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Thread: Several Muzzle loader projects came together!

  1. #1
    Boolit Master piwo's Avatar
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    Several Muzzle loader projects came together!

    I had a good weekend. Several “projects” coming together on the range today. Probably could be a couple threads, but I’ll just “roll em up” into one.

    It comes off the heels of a somewhat disappointing “ladle casting” session on Thursday: my first ever. I also lost my cell phone that day as it is the last time I can remember having it. Perhaps it fell into the casting pot and that’s why the results … The mould I used was a T/C Contender mould I received that very day: a purchase from fellow forum member floodgate. They cast @ 406grains.

    On Friday I got a care package from fellow forum member mrmom: 3.66lbs of dead soft .54 boolits, cast in a mould I’m not certain. These behemoths weigh @466grains a piece, and are like flying thermoses. He sent me a stash of some over the winter cast somewhat harder, and while the results weren’t stellar, gave a glimmer of hope. Here’s a pic of both boolits being used. Both were pushed with 100grains of FFFg, with the T/C contender mould yielding 1454 fps, and the mrmom boolit at 1380fps.


    Friday night I started lubing these bullets with a different recipe of beeswax lube. This mix had 50.8% Crisco (can) 45% beeswax, and 4.2% paraffin (the kind my wife uses when she makes certain chocolate covered cookies). BINGO! First time every, the damn stuff stayed in the lube bands. Armed with this small victory, on Saturday I cleaned a 3 lb coffee can , put the above ingredients @ same proportion (used a tad less paraffin), and make a BIG batch using the "double boiler" method, and poured it over the remaining boolits mrmom sent in a large pan, and lubed the rest. The results were quite good again! Now, two good results in two days.

    I now have cast, SOFT boolits, but I needed some improvement to my primitive sights. I just don’t shoot them too well. My friend is a nurse in a cardiac testing facility, and he gave me some tiny magnets that are amazingly powerful Using these magnets and a cheap bracket that came with a picture frame, I fashioned a temporary magnetic “ghost ring” that would stick well to the flat of my .54 Flint. Here’s the sight and the magnet.

    Here’s what it looks like on the rifle.

    Today I went to the range to test it all out: sight, boolits and lube. Shot over a chronograph for good measure! It is a VERY windy day here, but if you waited, you could get some relatively slack times to shoot.

    The pic below is the 50 yard target. I only had a handful of successful T/C contender boolits, and all but three were fired at this target. The second boolit from the top right is the “mrmom behemoth. This is the best result I’ve had to date shooting conical boolits: no records here, but minute of deer for sure, and the best results yet.


    And now the target that really got me cranked up: 100 yards. The three shots to the left were from the T/C contender mould and the lone boolit in the center was the mrmom special.


    The group on the left measured 1.81" inches outside edge to outside edge, so subtracting out the boolit diameter, it was a 1.27" group at 100 yards using magnetic ghost ring sights, home made lube on home made boolits through a home made rifle. The group is 4.5 inches low and 4.5 inches to the left. Using the formula D1/R1=D2/R2, where:

    D1 = Distance between the point of aim and the point of impact
    R1 = the range from the front site to the target in inches
    D2 = the incremental change to be made by the rear site
    R2 = the distance between the front and rear site,

    We get the following equation: 4.5/3600= X/37
    Using my fingers and toes, this result is X=.04625 I must raise my rear site .04625 inches to raise the POI to the POA. I must also move the rear site .04625 inches to the right of where it was, which wasn’t recorded, so that will be moot till the next range time.



    Man, it's been a pretty successful weekend. Finally got some things to work for me!

    Thanks guys for all your tips over the past few months, I'm slowing catching on..
    Last edited by piwo; 04-22-2007 at 05:32 PM.
    "So how many Divisions does this Pope have?".. Joseph Stalin

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  2. #2
    Boolit Buddy
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    piwo , using wifes measuring tape your either a braver man than me,,,,, or stupid He He oh by the way...looks like your on your way now... congrads

  3. #3
    Boolit Buddy
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    Piwo, that's a really good idea for a sight! I never heard of such, you should've pattened it before you put it on this site I shoot my .40 flintlock about 3 times a week in the backyard. My eyes are not to good on anything within a foot anymore and my rear sight is just a blurrrrrrr. I'm gonna try to make one of those. Are you going to permanently install the ghost ring?

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    Boolit Master piwo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flyingstick View Post
    Piwo, that's a really good idea for a sight! I never heard of such, you should've pattened it before you put it on this site I shoot my .40 flintlock about 3 times a week in the backyard. My eyes are not to good on anything within a foot anymore and my rear sight is just a blurrrrrrr. I'm gonna try to make one of those. Are you going to permanently install the ghost ring?


