First Shots from Original French 1777

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GregLaRoche

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Yesterday, after restoring an original 1777, I shot it for the first time. At 50 meters on a sand bag it was was all over the place. I shot five patched ( smaller than .69 cal.) and four unpatched .69 cal. Last week I shot a friend’s unpatched at a standings position and grouped pretty well.

What should I do? I plan on having a friend, that shoots one well try mine to see if it’s the gun or me. Any advice?

Thanks
 

Brokennock

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This is just the beginning of a process. Methodically and only changing 1 thing at a time, try different powder charges, different diameter ball with; different thickness patches and/or different wad combinations, try different lubes on the patches/wads. Write things down so you know what you've tried and what you haven't. Write the data, loading recipe and shot distance, on the paper target and take a picture of it.
Start closer. No point shooting at 50 meters if the gun/load won't group at 25.
 

GregLaRoche

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Is it possible, that I can shoot better at a standing position than from a sand bag? I want to try it next time.
 
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Yesterday, after restoring an original 1777, I shot it for the first time. At 50 meters on a sand bag it was was all over the place. I shot five patched ( smaller than .69 cal.) and four unpatched .69 cal. Last week I shot a friend’s unpatched at a standings position and grouped pretty well.

What should I do? I plan on having a friend, that shoots one well try mine to see if it’s the gun or me. Any advice?

Thanks
That's a 200-year old steel pipe that's been marinating it's various mfg. impurities for two centuries under unknown conditions; I'd go real easy on the powder charge!
 

GregLaRoche

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I’m using 4.2 grams of the equivalent of FF Goex. That’s what others find works best..
 

Zonie

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For those who don't use metric powder weights, 4.2 grams is equal to 64.82 grains.
 

gemmer

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How heavy is the trigger pull? My original 1816 flintlock is easily over 10 pounds. Are you getting good ignition?
 

GregLaRoche

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I’ve worked on the trigger pull. It’s still a little heavier than I would like, but it is nice and crisp now.

How do I tell if I’m having good ignition? In ten shots it didn’t ignite once. I recoked and it fired.
 

Artificer

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I’ve worked on the trigger pull. It’s still a little heavier than I would like, but it is nice and crisp now.

How do I tell if I’m having good ignition? In ten shots it didn’t ignite once. I recoked and it fired.
First thanks for the reply on the amount and granulation of the powder charge and for Zonie converting that to grains. You seem to be in the ball park for the best accuracy with that charge, but it may need to go up or down between 60 and 70 grains.

I may suggest that if the musket is not going off consistently each time you pull the trigger to fire, it is going to throw your accuracy off. Best to get that figured out before doing other things.

Gus
 

Rat

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Yeah, unfortunately, I believe muskets like heavy charges, which you may not want to stress the old girl with. My Brown Bess (reproduction) is more accurate with 140 grains of powder, than it is with less. Actually it likes 150 grains, but I have to draw the line somewhere. :)

But, Brit is right, she should be safe with 100 grains in that size bore.

However, there's at least twenty-bazillion things to experiment with besides powder charge, and unless your follow-through is perfect, you will want to get her to fire reliably every time you pull the trigger.
 

gemmer

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I’ve worked on the trigger pull. It’s still a little heavier than I would like, but it is nice and crisp now.

How do I tell if I’m having good ignition? In ten shots it didn’t ignite once. I recoked and it fired.
It sounds like your frizzen may be too soft. Recocking and trying again could be causing you to flinch in anticipation of the musket firing. My 1816 prefers a smaller ball and thicker patch, in my case a .662 ball and .022 patch over 80 gr of 2F GOEX. I've never shot it bare ball.
 
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It sounds like your frizzed may be too soft. Recocking and trying again could be causing you to flinch in anticipation of the musket firing. My 1816 prefers a smaller ball and thicker patch, in my case a .662 ball and .022 patch over 80 gr of 2F GOEX. I've never shot it bare ball.
Yeah, that frizzen needs checking out; maybe needs to be hardened.
 

Straekat

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No one mentioned checking the bore to be certain it's straight and consistent internal dimensions all the way. Second, grooving from how it was charged and cleaned with a metal rammer, pitting and other irregularities may be present and those could affect accuracy.

You might want to consider a barrel sleeve, or even a newly made barrel as a replacement and putting the original in storage.
 

tenngun

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There was a quote about the accuracy of muskets in the old days. And the quote was related to paper war cartridges. Those were designed to shoot fast, not well.
The quote said that the kings musket if not illy bored,’as many of them are’ will hit a man sized target at eighty yards.
That your gun survived in shootable condition may not mean that it was a good shooter.
The old barrels for these guns were made to be safe shooters, taking the charges used back then, and fire with minimal care. However they were not designed to be accurate.
 

Rat

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We know they weren't meant to be accurate, but we know they can be accurate. They certainly won't ever be rifle accurate, but they can display great accuracy out to 50 yards, and sometimes a bit beyond. Depends on what "kind" of accuracy one is looking for.
 
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