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Author Topic: Shooting Ball From Flintlock Fusils and Smoothbores  (Read 3066 times)
Shoot Long
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« on: September 28, 2012, 02:09:51 PM »

When I shoot a lead ball out of a smoothbore gun, I patch it like I would a rifle.  Does anyone use shot wads and cards with round ball?  Seems like alot of added weight for the powder to push out of the muzzle.  Yet I've read that some people load an over-powder card, shot cushion, and then a patched ball on top of the charge.
Does this really help?  Before I try it I thought I'd see if anyone else has already experimented with this method.  I'm trying to squeeze extra accuracy out of a fusil.
Thanks,
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Roger Fisher
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« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2012, 02:29:51 PM »

More one way to skin a cat... I happen to load my 28 ga same as a rifle i.e. spit patch nix on the wad/card (for line shooting).  I use a .530 in lieu of a tighter combo, since I concern myself about barrel harmonics.  She shoots if I do my part (which is getting rarer as time goes on). Cheesy
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wpalongrifle
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« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2012, 03:14:06 PM »

Shoot Long, listen to Roger!!! one of the finest SmoothBore shooters i know...Been trying to beat him for years #@$%#@, Angry mk
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mike karkalla
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hanshi
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« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2012, 04:03:36 PM »

I normally use an op 1/2" cushion wad with the patched ball on top.  I learned this from Bob Spencer and it does work.  Is it any better than simply loading it like a rifle?  The jury is still out on that one.
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!Jozai Senjo! "always present on the battlefield"
Young guys should hang out with old guys; old guys know stuff.
Daryl
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« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2012, 07:00:25 PM »

There might be a case for loading a loosly patched ball on top of an overpowder wad.   This is to deliver the ball pefectly centered, seal the powder gasses behind with no marks or small flat sides on the ball from compression against the barrel walls.
one owuld have to spend a day at the range trying different emthods- ON PAPER from a rest- best at 50 yards, not at tin cans or steel targets.

My own smoothbore, when loaded with a .595" ball in a choked muzzle with a .023" patch wil shoot into 1" at 25 yards off a rest for 5 shots- just a single nice sized hole.  With that same load, at 50yards from the same rest, shot exactly the same way, you cannot keep 5 consecutive shtos on an 8X11" piece of paper.  SO- shooting at 25 yards is useless with both rifle and smoothbore, unless you never shoot further. In that case, any load will do.

In my case, I need to experiment more before I shoot balls in my 20 bore on any field course. Right now, it's a waste of time, power and shot.
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Hungry Horse
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« Reply #5 on: September 29, 2012, 10:02:59 AM »

The smoothbore is only accurate if the ball does NOT spin. The best way to accomplish this is with a long cushion wad, over the powder. Years ago I was given a bag of old cushion wads, that were at least an inch long, and hard as a rock. I dipped just the very end of these old wads in a hot solution of venison tallow, and bear grease, just to make them easier to load and to grease the bore on shooting. My home built .20 Ga. trader never shot as well after I ran out of these wads. I shot it on a survival walk at the Tall Trees Rendezvous three years in a row, and my team won the event twice, often out shooting rifles with my smoothie.
 I think wasp nest, or towe would serve as well as long as you put enough behind the patched ball to get it going straight with no spin.
 I also use a loose patch ball arrangement on top of the wad. My gun is a .625 bore, and I shoot a .595 ball with fifteen thousandths pillow ticking. The patch is greased with the same mixture as the wad, only rubbed on cold.

                  Hungry Horse
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Roger Fisher
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« Reply #6 on: September 29, 2012, 10:13:50 AM »

The smoothbore is only accurate if the ball does NOT spin. The best way to accomplish this is with a long cushion wad, over the powder. Years ago I was given a bag of old cushion wads, that were at least an inch long, and hard as a rock. I dipped just the very end of these old wads in a hot solution of venison tallow, and bear grease, just to make them easier to load and to grease the bore on shooting. My home built .20 Ga. trader never shot as well after I ran out of these wads. I shot it on a survival walk at the Tall Trees Rendezvous three years in a row, and my team won the event twice, often out shooting rifles with my smoothie.
 I think wasp nest, or towe would serve as well as long as you put enough behind the patched ball to get it going straight with no spin.
 I also use a loose patch ball arrangement on top of the wad. My gun is a .625 bore, and I shoot a .595 ball with fifteen thousandths pillow ticking. The patch is greased with the same mixture as the wad, only rubbed on cold.

