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French Colonial

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To remove lead and polish bore look up Lee Shavers bore treatment , leading /copper/ and most anything else is done gone and bore is polished ! Even new never shot barrels benefit from this treatment (IT WORKS) Ed
I can not find a MSDS sheet on Lee’s bore treatment

anyone else know where to look?
 

TexiKan

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I don't know how valid this may be because this advice comes from a friend who goes to Friendship and he told me about a fellow next to him who was having accuracy issues and his solution was changing out his PLATINUM nipple. Platinum?! What the...? Now I have seen the nipple wear and the small hole will enlarge but how that can significantly impact accuracy is still a mystery to me. Of course my friend has never bought a platinum nipple but he swears by it for US! Ha!

Another realistic thought--I became more conscious of my cheek placement on the rifle. I recall an article recommending to put a piece of tape as a reference point for that consistency. Of course I shall assume you already know this.
 

poker

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I can not find a MSDS sheet on Lee’s bore treatment

anyone else know where to look?
Its not a chemical, its a method. Wrapping steel wool around an oiled patch on your jag and running that up and down your bore. It works wonders.
 

johnraleksa

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Hey all, I have a mid 70's 50cal TC Hawken that my dad built when he was a teenager for my grandpa. Gramp never shot it, so it was brand new 5 years ago when I started tinkering with it. I've done countless hours of research, and am still struggling. The bore appears bright and shiny (no bore scope) I polished the crown and I still can't get it to group consistently. 250 gr REAL over 56gr vol Pyro RS will make a 1 inch group at 50 one day, and an 11 inch the next. .490 roundball with 015 patch takes 3-4 good smacks with a starter, then goes down nice, but i will have 2 shots touching, and the 3rd 5 inches off. .490 ball with 010 patch loads nicely, push the ball in about halfway up the ball with my thumb, and a decent amount of pressure on the ramrod runs it home. With this combo I get 3-6" groups at 50 yards and my patches have rips in them. The 1 was literally a round spot from behind the ball attached to a 4" thin strip. I've only recovered patches from this 1 load (.490 ball .010 patch) as I've only recently learned that the patch has a story to tell. I've tried a few 320 gr REAL, but the "group" looked like you shot 00 buckshot out of an open choke at 30 yards. I run a brass brush and dry patch down the barrel between groups. I've also tried not brushing or swabbing at all, and also every shot... not much difference. Swab every shot seemed to make the groups a little better, but still not where I want them, and although that would be similar to a hunting scenario, it seems most guys can get a decent 3-5 shot group between swabs.
I've tried everything from 25gr to 85gr by 5 gr increments, and 55 measured or 2 pulls on my powder dispenser (56gr vol) shoot "best"

I prelube my patches and wads and store them in an old primer tin for the patches, and plastic bag for the wads.
I've always ran felt wads behind the conicals, I bought a .512 punch and made my own, which helped quite a bit with accuracy, but the consistency is still awful. I use homemade lube. 3 parts rendered deer fat, 3 parts homegrown bees wax, 1.5 parts XV olive oil. (No olive trees in MN...i had to buy that) consistency is comparable to butter at 60 degrees or so.

I also seem to get a high amount of hang fires after 6-9 shots. Usually the first 2-3 groups go well, then I get at least 1 hang fire every 3 shot group.

I'm new-ish to BP, but have been handloading centerfire for over 20 years, and can shoot impressive groups with any of my rifles out to 600. I don't think it's me causing fliers.
Last year my son and I built a traditions deerhunter 50 cal for him, and his shoots amazing at 50 yards with 28,56,84 grains vol. I don't get it.
My goal is to have a max 4" group at 100, maybe a 6-8" at 150 so I can be 100% confident at 100 and in. Most deer will be shot 75 or less. With my centerfires I have no issue shooting yotes or varmints at 450-600, but I won't shoot at a deer past 300. Most are 100 and in. IMO it's called hunting, not shooting.

