Author Topic: Gauge or Balls to the Pound Questions and Conversions?  (Read 10852 times)

Offline Daryl

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Re: Gauge or Balls to the Pound Questions and Conversions?
« Reply #25 on: March 26, 2014, 06:34:05 PM »
There is no loss of accuracy and there is no buildup inside the bore.  The combination I shoot gives considerable compression in the bottom of the grooves and wipes the bore as the ball is pushed down.

If there was a span of 30 or more minutes between shots in a contest, where the last shot's fouling might dry and become crusty and effect accuracy, (there is only one shot's fouling in the bore at any one time, mind you), I might wipe the bore - or not. It's an easy loading combination, as you can see. When shooting groups at the range, walking down to post new targets, measure shot ones, uses time, but I've not seen any 'change' in accuracy, however if the next load goes down feeling a big crunchy- I'll just shoot it off down range and load afresh - with no accuracy change.

Gus - when I first started in this game in 1972 I bought a .50 Cal TC Hawken with .004" rifling. Before 7 months had passed, I had settled on a load of 80gr. 2f GOEX, a .020 'brushed' denim patch (calipers) and a .495" ball.  I had also picked up some "cut rifled" Bauska round ball barrels from Les (friend of Les Bauska) and by late 1973, I had one fitted to that rifle, with the stock modified to look less "California" made.  

By mid '73', I had also discovered the nicely radiused and polished crown which allowed easily seating using a flat topped wooden starter with which I smacked the ball flush with one blow - no damage to the ball which was then nicely conformed to the bore.  With the TC's .004" deep button rifled bore being .508" and the combination I was using making .535", the combo I used was a snug fit but managed to hold the skinny rifling and shoot very well indeed - generally a 1" diameter hole at 50 yards - I was trying to emulate the 'buffalo' shooters at Friendship with their heavy .50's and shot off sticks.  I made the good groups but for me, it too a bench.  I had exceptionally good mentors in the late Lester H. Hawkes of Telkwa, BC as well as the writings of Ned Roberts (the ML Caplock rifle) to go on. Both of these great mean taught me the path of using ball and patch combinations that did not need wiping while they were being shot - = because - When you load the next one, you are wiping the last one and to do that, the combinations had to be larger than the groove diameter.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2014, 06:25:00 PM by Daryl »
Daryl

"a gun without hammers is like a spaniel without ears" King George V

Offline Artificer

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Re: Gauge or Balls to the Pound Questions and Conversions?
« Reply #26 on: March 26, 2014, 08:36:17 PM »
Daryl,

Thanks ever so much for typing all that out.  I especially appreciate you mentioning not letting the bore get crusty by taking more time between shooting.  

I, too, started in this game with a .50 Cal. T/C Hawken I bought while home on Boot Camp Leave in January 1972.  However, I had no one to get advice from as no one was shooting BP rifles in my part of Iowa at the time.  (I actually had waned to buy a muzzleloader prior to that, but Dad didn't know them and didn't quite trust them, so I held off.)   I used the TC mold for it I think was .490" and TC patches with their patch lube.   I used the TC powder measure  and I think their recommended charge of 60 grains of FFG?  (Later on I moved up to 80 grains as well.)

We did not have a rifle range anywhere close by, so we went south of town to a public area close to a preserve where one could shoot rifles.  I set up a thrown together target holder and target  and paced off 100 yards using 120 30" steps that had been DRILLED into me in Boot Camp.  Though Dad had raised me shooting .22 rifles and shotguns offhand and the Corps had taught me to shoot an M14 rifle offhand at 200 yards, I figured I had best try a more solid position for testing the accuracy of the rifle.   So I wiped 4 inches of snow off the ground and took up a solid Marine Corps inspired sitting position.  I fired three shots and measured them on the target.  The distance between centers of the  two widest shots in the group was 1 5/8" and I marveled at how accurate the rifle was.  I was hooked for life!!  I had to quit shooting then as it was about 10 degrees and I had come home from Boot Camp just getting over Pneumonia and didn't want a relapse.   (Yes, I probably shouldn't have tried shooting then, but I just couldn't wait.)  

Thanks for bringing back some great memories.
Gus
« Last Edit: March 26, 2014, 08:41:04 PM by Artificer »

Offline Daryl

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Re: Gauge or Balls to the Pound Questions and Conversions?
« Reply #27 on: March 28, 2014, 06:44:26 PM »
Gus - I-too started with the TC mould of .490" size and their powder measure - but soon found the Lyman .495" ball was more accurate - that rifle's button impressed rifling was so shallow, a VERY tight combination was needed - I got that with the .495" ball and .022" denim.  The factory crown was a patch cutter, would not allow the ball and patch to form to the bore as it needs to. I changed to crown to effect exactly that - to allow the ball and patch to 'mould' into the bore. From there, it went down with the 3/8" hickory rod - carefully.  A ball pushed into the bore with a long strip of patching, then withdrawn by the ears of the strip of patching, become a slightly elongated ball with round ends.
They sure shot well, for a TC!
I did test up to 110gr., TC's maximum suggested load, I think it was, but 80gr. 2f was the most accurate.  Fired patches were totally reusable and I did exactly that, picked them up, checked them and re-used them.

Taylor's TC .50 had .003" rifling and friend Tom's TC .50 had .0015" depth rifling - both shooting better with TC slugs than with round balls.  Tom had to wrap cigarette paper around the maxi's to keep them in the bore, due to the enlarged bore. The naked bullet would slide out if the muzzle was pointed down.

After I bought those Les Bauska RB cut rifled barrels from Les Hawkes and replaced the buttoned TC barrel, I then found out how well a round ball would actually shoot, punching a quarter sized hole at 50 yards for 5 shot groups.  One such barrel was a 48" twist with .028" depth rifling (measured .504" groove to groove), shot exceptionally well with a .457" ball and .022" denim patch.  I couldn't get a patch to fill the grooves with an undersized ball due to the deep rifling.  It had a .448" bore and the ball was actually .009" larger than the bore. No mallet- just my palm smacked on a starter's knob. In those days, I used the 2" maple round balls from a hardwood store for starter handles - and my hands were a mite tougher than today.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2014, 07:00:03 PM by Daryl »
Daryl

"a gun without hammers is like a spaniel without ears" King George V