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Thread: Question for round ball shooters

  1. #1
    keweenaw is offline
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    Question for round ball shooters

    Good day. While this is not strictly N-SSA style shooting question, I thought I would ask this question. If this is inappropriate for this forum, my apologies, and please remove. Just thought that there must be a lot of round ball shooters on this forum as well.

    Have a custom flintlock longrifle in flint. Shooting patched round balls. Up till recently, shooting just fine. Now, for some reason, is throwing fliers really bad, but only occasionally. Last two weeks after initial clean bore shots, was shooting one ragged hole groups if I did my part on the bench (good bench discipline). Then, the occasional shot went really wide. As much as a foot!.

    I MAY have changed patching material, but not sure. Have always used a 530 round ball with .015 pillow ticking. Still doing that. BUt now I am noticing patch material sometimes show complete burn through. Shooting through colerain barrel using spit lube for patch.

    I suspect the burn through is doing this wild shooting, but maybe i need to weigh the round balls as well. I had not shot this in a while and the patching material was bought as .015. Would a lubricated patch minimize the burn through?

    Experts out there please advise. Thanks!

  2. #2
    John Holland is offline Moderator
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    Keweenaw - Your question is just fine! I have shot patched round ball quite a bit. I believe your problem lies with the patching material. For your patches to suddenly begin burning through, I would suspect that you did change material. It sounds as if you don't have 100% cotton material. That will cause a horrendous burn through and completely destroy accuracy. Lubricated patches may slow it down a bit, but if the patching is a synthetic blend you will still have problems because synthetic material just can't withstand the heat of the burning powder charge and hot gases.

    Just my thoughts, and perhaps Kevin Tinny will chime in as he has far more experience with those things than I do!
    Last edited by John Holland; 2 Weeks Ago at 05:44 PM.

  3. #3
    keweenaw is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Holland View Post
    Keweenaw - Your question is just fine! I have shot patched round ball quite a bit. I believe your problem lies with the patching material. For your patches to suddenly begin burning through, I would suspect that you did change material. It sounds as if you don't have 100% cotton material. That will cause a horrendous burn through and completely destroy accuracy. Lubricated patches may slow it down a bit, but if the patching is a synthetic blend you will still have problems because synthetic material just can't withstand the heat of the burning powder charge and hot gases.

    Just my thoughts, and perhaps Kevin Tinney will chime in as he has far more experience with those things than I do!
    Thats what I was thinking. Although in shooting last weekend and today, using the same lot of patching material, I could realize wonderfully tight groups and then fliers to the edge of the paper for no apparent reason. I can understand the occasional flyer (After all, I think black powder guns do that to keep us humble). But these flyers were ridiculously wild. I do not think I can go to a heavier patch as it is too hard to load. You would think pillow ticking while not perfectly consistent, would not vary that much. I believe the patch material is still cotton. I did not wash the patch material before shooting. Never had.

  4. #4
    Kevin Tinny is offline
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    Thanks, John:

    Pillow ticking must be 100% cotton. Test by burning edge and look for plastic-like crud and odor of plastic/polyester. I got mine from Amish fabric store.

    Ball starter can cut patch. Short start the patched ball, but instead of cutting, grab uncut bundle and pull and remove ball. Hold up to strong light and look for cuts.

    The simple act of licking the side against which the ball contacts can make a BIG difference.
    Doesn't have to be wet; only moistened w saliva.

    Any "blown" patch equals a flyer. If your recovered ones have a crescent-shaped "cut", they are blown.

    If, and that's a big "if", your bore is smooth, the rifling around .010" deep, the naked ball touches the lands and lube is ok, then the fit should be ok with .010" - .014" ticking.

    Some wash ticking to remove sizing, but that untwists/slightly weakens it.

    I found ANY petro-chem ingredients in the lube would burn and be troublesome.

    All the above presumes you are wiping the bore after each shot.

    Try going down one granulation fineness in powder. That is from 3F to 2F or from hot Swiss to Goex.

