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Thread: Don't understand

  1. #1
    Boolit Master Toymaker's Avatar
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    Don't understand

    I was RO for a competition today and had a young man come in with a brand new rifle to learn to use. It was a Traditions PA rifle in 50 caliber, percussion, 1:66 twist. He was using Goex FFg, a .490 round ball, Ox-Yoke 0.015" patches. He fired a cap downrange and another at a leaf...it moved.

    He loaded 65 grains of powder, put a patch on top of the powder and fired it down range. Then he dampened a patch with a citrus cleaner and wiped the bore, down, up and out. Then loaded 65 grains of powder, patch and ball. At 25 yards he scored a hit inside a 3 inch circle. Wipe the bore with a damp patch, load and fire. Slightly off, but good. Wipe, load, fire. He did four shots this way.

    On the fifth = misfire. The cap went off but not the powder charge. New cap, no go. Removed the clean out screw and there was a "wall" of [hard] carbon in the drum between the nipple and the powder charge. Broke through it, put things together, put a new cap on and it went off. Wipe, load, fire - misfire. Same thing, a hard carbon "wall" between the nipple and the powder charge. Two more times this happens.

    Changed from the Ox-Yoke patch to my cut patching, pillow ticking lubricated with 7:1 water soluble oil and water - From Dutch Schultz's method. Same thing, three times.

    Upped the charge from 65 to 70 grains Goex FFg. No improvement.

    Changed from Goex FFg to 65 grains Goex FFFg. Short story, no improvement.

    I've seen a carbon deposit form on the face of the clean out screw but never between the nipple and powder charge.

    Can anyone give me an idea as to why and what can I tell this young man to cure the problem? He's really excited about getting into muzzle loading and I don't want to dampen his excitement.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Boolit Buddy GoexBlackhorn's Avatar
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    All this time he was swabbing with citrus ? Acid blowback-residue may have caused it.
    Just a guess here.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master

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    First off I wouldn't be using a citrus based cleaner. I used it one time(not thinking) and it ran down the barrel and removed the brown just as quick as it ran down it. That said it sounds like he's pushing the fouling down the bore and when firing, it's just pushing it back into the powder drum clogging up the works. I didn't hear anything about a dry patch following the wet one either. Also I'm not sure but citrus cleaner may be effecting the whole thing also but that is just a feeling. The Old CVAs and the Traditions rifles are equipped with a patient breach which is a chamber area that is smaller than the barrel. Old crud can build up down there and be missed when cleaning. This can be got with a smaller cleaning brush that will reach down in the patient breech. The old crud can loosen up when firing and (I am assuming the citrus cleaner is helping this) work it's way into the powder drum. This last thing should solve the problem. His patch and cleaning jag should not be a tight fit. Just slightly snug that way when he pushes down the cleaning patch will go over the fouling and as pulled out, the patch bunches up tight and pulls the fouling out rather than pushing it down the bore. If his jag fits too light it is easily cured by putting his jag in a drill and take it down with some Emory cloth or a file. Hopefully this helps.
    Aim small, miss small!

  4. #4
    Boolit Master quail4jake's Avatar
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    try wiping between shots with bore butter instead and use a treso small base hole nipple, that may cure it all...

  5. #5
    Boolit Master pietro's Avatar
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    .

    My opinion:

    1) Use Moose Milk (Ox-Yoke bore cleaner) ILO the citrus cleaner

    2) Obtain a scraper or brush for cleaning the patent breech's powder chamber

    3) Obtain & use a nipple pick to clear the ignition path between (target) shots.

    4) Advise him that it's not necessary to swab the bore for every shot.