    No, I won't permanently install it. I'll use magnets and find a way to return it to "battery" predictably for range work. I have some ideas there and we'll see how they pan out. While shooting the T/C contender boolits, no movement of the site was realized. While shooting the heavier boolits, the rear site DID move slightly at every shot which is one of the reasons I didn't continue shooting the bigger, heavier boolits. I'll be working on that one.

    The ghost ring helped me a
    lot, and when I develop the means to return it to a consistent mark, I'll use it when I reach my stand (actually just a stool on the ground) while whitetail hunting.

    ONLY after I prove I can install it and it will shoot where I want, every time at a predetermined distance.

    "So how many Divisions does this Pope have?".. Joseph Stalin

    "Be not afraid"..
    Pope John Paul II

    Stupidity is also a gift of God, but one mustn't misuse it.
    Pope John Paul II

  5. #5
    Boolit Master and Generous Donator
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    piwo:

    Nice work, and ingenious solution to the temporary sight problem. Glad to have been able to contribute!

    floodgate

  6. #6
    Boolit Master piwo's Avatar
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    Thanks Floodgate,
    I may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer, but when the bulb went off, I just kinda chuckled: too easy.... This moulds boolit and powder charge do seem to hold some nice potential for me!

    Flyingstick,
    Please see the comments about strength of charge: you need some very strong thin magnets. Also consider that since you raised your rear sight, you must raise your front sight as well, otherwise you will be shooting too high. Since I was going to shoot big heavy conicalís that shot low with my iron sights, I knew I would not be negatively affected. I sleeved a piece of scrap metal with a slit just smaller then the thin brass blade on my front site, and tapped/hammered it on. It can be removed in seconds, yet no chance of it falling or being accidentally knocked off.
    I'd post a picture of it, but you'd just go and get that patened too. OOPs, I said too much already.
    "So how many Divisions does this Pope have?".. Joseph Stalin

    "Be not afraid"..
    Pope John Paul II

    Stupidity is also a gift of God, but one mustn't misuse it.
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  7. #7
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    Blammer's Avatar
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    outstanding shooting!

    which ones were the mrmom bullets? the one on the left with the 3 grease grooves?

    I'd be interested in that bullet too....

  8. #8
    Boolit Master piwo's Avatar
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    Yes, mrmom sent the one on the left. I don't know which mould that is. hoping mrmom will check in an "illuminate the terrain which we find ourselves deployed"..
    "So how many Divisions does this Pope have?".. Joseph Stalin

    "Be not afraid"..
    Pope John Paul II

    Stupidity is also a gift of God, but one mustn't misuse it.
    Pope John Paul II

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    ............Neat stuff! Great when things come together. Nice shooting too!

    .................Buckshot
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  10. #10
    Boolit Master piwo's Avatar
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    Thanks fella's..

    No shooting this weekend, I stained both our decks... It's HOT, I'm old, and this isn't the way to spend the weekend!!

    I did shim the "piwo peep" sight to bring it up to what should be "on at 100", and also have the ready adjustments to make it "on at 200".. That according to the ballistics program and the formula for moving iron sights at a given distance (first post of the thread). I'm going out of town next weekend with SWMBO for a "mystery trip" (I know where going and she doesn't), but I am considering taking next Thursday off work with the express intent of going to the range and trying to duplicate the 100 yard success, and perhaps even stretch it out to 200. Given the "safety assessment" I mentioned in another thread, I dare not try that on a weekend when there are likely to be many other shooters.... Not that I feel I'll be unsafe, just that the perception police may be a bit over zealous at this time. . I'll really get a good idea when I shoot my shimmed sight. If I am on or near on at 100, I'll be very confident in the math at 200.

    We'll see...........
    Last edited by piwo; 04-29-2007 at 08:14 PM.
    "So how many Divisions does this Pope have?".. Joseph Stalin

    "Be not afraid"..
    Pope John Paul II

    Stupidity is also a gift of God, but one mustn't misuse it.
    Pope John Paul II

  11. #11
    Boolit Master piwo's Avatar
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    Continued from Obturation discussion thread....

    Larry, Leftiye,
    Thanks for all the suggestions on the other thread. I didnít wanna hijack Black Jackís thread so maybe hereís the place for me to ramble.

    The boolit used is the one on the right and is from a T/C mould I purchased from floodgate. I just purchased a duplicate on ebay, though it is nominally different. It has a different number stamped on it and when I put one of the boolits I cast from the other mould in it, it doesnít quite want to slip in the mould. I havenít cast from it yet so it will be interesting to see the measurements when I do.

