Author Topic: Accuracy Gone South  (Read 16932 times)

Lon Baugh

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Accuracy Gone South
« on: February 11, 2009, 06:30:27 PM »
My TC Hawken has shot the same load reasonably well for years. Lately it's been scattering shots. I finally shot some from a bench and got 4" plus groups at 25 yards. ???  Only found 2 patches since I was shooting over tall grass. One looked PERFECT. One was only about 2/3rds of a patch, torn in two.

Something I've noticed lately is that the rifle gets a bit hard to seat the ball the last inch or so after a few shots. Not sure why I'm getting this "crud ring" down there.

Got any suggestions?     LB

Dave K

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Re: Accuracy Gone South
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2009, 06:39:30 PM »
What lube are you using? If you are using Bore Butter and following the instructions on how it seasons the barrel, that will be your problem. I have not found anyone who ends up being happy with a seasoned bore. The Bore Butter is OK as a lube, but don't get taken into the seasoned bore thing. Get out the real cleaning supplies and get that bore cleaned. You will find strands of baked on stuff coming out of the bore as you start to get it clean. Once clean, I will bet that accurracy will return.

BrownBear

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Re: Accuracy Gone South
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2009, 07:25:56 PM »
That kind of accuracy loss spells crown problems to me.  I'd consider recrowning or coning if the thorough cleaning doesn't work (which I agree may be the source of your seating issues, BTW).    Coning will clean up the crown while also easing ball starting.  It's a reasonably priced do-it-yourself job using the great coning tool available from a source here on the sight.

Offline Roger Fisher

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Re: Accuracy Gone South
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2009, 07:30:03 PM »
Yes, to what Dave says!!!   That seems to be tearing up the patches.   Keep us all posted.  Should get better than 4 in at 25 yds w/o a patch :)

Offline D. Taylor Sapergia

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Re: Accuracy Gone South
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2009, 07:50:13 PM »
We have no idea what you are using for lead, powder, lube or patch.  I would not cone a T/C barrel.  You're at 28" now...how short do you thing you can go?  Coning will effectively reduce your bore length the length of the cone - 25, 26"?  But a POLISHED crown makes a world of difference, coned  or standard.  Tell us your loading technique, and we'll go from there.
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Daryl

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Re: Accuracy Gone South
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2009, 08:06:45 PM »
Considering your lube - it is probably a buildup of that 'stuff' in the grooves of the TC. If using Bore Butter, I suggest you stop and use a 'wetter' lube, like windshield washer fluid mixed with something like neetsfoot oil, olive oil or some type of soap. The guys who use this for lube, use nothing else for target.  A non-evaporating 'oil' or grease is needed for hunting, of course.

Accuracy gone 'South' is probably due to the buildup in the breech and trying to seat a patched ball 'through' this fouling.  Fouling buildup in the breech is usually caused by : poor lube, not enough lube,  lube to hard.

Crown Wear is also a major contributor to loss of accuracy in older barrels - muzzle crown wears unevenly over time and destroys accuracy.

When muzzle crown wear hurt my accuracy (due to the poor choice of loading rod), I merely cut 3/8" off the muzzle and re-crowned.  Pretty simple.

Offline Mad Monk

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Re: Accuracy Gone South
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2009, 09:26:59 PM »
If you have been using Bore Butter or 1000 Shot Plus you might want to go into the bore with patches soaked in a good solvent.

I have used carb or brake cleaner top remove the film left by those lubes.  Over extended periods of time they will "varnish" the bore down in the area where the ball sits on the powder charge.

It is indeed an asphaltic film.  Mineral spirits or auto tar remover will also work.

Lon Baugh

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Re: Accuracy Gone South
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2009, 10:58:24 PM »
I use a water based lube with water-soluable oil and simple green. My patches are from Texas Patchin. It's a .015"  close weaved material. And .492" pure lead cast balls. I have to start with a short starter.  GOEX 3f at 70grains.

Normally I can shoot 25 plus times without cleaning. The build up at the breech seems to start fairly early now. And I've experienced it with a couple different cans of powder.

