sprue on round ball in smoothbore does it matter?

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adkmountainken

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i usually run bare ball through my .75's and they shoot fine BUT fouling becomes a problem over prolonged shooting. i just got a new to me .735 steel Lyman mold in great shape with plans to run a patched ball through my .75's and experiment. the mold leaves a sprue that is a tad bigger then normal but not big enough to hit with a sprue cutter. ball rolls right down the barrel so sprue obviously is not a problem and being smoothbore would not be a problem anyways. i know in rifled barrels most tend to load with sprue up. i'm guessing it does not makes a bit of difference in a smoothbore??? i did file a few flat but i ran 100 balls today and am not going to file all unless need be. as i said just want to experiment a little. thoughts?
 

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oldwood

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Used to shoot .735 in my Bess with a thin patch lubed w/ sheep fat.( Dixie Gun Works , Old Zip Lube.) With patching , I always used sprue Up , like any rifled gun. The distance a Bess is accurate for , mine was about 35 yds. , was best w/patching. .........oldwood
 

tenngun

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I’ve always put the spruce up as wind resistance at 1000+fps would seemingly have a effect if spruce was off to one side
 

smo

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Sprue up here as well....
Old habits are hard to break.

I have “tumbled” some of the balls (.642) that I shoot giving them a dimpled look and somewhat flattening the sprue.
 

Loyalist Dave

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SPRUE UP, Because... the flat of the rammer rests upon the flat of the sprue in my Bess or my trade guns as I load,

BUT once upon a time I wasn't paying attention, and the barrel had already shot a few times..., and as I loaded the ball sprue down, it must've been off center, and the ball turned. JAMMED something fierce. Now to be honest, it was an undersized ball for shooting multiple rounds before swabbing so I can't tell you if this would happen with a proper sized ball meant for the best accuracy, so a ball closer to the inner barrel diameter. Had to use a honking big screw tip turned down and threaded to fit a rod to get the dang thing out... SILLY ME.....lesson learned though.

KD
 

Enfield1

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i usually run bare ball through my .75's and they shoot fine BUT fouling becomes a problem over prolonged shooting. i just got a new to me .735 steel Lyman mold in great shape with plans to run a patched ball through my .75's and experiment. the mold leaves a sprue that is a tad bigger then normal but not big enough to hit with a sprue cutter. ball rolls right down the barrel so sprue obviously is not a problem and being smoothbore would not be a problem anyways. i know in rifled barrels most tend to load with sprue up. i'm guessing it does not makes a bit of difference in a smoothbore??? i did file a few flat but i ran 100 balls today and am not going to file all unless need be. as i said just want to experiment a little. thoughts?
I take a file to the sprues on my balls. It only takes a minute or two per ball, but I think that it really helps.
 

Robby

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Years ago I was trying to wring out every bit of accuracy I could from my smooth bore. I found using Lee molds gave me a ball with no sprue, just a very small flat spot, and these I tumbled in a stainless steel mixing bowl mounted on the shaft of a variable speed motor giving them a slight dimpling like Smo said. These gave me the best and most consistent accuracy I could find, I was confident out to 80 yards and did take deer with it.
Robby
 
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smo

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I just shake mine in a large plastic coffee can with a lid for a couple of minutes and call them good👍
Usually 25-30 balls at a time..

That’s about the only way I could get my 16 gauge too shoot with what I had available at the time..
I’m in the process of testing some .010 patches that look promising so far.

My bore is .653 and I shoot a . 642 & .648 bare ball mostly.
I still haven’t really settled on a powder charge yet...or grade. I’ve shot fg,ffg,fffg in it and I’ve had decent results with them all in various loads.
 

hanshi

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My experience has been very much like Robby described. The no-sprue ball from the Lee mold is my favorite.
 

ord sgt

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Sprue up in my .69 calibre Charleville smoothbore. The round ball is roughed up between two farrier's rasps, no patch. The balls are cast in a Lyman .678 mold.
 
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