Author Topic: Wiping  (Read 13570 times)

Walker Mountain

  • Guest
Wiping
« on: February 14, 2010, 07:03:38 PM »
Only been shooting BP for three years now in a club, I guess because I havenít miss a monthly shoot in that time I was nominated and voted in as Range Officer as the previous officer needed along deserving break. New job came with a box of stuff including the club by-laws, which bring up the topic of wiping the barrel between shots. From day one shooting with this club has been mandatory that we wipe between shots. The club by-laws pretty much follow the NMLRA rules, correct me if wrong states swabbing between shots is strongly recommended (this is not for cleaning but to extinguish hot embers in the barrel) and so stated in the club by-laws. The problem Iím having is the balance between having fun and safety donít want anybody hurt on my watch. I feel as so do other members that wiping between shots fouls the breech causing misfires; itís not a big deal when paper shooting as you can clean after a few shots but when doing the fort shoot or speed shooting can be a problem, bad thing here is this is when itís most likely to happen. So before I bring it up at the club next meeting I would very much appreciate opinion on this, or point me where I can find statistic on BP accident, thanks.
Free Trapper
« Last Edit: February 15, 2010, 05:54:31 PM by Daryl »

Dave K

  • Guest
Re: Wiping
« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2010, 07:23:35 PM »
SInce it has been an on going rule for a number or years, everyone should be used to the procedure. It does help to be sure that the embers are extinguished, but it can also increase missfires. But, that being said, I good shooter would know that and would have his gun ready to fire, without any problems. Like I said earlier, since it has been the rules and people are used to it, I would leave it as is, if I were range master and my guidance provides a safer place to shoot. JMHO

Offline LynnC

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2090
Re: Wiping
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2010, 07:38:14 PM »
Over the last few years, How many misfires have occured that required the load to be pulled, a very dangerous thing to do IMHO?

Hangfires and no fires are dangerous too.  Getting folks to keep that barrel pointed downrange untill the problem is rectified.  things like that must be considered in the balance too.

Just my 2 cents.......................Lynn

Blowing down barrels after a shot was once thought to be a great idea too!  :o
The price of eggs got so darn high, I bought chickens......

Harnic

  • Guest
Re: Wiping
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2010, 07:41:10 PM »
The ONLY time I swab other than cleaning at home is if my rifle sits for a period of time between shots & the fouling in the bore hardens.  If our club adopted a mandatory swab between shots rule, I'd find another place to shoot.

Scott Semmel

  • Guest
Re: Wiping
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2010, 07:58:03 PM »
I find wiping between shoots a PITA and also find people who love lotsa rules a PITA. Can a load of powder be ignited by remaining spark, yep. Could I be struck and killed by lightning, yep. Can I get killed by a drunk driver on my way to the shoot, yep. Could I slip and fall breaking my neck taking a shower getting ready to go to the shoot, yep.
I suggest that if you load out of a measure and don't stick your head over the muzzle while loading, that not wiping between shots is about the thirteenth most dangerous thing you do that day.

Offline George Sutton

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 755
Re: Wiping
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2010, 08:00:08 PM »
I've been shooting blackpowder rifles since the early 1960's. I always wipe my bore between shots while shooting paper. On woodswalks and plinking I don't bother. I use a patch that I wet with spit, I don't soak it, I wet it.

I only use spit for lube unless I'm hunting. I can probably count the number of misfires that I've had over the years. I attribute none of them to wiping the bore with a wet patch.

I also have a .40 cal that I have to wipe between shots or I can't get the ball down the barrel.

I don't believe that wiping increases the number of misfires unless there is something wrong with the gun (IE: touch hole is too close to the breechplug). I also don't believe that wiping pushes a lot of crud down into the barrel. Or if it does it comes out on the wet patch.

I do believe that if you don't wipe you can get a crud buildup on the face of the breechplug, requireing the breechplug to be scraped to remove the buildup.

I have heard of instances where a gun has fired by dumping a charge down a recently fired barrel. I have never witnessed this nor has it ever happened to me (knock on wood).

When in doubt err on the side of safety.

Centershot

Offline SCLoyalist

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 697
Re: Wiping
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2010, 09:25:22 PM »
....... So before I bring it up at the club next meeting I would very much appreciate opinion on this, or point me where I can find statistic on BP accident, thanks.