I thoroughly clean the bore with hot soapy water and dry with aerosal brake cleaner so I don't think anything is building up in there. The other night I ran some JB Bore on a tight fitting patch thru it. I concentrated on the breech end but made about 30 passes thru the whole barrel. Haven't had a chance to try it again.     LB

Peashooterjoe

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Re: Accuracy Gone South
« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2009, 11:48:36 PM »
How old is your patch fabric, reason I ask had some that fell apart on me when shooting. Seems it didn't take much force to tear the fabric apart on me.  The lube I think attacked the fabric and caused it to break down. Same problem as you stated above, loss of accuracy. Just one suggestion.. PeashooterJoe..

roundball

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Re: Accuracy Gone South
« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2009, 12:14:01 AM »
I've bought two T/C Hawken barrels over the years at a steal because of claims they were shot out, no longer accurate, etc.

Shooter's Choice Black Powder Cleaning Gel dissolves the asphalt that's allowed to build up from lubes like bore butter unless it is 100% cleaned out every time, including a couple dozen strokes with a bore brush.
(Natural Lube 1000 is my main lube with a squirt of Hoppes No9 PLUS on dry days)

Both barrels were as perfectly accurate when I got the bores back to raw metal as they were the day they left the factory.

If its a buildup of bore butter turning to asphalt, the easiest way I know to keep it 100% removed is to use steaming hot soapy water.
Fella posted a comparison one time that made a lot of sense to me:
Hold a breakfast plate under the cold water faucet with leftover egg stain on it and nothing happens...change that to hot water and in a couple seconds the eggs stain slides right off the plate.

Anyhow, you might try Shooter's Choice BP cleaning gel...great stuff as far as I'm concerned...there is a caution on the label that says to rinse off a bore brush after using one or it'll be dissolved by the next day...I didn't see that in time and did lose a brush
« Last Edit: February 12, 2009, 05:37:51 PM by roundball »

Offline George Sutton

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Re: Accuracy Gone South
« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2009, 04:52:41 AM »
Try seating a patched ball into the bore and then pull it. This will tell you if the patch is being torn while loading.

Have you put a bore light down the barrel to see if there is pitting, errosion at the breech, or crud in the barrel? If your patches are not 100% cotton or linen you could be crudding up the barrel with a polyester blend (some pillow ticking contains synthetics. Scrape the breechplug to see if you scrape out any crud.

There may be crown wear that may be effecting your accuracy, but it typically won't trash patches like you described.

If the barrel is clean with no damage except wear, a tighter patch ball combo may help for awhile.

Centershot

Offline Dphariss

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Re: Accuracy Gone South
« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2009, 09:01:38 AM »
My TC Hawken has shot the same load reasonably well for years. Lately it's been scattering shots. I finally shot some from a bench and got 4" plus groups at 25 yards. ???  Only found 2 patches since I was shooting over tall grass. One looked PERFECT. One was only about 2/3rds of a patch, torn in two.

Something I've noticed lately is that the rifle gets a bit hard to seat the ball the last inch or so after a few shots. Not sure why I'm getting this "crud ring" down there.

Got any suggestions?     LB

I would clean it well in case it has some crud in it as Roundball has stated.
Round ball  barrels wear. If its clean try going up .005" on the ball diameter.
OR you need to get some different patching. I have had blown patch problems with a rifle that disappeared with an apparently identical but different lot of patch material.
You could have pitting at the breech end that is holding fouling. Pits in a barrel used with BP even micro pits will drastically increase the amount of fouling.
Dan
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Lon Baugh

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Re: Accuracy Gone South
« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2009, 09:15:27 AM »
Thanks for the replies.  ;D  I've looked at my patch material and down the bore with a light. I'm going to load a ball and discharge it as suggested to check the condition of the patch. If it's fine,the next step for me is to shoot it again and see what gives. Will let ya know how it goes.      LB

 