    My little three shot group was encouraging, but who knows if it is a fluke or not. I have about 200 more boolits lubed and ready for service and am itching to get out. I may take off work half day Friday just to see. I canít imagine that the dynamics of this barrel are good or desirable. It micís out at .542 lands at the crown, .571 grooves but opens considerable after that. Itís almost like a chocked shotgun! The boolit micís out at .543 in one spot just above the top lube groove, with all the other ďwideĒ surface areas in the .53ís. You need a short starter to push it in @ 2 inches but after that it practically falls to the bottom. Iím intrigued by the ďmake a mouldĒ from a piece of barrel, but the same dynamics would come into play: either fits at the base but impossible to load, or fits at the muzzle and drops to the bottom. Isnít that the Whitworth formula: a boolit cast to the barrelís dimension?

    If there is some ďbumpingĒ up at the breach in that lose environment, it would then require a ďre-sizingĒ as it tryís to leave the barrel since thatís the tightest spot. If success continues I wonít fret, but it is difficult to see down to the bottom of a 43+ inch muzzle loading barrel to see if there is leading taking place. Which is why in the end Iím concerned: I donít wanna lead the snot out of this barrel and be forced to take the breach plug off to service it. After this many years of service, that could prove disastrous. Iím intrigued by the ďmake a mouldĒ from a piece of barrel, (isnít that kinda like the Whitworth boolit, cast to the barrel dimension?) but the same dynamics would come into play: either fits at the base but impossible to load, or fits at the muzzle and drops to the bottom.

    I do in fact use a felt wad on top of powder that Iíve soaked in 56% Crisco, 41%beeswax and 3% paraffin. For the wadís I think I will leave off the paraffin in the future as I donít think it adds value on the wad, unless of course it actually assists in sealing around the lose fitting boolit at the point of firing, or creates enough resistance to build pressure a bit. I bought these wads (theyíre actually .58 wads) on the internet and just soak them in the mix. I would like to make some as you all describe, but havenít found a method that makes a reliably repeatable wad. If you can take a pic of the process you make yours that would be helpful.

    Leftiye doesnít approve of my charges but should be happy Iíve cut back on them. I was shooting roundballs behind 130 grains of FFFg for awhile, but settled back on 100grains. With roundball I get 1771 fps out of 100 grains. This boolit Iím shooting the same 100grains of FFFg and getting 1450fps.

    Of course, it would have been interesting to see what velocity I got the day I double charged 135 grains of FFFg and touched off 270 grains in a single pull! My ugly rifle pulled through like a champ. She may be butt ugly, but sheís one tough lady! My cheek was a little sore however. Not nearly as comical as 45Nutís ďdonít forget to grease your ballsĒ story, but I did get kicked in the face a bit.. I'm reasonable sure I could have dropped a BB inthe barrel it would have obturated to the size of the bore!
    "So how many Divisions does this Pope have?".. Joseph Stalin

    "Be not afraid"..
    Pope John Paul II

    Stupidity is also a gift of God, but one mustn't misuse it.
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    Boolit Master and Generous Donator
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    piwo:

    I THINK I have found your problem:

    "...I was shooting roundballs BEHIND 130 grains of FFFg for awhile, but settled back on 100grains. With roundball I get 1771 fps out of 100 grains. This boolit I’m shooting the same 100grains of FFFg and getting 1450fps."

    floodgate

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    Boolit Grand Master


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    Piwo

    Those REALLY are pretty healthy charges for a traditional ML, especialy a flinter. They rank right up with what TC lists for the Black Mountain Magnum rifle in .54 and that is one stout rifle. TC Maxi-Balls (one pictured on the right) came in 3 different weights for the .54, 365, 435 and 540 gr. What is the weight of the Maxi's you have? 1454 fps is pushing soft lead in bullet form. Rbs can be pushed faster as they are held tighter in the bore and their form allows less obturation. I'd still suggest you back of the 100 gr charge and work up as previously mentioned on the other thread. Might get you where you want to be quicker than working from the top down. Your barrel is essential a choke bore and nothing wrong with that. The Maxi's once engraved in my barrel slide down with little resistance also. Much concern about such "loose" bullets walking the bore under rough handling but I've not seen it with my TC or several other MLs I've played with over the years. I'll work on a picture of the wad cutting.

