Weaker first shot

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Hi everyone
Some time ago i've built myself a smoothbore muzzleloader. I've never shot or even seen another one so my experience is VERY limited.
And I noticed that the first shot out of a clean barrel is always slower then the second, third and so on. I tried wiping the barrel clean of leftover grease before shooting but the first shot is weaker nonetheless.
Do you know this phenomenon?
Is that normal?
And why could it be?
Greetings
Simon
 

Tom Compton

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On first load of the dayI run a small amount 91% rubbing alcohol in the bore followed by an alcohol soaked patch. A little mist from the nipple or touch hole tells me the flame path is open and will be dry in a few minutes.
 

flconch53

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I have shot smooth bore for over 30 years and I can't say I have ever observed this. I will start paying attention though.
 
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Can't say I've ever noticed that.
How does it manifest it self?
Do you use oil for storage?
Well the first one sounds like tshkffffffboom instead of tshkboom on the second. (if that helps)
I also shot it over a chrony and the first was significantly slower than the rest.
And I usually lightly grease the barrel for storage.
 
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never heard of anyone greasing a barrel. do you mean oil? if so even oil left in the bore can fowl powder and make the shot weaker. bore must be clean and DRY before loading. also if its a cap gun pop a cap or two before firing to clear that passage of any oil.
 

Brokennock

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I too swab my bore with alcohol before the 1st loading of the day.
I am told if one uses an animal fat grease/oil, that this is not necessary.

Would you say that the 1st shot is underpowered, or just softer/slower than subsequent shots?
I am wondering if the fouling of the 1st shot is creating enough friction to increase pressure enough to increase velocity?
 
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I only use boiled water and animal or plant based fats.
When ever gun oil or wd40 or any other petroleum product has been used I've had ignition trouble.
I don't remove the non petroleum grease from my barrels prior to loading but the breach is definitely dry from the heat from using boiled water when last cleaned.

I may the night before drop a rodded patch down the barrel and pop a cap.
The rodded patch adds some back pressure to clear the nipple and also catches any spital hidden in there.
 
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@Comfortably_Numb is probably correct in speculating that there is some moisture from oils or grease or from the packing of the storage oils into the touch hole.

One thing @Simon 97 has not told us is what rifle by maker is he using. That will help us to determine if he has a chambered breech that will retain moisture even if oils and grease are removed from the bore in preparation for shooting. The breech has to be free of residual moisture as well as the bore. Sometimes that requires a sub-caliber cleaning patch to get into the chambered breech.

Storage of your muzzleloader needs to have some form of rust inhibitor to protect the bore. This can be oil or grease. Many of us have found that rust inhibiting lubricants such as Barricade or Boeshield provide an effective rust inhibiting surface on the bore of the gun minimizing the need to scrub the bore with rubbing alcohol when oils or grease are used to protect the gun during storage.

The wiping of the bore with rubbing alcohol is a good practice before going to the range. The touch hole also needs to cleaned and dried of any moisture from storage. The first shot will clean it out, but why wait until the second shot to have an effective firearm.
 
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Thanks for all the helpful replies
As for the gun's maker... It's me. And it wasn't a kit or anything gunrelated before.
It has a flat breech and the lock is more or less something between flintlock and wheellock.
 
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For those who are wondering how such a gun could look like if it's made by someone who didn't know a thing about muzzleloaders...
Here it is:
 

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