Author Topic: Fired the new (to me) NSW .62cal. today: Preliminary results  (Read 6674 times)

Offline Maven

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I was able to lay my hands on .600" RB's, courtesy of my friend Rich Rockwell, and was off to the range to test the new gun.  Since I had no earthly idea [where this gun would print, I set my target @ 25 yds. and experimented with patch thickness:  .017" pocket drill; .018" pillow ticking; and .022" denim.  The powder charge was 70 grs. Graf's FFFg.  I fired maybe 27 shots before the flint (the only one I had) gave out, but the gun seems to prefer the thicker patches with the .600" RB.  In fact, the .022" denim was a very tight fit, requiring a hammer on the end of the short starter and a lot of muscle on the range rod to seat the RB.  Some shots were touching (no more than 3 in a 5 - 8 shot string), which was a good sign.  The denim patch should be an ideal match to the .595" RB mold I ordered from Jeff Tanner last week.  Shooting that gun was most enjyable!
Paul W. Brasky

Daryl

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Re: Fired the new (to me) NSW .62cal. today: Preliminary results
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2010, 03:21:14 PM »
I'm sure you will be happy with the .595" ball.  The patch will most likely work perfectly. Did you pick any up?  They should be reusable.
What sort of lube are you using?
If using a wet lube, it has to be WET in order to carry enough moisture to soften the fouling.

Offline Maven

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Re: Fired the new (to me) NSW .62cal. today: Preliminary results
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2010, 04:22:59 PM »
Daryl, I used spit patches mostly, but wiped the bore after seating the RB.  Maybe it needs to be left wet?  Also, I was able to find many of the [3 different thicknesses of] patches and they could easily have been reused.  Then again, 70 grs. FFFg isn't a patch burner in any of my other guns.  Lastly, I shot from a kneeling position with my elbows on the bench and that may have been part of the problem.  When I get my new flints from Rich Pierce, I'll use a standard shooting rest.  Btw, I stopped at the local fabric store last PM to mic a remnant of fabric that looked just right for patching: .022", which may be perfect for the smaller ball.  Anyhow, I also looked at 100% cotton denim and discovered a few that were in the neighborhood of .025" -.026".  I just wanted to mention this in case someone needs a heavier, tightly woven patch material.   Funny thing, the store manager knows me as "the guy with the gun patches."
Paul W. Brasky

Daryl

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Re: Fired the new (to me) NSW .62cal. today: Preliminary results
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2010, 09:10:01 PM »
Sounds OK - I was wondering why you felt the need to wipe the bore after loading. With a tight fitting ball/patch, it was just wiped as it was loaded.  For hunting, you will need an oil or grease. Mink Oil from Track works, as does bear's oil, marmot oil, Neetsfoot Oil and many others.  Soime might not allow shooting all day without wiping, but will work for at least 3 to 5 acurate shots before fouling rears it's ugly head. Again, that depends on the ball and patch combination.
Denim usually comes in 'weights', ie: 6 ounce, 8 ounce, 10 ounce, 12 ounce.  10 usually runs .019" to .022" depending on the make, and 12 oz. runs .026" to .030".  I use the 12 ounce in my .690 rifle with a .684" pure lead ball or .677" WW ball.  For me, they load quite easily. As Don Getz noted some time ago, I have thick wrists and BIG hands.

Offline Maven

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Re: Fired the new (to me) NSW .62cal. today: Preliminary results
« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2010, 01:58:27 AM »
"I was wondering why you felt the need to wipe the bore after loading. With a tight fitting ball/patch, it was just wiped as it was loaded."

Daryl, While I realize that a tight fitting ball & spit patch does indeed wipe the bore, I've experienced a significant loss of accuracy in 2 of my rifles when the bore was left wet.  Believe me, leaving it wet is much easier and faster, but once I wiped the excess moisture out, accuracy returned.  Once I establish which ball & patch combo. the smoothie likes, then I can experiment with wet v. dry bore, powder charge & granulation, and whether or not to use an OP wad (lubed felt v. lubed fiber).
Paul W. Brasky

Daryl

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Re: Fired the new (to me) NSW .62cal. today: Preliminary results
« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2010, 05:41:53 PM »
I must admit I've never tried wiping after loading. I'm sure the gun the way I load it is capable of shooting tighter than 1/2" at 50 yards or I wouldn't be able to shoot groups that size myself, with iron sights.

The only way to find out is I'd have to build a machine rest to test both ways.  My .32 seems to peak at 1" at 50, however the .40, .45 & .69 all shoot into 1/2".  The .58 Musketoon is only good for 1", but it's short, course sight radius doesn't lend itself to better shooting.  It would be nice to shoot tighter groups with all of them, though.  The tighter the gun will shoot, the better the shooter does and that's a fact, needs no re-proving.

