Need advice on difficult loading PRB

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The patch is too thin. My advice: Go to a .530 ball and a thicker patch.

1. Rifles with rounded grooves need thicker patches. My .54 caliber barrel with rounded grooves was machined by Mr. Hoyt. That rifle is capable of making five bullet holes touch at 50 yards. My patches are made from drill cloth; don't know the thickness, but it works very well.

2. A patch lube that cleans the grooves without shoving crud into the patent breech and flame channel is needed. When i used black powder the best patch lube i found was the original Go Jo hand cleaner without grit, wiped on the patch at the firing range. It's good for swabbing between shots, if needed.

3. Many years ago i stopped using black powder. Black MZ and JSG leave little residue in the bore, but like a tight fitting ball set hard on the powder. Depending on climatic conditions, there may be an accumulation of residue in about the last five inches of the bore that makes the ball hard to start after our or five rounds. When this happens i swab about six inches of the bore near the muzzle.

Hey Okie,
You missed the OPs cal... it is 50 cal. You are on the right track, for thicker patch, :thumb: just your suggested ball size will not work.
Larry
 

SPQR70AD

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Hello all.

I need advice on a recurring problem. When shooting my colonial longrifle, I can get 3-4 shots off, then each subsequent shot gets harder to seat the ball. This weekend. Two shots, then dry swab clean. Two more shots, then dry swab clean. No problems loading and the accuracy off a sandbag was very good.

The fifth ball was distinctly more difficult to seat. Each shot after that became harder to ram down the barrel. While cleaning between shots 8 and 9, my ramrod and jag got stuck in the barrel. I had to return home to use additional tools to get it out of the bore. After the fourth shot, I was swabbing after every shot. The swabs were caked with black fouling that crumbled off the patch. I could not get any fouling out of the barrel by tapping the muzzle on a board.

I am shooting 50 gr Goex FFg with 0.495 Hornady LRB and a 0.010 cotton patch pre-lubed with Wonderlube from TOTW. My rifle has a 50 cal Rice Southern Classic swamped barrel. I emailed the Rice barrel company over the weekend. I hope to hear back from them soon.

Would you recommend a different ball diameter and patch? Perhaps a different swabbing routine? I will try to find a pound of Swiss or Olde Eynsford FFFg. Any other suggestions? Below is a photo of a ball I pulled a couple weeks ago. You can clearly see the imprint on the cotton patch in the lead. Thanks in advance.

View attachment 123509
I do not know what twist you have but if it is not real slow twist get a Lee REAL bullet mold. no more going anal lunacy over lube, patch thickness patch material. if you have a very slow twist use crisco for lube. I have shot until I got tired of loading using crisco in rifles and pistols and loading was easy and cleanup a breeze. many here might tell you if you use crisco you will get herpes your engine will blow up etc (like WD 40) but I found it to be the best cheapest lube
 
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Hello all.

I need advice on a recurring problem. When shooting my colonial longrifle, I can get 3-4 shots off, then each subsequent shot gets harder to seat the ball. This weekend. Two shots, then dry swab clean. Two more shots, then dry swab clean. No problems loading and the accuracy off a sandbag was very good.

The fifth ball was distinctly more difficult to seat. Each shot after that became harder to ram down the barrel. While cleaning between shots 8 and 9, my ramrod and jag got stuck in the barrel. I had to return home to use additional tools to get it out of the bore. After the fourth shot, I was swabbing after every shot. The swabs were caked with black fouling that crumbled off the patch. I could not get any fouling out of the barrel by tapping the muzzle on a board.

I am shooting 50 gr Goex FFg with 0.495 Hornady LRB and a 0.010 cotton patch pre-lubed with Wonderlube from TOTW. My rifle has a 50 cal Rice Southern Classic swamped barrel. I emailed the Rice barrel company over the weekend. I hope to hear back from them soon.

