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Thread: General ML accuracy questions

  1. #21
    Boolit Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by charlie b View Post
    ... I never understood why the rod is bounced. If you need to compress the load then just apply pressure to the rod. If not enough to grab onto then drill a short hole in your starter handle and use it on the rod.
    don't be too eager to dismiss what may seem like nonsense. in reality it (the bouncing) works quite well, has no negative effect on accuracy, insures no air spaces in the tube, the ball is not "deformed" via the rod, compacts (not compresses) the main charge, and it's done me well in woods walks and stake cutting matches. hammered or smacked hard short starter tight target loads have a far greater chance of ball deforming and yet accuracy is far from compromised.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by rfd View Post
    don't be too eager to dismiss what may seem like nonsense. in reality it (the bouncing) works quite well, has no negative effect on accuracy, insures no air spaces in the tube, the ball is not "deformed" via the rod, compacts (not compresses) the main charge, and it's done me well in woods walks and stake cutting matches. hammered or smacked hard short starter tight target loads have a far greater chance of ball deforming and yet accuracy is far from compromised.
    Do that with a minie and you're asking to screw up accuracy. You'll get random flyers with no obvious reason other than slapping that ramrod down on the bullet. So, not necessary even with round ball, apply firm pressure the same every time for accuracy. Accuracy is born of consistency and quality, never just one alone.
    A man cannot have too much red wine, too many books, or too much ammunition.
    Rudyard Kipling

  3. #23
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    Still seems to me that a good shove on the ramrod will accomplish the same thing. And I never used a tight enough load that I needed to smack the bullet. That also seemed counter to good accuracy. I guess the range being fired at has a lot to do with it. Under 100yd and it probably doesn't make any difference.

  4. #24
    So next question is...how do you ensure you have consistent pressure while pushing on the rod? Besides feel, which I imagine will vary based on alot of factors but I'd be interesting to see what feels the same in one scenario vs another and actual pressure measured by a scale or other method....I'm sure it would vary enough to matter.

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  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by John McCorkle View Post
    So next question is...how do you ensure you have consistent pressure while pushing on the rod? Besides feel, which I imagine will vary based on alot of factors but I'd be interesting to see what feels the same in one scenario vs another and actual pressure measured by a scale or other method....I'm sure it would vary enough to matter.

    Sent from my moto g(7) power using Tapatalk
    a good and most appropriate question. for the first patched ball of the day, going down a clean tube, the push/tamp should be consistent and easy. this will be mostly true if fouling is addressed for all subsequent loads. if no fouling control is accomplished, there will be varying amounts of BP residue in varying parts of the tube, and typically just ahead of the chamber area. these speed bumps along the path of the patched ball will have varying degrees of resistance to the push, dependent on factors such as, residue softness (this is where blowing down the tube can help), how long one waits to load (allowing the residue to cake/dry), how tight the patched ball, and what kind of patching lube. there are other concerns if the breech has an ante-chamber ("patent").

  6. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by rfd View Post
    a good and most appropriate question. for the first patched ball of the day, going down a clean tube, the push/tamp should be consistent and easy. this will be mostly true if fouling is addressed for all subsequent loads. if no fouling control is accomplished, there will be varying amounts of BP residue in varying parts of the tube, and typically just ahead of the chamber area. these speed bumps along the path of the patched ball will have varying degrees of resistance to the push, dependent on factors such as, residue softness (this is where blowing down the tube can help), how long one waits to load (allowing the residue to cake/dry), how tight the patched ball, and what kind of patching lube. there are other concerns if the breech has an ante-chamber ("patent").
    There is alot there to think about then. I'm thinking from a benchrest perspective...like the guys who shoot those gigantic slug guns for the MLRA matches....how do they return the barrel to a consistent condition for the next shot? How much of that is applicable to hunters and muzzleloader shooters like me. I'll be shooting from a clean bore when it matters most (on deer, most likely will not have fired a round yet) but should I fire a load first then do whatever I do for swabbing/conditioning the bore for the next shot to be consistent with my practice bore condition?

    My ultimate goal (at this point) is to have Rock solid confidence in shot placement when I am out hunting game... not necessarily target shooting though there is an awful lot of overlap. I want to know that with all the factors in play that negativity effect accuracy I can still place that ball right where it needs to be for an ethical shot. This means alot of practice and I don't want to practice one way and hunt a different...is a "fouling shot" a wives tale of is this something to consider?

