shooting sand or fine lead shot down the barrel to remove fouling?

Discussion in 'Blackpowder & Musket' started by blackdragon, Mar 10, 2012.

  1. blackdragon

    blackdragon New Member

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    I know that blackpowder has the bad tendency to cause fouling, enough to start choking up the gun even after 5-6 shots. so I was wondering if it's possible or if any army in the black powder era figured out to shoot sand or fine lead shot out of the barrel to try to scrap away any fouling in the barrel in battle? just load a sand load down the barrel and shoot it into the air, then continue loading and fighting as normal? I think this would have been effective. your ideas?
     
  2. Durangokid

    Durangokid New Member

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    People were not that stupid back in the day. Anyone knows a gun loaded with compressed sand is suicide. You will most likely remove your face. A patch dampened with 93% Alcohol will work much better.;)
     

  3. blackdragon

    blackdragon New Member

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    why? I'm not talking about filling it with sand or lead powder, I mean loading it like a shot load, equal portion of sand or lead powder to powder and separate them with a wad? it'll let it scrape the inside of the barrel.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2012
  4. HockaLouis

    HockaLouis New Member

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    Wouldn't alot of the sand actually just also stick by and large?
     
  5. Durangokid

    Durangokid New Member

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    Try it? You ask for advise and want to argue about the answer.:rolleyes:
     
  6. blackdragon

    blackdragon New Member

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    I follow the belief of "question everything you hear or see", essentially, why would loading sand that has less mass and is less dense then a lead ball cause complications? I asked the question, but you gave a vague answer and nothing supporting your answer. I don't blindly follow what someone says just because they said it, I'm looking for facts, not theories. you basically just told me that it won't work because you said so, nothing else.
     
  7. alsaqr

    alsaqr Well-Known Member Supporter

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    For a few hundred years folks have swabbed the bores of their blackpowder guns between shots or after firing a few shots. You can swab the bore using alcohol, Windex, Windex with vinegar, GoJo hand cleaner or a bunch of other stuff.

    Instead of arguing and being an ass go off and do it your way.
     
  8. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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    beacause sand or fine powders create a plug instead of a solid object to be pushed out.

    if you were dumb enough to do it, at some point it would go kaboom.

    its very much like firing a gun underwater. you can do it but at some point its gonna kaboom when the conditions are just right.
     
  9. orangello

    orangello New Member

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    Don't forget saliva; nothing like a spit patch between shots to keep your balls moving smoothly. :D
     
  10. Cattledog

    Cattledog New Member

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    Agreed Jon. Black powder has been around for so freaking long, I'm positive someone ...somewhere, tried what the OP suggests. Today, we clean BP bores with solvents. Just do the math.
     
  11. quigleysharps4570

    quigleysharps4570 New Member

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    Just when you think you've heard it all. :) Sorry, but no "dirt" is getting shot out of any of my rifles.
     
  12. HockaLouis

    HockaLouis New Member

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    I never thought about this but I thought it was a good theoretical question (if the particulate was compacted at the charge). I expected the blast would blow through most of the load and send most if not all out, but relatively slowly. So, a fowler would only work with the usual very thick patch (wad) over the powder (I usually use paper) and the also-thick-but-thinner (cardboard) overwad on top of the shot? Never tried it any other way but have been afraid of buck-n-ball "wedging" (like a roller-lock) in the barrel over the ball so do not shoot it but VERY rarely.

    As for the underwater thing, I NEVER understood how a gun could be fired there -- the barrel isn't sealed, but I'd think it'd be like firing a very heavy bullet the length of your barrel. I've tried it with a flintlock but can't get a good spark in the lake...
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2012
  13. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

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    First, both patched balls and Minie balls were greased. Purpose of the grease (in part) was to keep black powder fouling soft. Matter of fact, that grease was the "spark" that triggered the mutiny of the native Indian soldiers (Sepoys) against the British.

    However, there were other means adopted to aid military shooters that might shoot a LOT in a short time. Best known was the Williams Bore Cleaner
    Bullet. Here is some info on it-
    http://www.civilwaroutpost.com/m13/3--williams-cleaner-type-iii.html
     
  14. alsaqr

    alsaqr Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Thanks for the link, C3Shooter. Somewhere i have a cleaner bullet dug on private property in MD many years ago.

    Even with the greased bullets the rifles got progressively harder to load: You will sometimes find bullets with the noses deformed where the ramrod banged repeatedly on them.