    .
    Last edited by pietro; 12-21-2017 at 12:43 PM.
    Experience is a wonderful thing - It lets you recognize a mistake, when you make it again.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    Sounds like he is cleaning way too much. I'm using Bore Butter on pillow ticking with a little spit for a lube with my CVA .50 caliber Hawkins and only run a cleaning swab down the bore when it gets tight, maybe after 20 or so shots. Don't know anything about using citrus cleaner, was it made for BP or a cleaner off the shelf?
    For the patent breach I use a worn out .30 caliber brush on a regular cleaning rod with soapy water followed by a patch with both the side screw and nipple removed then scrub and dry the nipple barrel out with a Q tip. If he can't find a nipple pick he should look in a hobby store for some thin 1/16th inch brass rod and make his own.
    I actually had the flash channel get plugged up this week at the range so I feel his frustration, didn't pull the side screw and poke out the crud from the last shooting. Remind him to put a little grease or anti seize on the nipple and screw threads after cleaning.
    He will figure it out, it just takes a little time. Hey at least he hit the target
    Last edited by Eddie2002; 12-17-2017 at 10:49 PM.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    A berdan rifle primer will blast out the crud,theyre 10 times as strong as the anaemic musket caps on the market since a guy had his eye knocked out by a cap fragment.....I always keep a matchbox full of berdan primers on hand.

  8. #8
    Boolit Mold
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    I own a Thompson Center Renegade .50 caliber rifle and had the same issue. My theory is that I was pushing unburned powder and gunk into the flash hole when I patched the bore after every shot.

    I went out yesterday and tried shooting without pushing a patch through the bore after every shot. Shots 1-19 were normal and shot 20 was a delayed fire. I set the hammer at half cock, placed a finger over the nipple, dumped 2 oz. of water into the barrel and pushed a tight fitting patch through the barrel. Water shot out of the nipple, which told me hydraulic action pushed any debris out of the flash hole that would cause a delayed fire or misfire. I swabbed the bore with a patch saturated in 91% isopropyl alcohol, waited 5 minutes, then fired 15 trouble free shots.

    Pushing a patch through the bore after every shot made a noticeable difference in accuracy at 50 meters. I am still trying to figure out a way to do it and have reliable ignition for 25 shots, which is the number of shots fired at a match at our local gun club.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    Loose the citrus solution and wipe between shots with just a spit patch and see if problem still exists. I've only owned one Traditions rifle - a .32 cal Crockett Rifle - I don't own it anymore as I didn't care for the issues I had with it - not bad mouthing them as a lot of folks have Traditions and they work well. I'm guessing that the rifle has the factory nipple in it and I would loose that too and put a decent one on it.

    My guess is that the citrus solution probably contributed to the hard fouling build up. I've used
    Dutch's lubing method and a spit patch between shots for years with never an issue whether a patent breech or a drum and nipple. Sometimes you just have to try different things until you find the right combination for the particular rifle. If the rifle was new, did you check the flame channel when you had the nipple and clean out screw out? Sometimes there can be an over abundance of machining debris that is left and not cleaned out - RFD has addressed this a number of times on the production rifles of various brands that he has fooled with.

    Good luck - you'll get figured out.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    This is just one of the many, many things that make shooting muzzle loaders so very interesting! I agree with the posts about not using the citrus cleaner and to try something else. I personally use Ballistol w/ water 10% B and 90% W with the wet patch being only damp and then a dry patch. I look at the patch to see if there are any unburned powder particles and that generally tells me the load is too high or there is some sludge build up in the fire channel. I tend to see some sludge in a rifle with the powder drum setup where as a patent breech or snail has a slightly larger fire channel. One rifle that gets a buildup is my under hammer that uses the 209 adapter but there is a hole in the build up the same size as the hole in the 209 primer adapter!

    This is a case where pre range time cleaning with a hand held steam cleaner to get that part of the rifle "operating room clean" might be a good idea? I would also check to make sure the clean out screw is not interfering with the nipple as they can be too long some times?

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    had this with my original Whitworth until I started Wiping after loading.This now is my mode for loading and has stopped that build up.Wiping on top of the Bullet eliminates the squeezing out of any cleaning fluid at the vulnerable ignition area.After your first shot the chamber area is dry,follow by pouring in the powder(in my case for this rifle 75 Grains of 3f)then the lubricated Bullet then wipe out with a damp felt or cloth square.As a precaution remove the wiping material and check that pump action has not lifted the bullet off the powder.Ready to shoot and you can do this for ever and a day and absolutely no Blockages.
    Last edited by Col4570; 12-18-2017 at 08:13 PM.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master Texas by God's Avatar
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    Dumb or lucky or both; I never clean between shots. I use bore butter or Crisco soaked patches and .530 rb in my .54 Plains Pistol. By the time It's badly fouled I'm ready to shoot something else. I use 50 hrs of PyroP or 3f- whatever I have. I get around 20 shots without cleaning. I just use hot soapy water for cleaning. A nipple pick is standard equipment for a possibles bag.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    I dry patch twice, this wipes out the bulk of the fouling. most of it sticls to the patch. the crusted on fouling is dealt with by using aa bronze bore brush and scrubbing the area. remove the rod, and invert the rifle bore towards the ground and let the dry particles fall out. I do not use a wet patch until the end of the shooting session.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master Toymaker's Avatar
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    Much thanks to everyone for the great ideas and responses. I've passed them on to the owner and he appreciated the information too.

