Author Topic: HELP - Dry Ball Disaster  (Read 14355 times)

Offline David R. Pennington

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Re: HELP - Dry Ball Disaster
« Reply #25 on: July 17, 2016, 01:46:26 AM »
It is normally not that difficult to pull a breech plug if you have a good heavy vise.
VITA BREVIS- ARS LONGA

nosrettap1958

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Re: HELP - Dry Ball Disaster
« Reply #26 on: July 17, 2016, 02:42:15 PM »
I broke a rod pulling a ball and soaked the barrel in hot water in the bathtub. I boiled water and poured it in heating the barrel and somehow the ball started to work itself free with me working it with a patch puller (worm). After that fiasco I went out and bought the best equipment I could find. Heavy duty brass 'range' rod, all different sizes of bullet pullers and the like. I hope you do the same.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2016, 02:43:05 PM by crawdad »

Offline Old Ford2

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Re: HELP - Dry Ball Disaster
« Reply #27 on: July 17, 2016, 02:51:09 PM »
If not, I'll take it to my local gunsmith.
[/quote]

Most "gunsmiths" know diddly squat about muzzleloaders!
Muzzleloaders are as different to modern guns as checkers are to baseball.
Bring your gun to a "GOOD" black powder gun maker.
Fred
Never surrender, always take a few with you.
Let the Lord pick the good from the bad!

Offline WKevinD

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Re: HELP - Dry Ball Disaster
« Reply #28 on: July 17, 2016, 05:29:31 PM »
Pull the breech plug.
If you were shooting before you dry balled you have fouling that needs to be cleaned out soon.
A competent person (one that knows muzzleloaders) can do it in less than forty five minutes  clean and reassemble your rifle without changing the form or function assuming it has a real breech plug.

Calling it a disaster is wrong...a embarrassing frustration is more to the point ;)
PEACE is that glorious moment in history when everyone stands around reloading.  Thomas Jefferson

Offline WadePatton

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Re: HELP - Dry Ball Disaster
« Reply #29 on: July 17, 2016, 05:51:37 PM »
If not, I'll take it to my local gunsmith.

Most "gunsmiths" know diddly squat about muzzleloaders!
Muzzleloaders are as different to modern guns as checkers are to baseball.
Bring your gun to a "GOOD" black powder gun maker.
Fred
[/quote]

What Fred Said!

(WFS)

Be very very careful if you cannot find a good BP maker/shooter with more experience than yourself.
Hold to the Wind

Offline WadePatton

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Re: HELP - Dry Ball Disaster
« Reply #30 on: July 17, 2016, 06:19:57 PM »
Having reviewed most of the replies now, I have another suggestion that may work and I don't think it has been mentioned.

This depends a bit on the exact location of the ball, but one could drill the touch hole for a liner, install grease fitting (before or after threading, depends on what sizes you have available) to push grease, clean up/thread and finish liner installation.

Both bore lights and bore scopes are dirt cheap these days.

Don't "try" a gunsmith who doesn't understand how gentle he must be with our "soft" steels. 

The bloke speaking of acid was standing on the wrong side of the ball.  Base, not acid, is where one might find a non-corrosive  substance to eat the patch.  Specifically, I used to use a lye vat for soaking clean cast-iron skillets.  Could leave iron in there indefinitely with no concern.  Organic material would be lifted eventually. 

Hmmm, we should try this AND I have all the proper ingredients: 12L14, lye, denim for testing.  Will report if I actually do such.

Whatever you do, learn how to do it well because there will be another event quite similar.  It's simply part of playing our game with the toys we choose.

Despite what you may have heard there are ONLY two kinds of BP shooters:

those who HAVE dry-balled and
those who are GOING to dry ball.

Congratulations on moving from the second category to the first.  ;D

 







Hold to the Wind

Offline davec2

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Re: HELP - Dry Ball Disaster
« Reply #31 on: July 17, 2016, 07:01:09 PM »
In your case, I would have the barrel un-breached to remove the ball and not take a chance on ruining the barrel.

For future reference, I made my own tool to do this sort of thing and, what I consider the best part, is the inclusion of a ball drill that is applied before the ball screw is used.  Without drilling out some of the lead, getting a solid purchase on the ball wedges the ball even tighter into the bore as the lead is expanded by the screw.  I am not trying to sell anything here, but this is the tool and the explanation.  If you have the equipment, you can make your own similar devices.

http://www.luckybag.us/GunnersMate.html
"No man will be a sailor who has contrivance enough to get himself into a jail; for being in a ship is being in a jail, with the chance of being drowned... a man in a jail has more room, better food, and commonly better company."
Dr. Samuel Johnson, 1780

Offline hatman

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Re: HELP - Dry Ball Disaster
« Reply #32 on: July 17, 2016, 10:14:06 PM »
OK, my friend posed an option.
What if we heated up a steel rod and worked it up and into the edge of the ball enough to where we could get a small amount of powder down there (light with a fuse) to hopefully get the ball to move forward just a bit so we  could then get powder behind the ball to shoot it out?

