Questions for the guys that can "shoot all day" without swabbing

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mmull56

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I can shoot more shots without wiping with rifles that have radius groove rifling, all others I need to wipe after no more than 2 shots. I'm talking round ball twist here 1/48 or slower. Fast twist are a different animal.
 

rafterob

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Following the advice of one of our regions #1 shooters, I have switched to dawn detergent in water. Just enough Dawn to give it a slippery feel when rubbed between your fingers. I keep it in a small spray bottle and give the patch a spritz. Cleans as it lubes, great for range shooting. I shoot a .495 ball in a .50 cal and a .445 in a .45 cal. Both with .015-.018 pillow ticking. Tight loads to start but go down easy once past the crown.
 

Josephg

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I use a spit patch and shoot light loads for plinking and target shooting. Talking about patched round balls. I have found that the amount of powder used per shot determines if you have to wipe between shots or not. In my 45 I can shoot 60 grains of FFF GOEX without wiping between shots and that is plenty of powder to shoot a deer with. 50 grains FF in my .58 I can shoot all day without wiping. 40 grains in my 40s and I don't have to wipe. I use only a spit patch. I like things kept simple and spit is free and simple.
 

cositrike

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I didn't want to muck up Troopers thread in flintlock rifles, "swabbing between shots", so I thought I'd start a new thread here. What patch lube are you using? Bore and ball diameter, patch thickness?

Some may have seen my .40 build thread a couple months ago. The rifle is purpose built for 25 yard offhand matches. Rice barrel that measures .401 in the lands, haven't measured the grooves yet. I'm shooting a .395" ball, with patches that are .016 or .018 depending on the material I use. They are lubed with a 6-1 mix of water/ballistol and dried flat in the sun. The powder charge is 45gr of Schutzen 3F. I'm currently wiping between shots with one patch dampened with a 1-1-1/2 parts of peroxide, alcohol and Murphey's oil soap, followed by one dry patch. The damp patch comes out with what looks almost like tar, even the second patch comes out dirty.

I think I could get three or four shots without swabbing, but anything after that it would take a hammer to load it. I'd like to find a handful of .390" balls to try before I buy another mold.

Thanks guys.
.45, .50, .54, .62. All lubed with Murphys oil soap neat. I use Swiss 2F in all of those and 15 or 20 thou patch, depending which gun. Never need to swab between shots and they’re all easy to clean, when I’ve finished.
if I’m shooting wadded ball, I lube the wads with Murphys too
 

ord sgt

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I find it impossible to shoot all day without swabbing. But I can get 10 or more shots with a combo of a 50 gr FFFg powder load, a .495 cast roundball and a 0.10 patch with Wonderlube. It depends on the humidity level. This load works in my flinters. Caplocks are .45.
 

cositrike

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I find it impossible to shoot all day without swabbing. But I can get 10 or more shots with a combo of a 50 gr FFFg powder load, a .495 cast roundball and a 0.10 patch with Wonderlube. It depends on the humidity level. This load works in my flinters. Caplocks are .45.
When I tried wonderlube, it always needed Cleaning out every few shots. That’s why I changed to Murphys
 

Flintandsteel

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Every Rice barrel I’ve used, (at least 20) has used. .005” undersize ball, a .020” patch, and liquid lube(moose milk) . Shoot all day, no swab, cleans nicely.
 

Stykbow

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My longest range session was 25 shots. Never got hard to load and I was using the wooden ramrod. 80 grains of Pyrodex RS, .490 ball, .020 pillow ticking patch, and bore butter for lube.
 
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If you have problems with holes in you patches try an over powder wad. I use leather over powder wads and a lube of beeswax/lard and don't have to swab between shots most of the time. When the humidity is really high I often will swab every tenth shot.
 
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I stopped swabbing between shots after it caused my powder to not ignite. Now I use a preluded patch under the ball and after ramming the ball home I swab the barrel with a wet patch above the ball. 18 shots without a problem loading or fouled powder.
 
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I’m generally shooting 20-30 shot per shooting session with my rifles from .40-.58 cal using PRB’s, and rarely, if ever swab between shots. Most of my loads use .010” LRB under bore size, with a .010”-.015” patch, all lubed with TOTW Mink Oil. If feel any roughness when loading, I will increase the the amount of Mink Oil on the patch, and this improves subsequent loadings without an effect on my accuracy. I have found that the the use of premium barrels(ie. Rice, GM), and patch and ball combo that is not too tight fitting, produces the most accurate loads and the least amount, more typically, no swabbing.
222BC4ED-F5ED-4899-8177-95FADD223B80.jpeg
 
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I believe humidity has a lot to do with swabing between shots. Since I live in a very low humidity area I rarely if ever swab between shots. For the last 35+ years for my 50 I have been using a .490 ball 65gr. of 3f Goex and a pre-cut .015 patch I use and very many others out here use water soluble oil on all patches. For my tradegun.600 ball and .010 patch 60gr of 3f. Out west it’s trail walks so I’ll shoot 25/35 steel perhaps followed by another 15/20 shots at a Fort Shoot before heading back to camp to clean my rifle. I live in far northern Ca. go to about 10/15 Rhondys a year and rarely ever see anyone swabing on the trails. As I said humidity is the factor
Doc,
 

1BadDart

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Thanks guys. The next shooting session I'll dampen my patch material with moose milk and see how it works.