    His return email probably contained the primary cause for the issue. Seems he didn't clean the shipping grease out of the rifle before bringing it to the range to shoot.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master


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    my opinions - nix the citrus stuff, or any other commercial "cleaner" cr@p. bp residue, specially soon after firing, is readily mitigated with plain old water. so just use spit or water, rammed with a patched jag first, then a patch on a .30 to .32 brush to get into the ante-chamber, where all that residue has been building up as it got pushed into by all that silly bore cleaning. finish with a dry patch to both the bore and ante-chamber.

    what "ante-chamber"? nearly all of the offshore guns have patent breeches, and that means they all have ante-chambers that are smaller in diameter than the barrel bore, and a patched jag ain't ever gonna get down into that smaller hole, you'll only force and pack the crud into that "patent breech". what will allow making lots of loads and shots without the need to address fouling is a good fit of ball and patch, a good lube, and a good powder, at least a dozen shots can be made before you'll sense a fouling issue need. i can get way more than a dozen shots off in a row using my .50 and .54 GPR's (with ante-chambers) by using a proper patch thickness material that's heat saturated with a grease lube, that the patched ball can be seated by thumb and ramrod (no short starter or hammer), and a quality 3f powder (swiss or OE). as always, YMMV!






  16. #16
    Boolit Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by Toymaker View Post
    Much thanks to everyone for the great ideas and responses. I've passed them on to the owner and he appreciated the information too.

    His return email probably contained the primary cause for the issue. Seems he didn't clean the shipping grease out of the rifle before bringing it to the range to shoot.
    most of the offshore rifles will have proofing residue lodged in the chamber and ante-chamber. just need to get cleaned out as described above, then followed with some kinda light oil to preserve. here's what brand new unfired patent breech plug and chambers look like before cleaning ...


  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    Yes rfd is spot on the residue. That residue is cosmoline. The best thing to clean it out with I know of is Auto brake cleaner.
    They coat those with that in shipping to protect from saltwater causing rust when crossing the ocean. Brake clean works better
    than anything. I squirt down the barrel till full. Plug the nipple with a tooth pick. Let it sit 15 min & pour it out. Then pull the nipple
    & clean out plug & squirt it in those holes. That should do it. Lube & go shoot. My Crocket did the same till I did this.
    Brake cleaner melts cosmoline.
    Fly

  18. #18
    Boolit Master


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    in the case of the GPR proofing residue, it's not cosmoline, and it cleans up easily enuf with a mix of 1:10 ballistol:water.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master

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    I had one like that. A CVA.
    I found, the clean out screw threads had a piece of steel from the drilling out. Kinda like the thread ends folded over rather than being cut off by the drill. The piece then under pressure of firing flopped over the opening. Carbon built up on the piece and it would not fire. I finally found it. It was the reason I got the rifle so inexpensively. I changed the clean out screw to an Allen head screw, and cleaned out the screw holes. I found the piece when I was checking the nipple threads.
    Fired great ever since I removed the flash.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master Toymaker's Avatar
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    4) Advise him that it's not necessary to swab the bore for every shot.
    Sounds like he is cleaning way too much.
    all that silly bore cleaning

    Every rifle is different. Part of the fun, to me, is setting a process to follow so you don't make mistakes and then introducing little changes (one at a time) to study the effect. Good friend has an original Vincent that will go through a 25 shot competition without a single wipe. The Haynes I made prefers to be wiped after each shot. Both our names are on trophies at Friendship and our names are in their record books. When we shoot against each other, who wins? Depends on the temperature - at least that's what he says.

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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