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PostSubject: Patched Round Ball inconsistencies    June 18th 2016, 11:12 am

This subject popped up on another forum but it was more about Round Ball Weight from factory VS hand cast.

The discussion was the dry patch lube yada, along with sorting your round balls out and getting rid of the lighter balls.

I do all of my round ball casting and can tell you this, store bought is normally more accurate with a lot less throw back in the pot, round balls.

I weighed some premade .490" balls from Traditions that came with my Hawken Woodsman and they are all within 4 grains of each other. You can not ask for much better consistency IMO.

After a good deal of testing, even out to 150 yards, I found that sorting your balls to within 1 1/2 grains of each other was a complete waste of time. If you are hand casting and know how you can not make them a consistent weight, then it might be a good idea to weigh and sort them, but otherwise, its a waste of time because +/- 4 grains has never caused any fliers in any of my rifles.

What causes fliers/inconsistent shots with patched round balls?

Typically for me during testing, Inconsistent lubrication from patch to patch!

While hunting I normally dope the patch up a LITTLE heavier than normal so I can get a good coating of rust protection down the bore. All other patches are evenly coated with a thin layer on them, just enough to where it looks like they were dipped in a very thin oil.

Some other times its not even the ball nor the patch lube but the RIFLE it self!

You all see how I always bed my rifles with either accra glass or lately, JB Weld. That's because that has ALWAYS been my #1 accuracy killer. On the Traditions/CVA rifles and even the GPR, the tang screw"s" just loosen up after a few shots and it starts to throw shots all over the place. Wood is soft and it needs something strong to make a solid bed for the two parts to rest.

Inconsistency in cleaning the bore between each shot " If you do that " is another thing that I notice will open my group or throw a shot.

When I swab, I swab to fully clean that bore like it is when I first go out. Yes, it takes many patches, but its that first shot accuracy I am trying to obtain.

Holding the rifle tight for the first couple shots and then loosely holding it the first 2-3 shots, certainly is not consistent and does not help accuracy.

In the end, 90% of the time, its just me getting the sights lined up a little incorrectly due to sun glare off the barrel or even off the top of the sight.

What are some inconsistencies you've run into while shooting the Patched Round Ball?
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PostSubject: Re: Patched Round Ball inconsistencies    June 18th 2016, 12:13 pm

If all things are equal and consistent.........it's me!.......holding steady through each flash in the pan for me is the biggest issue. I know there's always an issue with fouling in the barrel....sometimes for the smooth barrel shooter, fowling tightens up the shot when shooting patchless.....where as with rifling the opposite happens. I remember great discussion years ago why in competition the buckskinners shooting rb out shot the Civil War guys with mini balls...the minis being the more aerodynamic. It was argued that it had to be the air pockets that were developed when casting.......of course that doesn't account for swedging which should make for near perfect (no air pockets) balls whether round or conical.
So the conclusion was..... who ever shot the most (practiced) .......were the better shooters. The Civil War fellows of course did a lot of blank firing, where as the buckskinners did a lot more target/gong shooting.....of course that doesn't explain why we took the cannon matches against the "Washington Grays Artillery" unit. Cool

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PostSubject: Re: Patched Round Ball inconsistencies    June 18th 2016, 1:13 pm

i watched the action on that site. Good folks there but a few are eat up with it.

Got into muzzleloading in the early 1960s. My mentor was a legendary marksman who was a stickler for consistency. He won a lot of matches. i watched shooters drive away when i arrived with him in the car.

Joe watched everything. He would tell me what the other shooters were doing wrong.
He was a stickler for measuring powder. Joe taught me to overfill the powder measure and to strike it level with a finger. i still do that today.

By swabbing between shots i've made some good 75 yard groups. But i hate swabbing and usually don't do that.

Consistency is everything. Doing the exact same thing shot after shot is precious.

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PostSubject: Re: Patched Round Ball inconsistencies    June 18th 2016, 2:03 pm

I have two guns that I have to swab between shots to have any kind of accuracy .. plus the difficulty involved with loading another ball. One is a flintlock that will NOT fire if I 'clean' the barrel as if it were my 1st shot. On both of them I put a patch in my mouth and chew on it lightly. This gets the saliva flowing and wets the patch enough. I make sure that I don't bottom out the ramrod with the cleaning patch. I stop before I get to the touch hole. It's once down and once up and then load the next shot. If I do this, I get the best accuracy and consistency from shot to shot. If I don't do this, I get a flash in the pan or a hangfire.

IMO there is no "one size fits all" when it comes to muzzleloaders.

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PostSubject: Re: Patched Round Ball inconsistencies    June 18th 2016, 3:57 pm

scratch

I feel that my fliers are close, in the 10 Ring, but not in or cutting the bull. I try to load the same every time and put the same amount of pressure on the ball. I contribute my fliers as just being me although my last trips to the range I had better groups after the .58 got fouled. I don't swab between shots any more since I started using ANTI-RUST and LUBE that Jonathan came up with  t up

Ray.......... scratch

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PostSubject: Re: Patched Round Ball inconsistencies    June 18th 2016, 5:00 pm

If shots get better with fouling, could it be that your patch is too thin? When target shooting, I also simply use "spit" as my lube......although I keep a long strip of ticking in my mouth and cut it as I go once the ball in thumb pressed into muzzle.

