Author Topic: Accuracy  (Read 19193 times)

northmn

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Accuracy
« on: April 12, 2009, 05:02:24 PM »
We beat definitions to death in the barrel coning thread, but for the sake of this one accuracy will be defined as the ability to hit what you shoot at, be it a deer, X ring or whatever.  Accuracy cannot be discussed positively without quantification, as in 1" at 50 yards, other wise you are as they say comparing oranges to apples.
When you read the threads you see all sorts of discussions and questions on what effects accuracy, from patch material, patch thickness, patch lube, barrel rifling type etc.  How to modify sights is another common discussion.
Heres my 2 cents with an invitation for others.  To get a rifle to shoot where I want it too, first I work on the grouping.  I used to use a formula that seemed to be pretty consistant.  A 015 or 010 patch and adjust the ball to shoot.  In a 45 I had 445 molds and for one barrel even shot a 451.  A 50 would see 495, 498 or 500.  Lubes varied, but I used Crisco mostly as it worked under a variety of conditions.  Now after reading some of the threads, may change that a little.  Always used a gold bead front sight so I could see the top, and often brazed the bead on a iron sight.  Now am playing with Express type sights that I can see.  Never used any barrels other than the more mass produced ones, such as the current Green Mountain, but spent my money on as good of locks and triggers as I could get at the time.  Generally this would get the one inch groups or better at 50 yards.
I consider that a fair criteria for about any ML.  100 yard groups would be kind of meaningless for my 25 project and for the 32's I built.  A smoothbore shooter might find 1" pretty challenging and have another.  An individual into bench rifles weighing better than 25 pounds might have much different criteria and enjoy more fussing than I did.  I got third place in a 100 yard bench rest match one time with an offhand rifle and open sights, but it was a windy weekend and I was shooting a 58RB at the time.
Always took my time sighting in fixed sights as once set they would often be difficult to adjust any further.  Probably tended to err on a slightly high shooting gun.  As to the less expensive barrels.  One brand tended to "shoot in" and would require a boost in patch thickness after a 100 shots or so.  One advantage of more expensive barrels.  My 2 cents for a basic formula.

DP

   

Offline Frizzen

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Re: Accuracy
« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2009, 05:52:12 PM »
Accuracy is in the eye of the beholder!
The Pistol Shooter

Wyoming Mike

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Re: Accuracy
« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2009, 06:01:30 PM »
I start with a ball an patch combo that will start with a slap on the short starter.  I use two loads, one for 25 and 50 yards and another for 100 yards and hunting.   I do all load workup off the bench because I want to minimize my foibles and just see what the rifle is doing.  I always use open iron sights on all my rifles.

I work up the load at 50 yards.  I have found that I cannot get the spread to differentiate between different loads at 25 yards.  I start at the rifle's caliber for a load, that is 50 grains for a .50.  I adjust the sights enough to get it printing on paper at 50 yards,  then shoot for groups.  I usually use about a 3/4" spot on piece of typing paper.  I can see that well enough at 50 yards and it gives me a fine point to shoot at.  I shoot 5 shots then drop it 5 grains and shoot another 5.  If the group tightens up, not very often, I will drop another 5 grains and do another 5 shots.  If the group widens dropping the load then I go 5 grains over the starting load then shoot 5 shots.  If it tightens up then I go five more and so on.  All the while I check to see that I'm not blowing or cutting patches.  If I have different sized balls for a given caliber I will repeat the process with each size.  Usually the rifle will like a certain patch and ball combination over another.

After that I will monkey with the patch materiel to see if it likes one over the other.  Once I get the load shooting within an inch at 50 yards I then will work with the sights to bring it into zero at 50 yards.

For 100 yards I use one of those 2" florescent sticky targets on a piece of paper for the same reason I use the smaller spot at 50 yards.  I up the load to where the POA/POI is the same as at 50.  This usually comes in at a couple of inches high or low at that range.  I adjust the load by 5 grain increments here also to find the tightest group.  With my old eyes and open iron sights that usually means about a 2 - 2 1/2 inch spread.


