Joe Woods Coning Tool

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JCKelly

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I began shooting muzzle-loading rifle with a John Shuler which was in the family. I never even heard of a "ball starter/short starter" until years later. The muzzle on this Shuler was in some fashioned enlarged so the approx. ,37 cal ball started easily, The muzzle of my Great-Great Grandfather's rifle looked about the same. Grampa won local matches with this one in the 1890's, never shot shot a breechloader until he was 18. There was a long series on this subject some years ago, believe on the Americanlongrifles forum. Disremember the authors, one may have been Dan Phariss.
 

Joemolf

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Quite the interesting subject! I’m only repeating what I heard and that is early rifles were conned by the gunsmith at the time they were making a barrel using a tapered iron forced into the muzzle. Not sure at what point they may have performed this step before or after reaming or adding the rifling ?
 

ord sgt

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I have a coning drill bit purchased from Brownells, many years ago. I cut a Green Mountain .50 calibre barrel with the bit. The rifle has not lost any accuracy. I have another Green Mountain barreled rifle and both shoot equally well. Even the Getz barrel that I have on my Jaeger was coned by Getz when I ordered it. All of my .50's shoot very much good, as long as I do my share of the work. I see no difference.
 

Joemolf

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I began shooting muzzle-loading rifle with a John Shuler which was in the family. I never even heard of a "ball starter/short starter" until years later. The muzzle on this Shuler was in some fashioned enlarged so the approx. ,37 cal ball started easily, The muzzle of my Great-Great Grandfather's rifle looked about the same. Grampa won local matches with this one in the 1890's, never shot shot a breechloader until he was 18. There was a long series on this subject some years ago, believe on the Americanlongrifles forum. Disremember the authors, one may have been Dan Phariss.
That’s very cool you have a nice long family history!
 

Snydly

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Anyone tried one of the coning tools that is supposed to do all calibers with one tool?
 

PoorPete

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Hi everyone,
I’m new to the forum but just recently joined due to Joe Wood asking me if I would post what I thought about his tool and I agreed.
The back story is, I have shot a flint lock for a number of year but me and my son decided to get Hawkens rifles this year. The Hawken I bought was built most likely in the 80s and I like the rifle but a few things need to be fixed or adjusted on, with one of them being the muzzle that was slightly coned but not well. So I wanted to fix the file work and cone with Joe Woods tool while shooting groups in between the steps for my own personal satisfaction and that brings me to the present.
I saw when I joined the post about Joe Woods coning tool and thought if anyone would like me to post pictures of targets before any work, after file work on muzzle and after coning I will, if not no big deal. I enjoy reading post, hate splitting hairs and try to be objective.

Pete
 

erhunter

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I would like to see the comparisons myself. I am thinking of getting Joe's coning tool in .54 and that would help. The only thing is the shooting must be done at a bench and controlled some how to be a precise comparison. Maybe a gun vise or clamping shooting rest? Welcome to the forum! We have a great bunch of people on here that can help just about anyone with a problem with their firearm.
 

Hatchet-Jack

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Hi everyone,
I’m new to the forum but just recently joined due to Joe Wood asking me if I would post what I thought about his tool and I agreed.
The back story is, I have shot a flint lock for a number of year but me and my son decided to get Hawkens rifles this year. The Hawken I bought was built most likely in the 80s and I like the rifle but a few things need to be fixed or adjusted on, with one of them being the muzzle that was slightly coned but not well. So I wanted to fix the file work and cone with Joe Woods tool while shooting groups in between the steps for my own personal satisfaction and that brings me to the present.
I saw when I joined the post about Joe Woods coning tool and thought if anyone would like me to post pictures of targets before any work, after file work on muzzle and after coning I will, if not no big deal. I enjoy reading post, hate splitting hairs and try to be objective.

Pete
I would be interested in seeing your photos as well. Thank you!
 

david58

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Coned my barrel, a .50 Sharon in a Hawken. Took it to the range today - this was my second trip out. Everything was different - ball size .490 instead of .495, tallow lubed patch instead of spit, 80 grain load vs 100 or so.

Accuracy was good. It has been a long time since I shot 100yards off hand, and got em all on paper. Closer ranges were good on clangers we shot, and won a gong shoot-off.

