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Thread: CO2 stuck ball remover

  1. #1
    Boolit Bub
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    CO2 stuck ball remover

    Does anyone use CO2 to dislodge stuck balls from a muzzleloader. (Not that I've ever loaded a ball before powder) I've searched the forums and Google and can't find anything recent. I've only found a couple places that still sell them. Was there a problem with them I haven't heard about?

  2. #2
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    dromia's Avatar
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    I have them in my range boxes and they work just fine, not only for clearing ball and loads but also ensuring the flash channels are clean.

    All they are are bicycle tyre inflators which you should get form any half decent bicycle shop with adaptors.


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  3. #3
    Boolit Bub
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    Funny thing, I told my son what I was looking for and he went to the garage and pulled one from his bicycle bag. Now to find an adapter. I guess their prevalence as a bicycle accessory (cheap) makes them hard to sell at double or triple the price as a muzzleloader accessory.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master

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    co2 ball pushers can either or not work. toughest with flint locks and drilled touch holes (not removable liner vents), easiest with cap locks. i had a dry ball in a smoothbore flintlock (with drilled touch hole) last month that no manner of pulling or pushing would move the prb. had to pull the breech plug. which brings up to mind, i'd never ever again buy a side lock front loader that i couldn't pull the breech plug. ymmv.

    anyone want a co2 ball remover for cheap?
    "Owning a handgun doesn't make you armed any more than owning a guitar makes you a musician." - Jeff Cooper

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    co2 ball dischargers work on balls that can be shot out easy by working some powder in the touch hole or nipple hole. same as using an air compressor. after that there is the grease gun method. a little messy on clean up but works good. then you get into more mechanical methods. but don't try the ball puller on he ram rod. most times that ends in disaster.

  6. #6
    Boolit Bub
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    [QUOTE]anyone want a co2 ball remover for cheap?[QUOTE]

    yes, pm coming

  7. #7
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    I have one and it works just fine. I use it mostly in Hunter Safety class to demo the differant ways to remove a stuck ball. I deliberately stick one without the powder and use it to blow it out. I have in times of inattention loaded a ball without powder at the range and this thing saves the day. YMMV
    Last edited by aspangler; 11-06-2015 at 10:23 AM. Reason: spelling LOL
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  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    I have two (can never be too safe) and one from Buffalo Arms I bought some years ago and the other from a bike shop. If you go to the bike shop get one with the adapter for the European valve stems (Presta type) or take a nipple with you to make sure the adapter fits snugly. They also sell ones that use press in CO2 cylinders and screw in, the screw in type work much better.

    As a matter of fact I had to use mine TWICE at our last match as the powder flask was not releasing enough powder and the sun made it hard to see what was going into my measure? I modified my loading steps so I turn my back to the sun and can see the powder going into the measure. Several of the other shooters said to pre-measure into small vials but I am not sold on that yet due to the lids coming loose, etc.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master

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    the problem with getting out a dry patched ball escalates IF yer ml is a flintlock, has a traditional flat faced breech plug, and a drilled (non-removable) touch hole - 'cause you ain't in no way gonna get any appreciable amount of 4f or null-b behind the prb to blow it out. take that to the bank, friends.
    "Owning a handgun doesn't make you armed any more than owning a guitar makes you a musician." - Jeff Cooper

  10. #10
    I've used mine a couple times when I was using Pyrodex RS. Since I switched to Black MZ I have not had a need for it.

  11. #11
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    They are a lot cheaper from a bike shop. I used to carry one on the range all the time, as my old shooting buddy was real good about dry balling. I've never had a problem using them with flinters, never tried them on cap locks. I just get the regular ball inflators, then cut off the small holes on the end with a Dremel tool.

    rfd. If a flinter is breeched properly, there shouldn't be a big problem about poking enough primer in to discharge the ball.
    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 flyingmonkey35's Avatar
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    The key to using one is a good tight fit over the flash hole or nipple.

    Or else it won't have the pressure to kick the ball out.

    If you are shoot muzzleloader loader this is a must have.

    Saved my sons day more then once.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master Baron von Trollwhack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bob208 View Post
    co2 ball dischargers work on balls that can be shot out easy by working some powder in the touch hole or nipple hole. same as using an air compressor. after that there is the grease gun method. a little messy on clean up but works good. then you get into more mechanical methods. but don't try the ball puller on he ram rod. most times that ends in disaster.

