Author Topic: Bore Fouling  (Read 1858 times)

Offline bluenoser

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Bore Fouling
« on: November 27, 2021, 04:11:48 PM »
I have thoroughly enjoyed reading Mad Monk's recent, and very informative, posts on black powder.
I would very much like to know what he has to say on this subject.

Offline Daryl

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Re: Bore Fouling
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2021, 09:51:54 PM »
Maybe I can start this thread off.
Bore fouling results from the combustion of black powder. Roughly 56/57% of the volume of powder burned, results in solid fouling.
Much of this is blown out the muzzle, but that which adheres to the bore lining, is what we have to deal with when reloading.
A too-loose or too-dry a patch and ball combination will result in the accumulation of fouling, shot to shot which will inhibit loading
and wiping/swabbing/cleaning/patching the bore will be necessary to continue to load and shoot.  Having to do this 'cleaning' by
one of it's many names can introduce a problem of it's own, that of pushing some of the fouling down into the breech where it may
interfere with ignition of the next charge.
If using a combination that actually reaches to the bottom of the grooves "at least" and at best shows some compression in the bottom
of the grooves, along with a wet enough patch, the resulting fouling, shot to shot, will not be allowed to accumulate, shot to shot and
thus loading remains easy for an entire day's shooting (depending on the condition of your bore, of course). A rough bore will collect and
built fouling, regardless of the combination used.
If the ball and patch does not fit well, shot to shot velocity and pressure will be varied more than it should and as a result, your accuracy
will not be as good as it can be.
"When you load the next one, you clean the last one", so there is never any fouling buildup in the bore.  There will be some at the breech,
which does not appear to effect accuracy in the slightest.
Patched ball picture from Lyman's Black Powder Handbook - It is as relevant today, as it was in the early 70's.


Daryl

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

Online smylee grouch

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Re: Bore Fouling
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2021, 02:00:09 AM »
Another point about a tighter ball/patch combination over a lose one is that the clean up is easier. You are cleaning essentialy the fouling from one shot where as with a loose combo you will be getting blow by and more fouling build up.

Offline Panzerschwein

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Re: Bore Fouling
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2021, 02:39:15 AM »
Several years ago, when I was new (with a different screen name), Daryl told me to try a very snug, wet load.

It worked.

I like my loads snug n’ moist. The point about seeing threads on the patches engrained in the ball even at the grooves is a great idea. It makes sense. It doesn’t leave a place for fouling to accumulate. When I had my .40 I shot .400 round balls with .018” pillow ticking moistened thoroughly with my mouth’s moisture, and good fire all day and cleanup was a breeze. This was even out here in bone dry Nevada.

Offline bluenoser

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Re: Bore Fouling
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2021, 09:33:05 PM »
Three posts with some excellent advice.
Mad Monk kindly sent me his paper on bore fouling.  It was a very informative and quite technical read and I highly recommend it to anyone with an interest in the subject.  I also had an opportunity to read his booklet on the Swiss black powder.  It too was an excellent read and contains a wealth of information that goes well beyond Swiss powder.
With the exception of hunting loads, I am a dyed-in-the-wool proponent of spit patches.  I made the switch about twenty years ago and it has made a world of difference.  If memory serves correctly, Daryl prompted me to give it a try.  No more cleaning between shots, no more fouling ring at the breech, flashes in the pan are now a rarity and cleanup is a breeze.
Thanks Daryl!!
I am neither a proponent of loose loads nor of particularly tight loads.  Although I do tend to use a short starter at the bench, my objective is to be able to load with just the wood ramrod when I want to.  A .495 ball and .016 spit patch fits the bill well in my .50 cal. Green Mountain and coned Getz barrels.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2021, 09:37:57 PM by bluenoser »