Justin
 

45man

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I use Young Country lube in my .54 with a .535 ball and .o20 patch and have even tried .022 that shot better. If the ball gets a tad tight I add more lube to the next patch to clear it up. I have gone over 200 shots without wiping and that is with Pyrodex, 100 gr.
 

SPQR70AD

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everybody has their own secret formula lube but all I ever used was crisco in rifles and pistols. every round loaded the same and shot until I got tired of reloading when components were available. guys say it melts in hot weather. it does get thinner so bring a small cooler with ice to keep it in. most people have one along for an afternoon of shooting for soda ice tea etc
 

brewyak

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I’m using a 54 cal colerain bbl with round bottom rifling. Using a .530 poured ball and pillow ticking, pushed with 80gr of Swiss 1 1/2F. When hunting I use bear grease. When shooting a woods walk or on a line I just use a spit patch. While on the line shooting paper I will swab every few shots using water on the cleaning patch. I just swab for consistency. When finished shooting I will run a few wet cleaning patches down the barrel, it makes cleaning at home a snap.
 

dgracia

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I didn't want to muck up Troopers thread in flintlock rifles, "swabbing between shots", so I thought I'd start a new thread here. What patch lube are you using? Bore and ball diameter, patch thickness?

Some may have seen my .40 build thread a couple months ago. The rifle is purpose built for 25 yard offhand matches. Rice barrel that measures .401 in the lands, haven't measured the grooves yet. I'm shooting a .395" ball, with patches that are .016 or .018 depending on the material I use. They are lubed with a 6-1 mix of water/ballistol and dried flat in the sun. The powder charge is 45gr of Schutzen 3F. I'm currently wiping between shots with one patch dampened with a 1-1-1/2 parts of peroxide, alcohol and Murphey's oil soap, followed by one dry patch. The damp patch comes out with what looks almost like tar, even the second patch comes out dirty.

I think I could get three or four shots without swabbing, but anything after that it would take a hammer to load it. I'd like to find a handful of .390" balls to try before I buy another mold.

Thanks guys.
I typically just swab at the end of the day when I'm cleaning my rifle after a day of shooting. The trick for me is using Stumpy's Moose Snot for my patch lube. When you finish making it, it's about the consistency of a can of Kiwi shoe polish. I keep mine in a rectangular tin box with a hinged lid.

• I'll take my pillow-ticking patch material and rub it in the patch lube until I feel it get a little wet on my finger, which means it's working well into the patch.

• Then I'll put the coated side of the patch in the barrel, put my .490 ball on top of it and use a short starter to just get it below the muzzle so I can cut my strip of material at the muzzle.

• Next ram the patched ball down on top of the powder using short strokes to avoid breaking my wooden ramrod.

Then I repeat the process with every shot. Using Stumpy's Moose Snot, when I ram the ball home it softens and removes the residue from the previous shot. If I have a somewhat difficult time seating the ball, that means I didn't use enough lube, so I'll put a bit extra on with the next one and just continue shooting. I can go all day like this as long as I use enough lube on the patch to feel it starting to come through on the other side.

Stumpy was one of the moderators here and he also came up with a Moose Juice formula. He made the Moose Snot specifically for using with patched balls pre-loaded into a loading block. Usually anything else you use will dry out before you use the last load or sometimes before you use the first pre-load. I started using it just straight up as my patch lube in 2004, or whatever was the first year I joined the forum.

I've attached a pdf file with the recipe and method for your convenience
 

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flntlokr

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I got over the oily/greased patch thing early on because of fouling forming after only a few shots. For range shooting, I only use a libe consisting of a shot of dish detergent down the inside of a pill bottle full of cut patches, then I fill the bottle with water and squeeze the column of patches to work out all of the air and mix in the soap. They then get stored for a couple of days. On shooting day, I remove part of the stack of very wet patches (20 or so), and squeeze all of the water/soap out that I can; those are the 'ready' patches. Every time the gun is loaded, the barrel automatically gets swabbed as I load. If by some chance there seems to be a bit of build-up after ? many shots, I just load the next couple with super-wet patches, and that always cleans things up. I select patch material only as thick as can be comfortably loaded with a wood ramrod; currently about.013 fro my .58 (.575), .010 for my 40,(.395)and really thin shirt fabric for my .31 pistol. If I hunt out of fire season, I switch to a grease lube but because I wouldn't expect to shoot more than once or twice, fouling is not an issue.
 
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