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Thread: Removing Stuck Wooden Dowel and Soft Lead Sinker from a barrel

  1. #41
    Boolit Man
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    For the wooden dowel...go somewhere they sell black powder items and buy a dowel of STRAIGHT Hickory. Thats what Bucksinners use..not that Home Depot ****...

    Take some thin wall brass tubing from the hobby store...about the same OD as the hickory rod is... and cut off a piece of the brass tubing about 1" long....and gently sand down the last inch of the hickory rod until you can just barely slide the brass tubing onto it.

    Mix up your 2 part expoy and cover the end of the dowel rod and slide the brass tubing onto it. Wipe away the excess with paper towels and some alcohol

    If ya want extra insurance you can drill the brass tubing with a TEENIE TINY drill and use some very small ( I used #2's) wood screws countersunk ( use the end of a larger drll) into the brass tube and the wood shaft ( It dont take much to really add to the holding power)

    Let sit for about 2 days and then...then ...soak the whole thing in kerosene for about a week. Remove it...hang it up to drip and dry off. You can actually take a 4 ft long piece of hickory treated this way and bend it into a full circle and it doesnt break!

    Dowels come in various diameters so dont be using a 1/4 inches in a .50 caliber rifle....no no...

  2. #42
    Way back when I was a kid, I put one of them Renegade 50 cal. muzzle loader kits together. Went out shooting and wanted to swab the barrel with a patch and the jag on the end of the ramrod. Yep it got stuck, pulled the end right off the rod. The only thing I could think of was to push it all the way down. (now remember I was a kid). I pulled the nipple out and put some powder in, how much... as much as I could put in the damn little hole. Pointed it at the ground and, "Boom" It came out like a bat out of hell, never did find it.

    I still have the gun. and the rod with one end brass and the other a black replacement. (I know I need to get a better ramrod) Not a good idea. Just got lucky I'm still around to get old. BT

  3. #43
    Boolit Master

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    I have used hardwood dowels cut into about 6" sections to slug barrels. On 1 ocassion I did get a #9 egg sinker stuck about 4" into the barrel. I had a section of brass rod with which I was able to get the slug moving again. I use a large heavy hammer to keep things moving also.

    Many times if a particular milsurp has some frost in the barrel whether it's visible or not (sometimes the pitting can only be seen with a loupe) the edges of the pitting can cause quite a bit of resistance. I have used some 360 Clover lapping compound to smooth things out. I swab the bore with Hoppes then apply some of the lapping compound to a soaked patch and make about 10 - 15 passes (once the barrel is thoroughly cleaned). This makes slugging go much easier. 10 - 15 passes of the compound doesn't remove much metal, I have slugged prior to and after this procedure, and found no appreciable wear that I could measure. Of course this is something that needs judicious use, but in case were I have done this it not only makes slugging smoother, but has improved accuracy as well. I usually do a break in on rifles I have done this to as well. Just my 2 cents worth...

  4. #44
    Longwood
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    I decided to slug my new 45-70 rifle and used a couple of those fiberglass tubes that were from a dome tent. Using my lead hammer, I pounded the aluminum sleeves even with the end on two of them then put another sleeve on the other end of one so they would connect and went for it. I had two different sizes but one was way too thin walled to pound on.

  5. #45
    Boolit Bub
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    Quote Originally Posted by woodyubet View Post
    Slip a fired case over the end of the wood dowel before you put it in the barrel
    Been using a fired case for 30 yrs on the both ends of a pounding rod. That way neither end can damage.

  6. #46
    Boolit Master NHlever's Avatar
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    "Been using a fired case for 30 yrs on the both ends of a pounding rod. That way neither end can damage"

    Doesn't that give you a deep chamber?
    One thing I started doing a few years ago is coatiing the lead slug with case sizing lube. I use the RCBS brand, and have found tha works well for reducing the effort required to tap the slug through. The last barrel I did was a 30-06 Ruger light weight, and it has a very even taper from breech to muzzle ( in the right direction for once) I am interested to see how that will work with my cast boolits......... should be good.

  7. #47
    Boolit Bub
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    What is the preferred object to use for the lead slug?

  8. #48
    Boolit Master



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    I just use a soft lead boolit as cast from the mold as long as it's big enough to fill the bore. I should have mentioned earlier that I always start a slug with a short piece of brass or bronze rod, tapping it in about 4", then switch to my long rod and drive it through. Kind of like the ball starter the muzzle loading boys use.

  9. #49
    Boolit Master BPCR Bill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Von Gruff View Post
    A reminder to self. Lube bore generously before attempting to pound slug through. Dont ask how I know.

    Von Gruff.
    I concur. A good gob of Lubriplate engine assembly lube beforehand works miracles. I've never personally had a stuck lead boolit in the barrel from slugging, but I took this advice from an old timer who knew from experience. I also know of fellas that have ruined barrels from pounding with that bigger hammer. It can be an expensive process if not done properly.

