Shooting Round Balls Without Patches

Discussion in 'Smoothbore' started by GregLaRoche, Sep 3, 2019.

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  1. Sep 3, 2019 #1

    GregLaRoche

    GregLaRoche

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    There are people shooting round balls without patches. I have heard you can roll the ball between two rasps to raise points on it, so it stays tight in the bore. I’ve also heard that what counts is that it rolls down the bore when fired. I guess this is to start it spinning to give it more stability. I would like to know what others think about these methods.
    Thanks
     
  2. Sep 3, 2019 #2

    Many Klatch

    Many Klatch

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    I usually shoot roundball out of my smoothbore with a patch. However, if I'm in a speed match and the gun is already dirty I have been known to shoot a ball without a patch. The carbon buildup at the breech will tend to hold the ball in place while aiming and shooting. What is really important is that the ball is sitting on the powder when the gun goes off. You don't want a gap between powder and ball, that has been known to burst a barrel. If you are looking for dependable and repeatable accuracy I recommend that you use a patch. By the way, since this is the smoothbore section, there is no spinning imparted by the barrel.
     
  3. Sep 3, 2019 #3

    sb 54 cal.

    sb 54 cal.

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    I shoot my smoothbore with fiber wadding and no patch using over shot card on top of ball to hold it in. My gun shoots as good with out patch as with.
     
  4. Sep 3, 2019 #4

    Maven

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    Answered you on the Boolits site.
     
  5. Sep 3, 2019 #5

    Brokennock

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    One of my smoothbores likes a patch, the other groups better with ought one. The one without gets 2 thin "overshot" cards on top of the powder, then lubed wad, then a round ball, and then another overshot card to hold it all in place.
    Haven't tried the rasped or "chewed" roundball. Would really prefer to minimize direct contact of the lead ball and my barrel.
     
  6. Sep 3, 2019 #6

    Flintandsteel

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    The idea of leading up my barrel just doesn't appeal to me.
     
  7. Sep 3, 2019 #7

    Sparkitoff

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    I don't patch balls in my smoothbore. I've tried it and the groups were erratic and inconsistent. I use a OP card, cushion wad, ball and OS card. My doublegun has two different chokes. I actually use a .626 in the right barrel and a .610 in the left. These are the biggest size that will drop in the choked muzzle without dragging on the barrel. Once the entire ball clears the muzzle it basically falls down. Using this method I get one hole groups at 25-yard and touching figure 8's (with the left being the lower hole) at 35-yards. At 50-yards the overall group sizes for 3-shots from each barrel (6 shots) runs 6-inches so that range is my personal limit.
     
  8. Sep 3, 2019 #8

    hanshi

    hanshi

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    I shoot mostly prb in my smoothbore. But bare ball loaded similar to what Brokennock described works in my gun up to 50 yards. Groups easily stay on a pie plate at that range.
     
  9. Sep 3, 2019 #9

    Stantheman86

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    I often drop a bare ball down my smooth bore and push musket wadding on top , it worked 200+ years ago and works today.

    Old newspaper works just fine for wadding.
     
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  10. Sep 3, 2019 #10

    Carbon 6

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  11. Sep 4, 2019 #11

    DanL

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    Interesting subject. Many years back I experimented with a no patch ball in my .62 smoothbore. Tried various combinations. Best results with good accuracy to 50 yards was: powder, 2 lubed felt wads, .60 ball, 1 lubed felt wad.
    Best explanation for accuracy is that upon powder ignition the pressure caused the flexable over powder felt wads to form a cup which kept the ball reasonably centered in the bore.
    The lubed wads kept the bore reasonably clean and easy to reload said combination.
    Try it if interested. You might like it.
    Have fun, DanL
     
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  12. Sep 4, 2019 #12

    GregLaRoche

    GregLaRoche

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    Do round balls really obturate to help make a seal in the bore? If so, how much?
     
  13. Sep 4, 2019 #13

    Darkgael

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    My 16 gauge Fowler shoots better groups without a patch. Powder, two OS cards, ball, one OS card.
     
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  14. Sep 4, 2019 #14

    RAEDWALD

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    See David Miller's Msc thesis https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/139707.pdf which is a public document. In that thesis obturation of the 17th century musket ball is part of the testing and found to occur.
     
  15. Sep 4, 2019 #15

    Zonie

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    First, the word obturate means to close or obstruct something like a bore. The actual process is the swelling of the ball/bullet which can best be described as swelling, bumping up, or some similar term.

