Hi, Is there any special method to protect one's muzzle from damage caused by banging a short starter on it? When I start a REAL or a maxi ball it requires a very strong push - then when the bullet finally begins to move the short starter's ball bangs on the muzzle. Or with maxi balls they require to be hit as if with a mallet. Thew ideal solution would probably be to cone the muzzle and not use the short starter, but I'm looking for alternatives. Also using smaller sized slugs is not ideal, because those that fit tight are most accurate for me. Someone may think it is a non-issue, as the short starter's ball is made of wood, but the barrel and the muzzle are made of fairly soft steel and repeated banging will deform it. After shooting approx. 200 tight fitting patched round balls that required a mallet treatment in my 58 cal it lost its accuracy despite there not being any sign of visible damage. It wouldn't hit a plate at 50 meters. I re-polished the crown by screwing a wood screw into a .715 round ball, chucking the screw attached to the ball in a cordless drill, smearing a 150 micron abrasive paste on it and polishing the crown, then cleaning and repeating it with 9 micron paste. After that treatment the barrel's accuracy was restored. I'm now wondering how to prevent this damage from happening in future. Please don't recommend I use smaller balls - the rifle shoots best with balls 5 thou under bore size and a 13 thou thick patch (groove depth is 8 thou) - the problem is they need a good whack to go into the bore. Historic solution is a false muzzle, or perhaps coning. I'm considering making a false muzzle from brass. I would cone the false muzzle, with the small diameter matching the groove diameter of the barrel. Does anyone know about someone doing something like this and documenting it online? Any other ideas?