Swabbing between shot for safety.

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'Bout 45 yrs. ago at the Spring National Shoot at Friendship , Ill. , I was standing w/a friend well behind the competition Pistol range loadiing benches. We were watching a competitor load his Saw handle custom target pistol. The pistol was in a loading fixture w/ barrel up , The guy poured the powder in the muzzle , inserted and rammed the patch round ball onto the powder , then commenced doing one of the stupidest things I've seen done. He launched the ramrod down onto the seated ball several times ,and on about the fifth launch , the pistol fired launching the ramrod out of sight. The ball also obviously went up to who knows where. The r/r was never found , range was closed until the event was scrutinized. ................The experts of the organization , The Bevel Brothers , wrote an article about why this happened , and concluded the striking the powder charge multiple times with force , was called a form of "Dieseling". .......It had nothing to do with a spark in the barrel. In 50+ years of muzzleloading , I've only seen this ' "dieseling " once. I've seen guys launching a loading r/r down on an , already seated on the powder , patched ball , with no effect , other than crush the black powder into a solid form,and deforming their lead ball. Launching a r/r is a useless activity . ....................oldwood
 

JB67

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Utter nonsense and ofcourse, a loaded firearm at a busy range that won't fire is perfectly safe 🤦‍♂️
Judging by the many variations of a pantomime that get suggested for a stuck ball here.
THIS.

The dangers of a loaded firearm that won't fire is far greater than any loose powder going off as it's poured down the barrel.
 
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A +1 to Dave951's post (#10). I doubt anyone in the world shoots faster than N-SSA skirmishers and we don't have any problems with the exception of the very rare cookoff when pouring powder in the barrel and these usually result in only dirty undies. My wife and I have about 68 years combined experience skirmishing and neither has ever experienced a cookoff. I've fired my Springfield fast enough and long enough in a relay here in VA in August that I had to put a rag through the sling swivel to hold it to load. I recall having my Bess that hot firing blanks in a reenactment too, no issues. FWIW we load with the hammer down on a spent cap. I have no objection to swabbing between shots while shooting patched round ball at a leisurely pace as in a match but I don't feel it's necessary from a safety standpoint, but only for accuracy.
 
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I intend to propose a rule change for my club. We are required to wet swab between shoots, this includes revolver cylinders. We shoot only patched balls and revolvers. I believe this rule is unnecessary. I see many failure to fire situations every shoot cause by wet swabbing. I think swabbing causes more hazard that it helps.

I am not talking about rapid firing with paper cartridges, I have seen footage of that happening. I am not considering accuracy enhancement from swabbing.

Can anyone provide any documented first hand cases of a patched ball rifle, pistol, or revolver discharging during loading that was determined to be caused by, or likely caused an ember???
Sounds like you are dealing with a very safety conscious organization. What are their rules to keep everyone safe from getting killed by a lightning strike? On average 49 people die from lightning strikes in the USA every year, and hundreds are injured, according to Government data. And lightening can travel 10 to 12 miles from a storm, farther than it can be heard. Imagine a group like yours would bring everyone indoors or send them packing when their radar shows any storm within 15 miles or so. Without radar, how could you be safe from something you will not see or hear? Imagine the danger when holding a metal rod or rifle, then add that ever dangerous ramrod extension to attract lightning, all while standing in an open field usually found af a rifle range. Pretty soon it will be as dangerous as golf, with a dozen people dying on golf courses since 2006. And with 49 people being killed every year by lightning in the USA, we are talking about more than burnt fingers. At least these are actually numbers you can work with, when compared to pure speculation of someone possibly getting hurt because they didn’t ‘wet swab’ before loading. And is ‘wet swabbing’ before initially loading required? Can’t be too careful with static electricity.

Good luck with your rule proposal.
 
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I intend to propose a rule change for my club. We are required to wet swab between shoots, this includes revolver cylinders. We shoot only patched balls and revolvers. I believe this rule is unnecessary. I see many failure to fire situations every shoot cause by wet swabbing. I think swabbing causes more hazard that it helps.

I am not talking about rapid firing with paper cartridges, I have seen footage of that happening. I am not considering accuracy enhancement from swabbing.

Can anyone provide any documented first hand cases of a patched ball rifle, pistol, or revolver discharging during loading that was determined to be caused by, or likely caused an ember???
I would think that a reasonable solution would be to rule that all loading is done from a powder measure. In the 1:100,000 chance someone does catch an ember they aren't going to set off more than 70gr or so powder. Of course all other containers need to be closed.
 
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Our range (which is used by various clubs) is managed by a committee, made up from the different clubs, and unfortunately a person with enough influence to swing things his way got on the committee; the upshot was a series of stupid rules.
One was that no live firing could be done forward of the covered firing line, the range is 300 meters so to shoot 100 and 200 yrds we would go forward. We still shot these ranges but we had to have moveable target frames.
I pointed out, with some delight, that by firing from the covered firing live firing was going on in contravention of the new rule, after all it was live fire going down range.
The eventual upshot was that we had to call in the Government dept. that controls ranges, and after a public meeting with that body he was removed from the committee.
The Dept. wasn’t happy with him anyway as their safety rules stipulate that there must be a minimum of two shooters on the range, but he’d managed to get the committee to require three.
 

TexiKan

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I can see where swabbing between shots can be safer, easier to load and more accurate. What seems to be a related potential issue is having too wet of a swab and some of that moisture remains at the bottom of the barrel, thus causing delayed or non ignition. A damp swab tends to work better than a dry one which can get stuck on occasions. However, to insist the swab be wet may be taking the damp concept a bit further.

Some time ago the burning ember topic was discussed regarding actual documentation and if memory serves me correctly, the most often documented incident was related to someone loading for a lady or something like that. Yes, too often cases can be blown out of proportion and hearsay soon becomes legendary and believed as so.