You might try making an inquiry to the NMLRA via their website as to whether there are any actual statistics on accidents caused by not swabbing between shots.   I suspect there aren't any stats, but NMLRA ought to have any that do exist.

Whether you bring the topic up with your club or not, and regardless of whether swabbing is a good thing or not, as Range Officer, you do have a responsibility to enforce the rules in effect (and not the rules that should be in effect or that people wish were in effect). 

Good Luck, SCL

Daryl

  • Guest
Re: Wiping
« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2010, 06:08:07 PM »
Hmmm - I agree with Harry - too many rules spoil the soup.  Were that a rule up here, we'd merely form a new club.  Using a descent ball and patch combination eliminates any chance of an 'ember' down the tube.

 Seem to me, it's people who have to wipe due to fouling problems are the ones who might get chunks of cloth or other 'carp' n the bore that would hold fire. our patches are re-usable after being picked up and re-wet.  When they are like that, there is no need for wiping - other than a silly rule like presented here.  I understand the RULE as p[resented by Walker Mountain in this thread, but no one we shoot with, has fouling problems.  The 'odd' time someoen did have fouling problems, we got that sorted out in less than a minute by chekcing their material, giving them something that is better & they are happier folks due to that - better accuracy & without a need to wipe.

Other than a rule against non-wiping, the only reason I can see to require wiping is if the ball and patch combination isn't good enough, or the bore is toast with pits - but - I've shot original guns with badly pitted bores that still didn't need wiping, but did load with some difficulty.

None of our new shooters need to wipe, and we've introduced 6 of them to black powder shooting since Christmas.

Walker Mountain

  • Guest
Re: Wiping
« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2010, 07:09:39 PM »
Thanks all, your opinion pretty much coincide with the club. As   range officer I can only enforce the rules, a well clean gun should not misfires but sad to say there shooters not doing a good job cleaning in the breech area. So Iíll enforce the club by-laws, which state strongly recommended wiping and start working more on why some folks are having misfires, thanks
Went to post and read Daryl post and got to say I really do hate to wipe. When fort shooting I can see that most shooter are just going through the motion with the wipe, myself I short stick so not to push crud into the breech.
Free Trapper

 ::)

Offline Roger Fisher

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6805
Re: Wiping
« Reply #9 on: February 15, 2010, 09:42:19 PM »
A glaring question here!  Has the former range officer been enforcing the wiping 'tween shots with a seperate patch rule and how has he been managing to do that evenly between the shooters?  

A rule is a rule and a rec is simply a rec!  The NMLRA has such as a reccomendation not a rule.  If it be a rule then it has to be enforced.  A rec puts the club and it's officers in a slightly better legal position than nothing at all.  If it is a rule then not enforced it puts the club etc in a worse legal positon.......

Our clubs in this area have no such rule!  I have been at this game many years and have never witnessed any such brew ups.  I did hear a rumor that the NSSA rapid fire matches have had such a brew up.  I repeat 'rumor'!  I do have good witnesses to a flinter firing upon seating the ball; but thats another story altogether.

If it is in your by-laws then a vote to maintain it or remove it seems like a valid plan.  And would make your range officer happier I do believe.  
« Last Edit: February 16, 2010, 03:12:01 AM by Roger Fisher »

Daryl

  • Guest
Re: Wiping
« Reply #10 on: February 15, 2010, 10:19:53 PM »
Good points Roger however I did observe a gun go off while the guys was seating a ball.  Burning him pretty badly.  This shooter would wipe his bore about every 2 or 3 shots as loading was too difficult after that many shots due to his use of thin, useless patches. We suspect he had a chunk of patch left in his bore, which ignited the charge as he was pushing the next ball down.  As he could never find anything but strips of char-blackened patch fragments, it was obvious he needed some 'schooling'.  We prefer to use a ball and patch combination where-in the patch stays in one piece and maintains it's integrity, no cuts, no burns and could be re-usable - more than once or twice. To me, if it isn't reusable, it's not good enough. No, I don't make a habbit of picking up my patches to re-use, but I have on occasion to prove the point & they are just as accurate as when new.

Walker Mountain

  • Guest
Re: Wiping
« Reply #11 on: February 15, 2010, 11:05:40 PM »
A glaring question here!  Has the former range office been enforcing the wiping 'tween shots with a seperate patch rule and how has he been managing to do that evenly between the shooters?  

