab every other shot. Probably helps accuracy also.
So I'm wondering if anyone done something similar and what happened?

Old age creates problems that aren't there 20 years ago when I only in my 60s. Three times now, I have short started a ball in my 50 caliber percussion. I imagine the ball was 6 inches down the barrel and perhaps the thing that saved me as I was using 777, 55 gr.. They sounded like a squib load, ball never hit the target at 50 yards. Change my reloading habits, but I won't guarantee you that I can't do it again.

Squint
 
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Old age creates problems that aren't there 20 years ago when I only in my 60s. Three times now, I have short started a ball in my 50 caliber percussion. I imagine the ball was 6 inches down the barrel and perhaps the thing that saved me as I was using 777, 55 gr.. They sounded like a squib load, ball never hit the target at 50 yards. Change my reloading habits, but I won't guarantee you that I can't do it again.

Squint
For those reasons I try to line everything up and have a system and not stop for anything during the loading/swabbing process until it is completed. I still find myself using the marks on my ramrod to check what is down in the muzzle and where it is from time to time.
 
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It didn't take me long being lazy and not swabbing the barrel often enough between shots to get a ball stuck halfway down the barrel. The delrin ramrod was too flexible to move the ball even with a "T" handle and hammering. I figured I'd break the hickory rod so I didn't even try using it. No steel range rod or ball puller so I took a chance and shot it out. 50 grains pushing a .490 ball with a 12" air gap. Fortunately for me it seemed like a normal discharge and the gun still is a great shooter. I don't want to take that chance again so I now have a steel rod to be used for an event like that. And I've decided that in the long run it's easier to swab every other shot. Probably helps accuracy also.
So I'm wondering if anyone done something similar and what happened?
I've never done this on purpose but I was shooting some undersized REAL bullets out of a .58 this summer, and as much as I tried , I'm certain some were moving off the powder. I was shooting at a 25 yard target and just wanted to use them up, but some of the shots sounded weird so I'm sure some popped off with the bullet not fully seated. It's not something I'd do again. No damage to the gun.

My local gun shop guy told me a while back that he can't even count how many people have come in trying to either hock or have repaired , stuff like CVA Hawkens and T/C's with bulged barrels because someone got Buck fever and short stroked a ball.
 
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For those reasons I try to line everything up and have a system and not stop for anything during the loading/swabbing process until it is completed. I still find myself using the marks on my ramrod to check what is down in the muzzle and where it is from time to time.
My one gun club is full of well meaning but chatty guys or guys who will just decide to drive downrange if it looks like you "aren't shooting" so I've almost double charged a few times, or double loaded a projectile.

One lapse in attention can cause you to patch up a second ball and ram it.

I've often had to run the rod down to feel for powder or make sure I loaded because I've been distracted by someone coming up to talk or asking if they can go downrange.
 

SwanShot

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Old age creates problems that aren't there 20 years ago when I only in my 60s. Three times now, I have short started a ball in my 50 caliber percussion. I imagine the ball was 6 inches down the barrel and perhaps the thing that saved me as I was using 777, 55 gr.. They sounded like a squib load, ball never hit the target at 50 yards. Change my reloading habits, but I won't guarantee you that I can't do it again.

Squint
I fired a short started minnie out of a 1857 Pedersoli Enfield once. Always the same story, someone was talking to while I was loading. Now I just give such people the hand until i"m finished then explain that you must never talk to a muzzle loader while he is loading. If they get offended it's their problem, not mine.
 

jd945043

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Hey 👋 worked for you this time so go and forth with new knowledge and try Not to make the mistake again.
 
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