Shooting Bare ball

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Roundball2319

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For those of you that shoot bare ball how snug should the ball be as it goes down the barrel. I have a .56 caliber smoothie that a .562 ball can be seated on the powder with a ram rod but it is tight in the bore?
 

ord sgt

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For my .69 calibre Charleville flintlock, I use a .678 roundball that I rough-up between two farrier's files. That raises some lead which helps fill the gap between the ball and barrel. I had tried using patches but found loading became very difficult. I even went to the Ox Yoke factory (when it was in Maine) and worked with the shop foreman about this issue. He could not overcome the patch/ball issue. So, I finally went bare ball.
 

Cruzatte

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I've been shooting my 20 ga. fusil de chasse (FDC) which has a .615" bore, using a .610" ball over 2¼ dr of 2fg (approx. 60 gr.) The gun tends to shoot high. The ball, however loads easily, and in an unfired barrel, rolls down to the breech. Once a little fouling builds up, a light push with the ramrod seats the ball.
 
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I have shot my 56 with a wad over powder (wool, or wasp nest) a .535 ball, and wasp nest over the top. Was getting 4-5in groups off hand at 50yds. Patched was better. I tried the. 562 in mine as well and it didn't shoot as good, and I don't know if I want to try and reload without wiping the bore between shots.
 

Roundball2319

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Thanks for the examples. My barrel is a TC .56 smooth bore that was badly pitted from a past life. I have lapped the pits to a much smoother condition so it is not TC's standard diameter anymore.
 
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From this old timer's point of view, naked balls could be a menace if the ball moves forward ahead of it's seat on the powder. That's why most military's put their balls in paper cartridges with the powder charge. Charge is ripped open , powder dumped down the bore , and papered ball goes safely on top. ...............oldwood
 

Roundball2319

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I have fired .550 balls bare with two thin card wads on the powder and a card wad on top of the ball. When I'm out hunting I check my load through out the day because out here in the southwest I have had the lube get soft and my load come off the powder before.
 

hanshi

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Best accuracy in my .62 flintlock smoothbore is obtained by patching a .600" ball. But snapping at the prb's heels a bare ball cast from WW alloy does a great job at 50 yards. Maybe not as consistent as a prb the bare ball load can still do a good job.
These two targets shot at 50 yards good accuracy. On the left is the bare ball target and the prb on the right. Only about 1" difference between the two groups.
 

ord sgt

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I only load the Charleville roundball load at the range for target shooting. It is never carried in field conditions. I never have to worry about the ball moving forward from the time I load till the time to fire.
 

Roundball2319

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Thanks everyone. I have some more .550 round balls coming and I have a batch of .562 balls in the tumbler getting cleaned up. I look forward to some range time soon.
 

Toklo Etee

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I shoot a .595 ball out of my .60 cal Carolina gun with a 60 grain fffg powder change with Spanish Moss for wadding above & below the ball.
The balls slide down the barrel but I do swab the bore after about 10-15 shots.
With some fouling it is still easy to ram the ball
 
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josie wales

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My first muzzle loader was a .56 TC Renegade smooth bore for the First Massachusetts 3 day (Buck or Doe) hunt. It was very difficult to load using TC instructions The only lead I had to cast was 7.7 BHN ( I did get the .550 mold and handles as a package deal along with starter, caps and patches for $108.00) I would have to hammer the patch and ball combo in the barrel. It was accurate out to 50 yards. Broke the ramrod first year and lucky my first shot counted. I use the smooth bore now as intended for cottontails with 7-1/2 bird shot.
 

toot

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I have shot my 56 with a wad over powder (wool, or wasp nest) a .535 ball, and wasp nest over the top. Was getting 4-5in groups off hand at 50yds. Patched was better. I tried the. 562 in mine as well and it didn't shoot as good, and I don't know if I want to try and reload without wiping the bore between shots.
wasp's / paper hornets nest, is the best patching materiel the GOD, gave us. talk about natural!!!
 

toot

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I have used OLD MANS BEARD, that grows and falls off of the old cherry trees in my yard. natural is the way to go! MOTHER NATURE has provided us with all of the materials that we need in the wild.
 

gemmer

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This is what I use with a .680 ball, dip lubed, in my original 1816 flint. It has a .687 bore.http://www.forth-armoury.com/vortex-ball-roller.html
 

Brokennock

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My bores measure .615 and .620 and I run patched ball at .595 with .010 patch and .600 ball with .010 or .015 patch, respectively.
For "bare" ball, meaning nothing wrapped around it, but, using wads and cards above and below, I use .610 balls.
So that is about is about 0.005 to 0.01 under bore size. Interestingly, the .595 balls shoot very well with just wads or in a paper cartridge out of the. 615 barrel,,,, with the right powder charge.
 

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