Author Topic: Swaged vs cast round balls  (Read 18869 times)

Offline smylee grouch

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Re: Swaged vs cast round balls
« Reply #25 on: August 01, 2016, 02:57:03 PM »
Galudwig, the fellow I was refering to was loading through a false muzzle so the ball starts out in a tapered cone then forced into bore size just as it enters the bore. The relays are 45 min. long to get five shots off so most people have no problem doing that. It's a different game than shooting off hand for sure.

galudwig

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Re: Swaged vs cast round balls
« Reply #26 on: August 01, 2016, 05:52:17 PM »
Galudwig, the fellow I was refering to was loading through a false muzzle so the ball starts out in a tapered cone then forced into bore size just as it enters the bore. The relays are 45 min. long to get five shots off so most people have no problem doing that. It's a different game than shooting off hand for sure.

Understood and agreed.  That makes perfect sense as their loading process enhances their ability to maintain a consistently shaped and loaded RB instead of a randomly deformed one.  I know that the shape of my cast RB's changes when I load them, but I try to control that variable as much as possible by keeping my offhand loading procedure consistent from shot to shot. 

Offline Daryl

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Re: Swaged vs cast round balls
« Reply #27 on: August 01, 2016, 07:40:58 PM »
I've asked a very specific question. Can anyone answer it ? Or at least help stear me in the right direction?
  Why would a swaged round ball shoot so much differently than a cast ball?

Swaged and cast balls do not shoot to a different point of impact in any of my rifles that in the past, wherein I have used both cast and swaged balls.  Thus, I cannot answer your question as the 'problem' has not occurred with my rifles.

galudwig- using a mallet or hammer does not deform the ball when a properly cupped starter is used.  Your premise that damage MUST happen, is incorrect - I've shot oversized balls in some of my rifles and NO accuracy changing damage was caused. I only used the hammers the Lord blessed me with - those 'perhaps', oversized mallets at then ends of my forearms - but - I did use a cup ended short starter and starter stud so no damage was caused to the ball. 
The more accurate the load, the better will be your offhand accuracy - this is fact and is easily proved.
Daryl

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galudwig

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Re: Swaged vs cast round balls
« Reply #28 on: August 01, 2016, 08:57:00 PM »
galudwig- using a mallet or hammer does not deform the ball when a properly cupped starter is used.  Your premise that damage MUST happen, is incorrect - I've shot oversized balls in some of my rifles and NO accuracy changing damage was caused. I only used the hammers the Lord blessed me with - those 'perhaps', oversized mallets at then ends of my forearms - but - I did use a cup ended short starter and starter stud so no damage was caused to the ball. 
The more accurate the load, the better will be your offhand accuracy - this is fact and is easily proved.

That also makes sense to me.  I routinely use a cupped starter stud and cupped end short starter while loading all my offhand rifles.  I try to minimize the number of times I strike the starter stud and then set the ball on top of the charge with firm, even pressure on the loading rod (no bouncing) until I feel the powder compress slightly under the ball.

When I started developing a load for my rifle, I read where you need a thick enough patch to leave the imprint on the cloth when you force the combo into the muzzle.  I took the unloaded rifle and started a ball into the bore over a large swatch of patch material and seated it to a depth that I would normally cut the patch off at.  I then gathered the excess material together and pulled the ball back out of the muzzle.  Whenever I did this I routinely noticed that the face of the retrieved ball was flatter than the rear.  That told me I was deforming the ball during the starting process.  This was with under bore sized roundballs with various thicknesses of patch material filling the void.  With an oversized ball and patching, how is a roundball not deformed to some degree when hammered?  Something has to give and it seems that the soft lead would be what "gives" first.  I will say that I've never shot oversized roundballs in any of my rifles, so I can't really argue argue against the practice.  It obviously works for a lot of shooters.  I'm just trying to understand how/why it works.   

With my own shooting, I finally concluded that a roundball doesn't have to be perfectly round to shoot accurately.  I just incorporated tools and practices into my loading procedure to try and counter or minimize any problem caused by one and do my best to aim, hold, shoot, and follow through properly. 

Offline smylee grouch

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Re: Swaged vs cast round balls
« Reply #29 on: August 01, 2016, 09:10:01 PM »
A cupped starter will help but so will a well polished crown in getting an tight fitting combo down with out too much damage.