Another question:
What about putting a small charge down the barrel on top of the ball (igniting with a fuse)?  Does anybody think there could be enough back pressure to get behind the ball to move it forward just enough to then be able to get powder behind the ball through the flash hole?

Offline SCLoyalist

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Re: HELP - Dry Ball Disaster
« Reply #33 on: July 17, 2016, 11:16:14 PM »
Maybe I'm just not visualizing what you're suggesting, but the hot steel/fuse ideas just don't seem like they'd do any good to me:  most of the force generated would be in the direction of the breech, which is the opposite direction you want it to be in.

If it's a new gun, and the breech plug threads were lubed on installation, it may not be a major chore to unbreech it.  If you are in contact with the maker, call him and see if you can send it (maybe just the barrel)  back to him.  He'll have the right sized and shaped wrenches, the right jaw pads to minimize scratches, etc.    Or, he can tell you if there are any pitfalls for the unwary with respect to unbreeching it or any precautions beyond padding the vise and wrench jaws to prevent marring the barrel's browning.

I had pretty much the identical problem a year ago with a .40 cal.  The ball and patch prevented any powder through the touchhole from getting behind the ball.  Had to unbreech it.  I didn't hardly have to grunt to get the plug to turn, and I know that plug hadn't been out of that barrel since the 1970s.   

Someday, you'll look back on this episode and chuckle.  But that may not be until next month.   Hang in there, and good luck.  SCL

Offline Bob Roller

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Re: HELP - Dry Ball Disaster
« Reply #34 on: July 18, 2016, 01:05:30 AM »
OK, my friend posed an option.
What if we heated up a steel rod and worked it up and into the edge of the ball enough to where we could get a small amount of powder down there (light with a fuse) to hopefully get the ball to move forward just a bit so we  could then get powder behind the ball to shoot it out?

Another question:
What about putting a small charge down the barrel on top of the ball (igniting with a fuse)?  Does anybody think there could be enough back pressure to get behind the ball to move it forward just enough to then be able to get powder behind the ball through the flash hole?

Here's another option.
Put the barrel in a vise and unscrew the breech plug.

Bob Roller

Offline hatman

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Re: HELP - Dry Ball Disaster
« Reply #35 on: July 18, 2016, 02:17:56 AM »
 :)  I deserved that.

Soooo, we took the barrel off, put it in a vise and unscrewed the breech plug!
Lesson Learned!

Thanks to all for your wisdom and encouragement through my episode of embarrassment.

Offline bob in the woods

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Re: HELP - Dry Ball Disaster
« Reply #36 on: July 18, 2016, 03:47:34 AM »
At a shooting match I attended last month, the fellow 2 spots down from me dry balled two times within 5 minutes  ;D   Good thing I brought a good range rod and a ball screw that fit his gun  ;D   After the 2nd dry ball, he took a "rest" to get his nerves back in order ;D    { Hint ] -  A piece of rope to tie the rod to a sturdy fixture , keeps the muzzle of the gun pointed away from you when pulling a ball.

Offline Hungry Horse

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Re: HELP - Dry Ball Disaster
« Reply #37 on: July 18, 2016, 05:42:21 PM »
 This entire exchange of ideas only re-enforces my belief that a patched round ball combination should be snug, not tight, and the patch ball combination should allow for a patch that is thick enough to create a little cushion between ball, and barrel. Also, I think another factor is that the patch should be greased, rather than lubed with some modern goop, or spit on. Come on, think about it. If as common as it is for shooters to dry ball their guns, and as involved as it is to get the stuck ball out with modern equipment, would people of the muzzleloading era paint themselves into that corner? I don't think so.

  Hungry Horse

Offline bones92

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Re: HELP - Dry Ball Disaster
« Reply #38 on: July 18, 2016, 05:54:32 PM »
I'd buy a proper ball pulling screw.. the type that look like a sturdy wood screw.  Apply downward pressure and screw it in. It will find its way into the ball, though you may need to push the rod down and have a friend turn the rod with pliers to get a good bite.

May take a couple attempts, but it should work.
If it was easy, everyone would do it.

Offline Candle Snuffer

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Re: HELP - Dry Ball Disaster
« Reply #39 on: July 18, 2016, 09:15:52 PM »
:)  I deserved that.

Soooo, we took the barrel off, put it in a vise and unscrewed the breech plug!
Lesson Learned!

Thanks to all for your wisdom and encouragement through my episode of embarrassment.

Did your breech plug have a witness mark? If not, this would be the time to make one on the bottom the plug and barrel.

Glad you got it fixed.
Snuffer
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Offline hatman

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Re: HELP - Dry Ball Disaster
« Reply #40 on: July 18, 2016, 10:42:33 PM »
:)  I deserved that.

Soooo, we took the barrel off, put it in a vise and unscrewed the breech plug!
Lesson Learned!

Thanks to all for your wisdom and encouragement through my episode of embarrassment.

Did your breech plug have a witness mark? If not, this would be the time to make one on the bottom the plug and barrel.




Glad you got it fixed.

