Author Topic: No short starter?  (Read 18088 times)

mjm46@bellsouth.net

  • Guest
No short starter?
« on: November 15, 2011, 04:28:34 PM »
I have a 50 Cal Rice barrel with round bottom grooves, that I shoot a .490 ball and .020 patch. I've been thinking about sizing down the ball to be able to finger start the ball. I tried a thinner patch but didn't like the results. I seen a lyman moulds available in .470 and .465 would either of these be a better choice or would they be too loose?

Daryl

  • Guest
Re: No short starter?
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2011, 07:07:24 PM »
No hands on experience with those sizes but I would think they'd be too loose and accuracy would suffer.
On the other hand, not knowing what your goals are, the resultant accuracy might be fine.
As an alternative to buying a mould you might not be able to use, you might try some .480"s from TOW.

RBall hits the nail on the head. For close range shooting, with the accuracy of a tightly loaded smoothbore, thumb starting in a rifle will work just fine - note - "with the accuracy of a smoothbore."

 A .020" patch and .490" ball barely gets to the bottom of the grooves of a Rice barrel. A thicker patch or larger ball will shoot even better than your current load does. Loosening the load is not the way to go and maintain accuracy you are already getting, in my experience.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2011, 07:07:55 PM by Daryl »

Harnic

  • Guest
Re: No short starter?
« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2011, 07:27:24 PM »
Ssssshhh!  Don't you guys tip him off that loose = inaccurate!  There'll be one more we can always beat then! ;-)

SPG

  • Guest
Re: No short starter?
« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2011, 07:30:40 PM »
Gentlemen,

In no way do I want this to come across as sarcastic, but is it really that big a deal to correctly load a rifle for best accuracy? There are none of us that need to consider rampaging Comanches. Those of us who hunt in areas where there are large predators do have an issue with a fast second shot but I prefer the carrying of a pistol to provide for this. I guess I really don't understand why the use of a short starter, if needed, is not to be considered. Before anyone catches me up on commonly held historical theories, I'm well aware of the arguments put forward by re-enactors on whether or not short-starters were used in the old days. There is a difference between hunting and re-enacting, I will admit.

I like to make good, clean shots on game. If a rifle needs to be short started for best accuracy I will do it. If I can develop an accurate load that can be loaded without the starter, fine, but putting the ball where I want it is the first consideration. And, please don't think that I'm making a pitch for every modern re-invented gimcrack that has perverted the muzzle loading scene in the name of efficiency. The muzzle loading rifle, managed with the many different traditional methods is more than up to the task of cleanly taking game or winning matches.

Submitted with all due respect,

Steve

54Bucks

  • Guest
Re: No short starter?
« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2011, 08:15:13 PM »
  If one wants to do away with using the short starter, a coned muzzle would be the best route. Much better than an easy loading undersized patch/ball comb.. That would degrade velocity and accuracy to a much higher degree.

Offline Swampwalker

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 387
Re: No short starter?
« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2011, 08:28:30 PM »
I think the evidence is pretty conclusive that pre-1820's riflemen did not use short starters, that there's no good evidence that coning was used, but that at least some shooters got very good accuracy, certainly better than smoothbore (else why bother with rifles at all?).  The thing that's so hard to know is what they did use?  Loose ball-patch combinations, moderately tight started with a blow from the knife butt (ala Hershel House) and then seated with the ramrod, or?  At least some shooters have reported good accuracy with looser than ideal loads, and I think it's worth experimenting with.   The question is, how loose can you go and still get good (that is, better than smoothbore) accuracy?

Vomitus

  • Guest
Re: No short starter?
« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2011, 09:01:54 PM »
Ssssshhh!  Don't you guys tip him off that loose = inaccurate!  There'll be one more we can always beat then! ;-)
Harry! You let the cat outta the bag,dayum! Dintcha know, some guys LIKE washing their bores after every shot?
  
