I know we got people here that use muzzle loading firearms, but I am curious as to how many here used patched round ball to fill their tag?
My deer rifle is a Hawken Woodsman percussion rifle from Traditions. It's .50 caliber with the optional 1/66" rifling twist for best accurracy with patched round ball. I use a .490 diameter ball with a patch cut from a strip of pillowticking thats been greased with CVA's Slick Load lube. 80grs of Goex FFG, the real gunpowder you know. That smokeless stuff is just a passing fad.
I use a sidelock percussion for the authenticity but like the buffalo bullets w/ 90 grn pyrodex for deer, round balls for "plinking". $0.02.
I have used a patched round ball since the mid- 70's, when i started shooting black powder, and it took a while, but have landed upon a formula for "excellent accuracy," out of any of my muzzle loaders.. it is very old fashion.. but believe me.. it works fantastic.
I buy a yard of blue and white striped "pillow ticking" from a material store, (like the old feather pillows were made with....
Then..(wash it in the washing machine, and the dryer). this takes all the 'starch' out of the material.
Cut into strips about 2"wide, and couple feet long. Then i get "(WATER SOLUABLE)" machine oil, (you can this this from any shop that has a lathe.... I place in a empty dish washing squirt bottle, (like joy) etc. once totally cleaned out of course, about 10/12 % water soluable machine oil, to to the rest water, to the top.
shake well.. it turns white like milk. i then pour the liquid in a metal container, place a few of the strips in there and let then soak real good. Then take them out, and "ring them out real good", so they are "damp," "not dripping."
I place these in a baggie or whatever, and head out. Now, when you take out a strip, and place it across the muzzle of the barrel, and place a ball there, use the 'short starter,' to pop it in a touch... Then take your sharp knife and cut off even with the muzzle. (at this point, the ball is "perfectly" patched on all sides.. no un-eveness), then ram it home to the powder.... I tell ya, this not only lubes the boar, but you will get more shots in between swabbings.
The ball being so 'perfectly covered' on all sides with the patch, (unlike the little store bought pre -cut patches), makes for pin point accuracy in all our guns. BTW... we "do not use pyrodex".
Simply because i don't like it.. we use Goex, ff G (2FG). in 50/54 cal guns.
I've tried all the 'Modern stuff,' i'm sure it is easy and works for folks.. but this is as close to the original loadings of years ago as you can get... some used an oil base, some a lard, or fat base.. but, the water in the oil mix, (remember, 'water soluable' machine oil), will not turn "rancid," and will hang in there for a few days and still give a good group when you go to fire it.. the oil prevents freezing up in cold weather....
Just a thought for ya... it is really much faster, and eaiser than i make all this sound.. it really works great. if you have a good gun ... you will not believe the accuracy improvement. I won a shooting match using the above formula, when the other boys were using conicals, and store bought grease and patches for the round balls.
Well, I'm outta gas .. :)
I use RB's all the time with Hodgdon Pyro patches. The only thing I do differently then most of my BP shooting friends is to use .535 and .315 diameter balls instead of the usual .530 and .310. You'd be surprised how much better accuracy is by this simple change regardless of patch type or power charge.
Thanks for the advise. I will try anything that will improve accurracy.
I've taken 3 MI deer with the "patch & round ball", 1 buck & 2 does.
I never had one of those deer make it more then 40 yards!
I use a .490 ball w/.015 lubed patch over 80 grains FFFg in my Hatfield flintlock for deer hunting. I use the same load in my T/C Pennsylvania Hunter rifle when I use it. I have been considering using my .75-cal. Brown Bess flintlock musket, but it would be a close-range only proposition, and it shoots better with an unpatched ball.
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