BrownBear

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Re: Fired the new (to me) NSW .62cal. today: Preliminary results
« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2010, 04:19:05 PM »
Sam Fadala in his book "The Complete Blackpowder Handbood, 5th Edition" has a chapter on smoothbores.  He cites wiping the bore after loading as a key to best results in his accuracy experiments with a TC 56 cal smootbore.  I've always wondered about the claim and what could explain it, but not enough to try it.  Now I might.

Offline Maven

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Re: Fired the new (to me) NSW .62cal. today: Preliminary results
« Reply #7 on: June 30, 2010, 03:38:55 AM »
Now that I have a small pile of flints, I  resumed testing this gun.  I did so today, with mixed, but encouraging results  (And this time I even used a proper rest!):  too wide a spread @ 25 yds., but I was able to put 3 touching and 4 very close twice.  However, none was in the black of the NMLRA targets, which I used the first time out too.  Here's what I tried today:  .600" Dixie RB (weighed) w/.022" denim patching and .018" pillow ticking vs. .595" Jeff Tanner RB (also weighed) w/.022" denim patching and .018" pillow ticking.  All patches were lubed with Winchester Sutler's "Moose Milk."  I swabbed the bore after seating each ball/patch to maintain a consistent condition.  The powder charge was 70 grs. Graf's (Wano) FFFg.  Btw, all of the patches were intact and could easily have been reused, which I did upon occasion.  As I forgot my stout range rod, I didn't load more than 2 of the .600" RB + denim patch as they were quite difficult to seat.  The thinner patches, however, were much easier to start and seat with either ball, but particularly the .595" one (could almost start it with my thumb).  After getting practically the same result with both RB's, i.e., printing at 10 o'clock - 11 o'clock in the white (outside of the 5 ring), but often touching, I decided to try a 3/16" x 5/8" homemade lubed felt wad (Crisco + beeswax) and got 2 or 3 hits in the black before the gun returned to its earlier "preference."  Next time I'll try Taylor's suggestion and use 85 grs. FFg as well as the larger ball & patch, IF I remember to bring my range rod.  (I'm giving serious thought to keeping it in my car's trunk after today's so so performance).  Btw, a couple of hang fires did nothing to enhance my performance either. :-\
Paul W. Brasky

Offline Keb

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Re: Fired the new (to me) NSW .62cal. today: Preliminary results
« Reply #8 on: June 30, 2010, 02:58:35 PM »
Don't forget to launder the material before using it as patch material. I've found it usually takes 2 passes through the wash to get the sizing out of it and make it nice and soft. I've been using 70 gr. 2F & .017 pillow ticking spit patch for years in a .62 with .600 balls. Years ago I had one of Curly's Northwest TGs with a 30" barrel. That little gun weighed under 5 lbs and was as flat as a 2x4 but shot like a rifle with 90 2F. It beat the $#*! outta me but filled the back of my truck with a lot of plunder.

Daryl

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Re: Fired the new (to me) NSW .62cal. today: Preliminary results
« Reply #9 on: June 30, 2010, 05:47:19 PM »
Now that I have a small pile of flints, I  resumed testing this gun.  I did so today, with mixed, but encouraging results  (And this time I even used a proper rest!):  too wide a spread @ 25 yds., but I was able to put 3 touching and 4 very close twice.  However, none was in the black of the NMLRA targets, which I used the first time out too.  Here's what I tried today:  .600" Dixie RB (weighed) w/.022" denim patching and .018" pillow ticking vs. .595" Jeff Tanner RB (also weighed) w/.022" denim patching and .018" pillow ticking.  All patches were lubed with Winchester Sutler's "Moose Milk."  I swabbed the bore after seating each ball/patch to maintain a consistent condition.  The powder charge was 70 grs. Graf's (Wano) FFFg.  Btw, all of the patches were intact and could easily have been reused, which I did upon occasion.  As I forgot my stout range rod, I didn't load more than 2 of the .600" RB + denim patch as they were quite difficult to seat.  The thinner patches, however, were much easier to start and seat with either ball, but particularly the .595" one (could almost start it with my thumb).  After getting practically the same result with both RB's, i.e., printing at 10 o'clock - 11 o'clock in the white (outside of the 5 ring), but often touching, I decided to try a 3/16" x 5/8" homemade lubed felt wad (Crisco + beeswax) and got 2 or 3 hits in the black before the gun returned to its earlier "preference."  Next time I'll try Taylor's suggestion and use 85 grs. FFg as well as the larger ball & patch, IF I remember to bring my range rod.  (I'm giving serious thought to keeping it in my car's trunk after today's so so performance).  Btw, a couple of hang fires did nothing to enhance my performance either. :-\