Offline kudu

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Re: Swaged vs cast round balls
« Reply #30 on: August 01, 2016, 11:43:20 PM »
I like this post being a newer shooter and a detail minded person ive tried several things to produce the most uniform balls possible including a set of RILL plates to roll the balls round, the same used for producing Ball bearings.

Offline Skychief

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Re: Swaged vs cast round balls
« Reply #31 on: August 01, 2016, 11:58:11 PM »
Back to the subject, Squirrel pizza......I have no answer or your question.

Best regards, Skychief

Offline bigsmoke

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Re: Swaged vs cast round balls
« Reply #32 on: August 02, 2016, 12:00:24 AM »
I dunno, Squirrel Pizza, I am not much for casting ball.  When I found out about swagged round ball, I dropped the casting routine like a hot mould.
In my experience, the part about your "load" combination that bothers me is your patch lube.  For hunting, yeah, I use a Wonder Patch.
But for shooting on the line, I always use a wet patch, sometimes saliva, sometimes Ol' Thunder Bore Solvent and Patch Lube.  One year, I used strictly Ol' Thunder and I won the club's Top Shooter Award.  Of course, YMMV.
Sure can be perplexing when you cannot get something to work for you.
Best of luck getting it figured out.
John

Offline Daryl

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Re: Swaged vs cast round balls
« Reply #33 on: August 02, 2016, 01:14:04 AM »
I have used oversized balls in several different barrels - as a test.  In my old .36 (360" bore - Hall Sharon buttoned barrel), back in the mid 70's, I had one heck of a smoothly funneled crown and used to load a .375" ball with a .022" denim patch.  The rifle had a steel ram rod, 5/16" in diameter not 3/8". (edited-oops)

 I checked the ball (in all my guns) just as you noted, galudwig , and what I had was a slightly more abrupt, shortened, but nicely radiused nose, with a somewhat elongated body with a perfectly symmetrical base with rifling marks all the way around, from grooves and lands. This is just as there always should be, undersized ball or oversized ball when using the correct patch.

 It's the base of the projectile that MUST be PERFECT, not the nose, however the nose was also radiused, just like the base, but with minor damage, a slight shortening and with a ring from the outside edge of my starter's nose.  No- I did not need a mallet or hammer.

It is vitally important that you hit the starter with your palm - ONCE - not twice or 18 times. Each time you hit the starter, you will do VERY minor damage - however, hitting more than once will give added damage - they add up. One blow - with anything , causes very little damage that does not seem to hurt accuracy, after all, it's the base that must be perfect as that is the last surface your LOAD has effect upon as it leaves the muzzle. Hitting the top of the ball with a flat object will cause more flattening than if using a cupped object.  The commercial rod tips are very good, with their radiused cups. Duplicate those using files or tools on your lathe - poor man lathe or regular variety. If you don't have the expertise to make this item, purchase it from Track or other places and shorten them as needed for your short starter.

« Last Edit: November 30, 2016, 03:52:14 AM by Daryl »
Daryl

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Offline hanshi

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Re: Swaged vs cast round balls
« Reply #34 on: August 02, 2016, 01:22:40 AM »
Since I'm a hunter and informal target shooter I cast everything I shoot in every caliber.  I often tumble the ball although it doesn't matter with my Lee molds.  A few other molds I use from time to time DO leave a sprue; the tumbling takes care of that.  I don't weigh them or do anything special with them; just do a visual "once over".  A friend gave me a box of .54 Hornady swaged balls some 11 or 12 years ago; I still have most of them.  But of the few I fired they all settled into a nice group with the cast ones.
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Offline hanshi

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Re: Swaged vs cast round balls
« Reply #35 on: August 02, 2016, 01:30:25 AM »
I will agree with Daryl about the base having to be perfect on the ball.  I learned that many decades ago.  I use to cast thousands of bullets for handguns and as long as the base was fine, the nose could be a bit gnarly and accuracy was splendid.
!Jozai Senjo! "always present on the battlefield"
Young guys should hang out with old guys; old guys know stuff.