Offline Daryl

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Re: Bore Fouling
« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2021, 09:54:22 PM »
A further suggestion that works, if I may.  After your shooting for the day is done, load about 15 to 20gr. of powder, then a REALLY wet patched ball, and fire that. You will have to push the patched ball past the "location" where from there to the breech face, fouling has been building while you shoot. That is the reason for a really wet patch. You can easily push the wet patched ball past this spot to then seat it on the powder. Fire that and all that previous fouling will be removed with the shot.
Cleaning will be easier than if this was not performed, due to there being much less fouling left from your last shot (15 to 20gr. only).
When Taylor and I clean our rifle's after shooting the trail or a day's shooting, the water is only slightly discoloured - some what grey in tone - not black.
This rather proves a non-buildup of fouling.
When on the trail, I like to fire this last squib-shot on the #1 target, a rather large plate set at about 25 yards. It is a "gimme" target. Pow- - - - - - tink, or more - - - - clunk depending on the calibre.
Daryl

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

Offline hanshi

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Re: Bore Fouling
« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2021, 09:44:11 PM »
Hey, Daryl, that last wet patched ball thing sounds like a winner; never thought of that one.  Thanks.
!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: Bore Fouling
« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2021, 12:59:56 AM »
You Sir, are MOST welcome.  :)
Daryl

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

Offline Mike from OK

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Re: Bore Fouling
« Reply #8 on: December 17, 2021, 09:20:23 PM »
Yesterday, I set up at 100 yards and started working on setting my sights for that range. Fortunately, my elevation was dead on for that range. But I had to drift my sights a bit for windage.

I was preoccupied with concentrating on that.

Long story short, a dry ball aids greatly in post shooting cleanup. But I don't really recommend it.

 :o

Mike

Offline Daryl

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Re: Bore Fouling
« Reply #9 on: December 17, 2021, 09:33:57 PM »
These ball screws make removal easy.  Had to do it twice last time Taylor and I went out. Easy/Peasy.
The collar centres the screw which very easily enters the ball, then pull it out.  The rod tip better
be cross pinned - or use a steel or brass range rod.
https://www.trackofthewolf.com/List/Item.aspx/574/1
Daryl

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

Offline Mike from OK

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Re: Bore Fouling
« Reply #10 on: December 17, 2021, 09:46:59 PM »
These ball screws make removal easy.  Had to do it twice last time Taylor and I went out. Easy/Peasy.
The collar centres the screw which very easily enters the ball, then pull it out.  The rod tip better
be cross pinned - or use a steel or brass range rod.
https://www.trackofthewolf.com/List/Item.aspx/574/1

I have one for each of my guns... The only issue is that a dry ball sits so low in the barrel that you don't have much purchase on the ramrod. But I have a 44" Tipton carbon fiber rod (and an 8-32 to 10-32 adapter) at home. The Tipton is for my modern long range unmentionables... But with the adapter it serves just fine. The handle end is also cross drilled so a 5/16 Allen wrench turns it into a fine T handle for extra leverage.

Yanked it right out.

Been a long time since I did something that foolish.

Mike

Offline Daryl

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Re: Bore Fouling
« Reply #11 on: December 18, 2021, 06:41:15 PM »
NP - it happens.  For me, talking while loading does it. ::)


Daryl

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

Offline Mike from OK

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Re: Bore Fouling
« Reply #12 on: December 19, 2021, 12:30:23 AM »
NP - it happens.  For me, talking while loading does it. ::)



That's probably the secret of my "success" Daryl. 98% of the time shooting is a solitary pastime. I know of no other flintlock enthusiasts in my little corner of Oklahoma's armpit.

Mike

Offline Jeff Murray

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Re: Bore Fouling
« Reply #13 on: December 19, 2021, 03:33:50 AM »
If you are using the ramrod under the gun and don't like long ramrods as some noted in another thread, you can file a groove about an inch from the end of the wooden end of the rod.  Carry some sinew with you.  If you have the need and the rod is a little short for your fingers to get a good grip, tie the sinew around the groove and that gives you a few wraps of sinew around your hand to help pull the rod out.  I also mark my rod to show the breech face on the rod.  If that mark is half an inch out of the muzzle, it is very apparent that I was temporarily disoriented by evil forces.

