Ball to barrel sizing

Discussion in 'Blackpowder & Musket' started by Scratchammo, Apr 19, 2012.

  1. Scratchammo

    Scratchammo New Member

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    My apologies if this has been brought up before. Is there a rule of thumb regarding how much smaller a round ball should be than the bore (smooth)?
     
  2. mountainman13

    mountainman13 New Member

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    I usually go .010 smaller with a .015 patch. On a smoothie their are all kinds of fun loads you can do.
     

  3. Scratchammo

    Scratchammo New Member

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    Awesome :D Would you know how thick t-shirt material is?
     
  4. mountainman13

    mountainman13 New Member

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    Not off hand. Most guys use pillow ticking. Pick up a pair of calipers ($25 or so) and hit the fabric store with them. You can get a yard of the stuff and cut your own patches for years.
    T shirts are usually made fire resistant now they may cause some gumming issues. I've never tried them for patches but they definitely don't work for char cloth.
     
  5. Scratchammo

    Scratchammo New Member

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    Sounds like a plan.
     
  6. Durangokid

    Durangokid New Member

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    Using T shirts would do very little. As posted by Mtn. Man use a tight weave such as Pillow case. Many shooters prefer an over powder wad no patch on ball. I don't like that idea as the ball may move forward. I shoot a .600 hard ball poured from straight WW metal and a .018 patch lubed with BP+. This allows a "Thumb" start in a .620 [20 Ga] gun. Not using short starters in timed shoots can give you an edge.:)
     
  7. Scratchammo

    Scratchammo New Member

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    Good info, thanks.
     
  8. W. C. Quantrill

    W. C. Quantrill New Member

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    If you buy pillow ticking by the yard, throw it in the washing machine and wash the sizing/starch out of it before you cut your patches. Unless you know for certain that your T-shirts are 100% cotton or non synthetic, you are asking for some nasty gunk in your barrel. My Hawken has a .53 barrel and I use .520 balls with pillow ticking. This pillow ticking I have now, I got at Hobby Lobby, and it is about .022 washed.

    I use my own homemade lube of venison tallow and beeswax. I have used several different brands of lube and this works just as well. I did particularly like the Lehigh Valley lube, but they kept messing with it, and I dont even know if you can get it anymore.

    I have seen guys speed load--dump powder, drop a ball, and then bump the butt to seat it and shoot, which might work ok on Seneca runs where you are not shooting over 20 yards, but it isnt a recipe for accuracy.
     
  9. Durangokid

    Durangokid New Member

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    The European armies poured and bumped their muskets on the ground. That seated the ball and allowed powder to flow into the pan thru the large flash holes. They were very fast and could lay down icredeble "Volley" fire. I often wonder how may barrels were blown off by the soldiers. The early Western "Buff" runners did this also from horse back. We do know many of them were injured and blinded.:eek:
     
  10. W. C. Quantrill

    W. C. Quantrill New Member

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    Howdy Durango,

    Did I ever tell you that my GGGpa ran buffs down in this country right after the Great War of Northern Aggression? I still have and occasionally shoot his rifle.

    We need to get together one of these days.

    WC
     
  11. drboompa

    drboompa New Member

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    "Northern Aggression" love it!
     
  12. alsaqr

    alsaqr Well-Known Member Supporter

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    i use closely woven cleaning patches lubed with GoJo hand cleaner. Works really well.
     
  13. thdrduck

    thdrduck New Member

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    GoJo??? That's a new one on me. Why and how did you come up with that? I have been using Bore Butter with good results. I tried pure mutton tallow but had problems with fouling after just a couple shots. I always wanted to try "moose milk" (water and water soluble machinist oil) but just never got around to making any. It's supposed to make a great cleaner and lube that will clean the bore each time you load. Has anyone here ever used it? Been meaning to make some for the last 35 years or so.