« Last Edit: November 15, 2011, 09:19:02 PM by Leatherbelly »

Online Bob Roller

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9323
Re: No short starter?
« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2011, 09:10:30 PM »
Modern muzzleloaders to me represent the ideal rifle for those who have no knowledge of any American History  that occured before noon yesterday. Powder pellets,stainless steel barrels,,bullets wrapped in plastic and then fired with a shotgun primer don't make it with this old geezer. The term"Modern muzzle loader"is an oxymoron.
If I were going to hunt in an area where there was the possibility of meeting something that views me as a menu item,the muzzle loader I would choose would be an English .451 sporting rifle which differs from the .451 target rifle because the sporting rfle has a loading rod under the barrel A 500+grain hollow point
backed with 90-100 grains of 3fg works wonders in a situation like this.It is also a fast reload in as much as the word "fast" can be applied to a muzzle loader. In an area where a dangerous critter isn't likely to be a problem,a round ball rifle of adequate caliber would be my choice.I built a 58 caliber,steel trimmed,walnut full stock flintlock rifle with a Nock style conventional breech plug with an integral tang.
When we started restoring our 105 year old house,I sold it to Dixie Gun Works. It had a 1x36 Green Mountain barrel. It had my Ketland lock and a single trigger.I make set triggers but don't really like them on anything I am shooting
and the type I make will work set or unset.
 
Bob Roller

Vomitus

  • Guest
Re: No short starter?
« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2011, 09:53:09 PM »
Lots of folks at many different points along the way of traditional arms, shooting, hunting, etc...speaking only for myself, I'm not a living historian, not a purist...just a shooter / hunter who enjoys pursuing 100% of all shooting & hunting with Flintlock rifles and smoothbores.

  RB, the "living history" part is a bunch of fun also. It takes as much research as the type of rifle you research/buy/build. I can see it all know. RB in his dandy Richmond gentleman's coat ,brockaide westket,fancy cocked hat,Ben Franklin shoes and a fancy Virginian smoothrifle!
  If available in your area, shooting matches are great fun.Meeting people who are also in the "sport" is a treasure. Lots of shooting tips always shared by many. I love the fellowship of other shooters in our wonderful fraternity.I think you would too.IMHO of coarse.
  I cheat!...with my short starter! :'(
« Last Edit: November 15, 2011, 11:32:47 PM by Daryl »

Offline Dphariss

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9749
  • Kill a Commie for your Mommy
Re: No short starter?
« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2011, 11:21:05 PM »
  If one wants to do away with using the short starter, a coned muzzle would be the best route. Much better than an easy loading undersized patch/ball comb.. That would degrade velocity and accuracy to a much higher degree.

Degrading accuracy is a mistake if it is significant. So either use a starter or learn to load without one. Chances are that using a 530 rather than a 535, for example, will solve the problem with minimal accuracy loss.
I would guess that anyone that can load a coned barrel can load a crowned one with the same ball size if they just do it rather than obsessing over it or believing it can't be done just because someone said so.

Dan
He who dares not offend cannot be honest. Thomas Paine

Offline Dphariss

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9749
  • Kill a Commie for your Mommy
Re: No short starter?
« Reply #10 on: November 15, 2011, 11:21:36 PM »
Or just use a straight starter....
He who dares not offend cannot be honest. Thomas Paine

SPG

  • Guest
Re: No short starter?
« Reply #11 on: November 15, 2011, 11:25:21 PM »
Swampwalker,

Personally, I think it makes sense that the early-day rifleman probably used a knife-handle to seat a ball. I've done exactly the same thing many times....and still do on some rifles. It can be hard on your knife-handle over time. However, in my book of definitions a knife-handle short starter is still a type of short starter. I'd just rather use a "typical" short-starter if it's needed than split the scales on my knife.

I'm in the same boat as Roundball...I have always enjoyed using old technology but I would not class myself as a living historian, although history and it's application to modern life has always been a passion with me. Balancing what I read about history with common sense and personal experience has also been a passion.

Again, submitted with all due respect,

Steve

Steve

Daryl

  • Guest
Re: No short starter?
« Reply #12 on: November 15, 2011, 11:43:54 PM »
Now, this is WAY out there in left field.  No cone, but it does have a sloping, 2/10" deep crown that needs no starter to push a .398" pure lead ball wrapped with a .022" denim patch, flush with the muzzle. It does need the end of the rod, though.  Once there, a choked up rod can seat it - quite easily - for me & I suspect anyone who'd done much shooting. Once down 10" or so, all I need are finger and thumb on the rod.