    Regards,
    Bill
    America is like a healthy body, and its resistance is threefold: its patriotism, its morality, and its spiritual life. If we can undermine these three areas, America will collapse from within. Joseph Stalin


    "Hope" is not a strategy.

    Life member NRA
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  10. #50
    Boolit Master BPCR Bill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by daviddoo View Post
    What is the preferred object to use for the lead slug?
    The softer the lead the better. Sometimes you can get away with buying a few cast balls for muzzleloaders and get it fairly close to your bore diameter. Harry Pope, the renowned barrel maker from the turn of the 19th century, used buckshot for smaller diameter calibers such as the .25's. A few years ago one could get a barrel slugging kit, with various sized slugs, but I can't recall who offerd it. I would have to look through some back issues of some of my Black Powder publications.

    Many shooters don't realize this, but many rifle barrels come out "Choked" somewhat at the muzzle end. The best way to slug a barrel is to drive the slug in through the chamber first and out the muzzle. Then one should do a CerroSafe chamber cast going past the throat and into the rifling for two inches. Measure the slug, and the rifling on the chamber cast. You might be surprised at the difference you see.

    Regards,
    Bill
    America is like a healthy body, and its resistance is threefold: its patriotism, its morality, and its spiritual life. If we can undermine these three areas, America will collapse from within. Joseph Stalin


    "Hope" is not a strategy.

    Life member NRA
    US Navy Retired
    NRA Certified Rifle, Pistol, Metallic Cartridge Reloading Instructor, Range Safety Officer

  11. #51
    Boolit Bub
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    Thanks for all the help. I have several barrels I need to check.

  12. #52
    Boolit Man
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    Moral of the story; DO NOT use a wood dowel! Great for assembling furniture, making a peg to hang a coat on, BUT NEVER to drive a piece of lead from one end ot the barrel to the other.

  13. #53
    Boolit Master
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    Try the special slugs from LBT. You can also feel any loose or tight spots.

  14. #54
    A friend dropped off his expensive english air gun with stuck pellets ,of course someone had pounded on them.I removed the barrel and took a long drywall screw took the sharp crests off with a bench grinder.Screwing into the hollow backs of the pellets removed them one at a time 25 were stuck.Tis better to be a puller than a pusher. Frank C.

  15. #55
    Boolit Master midnight's Avatar
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    Someone asked me why I was dragging the big logging chain behind me. I told him it was a lot easier than pushing it.

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  16. #56
    Boolit Master


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    I wonder if the problem is using fishing sinkers. I was too lazy to go get one so I used the pure lead balls I cast for my muzzle loaders. They were a bit small but a hammer and an anvil fattened them up nicely. Since I had my muzzle loader kit out I swabbed the ball & bore with it. With a nice slick barrel they don't take much hammering at all.
    Endowment Life Member NRA, Life Member TSRA, Member WACA, NRA Whittington Center, BBHC
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  17. #57
    Boolit Master
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    I use naught but straight grain hickory for dowels. When I am around muzzleloading doings, I normally inspect and pick the best of different diameters from sellers.

    Also when muzzleloading target shooting & etc, I never use the rifle's skinny ramrod for loading, but use a near bore size long hickory wiping rod which is a lot stronger.

  18. #58
    Moderator

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    I had a similar problem with a squib load in my .357 Contender, but with a jacketed bullet. My first attempt to remove with a brass rod resulted in the rod going completely through the dang bullet. Too small of diameter I suppose. My next several attempts were with hardwood dowels(several of them) and Kroil. I did finally remove it with no damage, but I hope I never have to do that again!

  19. #59
    Boolit Master
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    I usually slug with a round ball or a proper sized egg sinker with the hole in the center. But recently I got a wild hair and decided to just use a boolit. Got it about 8" into the barrel before it got stuck, then broke a piece of wooden dowel off with it, get a steel rod and wrap some tape around it to keep from scratching the bore but can't get it to move. So I get a bigger hammer but still no go.
    I go to the other end and try driving it out that way. No ciger! I finally get a measurement on where it's at and apply some heat with a propane torch until the wood started smoking. At which time it knocked right out.
    From now on if I don't have a round ball I'll cast a pure bullet in the mold I'm wanting to use and then with a pair of wire cutters I can cut a piece off a little more than cal. If its too small it can be bumped up with a tap from a hammer or clamp it in a vise. A hole drilled through the center makes it go through the bore easer.
    The last time I stuck a live neck sized round I ended up pulling the barrel off at which time I could get a pair of pliers on it. The gun was a Savage, my barrel vise already set up, so this whole affiar only took a few minuets.
    Some people live and learn but I mostly just live

  20. #60
    Boolit Master popper's Avatar
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    A pure lead C 170 gr. CB that is sized is NOT what you want to use for slugging a 30-30 bbl. Too long and too much friction, even when everything is lubed.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check