Would you recommend a different ball diameter and patch? Perhaps a different swabbing routine? I will try to find a pound of Swiss or Olde Eynsford FFFg. Any other suggestions? Below is a photo of a ball I pulled a couple weeks ago. You can clearly see the imprint on the cotton patch in the lead. Thanks in advance.
I have the same problem. After a half dozen shots or so I have to jag out the barrel with several wet patches followed by dry. As I continue shooting I have to swab out the bore more frequently until it is after almost every shot. I believe (and I will probably catch a load of "self righteous rage" from some here that know better than everyone else (you know who you are)) changing the ball and or patch size will only affect your accuracy to your detriment. It is just part of the experience of shooting these guns.
 

BillKilgore

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Thanks for correcting the nomenclature, Yankee. I am a novice in the world of muzzleloaders.
 

ibud38

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Hello all.

I need advice on a recurring problem. When shooting my colonial longrifle, I can get 3-4 shots off, then each subsequent shot gets harder to seat the ball. This weekend. Two shots, then dry swab clean. Two more shots, then dry swab clean. No problems loading and the accuracy off a sandbag was very good.

The fifth ball was distinctly more difficult to seat. Each shot after that became harder to ram down the barrel. While cleaning between shots 8 and 9, my ramrod and jag got stuck in the barrel. I had to return home to use additional tools to get it out of the bore. After the fourth shot, I was swabbing after every shot. The swabs were caked with black fouling that crumbled off the patch. I could not get any fouling out of the barrel by tapping the muzzle on a board.

I am shooting 50 gr Goex FFg with 0.495 Hornady LRB and a 0.010 cotton patch pre-lubed with Wonderlube from TOTW. My rifle has a 50 cal Rice Southern Classic swamped barrel. I emailed the Rice barrel company over the weekend. I hope to hear back from them soon.

Would you recommend a different ball diameter and patch? Perhaps a different swabbing routine? I will try to find a pound of Swiss or Olde Eynsford FFFg. Any other suggestions? Below is a photo of a ball I pulled a couple weeks ago. You can clearly see the imprint on the cotton patch in the lead. Thanks in advance.

View attachment 123509
Well I'll tell you what I do, I use 3fg for starters then I wet patch every shot after seating the ball or conical starting after the first shot is fired. You will get consistent accuracy providing projectile and charge remain the same. I use this method with all my ML's particularly my PH 'volunteer' .451.
I hope this helps you. We all need assistance now and again that is why I joined this group. I'm the new guy.
Bud
 

ibud38

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Hello from B.C. Canada. I'm one of the 'new guys'. I have been shooting BP for some years now but am constanly needing help and in some cases can offer some (help that is),
I will try my best to be an asset to the forum.
Bud
 

satwel

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As others have already suggested you should try 3F powder (less fouling), a smaller diameter ball (.490) and most importantly, a thicker patch that will carry more lube - at least .015. Buy some dry patches in .015, .018 and .020 and test them using liquid lubes. IMHO forget pre-lubed patches, especially anything labeled Wonderlube. It doesn't work. I have had a lot of success using either jojoba oil, neatsfoot oil or TOTW mink oil. I have even won shooting matches using spit as my lube. You should be able to fire 10 to 12 shots before you need to wipe your bore between shots.
 

ibud38

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I agree, but when using my PH .451 with the cursed 'patent' breach, I try to avoid any cleaning of the bore before loading to avoid fouling the primer channel
until I'm done shooting. I also use a drop tube to make sure the powder gets down there. A spit wet patch seems to work fine. I only shoot 8-10 shots in a session anyway so I can leave the bore cleaning until I get home.
 

nelson.kline

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Hello all.

I need advice on a recurring problem. When shooting my colonial longrifle, I can get 3-4 shots off, then each subsequent shot gets harder to seat the ball. This weekend. Two shots, then dry swab clean. Two more shots, then dry swab clean. No problems loading and the accuracy off a sandbag was very good.

The fifth ball was distinctly more difficult to seat. Each shot after that became harder to ram down the barrel. While cleaning between shots 8 and 9, my ramrod and jag got stuck in the barrel. I had to return home to use additional tools to get it out of the bore. After the fourth shot, I was swabbing after every shot. The swabs were caked with black fouling that crumbled off the patch. I could not get any fouling out of the barrel by tapping the muzzle on a board.