Offline Dphariss

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Re: Accuracy Gone South
« Reply #13 on: February 15, 2009, 05:55:29 AM »
You need to find a better lube than the water soluble oil.
It has a rep for screwing up bores going back almost 40 years.
I also think your ball is too thin for your patch.
Find a fabric store an buy the heaviest pillow ticking they have. Invariably is white with a blue stripe and should run .020 or so. Denim will work to if thick enough.
Might try some .495 balls too.
If you have a store that sells leather or real boots/shoes you can buy some PURE Neatsfoot oil, no other additives like petroleum distillates, no *Neatsfoot compound* either.
Oil the patches fairly wet with this and let them set for an hour or so. Add patches to soak up excess if you over oil. This is one option. There are other patch lubes. I have used SPG bullet lube with good success in summer but it requires wiping every shot.
You can cut patches square for starters.
If the thicker stuff works make a patch punch from a cheap hole saw and a nut and bolt as a staff to whack with the hammer. Just grind the teeth off a 1 1/8-1 1/4" hole saw. Install the bolt and run the nut down tight, may need washers. Then use a piece of lead or hardwood as a backing to cut the patches against.

Dan
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Daryl

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Re: Accuracy Gone South
« Reply #14 on: February 15, 2009, 07:56:09 PM »
I have had good performance using SPG or other BP bullet lubes for patch lube, if mixed with and softened with olive oil in a tin can on a hotplate.  These have been loaded in a loading block for the .45 rifle some months ago and work well, keeping the fouling soft and not needed wiping between shots.

Offline Dphariss

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Re: Accuracy Gone South
« Reply #15 on: February 15, 2009, 10:58:58 PM »
I have had good performance using SPG or other BP bullet lubes for patch lube, if mixed with and softened with olive oil in a tin can on a hotplate.  These have been loaded in a loading block for the .45 rifle some months ago and work well, keeping the fouling soft and not needed wiping between shots.

According to the maker of SPG a double boiler should be used to heat SPG  or any beeswax based lube since direct heat will change the characteristics of the wax by cooking off some componets.
But the idea is correct and I have done similar things.
Beeswax:Sperm Whale Oil 1:2 or 1:3 is really amazing stuff. Very slick to the feel. But the oil is a form of liquid wax. At 1:3 its soft down to 20 or 30 above. Yeah I know "warm" by some standards.

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

Daryl

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Re: Accuracy Gone South
« Reply #16 on: February 16, 2009, 02:34:25 AM »
Yeah - I should have mentioned the double boiler as Dan correctly pointed out. I use only enough heat on the hotplate to just barely melt the BW and this works for me.  Tracy doesn't like me using her double boiler for bullet lube.  ;)

Lon Baugh

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Re: Accuracy Gone South
« Reply #17 on: February 22, 2009, 12:34:09 AM »
After giving the barrel a good cleaning and running some JB Bore on some tight patches thru it I was able to shoot again today. Kept everything the same. Took 5 mores shots from the sandbags. Accuracy still sucked.  :(  Found a couple patches. They were in pieces.

So I cleaned the barrel and then used my buddy's patches. Same problem. It seems that the first two shots are fairly good but then accuracy goes south. Because of the tall grass, I couldn't find all of the patches so I'm not sure what the first two looked like.

Without cleaning,  I loaded the gun again and used my CO2 discharger so I could inspect the patch. It had a tear/hole in it. I cleaned the barrel, loaded again and discharged that ball. This patch looked OK.

Since the ball gets hard to seat in the last 3/4" or so I suspect that there is where the problem lies.     LB

Daryl

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Re: Accuracy Gone South
« Reply #18 on: February 22, 2009, 06:38:32 PM »
As noted earlier, it might be a fouling problem caused by improper or not enough lube.  Many fouling problems are caused by too thin a patch.  In a normal round ball barrel with .010" to .016" rifling, we like a ball to be .005" under bore size anduse a .020" to .022" denim patch. The fired patches can be picked up and re-used several times - no cuts, no burns.