                  Hungry Horse
Hmmmm. Huh
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Daryl
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« Reply #7 on: September 29, 2012, 10:37:31 AM »

Experimentation is needed, for sure - BUT - a patched ball does not spin and is launched as a knuckle ball in baseball, just as the elaborate wadding would produce in Hungry Horse's post.  Perhaps his methods need to be fully tested - however, I won't use a plastic wad - no hornet's nest - Sam needs all he can find.

Some 'facts' we know about a smoothbore ball's flight:

Any irregularity, such as a sprue, will start it spinning in the air.  Thus, a ball with removed sprue should be more accuracte, being more perfectly round.

For our purposes, the higher the speed, the further it will travel before verring off due to spin. I've watched this with binoculars- quite interesting to see the exponential flight, like a trumpet's horn. The U.S. military of 1775 knew that speed was a musket's friend as to accurate flight.

At very low speed, say well under 500fps for example, the flight is also quite straight, but the incredibly high trajectory makes hitting problematic and that speed thus, is unsuitable for anything we do. The U.S. military of 1830 also knew that exceptionally slow flight also improved accuracy, but was unuitable for their purposes. The charge tested and proven to shoot with quite exceptional accuracy was a mere 30gr. That charge, while enough to easily kill a man out to 100yards with the .650" ball (411gr.), made hitting him almost an impossibility due to the trajectory.

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RonT
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« Reply #8 on: September 29, 2012, 11:05:29 AM »

I use ~ 1/2" of 'blown in' type insulation that I overspray lightly with PAM under a patched .360 ball.   I believe it is made from treated, shredded newspaper and is fire-resistant*.
Here's a 25 yd. target from my .375 smooth rifle.
*Was a volunteer firefighter years back and witnessed burnt out wall studs up through this stuff.  Was blackened but not charred.
R
 
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roundball
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« Reply #9 on: September 29, 2012, 11:43:21 AM »

When I shoot a lead ball out of a smoothbore gun, I patch it like I would a rifle.  Does anyone use shot wads and cards with round ball? 
Shoot Long, I don't happen to use an OP wad with PRB out of my smoothbore.  When I was doing testing / load development going up through 10grn increments of powder, group size at 50yds was so-so, good enough for deer but not what I wished it was.
Then when I hit 110grns of Goex 2F, it was like somebody flipped a switch...the shots had a distinctive 'crack' to them and group size shrunk to 2.x" at 50 yards...seated hunting position leaning against a support post like it was a tree, no rest/no bench.  (the odd ball at 5 o'clock was me)

Tried 120grns 2F and got no further improvement so I settled on the following as a deer hunting load.
Rice .620" bore (has a Caywood Full Jug Choke)
110grns Goex 2F
(no wad)
Oxyoke .60-.70 cal x .020" (measures .022") prelubed patches
.600" cast ball from Eddie May, Chatsworth, GA



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hanshi
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WWW
« Reply #10 on: September 29, 2012, 12:16:26 PM »

I must also admit that in using a .600" ball cast of WW (actual dia. .605") centered on a lubed 1/2" cushion wad and seated with an os card on top - bare ball load - I easily got groups under 6" at 50 yards consistently.  This is fine for deer in the woods.  But prb shows too much potential and much better accuracy so that's what I use.
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!Jozai Senjo! "always present on the battlefield"
Young guys should hang out with old guys; old guys know stuff.
Firelock
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« Reply #11 on: September 29, 2012, 01:42:24 PM »

I load a bare ball over a felt wad and then topped with tow. This video shows my technique

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4NRPgKp6paE
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Shoot Long
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« Reply #12 on: September 30, 2012, 03:06:59 PM »

Thanks very much all of you.  Some of the loads you suggest are new to me and very interesting.  I'm heading off to the range this afternoon and I'll have to try them.
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Leatherbelly
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« Reply #13 on: September 30, 2012, 05:49:26 PM »

  I was out shooting mine today with patched roundball. Two and a half hours of shooting and no wiping. Used a .514RB with a .024 thick patch lubed with WWW fluid mixed with a small amount of neetsfoot oil. If I do my part,this combo works real good in my .540 bore.
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tpr-tru
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Posts: 37


« Reply #14 on: October 01, 2012, 08:56:04 PM »

Maybe D. Taylor can reply on his methods.  Somewhere between July and September 2010 there was a post stating 85 grains ffg as a standard load with 20 ga. ball was good for deer-moose to 100yds and gongs at 109 yards. Is this patched round ball over powder or wadded ?  What kind of groups at 50 and 100 yards.  Thanks.      This was listed under  Smoothbore Issues, last entry Sept 17, 2010  (page 47-Black Powder Shooting). 
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Daryl
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« Reply #15 on: October 01, 2012, 10:50:43 PM »