    Now, with that out of the way, IMO, the answer is a qualified, "no". At least not enough to make a difference.

    The physics behind this bumping up is Newtons law that all things that are at rest want to stay at rest.
    That results in the front part of the ball or bullet wanting to stay stationary while the pressure from the expanding powder gas is trying to push the rear part forward. When this happens, the stuff in the middle has no place to go but to expand outward. The greater the distance along the axis that the object is being accelerated along, the more this bulging happens.

    A long cylindrical object like a bullet has a lot of material between the front that wants to stay stationary and the rear that's being pushed forward so it will bulge quite a lot. Enough to expand outward filling the rifling grooves and obturating the barrel.
    A ball on the other hand has very little length in the direction it is being accelerated so it will bulge less. Not only that but, because the ball is a sphere much of this bulging just expands the ball in areas that are not close to the bore of the gun so there is very little actual growth in the diameter of the ball that is contacting the bore.

    At least, that's my opinion on the issue. :)
     
  16. Sep 4, 2019 #16

    GregLaRoche

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    So if we are not counting on the ball expanding, why are we so concerned with pure lead for target shooting? For hunting I understand it can have it’s advantages for mushrooming.

    I collect range scrap. At 25 meters, where people are shooting a lot of handguns, the lead has a lot higher BHN than 50 meters, where most people shoot round balls or .22s. It’s an indoor range and only lead boolits are allowed. I find a lot more lead at 25 meters. It is usually between 14 and 16 BHN. Any reason I can’t use it for target shooting with round balls?
     
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  17. Sep 4, 2019 #17

    Loyalist Dave

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    You are only concerned with pure lead when loading, especially if you cast your own round ball from a mold, because lead alloy as you are harvesting from the range scrap, does not contract as much when it cools after being cast. The round ball molds are designed to take this cooling and shrinkage into effect, so that your .530 mold will give a ball, when cooled which is .530 [give or take one or two thousandths] in diameter. THIS is then coupled with a patch for a rifle, and this combination is tight. Now if you then switch to the alloyed lead, you might find as others have found that the alloy ball and your standard patch are now too big to load into your rifle. :confused: The shooter then must find a thinner patching material, OR a mold that casts a slightly smaller ball, when using the alloy..., that's all.

    It's usually not as crucial with a smooth bore if one is patching the ball, and if not patching, and the ball fits down the bore, it's no big deal. As for performance after impact..., yes soft lead will deform more, but considering that you are probably when shooting a smooth bore, using a 20 gauge, that's a .600 ball or larger in many cases....that's a pretty big hole even if it doesn't mushroom or deform. HECK a .530 ball launched from a smooth bore 28 gauge is a pretty big hole. The deer will probably be just as dead.

    Leading.???
    Seriously folks those of us who shoot shot in our barrels without a plastic shot cup, or any shot cup, find no leading in our barrels. I think the surface area of the shot column bearing on the interior of the barrel is a lot more than the surface area of a single sphere bearing on the interior of the same barrel. Not to mention, the shot loads are normally in excess of the volume and mass of the lone round ball in the same gun. ;) Jamming conical projectile onto the lands of the rifling when firing a that projectile from fixed ammunition in a breech loader, even when using BP, has a bit more going on with the projectile and barrel interior than we do with our traditional guns and rifles. :thumb:

    LD
     
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  18. Sep 4, 2019 #18

    GregLaRoche

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    That’s interesting about the shrinkage being different with alloys. I didn’t know that. I thought shrinkage was only a function of temperature.
    Thanks for the info.
     
  19. Sep 4, 2019 #19

    hanshi

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    Zonie and LD are right on, IMO. A soft lead ball will seat more easily than an alloy (of the exact same size) ball. I like Alloy ball in smoothbores okay and have tried them in a couple of rifle calibers. Results were very good. The only use for alloy ball that makes a lot of sense to me is in small game calibers where expansion is not wanted.
     
  20. Sep 4, 2019 #20

    Terry Jack

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    Just this morning I was shooting one of my 62 cal. smoothies. After many rounds the gun began to fowl and I began shooting w/o a patch. Naturally I was careful to keep my bore up and the ball down.

    I have read often of old timers, dumping powder down the bore then the naked ball, giving the butt of the stock a good bump and then shooting the bad guys. I am not in that much of a need to not use my swiping stick to be sure the ball has made it to the powder and then making sure I do not let the ball roll away from the charge. Ha!
     

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