This 'shape' was created by using a tapered stone wrapped with 400grit and an electric drill. Yes, it's concentric.  Perhaps a modicum of skill is needed - as that's all I have.

Note the little 'ding' on the lip at 1:00 in the picture - THAT is the reason for a crown. That little dimple does not effect accuracy.

This crown, with the above combination and 65gr. 3F GOEX shoots into 1/2" at 50 yards hand held, from a rest.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2011, 12:08:27 AM by Daryl »

Offline Stormrider51

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 109
Re: No short starter?
« Reply #13 on: November 15, 2011, 11:49:41 PM »
Try some experiments and see.  A patch/ball that will start with finger pressure will have greater gas blow-by and consequently lower velocity.  This means that to get the same velocity and trajectory you will have to increase the powder charge.  The patch may or may not grip the rifling tightly enough to inpart consistent spin to the ball so accuracy is likely to suffer.  But every rifle is a law unto itself.  You may find a combination that allows you to eliminate the short starter and still get accuracy that is acceptable to you.

Storm

Offline hanshi

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5310
  • My passion is longrifles!
    • martialartsusa.com
Re: No short starter?
« Reply #14 on: November 15, 2011, 11:58:19 PM »
Going to a loose ball seems to leave more fouling than a good, tight prb.
!Jozai Senjo! "always present on the battlefield"
Young guys should hang out with old guys; old guys know stuff.

Militant_Hillbilly

  • Guest
Re: No short starter?
« Reply #15 on: November 16, 2011, 02:05:33 AM »
I'm having a .48 caliber barrel built and I bought a .470 ball mould from Track. I made about 20 balls or so after I got the mould and out of curiosity shot them from a Cabela's Hawken .50. Patched with denim, it shot surprisingly well.


Offline Long Ears

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 716
Re: No short starter?
« Reply #16 on: November 16, 2011, 02:58:10 AM »
Man some of this stuff never ends. I love reading about the tight loads, thick patches and sub minute accuracy. All of my rifles and smoothbores are coned!! I can thumb start everyone of them at a run. I have shot the sub minute stuff for years out to 1000 yds. and it was fun. I don't think our fore fathers worried about what ten thousands their patches were. They simply shot their Indians or game and went home alive. If you want to carry a hammer and a short starter do it. I'll be the only one with a grin on my face, maybe. All of our matches are off hand so my accuracy need not be sub minute. They are just darn fun to build and shoot. If I ever find a chunk gun match within a couple hundred miles I will build the rifle for the discipline. Until then lets shoot! Bob

Daryl

  • Guest
Re: No short starter?
« Reply #17 on: November 16, 2011, 03:15:32 AM »
Interesting, I'm laughing right now.

willyr

  • Guest
Re: No short starter?
« Reply #18 on: November 16, 2011, 01:09:09 PM »
Well, I got to say that loading on the run is not something I am interested in doing at the age of 67- running is a thing of the past. What I am interested in is shooting to point of aim whether I'm shooting at a squirrel's head, a deer, a metal critter on a woods walk, or an offhand target at a match. To accomplish this, I use a short starter and a ball no more than .005 under bore size and a patch that mics out at .018". My favotite rifle presently is a .36 caliber with a Green Mountain barrel. In this rifle I shoot a .360" ball with my patching cut at the muzzle and lubed with saliva unless I'm hunting, then I lube with olive oil. This works for me and I really don't care if the over glorified "longhunters" of lore used on or not. By the way, I always cut 1/2" off a barrel and recrown it myself ala Daryl.

Be Well,
Bill Ridout

mjm46@bellsouth.net

  • Guest
Re: No short starter?
« Reply #19 on: November 16, 2011, 03:58:30 PM »
OK, I'm not looking for sub minute groups. I'm just looking for something a little easier to load without loosing all my accuracy. I've tried tighter balls .495 and .500 in this rifle and patches from .010, .015, .018. Tight combos were impossible to load unless you swabbed after every shot. Too much work, I do this for funnnn!!! I finally settled on the .490 with .020 or .018 Patch combo. But it requires a short starter.
 