Online Dphariss

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Re: Accuracy
« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2009, 07:45:12 PM »
A lot of this is perspective coupled with the individuality of the individual rifles invovled.
I once had a Douglas 50 cal that would shoot small groups with 490 RB and a heavy patch. I never shot a 1 hole 100 yard group with it but then where I live not having wind is a major luxury and it seems when its not blowing there is something else already in progress (right now its 23 gusting to 30 plus). I did shoot some pretty good 100 yard groups both offhand and with a rest. I shot 5 one day that would have cut one hole for vertical dispersion but was about 3" wide due to the wind.
By getting out at daylight a couple of years ago I found that my 54 would shoot about 6" at 200 before the wind came up. At 200 a puff is enough to blow a group. I did this 2 days running and could shoot about 8-10 rounds then the wind would come up.
If its blowing 30mph for group is measured in feet. Shot a match at 200 with it I know.
I also tend to load as my forebears would have. I despise a starter. I use one with the 16 bore but don't like it. I consider it to be just extra weight to carry when hunting. The 16 like to fray the patches at the lands if loaded loose enough to not need a starter so I use a thicker patch.
I prefer to load with just the rod.
So when someone says they cannot load a 54 with a 3/8" rod I see it as something being wrong. I have a 54 with a tapered  rod that is 5/16 at the small end. I START balls with this rod. Its 30 years old or more and has loaded the rifle hundreds or times. So not being able to load a 54 with a 3/8" rod makes no sense to me.
Sometimes its the internal finish in the bore, sometimes its the lube being squeezed out of the patch. Many possible causes. If I were having this problem I would look for the reason and correct it. Others may think its normal???
Like everyone else here MY perspective is based on MY experience with the rifles I have owned over the years.

Dan
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Offline hanshi

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Re: Accuracy
« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2009, 07:56:59 PM »
I do something similar to what Northmn does.  I don't work up two loads, one for 25 & one for 50yds.  What I do have is a target/general load and a hunting load so I guess I do have two loads in that sense.  While I don't go to the trouble of experimenting (a lot) with patch thicknesses and ball size, I usually end up with 5 shot groups at 50yds of 1" or less depending on caliber.  I don't shoot target loads at longer distances.  At 100yds I simply can't see well enough to discern that kind of difference.  My hunting loads have been tested (on deer) at 95 to over 100yds and hit where i want them to.  I use blade sights of brass, GS & iron but paint them with flat white paint.  This way they don't glare much in sunlight and show up very well in the woods.  

My target/general load is usually developed first.  I sight in to have this load either dead on at 50yds or slightly (1" or so) high, again depending on the gun.  This puts my hunting load 2" -  3" high at that distance.  Since the hunting load is used for large animals this works fine.  The target load is good for small game and plinking as well.  I normally use 3f for everything.  Ball sizes are .311, .350, .390, .440, .490 and .530.  While I have .445 & 451 molds I've settled on .440 and .018 - .020 ticking for patching material.   I've also never found a grease lube that works better than plain Crisco so that is what I normally use.  On the range and in the woods I use Black Solve (mostly) or Hoppes #9 Plus lube for all reloads if the load is not to be left in the barrel for a long time; otherwise I'll use Crisco for that, too.  Another thing I've learned to do is to always use an over powder wad.  I've used wasp nest, dry patches, lubed bore buttons (made for revolvers) and balls of toilet paper.  I've come to rely on bore buttons for hunting and toilet paper wads for all other shooting.  Toilet paper is cheap and I've never had it catch on fire or smolder.  The wad protects the powder from lube contamination which is important when the load will be in there for a while.  My first requirement has always been to have a load that goes down with only moderate rod pressure after being seated with my short starter.  I've found my procedure/protocol allows me to shoot for an afternoon without having to swab the barrel or experiencing any reduction in accuracy.  I use a range rod except when hunting but I can't afford a broken rod or stuck ball while in the woods.  

When hunting I carry individually weighed charges in home made containers.  I use a horn or flask at the range but don't normally load directly from them.  I'll use a scale to set my adjustable powder measure and don't rely simply on "volume" measuring unless in a hurry.  I get "accuracy" from my longrifles that satisfies my requirements.  I don't claim to have gotten the best from them; I simply can't see/shoot well enough to do better.  My 2 cents worth.
!Jozai Senjo! "always present on the battlefield"
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Offline hanshi

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Re: Accuracy
« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2009, 08:11:00 PM »
Since Dphariss brought this up I'll mention that for many years I also loaded with just the rifle rod and never used a short starter.  In fact it was only bout 20 - 25 years ago that i ever heard of a short starter.   I started using them shortly after that.