Patch condition? - Using 165gr. 2F in my .69, I once shot a 5 shot group at 50 yards, offhand, with the same patch for each shot. The challenger picked it up and returned with it to be loaded each time.  My group was 2".  That was some time ago, and that is the only rifle I could match the accuracy with today. The ball was .684" and patch was .022" denim with spit for lube. After the first shot, I'd just spit on the patch - lot of it - the patch has to be WET, not just damp.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2009, 06:39:00 PM by Daryl »

Lon Baugh

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Re: Accuracy Gone South
« Reply #19 on: February 25, 2009, 08:16:05 AM »
As noted earlier, it might be a fouling problem caused by improper or not enough lube.  Many fouling problems are caused by too thin a patch. 

This .015" patch material is very close weave - you can't see light thru it. And it has worked well for a year of shooting prior to this. Also tried another patch material.    LB

Daryl

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Re: Accuracy Gone South
« Reply #20 on: February 25, 2009, 07:54:56 PM »
I've had success with a .015" patch material only with a ball that is the same size as the bore- ie: a .451" in a .45 cal., .400" in a .40 and most recently, a .575" in a .575" bore with only .003" deep rifling.

When using a .440" in a .45, I need a .0215" patch to eliminate any fouling buildup in the bore and to shoot well.  With a .445" ball, I use the same .0215" denim patch as it shoots splendidly, however a thinner .020" denim patch will work just fine.  The larger ball shoots more accurately - every time.

 In the .40 rifle, although the thin, .015" patch will work with the bore sized ball (.400"), they show burn spots so I regularly use a .019" to .020" denim patch which shows no stress and shoots the best of all. Using LHV or Hoppe's 9Plus lube, I get clean shooting, even with loads that might burn or cut the patches slightly.

 This was proved last Sunday with the new .58 rifle.  New, very sharp rifling of progressive depth and a very tight combination - the .015" patch, bore size ball and only .003" for rifling. Every patch I picked up, had 5 cuts corresponding to the lands, yet none were burnt and accuracy was a 1" hole for 3 shots at 20 yards, offhand.  I know it wasn't far but that's where the target happened to be. With 4' or more of snow off the trail, I wasn't about to change that. The only reason the patches seemed to work appears to be due to the very low pressures involved with the squib load I was shooting, a mere 70gr.  Even the 92 yard fox target was easy once I found the balls were only dropping 3" below line of sight at that range. Loading never got difficult nor was there any buildup of fouling anywhere in the bore.  Hoppe's 9Plus is good stuff.

In summer weather, a tighter combination is required than in cold weather. This probably has to do with barrel heat, therefor powder heat and higher pressures in higher temps. The higher the pressure, the tighter the combination must be.  This showed itself in spades a couple years back on the steel silhouette course of fire.  I had retested a rifle I hadn't shot for many years, the 14 bore rifle.  When I tested it at a close 50yards in early spring, about 35F, a .015" patch worked fine with the light, close range load of 82gr., yet when using that load  in +90F weather, I found difficulty hitting the 25 and 50 yards targets, along with about a 6" drop in elevation from where they were supposed to be.  On the way to set up the few I'd hit, I picked up a couple of my patches, identified by the radius size and colour. They were fragments. I did notice a slight crusting of fouling ahead of the powder charge in the chamber. After that, I switched to a .020" denim patch & increased the charge to correspond to the longer range targets and had no further problems. The ball for that rifle is .006" smaller than the bore and the .020" denim patch was necessary to shoot cleanly, and return the accuracy.   I find it easier to relate a story explaining a similar situation, than merely saying do this, or do that.

Not only do the thin patches promote burnout or cutting, they don' t hold very much lube.  The lube used must be exceptional for marginal load combinations.

The muzzle's crown is most important in allowing a tight combination to be loaded easily.  In a previous post about shooting, there is a short 47 second video showing loading and shooting a .45 flinter and a 20 bore smoothbore.  We are using similar loads, yet both load easily.  My combination is a .445" ball and a .0215" patch giving .016" total compression in the bottom of the grooves.  Ross is using a .600" ball and .020" patch, which gives .020" total  compression in the bore.  We have already fired over 50 rounds and neither of us has wiped the bore at any time during the day's shooting. These 2 shots were the last after about 2 1/2 or 3 hours of shooting the trail.  We all (up here) use substantial patches, with good lubes. Most of use use a ball that is only .005" smaller than the rifle's bore.

