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Thread: Gots a question for you Trade gun shooters

  1. #1
    Boolit Master


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    Gots a question for you Trade gun shooters

    As I recently posted I beveled the entrance to the vent hole on my trade gun which sped up the ignition time to that of many single shot cartridge guns, but I have noticed another problem. After a half dozen shots or so I start getting flashes in the pan but no boom, or if there is a boom it is delayed. I thought it was a plugged vent but that was not the case I picked the vent, reprimed it again and only a flash. On the third try it went boom. It has done this a few times when hunting, and several squirrels have escaped. I have a breach scraper and though maybe the breach plug was dirty but that wasn't the case. I am thinking about taking a small brush with me and after a couple of shots brushing out the pan and area around the vent to see if this helps. Any other suggestions would be helpful.

    Thanks in advance for your help,

    Joe
    WWW.flintknappers.com/lithicarts Traditional items for the traditional hunter.

    Tyrants use the force of the people to chain and subjugate-that is, enyoke the people. They then plough with them as men do with oxen yoked. Thus the spirit of liberty and innovation is reduced by bayonets, and principles are struck dumb by cannon shot: Albert Pike, Morals and Dogma

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    Try cutting back on your priming powder, and report back.

    I would suggest drilling and tapping for a regular vent liner, rather than doing the vent cone.
    The solid soft lead bullet is undoubtably the best and most satisfactory expanding bullet that has ever been designed. It invariably mushrooms perfectly, and never breaks up. With the metal base that is essential for velocities of 2000 f.s. and upwards to protect the naked base, these metal-based soft lead bullets are splendid.
    John Taylor - "African Rifles and Cartridges"

    Forget everything you know about loading jacketed bullets. This is a whole new ball game!


  3. #3
    Boolit Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by waksupi View Post
    Try cutting back on your priming powder, and report back.

    I would suggest drilling and tapping for a regular vent liner, rather than doing the vent cone.
    Thanks Ric, I will try the smaller priming charge. I have in the past just been filling the pan, and it is quite a large pan. I was also going to shoot you a PM sometime to see about the whole vent liner thing, and will probably do so this winter. It seems that would be a good winter time project.

    Best wishes,

    Joe
    WWW.flintknappers.com/lithicarts Traditional items for the traditional hunter.

    Tyrants use the force of the people to chain and subjugate-that is, enyoke the people. They then plough with them as men do with oxen yoked. Thus the spirit of liberty and innovation is reduced by bayonets, and principles are struck dumb by cannon shot: Albert Pike, Morals and Dogma

  4. #4
    Boolit Master Maven's Avatar
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    Joe, I plan on following both of Ric's suggestions, but in the mean time, wiping the pan and the bottom edge of the flint will help too. I also check the tension on the flint and its alignment relative to the frizzen as my gun is notorious for loosening. Btw, I'll eventually install a Jim Chambers vent liner when I can find someone to remove the original as I don't think I have the skills or tools to do it correctly.

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    If you have been filling your pan, that is probably your problem. Go to my thread http://castboolits.gunloads.com/showthread.php?t=160571, and watch the video. You can see how much Gene is putting in his pan when he primes. This is the correct amount. As you can see, it no where near fills the pan. A light layer in the bottom is what you want.

    Here is a direct link to the video.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sh5MmIfy_eM
    The solid soft lead bullet is undoubtably the best and most satisfactory expanding bullet that has ever been designed. It invariably mushrooms perfectly, and never breaks up. With the metal base that is essential for velocities of 2000 f.s. and upwards to protect the naked base, these metal-based soft lead bullets are splendid.
    John Taylor - "African Rifles and Cartridges"

    Forget everything you know about loading jacketed bullets. This is a whole new ball game!