What I'd do is use my thumb to push the ball into the muzzle as far as it would go.  Then I'd take the wooden rod and seat it on the powder.  Never broke a rod, either, that I can recall.  The gun was a .45 with a tight bore and the recommended ball was .433.  I used a .445 ball & .010 - .015 patch.  I can't do that now.  Arthritis makes the process just too painful so I use a short starter all the time.  But yes, it is certainly possible even in barrels that are not coned.
!Jozai Senjo! "always present on the battlefield"
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Leatherbelly

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Re: Accuracy
« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2009, 01:10:26 AM »
 Ya know Flintr, I've always used a short starter on all muzzle loaders I've owned. No exception.Just don't like bashing my hands on the top of the barrel. I wonder why the traditionalists shun them. They say they were never used. Well who cares! Our forefathers never shot their guns as much as we do. Too expensive to just go  plinking.For them it was a serious decision to shoot,for us it's just fun. As far as being too heavy,Dan, mine weighs about 4 ounces. Moose horn and hickory. I like the idea of a short starter to get the ball into the crown and down the first four or five inches without tearing the patch or disfiguring the ball. Now I can work on the accuracy.
 Mind set. Also a part of being accurate. Today at the range I was peed-off about something domestic and it showed. I missed shots I normally don't. Women!! Yikes!! Makes me wanna start drinking again.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2009, 07:02:10 AM by Leatherbelly »

Offline Dan

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Re: Accuracy
« Reply #7 on: April 13, 2009, 01:55:03 AM »
My short starter is an odd shaped scrap of persimmon, sanded smooth.  Fits the contour of my thumb and down to the heel of my hand and is about 1/2" thick.  Used to press the ball into the muzzle, then it's the rod after that.

Load development.....don't have a lot of experience with muzzle loaders but it seems to me that starting a little low and working up in about 5 gr. increments gets the job done to the point of reasonable groups.  Then maybe trying different patch thickness or ball diameter is called for.  Mostly, it's more fun to shoot my flinter than worry about the fine print.  Sometimes I even forget what the load was and get to start over.  Whoot! ;D

Forgetfulness ain't as bad as it's cracked up to be sometimes.

Offline hanshi

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Re: Accuracy
« Reply #8 on: April 13, 2009, 04:11:00 AM »
You know, Leatherbelly, when I started ML in the mid 1960s I was just really green to it and didn't know what a short starter was.  Wish I had.  Made me a better black powderist (such a thing?) not having one.  I've been using one for a long time and simply would not be able to seat a ball without one, now.  Honestly don't know how I got by.  But I did!  I've used store bought ones and made my own.  For me it's just as quick or quicker (certainly easier) to use a starter.  They don't get in my way or cause any problem I can tell.  It also never bothered me whether or not they were used back then.  I don't re-enact, just shoot/use them because they work for me and are lots of fun.  I grew up with them and didn't know any better.  I had a .22LR and a shotgun but my "deer" rifle was a muzzleloader. 
!Jozai Senjo! "always present on the battlefield"
Young guys should hang out with old guys; old guys know stuff.

Offline Don Getz

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Re: Accuracy
« Reply #9 on: April 13, 2009, 05:57:46 AM »
Lately I have seen people talking about shooting 1" groups at 50 yards, and it seems to be no problem to do this.   Back
when I was shooting chunk gun matches, which are shot at 60 yards, I doubt that that 1" group would open much at that range.   I assume you mean that all of the shots are within a 1" circle, or that the center of the ball would be within
that circle.  Either way, that kind of shooting would win a lot of chunk gun matches.....that would equate to probably less
than a 5" string measurement for 10 shots (the distance from the exact center of the circle to the center of the bullet hole).  I cannot compare this measurement to this years shoot at Alvin York, since they only shot 6 targets, but back in
the years when they did shoot the normal 10 targets, there might be two or three shooters, out of 200+, that shot
strings of less than 5".    I've been shooting flintlocks for nearly 40 years and those kinds of groups don't just happen
every day.      Don

