Author Topic: Muzzle Blast-updated  (Read 28105 times)

Offline Blacksmoke

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Re: Muzzle Blast
« Reply #25 on: August 30, 2009, 06:18:37 PM »
Tom :  Just read your " muzzle blast" posting.  :o Thank God no one was hurt!!!   Distraction is a muzzle loaders worst enemy!   When I am at the range I use a special made steel ram rod with a brass collar to protect the muzzle from wear to load with. Because the loading rod is made of steel I can eliminate the short starter because the extra weight in the the steel rod gives me the extra "push" I need to drive the ball down on the powder. However the ball and patch have to be slightly entered into the muzzle first but keep them still visible at the muzzle face so one is less likely to overlook the complete loading procedure.       
Thanks for posting your accident!!  It might save someone else from experiencing the same!   
   Hugh   Toenjes
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Offline George Sutton

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Re: Muzzle Blast
« Reply #26 on: August 30, 2009, 08:15:23 PM »
Acer,

I have three rifles that I use all the time and have developed a load for all three that is loose enough so I dont have to short start them. None of the muzzles are coned. No loss of accuracy noted.

For years I was the proponent of tight patch, ball combinations. I love the fact that I don't need a short starter.

Centershot

Offline Don Getz

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Re: Muzzle Blast
« Reply #27 on: August 30, 2009, 08:38:44 PM »
Many years ago Fred Riley from Florida called.   Fred was a well know super gunbuilder, there are still a lot of his guns still
kicking around at gun shows, etc.   Anyway, Fred was at a shoot and did the same thing Tom did, burst the barrel out near the muzzle.   He sent me some pictures of it.  Everyone was standing around Ooohing and awing, and Fred says,
"$#*!, I built it, I guess I can make another one".  It can happen to anyone at any time, despite all the warnings and suggestions to prevent it...........Don

Leatherbelly

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Re: Muzzle Blast
« Reply #28 on: August 30, 2009, 08:46:04 PM »
   Distraction while loading,yikes! I haven't checked lately but I think I have a ramrod still orbitting the earth! Tom,you have big"stones" for posting this incident. Thank God no one was hurt.
ps: just want to add. I use a short starter and I incorporate it into my loading regimen.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2009, 09:21:08 PM by Leatherbelly »

Offline Dr. Tim-Boone

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Re: Muzzle Blast
« Reply #29 on: August 30, 2009, 09:13:06 PM »
Thanks Tom! a great reminder.

I use .530 balls in my .54. never use a short starter...and probably have to wipe more frequently than Daryl et al. but I can load with my hickory ramrod..no short starter ..and it seems as accurate as the .535. Now I think safer too... I definitely want the point of least resistance to be the patched ball.  Not saying it wouldn't cause the same problem under the right circumstances..I just want all the factors in my favor....I know after two dry balls that I can screw up.........

Glad you are all safe!!
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Offline trentOH

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Re: Muzzle Blast
« Reply #30 on: August 31, 2009, 06:07:27 AM »
If you or a friend will be coming to Friendship for the Fall Shoot, I would encourage you to display this rifle in Gunmakers Hall, with the short starter and roundball in place AND with your explanation attached. Many shooters and builders could learn a vital lesson about shooting, and short starter design.

Offline Long John

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Re: Muzzle Blast
« Reply #31 on: August 31, 2009, 03:29:00 PM »
Acer,

First of all - after saying that I am glad on one was hurt - it takes a bigger man to share his mishap than to hide it.  I salute you!  You are a true friend to all who share in this forum.

I was once shooting with our club and as I rammed the load home "something" felt different.  The witness mark on my ramrod was NOT at the muzzle!  I walked over to the very side of the line and pulled the load with a ball puller.  The witness mark still did not line up!  I pulled a second load - and then a third!  Now I have an excuse, Annette was wearing this white tank top and I had taken notice of it, longingly, several times.  But the witness mark finally got my attention.

I don't use short starters.  I am loading a .520 swaged ball with an .020 patch over 85 Grains of GOEX FFFg.  That is my hunting load, it is my shooting load.  I start it with my thumb.  I am getting 1.5 inch groups at 75 yards off a rest.  What more do I need?