Offline Daryl

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Re: Swaged vs cast round balls
« Reply #36 on: August 02, 2016, 02:36:13 AM »
I will agree with Daryl about the base having to be perfect on the ball.  I learned that many decades ago.  I use to cast thousands of bullets for handguns and as long as the base was fine, the nose could be a bit gnarly and accuracy was splendid.


I too, share that experience - handguns, but perhaps even more so with cast elongated rifle bullets due to the longer ranges - muzzleloading and otherwise. 
Daryl

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

galudwig

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Re: Swaged vs cast round balls
« Reply #37 on: August 02, 2016, 02:49:42 AM »
Thanks for the info & explanations Daryl and Hanshi. It's all good stuff and one of the reasons I like this forum so much.   :)

Offline Bob Roller

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Re: Swaged vs cast round balls
« Reply #38 on: August 02, 2016, 03:16:36 AM »
I will agree with Daryl about the base having to be perfect on the ball.  I learned that many decades ago.  I use to cast thousands of bullets for handguns and as long as the base was fine, the nose could be a bit gnarly and accuracy was splendid.


I too, share that experience - handguns, but perhaps even more so with cast elongated rifle bullets due to the longer ranges - muzzleloading and otherwise. 

Harry  Pope was quoted as saying that the base is the STEERING end of the bullet.

Bob Roller

Offline Squirrel pizza

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Re: Swaged vs cast round balls
« Reply #39 on: August 02, 2016, 02:30:54 PM »
Well if Mr. Pope said it I'd accept it as gospel truth. Maybe with more practice and a few more books I'll figure out where the base of a round ball is. Like everyone, I've used spit patches, but I like bore butter for several reasons, mostly because I'm cutting the fouling from previous shots, and after recovering patches that have been fired, they look like they could used again. I don't see the advantage of using a false muzzle/starter for a round ball. Bullet gun yes. A cupped brass short starter is a no brainer, but I go one step past and use wood starters, most commonly hickory. So as not to gaul the ball, and trim them back when they start to fray. May sound wasteful but one thing that grows in abundance here is hickory.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2016, 02:33:27 PM by Squirrel pizza »

Offline hanshi

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Re: Swaged vs cast round balls
« Reply #40 on: August 02, 2016, 05:11:25 PM »
Well if Mr. Pope said it I'd accept it as gospel truth. Maybe with more practice and a few more books I'll figure out where the base of a round ball is.



A round ball's base is just on the opposite side from the nose.   ;D ;)
!Jozai Senjo! "always present on the battlefield"
Young guys should hang out with old guys; old guys know stuff.

Offline Squirrel pizza

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Re: Swaged vs cast round balls
« Reply #41 on: August 03, 2016, 12:43:32 AM »
Hei! Hanshi most number one funny guy! Geijing do big haha!
« Last Edit: August 03, 2016, 12:44:54 AM by Squirrel pizza »

Offline Squirrel pizza

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Re: Swaged vs cast round balls
« Reply #42 on: August 10, 2016, 06:18:21 PM »
I have made progress in my quest to find the difference between swaged and cast roundballs. And I've pondered long and hard about sharing what I've learned, because though I've learned something, I feel kinda stupid for not figuring it out sooner. As I said at the start of this post, my rifle has Soule Vernier rear sights and Lee Shaver spirit level front. My problem seems to not have been the sights, powder, or type of ball being used. But rather the size of the target being used. At 100yds. the 8"target fairly filled the apperature of my front sight, and shots were all over. Knowing I could do better I stuck a 2" orange bull and a 1 1/2" orange bull on white freezer paper and banged away. Being able to center the little orange spot in my apperture made all the difference. Like the man said, "Aim small miss small". After fine tuning the rear sight my best effort was 4 shots in the 1 1/2' target with all touching. The 5th shot was still touching the orange, but not the other shots. For now I can live with a flyer that only flew about 3/4". But I'll keep trying!