How many separate issues do I have? What am I missing? Help!?
is the barrel tight in the stock? my TC did that couldn't figure it out . then after cleaning one day and putting back together I noticed the barrel was lose and moved back and forth
Hey all, I have a mid 70's 50cal TC Hawken that my dad built when he was a teenager for my grandpa. Gramp never shot it, so it was brand new 5 years ago when I started tinkering with it. I've done countless hours of research, and am still struggling. The bore appears bright and shiny (no bore scope) I polished the crown and I still can't get it to group consistently. 250 gr REAL over 56gr vol Pyro RS will make a 1 inch group at 50 one day, and an 11 inch the next. .490 roundball with 015 patch takes 3-4 good smacks with a starter, then goes down nice, but i will have 2 shots touching, and the 3rd 5 inches off. .490 ball with 010 patch loads nicely, push the ball in about halfway up the ball with my thumb, and a decent amount of pressure on the ramrod runs it home. With this combo I get 3-6" groups at 50 yards and my patches have rips in them. The 1 was literally a round spot from behind the ball attached to a 4" thin strip. I've only recovered patches from this 1 load (.490 ball .010 patch) as I've only recently learned that the patch has a story to tell. I've tried a few 320 gr REAL, but the "group" looked like you shot 00 buckshot out of an open choke at 30 yards. I run a brass brush and dry patch down the barrel between groups. I've also tried not brushing or swabbing at all, and also every shot... not much difference. Swab every shot seemed to make the groups a little better, but still not where I want them, and although that would be similar to a hunting scenario, it seems most guys can get a decent 3-5 shot group between swabs.
I've tried everything from 25gr to 85gr by 5 gr increments, and 55 measured or 2 pulls on my powder dispenser (56gr vol) shoot "best"

I prelube my patches and wads and store them in an old primer tin for the patches, and plastic bag for the wads.
I've always ran felt wads behind the conicals, I bought a .512 punch and made my own, which helped quite a bit with accuracy, but the consistency is still awful. I use homemade lube. 3 parts rendered deer fat, 3 parts homegrown bees wax, 1.5 parts XV olive oil. (No olive trees in MN...i had to buy that) consistency is comparable to butter at 60 degrees or so.

I also seem to get a high amount of hang fires after 6-9 shots. Usually the first 2-3 groups go well, then I get at least 1 hang fire every 3 shot group.

I'm new-ish to BP, but have been handloading centerfire for over 20 years, and can shoot impressive groups with any of my rifles out to 600. I don't think it's me causing fliers.
Last year my son and I built a traditions deerhunter 50 cal for him, and his shoots amazing at 50 yards with 28,56,84 grains vol. I don't get it.
My goal is to have a max 4" group at 100, maybe a 6-8" at 150 so I can be 100% confident at 100 and in. Most deer will be shot 75 or less. With my centerfires I have no issue shooting yotes or varmints at 450-600, but I won't shoot at a deer past 300. Most are 100 and in. IMO it's called hunting, not shooting.

How many separate issues do I have? What am I missing? Help!?
is the barrel lose in the stock any movement would mess with your shooting
 

Jim Wag

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In the mid 70s
A bud and I
Shot the heck
Out of a T/C
Round ball and
Lunch sack
Paper patches
We were deadly snipers
Now after years of learning about
ML tools and techniques
Fussing and fiddling
I can't shoot any
Better

Jim in La Luz
😎
 

Okie Hog

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1, Lube the patch just prior to loading. IMO: For patch lube nothing beats Mink Oil or Frontiers patch lube.

2. Hang fires, even nearly undetectable hang fires, are group killers. Remove the nipple and clean the flash channel with a bristled pipe cleaner. After loading the powder lean the rifle lock side down and give the stock a couple whacks with the palm. This will allow powder to enter the flash channel.

3. Quick detachable barrels are not conducive to good shot groups. Make sure the tang is screwed down tight and the wedge fits tightly.