  6. #6
    Boolit Master Hanshi's Avatar
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    I use the least amount of prime that gives a good flash; this is around 1/3 pan full, give or take. That and use of a vent pick should do it.
    Young guys should hang out with old guys; old guys know stuff.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master

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    Pipe cleaners with the bristles on em make a good vent cleaner. It shot fine when clean, so wipe the pan/flint and scrape the breech face. Dont over load the pan as stated.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master


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    Well fellas, It would seem I was overloading the pan. I just finished 20 shots with the trade gun. The things I did was only filled the pan about 1/3 the way, after every few shots I would wipe the pan when I wiped the flint. Every shot went off with out any delays or hang fires. Now I need to make the time to sit down at a proper shooting bench and work on a PRB load for it.

    I was shooting PRB for the twenty shots, at 40 yards. (My usual max range deer hunting as many times I get blood on me when I pull the trigger.) It shot well enough to kill a deer at that range but it was shooting a bit low the way I was holding it. I was shooting 70 grs of 2Fg and a .60 PRB. I bumped the charge up to 90 and didn't like the recoil, and it shot lower, so I went back to 70. It is hard to get use to not having that rear sight. I guess I will figure out how to shoot it accurately, I just need to practice... a bunch! You guys have been great so far in helping me solve the flashing pan issue, does anyone have any hints as to how to accurately shoot it?

    Thanks again fellas,

    Joe
    WWW.flintknappers.com/lithicarts Traditional items for the traditional hunter.

    Tyrants use the force of the people to chain and subjugate-that is, enyoke the people. They then plough with them as men do with oxen yoked. Thus the spirit of liberty and innovation is reduced by bayonets, and principles are struck dumb by cannon shot: Albert Pike, Morals and Dogma

  9. #9
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    Okay, to find the load in a smoothbore.
    This is the perfect time of year to do this, as it is hot and dry outside.
    Start with around 60 grains, and use plain spit for your patch lube. Shoot a few rounds, to foul your barrel.
    By the time you have done this, you should be able to feel the end of the fouling in the bore, from where it is rough, and transitions into smooth loading. What we want to do, is eliminate that rough part.
    Start increasing your powder charge five grains at a time. Shoot several shots, to equalize the bore condition. The fouling ring should be moving closer to the muzzle with each powder charge increase.
    You will hit a load that you have no fouling ring as you load. This will be your optimum load in that particular gun. All of the powder is then being burned as efficiently as the barrel is capable of. Any more, you are wasting powder, any less, you will be dealing with the fouling problem.
    Once you find this load, it is time to put in the time, and learn the trajectory for your gun, and experiment with various lubes. Any more juggling of the powder charge will be a waste of time.
    This only applies to the round ball part of load development, the shot loads take a bit more work. That is because as you change the shot charge weights, you need to go back and work with the powder charges like you did with the round ball. Different payloads effect how clean a load will shoot.

    As far as sight picture goes, that is something you need to figure out with each individual gun. With my trade gun, I sight over the breech, until I can just see the rear wedding ring. I use the base of the front sight as my aiming point. I suspect this will put you pretty much on target.
    With my fowler, I took the time to bend the barrel, until i can sight directly from the top of the breech, and the top of the front sight. After I did the sighting in like this, I consistently shoot better scores with this gun, than my rifles on the courses.
    Last edited by waksupi; 07-29-2012 at 03:19 PM.
    The solid soft lead bullet is undoubtably the best and most satisfactory expanding bullet that has ever been designed. It invariably mushrooms perfectly, and never breaks up. With the metal base that is essential for velocities of 2000 f.s. and upwards to protect the naked base, these metal-based soft lead bullets are splendid.
    John Taylor - "African Rifles and Cartridges"

    Forget everything you know about loading jacketed bullets. This is a whole new ball game!


  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    waksupi, that's interesting about the fouling ring. That is if you're talking about the fouling ring between ball and powder charge. In almost 40 years of shooting muzzleloaders I've never heard that....but then I'm not much of a smoothbore shooter either. I'll have to give that a whirl.