 
Shooting with this club for 3 years now wiping between shot has been the rules in all event for all shooters from word of mouth by range officer. My new job as range officer came with the Range Officers Handbook, which include by-laws and safety rules so I took the time to read the book. Under safety rules, Quote Swabbing between shot Swabbing between shot with a damp patch to eliminate the possibility of glowing embers igniting the next powder charge is strongly recommended. I donít want to up-set the apple cart but Iíve heard other members moan and groan about the rule, guess Iíll take it to a vote.
 ???
Free Trapper


« Last Edit: February 15, 2010, 11:14:47 PM by Walker Mountain »

The other DWS

  • Guest
Re: Wiping
« Reply #12 on: February 16, 2010, 03:56:13 AM »
it might be possible for this to become a valuable educational experience for your club.  I'd print out an edited selection of the comments here and search out a few more as handouts prior to the discussion and lead it around to what makes a good patch, why, and how to tell of your patch is correct for your rifle and ball.  Offer to work with anyone having problems that require too frequent wipings.  Then bring up that is was a recommendation---not mandatory  (assuming I read the wording you posted correctly) and proceed from there

Daryl

  • Guest
Re: Wiping
« Reply #13 on: February 16, 2010, 06:31:46 PM »

 Quote Swabbing between shot Swabbing between shot with a damp patch to eliminate the possibility of glowing embers igniting the next powder charge is strongly recommended
 ???
Free Trapper

Looks to me that it is a recommendation, not a rule.

Offline Canute Rex

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 360
Re: Wiping
« Reply #14 on: February 16, 2010, 07:52:29 PM »
I have been shooting black powder off and on since the 1970's, as a target shooter and a reenactor, and I have never seen a cook-off at a range or a reenactment. I have only heard directly of one cook-off in reenacting, and that was from a guy who was cranking off shots absurdly fast from a cut off Charleville on a blazing hot summer day.

No need to take unnecessary risks, but I'd say that the drive to the range is the most dangerous part of your day, wiping or no wiping.

The one thing that I see shooters do that makes me cringe is palming the end of the ramrod to seat the ball. Were there to be a cook-off, the ramrod would do some real damage. They also tend to lean their faces in close to the muzzle to get leverage for this move. Yikes. If necessary, gouge a little recess in the ball of your short starter to get the necessary grip.

My recommendation, purely for accuracy, is to either swab every time or don't swab till you are done. Consistency is 90% of it.

Offline longcruise

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1827
  • Arvada, Colorado
Re: Wiping
« Reply #15 on: February 16, 2010, 09:41:59 PM »
Aside from the actual safety aspects, if you must wipe between shots, the procedure must be fine tuned to your breech style.  The TC breech for example is notorious for plugging up from having the goombah shoved into it.  A too wet patch only makes things worse.

When wiping after every shot it needs to be done with a barely damp patch.  It will hold the crud without depositing it and will not create mud that will be left in the breech as with an overly wet patch.
Mike Lee

Offline Darkhorse

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1659
Re: Wiping
« Reply #16 on: February 16, 2010, 10:55:13 PM »
The fouling we are talking about is what the old timer's (me now) used to call a "Clinker".
Depending on where you live and your temps and humidity levels, fouling does different things in different places. That's why they invented the vent pick.
I shoot a thick patch but in wiping regularly after a number of shots I've had the dreaded clinker slip down and block my touch hole. When picked you can feel the gunk and you wiggle out a hole til you feel the powder grains.
That is why I liked LH Valley so much. No matter what the weather conditions I never had to wipe. Even with the .40, which with any other lube you couldn't get the ball down after 3 shots.
Before LHV, after 5 to 10 shots, depending on the gun, I'd put a paper towel under the friz and pour enough water down the barrel to dissolve the crud in the breech and blow it out with a wet patch. It only takes a couple of minutes to clean and dry the barrel and get back to shooting.    You do what you gotta do.
And no. I would'nt like that rule either.
American horses of Arabian descent.

westerner

  • Guest
Re: Wiping
« Reply #17 on: February 17, 2010, 12:23:45 AM »
I never wiped a bore between shots until I was told I had to at a match. It ruined the day for me because I didnt have the correct tools or liquids. I had a terrible time with a wet fouled breech. The next day I faked it.

I used a worm and a small dry patch that looked like I was wiping. Since then Ive done a lot of wiping with the picket rifles and slug guns. I can do it now without fouling things up. I still prefer a spit patch and no wiping.  Ive never heard of a rifle going off from a smoldering ember.  Stupid safety does get in the way of fun.

