Author Topic: Smoothbore  (Read 6940 times)

Offline snrub47

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Smoothbore
« on: November 13, 2016, 01:49:33 AM »
I have been a flint rifle shooter for 25 years, decided to try a smooth bore. May need a little help. Tried a patched ball with limited results. Next I loaded the ball without patch, thick card over powder and thin card over ball, shoots ok. Ball is .672 and the bore is .690. Will a bigger ball shoot better? How much bigger??? The .672 fall down the barrel TOW sells a .675 and a .678. Probably just need to try them and see what happens. All comments welcome...Thanks...

Offline Hungry Horse

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Re: Smoothbore
« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2016, 04:06:57 AM »
Try dimpling the ball, and then drop it on top of about 90 grains of 2F, without anything in between. Cover the ball with a blanket wad cut from an old wool blanket lubed with tallow, or bear grease. I know it sounds stupid, but it works for me. Believe it or not, the ball you have been using might be a little too big.

  Hungry Horse

Offline Mike Brooks

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Re: Smoothbore
« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2016, 04:09:07 PM »
The larger calibers in general don't shoot as well as the smaller. What gun is it?
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Online bob in the woods

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Re: Smoothbore
« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2016, 04:28:26 PM »
My 10 bore Chambers New England fowling gun prefers paper cartridges over anything else.  Worth a try.
How much powder are you using ?
« Last Edit: November 13, 2016, 04:29:24 PM by bob in the woods »

Offline Keb

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Re: Smoothbore
« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2016, 06:16:57 PM »
I had the most unusual occur with a smoothbore recently. I've always believed the ball & patch had to be tight. My lady friend wanted to shoot a smoothbore so I made her one. It's a Colerain 20 gauge. She couldn't start a tight ball so I cast her up some .570 balls. Now it's a .570" ball. .018" patch in a .625" bore. She can push it down without a short start, easy-peasy. I didn't expect her to hit anything but I was fooled. She hit half or more clangers on a woods walk 3 days in a row. Just when you think you know a lot something like this drops in to keep you humble. I am going to have to rethink my old loading techniques.

Offline Mike Brooks

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Re: Smoothbore
« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2016, 08:01:20 PM »
I had the most unusual occur with a smoothbore recently. I've always believed the ball & patch had to be tight. My lady friend wanted to shoot a smoothbore so I made her one. It's a Colerain 20 gauge. She couldn't start a tight ball so I cast her up some .570 balls. Now it's a .570" ball. .018" patch in a .625" bore. She can push it down without a short start, easy-peasy. I didn't expect her to hit anything but I was fooled. She hit half or more clangers on a woods walk 3 days in a row. Just when you think you know a lot something like this drops in to keep you humble. I am going to have to rethink my old loading techniques.
I had a 20 bore fowling gun that wouldn't shoot well with anything but a bare ball. .600 RB in a .620 bore with no patch. Shot really well. otherwise, all my other smooth bored guns shot best with a very tight patch/ball comb.
NEW WEBSITE! www.mikebrooksflintlocks.com
Say, any of you boys smithies? Or, if not smithies per se, were you otherwise trained in the metallurgic arts before straitened circumstances forced you into a life of aimless wanderin'?

Offline Brokennock

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Re: Smoothbore
« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2016, 03:56:48 AM »
I have been a flint rifle shooter for 25 years, decided to try a smooth bore. May need a little help. Tried a patched ball with limited results. Next I loaded the ball without patch, thick card over powder and thin card over ball, shoots ok. Ball is .672 and the bore is .690. Will a bigger ball shoot better? How much bigger??? The .672 fall down the barrel TOW sells a .675 and a .678. Probably just need to try them and see what happens. All comments welcome...Thanks...

I would try all three sizes of ball, but with a soft wad, like lubed 1/4" felt, or lubed tow, between powder and ball.
My 20 gauge smooth rifle shoots better with bare ball in a wad sandwich than it does with any combo of patch and ball. But, I'm placing a thin "overshot" card over the powder (to keep the lube away from the powder) then a lubed felt wad, then ball, all held in with 2 "overshot" cards.
The theory I've heard is that the soft flexible wadding behind the ball somewhat cups it and keeps it centered in the bore.

Offline snrub47

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Re: Smoothbore
« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2016, 05:38:27 PM »
Thanks for all the replies. I have some cushion wads and thick and then cards. Will try different combos of wads and ball sizes. Been using 90g ff, may need more?? It's a 46 inch Rail barrel, oct to round. As usual very good advise from the board members...............

Offline hanshi

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Re: Smoothbore
« Reply #8 on: November 16, 2016, 06:48:13 PM »
Brokennock's load is almost the same load I shoot in my 20ga.  It shoots very well and I don't worry about missing up to 50 yards or more.  I shoot WW ball which drops larger than a lead ball.  The WW ball measures .606" and shoots well in my tight bore.  A patched .600" patched lead ball shoots a little better but to the left.  Three shot groups at 50 yards measured 2.75" for the .600" prb and 3.25" for the WW .606" bare ball; and it's centered.  I find patched ball gets stubborn when you load after a couple of shots.  I also have a .590" mold which, with a lubed .022" patch, shoots well.
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Offline Daryl

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Re: Smoothbore
« Reply #9 on: November 16, 2016, 09:28:09 PM »

 But, I'm placing a thin "overshot" card over the powder (to keep the lube away from the powder) then a lubed felt wad, then ball, all held in with 2 "overshot" cards.
The theory I've heard is that the soft flexible wadding behind the ball somewhat cups it and keeps it centered in the bore.