northmn

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Re: Accuracy
« Reply #10 on: April 13, 2009, 01:31:48 PM »
I do admit that some of my 1" groups at 50 may have been 1 1/4 or so. The one inch is a guideline  Some mention 1" at 100 yards which is very tough.  As Dan mentioned, you start getting a few other factors involved such as wind so that a good tight group at 50 is fair enough. Also a 1 inch group at 50 does not mean a 2" group at 100.  I used to do more shooting over X sticks and often used those instead of a bench (I have made them in deer blinds and have shot deer with them using modern rifles).  Depending on the rifles one could get some very tight groups with them.  The Friendship 50 buffalo had to go to two bulls to count the holes.  A handy short starter that I used to use was a flat sided patch knife, or for hunting a hunting knife,  with a ball seater placed in the hilt.  Short starters actually make loading accurate loads easier, especially at a match where one shoots 5 shots in a row.   There is an issue on tight loads where one sees ball damage as a factor, where too tight is not good either.  The better barrels do make a difference in loading ease as they have a smoother bore, and a lapped one has no tight spots.  Through the years I have found that the "hunting" loads can be made range tight.  I have all kinds of time to load before going out to the woods, and only need to carry maybe 3 ball in a loading block (never used one in actuallity)  and a couple for a standard reload.  I have after a shot at deer even cleaned the rifle with patches kept in an original styled zip lock plastic bag.  Learned in bow hunting that we can get a little anxious sometimes to get on a deer trail and can push them a little further than needed.

DP

Wyoming Mike

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Re: Accuracy
« Reply #11 on: April 13, 2009, 02:57:45 PM »
I use center to center to measure groups.  It's the same method that is used to score paper matches so that is the one I use.  I like a load tight enough where it takes a slap on the short starter to get the ball in the barrel.  After that it doesn't take much to seat the ball.

I have two friends that use such a tight patch and ball combination that the both use a brass hammer to get the ball started.  I don't really give them much grief about it because they are both great shots with one holding a national high score and the other holding several state high scores.

Daryl

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Re: Accuracy
« Reply #12 on: April 13, 2009, 05:47:24 PM »
I've found at 25 yards, a patch of 6 pound denim (.013"by mic) will allow any of my rifles to shoot into an inch 1/2 or less, however the patches are burnt, black shrivels of cloth - when you can find them. Too, the bore picks up fouling that builds and soon it gets crunchy loading and would need wiping to continue.  With 10 pound denim, I can shoot tighter groups yet at 25 yards and 50 yards - generally 4 out of 5 will be well inside 1" on centres, sometimes 5/8" for 4, but seem to allow myself to throw one out to make the group 1" to 1 1/2" sometimes more.  Was that me or something else - don't know.

50 yards and farther, ie: 60 or 70 has proved much more reliable for working up a precise load than 25 yards.  I've found most rifles will shoot into 1" or less at 25 yards, even some smoothbores I've benched do the same - what gives?  At 25 yards, changing loads seems to make no difference in group size from .40 cal. on up.  With even a .62 smoothbore punching one big hole for 5 shots at that range(& only one sight), there is no advantage to shooting a rifle.  At 50 yards there is an advantage and of course, at longer ranges as well - however, the smoothie I shot at 50 yards & it was only one group, held 5 into 3".  I've seen lots of guys do worse with rifles, which is why some smoothbore shooters do as well at close range gongs as do any rifle shooters.  We have some of those at Hefley Creek Rondy - even at 100 yards, their scores exceed the rifle shooters - on gongs.

 It's the scoring ring targets that separates the smoothbores from the rifles- sometimes.

When I work up a load for a rifle, it is at 50 yards - I pick a patch that when seating a ball into the rifling and pull it back out using the cloth as a handle, the ball is marked  heavily with the cloth's weave by the bottom of the grooves.  I know this patch will work & that the patch will clean the bore as it's loaded and shoot with the best possible accuracy from that bore.  All I need to do is to find the load that is the most accurate, with THAT patch and ball.  I use a ball that is .005" smaller than the bore - or larger as in the .40 cal. barrel.  Over the years, I've found 10 pound denim to answer for all my patch needs - by my mic, it measures .020" for one brand and .0215" for another.  This combination of ball size and patch thickness has worked well in every barrel I've ever shot, so is what I use in them all.  The recent .58 Musketoon I acquired is the only anomaly to the "the load" as it uses a ball .011" smaller than the bore with the same .0215" patch in it's .003" rifling depth(at the muzzle).

