Author Topic: Vertical stringing  (Read 6100 times)

Offline Canute Rex

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 360
Vertical stringing
« on: February 26, 2009, 07:37:26 AM »
I am gazumped and I'm hoping that the collective wisdom here can help me. I have been doing some offhand shooting and my groups have been stringing vertically. Left to right I am within the width of the 9 ring, but top to bottom I am 7 to 7.

The basic specs:
Isaac Haines style .50 cal flint rifle with a lapped Coleraine barrel and a Siler lock
The bore mikes out to .530 groove to groove, .500 land to land
Brass blade front sight, primitive tang screw rear peep sight
Set trigger

Loaded with:
60 grains Goex 3F
Hornady .490 round ball and .020 patch lubed with either Bore Butter or, more recently, orange waterless hand cleaner (thanks Old Timer)

Target: Shoot-n-see at 50 yards

I have gotten it so the ignition is almost instantaneous. The patches I retrieve look solid. I have theories.

1) Wicked vertical flinch in both directions (doubtful even for me)
2) Some minor variable blow-by
3) Some kind of barrel whip
4) Some wrongness in the powder granulation or charge
5) Time-space vortex induced by outer space aliens (mmm-yeah)

I have only had the rifle for about 8 months so I am still experimenting with it. I have ordered up some .495 balls to try out.

Ideas?

Thanks

Canute




Offline bob in the woods

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4549
Re: Vertical stringing
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2009, 08:18:29 AM »
How are the barrel lugs, and pins? Are they able to accomidate barrel/wood movement?

Offline Dphariss

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9829
  • Kill a Commie for your Mommy
Re: Vertical stringing
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2009, 08:27:23 AM »
Try 80-90 grains of powder. 1/2 ball weight of FFFG might work a lot better.
Some barrels really do not like light loads.
Dan
He who dares not offend cannot be honest. Thomas Paine

northmn

  • Guest
Re: Vertical stringing
« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2009, 02:38:14 PM »
Lose the Bore Butter as many have had complaints about the stuff.  I hear glowing reports on Lehigh Valley Lube, Hoppes #9 works well for targets as does spit  and Crisco makes as good of a hunting load as any as it greases the bore and you do not have to worry about shooting several shots.  The 495 ball is a good start as for targets and is used a great deal and may make the difference.  I prefer a 495 in my 50 and some used to use the 498.  There may be a tendency to "drop" in hold or raise with a flintlock also when shooting offhand. A follow through type hold has to be developed.  Its kind of like an archer pulling off to see the arrow hit. 

DP

Offline Roger Fisher

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6805
Re: Vertical stringing
« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2009, 05:38:45 PM »
Been there frequently ::)

You crawlin in from 6 O'clock then shoving the gun ???

Watch the ball in to the target!

Have a mild tight hold against your shoulder.  That seems to help avoid pushing the rifle....

Let us know how it goes.....

BrownBear

  • Guest
Re: Vertical stringing
« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2009, 08:33:22 PM »
What are the chances it has more to do with your stance with that new gun, rather than the gun tuning and load?

If it balances differently than your usual guns, I'd bet on it.

I "read" my targets any time I shoot offhand, and trends in POI or consistency are usually traceable back to the hand on the gun rather than to the gun itself.

Using my own shooting stance, when I get vertical stringing it's usually due to having my stance too wide, often with my hand too far back on the forearm.  Could that be what you're experiencing?  Or some other combo of stance and hold.

Then we get into the whole question of follow-through.  If it's not consistent, or if ignition is faster or slower than the back of your brain expects, you could be shifting the gun up or down in the microseconds between the break of the trigger and the departure of the ball from the bore.

Daryl

  • Guest
Re: Vertical stringing
« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2009, 09:03:26 PM »
I have to make myself reset the butt back into my shoulder almost every shot.  I tend towards too light a hold in the shoulder with light recoiling rifles and varying this shot to shot will in itself, cause vertical changes.

Going to a .495" ball will help - don't change the patch material. use an oil-type lube.  Hoppe's #9 plus is cheap for the shooting you get from one quart bottle.  LHV,if it's available is probably the best patch lube for target I've found in 36years of shooting.  Hoppe's Plus is probably second with spit third.

Weather! - this all changes when switching from winter to summer shooting - spit for lube and 2F works better for me in the summer - both .45 and .40 - go figure.  My tight, cold weather grouping goes to pot when things warm up, so NP- I just switch to spit and 2F.  My loads in 2F are roughly 10gr. more than my 3f charges in the .45, however in the .40, it's 10 gr. less- go figure. Every barrel is unto it's own as far as loads are concerned.  We can ask what everyone is using and trends will generally show- especially with the better 'placers'. By placers, I'm talking about those who actually put in some time developing a load that will help them 'place' in the winner's circle.  Others just pick a load and try to make the gun shoot that load.  Sometimes that works - generally, it merely allows them to sit and watch the 'placers' get their well earned trophies.

It all depends on what you want from the gun - the best, or just something that rings some of the steel targets.  To routinely outshoot "today's smoothbore shooters" some of whom we shoot with weekly, one has to make the rifle shoot well - their smoothbores certainly do.  Seems less trouble to get one of those shooting well than a rifle.