YES - this "theory" does work and is the method I use in a SXS 12 bore shotgun shooting ball.  I actually use a cup-shaped wad under the undersized ball, to hold it in the middle of the bore. With this style of loading, I was able to smack a 10" square plate of steel shot after shot, offhand at 100 meters. Thus, it works. 

The only problem in a ML, is cleanliness of shooting, and not having the fouling build up in the bore, shot after shot.  2soft lubed wads might bear experimentation if someone is interested in finding out the MOST accurate load. Know also, the further you can project the ball BEFORE it takes on a spin and turns into a curve ball, the better. This simply takes MORE powder - and experimentation. WHAT FUN!

More power & ACCURACY can be realized with the largest ball that will fit inside the bore, still using the method of the soft-cup wad.  That is, a .685" ball will likely be more accurate than any smaller ball due to the decreased "windage."
Lee sells a .690" ball which might be perfect as-is, if casting, say .001 or .002" smaller than the bore size.
Lead (PB) as pure as possible, will cast the smallest size the mould will produce.
Daryl

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Re: Smoothbore
« Reply #10 on: November 17, 2016, 10:44:32 PM »
I shoot a .520 ball, .010 patch lubed with either spit or coconut oil. Load is size for size in the bore. Shoots center out to about 70-75 yards. Took a nice little doe at about 50 yd, double lung hit then a head shot at 25 yd to finish. The biggest help in accuracy that I have found in smoothbore is shoot shoot and shoot some more!!!

Offline mossyhorn

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Re: Smoothbore
« Reply #11 on: November 19, 2016, 04:24:17 AM »
Would it be ok to use both 2f and 3f powders when working up loads for 20 gauge RB and shot loads?
« Last Edit: November 19, 2016, 04:25:05 AM by mossyhorn »
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Offline Brokennock

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Re: Smoothbore
« Reply #12 on: November 19, 2016, 10:14:03 AM »
I guess I should have mentioned that I'm shooting a .610 ball in a .615 bore with he loading I described. I actually get very little fouling build up with is load using 85 grains of 3f Goex powder.

Hanshi, I believe it was some of your posts, along with a couple others, that gave me the confidence to try this loading method after several patched ball combos failed in this gun. Not only did they fail, but the lightbulb moment was when every tight patch/ball load I tried was lousy and then I tried a loose one. A .595 ball with .010 patch, so loose that in theory it should have been the worst grouping load tried. So loose that, with input from you and others, I said, "why bother with the patch?"
Glad I tried it. Shoots great, easy to load, switching from a roundball load to a shot load is easier, same components with same base just different projectile.

Offline satwel

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Re: Smoothbore
« Reply #13 on: November 26, 2016, 07:32:47 PM »
My experience is identical to the one Keb described. After shooting rifles for 25 years, I got into smoothbores. I tried the fiber wads without much success. Then I tried a tight fitting patch and ball combination, just like I would use in my rifles. Still no success. Then I tried a slightly smaller ball (.590 instead of .600) and a loose fitting patch that I can easily load with just thumb pressure. All of a sudden I started getting decent groups. Unlike rifles, smoothbores seem to shoot better with a looser fitting patch and ball combination.

Offline Mike Brooks

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Re: Smoothbore
« Reply #14 on: November 27, 2016, 01:13:42 AM »
My experience is identical to the one Keb described. After shooting rifles for 25 years, I got into smoothbores. I tried the fiber wads without much success. Then I tried a tight fitting patch and ball combination, just like I would use in my rifles. Still no success. Then I tried a slightly smaller ball (.590 instead of .600) and a loose fitting patch that I can easily load with just thumb pressure. All of a sudden I started getting decent groups. Unlike rifles, smoothbores seem to shoot better with a looser fitting patch and ball combination.
Interesting. Except for one exception all of my smoothbores have shot best with the tightest patch/ball combo I could get down the barrel.
NEW WEBSITE! www.mikebrooksflintlocks.com
Say, any of you boys smithies? Or, if not smithies per se, were you otherwise trained in the metallurgic arts before straitened circumstances forced you into a life of aimless wanderin'?

Offline wattlebuster

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Re: Smoothbore
« Reply #15 on: November 27, 2016, 02:23:41 AM »
Both my smoothbores are jug choked an shoot fairly tight patched roundballs out to about 50/60 yrds nearly as good as a rifle. I have not tried looser patches being that I am very satisfied with the groups im getting. Both are 12 ga and I shoot 1f powder in both
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Offline little joe

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Re: Smoothbore
« Reply #16 on: November 27, 2016, 11:06:42 AM »
In my 28 ga. I use a .530 ball and .018 patching. Have had several  smoothbore guns and patched all of them, reason being  I have saw many championship shooters and all used a patched ball.