Once I find the most accurate powder charge using an adjustable measure, I write it down so I don't forget.(got a lot of numbers floating around in my noggin and don't want to forget the best powder charge.  Once I get home, I pour powder into the measure set at that mark, and weigh the charge - and write that down as the actual grains weight that barrel prefers.  I'll make a measure of brass tubing (Hobby Store tubing) and scribe the tubing with the weight of powder it throws.  That goes on a thong and is attacked to my shooting bag for that rifle.  If I loose that measure, I can make another that throws the right amount in grains weight. If I didn't record the proper weight, I wouldn't be able to make a measure to throw the correct amount for that barrel.

I use the same amount of powder for every target, be it a 10 yard playing card on edge, little iron buffalo at 50 or the 92 yard(or thereabouts ::))  fox target. I never have to be concerned about fouling building up because with that ball/patch/lube combination, there is no buildup and the bore remains the same from the start of shooting to the finish.

The most accurate load is my target load and my hunting load, as it is usually a descent load, ie: 65gr. 3F in the .40, 70gr. 3F in the .45.  My last .50 shot best with 100gr. 2F, my .58's, with 120gr. to 140gr.2F and the .69 with 82gr.3F for plinking to 50 yards and 165gr. 2F for shooting farther.

One thing to remember if you find your bore getting fouled, is that dumping in a light charge with a very wet spit patch then firing that, will effectively clean your bore.
 
Sometimes after shooting a long day on the trail, to reduce the fouling that is attached to the barrel's 'chamber' walls, I'll dump in 15 to 20gr. of powder along with a wet patched ball and fire that. Making sure the ball is on the powder is very important - with LHV or spit, loading down past where the ball was seated during shooting is easy as the 'wet' lube softens that fouling - I use the hole in the starter's head to help push the 'light' load down past the previous mark. sometimes a light smack with the hand's palm helps.  This effectively cleans the bore right down almost to the plug and leaves only the fouling from the squib load in the bore itself. When cleaning after an 80 to 100 shot day, the water barely turns a light tinge of colour- not even grey. Cleaning the lock in the same water colours the can of water darker than cleaning the bore does.   

Online Dphariss

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Re: Accuracy
« Reply #13 on: April 13, 2009, 06:30:49 PM »
In *my* experience best accuracy is obtained with NO fouling on the lands.
If you can "feel" anything as the rifle is loaded it will not produce best accuracy. This can be dealt with by wiping or wet patches.
As per Daryl's 25 yard groups closer ranges are less critical. The farther out you go the more likely you are to have accuracy problems from some problem in loading. While I have not heard of it being used I suspect that using a drop tube would help a RB gun as it will a picket rifle or bullet gun. Perhaps the over the chunk shooters might try this. "Hard" copper pipe in 3/8" will work using a 3-5 second pour time for the powder charge. Put a stop in the tube so it ends about 1" above the powder bed.
Also when shooting form any position being consistent is important. This is difficult with ML arms since the shooter must get out of position to load.
I believe this is one reason it is more difficult to shoot consistent small groups with a ML.
Sighting equipment is the next hurdle. But I am not going to tap a Kentucky for a scope just to see how well it will shoot ;D

Dan
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Offline hanshi

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Re: Accuracy
« Reply #14 on: April 13, 2009, 08:25:45 PM »
I like "wet" patches for the reason they clean the bore so well, especially when being seated.  I use a starter and ball/patch combo that can be seated easily & without damage to the ball.  About the farthest I shoot "normally" is 75yds.  I sight in at 50 as this is a typical deer shot but have had no problem out to past 100+.  I sight in at 50yds with .36 & .40 as well.

Forty yards is about the max distance I can get those 1" groups with a .32.  With my .36 I have gotten groups as small as  3/4" at up to 60 yards.  I have a target posted in my shop of 1 & 1/4" shot with my .50 Va. at 50+ yards.  It's not the only one hole group the rifle has produced but is there because I shot it off hand.  I "may" swab my bores out every 20 shots or so sometimes but it's not necessary with the ball/patch/lube combo I use.  In the deer woods most anything will work as you rarely fire more than one or two shots.
!Jozai Senjo! "always present on the battlefield"
Young guys should hang out with old guys; old guys know stuff.

Daryl

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Re: Accuracy
« Reply #15 on: April 14, 2009, 01:14:26 AM »
Dan- maybe Hugh will lend you his machine rest with the 20X scope!

