Stuck ball in a charged rifle

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jtlancer

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I think have left some Ballistol (which ended up pooling in the breach) in the barrel of my .45 T/C Hawken percussion rifle. I loaded 30grs of powder and a patched .440 round ball to test the accuracy of that load at 25 yards. My ram rod is marked for that same load and it lined up so I know I did not forget anything. I believe the powder got saturated with the left over Ballistol so it will not ignite. I tried firing it 3 times (before firing I of course tried to reseat the ball but it still lined up with the 30gr mark on the rod which tells me it is not at all igniting) but only the primer pops and nothing else. So how can I get out the ball? Co2 discharger? Or try to add some dry powder behind the nipple which has worked for me in the past with an uncharged ball. Sorry for the long winded post but I wanted to include as much info as possible. Thank you.
 

TreeMan

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With a charged rifle? Plus I have heard the ball puller is a very last resort as it can expand the ball or mar the barrel.
Pull the nipple and force as much black power in there as possible. Reinstall the nipple and fire it. If that doesn’t work use a puller. It won’t hurt anything.
Pull the nipple and force as much black power in there as possible. Reinstall the nipple and fire it. If that doesn’t work use a puller. It won’t hurt anything. If you can’t get the powder to ignite with a cap you’re not going to ignite it pulling the ball out.
 

jtlancer

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Pull the nipple and force as much black power in there as possible. Reinstall the nipple and fire it. If that doesn’t work use a puller. It won’t hurt anything.
OK. I have never tried that when there is already 30grs of powder loaded. Only with an uncharged ball stuck in there.
 

TreeMan

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OK. I have never tried that when there is already 30grs of powder loaded. Only with an uncharged ball stuck in there.
If it makes you more comfortable, before attempting to pull the ball remove the nipple and fill the drum with your ballistol. That will totally douse the powder.
 

ord sgt

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See if one of your friends has a CO2 ball removal system. I have sent many roundball down range with CO2. The ball does come out of the barrel with some force behind it. Treat your firearm as if it is loaded (which it is) by pointing it in a safe direction.
 

TreeMan

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So you don’t have this issue again prior to shooting remove your nipple and blast all that leftover oil from your barrel and drum with brake cleaner. Let it evaporate and go to shooting. Use real blackpowder for best results.
 

jtlancer

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Thank you, all for the responses. Today was a first of many NEW mistakes, I am sure, as a new BP shooter.
 

Otter

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I would try a CO2 discharger first. If that doesn't work, use the ball puller . . . use a sturdy range rod NOT a wooden ram rod. Screw the puller well into the ball. Fix the "pulling" end of the rod in a vise or something else that will hold the end of the rod, get a good hold on the buttstock, back away and PULL THE RIFLE OFF OF THE BALL, don't try to pull the ball out of the barrel ! I have never done the powder under the nipple, the air compressor or grease zerk methods, but they would be my last resorts . . . YMMV

Good luck.
 

S.Kenton

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Tree man is spot on, remove nipple, dribble as much powder in ther as you can, replace the nipple and immediately fire the rifle. The next time before you shoot squirt some brake clean in the bore, but put a clean patch between the hammer and nipple, then you can squirt the brake clean, followed by a dry patch or two and not have to worry about the brake clean getting on the finish of the rifle. Then pop a couple of caps off and your ready to load.
 

Flintlock

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IF, you can't pull the ball ( dribble a little oil down the barrel to lube the patch and bore) you can put a Plews type grease gun nozzle tip on a grease gun, remove the nipple and with one person pumping the grease gun with the other holding the pointed tip to the whole you can pump any stuck object out of the bore. Same with a flintlock just holding the tip to the flash hole. Little messy to clean up but works great.
 

Larry (Omaha)

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With a charged rifle? Plus I have heard the ball puller is a very last resort as it can expand the ball or mar the barrel.
There is a charge in there when you are loading, right? You are keeping your hands and face away from the over the muzzle, right? Just do the same when you pull a ball. If one has been popping caps, a goodly amount of time needs to pass before pulling the ball. How can a lead ball expand larger than the steel barrel? A good ball puller has a brass skirt keeping the screw centered in the ball.
I am not trying to put you down, but maybe shed more thought.
 

.36Rooster

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Its pretty scary when it happens. But you can pull it. Ive never had it NOT work. but it is stressful for sure.

Just make sure that:

A) you screw in deeply into the ball so it doesn't strip the hole in the soft lead ball and pull free from from it.

And

B) you don't screw in so deep that once you've screwed all the way into the ball, you are only muscling it tighter, because again, it will strip the hole in the ball and pull free.

You only get one chance. But it works like a charm.


By the way, try this if you fear there is corrosion: after screwing in wrap the end of your ramrod with a couple of rubber bands, and tie a cord to a tree, and attach cord to ramrod over the rubberbands for an extra good grip and use a constricting knot. It is much easier to pull by pulling on the gun barrel and using the tree to pull against if the ball is stuck from corrosion.
 

deermanct

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I'd try the powder under the nipple trick. You might have to try 2 or 3 times but eventually it will fire.
Your 30 grain load is on the mild side, so don't worry about over charging your gun. I load up 60 grains of 3f powder in my 45.
Depending on the granulation, 2f or 3f, your max load is somewhere around 100 grains anyway.
 

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