Author Topic: Rice .58 accuracy help  (Read 1392 times)

Offline 45-110

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Rice .58 accuracy help
« on: June 27, 2019, 07:59:59 PM »
Been burning alot of powder and lead trying to arrive at a respectable 100yd group in my new built 33 in. percussion Hawken 1 in 66" rot. Powder loads from 80 to 120 gr Goex1, 2, and 3 f, Old Eynsford 1 1/2f, patching cut at muzzle .020" linen, .021" denim, .014" pillow ticking. Tried ball sizes of .562", .570" and .573". Still cannot get better than a 8" or so group of the bench. Never had a blown or torn patch with any combination. So whats next a .575 ball or larger? Its already hard to load with the .573 and .021 denim at the bench. A field reload would be tough, but accuracy comes first. I get big differences in impact between all these loads so have quit moving the sights around till something groups. Any ideas welcome, the goal is to get a 3 inch repeatable group at 100 yds,  should be doable.
kw

Offline Anonymous

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Re: Rice .58 accuracy help
« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2019, 08:17:14 PM »
Maybe time to try a hard felt wad over the powder, 5/8Ē diameter by 1/8Ē thick (get my felt from Durafelt). Made an immediate difference in both a Hoyt 58 cal, 1-60 radius bottom and a Rice 62 cal, 1-66 radius bottom barrels. Eventually figured out a load without needing wads (canvas duck material was a big part of my solutions), but itís was sure nice to see quick improvement with felt wads.

Offline Daryl

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Re: Rice .58 accuracy help
« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2019, 08:21:49 PM »
My Bill Large .58 bl., a choked barrel, seems to me, had either a 60" or a 66" twist. Taylor put this
1 1/8" bl. on a Hawken gun design for me in about 1977.
I shot it some at 50yards, but mostly at 100 yards. It needed a .575" ball and .022" denim patch.
I used marmot oil as well as spit for lube - oil for hunting, spit for target work. This
gun 'started' to shoot with 120gr. 2F GOEX and was best at 140gr. 2F GOEX. I never considered
using 3F in it as that, to me, is/was a small bore (squirrel rifle) or pistol powder.  My 3F vs 2F tests
in other rifles to me that 2F shot cleaner and gave better accuracy than 3F. By the time I was shooting
the .58 Hawken I had been shooting without having to wipe, for about 5 to 6 years.
1 1/2" for 5 consecutive shots at 100 yards was normal. Most groups were well under 2". I rarely shot
any ML's at 25 yards, in those days and then, only then in competition's at this extremely close range.






Daryl

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

Offline smylee grouch

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Re: Rice .58 accuracy help
« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2019, 03:52:19 AM »
There are a lot of variables in bench shooting and a change in how and where you hold the rifle might make a difference. Try some different holds and shoot at the smallest spot that you can see. Make a shadder out of card stock to help with the bright sun on your sights.

Offline Darkhorse

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Re: Rice .58 accuracy help
« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2019, 06:14:10 AM »
Shooting a 3" group with iron sights at 100 yards is tough for even the best shooters to do repeatably. Most people can't actually shoot the kind of groups they are trying to  get, so they keep working on the rifle expecting it to somehow do it for them. That might sound a bit harsh but it's often the truth and after dealing with it one can move forward again.
First off, and this is just my way that's worked pretty good for over 40 years, I never work up an accuracy load at 100 yards. I start close and work outward. If a load won't shoot a one hole group at 25 yards then I abandon it quickly. So after I find one that shoots that one holer at 25 yards I move out to 50 yards. Sometimes I still get a good load to shoot a one holer but mostly I don't, there's usually some separation of the shots but shooting several repeat groups will weed out the bad loads.
Only after I get that repeatable good group at 50 yards do I move out to 100 yards, most of the time it will shoot well at 100 if I and my old eyes do my part.
Too much can happen at 100 yards, there might be a glare on the sights, the muzzle may be slightly mis aligned, your eyes may be blurry that day, etc. All of these things can open a group up considerably giving the shooter a false impression about that load. It just works out that sometimes when working a load at 100 yards you just end up chasing your tail.
I no longer shoot at 100 yards. I don't shoot competition anymore and where I hunt you can't even see a deer at 100 yards, so 50 yards works fine for me. But there was a time I did a lot of shooting at that distance. I have a pretty good accuracy load for my .54 and one day I just might see how it shoots at 100 yards. This is what I want to see before I move out to 100 yards.