Folks new to muzzle loading often get wrapped up with too many different bullets, patches, patch lubes, balls and powders. Suggestion: Concentrate on accuracy using patched round balls. If you are using old powder buy a new can and start with 70 grains.
 

UndeadPoet

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I also seem to get a high amount of hang fires after 6-9 shots. Usually the first 2-3 groups go well, then I get at least 1 hang fire every 3 shot group.
Since this is a caplock, what kind of “hang fires” are you getting? Is the cap popping and then nothing happens, or is the cap popping and there is a several seconds delay and then the rifle goes boom?

I’m also assuming that since this is a 70’s era T/C, that it doesn’t have a QLA barrel, correct?
 

Hiddeninsmoke

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It seems that you have been faced with this, that, and everything else. Fresh the bore by alternating between a brass brush and a few cotton cleaning patches soaked with acetone and do it until the patch comes out clean. With that, the barrel should be good to go.
 

mooman76

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Get a new nipple. They are cheap and a worn nipple can cause accuracy issues. Something like a Hot Shot nipple while you are at it.
 

Golden Child

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is the barrel tight in the stock? my TC did that couldn't figure it out . then after cleaning one day and putting back together I noticed the barrel was lose and moved back and forth

is the barrel lose in the stock any movement would mess with your shooting
Barrel seems to lock real tight. No twisting or wiggling. There are a few scratches developing on the sides of the barrel in front of the underlug and the wedge fits a smidge tighter than it used to. Still removable with just fingers, but barely.
I've got 1 yes, and 1 no on if it needs to be free floated after the underlug. I realize a muzzleloader will have significantly less of an issue than centerfire, but the jury seems hung on if I should float it.
 

Golden Child

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Since this is a caplock, what kind of “hang fires” are you getting? Is the cap popping and then nothing happens, or is the cap popping and there is a several seconds delay and then the rifle goes boom?

I’m also assuming that since this is a 70’s era T/C, that it doesn’t have a QLA barrel, correct?
Cap pops, then a smidge later it fires. Up to almost a second late a couple times. Usually just long enough to notice it and chalk that flier up to human error caused by hangfire.
 

Golden Child

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You, @Golden Child, mentioned that your grandpa built this rifle. Based on the observation that he never shot this rifle; I am guessing that the hooked breech to barrel fit may not be perfect. Since you are using Pyrodex, that almost unnoticed but very corrosive fouling needs to be fully cleaned out. Shooting good groups one day, taking the rifle home, removing the barrel from the stock to clean and replacing the barrel into the hooked breech may not be consistent. Until the barrel gets located in the same place from shooting session to shooting session, there won't be accuracy on the target. As the hook in the barrel is installed in the breech tang, make sure the barrel is fully seated in the breech tang. You may need to use a soft dead blow hammer to tap the muzzle before the wedge is installed. Is there any indication of rubbing at the breech or wood that may interfere with the installation of the barrel?

You haven't fully described your cleaning regimen. What are you cleaning with and what kind of lubricant are you using to protect the barrel after cleaning? Are you cleaning any protective oils from the barrel before shooting? You should be cleaning the protective oils out with rubbing alcohol before shooting. Store the rifle muzzle down after cleaning to allow the protective oils to drain from the T/C chambered breech and flash channel.

The flattening of the nipple at the top is called mushrooming and can prevent a cap firing. It is a simple thing to use a file to remove just the expanded top of the nipple. Since you are using Pyrodex, a nipple designed to send more heat to the Pyrodex is a benefit. Hotshot, Spitfire or Red Hot are brands of nipples (1/4-28 thread) to replace the original nipple. It is possible that there may be some timing issues that you are not noticing, but is enough to allow the movement of the barrel on firing.

It also sounds as if you are using a fixed volume spout on a powder flask. Do get a good volumetric adjustable powder measure. Pyrodex is volume for volume interchangeable with that volume of black powder. Pour the measure of powder from the flask into the measure and only load from the measure.