This business of using short starters got stared back in the 1860's with the muzzle loading competitons where false muzzles were used and then again in the 1930's when interest in muzzleloaders was reborn.  They distort the actual reality of muzzleloading if your objective is to replicate the 18th century shooting.  I want to shoot and hunt with the American longrifle as it was done in 1770.  For me, using a short starter is a perversion that takes me away from that objective.

Best Regards,

JMC

Offline B.Barker

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Re: Muzzle Blast
« Reply #32 on: August 31, 2009, 04:44:15 PM »
I quit using a starter a long time ago. Mostly because I didn't like the extra piece in my shot bag and because of this. I can get my ball started with the butt of my knife I use to cut patches. I only use my rifles for hunting not target matches so I don't go for supper tight fit. My rod works fine pushing the the ball down the barrel. However you can still get distracted and forget to push the ball down the barrel. It almost happened to me a few weeks ago when my nephew was shooting with me. It's good to see that no one was injured and lesson well learned. That is one that will stay with you for a long time to come.

Offline ehoff

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Re: Muzzle Blast
« Reply #33 on: August 31, 2009, 05:27:14 PM »
Acer, I'm glad to hear that you and no one around you was hurt when this happened. I also want to say thanks for shareing this with us.

Offline Kermit

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Re: Muzzle Blast-updated
« Reply #34 on: August 31, 2009, 09:27:45 PM »
 :o That's one hum-dinger of an eye-opener! Thanks for posting.

The worst incident I've ever experienced was when loading my fowler at a shoot at another club, and one of their members was being friendly and chatting me up, showing interest in my gun. All I managed to do was dry ball the thing, and knew it immediately when the rod went past the witness mark. Ball pulled, bore wiped, and no harm done--except to my ego.

Comraderie on the line may be fun, but it could lead to tragedy. I've known rangemasters to ask yakkers to step away with their conversations. I've appreciated that.
"Anything worth doing is worth doing slowly." Mae West

billd

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Re: Muzzle Blast-updated
« Reply #35 on: September 01, 2009, 04:02:40 AM »
Tom.  Re: your update.  Wouldn't a short started ball on top of a properly loaded ball have a tremendous recoil.  You didn't mention anything unusual.
Bill

Offline Acer Saccharum

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Re: Muzzle Blast-updated
« Reply #36 on: September 01, 2009, 04:31:08 AM »
Bill, I suppose you are right. I didn't notice any particular recoil, good or bad. The sound was odd.

Dunno. It adds an element that COULD have been possible, I suppose, since I can't really tell you what happened.


I also wonder if the lead went out the big gap at the top of the bbl, but then there would have been lead spray on the rafters as well? Maybe. Or I would have heard rattling all over the tin roof? Again, I am stumped.

But the main ingredient for this disaster was lack of focus. That is something we can all work on. I can't tell you how many people here and at the range told me stories of what they did, or what they saw. All of it preventable with concentration and safe loading procedures.

Tom
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Ramrod scrapers are all sold out.

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Re: Muzzle Blast-updated
« Reply #37 on: September 01, 2009, 10:34:45 PM »
Well, that is an eye opener. I'm glad that no one was hurt.

Short starting a ball is probably the only thing I haven't done...yet.

Be careful out there, folks. Physical interruptions and flights of fancy are all too commonplace, so check yourself, if and when you feel that something with your loading procedure isn't right, or when you have been interrupted during loading.

Better yet check yourself using two different checks.

Last week I think I fired a double load of powder, patch, ball, powder, patch ball, after being distracted by another shooter. I did check to see if powder had been loaded, but I DIDN'T check the length of the column of the load.

The result was a boom-boom with noticeably heavier recoil...and no hole in the target. Fortunately the Getz barrel took the 200 gr, combined, double load in stride. And some folks don't think 12L14 is a good barrel steel.  ???

Again, be careful, and check and double check.

God bless


Offline Benedict

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Re: Muzzle Blast-updated
« Reply #38 on: September 02, 2009, 12:30:44 AM »
As everyone has said, I am glad no one was hurt.