American horses of Arabian descent.

Offline 45-110

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Re: Rice .58 accuracy help
« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2019, 03:28:39 PM »
Guys:
Been a serious muzzleloader  builder shooter for 50 yrs, not a neophyte, have a private range with covered bench, so I get the sun and where to hold for consistency. a 100 yd group will take care of itself at 25-50 yds. Shoot iron sighted guns at 100-800 yds (BPCR) all the time. I have several other rifles that will print fine at 100yds, so cracking the code here is the goal. A larger ball again, another powder again, more powder, felt wad, cotton duck patching? I am going to try a group with .578 minie balls (ROT is correct for them) just to see the results. By the way the bore measures .580 and groove .599+.  Sorry to say but every once in a while you do get a barrel bore/rifling combination just just does not measure up. Still ot a plains rifle I made in 1970 that never did shoot worth a darn at 50 yds. Would like to here from someone with same barrel though.

Online rich pierce

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Re: Rice .58 accuracy help
« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2019, 04:07:55 PM »
Iím sure youíll figure it out.  I really donít believe in magic or lemon barrels unless something is dreadfully wrong and then itís usually easy to feel when loading or see on the cut patch.  If the rifling grips the ball and spins it, and patches arenít being cut, a load can be found that gives good accuracy. 
St. Louis, Missouri

Offline okawbow

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Re: Rice .58 accuracy help
« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2019, 04:10:28 PM »
You might want to check a couple things on the rifle. My Rice barrels have been very accurate and easy to get good results with different load combinations.

Check the fit of the stock to the barrel. Check to see that the keys arenít binding too much. Look at the fit of the snail to the lock. Should not be too tight that it binds.

Might also try a Teflon patch material. I get mine for chunk gun matches from Minutemen.
As in life; itís the journey, not the destination. How you get there matters most.

Offline Dphariss

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Re: Rice .58 accuracy help
« Reply #8 on: June 29, 2019, 06:40:54 AM »
Been burning alot of powder and lead trying to arrive at a respectable 100yd group in my new built 33 in. percussion Hawken 1 in 66" rot. Powder loads from 80 to 120 gr Goex1, 2, and 3 f, Old Eynsford 1 1/2f, patching cut at muzzle .020" linen, .021" denim, .014" pillow ticking. Tried ball sizes of .562", .570" and .573". Still cannot get better than a 8" or so group of the bench. Never had a blown or torn patch with any combination. So whats next a .575 ball or larger? Its already hard to load with the .573 and .021 denim at the bench. A field reload would be tough, but accuracy comes first. I get big differences in impact between all these loads so have quit moving the sights around till something groups. Any ideas welcome, the goal is to get a 3 inch repeatable group at 100 yds,  should be doable.
kw

Is the bore size uniform end to end? Not tight on both ends and loose in the middle for example. Does a tight patch reveal any loose spots? Is the bore straight?
Hooked breech? Is it tight?  Tried different lubes? What caps are you using. I have read that the "hot" caps for replica powders can cause accuracy issues with BP.
Dan
No, sir, I don't give 'em $#*!, I just tell the truth and they think it's $#*!. Harry S Truman

Offline 45-110

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Re: Rice .58 accuracy help
« Reply #9 on: June 29, 2019, 03:11:41 PM »
Dan
Bore is glass smooth, no tight or loose spots. The patent breech joint is hand fitted and extremely close fit......many hours to achieve that. Crisp barrel inletting. Ordered a .575 ball mold to give that try. (maybe a ..577 would be better) Currently using CCI #11 std caps. Have tried spit, spg, bear tallow, sheep tallow, all seem to work ok as the patches are fine also indicating a polished smooth  bore. If things don't improve I may lap the bore from breech this winter.....maybe a lot of work for little gain. Could be the .575 ball may improve things, but getting close to needing a mallet to load....we'll see.
best
kim

Offline alacran

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Re: Rice .58 accuracy help
« Reply #10 on: June 29, 2019, 03:40:17 PM »
You say a 100 yard group will take care of itself at 25 and 50 yards. I agree. By the same token, a rifle that will not group at 50 yards, will never group at a 100 yards.
A Hawken with a 33 inch barrel leaves you with a short sight radius, unless you are using a tang sight. A traditional Hawken with open iron sights is more prone to sighting errors than a BPCR gun with peep sights mounted on the tang.

