Roundball with tow wadding, some questions...

Help Support Muzzle Loading Forum:

Brokennock

70 Cal.
Joined
May 15, 2011
Messages
4,200
Reaction score
3,450
Location
North Central Connecticut
For anyone who regularly shoots roundball from their smoothbore using tow wadding.
How much of it do you carry when hunting or trekking? How about to a range session?
How do you carry it?
Lubed? How?

I took a few shots with my Fusil des Chase the other day using just faux-tow (shredded up 4" lengths of sisal rope) as I seek a good load for this gun that is more historically correct than patched ball. I've used this wadding for shot loads before so had an idea of how much material is needed.
I wind up with a ball of material slightly larger than my lead ball (I can use slightly smaller for the one over the ball) and rubbed this around in my container of lube then kind of massaged it into the mass of fiber. I can then form this into a ball again. Am thinking a small leather bag of these prelubed balls might be the ticket. But, it is still a lot of material and time spent prepping it, especially for a range session.

How would they have done it during colonial times? Any references? What are your experiences and answers to the above?
 

Conquerordie

32 Cal
Joined
Sep 17, 2021
Messages
8
Reaction score
8
I never think about it that much, just grab some, enough so when I kind a compress it into the muzzle its a dense little mass that fills the bore. I usually push that down with my finger to just inside the bore, toss a ball on top and ram it home. It's a loose load, never needed to lube anything. It's not gonna give you tight groups, I don't think smoothbore we're ever intended for that. That's our modern mindset.
I visualize the tow forming a nest around the ball, something to kinda hold it somewhat center in the bore. I just throw some in my pouch when I go to the range. If I run out, try leaves or long grass.
 

Brokennock

70 Cal.
Joined
May 15, 2011
Messages
4,200
Reaction score
3,450
Location
North Central Connecticut
Maybe not modern rifle tight, but, for some would think these are good for any muzzleloader, much less a smoothbore,,,,

20200306_181734.jpgIMG_20150820_175257_106.jpg
These are with my smoothrifle. I believe the targets with the black stickers are 25 yards while I was working on sight adjustment and the one without is 50 yards before I filed the rear sight to bring the group down. That gun shoots well with a few different loose loads,,, but doesn't shoot a tight patched ball well at all.

20210930_191135.jpg
This is with the Fusil des Chase I'm trying to get dialed in. This gun shoots a tight patched ball well, but I want a more proper historical load if I can.
This looks good at 1st, but, this load did not perform at 50 yards.

20211013_175731.jpg
Same gun, 50 yards, I think we are making progress.

The lube prevents smoldering wads of material downrange, reduces fouling, and seems to improve gas seal a little bit.

However, I'm not asking about load information.
I'm looking for how people dealt with all this bulky material in the field, both now and during colonial times.
 

Attachments

Conquerordie

32 Cal
Joined
Sep 17, 2021
Messages
8
Reaction score
8
Good and better than I can do. I don't even try to achieve that with my Fowler. I don't think they would have carried huge amounts of tow with them, that's why I mention leaves and grass. You can usually find them wherever you are, pick up some carry, and replenish along the way. Never had a problem with smouldering leftovers from shooting this type of natural fibres, so I never considered it.
 

Boston123

40 Cal
Joined
Jan 24, 2021
Messages
149
Reaction score
100
For anyone who regularly shoots roundball from their smoothbore using tow wadding.
How much of it do you carry when hunting or trekking? How about to a range session?
How do you carry it?
Lubed? How?
Not usually much more than a foot or so of 1/2 inch hemp rope. A thumbs;length cut off and unbraided can usually give me 1-2 balls of hemp fibers that fit my 20 gauge trade-gun.

I carry it by tucking the rope under my belt, or trying it to my hunting pouch strap.

I lube it after I unbraid it using a small tin of mink oil, kept in my hunting pouch. Just form it into a ball and smear it around in the grease
 

smo

70 Cal.
MLF Supporter
Joined
Jul 25, 2007
Messages
6,611
Reaction score
2,546
Location
Tn
BN,

You might ask Spence about how he uses cedar bark, that would be readily available in most of the Eastern side of the Country .

I’ve shot tow, cedar bark , wasp nest as wadding in my 16 gauge. With mixed results.

The nest material seemed too work best, but then your back too the transportation issue with the material..

Bark maybe your answer.
 

Brokennock

70 Cal.
Joined
May 15, 2011
Messages
4,200
Reaction score
3,450
Location
North Central Connecticut
BN,

You might ask Spence about how he uses cedar bark, that would be readily available in most of the Eastern side of the Country .

I’ve shot tow, cedar bark , wasp nest as wadding in my 16 gauge. With mixed results.

The nest material seemed too work best, but then your back too the transportation issue with the material..

Bark maybe your answer.
Thanks. Yes, Spence and I have discussed cedar bark.
Unfortunately in my area cedar trees are getting more and more uncommon. Most of the ones I see now are on private property. Not wooded property, but more like trees left in someone's yard because they look nice.
The shaggy, shredded, bark of big old grapevines is probably the closest thing to cedar bark that is more commonly available around here. I will try it at some point.
 
  • Like
Reactions: smo
Top