Need advice on difficult loading PRB

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I find it very interesting how varied people's experiences and opinions tend to be. If I'm having a problem it helps to see what other folks are doing to get ideas on what I might want to try, but if I'm not having any particular problem I then to belong to the "if it ain't broke don't fix it" school of thought.

I have 5 different flintlocks, 4 rifles and 1 pistol. All are .50 caliber and I shoot .490 round balls with .015 prelubed patches in all of them. I never swab between shots and normally run about 20-24 shots on any one gun in a typical range session. Since this works well for me I don't worry if someone else thinks there are better ways.
 

Brokennock

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I think some of this discrepancy in the experiences between the same thing being a, "well it works for me," and a, "avoid this stuff," item, is the differences in expectations and how we individually define "works for me."

Not attacking anyone here.
I do find that often in these discussions, when a product or method is generally maligned by the majority and someone steps in and says, "gee, it has always worked for me," that person rarely defines their results. They don't post group sizes and yardage, they don't post how often they have pan flashes or hang fires (if at all), they don't post loading difficulty issues.
This can also relate concerning accuracy expectations and load development as seen in a topic on another muzzleloader forum.

If "works for me," means excepting loading difficulties, or occasional flashing of the pan, or hangfires, as "all part of the muzzleloading game," that is fine. Same with if someone is fine with larger groups at a given distance than the others in the discussion (unless hunting is our goal, then our accuracy discussion changes).
But, understand, that that product or technique is most likely maligned by the majority for a reason, probably one of higher expectations.
 

paulab

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Has anyone used Alox 45-45-10 with any success with the heavy (500gr plus) conicals ?
Yes, I have used alox as bullet lube in B.P. Ctg. rifles and my Gibbs M/L.
You must wipe after every shot for top accuracy. Never tried more than one shot without wiping.
 

flntlokr

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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
IMHO; lose the greasy lubricant. detergent and water is all you need for most shooting. Use the oily/greasy stuff for hunting when your gun may be loaded for a long time. Wet patches swab the barrel when you load each shot, so fouling does not build up. If you for some reason feel the need to swab, use a really wet cleaning patch after you have rammed a ball. That way you won't wet the chamber. Dry cleaning patches pretty much just polish the hardened fouling, and it gets worse.
 

45man

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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
That ball is not a good fit. There should be fabric marks at the bottom of the grooves too. You have gas gaps where fouling just gets worse. Wonder lube sucks as does SPG. See if you can find Young Country lube. I just add a little more Young Country to the next patch if a ball shows tighter. I have shot over 200 shots a day without wiping.
 

45man

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A good wiping is 50-50 anti freeze, Just damp. It also prevents rust.
 
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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.
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Hanshi, I wish I had that container of 9 plus their new formula socks looks like 13 or tc,s white crop If you got one of those to sell I'll gladly buy it. I've got 3 of the old 8ozs left. Looking for theold stuff.
 

hanshi

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While I never expect anyone to use or agree with my methods I do offer them as "what works for me" so anyone looking for assistance will have yet another avenue to explore or to merely "think about". And yes I do stand by my proffered suggestions same as others do. Say, you might warn someone that chili peppers do really burn. They may already have , been there done that, or they may think it can't be all that bad. So they might choose to try them and either get a real surprise or they may like them.
 

hanshi

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Hanshi, I wish I had that container of 9 plus their new formula socks looks like 13 or tc,s white crop If you got one of those to sell I'll gladly buy it. I've got 3 of the old 8ozs left. Looking for theold stuff.



I'm afraid it's all gone. I also prefer the old (actually the middle composition) but the current product does quite well, IMHO. When I first tried Hoppes BP lube/bore cleaner it was somewhat thin and watery. Then came the stuff most remember, a thicker, darker liquid that I thought was perfect. The formula they use now seems to fall in between the first two. I can't even recall where I ordered the drum of Hoppes. I do recall that it was a great buy.
 