Offline snapper

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Re: Rice .58 accuracy help
« Reply #11 on: June 29, 2019, 04:08:26 PM »
I feel for you.  It is great when a gun is easy to work up an accurate load.  Very frustrating when they take some time to figure out.

Good Luck

Fleener
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Offline Frank

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Re: Rice .58 accuracy help
« Reply #12 on: June 29, 2019, 04:31:27 PM »
How does it group at 50 yards? If it groups fine at 50 but not at 100 yards, you have a sighting error problem.

Offline 45-110

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Re: Rice .58 accuracy help
« Reply #13 on: June 29, 2019, 09:23:36 PM »
The responses have all been thought provoking, but I still would like to hear from some one who is actually shooting  Rice .58 1 in 66". The shared experience would be
interesting and comparing a successful load helpful.  In my case so far, if its going to take more than 120+ grains to tighten up my group I think I would loose interest in shooting it much. Also even though its been debated ad nauseam the 1/2" thread length of the breech is always in the back of my mind.

Offline Ghillie

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Re: Rice .58 accuracy help
« Reply #14 on: June 30, 2019, 12:46:38 AM »
I have an early VA flintlock I built with a Rice .58 caliber, 38inch barrel and have no problems with it.  It was built as a hunting rifle and I have taken deer at 100 yards with it.  I never shot it for tight groups but it will shoot under 3 inches at 100 yards with 100 grains of Old "E" 2F and a 565 or 570 ball.  It might shoot tighter, but with open sights and 72 year old eyes it might not.  It does what I want it to do, yours' should do better than an 8 inch group.  See what it does at 50 yards as suggested.  One hundred yards with open barrel sights and older eyes can sometime be problematic.   

Offline Dphariss

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Re: Rice .58 accuracy help
« Reply #15 on: June 30, 2019, 04:53:50 PM »
Dan
Bore is glass smooth, no tight or loose spots. The patent breech joint is hand fitted and extremely close fit......many hours to achieve that. Crisp barrel inletting. Ordered a .575 ball mold to give that try. (maybe a ..577 would be better) Currently using CCI #11 std caps. Have tried spit, spg, bear tallow, sheep tallow, all seem to work ok as the patches are fine also indicating a polished smooth  bore. If things don't improve I may lap the bore from breech this winter.....maybe a lot of work for little gain. Could be the .575 ball may improve things, but getting close to needing a mallet to load....we'll see.
best
kim
Doubt that ball size is the problem. You seem to have covered the powder charge/ball size/patch thickness thing well enough.
Try shooting a series of cold bore shots and see what happens. Or always use two targets one for the cold bore shot and one for the group to see where the cold bore shot lands every time. If all the loads shoot about the same this can indicate perhaps an eye issue. Something I have been fighting for years with iron sights but hopefully I will get this fixed in the next couple of months.
OR the barrel just does not shoot...
Just throwing things out wondering if something will "stick". Seems you have covered almost everything....
Dan
No, sir, I don't give 'em $#*!, I just tell the truth and they think it's $#*!. Harry S Truman

Offline 45-110

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Re: Rice .58 accuracy help
« Reply #16 on: June 30, 2019, 06:41:30 PM »
The eyes at 66 yrs surely play a role, and I know my limitations. I shoot my other iron sighted guns at 100 yds when I don't want to set up on my long range gongs, and with their barrels sights do quite well with them. I am not ready to say the barrel won't shoot yet.  There are a few more tricks to try first. Rice calls this one a "match" barrel.....so we will see in the end.
kw

Offline varsity07840

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Re: Rice .58 accuracy help
« Reply #17 on: June 30, 2019, 07:27:52 PM »
My Hoyt .58 is 1:72 so it's a bit slower than your Rice, but it needed a .575 with a .022 ticking patch over 100 gr of 2F Swiss to give me what I wanted at 50yds. Like Dark Horse I don't shoot at 100 anymore, unless the rifle has a tang sight(BPCR) due to 68 year old eyes. I hunt in NJ and in 50 years of deer hunting the longest I've ever shot one was 75 yards. I wouldn't take that shot today. The rifle can do it but I can't.  On the other hand, I do see how you can set a goal for grouping at 100 yds., especially if other rifles have performed that well for you. I live about two hours from the Rice shop. It it was my rifle, it take it over there and talk things over with them. It probably would be worth your while to give them a call. I've talked to them at Dixon's and they seem like nice guys to deal with.

