Kibler Southern Mountain rifle ordered

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Correction: a 390 round ball is what I shoot.

You made a great choice his kits are the best around with the best quality components bar none I own 3 of them
I did a lot of digging before I placed the order. I wanted iron mounts, a 40 caliber barrel, and double set triggers, plus one that fit my heritage and the idea of a cherry stock just suited me. I got a feeling this will not be my only Kibler either.
 
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I have a TVM 40 cal I use .395 and at 50 yds 55 grn 3f 5 shot 1 inch group . 014 ticking. 69 yr old eyes but younger eyes might get tighter group. I figure it's good for me. I have a kibler smr 45 it likes 445 rb .014 patch. My theme is .014. Just for what it's worth.
 
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I have a TVM 40 cal I use .395 and at 50 yds 55 grn 3f 5 shot 1 inch group . 014 ticking. 69 yr old eyes but younger eyes might get tighter group. I figure it's good for me. I have a kibler smr 45 it likes 445 rb .014 patch. My theme is .014. Just for what it's worth.
That sounds very promising. I don't expect very tight groups with myself shooting, but I'm hoping the grandsons will get interested in it and shoot it some. I ordered a few different thicknesses of patches and .390 and .395 molds, so if there is a good combination between them I hope to find it. Thanks for sharing your helpful load information.
 
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I built a Kibler smr about a year ago, with a curly maple stock. The rifle is in .40 caliber and it is my favorite rifle. I shoot a 490 round ball out ot it and it will fetch dinner. Good choice.
Something’s not right here. Must be a .390 out of a .400 barrel. Right?
 
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My .36 kit arrived today. Just had time to peek and the stock looks great. I can tell that I am going to be distracted tonight at church......
Sounds good and try to focus during church. I was told mine shipped yesterday, but the tracking doesn't show it has moved. Guess we will find out in a few days.
 

M. De Land

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After months of research on the three different style offerings from Kibler, I finally pulled the trigger on one of his Southern Mountain rifle quick ship kits in cherry. It has a bark inclusion on the stock, but otherwise, it is some fine-looking cherry wood. I ordered the barrel in .40 caliber, so I will have to wait on it for a bit since his .40 barrels are on a waiting list. If anyone has a recommendation on the size mold that would work best, please let me know. Part of the research I was doing was on my own family heritage since I was wanting a rifle that would have been close to what some of my ancestors may have used. After a lot of digging, I discovered the majority of my ancestors first arrived in Virginia and then migrated to Western NC, and then to Southwestern VA and KY where they settled. In actuality, any of the Kibler models would have been appropriate, but the iron-mounted Southern Mountain rifle just kind of tickled my fancy more than the others since its plain styling seemed to fit the family trees on both sides according to everything I read. It seems most in my family were not what anyone would consider very prominent with only one exception. Being hard-working folks who hacked out a meager existence by farming their plot of land with a few of them traveling between NC and VA bringing goods back and forth to trade. I also discovered several of them who served during the Revolutionary war, civil war, Korean Conflict, and World World 1, and 2. Having served myself, I suppose I identified with these folks more than some of the others. Scott
The first thing I would do is slug the barrel to get the groove diameter then get a few try balls from your friend around .010 smaller than groove diameter and start experimenting with patch cloth thickness. You want a tight weave of cotton cloth. I use my old worn out cotton felt shirts from Cabella's around .018 thick and windshield wash for lube. Works very well !
I'd wait on the mold purchase until you figure out which diameter balls work best in your gun. Casting lead balls is the easiest projectile casting there is and a good place to learn for bullet casting later.
 
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I have a different opinion than @M. De Land on selection of ball diameter. You do want to know groove diameter but the ball diameter should be based on the land to land diameter otherwise the ball will be hard to load. Groove diameter is of interest for conical bullets as you want the largest diameter of the bullet to be nearly the groove diameter.

A Minie' ball should be 0.001 to 0.002" less than the land to land diameter.

For initial load development, the ball should be 0.010" less than the land to land diameter. Patch thickness can be the groove depth plus 0.005" when the patch is slightly compressed. Patch lubricant can be a wide variety of substances. Simplest is spit when there is a short time between loading and shooting. An oil or greasy lubricant is used for hunting to ihibit rust build up. I use a mix of water soluble oil 1 part to 7 parts of water. Use what works best for you.

I do agree that mold purchase should be deferred until you have completed load development.
 

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I have a different opinion than @M. De Land on selection of ball diameter. You do want to know groove diameter but the ball diameter should be based on the land to land diameter otherwise the ball will be hard to load. Groove diameter is of interest for conical bullets as you want the largest diameter of the bullet to be nearly the groove diameter.

A Minie' ball should be 0.001 to 0.002" less than the land to land diameter.

