Ball size ? .45 cal - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-12-2011, 03:06 AM Thread Starter
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Ball size ? .45 cal

.445 with a .015 patch is what I have been using, .018 patch is to tight.. Want to try and tighten my groups a little more with a larger ball and a .010 patch.. Was wondering what the next size Round ball I can try because Hornady's site says for .45 cal the next size is .457, but the .44 cal chart says ball sizes are .433 .451 .455....
Bit confused wouldn't .451 be just above .45 caliber?

Why won't them ducks stay still...!!
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-12-2011, 04:44 AM
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Re: Ball size ? .45 cal

I would try going down to a .440 ball and use the .018 patching. I use the Wal-Mart .018 Pillow Ticking with a .440 ball . Powder charge is 60 grs. of 3F. Try different Lubes and Powder charges.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-12-2011, 09:53 AM
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Re: Ball size ? .45 cal

I would also recomend the.440 and 18to20th patching pillow tick or #40 pocket drill from a fabric store.

I have found .10th patching to be usless for tight groups. But then what one person calls a tight group may not be anothers good group.
For target work I would want one ragged hole off the bags from 50 yds(five shot groups)
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-12-2011, 04:13 PM
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Re: Ball size ? .45 cal

I would not recomend a .010 patch.Just too thin and you will get blowby.In the 45's I use .440,.445.and one that likes .451 RB.All use .015 patches.If its a TC that probably what it will take.My powder charges of the different guns range from 50grs of FFFg to 70grs of FFFg.Most like 55 grs of FFFg.Go for the tightest groups.

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-12-2011, 05:38 PM
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Re: Ball size ? .45 cal

There are "tight" 45's and "loose" 45 caliber guns. Even in the same production line there can be a variance of goove to groove diameters.

The patch ball combination also depends a great deal on the shape and depth of the rifling.

Lastly, while there defintely are better powder/patch/ball combinations, I do not belive that changing to a ptach that is .003 thicker or thinner makes much difference so long as the bore is sealed. Because of the shape of some rifling, a flannel can work better than a thick cotton drill like ticking.

In a lot of guns, consistent loading procedures means more to accuraccy than whether a patch is .018 or .012 in thickness. When I say consistent, I mean to the point of being [censored]. The bore should have the same fouling from shot to shot, even if that means swabbing the bore between shots. Powder should be measured the same way every shot, tapped to settle in the measure the same, poured down the barrel and then the gun should be rapped on the side to settle the powder into all the nooks and crannies of the breech, the same every time. The patcch should be turned the same way with the same amount of lube every time, And the ball should be loaded with the same force and seated to the same powder compression every time. (You can actually feel a slight crunch sensation with the ram road as the ball is seated.) Stand the same, breath the same, squeeze the same, fart the same if need be.

Inconsistency is indeed the hobgoblin of accuracy. Far more than the patch. Very deep narrow rifling may require a palm bruising patch ball combination, but for most rifling, especially wide round groove rifling, it shouldn't take much force at all to start the patched ball. Maybe 5 or 10 pounds of force.

I know alot of folks disagree with me about this, but my feeling is that as long as the bore is sealed, patch thickness doesn't make that much difference.

Some guys will swear that they need a .445 ball and a .025 patch and a mallet to start the ball. And that is great for them. But their gun is most definitely NOT your gun, it may not even be from the same country of origin. Unless you know that their rifling, (shape depth, twist and width) is exactly the same as yours, any comparison of patch ball combinations is pretty much irrelevent.

Whether your gun is capable of shooting one ragged hole at 50 yds, depends on much more than a patch ball combo., sights, target, shooter, trigger, lighting, and most importantly, loading consistency. A bad, dented or uneven crown can offset any efforts to test patch ball combos. A lock with roughness in the works that falls at inconsistent speeds, a poorly sparking flint or frizzen. There are so very many variables to try to tame.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-12-2011, 06:03 PM
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Re: Ball size ? .45 cal

I,m glad this thread was started.I picked up two clean T/C Hawkens last week and one is a .45 cal.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-12-2011, 07:54 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Ball size ? .45 cal

Sorry for not enough info.. The rifle is a .45 cal Pedersoli Kentucky 1/48 Shallow twist.. She seems to like 70grns using 3F swiss.. I am being as consistant as I can cleaning and dry wad after each shot.. Same pressure when loading..
I did use 440 ball with pillow ticking.018 patch had about the same result as the 445 ball with .015 patch 445 was a bit more consistant group.
But out of 5 shots at 50 yards I seem to get 3 within 1 1/2 inches of each other and 1 or 2 out to 6 inches.. Very rarely touching each other.. I understand there are lots of variables like Zimm is saying but that is what I am trying to work out.. I catch my self closing my eye when the flash goes off from the pan which is driving me nuts... LoL I am a very confident shooter I have a 1953 8mm Spanish Mauser which I love to shoot and she groups quarter groups very well at 100 yards with iron sites. Im not sure how much of this problem is me shooting off the bags. I know what patterns well and what type of ammo out of my shot guns even my hand guns like certain ammo's.. Thats why I started with round ball and I plan on sticking with round ball till I find the right combo..


Why won't them ducks stay still...!!
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-12-2011, 09:16 PM
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Re: Ball size ? .45 cal

That 70 gr charge could be a little hot for shallow 1-48 twist try reducing the charge and see what happens. How do your patches look after being shot?
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-12-2011, 10:48 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Ball size ? .45 cal

I have not recovered one yet .. I did a snow test and did not see any left over residue if I get out this week i will take a shot and collect one..

Why won't them ducks stay still...!!
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-13-2011, 03:36 AM
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Re: Ball size ? .45 cal

With a good patch and ball combo your patches should like they could be used again except for being frayed around the edges.
I would collect more than one. Four or five will give you a better picture of what is happening.
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