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What a difference a ball makes

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Rudall

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I took my new (to me) Pedersoli .44 Kuchenreuter to the range today to see how it would perform. I used two sizes of ball with a .010 patch. The upper group in the photo wass with a swaged .430 ball and the lower ‘group’ was with a .433 ball – which was considerably harder to load. Distance = 25 yards, from a rest.
 

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Sam squanch

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Were you pounding a flat spot on the ball while loading? I was doing that. I don’t think they fly true with a flat spot mashed into them.
 

Rudall

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I omitted to say that the .433 balls were cast – not by me – and of a uniform weight. I loaded them sprue up in the normal manner. I shot that group first and was simply amazed when I started on the .430s.
 

Grenadier1758

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When patches are torn on a tight loading, often a crown smoothing will eliminate the tearing. Get some wet-or-dry sandpaper of 180 to 320 grit. using your thumb hold the paper in the muzzle and rotate the barrel to smooth the crown. Work your way through the grits It should only take a few minutes to smooth the crown. You can use finer grit papers as well if you want a smoother crown. Do clean the barrel to remove any of the swarf from smoothing the crown.

If its the sharp lands, then you need to shoot your rifle more to smooth the edges of the lands.
 

arcticap

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I omitted to say that the .433 balls were cast – not by me – and of a uniform weight. I loaded them sprue up in the normal manner. I shot that group first and was simply amazed when I started on the .430s.
If they weren't brand name swaged balls, then perhaps they weren't pure lead either which could explain the loading difficulty.
Even cast balls from TOW have been said to have inconsistent lead hardness.
Some of their ball sizes and batches are reportedly softer while others are harder.
Without trying factory swaged .433 balls, it would be hard to compare .433 ball accuracy.
And there can even be a slight difference between Hornady and Speer balls since Hornady's can be slightly more out of round than Speer.
 

Rudall

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The swaged .430 balls were Hornady. The cast .433 balls were from a local supplier and were sold as pure lead. Next time out I will try the .430 with a .012 patch (instead of the .010) and see what the result is.
 

arcticap

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The swaged .430 balls were Hornady. The cast .433 balls were from a local supplier and were sold as pure lead.
Now you've really confused me because Hornady doesn't make .430 balls.
They only make .395 and .433 balls. --->>> https://www.hornady.com/muzzleloading/round-balls#!/
When you first mentioned using .430 swaged balls I thought that you were swaging your own.
Without measuring cast balls, their labeled size may not be trustworthy.
 

Rudall

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Doh!
Of course you are right The swaged balls were Hornady .433 and the cast were .435. I actually cast balls and they were within a few grains. But you may well be correct in the assumption that variance would more likely account for the larger group than the size of the ball and consequent tightness of fit.
I am pretty pleased with the Hornady group at any rate.
 
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