    Sent from my moto g(7) power using Tapatalk

  7. #27
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    put in some good shooting time with a good load process. probably best initially done off the bench to set the sights, then move to offhand. this will help you on many levels to gain both knowledge and experience of the gun, components, and shooting process. really no substitute for just doing, and in as quality a manner as possible.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by rfd View Post
    don't be too eager to dismiss what may seem like nonsense. in reality it (the bouncing) works quite well, has no negative effect on accuracy, insures no air spaces in the tube, the ball is not "deformed" via the rod, compacts (not compresses) the main charge, and it's done me well in woods walks and stake cutting matches. hammered or smacked hard short starter tight target loads have a far greater chance of ball deforming and yet accuracy is far from compromised.
    I agree ...specially about the mallet loading technique

    However - maybe we need to define bouncing the rod ?

    I use three solid bumps from about three inches off the ball - as consistent and even as I can do it from shot to shot - not slamming it - just firm (I bet RFD does something similar or at least similarly consistent)

    Have seen blokes kinda throw the rod down onto the load from halfway up the tube and watch it "bounce" back off the load (heavy stainless range rod) .....looks kinda silly to me and how would you get it consistent?

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by John McCorkle View Post
    There is alot there to think about then. I'm thinking from a benchrest perspective...like the guys who shoot those gigantic slug guns for the MLRA matches....how do they return the barrel to a consistent condition for the next shot? How much of that is applicable to hunters and muzzleloader shooters like me. I'll be shooting from a clean bore when it matters most (on deer, most likely will not have fired a round yet) but should I fire a load first then do whatever I do for swabbing/conditioning the bore for the next shot to be consistent with my practice bore condition?

    My ultimate goal (at this point) is to have Rock solid confidence in shot placement when I am out hunting game... not necessarily target shooting though there is an awful lot of overlap. I want to know that with all the factors in play that negativity effect accuracy I can still place that ball right where it needs to be for an ethical shot. This means alot of practice and I don't want to practice one way and hunt a different...is a "fouling shot" a wives tale of is this something to consider?

    Sent from my moto g(7) power using Tapatalk
    This is something you have to try, as some guns shoot fine from a clean bore, some need a fouled bore, and most somewhere between. What I'm doing this year is a clean gun, but oiled with my patch lube. This provides a first shot right in the center of the group everytime I've tried it so far. Just today I shot the rifle I loaded Saturday morning loaded in this manner. Dead center of the 5 shot group. This only worked with a patched round ball. I could not get a conical, either a custom mold or the Lee REAL, to group on a clean bore, and they shot significantly off from a fouled bore. About 6" right.

    I don't have any dog in this fight when it comes to loading technique. I have always been one to use a firm push to seat. Bouncing the rod obviously works for some, but I just never saw the point. Any load I've tried worth anything as far as accuracy would not be moved at all by tip tapping from dropping the ramrod 3". That's a cool experiment for me to try though. Run 10 shots over the chronograph of each style, and see which works best.

    @Edwards, I am not using a card wad. In the rifle I shot today, I am only using one 1/8" felt wad, followed by the patched ball. The only reason I use it is to protect the powder from possible lube contamination from a long time sit. I did try compressing the powder first today with the felt wad, then seating the ball firmly on top, but not compressing farther. Lo and behold I actually got some of my best groups yet. Maybe I had a good day, maybe the wind finally cooperated, but I managed a true 4" five shot group at 100 yards today. I even practiced some field shooting at 75, and still got some of my best accuracy to date. That's the first decent 100 yard accuracy from this rifle with a PRB, and I didn't change anything except pre-compressing the powder.

  10. #30
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    Yep, I found with shooting conicals that compressing the load made a lot of difference. I used a card and felt wad under the paper patched or lubed slug. The bullets were a slip fit (not for hunting) so a slight push was all that was needed to seat.

    These did shoot different with a fouled bore. First shot was usually 3-4" high at 100yd, then the rest in less than 2" group (not great but was good enough for my use). It was 'minute of deer' but something to know about your rifle. I would usually shoot a 10 shot string before wiping again. As an alternative I could wipe between shots and all went where the cold shot went. Wiping was two damp patches, two dry patches for every shot.

