The key to accuracy is consistency. Some guns seem to do better than others with out swabbing between shots. Some shooters are just so bad, they can't tell the difference. Some shooters are so inconsistent with the rest of their loading procedure that it does not matter in their shooting.
The key to muzzle loader accuracy is the ability to eliminate the variables that affect accuracy. There is a joke about muzzle loader shooters loading the same each shot and if they fart between shot 1 and 2 they must fart the same between every shot. With modern production guns, generally having crappy sights, and folks measuring powder charges inconsistently, and turning the patch a different angle when loading and deforming the ball by pounding the heck out of it and seating the ball with different pressure each time, the variables can get up into the dozens. amount of prime powder, whether it is near or away from the touch hole, is the amount of lube on the patch the same each time., does one shot take so long to shoot that the patch lube fouls some of the powder charge. Follow through, wind, stance, hold, etc. For hunting minute of deer generally does it for most. Swabbing the barrel between shots, a wet patch up and down twice, followed by two dry patches, is what I followed for years in target competition. It made little difference in my offhand shooting, but mattered a lot when shooting on the bench. When a guy that does not swab between shots can shoot 5 shot cloverleafs offhand at 100 yds, I will reconsider my position.
I won matches, not because I was the better shooter, but many times because I was the more consistent shooter. My hold and follow through might have been bad, but not as bad as the shots thrown because of inconsistent loading by other shooters.
Measure your powder and slightly overfill the measure. Tap the side to let it settle to even across the top, if a small bit spills, so what. 4 or 5 grains more or less per shot can mean a vertical string on the target. Swabbing the bore between shots makes the cleanliness of the barrel the same each shot. Pour the powder into the barrel the same each time. Then IMPORTANT, rap the palm of your hand against the side of the gun a few times to settle the powder into the flash channel or touch hole. Then keep the lube on the patch the same each time. Turn the weave on the patch the same each time. place the ball and try to load it with even pressure that does not deform the ball. Push the ball down with the ram rod until it meets the powder and then put just enough additional pressure to feel the "crunch sensation" of the powder compressing slightly. With most flint locks, you want just enough powder to cover the bottom of the pan. Not full or half full. you need consistent spark. TC stock flintlocks were notorious for flints scraping through the high carbon skin of the case hardened frizzens. Once that starts, sparking becomes very inconsistent.
Try to use good english flints, and give the cut flints away. Maintain proper breathing while aiming, and keep a good stance that is consistent shot to shot. Each step takes practice to do it as identically as possible from shot to shot.
Swabbing between shots is sometimes not as important as other steps where you may not be consistent, but it develops a habit of consistency for shooting.,
Last edited by zimmerstutzen; 12-22-2016 at 06:47 PM.