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Thread: Stuck ball puller came unthreaded, help

  1. #21
    Boolit Master
    triggerhappy243's Avatar
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    Sounds like you killed the powder with water.... Not good. I use t/c bore butter that has dried a bit. A wad of some sort between the patch and powder would offer a little protection. Your cleaning method does not address any fouling in the drum.... This is also not good.

  2. #22
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    fouling control and cleaning are two diff'rent tasks.

    one patch with a 6:1 ratio of water and water soluble oil takes care of my fouling control for both front loaders and bpcr (and one added dry patch for ml's, and a dry chamber mop for bpcr). ml between shot action cleaning (for me) - for flint that's cleaning of the pan/touch hole/frizzen/flint, for cap that's cleaning out the nipple and maybe the drum.

    paying attention during ml loading is also mandatory, which means avoiding distractions to prevent a dry ball load.

    cleaning ml's (for me) means jagging down water/oil patches down the tube 'til they come out clean, pulling the lock and cleaning the internals with water/oil, cleaning out the touch hole/pan/flint/frizzen or nipple/drum. a final patch with some clp like break free down the tube completes the task.

    if at all possible, i now pull any ml breech, touch hole liner, nipple, drum, drum clean out screw, and coat the threads with anti-seize lube to make their future removal easier.

    ymmv.
    Last edited by rfd; 09-11-2015 at 05:37 AM.
    "Owning a handgun doesn't make you armed any more than owning a guitar makes you a musician." - Jeff Cooper

  3. #23
    Boolit Master Cowboy_Dan's Avatar
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    I can see that my cleaning after the previous outing neglected the drum. This time I did work a pipe cleaner through the nipple hole into the barrel, so that's at least something. As I plan to shoot the gun tomorrow, I will probably use the soap and water method to clean for the time being. There is a cleanout screw in the drum, but it is frozen until I can get some kroil or something. Once it's out I can clean out the drum directly with a q-tip.

    So back to the matter at hand, what should be my ritual to ensure that powder contamination does not happen in the future? I am presuming that I must have had fluid in the barrel and that killed the powder.
    "It is wrong always, everywhere, and for everyone to believe anything on insufficient evidence."
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  4. #24
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    The old addage... Keep your powder dry.... is top task for me. When it comes to actually loading the rifle to shoot, I do dot use any product that contains water. Some guys here swear by these moose milk concoctions and have been using them for 50 years without a stitch of trouble. I have never in the 30 years of shooting black powder, did what you did with your rifle. All I have ever used is T/C bore butter for a patch lube. I use cotton flannel patches for cleaning.... because they are so absorbent. THIS IS KEY.

    I run 1 dry patch down the bore with a flat end cleaning jag to make sure there is no puddles of any kind of liquid. i then load as normal. The drum/nipple area must be bone dry. You will do just fine with this. Enjoy.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cowboy_Dan View Post
    .... So back to the matter at hand, what should be my ritual to ensure that powder contamination does not happen in the future? I am presuming that I must have had fluid in the barrel and that killed the powder.
    imho, wipe after every shot (IF possible) and clean the gun (barrel, patent breech if ya got one, muzzle, lock, nipple, drum) after every session. cleaning means a patch comes out *relatively* clean, then a few drying patches, then a patch with some kinda oil for rust prevention and put her to bed 'til the next sesson. don't much matter what's used to wipe and clean, everyone seems to have their own favorite concoctions. the idea is to do it religulously.
    "Owning a handgun doesn't make you armed any more than owning a guitar makes you a musician." - Jeff Cooper

  6. #26
    Boolit Grand Master

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    After cleaning store your gun muzzle down for at least a day or two. You still need to oil the barrel good after cleaning or you get rust. I and others have put WD40 down the bore after cleaning and before oil to help dry out any residual moisture. It's also a good habit to check your gun a few days after cleaning to make sure you are not getting rust. This helps excess oil drain out and not puddle up in the chamber area. I also pop a couple caps before my first load so if there is some residual oil, it should dry it up. When you load your powder tilt the gun to the side and tap the chamber area with your palm to get powder to the drum area. Don't forget to have fun!
    Aim small, miss small!