Offline Daryl

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Re: Bore Fouling
« Reply #14 on: December 19, 2021, 03:37:05 AM »
That'll work, Jeff, for sure.  Oft times, a simple thong boot lace, if tied in a clinch knot, will work just fine without needing a notch in the rod.
The rifle I do this most often with, is my .69, so with the patent breech, there's lots of rod sticking out the muzzle after being screwed into the ball.
Daryl

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

Offline Jeff Murray

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Re: Bore Fouling
« Reply #15 on: December 19, 2021, 03:51:12 AM »
Daryl, I have used a thong as well (the leather shooting kind).  Almost any type of cord with some resistance built into the cord material can work in a pinch.  I like the sinew when hunting because it doesn't take up any room in my bag.  Also try to keep a range rod in my truck when on a hunt just in case.  when I used to live in Arizona we would occasionally get a ball really stuck in the dry weather and a tug of war would result even with a range rod.  The thong/sinew also works for tying your rod to an immovable object if you are alone.  Water also makes it easier to pull if you are not in a hurry.

Offline Daryl

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Re: Bore Fouling
« Reply #16 on: December 19, 2021, 05:27:25 AM »
I've not had a problem with pulling them out, but they are tight enough that 2 people makes it easier, one holding the rifle and one pulling the rod.
The bore is already lubed by seating the patched ball. After running it through the breech fouling though, they can be tough to get started coming out.
Daryl

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

Offline davec2

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Re: Bore Fouling
« Reply #17 on: December 19, 2021, 06:03:38 AM »
The part about trying to get a good grip to pull out a stuck ball is why I carry a "T" handle in the patch box of each rifle, cross pin the ends on all my ram rods, and have female threads on both ends of the rifle rod.





« Last Edit: December 19, 2021, 11:44:54 PM by davec2 »
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Offline Daryl

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Re: Bore Fouling
« Reply #18 on: December 19, 2021, 09:53:44 PM »
That is how my rods are as well, DaveC2.

Those gunner's Mate tools that Dave makes, are wonderful kit to have. ;)
Daryl

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

Offline Darkhorse

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Re: Bore Fouling
« Reply #19 on: December 24, 2021, 09:13:07 PM »
I tie my ramrod/rangerod to a tree and pull the rifle. Easy to grip and pull with force and doesn't require any help.
American horses of Arabian descent.

Offline Marcruger

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Re: Bore Fouling
« Reply #20 on: December 24, 2021, 10:19:02 PM »
"Those gunner's Mate tools that Dave makes, are wonderful kit to have. ;)"

Absolutely.  It is a Swiss Army Knife for longrifles.  I like the fact that it includes a drill to drill into the ball before using the screw-in puller.  Works a lot better than just a puller.  I also squirt some WD40 or Break Free CLP down the bore before I attempt to pull the ball.  I also keep a length of paracord in my box to tie the rod to something solid, then I pull the gun off the rod so to speak.  My range rod also fits between the gaps in a picnic table top.  Helps anchor the rod for pulling the ball. 

Everyone needs a Gunner's Mate.  They are man jewelry even if you don't put them to use.  :-) 

God Bless, and Merry Christmas to all,   Marc

Online smylee grouch

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Re: Bore Fouling
« Reply #21 on: December 24, 2021, 10:24:17 PM »
Bore fouling can at times make it hard to " get the ball rolling " so to speak. Another thing that I have seen is a too large of touch hole liner a little forward of the breech. When the puller screw is turned into the ball it can enlarge the ball sideways into the touch hole liner and when you try to pull the ball out the screw strips out.

Offline Daryl

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Re: Bore Fouling
« Reply #22 on: December 25, 2021, 01:19:03 AM »
Indeed, SmyleeGrouch. Any time you run a screw into an object in the bore, that object expands & before tighter.
 Sifting a small amount of priming powder into the vent, tipping the rifle on it's side & tapping the barrel with the short starter helps.
This will usually push the ball up the barrel a ways, if not all the way out the muzzle, when fired. Done this oft times, when not loading powder under the ball.
Same thing with a caplock - pull the nipple, sift powder into the breech, replace the nipple and shoot the ball out.
Or pull, it, your choice. Either way works.
Daryl

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

Offline Jeff Murray

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Re: Bore Fouling
« Reply #23 on: December 25, 2021, 03:58:23 AM »
I have a thin copper wire touch hole pick that will go through the touch hole all the way to the opposite side of the barrel interior.  With patience, 4f can be laid in the pan and slowly packed behind the ball and that will usually blow the ball out of the barrel.  A little slow if you are shooting a match but it works for solo shooting or hunting.