    Joe, with a smoothie and only a front sight your eye becomes the rear sight. For consistent shooting you need the same spot weld on the stock every time. If you move your spot weld up, you've essentially raised the rear sight and the opposite is also true. If you already knew that, tell me to shut up and go sit in a corner....lol!!
    "In general, the art of government is to take as much money as possible from one class of citizens and give it to another class of citizens" Voltaire'

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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by sharps4590 View Post
    waksupi, that's interesting about the fouling ring. That is if you're talking about the fouling ring between ball and powder charge. In almost 40 years of shooting muzzleloaders I've never heard that....but then I'm not much of a smoothbore shooter either. I'll have to give that a whirl.

    Joe, with a smoothie and only a front sight your eye becomes the rear sight. For consistent shooting you need the same spot weld on the stock every time. If you move your spot weld up, you've essentially raised the rear sight and the opposite is also true. If you already knew that, tell me to shut up and go sit in a corner....lol!!
    I may not have explained that as clearly as I would like. What I mean is, you will be able to feel the rough powder fouling in the front part of the barrel, before you get down to where the barrel has shot clean. The transition is what I am referring to as the fouling ring. Does that make any better sense? I know what I mean, I'm just having a hard time stating it correctly, I guess.

    The rear sighting is actually pretty precise. Once you have established the sight picture, it is the same as having a rear sight. I shot straws in half with mine last weekend, and drive tacks in boards pretty regular. I did win the smoothbore part of the shoot last weekend.
    At the world championships, you are cutting strings, splitting balls, shooting targets smaller than your ball, and targets out to around 150 yards. I've won two of those, and tied a third year. There isn't much "by guess, and by God" involved in the shooting of smoothbores, once you have made friends with them.
    Last edited by waksupi; 07-29-2012 at 03:50 PM.
    The solid soft lead bullet is undoubtably the best and most satisfactory expanding bullet that has ever been designed. It invariably mushrooms perfectly, and never breaks up. With the metal base that is essential for velocities of 2000 f.s. and upwards to protect the naked base, these metal-based soft lead bullets are splendid.
    John Taylor - "African Rifles and Cartridges"

    Forget everything you know about loading jacketed bullets. This is a whole new ball game!


  12. #12
    Boolit Master Mike Brooks's Avatar
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    You need to bend your barrel to get it to shoot where you want it to.

  13. #13
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    By the way, I prefer 3FFF in smoothbores.
    The solid soft lead bullet is undoubtably the best and most satisfactory expanding bullet that has ever been designed. It invariably mushrooms perfectly, and never breaks up. With the metal base that is essential for velocities of 2000 f.s. and upwards to protect the naked base, these metal-based soft lead bullets are splendid.
    John Taylor - "African Rifles and Cartridges"

    Forget everything you know about loading jacketed bullets. This is a whole new ball game!


  14. #14
    Boolit Master


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    I have noticed the fouling ring you are talking about. When I shot the 90 grain load the fouling ring was about 6 inches from the muzzle, with the 50 grain load it is less than half way up the bore. I thought about increasing the charge more to bring the ring beyond the muzzle, but was concerned because I didn't know how much pressure that thin barrel could take. I am guessing that it is probably going to take somewhere around 100 to 105 grains of powder to get that ring out of the bore.

    Would a tighter load help or not? The patch and ball combo I am using I can just start with my thumb, much tighter and I will have to use a short starter, which I want to avoid. I will also try some 3Fg. I was using 2Fg because I got a good pattern with it at 30 yards with 50 grains and 1 1/8 oz of #5 shot. As a side note yesterday I killed 2 squirrels with one shot with that shot load at 30 steps or so. Both were sitting on the same limb next to each other cutting hickory nuts. I love it for squirrels with the dense foliage on the trees. I have taken squirrels that I would have never gotten a shot at with my 32 cal.