Congratulations on using a descent patch thickness.  Washing, as indicated by keb- is very important.  I usually run the denim I use through the front load washer twice, once with soap, then once with no soap. Comes out nice and soft and usually loses a couple thou.  I have one 10oz. denim(I assume) that measured .030" with sizing (new) drop to .0225" after washing - it's really nice material and shoots well in every muzzleloading gun I own. Nice to have one material do it all - for everything. Another ticking material, typically measured .0235" new, and .0215" after washing. It-too works in most guns & even with the oversize balls in the .40 rifle.

If you use thin patches, you may need to use one of Sam's 'barrier wads' like hornet's nest material, to maintain the patche's integrity in the barrel. It's a rare gun, it seems that likes wads, but accuracy with them can be better than a thin patch by itself. Using a thicker patch without wad improves accuracy again - in my guns.  Each to his own. Whatever you're hapy with.

Offline Maven

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Re: Fired the new (to me) NSW .62cal. today: Preliminary results
« Reply #10 on: July 01, 2010, 12:05:14 AM »
Daryl, Keb, et al., Next time I'll confine my testing to 1 RB, the .600" Dixie, since I have quite a few of them on hand.  I'll vary the patch thickness:  .022" denim v. .018" ticking, both laundered.  After establishing where they print @ 25 yds., I'll add the 3/16" x 5/8" felt wad.  The only other change I'll make is to use Taylor's load of 85 grs.  FFg, as it's possible that a different [powder] granulation will improve things.  (It does in a .50cal. Knight inline that I have.)  Once that is done, I'll repeat it with the .595" RB. I'm also thinking of adding some kind of non-slip material to the butt plate as it's a bit slick, making it difficult to shoulder consistently.
Paul W. Brasky

Daryl

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Re: Fired the new (to me) NSW .62cal. today: Preliminary results
« Reply #11 on: July 01, 2010, 03:58:05 AM »
I shoot 82gr. in my 20 bore smoothie - just happend to be 3 drams- a standard English measure - high end for a shotgun.  I do use 100gr. for long shots - over about 75yards.  That seems to help as well.

Offline Maven

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Re: Fired the new (to me) NSW .62cal. today: Preliminary results
« Reply #12 on: July 02, 2010, 11:57:43 PM »
It has been said the 3rd time's a charm and that was certainly true of today's session with the trade gun.  While there were no 10's or X's (NMLRA target again), I was quite happy with the results.  Put another way, I have much clearer idea of its preferences.  First, using the .022" denim patch with both the .600"- and .595" RB's didn't produce greater accuracy than the .018" patch, and it was very difficult to load as well.  Second, I think I'd give Taylor's 85gr. FFg load a slight edge over the 70gr. FFFg load that I previously used.  Third, using a [Crisco + beeswax] lubed 3/16" x 5/8" wad actually degraded accuracy and resulted in a 1" - 2" lower impact on the target.  (I have to laugh as I found one of the wads stuck to my target frame.  The wad was still impregnated with grease and could easily have been used again.)  Fourth, after rereading Sam Fadala's "BP Reloading Manual," I decided to follow his recommendation and use various OP wads + an unpatched .600" RB + OS wad (thin cardstock).  As neither shot hit the target or target frame (I think they went high and to the left.), it's highly unlikely that I'll try it again.  In short, the thinner patch with either RB + 85gr. FFg seems to be the better way.  
« Last Edit: July 03, 2010, 03:35:41 PM by pwbrasky »
Paul W. Brasky

Daryl

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Re: Fired the new (to me) NSW .62cal. today: Preliminary results
« Reply #13 on: July 03, 2010, 07:46:21 AM »
As long as you get a seal, you should achieve accuracy. What range were you shooting? 25yds?  I've found at that range, shot off a rest, the smoothbore gives up little or nothing to a rifle. I did pull one low out of the group - 4 in the upper hole - 28 yards range.  Still getting to know the rifle and how to aim it - obviously.

Offline Maven

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Re: Fired the new (to me) NSW .62cal. today: Preliminary results
« Reply #14 on: July 03, 2010, 03:35:04 PM »
"Still getting to know the rifle and how to aim it...."

Daryl, That's a good description of the process.  At 25 yds. from a rest or kneeling with my left elbow on the bench, I'm getting 3 touching with either diameter RB.  At this point I'm not certain as to which RB shoots more consistently, but I'll try to determine that over the next several weeks (I'll use a rest.).
Paul W. Brasky