I too do not use a short started.  It always seemed like an extra unneeded step.  When I shoot my guns with coned muzzles, all it takes is my thumb to seat the ball at the muzzle where it can be seen and the ramrod to seat the ball on the powder.  With the unconed muzzled guns, I use a starter to seat the ball at the muzzle, again where it can be seen, and then seat it on the powder with the ramrod.

That is, for me at least, another reason NOT to use a short starter.

Bruce

Offline Pete G.

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Re: Muzzle Blast-updated
« Reply #39 on: September 02, 2009, 01:01:39 AM »
The theory on the update makes sense now. I have fired a short started load twice, and both times there was a very noticeable reduction in the sound, almost a hollow sound. Obviously the ball was sub-sonic, but it still didn't have the boom of just a lower velocity load. I have also fired a double ball load (intentionally over a powder charge that was listed for a conical bullet) and the recoil wasn't excessive. The load you listed was certainly mild enough to not have excessive recoil, so perhaps just a little more wasn't too noticeable. If, in fact we are looking at a full load under a short started ball, it might not have mattered where the dovetail was, it would have burst the barrel, although the dovetail location  certainly didn't help the situation.
Incidentally, the double ball load put both shots in the black of a B-8 target, but one @ 6 o'clock and one @ 2 o'clock. Interesting, but not successful enough to try it again.

Offline Dphariss

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Re: Muzzle Blast
« Reply #40 on: September 06, 2009, 05:49:59 PM »
Eric, no, no, this is a totally clean break. Rusty from sitting all night. Kinda hard to clean now.
I will add that I have seen more than 1 split barrels and the grainy look of the steel at the break/split makes it appear almost like broken Cast steel altho we know better!

Brittle fracture.

Dan
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Offline Don Getz

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Re: Muzzle Blast-updated
« Reply #41 on: September 06, 2009, 09:16:01 PM »
Call it a fracture if you want, but, if you blow up any sort of steel you will get edges just like this.    You certainly won't
get nice clean edges............Don

Steve-In

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Re: Muzzle Blast-updated
« Reply #42 on: September 07, 2009, 07:50:30 AM »
It looks like the barrel did a pretty good job of holding together under the circumstances.  It does not look like any pieces are missing.  I tend to agree with a second ball started, but not pushed down creating an obstruction.  As with others I have short started with no ill effects.  I examined a TC .50 renegade with 3 rings ranging from about 6 to 14 inches from the breech.  The owner just fired out stuck maxis.  I would have thought that barrel would have split. 
Tom, does the split follow the groove?  It looks like it in the photos but is hard to tell.

Lon Baugh

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Re: Muzzle Blast-updated
« Reply #43 on: September 07, 2009, 09:10:06 PM »
Your update about a second short started ball on top of a seated charge makes mores sense to me.  I have witnessed the firing of 3 short started loads with no apparent damage to the rifles. Obviously that doesn't mean that it cant happen. One rifle had a .54 cal swamped barrel. The other two were TCs.

Your pic does drive home the point about keeping your mind on the loading process. Thankfully there were no injuries and hopefully you'll be able to repair the rifle and use it again.      LB

Top Jaw

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Re: Muzzle Blast-updated
« Reply #44 on: September 08, 2009, 03:16:05 AM »
Acer

Again, first and foremost, glad you are OK, and thanks for posting this in the interest of safety.

Now, a secondary question:  How is your rifle where the swell and blowout occured?  Will you get by with a simple barrel switchout to fix it?

Top Jaw

Daryl

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Re: Muzzle Blast
« Reply #45 on: September 08, 2009, 05:43:18 AM »
Roger, far from being soured, I am truly thankful that nothing happened to anyone on the line. Someone at the range thought I must have been really embarrassed, but to tell the truth, it had not occurred to me at that point to be embarrassed. I was so relieved that no one got hurt, that I hadn't had time to think about that side of the event.

I am also thinking that if it was so easy to have an accident like that, that I'd better let everyone know about it before it happens to them.

I seem to remember Taylor is dead set against short starters for this very reason. If the only thing you have to load the gun with is the long rod, then there is a real slim chance that you will fail to push the ball all the way down. It may require crowning/coning the muzzle of the barrel and finding a ball/patch combo that allows an easy load without having to use a starter.

