MidSouth Shooters SupplyStainLess Steel MediaTitan ReloadingGraf & Sons
ADvertise hereLee PrecisionRotoMetals2Inline Fabrication

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 37

Thread: Stuck minie ball

  1. #1
    Boolit Bub
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    39

    Stuck minie ball

    Shooting a 58 1861 Springfield today. Ball can only go halfway down the bore. It's an unlubed minie ball in a dirty bore. Won't budge an inch.

    Pull the nipple, soak the barrel to clean out the charge, and apply oil? Then what? A ball puller won't work I think. It's hard jammed in the bore.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
    Chill Wills's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    1,608
    You are on the right track. Clean above it with water or what ever you use. Get a generous amount of patch oil on the bore and down around the ball. Use the puller. Should work.
    If not. ..... Does the Springfield have a threaded breach you can remove? Do you have the breach wrench? Pull it and ram it through.

    I have a CO2 device that can squirt stuck balls out but the ball needs to have a clean barrel to move forward into.

    Last, if all else fails, -after removing the charge and drying you can use a light (5 grains) powder charge dribbled in through the flash hole to shoot it out.
    Those are my ideas off the top of my head. Good luck!
    Chill Wills

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
    Chill Wills's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    1,608
    BTW - if you lube both sides of the barrel and try to pull the ball, drive it in a little before trying to pull it out.
    Chill Wills

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    MN
    Posts
    433
    Kroil?!

  5. #5
    Boolit Master

    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    N. Las Vegas, NV
    Posts
    5,650
    Another option if you can't move it is to get a grease fitting that will fit the threads of the nipple. Pump it out with grease or try air pressure. If you have already put oil in the underside, a pinch of powder probably won't work cause the powder will soak up any liquid there.
    Aim small, miss small!

  6. #6
    Boolit Master Walkingwolf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Posts
    773
    If you can get your hands on a high pressure air tank, remove the nipple it will put considerably more pressure than a CO2 cartridge. CO2 is limited to 852.8 PSI, high pressure air tank are rated much higher than that. Be very careful, bullet leaving the barrel under 3000 PSI will be a deadly projectile.

    Another option would be steam, fill the barrel with water, plug nipple hole, slowly heat the barrel until it reaches boiling temperature. Water volume expands 1600 X when it turns to steam.
    Last edited by Walkingwolf; 09-10-2017 at 04:06 PM.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    MI (summer) - AZ (winter)
    Posts
    2,791
    You've aken care of the charge. Now pull the barrel and pull the breech plug. Rifled musket breech plugs come out fairly easy - don't mar up your barrel - use leather pads in you vise jaws. Once it's out, put in something that is going to soften the fouling in the barrel - set the barrel muzzle down and fill the bore - then reverse it and put breech down and muzzle up. Once it has set for a while, use a wood down and drive the minie out. If you drive from the breech end towards the muzzle, remember that you will be expanding the skirt of the ball - try it from he muzzle towards the breech first.

    You dont[ state why your are shooting un-lubed minies? I'm assuming the fit of the minie to the bore is about tolerance of .002. It has always been common practice to just lube the base of the minie with a BP lube - the intent is to keep the fouling soft so you won't end up with issues like you are experiencing now. I don't know what a lot of the N-SSA shooters are doing now, but years ago, all we did was take a finger tip of crisco and swipe it in to the base and that kept the fouling soft for quite a few relays of fast, multiple shots.

    On any BP rifle/smoothbore, you need to use a BP lube to keep fouling soft - if not, you'll end up with fouling that will be built up quickly and get as hard as can be.

    If it is stuck as bad as you say - a ball puller isn't going to do it. A CO2 charge may pop it out but then again, maybe not. I don't know what grain size mine your are shooting, but it it is a 505 grain (575-213), it has a lot of length to get "stuck" unlike a patched round ball which in theory is stuck at the center of the ball.

    Good luck and let is know how it goes.

  8. #8
    Boolit Bub
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    39
    Damn, that sounds hard. I did try to seat that bullet, but I gave up beating on it. The barrel is now pulled from the stock. It watered down and removed the charge. And I put oil on both sides. I don't think I need to pull the breech just yet...