You do want a moist patch for the ball. The moist patch will soften the fouling in the barrel. I know there isn't much apparent fouling when using Pyrodex, but the moist patch will make the loading easier and there shouldn't be so much liquid that the powder is fouled. When hunting, an oiled patch is better and a dry patch over the powder and then the lubricated patch with ball can be loaded.

Patches for cleaning are different that the patches used for wrapping a round ball. You want an absorbent patch for cleaning. I use patches made from baby diaper material or baby flannel. These are nice and soft and clean fouling from the grooves. You want a patch for the round ball to be tough to withstand the forces imparted during loading and firing. It should hold some lubricant to ease loading and soften fouling. For patching the round ball, material such as pillow ticking of 100% cotton is among the best options. Thickness of pillow ticking patches with the round ball of 0.490" should be about 0.015".
Cleaning goes like this:
Remove barrel
Remove nipple, clean with hot water, wipe with alcohol patch. (Eagle Rare works, but I've found isopropyl to be somewhat cheaper ) 😅
Scrub bore with brass brush, run hot water through it. Place barrel in a 4" pvc tube and fill 1/2 way with hot soapy water. Brass Brush the devil out of it. Probably 20-30 strokes. Remove from pipe. Rinse with hot water. Swab with several patches until they come clean. Run an alcohol patch. (1794 single barrel) both sides. If its getting dirty still, repeat with 2nd alcohol patch (pendleton directors reserve) (I do have this issue with rarely being serious... I definitely don't use whiskey to clean my gun. It's isopropyl alcohol) When patch comes out clean, dry swab, run a lubed patch 4-5 times to coat the barrel well. (3 parts rendered deer fat, 3 parts beeswax 1.5 parts XVOO) put some lube on threads of nipple (threads only, none on base or near the tiny hole) replace nipple, wipe down any remaining water/wipe off hand grime, spray exterior of gun with silicone lube. Wipe. Put away. 10-15 min?

I used to use TC 13 bore cleaner, and bore butter lube to protect the bore. I had to run 5+ swabs just to get them to come relatively clean. And I had an awful lot of orange/black on my pre-shooting swabs. Switched to alcohol (forty creek) and homemade lube, and it got rid of the problem. 2 alcohol swabs tops, and the dry patches come out perfectly clean. If it wasn't for the creases and grooves in the cloth, you wouldn't know they were used. My cleaning patches measure .020 (old cotton shirt cut into circles. Maybe 2-2.5"? I just matched the size of the store bought patches I was running out of) and with the jag I use, it takes a bit of force to get em in.
 

springfield art

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Honestly, believe you are getting frustrated changing too many different things, with no real idea as to what each change is having on your accuracy. Most TCs like you have will shoot patched roundballs accurately, and a good number will work well with shorter conicals like the Lee REAL….

I would suggest you start with a 65 or 70 grain charge of blackpowder (it ignites easier than Pyrodex) if you have it. I would use the .490” roundball with your .015” patch (make sure it is 100% cotton with a tight weave) with a wet patch lube (moose milk, windshield washer fluid or spit for example). With a wet patch you should not have to swab, a possible reason for hang-fires. Swabbing can push the crud down the bore and clog up the fire channel. When you clean your bore, make sure the fire channel is clear. If you use oil to protect the bore, store with the barrel pointed down, at least for a day or two, so any oil drains away from the breech area. Also a good idea to clean the bore with a solvent like alcohol before loading to make sure all the oil is gone. Excess oil in the bore can turn to tar when the gun is shot, clogging things up.

With luck and the above load you you should get close to one inch groups at 50 yards on a consistent basis. It seems to work well in most TCs. Once you have constancy, then consider playing with different sized roundballs, conicals, lubes, patches, wads, powders, etc, trying to only change one thing at a time. Makes it easier to know what works and what doesn’t.