For initial load development, the ball should be 0.010" less than the land to land diameter. Patch thickness can be the groove depth plus 0.005" when the patch is slightly compressed. Patch lubricant can be a wide variety of substances. Simplest is spit when there is a short time between loading and shooting. An oil or greasy lubricant is used for hunting to ihibit rust build up. I use a mix of water soluble oil 1 part to 7 parts of water. Use what works best for you.

I do agree that mold purchase should be deferred until you have completed load developm

After months of research on the three different style offerings from Kibler, I finally pulled the trigger on one of his Southern Mountain rifle quick ship kits in cherry. It has a bark inclusion on the stock, but otherwise, it is some fine-looking cherry wood. I ordered the barrel in .40 caliber, so I will have to wait on it for a bit since his .40 barrels are on a waiting list. If anyone has a recommendation on the size mold that would work best, please let me know. Part of the research I was doing was on my own family heritage since I was wanting a rifle that would have been close to what some of my ancestors may have used. After a lot of digging, I discovered the majority of my ancestors first arrived in Virginia and then migrated to Western NC, and then to Southwestern VA and KY where they settled. In actuality, any of the Kibler models would have been appropriate, but the iron-mounted Southern Mountain rifle just kind of tickled my fancy more than the others since its plain styling seemed to fit the family trees on both sides according to everything I read. It seems most in my family were not what anyone would consider very prominent with only one exception. Being hard-working folks who hacked out a meager existence by farming their plot of land with a few of them traveling between NC and VA bringing goods back and forth to trade. I also discovered several of them who served during the Revolutionary war, civil war, Korean Conflict, and World World 1, and 2. Having served myself, I suppose I identified with these folks more than some of the others. Scott
That's good advice as well but the main difference ,as I see it, is wither or not one loads for speed or match work (tight or loose). Ideally you want the patch to ball fit that will impress the patch weave into the ball (which should be soft pure lead) around it's entire circumference , not just over the lands. This will insure gas seal eliminating blow by and patch burn holes at the land corners.
A tight patch will usually be the most accurate and generally require a short starter to seat in the muzzle before running it down with the loading rod.
Some folks will cut a crown taper which was traditional to facilitate tight patch muzzle seating with the thumb. Most people now days prefer short start seating in a no taper muzzle crown. Short starters are a modern day tool found very seldom if ever in history.
One advantage to tight patch loading with a good lube is better fouling control as it tends to clear out the fouling with each reload pushing it down on top the fresh powder charge thus creating a barrier between fresh powder and a damp (freshly lubed) patch.
 
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The first thing I would do is slug the barrel to get the groove diameter then get a few try balls from your friend around .010 smaller than groove diameter and start experimenting with patch cloth thickness. You want a tight weave of cotton cloth. I use my old worn out cotton felt shirts from Cabella's around .018 thick and windshield wash for lube. Works very well !
I'd wait on the mold purchase until you figure out which diameter balls work best in your gun.
Good idea.
That's good advice as well but the main difference ,as I see it, is wither or not one loads for speed or match work (tight or loose). Ideally you want the patch to ball fit that will impress the patch weave into the ball (which should be soft pure lead) around it's entire circumference , not just over the lands. This will insure gas seal iliminating blow by and patch burn holes at the land corners.
A tight patch will usually be the most accurate and generally require a short starter to seat in the muzzle before running it down with the loading rod.
Some folks will cut a crown taper which was traditional to facilitate tight patch muzzle seating with the thumb. Most people now days prefer short start seating in a no taper muzzle crown. Short starters are a modern day tool found very seldom if ever in history.
One advantage to tight patch loading with a good lube is better fouling control as it tends to clear out the fouling with each reload pushing it down on top the fresh powder charge thus creating a barrier between fresh powder and a damp (freshly lubed) patch.
Most of my rifles, be it modern repeating breech loaders or muzzleloaders are used for paper punching as I really don't hunt anymore due to health reasons. I do appreciate very tight groups when target shooting and have grown to chase the ever-alluding perfect score but that dang pesky flyer keeps me humble. My main objective is to introduce my grandkids to muzzleloaders in hopes they will continue their love of firearms while I'm still able since one day they will inherit most of them. My oldest grandson shows some interest in shooting now, so maybe he will blossom into ML's in time. I did receive a .390 and an .395 mold, so those will be my starting points. Who knows what will happen with any particular barrel? I don't mind the hard starters as long as the effort pays off.
 
