Author Topic: First Round Fired  (Read 3596 times)

Offline woodsrunner

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First Round Fired
« on: July 26, 2010, 04:53:18 PM »
Fellow Members....

For years I've been a member of the "Guns & Ammo" message board.  A question has come up on the Board about accuracy with the first shot, PRB, patch lube and thickness, etc etc etc. I've directed them to the ALR telling them that there are none better to answer their questions than those of you here. The fellows on the G&A site are highly professional and intelligent. One will probably come here as I suggested asking questions. Please help them. These fellows are just like us, except that they have been "misdirected" toward modern firearms :o


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Re: First Round Fired
« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2010, 09:00:03 PM »
I am a little unclear on "first shot accuracy".  I will take it to mean the first shot out of a clean barrel.  Generally I liked to "foul" the barrel before shooting targets, but that was to have consistancy without doing a lot of wiping.  Like for a hunting rifle, the gun is generally loaded clean, carried for a while and expected to hit what is shot at.  There may be a difference in a load for a clean barrel in that use with recommendations to clean before the next shot on final sight in.  A clean barrel over the chronograph has consistantly given me a lower velocity than fouled barrels such that I feel there is a significant difference.  At a point after a couple of shots my chronograph shows a tendency for the loads to stabilize.  Were I to sight in my 54, for instance, fouled, I would likely load about 10 grains extra powder in a clean one for deer hunting.  I feel that sighting in a rifle for deer hunting one should check out a clean barrel to see any differences, however, many who have not have still brought home venison.  The differences may be more a target matter than practical.



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Re: First Round Fired
« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2010, 04:50:20 PM »
Depends somewhat on calibre, and load combination as to where the first shot goes.  Long time ago, I knew of a fellow down 'South' in BC, who loaded 10gr. more for his first shot than for the load his gun was sighted for. He said the extra 10gr. gave him back to loss of elevation his first shot normally gave.

 Problems arrise when the first shot is not only high or low, but off to one side. This side shooting is more common to modern rifle ctgs. due to the gross vibration and barrel harmonics they produce, however a long whippy ML barrel can give the similar results.  I know of fellows who mainly hunt and therefore sight for the first, clean barrel shot.

Others fire a fouling shot.  Firing a fouling shot before hunting means the gun must be cleaned that day- ie: the load discharged or pulled at the end of the day then cleaned.  We found some guns did not like to be carried all day with a load over a fouled bore and breech ie: mainly some cheaper production rifles gave ignition problems when this was done - the normal hunting temperatures of -30 to -40F might have had something to do with that.

Back then, in the late 80's, I was hunting with the .69, a 14 bore rifle Taylor built for me.  I found the difference between the first clean shot and the successive 'fouled' shots was not noticable on target, even at 100 yards - wonderful - I could leave the clean rifle loaded almost indefinitely and still hit centre with the first shot.  Carrying a charged, but unprimed or non-caped Ml in a vehicle is legal here.

If there is a BIG difference between first and successive shots, one should find if that difference is repeatable, and if so, learn how to hold for it.  This means one would actually have to shoot his gun enough to find out - and then take action - pretty easy to do, actually.

My current 'trail' rifles, a .32, .40 hit centre at 25 yards with their first, clean bore shot - which means they also hit centre at 50 yards. There might be a difference at 100, but neither would be used on game at that range.  These guns hitting centre with a clean barrel might be due to something as simple as using a tight enough combination that the 'dirty' bore is little different from a clean bore. I don't know if that is the situation, but do know different points of impact don't bother me with those rifles.  For me, a 'fouling' shot at the start of a trail walk, is merely a practise shot as the accuracy is the same, 1st, 2nd or 50th.
In the .32, I shoot a .311" ball with either a .0215" ticking or .0225" denim patch.  It loads easily with the 5/16" hickory rod - all day- no wiping.
In the .40, I shoot a .398" ball with the same patches. The bore is .398". I also use a .400" ball with .019" drill patch.  A 3/8" hickory rod is used for loading - which is quite easy.  Either mink oil or minus 40degree windshield washer fluid with a couple ounces per quart of neetsfoot oil or spit is used for lube. There seems to be no difference in fouling over a day's shooting with any of these lubes- other than, the mink oil feels a mite slicker when loading. My .45 longrifle is different in that it hits 1" high at 50 yards with the first, clean barrel shot - possibly due to it's longer barrel's harmonics. The difference is not enough to be important under most situations, certainly not deer hunting or on trail walks.

The reason I mention those loads is to illustrate that 'snug' combinations (at least in these rifles) seem to shoot the same or similar, clean or fouled.  In this scenario and due to the tight combinations, 'fouled' is only a word barely a description as the bore seems to get wiped very well when pushing down the next patched ball.

When cleaning a barrel after a day's shooting by flushing water in and out the vent in a 3 pound coffee can almost full of water, leaves the water barely greyish in colour.  This is after firing 40 to 80 shots without wiping at any time during the shooting or before cleaning. The greyish colour of the water comes mainly from the builtup fouling in the powder chamber area and vent cone, as there is litterally only the final shot's fouling in the bore.  This happens whether we're at Rendezvous BC (Hefley Creek) where the humidity is 6%, or when shooting in high 80 to 90% humidity - there is no difference in fouling or points of impact.

Offline Roger Fisher

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Re: First Round Fired
« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2010, 05:15:13 PM »
Not being too scientific it depends on what my first shot will be shot 'at'!  6 bull go for the practice bull first shot.  Silohuettes if the first shot is a gimme go for the first one after burning some prime or a cap or 3 to dry her out!!!  There are some ranges that have a 'practice' gong or whatever hanging out there and I go for that.  I do like to feel certain that the oil is gone from the breech to avoid any hang bangs! :) ::)

Offline Luke MacGillie

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Re: First Round Fired
« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2010, 04:35:39 AM »
I thought I'd left the cold bore shot debate over at Sniper's hide ;D


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Re: First Round Fired
« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2010, 01:35:15 PM »
Were I hunting in timber where I would expect my shot to be under 75 yards I likely would not care whether the guns was sighted in cold or warm.  If longer shots were to be expected I would prefer a rifle sighted in cold or at least I would want to know where it shot cold.  In my case another factor is temperature change where I may be hunting in below freezing temps.