Hopefully, when garbage truck season opens (no open season around here), you will be ready. View attachment 108117
Gotta wonder how many of these guys get taken up in dumpsters! Hope he made it OK.
 

UndeadPoet

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Cap pops, then a smidge later it fires. Up to almost a second late a couple times. Usually just long enough to notice it and chalk that flier up to human error caused by hangfire.
I wonder if you have some sort of build-up or crud between the snail and the barrel? You might pull the nipple out and pipe cleaner or nipple pick the channel. You might also try a load of real black powder (instead of the Pyrodex) to see if it fires right up.
 

Britsmoothy

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Barrel seems to lock real tight. No twisting or wiggling. There are a few scratches developing on the sides of the barrel in front of the underlug and the wedge fits a smidge tighter than it used to. Still removable with just fingers, but barely.
I've got 1 yes, and 1 no on if it needs to be free floated after the underlug. I realize a muzzleloader will have significantly less of an issue than centerfire, but the jury seems hung on if I should float it.
No sir, you don't float a muzzleloader barrel. You do though make sure the barrel and stock are one.
Lord how many times have got to say this.

You can not have any slight gaps that the barrel can vibrate against the stock. They should be as though one.
For some unknown reason many think a muzzleloaders barrel does not vibrate. THEY DO!
For an illustration, take a tuning fork or similar and make it ring.
Now touch it gently on a hard surface. You will be able to observe an erratic reaction and the tune is lost.
The only option with a muzzleloader is dampen the ringing or vibrations consistently via a good solid mating and no gaps to the stock.
Many a modern repro fails to bed the breech leaving a void under it and the tang takes all the strain.

Did you check the nipple drum like said earlier? It to should not be touching the lock plate.
 

Nuthatch

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When I got my first ML, I had good success with powerbelts but RB was terrible -- all over the place. Misfires and hangfires were common.
Then I got RB to work but only with 50 grains of powder -- anything more looked like a shotgun pattern. Misfires & hangfires mostly stopped.
Then I got RB to work up to 90 grains of powder -- almost as tight as those powerbelts.
Then I got 70 grains to work even better.
Now it doesn't seem to matter much what I put down the barrel -- it all shoots reasonably well.
All this is with the same gun and, for the most part, the same components! I changed the patch thickness to get a very tight fit but otherwise, used the same things through the entire evolution.

So what changed? Can't say for sure. But I think the shooter improved. My loading routine got better. My understanding of my equipment got better. My form got better. My firing got better. A great shooter with a scoped centerfire isn't always very good at all with open-sighted MLs. They're different. And a lot can happen between the trigger breaking and the projectile leaving the bore. Keep at it. Take notes. Be meticulous about things most people don't even think about -- like cheek pressure against the stock. Over time, you'll likely develop your own loading sequence & maybe even a rain dance or other good-luck superstitions that will all coincide with better shooting. What exactly worked? You may never know. But if it works, then the "why" might be inconsequential.
 
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Rawhide67

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Only accuracy issue I've ever had with a TC, whether ball or maxi, had to do with bad powder. APP or T7 and even Pyrdex are best used in one sitting, then toss the can. (My opinion, not starting an argument). I used to use that stuff up til a few years ago because black powder isn't easily obtained near me.

Having said that, I would be looking at the tight spot in the barrel and where it is located. Also would re look at the muzzle as it séems you have done some work there. One little sharp spot or burr can mess things up.

But again, as other have said, 1 thing at a time. I've even had decent accuracy with rough bores in a TC once the powder issue was resolved. Keep at it and you will figure it out.
 

Grenadier1758

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Cap pops, then a smidge later it fires. Up to almost a second late a couple times. Usually just long enough to notice it and chalk that flier up to human error caused by hangfire.
That's the Pyrodex talking to you. Probably a little bit of fouling in the T/C breech plug and a little bit of water from the swabbing. That's enough to cause a hangfire with Pyrodex. You need magnum caps and/or a substitute powder rated nipple.
 

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