I have taken better pictures and will send them in to Muzzle Blasts. This event has many facets that are noteworthy to mention for builders and shooters alike.

Better view of wall thickness over front sight:




Taylor, as do I, makes use of a short starter with about a 5" to 7" shaft, every time we load - have to, due to the snug ball/patch combination we use.

Offline Roger Fisher

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Re: Muzzle Blast-updated
« Reply #46 on: September 14, 2009, 06:11:53 PM »
We had our local shoot yesterday (great day great time)  Most of our shoots around noonish while line was closed for posting targets and the shooters are 'back' we read the 'riot' act to them re: muzzles up, load frizzen open etc etc and I added the info on the shattered barrel (no names) and the need for a short starter if one is used to make certain the ball starter 'starts' the ball deeper than the frt sight AND the upper barrel tennon on full stocks.  Hopefully all of them will heed the suggestion/suggestions!  Thanks again to 'Acer' for posting this incident as a heads up!

Offline D. Taylor Sapergia

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Re: Muzzle Blast-updated
« Reply #47 on: September 14, 2009, 07:36:27 PM »
#@!! $#@* Tom!!!!
I'm just reading this thread now, and it brings back memories.  I am witness to a catastrophic barrel failure which I think was caused by the same demon...distraction.
In the early '80's at a weekend shoot we had a stake cut where teams shot off a 2 x 4 between marks - quickest cut won.  After about a minute of thunderous fire, there was an explosion to the line's extreme right, and my buddy Shane was standing holding just the butt stock of his "Taylor Made" Hawken.  No one was injured there either - thank the Lord.  The day's shooting came to an immediate end.  When the shock had worn off a little, we determined that Shane had double balled his rifle over 100 grains of FFg. and the second ball had hydraulically risen off the first ball, during the speed of loading, causing an obstruction about a foot from the breech.  I do not think that either ball exited the muzzle, but left through the horrendous split, as there still are patch fragments in the torn steel at the muzzle end of the split.  This is a GRRW .54 cal x 1" barrel.
I post this just to reinforce Tom's point.  I am much relieved that everyone is ok.  And I know that this will serve as a wake up call to us all.




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roundball

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Re: Muzzle Blast-updated
« Reply #48 on: September 14, 2009, 08:12:30 PM »
Amazing no one was hurt with that one for sure.

Just as some interesting information...I have one of TC's old, early owner's manuals where they actually listed double PRB loads for their .45 and .50cals...100grns Goex 2F and two patcdhed balls stacked on top of each other.

Incidently, I've tested those loads myself just for the experience of it...with safety in mind from reading about the absolutele necessity that both balls be together...and they shot fine with side by side accuracy.

But T/C soon dropped those loads from their load data charts, either from hearing about / worrying about what you just posted, or perhaps even as a result of actual occurances like your post.

Offline Roger Fisher

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Re: Muzzle Blast-updated
« Reply #49 on: September 14, 2009, 09:05:55 PM »
#@!! $#@* Tom!!!!
I'm just reading this thread now, and it brings back memories.  I am witness to a catastrophic barrel failure which I think was caused by the same demon...distraction.
In the early '80's at a weekend shoot we had a stake cut where teams shot off a 2 x 4 between marks - quickest cut won.  After about a minute of thunderous fire, there was an explosion to the line's extreme right, and my buddy Shane was standing holding just the butt stock of his "Taylor Made" Hawken.  No one was injured there either - thank the Lord.  The day's shooting came to an immediate end.  When the shock had worn off a little, we determined that Shane had double balled his rifle over 100 grains of FFg. and the second ball had hydraulically risen off the first ball, during the speed of loading, causing an obstruction about a foot from the breech.  I do not think that either ball exited the muzzle, but left through the horrendous split, as there still are patch fragments in the torn steel at the muzzle end of the split.  This is a GRRW .54 cal x 1" barrel.
I post this just to reinforce Tom's point.  I am much relieved that everyone is ok.  And I know that this will serve as a wake up call to us all.





That is why I do not enter any stake shoots - way too much helter skelter - and I dislike any kind of speed shooting although I get involved i.e. the rattle box thingee on w walks etc.  Our club does not and will not put on any kind of speed shooting at least while I'm around!