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PostSubject: Re: Patched Round Ball inconsistencies    June 18th 2016, 6:35 pm

"What causes fliers/inconsistent shots with patched round balls?
Typically for me during testing, Inconsistent lubrication from patch to patch! "


This is interesting. I shot GREAT my last time out and I changed the way I lubricate and I know it was much more consistent.

"It's me!"

Yep. I believe that most of the time, my engineering is the consistent thing. I am the variable in the equation.

"Consistency is everything. Doing the exact same thing shot after shot is precious." 

Someone I respect told me this on the range. I have been working at it. And, I have been improving. 
I have been wondering about powder measure consistency and will try your finger method, falcon.

What does "A few are eat up with it" mean?

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PostSubject: Re: Patched Round Ball inconsistencies    June 19th 2016, 7:17 am

Some who cast their own round balls and conicals refuse to admit that swaged  balls and bullets are better.  Swaged balls and bullets are better because the swaging equipment is state of the art precise stuff.   Using melting pots and molds one can't even begin to approach the consistency of swaged balls.

For years i contemplated casting round balls and conicals.  Even bought several molds.   i have lots of lead and my contractor son can get tons more.   i gave it up because  it's not worth the hassle.  My wife and i have Cabela's credit cards.  Every couple  years i order a big bunch of round balls with Cabela's points.  

Corbin makes most of the bullet swaging equipment.   That equipment is very expensive:

http://www.corbins.com/bsk-1.htm

A difference of a few grains in ball weights means nothing.
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PostSubject: Re: Patched Round Ball inconsistencies    June 19th 2016, 9:29 am

I would assume that being "eat up with it" refers to making muzzleloading as meticulous as building the space shuttle.

    -Joe
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PostSubject: Re: Patched Round Ball inconsistencies    June 19th 2016, 9:36 am

Quote :
I would assume that being "eat up with it" refers to making muzzleloading as meticulous as building the space shuttle.


Yes, you nailed it.
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PostSubject: Re: Patched Round Ball inconsistencies    June 19th 2016, 7:26 pm

falcon wrote:
Quote :
I would assume that being "eat up with it" refers to making muzzleloading as meticulous as building the space shuttle.


Yes,  you nailed it.  

:ROFL

Well, where is the fun in that? I want to enjoy my shooting, too. Why make it work? 
If I wanted to make more work for myself, I would just stay in the office.

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PostSubject: Re: Patched Round Ball inconsistencies    June 20th 2016, 10:26 pm

The only 'inconsistency' I've been aware of is the WIND!! And I pay LOTS of attention to it because I'm as meticulous as the proverbial old maid when it comes to shooting. headslap2 :suhlute
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PostSubject: Re: Patched Round Ball inconsistencies    July 2nd 2016, 7:13 am

And you are old Sharpsman. cheers

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PostSubject: Re: Patched Round Ball inconsistencies    July 2nd 2016, 8:57 am

BigAl52 wrote:
And you are old Sharpsman. cheers
And if you're lucky....you may get to live to be as old as I am!! cheers

Excuse me......time for my nap! headslap2 headslap2
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PostSubject: Re: Patched Round Ball inconsistencies    October 16th 2016, 10:43 am

Kentucky Colonel wrote:
"What causes fliers/inconsistent shots with patched round balls?
Typically for me during testing, Inconsistent lubrication from patch to patch! "


This is interesting. I shot GREAT my last time out and I changed the way I lubricate and I know it was much more consistent.

"It's me!"

Yep. I believe that most of the time, my engineering is the consistent thing. I am the variable in the equation.

"Consistency is everything. Doing the exact same thing shot after shot is precious." 

Someone I respect told me this on the range. I have been working at it. And, I have been improving. 
I have been wondering about powder measure consistency and will try your finger method, falcon.

What does "A few are eat up with it" mean?

I agree wholeheartedly with your theory. Especially because we can usually find plenty of proof to that effect. I know when I let myself flinch. I'm sure we all do; whether we want to admit it or not is another thing entirely. I know when I'm a little bit nervous and jerky that day. Consistency and good shooting go hand in hand, whether you're shooting black powder, center fire, or a bow and arrow.
I was curious about the "A few are eat up with it," too!
I think if I were to tell my biggest secret, it would be, "Never rush a shot." Yes, a critter may walk behind a tree or a rock, but it'll usually walk out the other side, or come back. Plus, it gives you time to shake off the adrenaline that suddenly decides to show up, and get your breathing right again. My trick for that is I tighten my whole body, and then release it slowly, with my whole breath. Sometimes twice if there's considerable distance involved. That usually takes the shake out so I can get back to business. Getting tunnel vision when you should be watching which way the wind is blowing, or when you should be noticing that the wind IS blowing, that's a sure way to miss! That's all just more consistency.
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