 There is more than one smoothbore shooter up here in Alberta and BC who think that on gongs, a rifle has NO advantage to 125 yards. There are those who shoot the smoothie so well, that that they usually beat all the rifles on steel.  This has happened more than once at the Hefley Creek  Rondy - with steel sils. to 100 yards.  As a matter of fact, it happened last year for the second year in a row.  The top smoothbore shooter beat all the rifles for top score.  Good thing they have separate contests for smooth and rifles.  I know this makes the rifle shooters sound weak - yes - I guess that's the case, but we're trying.

BrownBear

  • Guest
Re: Vertical stringing
« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2009, 09:09:41 PM »
The Rifleman's Prayer:

I shoot a rifle,
But I can change,
If I have to,
I guess.



That's a shameless ripoff of The Man's Prayer from the Red Green Show.

Seems to fit real well, don't it! ;D

Offline Canute Rex

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 360
Re: Vertical stringing
« Reply #8 on: February 27, 2009, 02:04:02 AM »
Thanks for all the responses.

I'll start with the simple stuff and work my way up.

Brown Bear, you could be absolutely right. I am shooting while wearing snowshoes, so my stance tends wide. I have also been choking up some with my left hand. The maker shaved the forestock down so it is very light. Then the next guy made a brass ramrod to put some weight back on it, which put the balance forward again. The extra weight of the ramrod makes it resistant to waver, but tough to hold up for long. Hmm.

A friend of mine is going to give me a handful of .495s, so I'll try that.

I mistook myself on one thing in my initial post - I was using patches prelubed with that yellow OxYoke 1000 stuff. How that differs from Bore Butter, I don't know. But I'm ditching it. Just from one shooting session I am liking the orange hand cleaner - you'd think I was putting a .40 ball down there, given the ramming force. The patches come out intact but uniformly black-ringed from the crud they have cleaned out. I'll keep an eye out for some Hoppes #9.

I'll ask the maker how he handled the barrel lugs and modify them if necessary.

I'll also play with the powder load a bit. I was shooting 75 grains of 3F to begin with, because that's what the previous owner recommended. It was beating up my shoulder and not gaining me great accuracy. Of course, my patches were too thin initially as well, so who knows? Maybe 65 or 70 grains of 2F would do the trick.

Funny thing is, I have been shooting gongs in the primitive biathlons we have up here in Vermont and hitting steel plates smaller than the 9-ring of my paper targets. The last one I was at all the gongs were barely larger than playing cards, out at 40-50 yards. I hit 7 out of 9 (and that's after running on snowshoes). Another time I was shooting over at a friend's place and my paper target looked like I had been shooting with my eyes closed. Kind of like a random shotgun pattern. Then I tried two 50-yard shots at a 2" x 4" steel turkey head cutout and pinged it twice - the shot dings nearly touching. Go figure. Maybe I wasn't destined to shoot at paper.

Lehigh Valley Lube seems to be unavailable now. There is something called Shenandoah Vally Lube that claims to be the same. Is it?

Thanks again for all the tips. Feel free to continue to weigh in.

Canute

swordmanjohn

  • Guest
Re: Vertical stringing
« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2009, 05:23:50 AM »
The people at the Dixon store say shenadoah is the same as lehigh lube?

Daryl

  • Guest
Re: Vertical stringing
« Reply #10 on: February 27, 2009, 05:59:31 PM »
If something like that was available here, I'd have tried it already, even though I'm not out of LHV, yet.  I suggest everyone get some of whatever is available - even the Hornady BP Solvent and Preservative - same bottle, different markings.  C'mon, guys, get with the program - please.  :D

Offline Canute Rex

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 360
Re: Vertical stringing
« Reply #11 on: March 02, 2009, 05:21:57 AM »
Well, here are the results. I know that in scientific experiments the researcher is supposed to change only one variable at a time, but I couldn't help myself.

I switched to a .495 ball from .490. Still 60 grains of 3F Goex, .020 patch lubed with citrus hand cleaner.

I made sure to extend my left hand forward under the forestock and took a narrower stance, despite snowshoes.

My group tightened up vertically in a dramatic manner. When I first started I was wandering around the target a bit, but I knew that was me. I settled down and my last six shots grouped on either side of the border between the 9 and 10 rings at 10 o'clock, all touching.

I have ordered up a bottle of Shenandoah Valley Lube to experiment with and I'll report back on that.

Thanks to everyone who responded.

Canute

Daryl

  • Guest
Re: Vertical stringing
« Reply #12 on: March 02, 2009, 09:28:28 AM »

I switched to a .495 ball from .490. Still 60 grains of 3F Goex, .020 patch lubed with citrus hand cleaner.

 I have ordered up a bottle of Shenandoah Valley Lube to experiment with and I'll report back on that.

Thanks to everyone who responded.

Canute

Thanks for the update, Canute - don't be afraid to try more aggressive loading in the powder department. 50 yards is the range that begins to actually tell what a load is doing.  My .40 demands 65gr. 3F GOEX Bp to shoot well at 50 yards and farther, and my .45 demands 70gr. of 3F to shoot well at that range.

 Your .50 should 'theorectically' require in the 80 to 85 gr. range to produce the same accuracy. This may or may not prove the case, but next time out, try going up 5 gr. at a time until you are satisfied with the accuracy, or accuracy drops off.  The heavist charge which gives the best accuracy at that range, will also be the most accurate load in your rifle.  In muzzleloaders, I've not found a gun what would shoot the best at 100 to 150 yards, yet prove less accurate at a closer range thna a lighter charge.

At 25 yards, most any load should shoot a single small hole for 5 shots - even a smoothbore will do that.