But...

Patches totally blown through - is that normal on a coned barrel?

When loading, it seems to "catch" at the transition from cone to straight rifling. Cuts my cleaning patches there.

Any ideas? I used (misused?) a Joe Wood tool.
 

PoorPete

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I have not shot coned barrels before last week but I experienced the same thing with both loading and patches but my gun is old and the rifling smooth, so I wonder if the 400 grit was not smooth enough for loading. My patches we’re mostly like yours I assume, I think due to gas cutting around the patch in the cone, some were cut up but I think that might be due to the extra force stretching that patch down the cone and then having it shot out with blow bye in the cone. When I get home I’ll do a write up and take pictures of the patches before and after the coning. No matter how bad the patch came out the gun shot good. The only thing I know is time tells all.
 

PoorPete

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Sorry for the belated reply I have been super busy.
Ok, I am no professional I just wonder then tinker and enjoy the process. Well I found Joe phone number on a website and ordered one of his 54 caliber coning tools after a nice chat with him. If the images appear this is the way the coning tool came.
AEAF283D-BF4D-455E-A949-C1C9C0028545.jpeg

The first thing I did was shoot my gun of the bench with no vice at 3 targets with 3 shots at each and I saved the best group which measured 1.492” pictured below.
CFB1F1F8-9B2E-40B3-8624-0F55BF07DC24.jpeg

Next I filed the muzzle of my gun to finish what someone attempted before me. Here is the before and after pictures.
8659A4DD-4145-45C9-8ED1-A9DA6BF0EA4A.jpeg
2E51AC92-5C6F-4978-A91C-BF314C83C0A7.jpeg

After the file work I shot the gun again the same exact way with the best group being 1.39”. The accuracy stayed consistent but my point of impact changed as seen below.
B1DCAA63-8091-46B0-AAAB-9BFF7BE4963A.jpeg

Next I used Joe’s coning tool which was very easy to use and coned my rifle tight so I had to push hard with my thumb to seat the ball and headed to the range in the same way I had before with the group below being the best at .644”. I will mention that the point of impact not only changed again but almost back to where the rifle started, most likely due to my filing job.
0C4CAA53-2E9A-492A-A411-037F0E9170F9.jpeg

Below is a picture of the coning before I shot it so you can see how deep it goes down the bore. The line you see part way down is a lube line were the ball stops with thumb pressure.
2F66244E-1A3A-49CE-96C9-B1C85A26E1B7.png

So it was mentioned by David58 about hard loading at the bottom of the cone and I experienced that as well , it was harder than normal and I can only think the recommended 400 grit sand paper finish was not as smooth as my old rifling, which gave my patches small cut marks like a new gun. I ran a scotch brite pad on a 50 cal jag down to smooth the cone and this helped but only for a short time before the patches would tare more with fouling on loading. Another thing I noticed was the patches were very dark all over and I think it is due to gas cutting by the patch in the cone but I do not know. The first picture below is a patch from my unaltered rifle, the second picture is three patches top to bottom first shots from cone, shots after scotch brite and heavy fouled shots at the end.
8B41F30B-499D-4CB0-B477-E50024C16E02.jpeg
8ABA2593-5F72-4670-94C8-87877A2E469D.jpeg


Over all I like the Joe Woods tool and the concept in its function but this is probably not for everyone.

Pete
 

Joemolf

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Very well done Pete thank you for sharing! Alot to now think about. Leads me to think there may be a drop in velocity being the patches are torn.
 

Hatchet-Jack

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Thank you for doing this test @PoorPete! I'm curious about the "lube line", is there a ridge there or just where lube is left?

Do you think the bottom of the cone can be smoothed out either by lapping it more or shooting?
 

ML48

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I guess my family history as all of us goes back a very long way. My ancestors were Adam & Eve, can't recall their last name.😇
 

PoorPete

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Thank you for doing this test @PoorPete! I'm curious about the "lube line", is there a ridge there or just where lube is left?

Do you think the bottom of the cone can be smoothed out either by lapping it more or shooting?
Thanks Hatchet-Jack

The lube line was left over when I removed the ball during a test. I was going to try some finer grit sand paper and shoot it this weekend to see if that changes things.
Pete
 
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