I am shooting 50 gr Goex FFg with 0.495 Hornady LRB and a 0.010 cotton patch pre-lubed with Wonderlube from TOTW. My rifle has a 50 cal Rice Southern Classic swamped barrel. I emailed the Rice barrel company over the weekend. I hope to hear back from them soon.

Would you recommend a different ball diameter and patch? Perhaps a different swabbing routine? I will try to find a pound of Swiss or Olde Eynsford FFFg. Any other suggestions? Below is a photo of a ball I pulled a couple weeks ago. You can clearly see the imprint on the cotton patch in the lead. Thanks in advance.

View attachment 123509
I’d recommend wet swabbing with Moose Milk.
 

ibud38

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Has anyone used Alox 45-45-10 with any success with the heavy (500gr plus) conicals ?
 

flashpoint

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Scrubbing the bore with green Scotchbrite may help. It helped my 38” Colerain .40 shoot and clean better.
Mule, how do you use that Scotchbrite so it doesn't get stuck in the barrel? Do you just put some on a jag just like a cleaning patch. Is it wet or dry? Thanks, FP
 

hanshi

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It's counterintuitive but a thick patch will make loading easier without swabbing out the bore. For instance, I have a .45 "Hoyt barrel" flintlock rifle with round .016" grooves. I load .445" balls with a .024" canvas patch; .440" balls work as well. Just smooth the crown where it starts into the bore so you can avoid cutting holes in the patch from the sharp crown. Lube? I use TOW mink oil for hunting and Hoppes BP lube for general shooting. I never have to swab the bore until I get home and clean the rifle. Ditch the Wonder Lube, Bore Butter junk.
PICT0593-1.jpg
 

BillKilgore

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I do not know what twist you have but if it is not real slow twist get a Lee REAL bullet mold. no more going anal lunacy over lube, patch thickness patch material. if you have a very slow twist use crisco for lube. I have shot until I got tired of loading using crisco in rifles and pistols and loading was easy and cleanup a breeze. many here might tell you if you use crisco you will get herpes your engine will blow up etc (like WD 40) but I found it to be the best cheapest lube
It is a 1:66 twist. I have a can of Track's mink oil and some 0.020 pillow tick patch enroute.
 
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Do you just put some on a jag just like a cleaning patch
Yes. It will be tight. I remember squirting a little WD40 and went down a few inches, then back up. Then went in a little deeper. And so forth. I think the last patch was dry.
I got this idea here on this forum and was told to run it down at least 75 to 100 reps. Hope this helps.
 
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Of course, one can use bore cleaner as a patch lube. @Flintlock Whiskey, what bore cleaner do you use? That will likely work as a patch lube as well as whatever @rangerzdral is using.

I have used MAP (equal parts of Murphy's oil soap, rubbing alcohol and water instead of Hydrogen Peroxide), any liquid soap and water, Ballistol and water, and the list goes on.
 
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I really haven't found a lubrication that doesn't work at some level. What truly works is understanding your gun and knowing what you have to do to avoid the difficulties. I have used unlubricated paper wrapped cartridges in my King's Musket. I avoid loading difficulties by spitting on the ball end after a couple of shots and by wiping the bore with a damp wad of tow. I have used paper cartridges that I have dipped the ball end in a mix of melted bee's wax and olive oil. This holds the ball in position, but the wax will lead to a crusty ring at the breech. Then it's time for the ball of tow.

With my rifles I use a mix of water soluble oil and water to lubricate the patch. Fouling will build up, so I have to use the undersized jag with a damp patch to pull fouling out of the bore and to clean the crusty ring at the breech.

If the ball and patch are becoming difficult to load, clean the bore with a quick wipe to remove fouling. Do take care to prevent the packing of the flash channel with fouling. Pick the touch hole. Pop a cap to clear the flash channel. Load the ball with an almost dripping wet patch. Anticipate what is happening and do something to avoid difficulties in loading.
 
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