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Discussion Starter #1
OK, so I've been using a flintlock for about 7 years and basically I'm "self taught" (which is why I'm asking for help). I have only ever harvested 1 doe, but have missed MORE than I will admit. This year I want to get serious. I just installed a set of fiber optic sights on my TC Hawken and went out tonight to sight it in. After 3 shots at 25 yards I was on the paper. I'm shooting rb's with prelubed patches. My question is this....the first ball/patch went it fairly easy, but each ball after was extremely more difficult. Shoud I be cleaning between shots? Sure will be hard to do if I'm trying to get off a second shot (which has been pretty normal for me) at a deer. What can I do to make it easier?? Or let me know what I'm doing wrong.
THANKS!
 

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Almost all target match shooters wipe between shots. a wet patch followed by a dry. Some rifling fouls less, some loads foul the rifling less. Sounds like fouling is clogging it up a bit.

You are going hunting with a clean barrel. Why would you try to sight for hunting with a fouled barrel? It throws your point of impact off. Your second follow up shot in the woods will most likely be much closer and fine aim not as important.

You have a 28 inch barrel, what load and powder are you using.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I'm using 80 grains FFg Goex and FFFFg in the pan. Wipe between shots with alcohol? bore cleaner? I have a new bottle of TC No. 13 Bore cleaner.
I appreciate your help!
 

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There are so many variables with ML shooting that there probably is not a single answer that will help. For example: manufacturer of powder being used / humidity / patch lube... However, try using Crisco as a patch lube. Criso is cheap and it will keep the burned powder soft, thus greatly reducing loading problems and causing the burnd powder to be easly removed as well. I started out using Bore Butter and I could not drive home more than 3 consecutive loads without brushing the bore and wet swabbing. With Crisco I have fired as many as 20 loads without cleaning the bore. Again, though, humidity will play a part in the accumilation of powder in the bore. The only issue I have with Crisco is that to properly apply the stuff you need to melt it and place the patch material in the melt and then let it cool to soak the wad. A bit messy but it makes a shooting session fun and not constantly broken by bore swabbing sessions.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Good info, THANK YOU, wonder about crisco on the yellow pre-lubed patches? I used to use pre-lubed lead (they looked like wad cutters) and I could only get a few before I had to clean the barrel. If I clean between shots using #13 bore cleaner don't I run the risk of the inside of barrel being damp and not igniting? May sound dumb, but like I said, I haven't had much direction. I tell everyone I would have starved as an early settler. I drew a tag for the Management area flint hunt and I want to be ready. BOTH me and my gun. I'll take any and all advice.
 

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Don't put the Crisco on patches that are already lubed - you want to use unlubed patches for the Crisco treatment. As for a wet bore, when you use a wet patch, follow it up with a dry one and when you get it down into the breach area swirl it around a bit to pick up moisture. I reccomend that you look up a Black Powder manual by Sam Fadala and give it a good read. It's full of information that new BP shooters will find useful. Have you visited Dixons in Kempton by any chance? Again, I don't know where you are so visiting Dixon's may not be a logical thing to do.
 

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Swab between shots is good for consistancy.One spit/wet followed by 1-2 dry.Its that 1st shot out of a clean barrel thats going to do the job.What thickness patches are you using?Thicker often gives cleaner burning.TC's like .015-.018.
That TC will get 1 1/2" at 50yds or less with a RB.
 

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I don't have as good a groups with conicals either. With patched round ball I get 2" groups regularily and some times it is just a ragged hole at 50 yards. I use ordinary Crisco for lube. Maybe try a tighter [thicker] patch.

Generaly I can shoot 5 or 6 shots before it starts to get harder to load. Like Zimmer says sight your gun with a clean bore for hunting. A fouled bore usually makes my rifle shoot about 1 1/2" higher than the first shot.
 

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With conicals you often get blowby till the barrel gets dirty.You can help that by using a felt wad under the conical.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thickness of patches??? I bought the TC pre-lubed patches (about the size of a quarter) at Trader Horn....there is a difference? More of that "self taught" coming thru. I would be happy to hit a paper plate at 50 yards. Maybe I could send my gun away to be "worked"?????
 

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As my Winter Patch Lube I mix Bear Grease with a little Beeswax. Stays soft and I also use a little thinner Patch in Cold weather. I wont shoot past 50yds `cause that is my range limit when shooting at a Deer. I don`t get the exact accuracy with the thinner patch but the second shot is easier to load. My Uncle would put a couple of the old Buffalo Ballets, I think this was the conical with the real sticky stuff on it,in His pocket and would use that for a quick follow up shot. I believe a loading block or quick loader would work just as well??
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I guess I now know why I haven't had much luck....I WILL be ready for the hunt on Dec 22. I'll have that TC Hawken driving tacks....or at least able to throw lead in the right direction.
 

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When I said thicker patches I meant in thousanths of an inch. I have some store bought patches in 10 thou and 15 thousanth thickness. Up until a few weeks ago I was using denim I bought at a fabric store. It was around 12 thousanths. Everyone suggests pillow
ticking but I have not found any in a store yet.

When I first bought my gun I was using old blue jeans for patches but being old and weak the fabric was not consistent and I would get blown patches occasionaly.

Look about 30 feet in front of where you were shooting and pick up your old patches and see if they are torn up or cut.

A couple of yards of denim will last a long time. I should mention whatever you use make sure the fabric is 100% cotton or linen. If there is synthetics in it [like nylon or rayon] it will melt and leave goo in your bore.
 

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One of the causes of excessive fouling is a loose patch ball combo. Either a slightly larger ball, ie .490 to .495 or going to a thicker patch, .0010 to .0018 etc. Some lubes may barely oil the bore as rammed home, such lubes reduce the resistance of the patch sliding on the bore, but don't necessarily leave a residue that keeps fouling soft for the next shots. Some folks have had good success with olive oil as a patch lube, some find that a felt wad under the PRB helps.

I wipe the bore between shots with simple water. Although in cold weather a mix of water and alcohol won't freeze. There are other concoctions some use, water with a bit of Lestoil or pine oil, etc. (Look up Moose Milk)
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I wipe the bore between shots with simple water. Although in cold weather a mix of water and alcohol won't freeze.
I can do that! What about straight alcohol?
 

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What kind of alcohol? Rubbing alc is already largely water as I recall. I prefer mostly water, Alcohol evaporates sometimes it seems almost before the bore is wiped.

Cit rubbing alc with some water and add a few drops of lestoil or pine oil
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I'm headed to NAPA dealer to get stuff to make the Moose Milk, I'm starting to gain some confidence in both my knowledge and understanding of this weapon.
THANKS FOR ALL THE TIPS....feel free to keep them coming!!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I'm making Moose Milk..... I bought alcohol that's 91% isopropyl alcohol.....I hope that's better than regular alcohol (less water)
 
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