  9. #9
    Boolit Bub
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    39
    The commercial sell is to try the CO2 thing. Once the oil penetrates maybe I do feed 5 to 10 grains through and replace the nipple and blow the ball out.

  10. #10
    Boolit Bub
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    39
    It's my fault this happened. I allowed my friend to shoot his Musket with unlubed minie balls. I swabbed the bore out for him but it wasn't enough. I'm completely to blame.

  11. #11
    Boolit Bub
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    39
    He loaded 70gr powder. Couldn't seat the ball. We tried as best we could... but pulled the rifle off the line because the minie got stuck half way. That would be a no go...

  12. #12
    Boolit Bub
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    39
    Thank you all. The barrel is soaking in ballistol. I'll look at the breach. But bp first.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    163
    A screw ball puller will work with liquid lube like thinned ballistol forward of mini then tap on the rod pulling the mini with small impacts. Pulling on the rod just strips the screw out of the mini. If you use agrease fitting and gun load the grease fund with chrisco or other natural solid grease/lube.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master


    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    The Lowcountry
    Posts
    170
    Zero fitting. Pump grease in when Minnie is out. Take zerk fitting off. Hit with the air compressor, Pointed in a garbage can. The grease comes out easy.

    My son got a m-60 receiver brush stuck in his 50 caliber. Worked perfectly, grease took a few more patches, but cleaned up nicely.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Posts
    721
    This is a good and economical mix for soaking and freeing stuck parts.


    “Machinist Workshop Magazine” did a test on penetrating oils.
    torque required to loosen them.
    PB Blaster: 214 lbs;
    Liquid Wrench: 127 lbs,
    Kano Kroil: 106 lbs
    (ATF)/Acetone mix (50/50): 50 lbs.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master Good Cheer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    the Ark
    Posts
    2,600
    Quote Originally Posted by Pavia View Post
    Shooting a 58 1861 Springfield today. Ball can only go halfway down the bore. It's an unlubed minie ball in a dirty bore. Won't budge an inch.

    Pull the nipple, soak the barrel to clean out the charge, and apply oil? Then what? A ball puller won't work I think. It's hard jammed in the bore.
    Presuming that the powder charge is in the barrel then a heavy brass rod to hammer the minie on down (followed by shooting the minie out) is the best remedy I know.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Chula Vista, CA
    Posts
    786
    I would suggest a CO2 load discharger. I have one as do several others at our monthly black powder matches and they sure work well. You can get them from Cabelas, even bicycle shops carry them along with extra CO2 cylinders. So far I have never had mine fail to pop the stuck ball out.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Space Coast, FL
    Posts
    1,296
    Never used the CO2 thing but thinking. Would it not work better if you filled with a liquid behind obstruction using air charge? Fluid compression ratio vs gas volume compression, more bang for the buck?

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
    idahoron's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    1,258
    I have used the grease zerk method and it is hard to beat. If you try a ball puller and you end up with a hole through the bullet to allow leakage you will not get the grease zerk to work.
    The neat thing about the grease zerk method is you don't have to fill the barrel with grease. In the case when I did it there was air in the barrel too. A couple pumps and the bullet shot down the barrel and got stuck at the tip. I used a bullet puller to take it the rest of the way out. I didn't lube the barrel first, the barrel was dry and rusty. If you have a good clean barrel with lube, the grease zerk method works without harming the gun in any way.
    For a TC I had to get a 1" long grease zerk. The short ones didn't work with mine because the snail wouldn't let the tip lock on the zerk.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    4,298
    If liquid mercury is available the old time gunsmiths would bore out the center of a tightly stuck ball leaving as little lead in the bore as possible then pour mercury in the barrel plugging both ends and work the barrel around to slosh the mercury over the lead till the lead dissolved.
    Not a fast process but a sure one that incidentally cleaned away any leading. If he was shooting in-lubed Mine' balls I'm pretty sure leading is one of the reasons the ball got stuck so tight.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
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