    Thanks again for all of the help with the smoothie. I would have muddled around for a long time before figuring it out if I ever figured it out.

    Best wishes,

    Joe
    WWW.flintknappers.com/lithicarts Traditional items for the traditional hunter.

    Tyrants use the force of the people to chain and subjugate-that is, enyoke the people. They then plough with them as men do with oxen yoked. Thus the spirit of liberty and innovation is reduced by bayonets, and principles are struck dumb by cannon shot: Albert Pike, Morals and Dogma

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    Go to 3FFF. 90 Gr. of 2FF is way more than should be necessary. With the 3FFF, you will probably top off around 70-75 gr. Burns faster and cleaner.
    The solid soft lead bullet is undoubtably the best and most satisfactory expanding bullet that has ever been designed. It invariably mushrooms perfectly, and never breaks up. With the metal base that is essential for velocities of 2000 f.s. and upwards to protect the naked base, these metal-based soft lead bullets are splendid.
    John Taylor - "African Rifles and Cartridges"

    Forget everything you know about loading jacketed bullets. This is a whole new ball game!


  16. #16
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    Paul, if you already have a vent liner in, I wouldn't bother changing out to a Chambers. The standard type are just fine, and the inside coning is not all that much different. The White Lightnings are better in perception,than in fact.
    The solid soft lead bullet is undoubtably the best and most satisfactory expanding bullet that has ever been designed. It invariably mushrooms perfectly, and never breaks up. With the metal base that is essential for velocities of 2000 f.s. and upwards to protect the naked base, these metal-based soft lead bullets are splendid.
    John Taylor - "African Rifles and Cartridges"

    Forget everything you know about loading jacketed bullets. This is a whole new ball game!


  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    Ok waksupi, now I know what you're talking about reference the fouling in the barrel. I guess it was the "ring" part that had me confused. The patch of fouling you mention....in my rifles it's more like a 6-10 inch spot in the barrel where it feels "rough". Where it is in the barrel depends on the rifle and load. Not like a "ring" as the fouling ring in front of the powder charge.

    My 20 bore fling fowler is pretty darn accurate with PRB's. I am not very good with it beyond 40-50 yards but I don't lay that on the gun. I can remember a couple matches quite well where smoothbore shooters shot with us rifle guys......and I got my clock cleaned!!!!!!!
    "In general, the art of government is to take as much money as possible from one class of citizens and give it to another class of citizens" Voltaire'

    The common virtue of capitalism is the sharing of equal opportunity. The common vice of socialism is the equal sharing of misery

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  18. #18
    Boolit Master


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    I never would have imagined that a smoothy could be so accurate. I always figured that if I could keep them in a 9 inch circle at 40 yards I was good to go. Now I have something to really shoot for, pun intended.

    I swapped out powder horns on my hunting bag for the trade gun to my full size 3Fg horn. I have a bunch of cucumbers and carrots to can today so in between the busy times I will be finding that powder charge and then searching for the right load combo afterward. I will report back once I start getting close.

    Thanks again and best wishes,

    Joe
    WWW.flintknappers.com/lithicarts Traditional items for the traditional hunter.

    Tyrants use the force of the people to chain and subjugate-that is, enyoke the people. They then plough with them as men do with oxen yoked. Thus the spirit of liberty and innovation is reduced by bayonets, and principles are struck dumb by cannon shot: Albert Pike, Morals and Dogma

  19. #19
    Boolit Master Maven's Avatar
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    Joe, Here's a PDF image (attached) of what I did with mine last July @ 25 yd. from a position of semi-rest (left hand on gun, right arm on table, one knee on ground). Let me know if you can open it.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master Hanshi's Avatar
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    Interesting information about fouling rings, waksupi; This is something I've never thought about. I may not completely understand this concept as the only fouling ring I'm familiar with is the crud ring that builds up in the breech area. This can't be what you're referring to?
    Young guys should hang out with old guys; old guys know stuff.

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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