Offline 45-110

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Re: Rice .58 accuracy help
« Reply #18 on: July 12, 2019, 10:59:48 PM »
If you read my first comments, I have some good news today:
Made some significant accuracy progress today. The new .575 dia, ball mold arrived, so have been shooting that in between all the daily rain. Have revisited all the patch, powder combinations of late and today finally arrived at respectable 5 shot 3 1/2" 100 yd group. The accuracy load was 90 gr 3f Goex, and .015 pillow ticking, and it is easy to load. Funny the .022 denim produced worse results and was way to tight for a hunting reload. So am now pleased with my new Hawken and all its components that I made. Will try 100 grs next just to see which way the groups go. I need to try some Old Eynsford 3f which I do not currently have. Elk Season is coming fast.
best
kw

Offline Fyrstyk

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Re: Rice .58 accuracy help
« Reply #19 on: July 13, 2019, 01:43:46 AM »
One other thing to try is a felt wad over the powder.  I have found that in many cases it tightens up groups.

Offline 45-110

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Re: Rice .58 accuracy help
« Reply #20 on: July 13, 2019, 02:20:43 AM »
Fyrstyk

Yes, giving the felt a try next. Found some in shop 1/4" or so...what thickness have you been using? How do you know that the felt disc goes down flat on powder instead of tipped? Are you loading with a large head ramrod.....like a shotgun?
The weather here has really curtailed serious 100yd bench shooting.

Offline Roger B

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Re: Rice .58 accuracy help
« Reply #21 on: July 13, 2019, 02:42:21 AM »
It sounds like you have your problem whipped! :) I have two Rice .54s; one a standard grade & the other is match grade (lapped).  I struggled with the standard grade for a while until I went to a .526 RB & 12 OZ cotton denim & got great accuracy. Also polished the crown a little & polished the bore with Scotchbrite pads & Butch's Bore Shine. It still just doesn't like .530-.535 balls for some reason. The match grade barrel will shoot .530 & .535 round balls with 10 OZ denim extremely well with just about any powder charge you might want.  These ML barrels are all individuals no matter what kind of precision you make them with, & Rice puts a lot of that into them.
Roger B.
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Offline Fyrstyk

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Re: Rice .58 accuracy help
« Reply #22 on: July 13, 2019, 03:10:17 PM »
45-110

I use to use ox-yoke felt wads (unlubed) in my 58 over the powder.  These are bore size, and the go down the barrel flat with the use of my 58 jag.  I seat the wad over the powder with just a little bit of down pressure, then the patched ball (.575 w/.015 mink oil lube).  I have started making my own wads now that I have a punch of the right size.  I use old felt hats that I get at Goodwill to punch out my wads.  My barrel is a re-bored John Browning Mountain Rifle by Bobby Hoyt with a 1:66 twist.  It is not a round bottomed groove barrel like your Rice, but i was having the same problems with desired accuracy.  #" groups at 50 yards with 120 grains of 2F until I tried using the wads.  Now I get groups around 1.5-2" at 50 yards.  The gun could most likely shoot better, but my eyes have trouble with open sights these days.  Guess I'm getting old.

Offline varsity07840

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Re: Rice .58 accuracy help
« Reply #23 on: July 14, 2019, 01:32:58 AM »
If I use an over powder wad, I use a lubed fiber cushion wad one standard caliber over so the grooves are filled, as in .62 cal wad for a .58 bore.

Offline utseabee

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Re: Rice .58 accuracy help
« Reply #24 on: September 23, 2019, 11:02:59 PM »
The responses have all been thought provoking, but I still would like to hear from some one who is actually shooting  Rice .58 1 in 66". The shared experience would be
interesting and comparing a successful load helpful.  In my case so far, if its going to take more than 120+ grains to tighten up my group I think I would loose interest in shooting it much. Also even though its been debated ad nauseam the 1/2" thread length of the breech is always in the back of my mind.

    I use a Rice .58 barrel with round bottom rifling, 42"long. I ended up using .570 round balls, .022 pillow ticking, Lehigh Valley lube, and 80 grains of Swiss FFG. (it takes 105 grains of Goex FFG to get the same results.) It gets cloverleaf groups at 50 yards.