The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community banner

1 - 20 of 28 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,680 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Anyone have any tips to make loading a flintlock easier?? The first two or three rounds are fine at the range, but after that its almost impossible for me to get the 4th round down the barrel. Even broke a ramrod last time out I was pushing so hard. I tried running dry patches and even patches with a blackpowder cleaning spray on them down the barrel between shots but it didn't help much. And I'm only using .015" patches! Can only imagine what would happen if I tried .020" patches! So how do you guys do a long afternoon at the range??
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,175 Posts
Give us some data on the size of round ball you are using (.50 come in 2 sizes, .490 & .495, that I am aware of for example). Also what are you using for a patch lube? Also what manufacture of powder are you using?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,333 Posts
Sounds like you need to clean the barrel a little better. Dry patches wont work. I take s small thermos with hot soapy water in it to clean mine a couple wet patches then dry good to go.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,091 Posts
Two ways to alleviate the problem.

First, and best, swab the bore between shots, or at a minimum every other shot. A wet patch followed by two dry patches. Muzzle loader accuracy is based on consistency. Keeping the fouling consistent from shot to shot is as important as measuring the powder and the patch ball combination. Personally, at a match, I usually have a can or bottle of diet soda with me. I place some patches on the bench and soak them by pouring the soda on them. o the point they could be squeezed and have drops of maisture come out. Use the jag to pump one up and down two or three times and then the dry patches.


The second method, is to use a very wet patch that softens and wipes the fouling with each shot. Success with this depends a bit on the rifling in the bore. Some folks claim bore butter will do this. Others claim odd mixtures of pine oil and other stuff works for them.

I have done a lot of target competition shooting over the years and an overwhelming majority of match competitors swab the bore between shots.

There have been a lot of methods tried over the years to reduce fouling from shot to shot. Everything from wads under the ball, various concoctions of patch lube and changing powder granulation.

Lastly, if your patch and ball combination is a little loose, or, you are shooting more powder than can be consumed within the bore, fouling increases in multiples. As long as black powder is burning under pressure, the fouling stays minimal. When there is no pressure or not much pressure, the fouling left is much higher. So if you shoot a 110 grains in a short barrel traditions deer hunter, the powder will still be burning after the ball exits the muzzle, it leaves much more fouling than backing down to 80 grains, which is about what can be consumed within the bore before the ball exits. (that extra powder does impart some extra velocity, but at a much lower proportion per grain of powder.

For minute of deer accuracy, it comes down to what works for you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,680 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Zimmer, the biggest problem with this I am having is in my TC PA hunter carbine. Using 80 grains. Maybe that is just too much powder for a short barrel gun?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,091 Posts
"pre lubed patch" Just might be not enough lube.
Some prelubed patches are barely wet with the lube.

Just try some patches with a bit extra or a different lube.

The purpose of the lube which can be not just to help the patched ball slide out, but can also be to coat the bore so the fouling doesn't stick fast.

Shooters have tried all manner of things, windex, olive oil, pine oil mixtures, spit, bees wax, cheese wax, shortening, bear fat, coon oil, Whale oil, corn oil,
Sprayed on dry teflon, slick 50, stp oil treatment, KY jelly, The list is amazing. Recently I heard of shooters trying wd-40. I use spit at the range and vegetable oil when hunting.

80 grains shouldn't be too much for your barrel. Wouldn't hurt to try 70 for a series of shots. Trying 3ffg for a series of shots, You could also try a tighter patch ball combination (495 ball) although I suspect it may be the lube or amount of it.

Expecting more than two or three shots without wiping is probably a stretch anyway.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,680 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Makes sense. I'll be sure to clean the barrel more often on the range. I was just under the impression that it was a sin to use anything wet or even damp in a muzzleloader (except when cleaning with boiling water at home). I'll take some bore butter to the range with me and lube the patches a bit more.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
23,866 Posts
Also...consider switching from Goex to Swiss Black Powder. Fouling far, far less which makes reloading much easier. I used Goex for many years & about 5 years ago switched to Swiss & will never look back.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,727 Posts
In cold temperatures, "bore butter" related fouling will become very hard. Swabbing between shots becomes a requirement within the loading chore.

It's a lube that during warm humid weather stays soft. Late flintlock....
Experiment...experiment...experiment.

The mink oil lube sold by trackofthewolf...when it comes to grease lubes.. has always worked well for me through a wide temp range.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,680 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Good info guys... i never considered lube to be an important part of the process. Thought it was just to keep rust away when storing the gun!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,680 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
I think I have heard of using crisco before, possibly read it somewhere here.... There's alot to these flintlocks! Sounds like I need to spend an entire summer experimenting with it! Just hoping to get it good enough for late season right now....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,402 Posts
1)Swab between each or everyother shot.(Wet followed by 2 dry)
2)Thicker patch makes a cleaner burn.

Your 1st shot at a deer is out of a clean barrel not one that has had 6-8 shots out of it.Duplicate that 1st shot.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
185 Posts
Make sure you clean all petroleum based oil out of the barrel before your first shot. Black powder and petroleum do not mix. Alcohol works good for this. A liquid lube is good for the range but not for hunting. It dries out after a few hours.

If your bore is rough, you're pretty much stuck with cleaning between shots. You could try polishing the bore with some steel wool and an abrasive like toothpaste.

I have several flintlocks with Getz or Rice barrels. I can do an entire 40 shot woodswalk without wiping the bore. I use windshield washer fluid with a few drops of Dawn dish detergent mixed in. Don't skimp on the lube!!! Every time you load your gun, if you patch is wet enough, it pushes the dirt down on top of the load. So each shot cleans the barrel from the previous shot.

Bill
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
461 Posts
my three favorites are mink oil from track of the wolf.
bear grease which is hard to get
ballistol mixture, also used for
cleaning.
i run 20 rounds today and never cleaned once
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
12,799 Posts
Maybe i am lucky...maybe i have a "loose bore". I dont know...

When i started with a rock l read about "seasoning your bore" in my TC manual....made sense....so i did it...i lube with bore butter..shoot. 490 hornady round balls and. 018 pillow ticking patches...pre-lubed but i use a ball block and "fill the void" with bore butter between the ball and wood...at the range i just use the patches as is..or shoot from my ball blocks to put new ones in for the season..

I also shoot 90gr of 3fg goex from a TC Hawken...

I can shoot all day and never clean...accuracy doesnt change noticeably and it never gets harder to load...ive went over 20rds just to prove a point to a buddy....

I clean with hot tap water and rusty duck BP Solvent...then dry and bore butter before the barrel cools....

Once a year i will run boiling water through and get it real hot and do it..


I have a buddy that uses wd-40 to clean and oil...another uses regular gun oil...ive seen them ramming trees trying to seat a ball after a shot...lol...


If i do want to run a patch at the range i run a few patches soaked in 91% alcohol...
 
1 - 20 of 28 Posts
Top