I'm just remembering an old Dixie Gun Works rifle that I bought in 1974 .45 Cal with a .440 Ball and unknown patch thickness (like chambray shirt material, maybe .015) on that rifle I did smooth the crown carefully with fine paper and crocus cloth (similar to some I've seen posted on this site). It also had flat bottom rifleing and a straight barrel (nose heavy). Could thumb load that rifle all day. But that roman nose stock would beat the $#@* out of my cheek. Unfortunately that rifle was stolen in 2006, I miss it. I've been very heasitant to modify the crown on my present rifle, even though I know it will improve loading and improve patch performance, because everyone seems to say it will DESTROY accuracy. What say Y'all.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2011, 04:00:38 PM by Micah »

Offline Stormrider51

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 109
Re: No short starter?
« Reply #20 on: November 16, 2011, 04:40:00 PM »
Micah,
Some years back we did an experiment on crowns at the shop where I gunsmithed.  Customers would come in asking for a specific type of crown, 11 degree, recessed, or whatever and the question often came up of which one was better.  I decided to find out.  I had an old K98 Mauser that I was going to sporterize for a customer.  The original barrel was still very shootable so before removing it and installing a new barrel I tried different crowns.  First I simply faced off the muzzle and lightly polished it to remove burrs.  In other words, no crown at all.  I took the rifle to the range and shot it at 100 yards from a solid bench.  I recorded the information on the target and retained it.  Back at the shop, the rifle went back into the lathe and I cut an 11 degree crown.  Another trip to the range and another recorded target.  Finally, I cut at recessed crown and fired one last target.  There was no detectable difference between any of the groups.  All three, fired on the same day from the same location under the same weather conditions using the same box of ammo by the same shooter were 4" center to center.  The only variable was the type of crown.  We used those targets to show customers that the type of crown doesn't make any difference.  Of course, shooters being shooters, many didn't believe us and would still insist on whatever type of crown they preferred.  We didn't care because we knew that any crown would work.

I believe that crowning began as a way to make loading a muzzleloader easier.  It also serves to protect the rifling nearest the muzzle.  The most important part of a barrel is that last little bit that releases a projectile into free flight.  A ding or uneven wear there will degrade accuracy of even the best barrel.  So change that crown to your hearts content.  As long as the crown is centered and even it will work.

Storm

Offline Robby

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2597
  • NYSSR ―
Re: No short starter?
« Reply #21 on: November 16, 2011, 04:47:25 PM »
Mica, I don't think it will destroy accuracy. If done carefully using your thumb or finger and rotating the barrel and your finger at the same time as Daryl has described. Coning will destroy accuracy, as it did in my experimentation,  at least what I define as accuracy, but to each their own.

Five shot group off the bench at fifty yards. This barrel gave me fits with both accuracy and fouling. I gave the crown the Daryl treatment, used a sloppy wet spit patch, ala Leatherbelly, and I can shoot all day, no swiping. I do use a short starter, and for winter hunting, mink oil. No change in accuracy. Good luck
molon labe
We the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution. A. Lincoln

mjm46@bellsouth.net

  • Guest
Re: No short starter?
« Reply #22 on: November 16, 2011, 05:08:15 PM »
Daryl
What is the exact treatment for your muzzle/crown?

Daryl

  • Guest
Re: No short starter?
« Reply #23 on: November 16, 2011, 07:10:17 PM »
I sent you a private message, Micah. The others here have read it many times and are probably getting quiete tired of it.

Harnic

  • Guest
Re: No short starter?
« Reply #24 on: November 16, 2011, 07:15:56 PM »
I don't have a window on history, but it makes sense to me that short starters weren't used in the past.  I rather suspect that a stout smack on the side of the patch knife started that prb far enough to push it home with the rod.  Before I started using pre-cut patching, I used a long strip of patch material that I cut at the muzzle with a big belt knife after laying the side of the blade on the sprue & smacking it with a closed fist.  It worked well... I'm not sure what switched me to pre-cutting my patches.