 I surely be interested to see what that 14 bore of mine would do under such conditions - 1.2" to 1.5" for 5 shots off the bags with finished rifle and iron sights should drop down below 1" easily from a machine rest - wouldn't you say?  Yes - that would be interesting indeed.  Too bad we can't get Green River Rifle Works barrels any more.  The 1 1/8" x34" .58 GRRW barrel I had on the Hawken was usually good for 2" off the bags, sometimes 1 1/2" and under - a machine rest should have dropped that one down to an inch too. The high curled buckhorn sights I used at that time gave quite a poor sight picture compared to the express sights I put on the English styled gun.

Sight picture is very important - vitally important when using iron sights.  Want to shoot a larger group? Use too large an aiming point.  This goes for scopes as well.   This is less a problem with young eyes than ours.

northmn

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Re: Accuracy
« Reply #16 on: April 14, 2009, 04:52:45 AM »
I had a Green River barrel in a 58 and quite frankly found nothing special in it.  Never really found a load I liked in it.  Blacksmoke mentioned that some barrels just do not seem to want to shoot and that was one.  I tried different patching and loads.  140 grains of 2f would kind of work with a tight canvass patch.  My old Numrich would shoot far tighter with about 110 grains.  The 58 was one inch and the Numrich 1 1/8, but that should not have compensated for the difference.  I placed in a bench rest match with the Numrich barrel against zip guns.   As to open sights, I discovered this fall that the finer target type sights I used to shoot just do not cut it any more and I am going to try the Express.  I think to see the bead I was using my rear sight like an express sight and shooting high.

DP

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Re: Accuracy
« Reply #17 on: April 14, 2009, 07:08:48 AM »
Dan- maybe Hugh will lend you his machine rest with the 20X scope!

 I surely be interested to see what that 14 bore of mine would do under such conditions - 1.2" to 1.5" for 5 shots off the bags with finished rifle and iron sights should drop down below 1" easily from a machine rest - wouldn't you say?  Yes - that would be interesting indeed.  Too bad we can't get Green River Rifle Works barrels any more.  The 1 1/8" x34" .58 GRRW barrel I had on the Hawken was usually good for 2" off the bags, sometimes 1 1/2" and under - a machine rest should have dropped that one down to an inch too. The high curled buckhorn sights I used at that time gave quite a poor sight picture compared to the express sights I put on the English styled gun.

Sight picture is very important - vitally important when using iron sights.  Want to shoot a larger group? Use too large an aiming point.  This goes for scopes as well.   This is less a problem with young eyes than ours.

I may drill and tap the GM barrel I have been shooting picket bullets from. I put the the tang and globe front sights back on the highwall.
Dan
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Mike R

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Re: Accuracy
« Reply #18 on: April 14, 2009, 03:10:13 PM »
I had a Green River barrel in a 58 and quite frankly found nothing special in it.  Never really found a load I liked in it.  Blacksmoke mentioned that some barrels just do not seem to want to shoot and that was one.  I tried different patching and loads.  140 grains of 2f would kind of work with a tight canvass patch.  My old Numrich would shoot far tighter with about 110 grains.  The 58 was one inch and the Numrich 1 1/8, but that should not have compensated for the difference.  I placed in a bench rest match with the Numrich barrel against zip guns.   As to open sights, I discovered this fall that the finer target type sights I used to shoot just do not cut it any more and I am going to try the Express.  I think to see the bead I was using my rear sight like an express sight and shooting high.

DP

I also had a .58 Green River barrel that I put on a Hawken that I made ca. 1980. It would never match the .45 Green River that I built into a longrifle for precision grouping.  And, oddly enough I had a Numerich barreled .36 underhammer [factory made rifle] that would outshoot any MLer I ever owned--but it had a tang peep sight and I was shooting a homemade picket bullet out of it--so apples to oranges...

Daryl

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Re: Accuracy
« Reply #19 on: April 14, 2009, 06:31:23 PM »
I think many of the Numrich barrels were good shooters. I had, at one time, a .58 Underhammer - was told to use 60gr. of 2F with a minnie ball.  I was never a slug shooters so started there with round ball and found it wouldn't stay in 8" at 100 yards with less than 80gr.  At 110gr. it would hold 4" and I kept going, of course, to stop at good solid 2" groups, 100 yards off the bags with 120gr.2F GOEX. Of course, having found a load it liked, I sold it to work with a different rifle and barrel. Normal for me until recently.  I've now switched to accumulation mode - more or less. 2-for 1 trades are OK now - I get 2- he gets one.