Just like LB and I - thick patch + ball, no wads.  Its a really good shooting load in his 20 bore. Taylor's mould casts .605"  with absolutley pure lead although it's supposed to be a .600" mould. His gun is not choked and he's using a .020" patch.  Theer are not many guys here who will be able to load that combination, but know, it never fouls- is easy to load without any wiping what-so-ever, all day. Ven you loads der next von, you cleans der last von.
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Stormrider51
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« Reply #16 on: October 01, 2012, 11:18:26 PM »

For what it's worth, I recently did a series of tests using my TVM .62 (.618") Fowler and various loads from the bench.  I compared .600 pure lead balls using a tight patch, card wads, or tow.  Then I followed up with .610 pure lead balls and the same wads or tow.  I didn't see any point in repeating the patched ball test as I would have had to use a thinner patch.  The powder charge was 80 grains FFFg.  The results with the .600 ball surprised me a little.  Just as I predicted, the PRB's were most accurate but the wads vs tow strings came in almost even in terms of accuracy.  When I switched to the larger .610 balls the tow loads were clearly superior to the wads.  I really didn't expect that.  The truth is that the .610 and tow loads came very close to matching accuracy with the patched .600's.  I will need to repeat the testing at least two more times, and get the same results, before I feel confident of the data but from here it looks like a load of a wad of tow, a single ball, and another wad of tow deserves a serious look.

SR51   
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Daryl
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« Reply #17 on: October 02, 2012, 10:31:13 AM »

The only trouble with that, is if you have to wipe the bore - that doesn't sit well with us.
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Stormrider51
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« Reply #18 on: October 02, 2012, 10:57:54 AM »

I wipe the bore anyway regardless of what I'm shooting.  I don't consider it a bother.  If it's a big deal for you then you wouldn't like tow.  But there are some in the black powder fraternity who believe tow is the most historically correct thing to use with a smooth bore and my early findings seem to indicate they aren't handicapping themselves much, if any, at all.

SR51
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hanshi
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« Reply #19 on: October 02, 2012, 12:38:27 PM »

Firelock, those flintlock videos are great.  Keep 'em coming.
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!Jozai Senjo! "always present on the battlefield"
Young guys should hang out with old guys; old guys know stuff.
WadePatton
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Tennessee


« Reply #20 on: October 04, 2012, 11:20:41 PM »

I load a bare ball over a felt wad and then topped with tow. This video shows my technique

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4NRPgKp6paE


thanks for lettin' us know 'bout your video.  i'll be looking at what else you've got up there- (FFFF-style)
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Leatherbark
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« Reply #21 on: October 09, 2012, 09:00:37 PM »

Same recipe in my Jackie Brown 20 gauge fowler for shot and ball.

a 45-70 case full of 2f powder then an overshot card, then 1/2 of a lubed cushion wad and either a bare .600 wheel weight ball or a 45-70 case full of shot and the other half of the cushion wad holding it in.

I use the overshot card against the powder to keep my lubed cushion wad from contaminating the charge.

I've tried plenty of patch combinations and they are ok, but I find no better accuracy with a patched ball vs a wad.

Well satisfied with the shot pattern and can keep all the balls in a pie plate at 50 yards. Sometimes several shots real close together.

I believed the wads center the ball as it travels down the barrel sort of like a sabot. I like keeping this shotgun simple.

Bob
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Dpeck
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« Reply #22 on: October 10, 2012, 07:31:02 PM »

When I worked on a load for my "smooth rifle"  a 20 bore with sights, I found that attention to detail was very important.  I loaded the ball with the parting line always pointed up.  Too thick a patch was at most not helpful and may have been a bit harmful.  Short started it like a rifle and used no OP wad.  I was able to get about 3-4" at 75 yards by doing this.  Sights make some difference also.

DP
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xring2245
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« Reply #23 on: October 19, 2012, 08:51:23 AM »

I am now getting serious about working up a load for my 12 bore fowler.  I have had it for about six years and when I first got it, I saw that .715" balls wrapped in a .022" pillow ticking patch over 110 gr. of GOEX 2F gave decent groups.  I have not shot it since.

It will be going to the range with me tomorrow and I will have time to play with it for a few hours.  I will try the PRB over a fiber wad to see if that combo shoots better than a unwadded PRB.  Then I will try wonder wads.  See what happens.  Since I have a large amount of tow available, I will try that also.

BTW, with my .62 cal. Jacob Dubbs smooth rifle, I found that an over-powder wonder wad worked very well.  Two inch groups off the bench at 50 yds. were not uncommon.

Thanks for all the info provided.  It was a pleasure to read.

James
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