    Larry Gibson

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    Boolit Master piwo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by floodgate View Post
    piwo:

    I THINK I have found your problem:

    "...I was shooting roundballs BEHIND 130 grains of FFFg for awhile, but settled back on 100grains. With roundball I get 1771 fps out of 100 grains. This boolit Iím shooting the same 100grains of FFFg and getting 1450fps."

    floodgate
    LOL.. OK wise guy... yeah... of course it is not BEHIND, it's on top of.... There's one in every crowd..
    "So how many Divisions does this Pope have?".. Joseph Stalin

    "Be not afraid"..
    Pope John Paul II

    Stupidity is also a gift of God, but one mustn't misuse it.
    Pope John Paul II

  15. #15
    Boolit Master piwo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Gibson View Post
    Piwo

    Those REALLY are pretty healthy charges for a traditional ML, especialy a flinter. They rank right up with what TC lists for the Black Mountain Magnum rifle in .54 and that is one stout rifle. TC Maxi-Balls (one pictured on the right) came in 3 different weights for the .54, 365, 435 and 540 gr. What is the weight of the Maxi's you have? 1454 fps is pushing soft lead in bullet form. Rbs can be pushed faster as they are held tighter in the bore and their form allows less obturation. I'd still suggest you back of the 100 gr charge and work up as previously mentioned on the other thread. Might get you where you want to be quicker than working from the top down. Your barrel is essential a choke bore and nothing wrong with that. The Maxi's once engraved in my barrel slide down with little resistance also. Much concern about such "loose" bullets walking the bore under rough handling but I've not seen it with my TC or several other MLs I've played with over the years. I'll work on a picture of the wad cutting.
    Larry Gibson
    Larry,

    The box on the T/C mould says 400 grain, but I get @ 410 (give or take a grain or two). I know TC has redone these moulds over the years as the TC mould on the right gives 410gr boolits, and the TC mould on the left gives 466. They sell the boolits on the left, but not the moulds anymore. They also represented to me that the TC boolits you can buy for the .54 are from new mould designs with weights that are different from the ones in the real old ones like I've got.

    Now that I'm shooting better with the "piwo peep", I'll try some lesser charges and see if the results are any better. Truthfully, if this rifle shot anywhere near 1.5 - 2 MOA, I'd dance the Homer Simpson jig on the kitchen table. I figured I'd need to really punch that bad boy to fill up the barrel and seal it in this rifle. I built the rifle and the actual charge I've proven is no way over for the integrity of the rifle, but if it is for the metal coming out then a change is in order. If less is "mo betta".. then so be it.

    I may not build them pretty, but I've built it tough. The entire barrel channel is reinforced with acra glass (blasphemy ) and the touch hole shows no ill effects.

    The 466 grain boolit on the left, behind 100gr FFFg hits @1350 fps.... I like this boolit alot, but the recoil is a bit on the stiff side and moves my magentic site
    Perhpas some results to pass along on Friday.

    Thanks for going through the time with the felt wad excercise. I anxiously await.
    "So how many Divisions does this Pope have?".. Joseph Stalin

    "Be not afraid"..
    Pope John Paul II

    Stupidity is also a gift of God, but one mustn't misuse it.
    Pope John Paul II

  16. #16
    Boolit Master carpetman's Avatar
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    We need some Canadians and Aussies to log in on this thread so the "Piwo Sight" can become "world famous piwo sight".

  17. #17
    Boolit Grand Master leftiye's Avatar
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    Piwo, If you're talking about the wads (felt) above that I've mentioned in a couple of threads here, most recently in the "obturation" thread, I cut them with a punch that I made. Inside bored to size desired but opens up after about 1/2" above cutting edge. Outside is conical to the cutting edge, top part cylindrical. put wad on piece of wood. Put both under ram of mill, drill press, or arbor press and push. Continue with next wad or two, and they come loose inside the larger to portion of the inside hole. Punch can be threaded 7/8-14 and used in loading press.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master piwo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by leftiye View Post
    Piwo, If you're talking about the wads (felt) above that I've mentioned in a couple of threads here, most recently in the "obturation" thread, I cut them with a punch that I made. Inside bored to size desired but opens up after about 1/2" above cutting edge. Outside is conical to the cutting edge, top part cylindrical. put wad on piece of wood. Put both under ram of mill, drill press, or arbor press and push. Continue with next wad or two, and they come loose inside the larger to portion of the inside hole. Punch can be threaded 7/8-14 and used in loading press.
    I'm trying to picture this. Any chance you can post a pic? What did you make your punch with? Larry states his comes from a part of a milsurp barrel. I know I have no barrels that will measure .572.. Maybe a trip to Loewe's with the dial calipers is in order..........

    Ok.. so I have an old shot out barrel downstairs... now if I only had a 15mm drill bit! internet here we go........
    Last edited by piwo; 05-15-2007 at 07:38 PM.
    "So how many Divisions does this Pope have?".. Joseph Stalin

    "Be not afraid"..
    Pope John Paul II

    Stupidity is also a gift of God, but one mustn't misuse it.
    Pope John Paul II

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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