Thanks.
Yes it did.
The plug actually came out quite easily.

Two lessons learned for newbie me:
1.  Don't get distracted while in the loading process.
2.  Never ever again try ball extraction using a brass adapter to connect the ball puller and rod (8/32 vs 10/32).
« Last Edit: July 18, 2016, 10:50:01 PM by hatman »

nosrettap1958

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Re: HELP - Dry Ball Disaster
« Reply #41 on: July 19, 2016, 05:27:23 AM »
There is a lot of strain on all parts when you are pulling a ball. Buy heavy duty stuff because it will happen again, but this time you'll be ready for it.   ;)
« Last Edit: July 19, 2016, 05:28:30 AM by crawdad »

Offline Pete G.

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Re: HELP - Dry Ball Disaster
« Reply #42 on: July 19, 2016, 04:18:36 PM »
It is said that you are not an experienced black powder shooter until you have

1. Loaded a ball without powder.
2. Double loaded.
3. Fired your ramrod down range.

Congratulations; you are well on your way.  Incidentally those functions are not just "one and done".

Offline Daryl

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Re: HELP - Dry Ball Disaster
« Reply #43 on: July 19, 2016, 06:34:42 PM »
This entire exchange of ideas only re-enforces my belief that a patched round ball combination should be snug, not tight, and the patch ball combination should allow for a patch that is thick enough to create a little cushion between ball, and barrel. Also, I think another factor is that the patch should be greased, rather than lubed with some modern goop, or spit on. Come on, think about it. If as common as it is for shooters to dry ball their guns, and as involved as it is to get the stuck ball out with modern equipment, would people of the muzzleloading era paint themselves into that corner? I don't think so.

  Hungry Horse

Taylor and I have "dry balled" a number of times, as have just about every one of the lads in our club.  We've never had a problem, in fact,  pulling the patched ball out the barrel it an easy job, then continued loading and shooting.  Guess our loads are not as tight as we thought.
Daryl

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

Offline Mauser06

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Re: HELP - Dry Ball Disaster
« Reply #44 on: July 20, 2016, 04:59:10 AM »
i have my range rod tapped 10/32 on both ends..(all my accessories are 10/32 as well) 


in one end i screw in a T-handle...while hunting i can put a ball starter on that end and use it as my short starter...


to pull loads from the barrel i screw the ball puller in good and flip the gun muzzle down..a foot on each side of the T handle and life the gun skyward and they come right out....


ya...not really traditional....but, it works...

Offline Candle Snuffer

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Re: HELP - Dry Ball Disaster
« Reply #45 on: July 20, 2016, 06:33:19 AM »
This entire exchange of ideas only re-enforces my belief that a patched round ball combination should be snug, not tight, and the patch ball combination should allow for a patch that is thick enough to create a little cushion between ball, and barrel. Also, I think another factor is that the patch should be greased, rather than lubed with some modern goop, or spit on. Come on, think about it. If as common as it is for shooters to dry ball their guns, and as involved as it is to get the stuck ball out with modern equipment, would people of the muzzleloading era paint themselves into that corner? I don't think so.

  Hungry Horse

I think there could be something to what HH is saying. The Baker Rifle as I understand it had two loads, one with a loose ball for quick reloading and firing, and one with a tight fitting ball for better accuracy. Does anyone know if the US made 1792 Contract Rifle and 1803 Harper's Ferry Rifle used both a loose fitting patched ball load and a tight fitting patch & ball load?
Snuffer
Chadron Fur Trade Days

Caihlen

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Re: HELP - Dry Ball Disaster
« Reply #46 on: July 20, 2016, 06:49:26 AM »
I think I agree also.  I shoot a 490 ball and a .010 patch and I get better than acceptable accuracy ( to me).

Offline bob in the woods

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Re: HELP - Dry Ball Disaster
« Reply #47 on: July 20, 2016, 04:31:27 PM »
Even when shooting a .540 ball in my target rifle, once the short starter gets it going, the patched ball goes down easily. When I've had to pull them, they've come out just as easily.

Offline heelerau

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Re: HELP - Dry Ball Disaster
« Reply #48 on: July 24, 2016, 01:59:33 AM »
At my club we have a ball puller hung up in the shed with various fittings for different calibers, sadly I have used it once already, till I read about dry balling here I have never had it happen !! It happened with my .451 Volunteer of course as it is more involved to load and I have the concentration of a slightly retarded fig pit !! ;D
Keep yor  hoss well shod an' yor powdah dry !

Offline Candle Snuffer

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Re: HELP - Dry Ball Disaster
« Reply #49 on: July 24, 2016, 04:16:29 AM »
" concentration of a slightly retarded fig pit !!  ;D "

LOL!!!  :D

We use to have a guy dry ball at least every other shoot we held simply because he'd rather visit when loading. Finally had enough helping him pull loads and told him he could use my ball puller for $50.00 or go to a gun smith, or go buy what he needs to pull a ball,,, or just shut the $#*! up when he's loading and get it done right!

I caved and pulled his dry ball load, and this seemed to cure him for awhile...
Snuffer
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