                 Joe.

Offline D. Taylor Sapergia

  • Member 3
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 12594
Re: Wiping
« Reply #18 on: February 17, 2010, 01:32:34 AM »
I've see it twice.  The first time, I was right beside the fellow.  He had charged his rifle, a T/C Hawken, started a patched ball with a short starter, and rammed the ball in one quick stroke.  I think he created a fire piston.  It was a very hot day - over 100 F -.   It took quite a few stitches to fix his hand, and I don't think he ever got his ramrod back.  The second event was similar.  I load in six inch increments, especially when seating the ball on the powder.  I never wipe between shots.
D. Taylor Sapergia
www.sapergia.blogspot.com

Art is not an object.  It is the excitement inspired by the object.

Daryl

  • Guest
Re: Wiping
« Reply #19 on: February 17, 2010, 02:36:56 AM »
Like Taylor, I also load in 6 to 8" increments - normally. There is a tendency if using a range rod, to do it in one stroke, but perhaps that should be avoided. Compressing the air will create heat, and if compressed considerably, squirting out a partially blocked nipple or vent, the temp climb on a hot day might be all that's needed.  In this instance and if this is the cause wiping will not prevent it from happening.
Shortening the stroke allows a tighter ball/patch combo without breaking the rod, and this combination provides for increased accuracy potential.

Walker Mountain

  • Guest
Re: Wiping
« Reply #20 on: February 17, 2010, 08:29:34 AM »
I've see it twice.  The first time, I was right beside the fellow.  He had charged his rifle, a T/C Hawken, started a patched ball with a short starter, and rammed the ball in one quick stroke.  I think he created a fire piston.  It was a very hot day - over 100 F -. 
So Taylor is you saying the discharge while loading was his loading technique or could it be the combination (embers) of the two?  Thinking when you pour the powder charge down the barrel and if there was hot embers present you would get a flash of fire, which is not good, but so far itís been when seating the ball. I can see pour powder charge trickling past hot embers in the barrel but when compress when seating ball igniting the charge. Maybe the ďMyth BusterĒ should take a look at wiping. Donít know what to think about all this, I did pick up on some good pointers and will keep my face back when loading.
 ;D
Free Trapper

westerner

  • Guest
Re: Wiping
« Reply #21 on: February 17, 2010, 10:51:40 AM »
Ive often wondered if it could happen. I push the ball down slow and not in one push. The only time I put the palm of my hand on the end of the rod is when seating the ball on the powder. Never bothered me. Maybe I wont do that anymore.  :-\


               Joe.

Offline Roger Fisher

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6805
Re: Wiping
« Reply #22 on: February 17, 2010, 06:14:39 PM »
Ive often wondered if it could happen. I push the ball down slow and not in one push. The only time I put the palm of my hand on the end of the rod is when seating the ball on the powder. Never bothered me. Maybe I wont do that anymore.  :-\


               Joe.
Joe: That's why I do not like a round ball on the end of my loading rod.  I use a cylinder handle with which it is natural to grip round the handle rather than push with your hand atop said handle while seating the ball upon the charge.  It's one of my few good habits ;D

Offline hanshi

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5324
  • My passion is longrifles!
    • martialartsusa.com
Re: Wiping
« Reply #23 on: February 17, 2010, 09:05:54 PM »
I also push the prb down in increments, about 2"- 3" rather than anything too much longer than that.  I also push down an op wad before seating a ball.  The op wad should expose any "touchy" conditions down the bore.
!Jozai Senjo! "always present on the battlefield"
Young guys should hang out with old guys; old guys know stuff.

Offline Dr. Tim-Boone

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 6538
  • I Like this hat!!
Re: Wiping
« Reply #24 on: February 17, 2010, 09:57:17 PM »
My Irish Great Grandfather, Timothy O'Connor Fired a ramrod through his hand while loading during the US Civil War.
Story was they had been firing so much and so fast that the gun went off when he seated the ball with his rod.  Right between the meta carpals. Burned his palmm pretty bad. One week light duty and back in the line!!
De Oppresso Liber
Marietta, GA

Liberty is the only thing you cannot have unless you are willing to give it to others. Ė William Allen White

Learning is not compulsory...........neither is survival! - W. Edwards Deming