    Experienced ML shooters know enough to put the ball puller on their RANGE ROD, not on their loading stick(ramrod).
    That is also the reason that most ML accommodating ranges have a notched iron post or notched steel plate in a safe place so that one can screw the ball screw on one end of the range rod, and capture the handle end of the range rod in the notch. The firearm is pulled off the range rod ball screw with the ball attached.

    By the way, tapered screw ball screws are an **xxx** invention and once you put that ball screw on the stuck ball and twist it into the ball too far, you just make a tapered hole in the ball and it will usually strip off the lead thread you just made turning the screw in.

    Use a common hanger screw that fits your RANGE ROD'S tip threads. Screw that 8 or 10-32 screw(pointed one end, machine screw threads the other end to fit the rod) about halfway through the stuck ball, put the handle of the range rod into the post notch or plate, and slowly pull the range rod with the ball out.


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  14. #14
    Boolit Buddy

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    They are used extensively in the N-SSA. We re-purpose CO2 fire extinguishers with a machined nylon nozzle to fit out musket nipples. IIRC they are 10 pound bottles. Need a separate nozzle machined for sporting nipples. I have two tanks in my garage.

  15. #15
    Boolit Buddy

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    BTW they have plenty of power. Friend got a cleaning jag stuck down the barrel. He didn't want to lose the jag, go we put the muzzle in a huge HR plastic tub and covered the top. It blew a hole through the tub.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master

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    most ml ball screw pullers just expand the lead further into the patch and further into the rifling as the screw digs into the lead. no matter what puller screw size, the better way is to first drill a hole into the ball, then use the screw puller. now that would make a great accessory - a combination ball screw puller and ball screw drill.
    "Owning a handgun doesn't make you armed any more than owning a guitar makes you a musician." - Jeff Cooper

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by rfd View Post
    the problem with getting out a dry patched ball escalates IF yer ml is a flintlock, has a traditional flat faced breech plug, and a drilled (non-removable) touch hole - 'cause you ain't in no way gonna get any appreciable amount of 4f or null-b behind the prb to blow it out. take that to the bank, friends.
    the bank eh? Sorry ain't buying it. I've never had that method fail no matter the breech. Just nipple pick any gunk out and dribble in as much 4F as will fit- fire. It does not take much to push a ball out… bloompf. About the only time it wouldn't work is if the touch hole or flash channel is in front of the breech ​where the ball could be pushed in behind the hole.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by fouronesix View Post
    the bank eh? Sorry ain't buying it. I've never had that method fail no matter the breech. Just nipple pick any gunk out and dribble in as much 4F as will fit- fire. It does not take much to push a ball out… bloompf. About the only time it wouldn't work is if the touch hole or flash channel is in front of the breech ​where the ball could be pushed in behind the hole.
    "nipple" - yes, absolutely no problem for a CAP LOCK - but you will NOT be able to do THAT with flintlock that has a traditional FLAT faced breech plug and either a drilled touch hole or a non-removable touch hole liner. in that case, which i clearly defined in my last post, ain't gonna happen. period.
    "Owning a handgun doesn't make you armed any more than owning a guitar makes you a musician." - Jeff Cooper

  19. #19
    Boolit Master

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    .58 smoothbore flintlock with flat breech plug and drilled touch hole ...



    the flat faced breech plug (NOT a patent breech) ...



    the stuck ball ... notice it's flush with where the plug starts and if you look carefully you can see a very few grains of 4f that got pushed in during the attempt to blow it all out ...



    retrieved with the push of a ramrod ... notice the attempt to use a screw puller without predrilling the screw hole ...

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

  20. #20
    Moderator Emeritus / Trusted loob groove dealer

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    Quote Originally Posted by rfd View Post
    "nipple" - yes, absolutely no problem for a CAP LOCK - but you will NOT be able to do THAT with flintlock that has a traditional FLAT faced breech plug and either a drilled touch hole or a non-removable touch hole liner. in that case, which i clearly defined in my last post, ain't gonna happen. period.
    Nope. I've built many ML's over the past 35 years, and have shot them for over 40 years. All flat faced breeches. I've sure cleared plenty dry ball done by myself and others. The only way what you say isn't possible, is if the GUN WASN'T BREECHED PROPERLY! Take THAT one to the bank!
    I think a lot of your problem is whatever that is you are using for patch lube. I have never had to unbreech a barrel to remove a ball.
    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!


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