  7. #27
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    As far as your powder goes, Keep the container lid screwed on tight at all times. I do not know what humidity levels you exposed to your powder to, but Pyrodex is HYGROSCOPIC. MEANING IT NATURALLY ABSORBS MOISTURE... FROM THE AIR. I live in a dry climate, so I do not have this issue to deal with.

  8. #28
    Boolit Master pietro's Avatar
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    .

    IMO, your powder contamination is most likely due to cutting the Moose Milk with water.

    Also, cleaners & lubes originally intended for smokeless powder arms are not the best choice/practice for cleaning & lubing muzzleloaders.

    I've been using straight Moose Milk (T/C Bore Cleaner) w/o any powder contamination issues, since it was first introduced about 40 years ago - but it's not the only thing I use.

    The 1st thing I've always done is to prep my frontstuffers for E-Z-Peazy maintanence , using T/C products.

    That means applying a little T/C Bore Butter 1000+ to the nipple threads every time it's R&R'd during cleaning, and seasoning the clean/warm bore with the BB - which works for storage as well.

    After a day's shooting, I remove the nipple & pour some Moose Milk downbore until a little runs out of the nipple seat.

    I then run tight, Moose Mike soaked, patches through the bore until the black crud (fouling) is history, followed by dry patches.

    I re-install the nipple after it's washed clean with a piece of pipe cleaner run through the interior, under a hot water tap - which heat helps speed up drying the nipple as the water's blown dry, also applying a bit of Bore Butter on the threads.

    Lastly, I run a loose patch, loaded with rubbed-in Bore Butter, once down the bore, then out - which has protected my bore's against rust since I started using the stuff.

    ( the bores of my rifle still look pristine, after decades of use every year/season)

    I do no bore cleaning prior to loading the rifle for shooting/hunting, and have yet to experience powder contamination (I use only FFFg Holy Black) - although my rifles aren't used during hot weather, just during the Fall hunting seasons ( which are not warm enough the melt the Bore Butter during long carry intervals of being loaded & not fired).


    .

  9. #29
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    for longer term storage, aside from pulling the barrel and lock, and cleaning/oiling everything (if ya have a patent breech, don't forget a brush with/without patch to clean that bugger out good), i soak a patch with wd40 and run it down the barrel and leave it in place against the breech.
    "Owning a handgun doesn't make you armed any more than owning a guitar makes you a musician." - Jeff Cooper

  10. #30
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    it's all good as long as it works, gets the job done, and makes you and yer gun warm 'n' fuzzy.

    i like to keep fouling and cleaning of guns as simple and effective as possible. i most typically use modified dutch's moose milk (just 5% ballistol and spring water, nothing else needed) for both fouling control and cleaning of all my black powder guns, both muzzle loaders and bpcr rifles. one part murphy's oil soap to two parts water works just fine and probably easier and cheaper than the moose milk. i get the patches really wet and the pumping action of the patched jag helps clean out the touch hole, drum, nipple, patent breech, etc. after drying it all out, all that's needed is a good cleaner-lube-protectorant like break free. not a lotta stuff and surely not rocket science, and muzzle loaders don't have brass to clean either.
    "Owning a handgun doesn't make you armed any more than owning a guitar makes you a musician." - Jeff Cooper

  11. #31
    Boolit Buddy StolzerandSons's Avatar
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    Just as a side note that you can file away for later...I never try to pull a ball unless I have drilled it first. The reason is pretty simple, if you just thread the ball puller into the ball the lead has to go some place and it expands the ball and makes it tighter in the bore, whereas if you drill it first you remove at least some of the lead and less pressure is put on the bore/ball surface.

    Hope that helps in the future.

    There are only two kinds of muzzleloader shooters, those who have gotten a projectile stuck in the barrel and those who will.