    Like rfd posted, practice like you hunt, and practice a lot. Be consistent, especially with follow through. The last is probably as much 'insurance' as accuracy. If your follow through is good then a slight ignition delay won't screw up a trophy shot.

  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by John McCorkle View Post
    There is alot there to think about then. I'm thinking from a benchrest perspective...like the guys who shoot those gigantic slug guns for the MLRA matches....how do they return the barrel to a consistent condition for the next shot? How much of that is applicable to hunters and muzzleloader shooters like me. I'll be shooting from a clean bore when it matters most (on deer, most likely will not have fired a round yet) but should I fire a load first then do whatever I do for swabbing/conditioning the bore for the next shot to be consistent with my practice bore condition?

    My ultimate goal (at this point) is to have Rock solid confidence in shot placement when I am out hunting game... not necessarily target shooting though there is an awful lot of overlap. I want to know that with all the factors in play that negativity effect accuracy I can still place that ball right where it needs to be for an ethical shot. This means alot of practice and I don't want to practice one way and hunt a different...is a "fouling shot" a wives tale of is this something to consider?

    Sent from my moto g(7) power using Tapatalk

    Shoot it off a good rest !! and pay attention to where they go

    Many muzzle loaders will put the first shot from a cold clean barrel 2 to 4 inches out of the following group at 100 yards .....some will not ......that first shot is the moneyshot for a hunter so pay close attention to where it places in relation to the following few shots

    If you have access to a chronograph practice your loading technique and shoot over the chrony

    Others may have different opinion but I reckon lube is the major key to consistent accuracy - for hunting you need a stiffer lube that wont migrate into the powder at all and will still let you load the tenth shot as easy as the second without cleaning ---magic when you find it

  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by charlie b View Post
    Yep, I found with shooting conicals that compressing the load made a lot of difference. I used a card and felt wad under the paper patched or lubed slug. The bullets were a slip fit (not for hunting) so a slight push was all that was needed to seat.

    These did shoot different with a fouled bore. First shot was usually 3-4" high at 100yd, then the rest in less than 2" group (not great but was good enough for my use). It was 'minute of deer' but something to know about your rifle. I would usually shoot a 10 shot string before wiping again. As an alternative I could wipe between shots and all went where the cold shot went. Wiping was two damp patches, two dry patches for every shot.

    Like rfd posted, practice like you hunt, and practice a lot. Be consistent, especially with follow through. The last is probably as much 'insurance' as accuracy. If your follow through is good then a slight ignition delay won't screw up a trophy shot.
    IF you are shooting lead out of a muzzle loader (anything lead out of any ML) into less than a 2" group at 100 yards and calling it "not great" then you have been inflicted with one of several possible maladies
    1)inability to read a measuring stick
    2) a disease some would call unrealistic expectations
    seriously ! if you can put em in "less than 2inches" with any kind of smokeypole - go away happy - it dont get better than that

  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by indian joe View Post
    I agree ...specially about the mallet loading technique

    However - maybe we need to define bouncing the rod ?

    I use three solid bumps from about three inches off the ball - as consistent and even as I can do it from shot to shot - not slamming it - just firm (I bet RFD does something similar or at least similarly consistent)

    Have seen blokes kinda throw the rod down onto the load from halfway up the tube and watch it "bounce" back off the load (heavy stainless range rod) .....looks kinda silly to me and how would you get it consistent?
    i'm in accord with ya on all of the above, sir.

    as to the rod, it should be of good wood, as God intended - not metal (nor of some modern space-age material). i use a brass rod for its added weight only whilst ramming, spearing, skewering, and lifting out an errant dry ball. yes, i confess to dry balling every once in a blue moon. advancing age plays tricks and havoc with attention span at times. and so, therefore ... er, i forgot what i was just about type. oops.

    cheers, mate!

  14. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by indian joe View Post
    IF you are shooting lead out of a muzzle loader (anything lead out of any ML) into less than a 2" group at 100 yards and calling it "not great" then you have been inflicted with one of several possible maladies
    1)inability to read a measuring stick
    2) a disease some would call unrealistic expectations
    seriously ! if you can put em in "less than 2inches" with any kind of smokeypole - go away happy - it dont get better than that
    LOL, yeah I should be happy about it, but, I'd rather have one hole

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BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
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