Online Dphariss

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Re: Accuracy
« Reply #20 on: April 15, 2009, 10:38:50 PM »
Here are some things to consider. Questions to toss about if you will.
From the stand point of optimum accuracy a 1/2 stock gun will likely outshoot a fullstock.
A rifle will likely shoot best with NO forend at all.
This is borne out by the highly accurate ML slug guns then and now and the fully evolved ML schuetzen rifles of the 19th century.
My experience, which is very limited, indicates that Don Getz's observations on "chunk guns" are correct.
But I wonder if a chunk gun made with a percussion "action" type lock or an underhammer to eliminate the forend would do better?
Then careful testing to find the best load and where on the barrel to rest it to produce best accuracy.
I wonder why the switch from fullstock to 1/2 stock rifles.
Was it really fashion or was it the advent of longrange shooting with the picket bullet that promoted this?

Its something to think about. There is more involved than the quality of the bore. For example, a percussion slug gun with some fouling in the flash channel will produce fliers, likely due to velocity variations, at longer ranges.

Just something to think about concerning accuracy.
Dan
He who dares not offend cannot be honest. Thomas Paine

northmn

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Re: Accuracy
« Reply #21 on: April 17, 2009, 06:54:19 PM »
Here are some things to consider. Questions to toss about if you will.
From the stand point of optimum accuracy a 1/2 stock gun will likely outshoot a fullstock.
A rifle will likely shoot best with NO forend at all.
This is borne out by the highly accurate ML slug guns then and now and the fully evolved ML schuetzen rifles of the 19th century.
My experience, which is very limited, indicates that Don Getz's observations on "chunk guns" are correct.
But I wonder if a chunk gun made with a percussion "action" type lock or an underhammer to eliminate the forend would do better?
Then careful testing to find the best load and where on the barrel to rest it to produce best accuracy.
I wonder why the switch from fullstock to 1/2 stock rifles.
Was it really fashion or was it the advent of longrange shooting with the picket bullet that promoted this?

Its something to think about. There is more involved than the quality of the bore. For example, a percussion slug gun with some fouling in the flash channel will produce fliers, likely due to velocity variations, at longer ranges.

Just something to think about concerning accuracy.
Dan

I have an old book published by the NMLRA which includes articles on X stick shooting.  All of what is said here is used.  Halfstocks are the norm because a full stock gives kind of a "bounce" .  And many went to underhammers.  In that game you win at 50 yards on X's, not on 10's.  They went to 2 bull targets to be able to count all shots.  I have used padded sticks and so forth, but for a X stick gun would build at least a half stock.  I would suggest that half stocks became more popular because they are tougher, with less chance of breaking.  Hansen mentioned that half stocks were more expensive than full stocks.  The English guns may have went to them because of compactness for travel.  I suspect one use of the hooked breech was for placing a rifle in a hard case, complete with flask, shot and other paraphenalia.  A full stock would require a much longer case.

DP

chapmans

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Re: Accuracy
« Reply #22 on: April 18, 2009, 04:23:57 AM »
DP,
   The NMLRA  uses 5 bull targets at 50 yds and also reduced rings, same scoring rings as a small 6 bull.  They still use the 2 bull target at 100yds with larger scoring rings. I prefer a mule ear on a half stock, I shot a 49-X at 100yds with open sights in the light bench agg a couple of years ago, it was a record and still holds.
  Steve C.

Daryl

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Re: Accuracy
« Reply #23 on: April 18, 2009, 04:01:53 PM »
Steve - please tell us what kind of sights were used - ie; profile, shape - aperatures?

Offline Frizzen

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Re: Accuracy
« Reply #24 on: April 18, 2009, 06:51:58 PM »
My best 100 yd. Shot this in 2006 in a bench match at our local club here in Mo. Gun-half stock
10 lb. Sights- open, but I use what is called a "Friendship Cheater" Barrel- H&H 45 1-60
Ball is .454, Teflon patch, 90 grs Goex FF . Oh patch is .022. Flintlock. vent .062. Even a blind hog
finds a acorn once in a while. Fronr sight is a 1/16 bead. center hold on target.
The Pistol Shooter