Found the video way back in the pages.  The fellow taking the video had to restart- and by that time, we already had patches and balls into the muzzle.
 
« Last Edit: February 26, 2009, 01:05:56 AM by Daryl »

Offline Roger Fisher

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Re: Accuracy Gone South
« Reply #21 on: February 26, 2009, 12:44:50 AM »
Ol Daryl just said a $#*! of a lot in a couple or three paragraphs and it's true and free! ;D

Lon Baugh

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Re: Accuracy Gone South
« Reply #22 on: February 26, 2009, 08:36:48 AM »
Daryl,

Thanks for the information and video. I admit that I haven't actually miked my rifle's bore to get an exact measurement but I know this - My .015" patch material and .492" ball takes a purty good rap on the short starter to get it started. I have the same material in .020" and haven't been able to start a ball with it. Maybe the rifling is not as deep on the TC barrels as the rifles you are using.

The point I'm trying to make here is that I have shot this load out this rifle with excellent results for over a year. Same patch material, same lube, same ball and powder. Literally hundreds of shots. And it has not only been accurate but I've been able to fire 25 to 30 shot courses without cleaning. Now all of a sudden, it's scattering shots and blowing out patches. And the ball gets hard to seat near the breach. I've tried different patches and a couple different cans of powder with the same results.

I've noticed another thing when cleaning the barrel. When pushing a tight patch down the barrel, the resistance to push eases up a bit about 13" down. Not a big amount but I don't remember this from before. Haven't fired a short started ball, at least as far as I know.

I'm stumped but getting ready to unbreach the barrel to have a look .       LB




Daryl

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Re: Accuracy Gone South
« Reply #23 on: February 26, 2009, 09:33:25 PM »
Thanks for the additional info- maybe I missed it before.  If you were using a lube like Bore Butter, there is probably an accumulation of it in the bore, constricting it full length, but varying along it. You should try using a solvent like Hoppes #9 Plus with a wire brush and brush the 'snot' out of it.  Boiling hot water might also work =- but I'd try the brush and solvent first.  After you get it cleaned that way, dry the bore, then use a very tight patch on a long jag and polish the bore with FLITZ polishing cream. Then, use the solvent again to get all the Flitz out of the bore, then dry and oil as usual.  Before shooting, always wipe the bore with 1 or 2 tight fitting patches to get all the oil out, then load and carry on.

 If the crown hasn't been altered from new, it needs work due to the sharp edges created when crowning on the lathe.  320 grit emery cloth and your thumb is all that's needed. Sticking your thumb down inside as far as it will go with the emery betwen it ans steel, rotate your thumb, back and forth, turning the barrel periodically - in about 15 min, the job is done and you have a perfect crown that will allow loading just about any combination you want.

We started with TC's in .50 cal. My barrel's rifling was 48", buttoned and .004" deep. Taylor's was about .501" bore and only .003" deep. We  both used .495" balls and .022" denim patches. With a good crown, the ball will swage into the rifling, turning into a very short elongated ball.  Our rifles were very accurate, but within a couple years, I switched to custom barrels on the now modified TC stock and Taylor started building rifles for himself and others, mostly Hawkens.  Point is, with a good crown, you would be amazed at what can be loaded. I'm not talking about a long cone, just a very short one with nicely smooth, radius-ed edges that allow the lead to flow, without cutting the patch or slugging up against the crown as happens with a factory crown.

Offline RobertS

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Re: Accuracy Gone South
« Reply #24 on: February 27, 2009, 03:54:25 AM »
Daryl, in the video, it appears that you used your short starter on the ramrod, and gave it a final whack at the end of the loading process.  I've heard some say that you should smooooothly seat the ball on the powder, and have seen others bounce the rod up and down several times to be sure the ball is well seated.  I guess this practice works for you?  Just wondering if I should give it a try.

Thanks,

Robert