    Colin
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  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by StolzerandSons View Post
    ... There are only two kinds of muzzleloader shooters, those who have gotten a projectile stuck in the barrel and those who will. ...
    the absolute gospel truth!

    as mentioned, if at all possible remove the breech plug and reinstall with anti-seize lube. failing that, colin's comment about predrilling the ball before using a screw puller is spot on. this will mean fashioning a long rod with an appropriate sized bit welded or set screwed or pinned to the rod's business end (some enterprising person should take note and offer these for sale). doing a test run by drilling a ball and screwing in a puller will help to suss out the correct size drill bit and screw puller - take note of the ball size prior to drilling, after drilling and after screwing in the puller.
    "Owning a handgun doesn't make you armed any more than owning a guitar makes you a musician." - Jeff Cooper

  13. #33
    Boolit Master Cowboy_Dan's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the advice everyone. I should have better luck tomorrow, did I mention the stuck ball was the first one I loaded that day?
    "It is wrong always, everywhere, and for everyone to believe anything on insufficient evidence."
    -W. K. Clifford "The Ethics of Belief"

    "They hate you if you're clever, and they despise a fool."
    -John Lennon "A Working Class Hero"

  14. #34
    Boolit Man
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    Hot soapy water,scrub with bronze brush,wipe with clean patches until clean,rinse with boiling water, dry the area of nipple with q-tips, squirt wd-40 down the bore.It is a rust preventative not an oil.Use oil on the outside of the barrel.At the range dry the bore and pop 2-3 caps to dry nipple.You're ready to go.

  15. #35
    Boolit Master Toymaker's Avatar
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    Dan, go with Geezer's suggestion. I've seen that work several times. In fact, at the NMLRA range if the compressed air bottle on the lines won't blow the charge they take it to the gunsmiths and that's the method they use.

  16. #36
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    I had this happen to me once and had no way to get the ball out. I removed the nipple and directed air into the hole with a nozzle on my air compressor
    at around 100 lbs. The bullet shot out with some velocity you want to make sure the barrel is pointed in a safe direction.

    Ken

  17. #37
    Boolit Master Toymaker's Avatar
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    AT THE RANGE I pop a cap downrange and another cap at a bit of grass, leaf, etc. to see it move and know the channel is clear. Then a damp (D A M P is not W E T) patch down and out, load and fire. I wipe with a damp patch between each shot. After a cease fire I pop a cap downrange before loading to fire again. Don't need a misfire messing up my concentration in a competition. Won't say it never happens, but they're few and far between.
    Now, excuse me ... I need to go find some wood to knock on.

  18. #38
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    Reviving an old thread.

    Neighbor across the street is trying to recruit me to remove the ball stuck in the barrel of a gun owned by a new neighbor. Apparently the neighbor put the ball down the barrel without any powder behind it. Don't know anymore than its a black powder rifle. I can only assume its a newer kit built unit. Should I lend a hand or simply pass on it?

  19. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by 6bg6ga View Post
    Reviving an old thread.

    Neighbor across the street is trying to recruit me to remove the ball stuck in the barrel of a gun owned by a new neighbor. Apparently the neighbor put the ball down the barrel without any powder behind it. Don't know anymore than its a black powder rifle. I can only assume its a newer kit built unit. Should I lend a hand or simply pass on it?
    try the simple method first - put a ball screw worm on the end of the ramrod, drive it into the ball, screw it in, and attempt to retrieve the rod and ball.

    lacking the ball screw worm, powder can be forced in behind the ball. if it's a cap gun, remove the nipple and trickle in the powder and/or remove the "clean out" screw and trickle in the powder; cap the nipple and pop out the ball. if it's a flint gun, and the touch hole liner can be unscrewed, do so and trickle in powder, replace the liner, add powder to the pan and blow out the ball.

    some will use compressed air to blow the ball out via the cap gun's nipple. there are similar devices that will clamp on to a flinter's touch hole. these methods can have varying results.

    if all of the above fails, remove the barrel, unscrew the breech plug, put the ramrod down the muzzle and push out the ball. you will need proper tools to pull the breech plug and if the gun was not new and had been fired a lot there is always the possibility of dealing with a frozen breech plug.

    good luck.
    "Owning a handgun doesn't make you armed any more than owning a guitar makes you a musician." - Jeff Cooper

  20. #40
    Boolit Master
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    after years of working on m-l rifles I have never owned a ball puller. you did good getting it out. some things I will strongly recommend. first use real black powder. also get a real barrel vise they are not hard to make one can be made from a old plumbers pipe vise also make up a tool to fit the breach plug . those two items will save a lot of grief . I have made most of my own tools.

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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"
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LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check