I would assume you may have some resistance to changing the rule, completely. Let us know how it goes.
 

59sharps

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A +1 to Dave951's post (#10). I doubt anyone in the world shoots faster than N-SSA skirmishers and we don't have any problems with the exception of the very rare cookoff when pouring powder in the barrel and these usually result in only dirty undies. My wife and I have about 68 years combined experience skirmishing and neither has ever experienced a cookoff. I've fired my Springfield fast enough and long enough in a relay here in VA in August that I had to put a rag through the sling swivel to hold it to load. I recall having my Bess that hot firing blanks in a reenactment too, no issues. FWIW we load with the hammer down on a spent cap. I have no objection to swabbing between shots while shooting patched round ball at a leisurely pace as in a match but I don't feel it's necessary from a safety standpoint, but only for accuracy.
Not true my son didn’t dirty his undies! and he went right on to load and hit his very next pigeon.! . We have a theory on some cooks. That they are actually can cause by the team mate next to you firing. Sparks from there caps. No real proof just theory.
 
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Pure BS. I have shot Black Powder since the the late 70's. I have never had nor have I seen a powder charge ignite from a burning ember from a previous shot. Another Karen rule by someone that knows nothing about Black Powder shooting. I also have never witnessed or had a chain fire in a revolver. I would lobby against the swabbing rule.

Mwal
 

sturmkatze

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Can anyone provide any documented first hand cases of a patched ball rifle, pistol, or revolver discharging during loading that was determined to be caused by, or likely caused an ember???
I think, but that's why I blow down the barrel after EVERY shot until smoke stops coming out. I don't believe what the nmlra says -- I never go to their shoots. And before some muttonhead tells be how unsafe it is, they did it throughout history.

The story I was told about this role was that during a shoot, a guy was reloading for his wife, she misfired and he went to blow it and wham. Darwin! I reload for myself. I know when the gun has went off.

Come to think of it, my brother told me about someone on a fb bp group saying that his rifle did touch off as he was pouring powder and Jim said this guy swore that he'd never NOT blow down the barrel after.
 
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I intend to propose a rule change for my club. We are required to wet swab between shoots, this includes revolver cylinders. We shoot only patched balls and revolvers. I believe this rule is unnecessary. I see many failure to fire situations every shoot cause by wet swabbing. I think swabbing causes more hazard that it helps.

I am not talking about rapid firing with paper cartridges, I have seen footage of that happening. I am not considering accuracy enhancement from swabbing.

Can anyone provide any documented first hand cases of a patched ball rifle, pistol, or revolver discharging during loading that was determined to be caused by, or likely caused an ember???
Regarding ridiculous rules, our club used to have a requirement for flintlocks to have a blast shield set up on BOTH sides of the gun. Took years to get rid of that one and it was universally ignored in the meantime which is the unfortunate side effect of stupid rules.

Regarding the must wipe rule, what do they say about guns with patent breeches? Are you supposed to run a damp pipe cleaner up there every time?
These are EXACTLY the reasons I don’t belong to any club and am so very fortunate to have my own shooting range!
 
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I like to run a damp patch betwixt shots to keep fouling down and watch to see if smoke exits touch hole or nipple. Most concerting thing I've seen are shooters not keeping gun downrange long enough after a failure to fire. Hangfires do happen. Never saw nor heard first-hand witness of the "smoldering ember while loading" thing.
 

Rock Home Isle

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It’s basic format of the HMO Board; exerting their power and authority over others, for no other reason than they can so they do.

Most people in our BlackPowder community are pretty level headed, honest and accepting. Our biggest problem is that as group, we tend not to want to make waves. This complacency provides perfect cover for these authoritarian idiots to exert their control and impose their twisted vision of what is right….not based on need, but based on their own self image of control by authority.

But once it’s done, it can take years to reverse. It most likely would’ve been stopped cold, had anyone just spoken up and started asking basic logical questions…

Rant over, thank you for listening…
 
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use denatured alcohol for the wet swab
the warm barrel will evaporate the alcohol fast
the wet will extinguish any potential ember

everyone is happy
Good idea for long guns but for revolvers, I am doubtful.
Also, a patch dripping with alcohol will render a fresh powder charge completely or partially inert, something I have witnessed first hand. The powder charge in my .54 rifle was partially inert due to too much fluid and the resulting hang fire hurt quite a bit. I advocate for a cotton flannel swabbing patch barely dampened with alcohol between shots as the flannel material grabs up most of the fouling that's been loosened by the alcohol but that is an accuracy issue and not a safety issue. I have seen video of fresh powder charges going off after encountering an ember in the bore of muskets being used in rapid fire reenactments but never when I was present. When I say rapid fire, I'm talking about the 17th century idea of rapid, not any modern standard; ie.- Three shots per minute.

With a revolver, wouldn't you be switching out the entire cylinder for a preloaded fresh one? Wouldn't the time needed to do that ensure any possible embers left on the frame would extinguish?
 
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I intend to propose a rule change for my club. We are required to wet swab between shoots, this includes revolver cylinders. We shoot only patched balls and revolvers. I believe this rule is unnecessary. I see many failure to fire situations every shoot cause by wet swabbing. I think swabbing causes more hazard that it helps.

I am not talking about rapid firing with paper cartridges, I have seen footage of that happening. I am not considering accuracy enhancement from swabbing.

Can anyone provide any documented first hand cases of a patched ball rifle, pistol, or revolver discharging during loading that was determined to be caused by, or likely caused an ember???
Does your club have insurance on the club?. One person somewhere,anywhere gets injured and files a claim then ALL must follow new rules.
 

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