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The first thing I would do is slug the barrel to get the groove diameter then get a few try balls from your friend around .010 smaller than groove diameter and start experimenting with patch cloth thickness. You want a tight weave of cotton cloth. I use my old worn out cotton felt shirts from Cabella's around .018 thick and windshield wash for lube. Works very well !
I'd wait on the mold purchase until you figure out which diameter balls work best in your gun. Casting lead balls is the easiest projectile casting there is and a good place to learn for bullet casting later.
I do know that M. De Land knows lands from grooves from his many posts and from the precision measuring tools he has access to.

I'd like to establish the definition of what we are calling groove diameter. In my measuring system, the groove diameter will be the maximum dimension of the slug. The land-to-land diameter will be the measurement of the diameter of the grooves in the slug. I have a ball gauge to measure the land-to-land diameter of the rifle barrel. Especially useful when there are an odd number of lands. I am beginning to think we are talking of the same final measurement, but we are using a different name.

Once we have a smooth crown merging into the bore and the machining burrs polished off the lands, a pure lead ball that is over the land-to-land diameter can be loaded with a thick, soft patch. That combination will engrave on the lands but will be a very tight load and may provide the utmost of accuracy. But first, let's enjoy shooting our rifle with pretty good accuracy.

In the picture below, taken from a photo from @Rock Home Isle, the lands are the raised portions of the barrel that impart spin to the ball (or bullet). What we need is a smooth crown that won't cut patches at the muzzle. We also want lands to be smooth with the sharp machining burrs polished out. When we have a tight patch and ball the patch will conform to the grooves and engrave an impression of the patch from the lands and lighter engraving due to the squeezing of the patch into the grooves. Note the smooth crown with slight coning and the slight rounding of the edges of the lands. All the makings for an accurate rifle.

1665177085016.png
 

M. De Land

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I do know that M. De Land knows lands from grooves from his many posts and from the precision measuring tools he has access to.

I'd like to establish the definition of what we are calling groove diameter. In my measuring system, the groove diameter will be the maximum dimension of the slug. The land-to-land diameter will be the measurement of the diameter of the grooves in the slug. I have a ball gauge to measure the land-to-land diameter of the rifle barrel. Especially useful when there are an odd number of lands. I am beginning to think we are talking of the same final measurement, but we are using a different name.

Once we have a smooth crown merging into the bore and the machining burrs polished off the lands, a pure lead ball that is over the land-to-land diameter can be loaded with a thick, soft patch. That combination will engrave on the lands but will be a very tight load and may provide the utmost of accuracy. But first, let's enjoy shooting our rifle with pretty good accuracy.

In the picture below, taken from a photo from @Rock Home Isle, the lands are the raised portions of the barrel that impart spin to the ball (or bullet). What we need is a smooth crown that won't cut patches at the muzzle. We also want lands to be smooth with the sharp machining burrs polished out. When we have a tight patch and ball the patch will conform to the grooves and engrave an impression of the patch from the lands and lighter engraving due to the squeezing of the patch into the grooves. Note the smooth crown with slight coning and the slight rounding of the edges of the lands. All the makings for an accurate rifle.

View attachment 166897
One other point should be mentioned is that in patched ball muzzle loader talk, when we speak of groove depth we usually are talking individual groove not collective groove depth. This is more useful to figure ball size and patch thickness especially in odd number rifling.
In modern barrels an .008 groove depth would mean .004 per side , the sum of both grooves added together with even numbered rifling would be the .008.
 
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We studied the different crowns regarding angles in school some years ago with most modern firearms sportsmen preferring one over another without any appreciable differences in performance with modern ballistics. It seems to me that the biggest advantage of having a smooth crown in the patch and ball world is to maintain the integrity of the patch so it can perform the function it was intended for and to protect the lands and grooves. I have built a few production rifles and should also mention that it is more important to have a squared muzzle first with a proper crown coming second.
 

M. De Land

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We studied the different crowns regarding angles in school some years ago with most modern firearms sportsmen preferring one over another without any appreciable differences in performance with modern ballistics. It seems to me that the biggest advantage of having a smooth crown in the patch and ball world is to maintain the integrity of the patch so it can perform the function it was intended for and to protect the lands and grooves. I have built a few production rifles and should also mention that it is more important to have a squared muzzle first with a proper crown coming second.
Grenadier got me to thinking so I went out and put the calipers and plug gauges to my Green Mountain barreled match rifle in .45 cal and here is what has worked well. The land to land (bore) diameter is .451 the groove to groove diameter is .472, the ball used measures .445 and the shirt felt patch material is .018-.019. That makes each groove about .0105 deep so my ball is .027 smaller in diameter than is my groove. The patches recovered have no holes , could be used again and they imprint the entire circumference of the ball.
The .010 reduction in ball diameter to groove diameter I stated was incorrect and would not work with my patch material. So much for memory posts, I should have measured them first! I apologies for the incorrect ball diameter advice I originally gave out, my bad.
 

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