Offline Daryl

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Re: Swaged vs cast round balls
« Reply #43 on: August 10, 2016, 06:59:03 PM »
Very promising! The rifle I have a Soule Vernier and aperture front sights on, likes the cross-hair with round hollow aperture in the middle. I do not have a spirit level on this sight, but the cross-hair helps me to hold level with the world.  The best looking 'target' so far, is a 4" black bullseye on white paper- at 100 meters (109yards).  With the (about) 38" sight radius, this bull is perfect, allowing me to shoot as small as sub - MOA groups at 100 meters. For my eyes, the orange is too indistinct, whereas the black is a perfectly sharp circle inside the circles of the 2 aperture sights.
Daryl

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

hammer

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Re: Swaged vs cast round balls
« Reply #44 on: August 10, 2016, 09:54:00 PM »
I haven't known cast balls to be perfectly round as they come from the mold.    I mean, perfectly.   I roll my cast balls.     However much care is taken with the casting there is still that odd one or two in a batch that show up just that tiny bit smaller or larger in one dimension.  While the perfect ones have a matt surface the smaller ones are a little shinier.   The larger ones keep the top plate from the others.

The East India Company armouries rolled their cast balls in the early 19th Century.     Their experiments had shown that while perfectly round balls made no measurable difference in a musket they did with a rifle.

I have no experience with swaged balls.  Could it be they are always perfectly round?

The only thing that occurs to me.

Offline Roger B

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Re: Swaged vs cast round balls
« Reply #45 on: August 11, 2016, 01:12:00 AM »
Take some of your cast balls and cut them in half.  If you have an interior void in the ball, you have your answer.  The problem may be that the chamber isn't absolutely full which will produce a void as the lead cools from the outside in. The fix is to continue to pour lead into the mold after it is apparently full to completely pack it.  This makes a mess, but you can toss the overflow back in your lead pot.  I learned this long ago, but the "Bevel brothers" discuss it in this months MB.
Roger B.
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Offline okawbow

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Re: Swaged vs cast round balls
« Reply #46 on: August 11, 2016, 01:29:21 AM »
I have weighted a few boxes of swagged balls and hundreds of cast balls. I found more swagged balls were off weight, mostly too light. Up to 7 grains too light on .480 balls. The cast balls that looked good we're all very close to the same weight.

I think swagged balls my have a greater chance of having a void somewhere in the ball that doesn't show up upon inspection. If you happen to load the ball with that void on the spinning axis, you might get a curve ball.

Most cast balls that I have seen with a air bubble or void, have the defect at the sprue. When loaded with the sprue up, they might not go off line as bad as if they were loaded with the defect on the side.

These defects probably don't make enought difference in a hunting load to matter much. However, in a bench rifle, I've seen a 1" variation at 50 yards by using off weight swagged balls. I don't see that much variation with light weight cast balls.
As in life; itís the journey, not the destination. How you get there matters most.

Offline Squirrel pizza

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Re: Swaged vs cast round balls
« Reply #47 on: August 11, 2016, 02:56:58 AM »
I've been casting a long time. Always "over fill" the mold, you can tell when mold is too hot- too cold. When filling and lead gets surface tension you can still jiggle the lead around to make sure mold is full. When I cast I generally poor 500 or so at a time, just because it doesn't make sense to go to the trouble for 50-100 balls. I may not inspect every ball as I cast but I inspect every ball when I load. Any that have a slight flaw goes to the side and back in the pot.
  Now that I'm not playing games with targets,(golf balls and soup cans), and learned a lesson about sight picture, 100-200yds are fairly predictable. Now on to 300 yds with a round ball. Hoping for much better results at a 10" bull and not just hitting a bear sized steel. Still uncertain as to tumbling or rolling balls as I'm unsure how to do it evenly, so whole surface of ball is tumbled evenly. It must effect weight and diameter. Seems like it would lead to a new batch of problems. But suggestions are more than welcome! And thanks, Mike

Offline smylee grouch

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Re: Swaged vs cast round balls
« Reply #48 on: August 11, 2016, 05:58:51 AM »
Oh the things that go through your head when you like to experiment. Searching and finding out all the seemingly endless variations to find the optimum load is not for everyone but it is worth your time if you want to find out all those particulars that make your gun shoot its best.

Offline Squirrel pizza

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Re: Swaged vs cast round balls
« Reply #49 on: August 11, 2016, 03:12:13 PM »
Yeh Smylee, not sure if you'd call it a passion,obsession,or addiction but I love it! I must be a glutton for punishment.
  Hammer, when you say The East India Co. rolled their balls, (the number of punch lines to this question are limitless), how did they do it? Did they use a machine like the ones for producing ball bearings or roll them by hand?