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I'm afraid it's all gone. I also prefer the old (actually the middle composition) but the current product does quite well, IMHO. When I first tried Hoppes BP lube/bore cleaner it was somewhat thin and watery. Then came the stuff most remember, a thicker, darker liquid that I thought was perfect. The formula they use now seems to fall in between the first two. I can't even recall where I ordered the drum of Hoppes. I do recall that it was a great buy.
I have a couple of emptys myself boughtine in the early ninety's. Shot revolver alot had a mini solvent tank set up to clean revolver. Ran it through a hydraulic filter an it kept it clean.
 

Brent

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I think some of this discrepancy in the experiences between the same thing being a, "well it works for me," and a, "avoid this stuff," item, is the differences in expectations and how we individually define "works for me."

Not attacking anyone here.
I do find that often in these discussions, when a product or method is generally maligned by the majority and someone steps in and says, "gee, it has always worked for me," that person rarely defines their results. They don't post group sizes and yardage, they don't post how often they have pan flashes or hang fires (if at all), they don't post loading difficulty issues.
This can also relate concerning accuracy expectations and load development as seen in a topic on another muzzleloader forum.

If "works for me," means excepting loading difficulties, or occasional flashing of the pan, or hangfires, as "all part of the muzzleloading game," that is fine. Same with if someone is fine with larger groups at a given distance than the others in the discussion (unless hunting is our goal, then our accuracy discussion changes).
But, understand, that that product or technique is most likely maligned by the majority for a reason, probably one of higher expectations.

I think what works is what works. All the time everytime. Wins medals, kills deer, shoots all day, and has for decades. That is "what works". Wonderlubed patches are fine in my guns and in yours. We all shoot the same powder, the same steel, the same weather. We will all have the same results.
 
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I think what works is what works. All the time everytime. Wins medals, kills deer, shoots all day, and has for decades. That is "what works". Wonderlubed patches are fine in my guns and in yours. We all shoot the same powder, the same steel, the same weather. We will all have the same results.
I agree, my 50 TC Hawken and 54 Renegades are most accurate with 015 wonder lube patches and 2F Triple 7. My hand made 54 flint hates wonder lube patches, I get the same issues as discussed originally, since I went to dry 015 patches lubed with 50-50 simple green, problem is gone and my accuracy never suffered.
 
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I have been experimenting with deer tallow and about 5% lanolin. I melt it and dredge the patch strip in it then remove all the excess I can. The patch feels waxy, not goopie.

I have been using it in a 32. The loading effort is reduced 90% over spit or moose milk. From a loading standpoint I have not determined how many shots I can get between swabbing's. It is over 5, maybe a bunch. I can use a much thicker patch with it. Accuracy is not quite as good as water based lubes.

It is thought that a really slick lube will require more powder than something like spit for best accuracy.
 
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Everyone's mileage is different, but I suspect you are trying to shoot a patch/ball combo that is too tight I lube with a mixture of 1 part beeswax to 3 parts olive oil for all my guns. I also use a patch/ball combo that I can load with my hickory rod and no short starter. Unless your barrel is oversized a little, a .495 ball and .10 patch are right at the limit. I use a .490 ball in all my .50 cal rifles. I can load easily from the first shot to the 50th, and I NEVER clean until I'm finished shooting. And yes, I am quite competitive without driving balls with a hammer and brass rod.
 

OldSmoky1967

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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
Discontinue using pre-lubed patches. Use a smaller ball and thicker patch. Birchwood Casey #88 is a great lube/cleaner. I just dip my patches in it and wring them out for each shot. Much less cleaning is necessary.
 

bldtrailer

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I use mutton TALLOW (just like the British for 300yrs) and a 10oz denim patch 490 ball very little need to wipe between shots.
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b
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3 barrels gezt/green mtn/ bobby Hoyt
 

bldtrailer

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2
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2 more hoyt barrels 54 and 50(red is sight correction shots) same tallow lube and patch loads good and no need for wiping
 

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