    All the best,
    Kevin Tinny

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    gemmer is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by keweenaw View Post
    Thats what I was thinking. Although in shooting last weekend and today, using the same lot of patching material, I could realize wonderfully tight groups and then fliers to the edge of the paper for no apparent reason. I can understand the occasional flyer (After all, I think black powder guns do that to keep us humble). But these flyers were ridiculously wild. I do not think I can go to a heavier patch as it is too hard to load. You would think pillow ticking while not perfectly consistent, would not vary that much. I believe the patch material is still cotton. I did not wash the patch material before shooting. Never had.
    I've always bought my patching cloth from a muzzleloading supplies vendor selling a brand name product. That eliminates the guesswork about content and thickness.

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    keweenaw is offline
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    patching

    Well, the interesting thing is that even with the possibly new and different patching material, it would shoot VERY tight groups and then a flyer would go way wild. Same batch of cast balls, same patching material lot, same powder, changing flints as needed. Wondering if the ticking is not 100% cotton, or not actually the thickness advertised.

    Would some other kind of lube help eradicate the burn through?

  7. #7
    efritz is offline
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    Weighing the balls would eliminate one of the other possibilities. Also if you?re using molded balls, file any sprue round. Otherwise swaged is the way to go.
    When in doubt, mumble, when in trouble, delegate.

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    Southron Sr. is offline
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    Flyers can be caused by an air bubble trapped in the lead round ball during the casting process.

    Weighing your cast round balls is the ONLY way to determine if a round ball has a trapped air bubble.

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    keweenaw is offline
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    Thanks

    I ordered some swaged Hornady round balls and some ox/yoke lubed patches and oiled patches. Tried them today. No flyers other than my mistakes. The only patch I could find showed no burn through. The other thing I noticed was that the oxyoke patches seemed to be less accurate and gummed up the bore more so than the oiled patches. When I was shooting spit lube patches before, when the bore started getting dirty, seemed like it was in the breech area. With the prelubed patches, the crud seemed to be more towards the muzzle. Perhaps i got some bulk patching that was defective in some way.

  10. #10
    Kevin Tinny is offline
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    Hello:

    Sounds like progress, but what did your flame test of the troublesome fabric disclose, please?
    If not tested, it becomes guesswork to rule out fabric.

    Swaged balls are more uniform and were fine for USIMLT use.
    We made our own ball swages and could cast, swage and clip the bleed so 250, 500gr .690 pure lead balls weighed within a GRAIN! No excuses with those.

    Are you wiping between shots? Ya gotta!

    If so, the fouling should not be an issue no matter where it rests.

    Most petro-chem lubes BURN in the bore and leave pesky fouling, even if you wipe between shots.

    If not wiping, you will not achieve uniformity because fouling accumulation progressively degrades accuracy.
    You may get a couple patched shots to load ok, but more than two changes barrel friction and patch fit.
    There is no alternative if you want optimal accuracy.

    I am not aware of a patching lube that will eliminate the need to wipe after each shot IF THE ball and patching are tight.

    Deep rifling, say over .007" adds to fitting issues. Some hunting ball barrels have as much as .012" deep grooves to enable a second or third shot, but those deep grooves are not as accurate due to fitment problems.

    Our target barrels had .004" - .006" deep grooves and VERY tight fitting patched balls.
    My 56 pound 69 caliber one shot a 500 gr ball with 280gr GOEX for 2250fps muzzle velocity.
    If anything would have blown patches, it would. The lube was a secret, but I would blow patches at times until an old timer suggested the licking w saliva trick.

    Could not load a second shot without wiping. BUT they shot very well with irons to 200 yards, well inside 4" there if conditions could be doped for seven shots. Two sighters and five record. We had 45 minutes to finish a five shot card.
    With wind usually follows a seven minute cycle that meant 2 sighters and 5 for record.

    If you are just hunting, then ONE shot is probably all you'll get so ample time to wipe, dry and reload with Ox Yoke patching.

    Please share more. Thanks.

    Kevin Tinny
    Last edited by Kevin Tinny; 1 Week Ago at 08:23 PM.

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