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Thread: Importance of smoothbore muzzle condition

  1. #1
    Boolit Bub CeeHoo's Avatar
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    Importance of smoothbore muzzle condition

    From what I've gathered, the very moment when projectile exits a smoothbore muzzle isn't nearly as precise as that of a rifled firearm. Some windage always remains allowing gases to pass the ball in more or less irregular pattern. Still, if maintaining the best accuracy potential of a new smootbore musket happened to be of one's interest would there be any sense not to allow the iron ramrod to rub against the muzzle when loading? In other words, could muzzle wear advance to a point where accuracy loss becomes measurable, when tested with tight fitting (patched) balls, precisely measured powder and experienced musket shooter?

    I got this new Pedersoli 1777 Corrigé An IX last month and I've fired it a couple of times. With military style paper cartridges the use of muzzle protector seems sort of fastidious thing to do and no one probably is doing that but I think that those who compete like to ram the balls with separate range rods. Would military type of loading practices have negative effect on match shooting potential in a long run?














  2. #2
    Moderator Emeritus / Trusted loob groove dealer

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    I don't think I would worry about it. I used a steel ramrod in an English rifle for at least 20 years, no harm done.
    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"

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  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    Rifle or smooth bore both require the best muzzle condition for best accuracy so be nice to your crown ,unless the indjuns are attacking ! A muzzle protector/range rod would allow for the ultimate protection ,except in formal competition probably not allowed /Ed

  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy arcticap's Avatar
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    Whether a steel ramrod is harmful or not, because it's an expensive gun, I would err on the side of caution.
    If there's a desire to protect your muzzle then there is a way.

    Why not construct a muzzle protector made out of wood [or bone], and attach it using a long lanyard to your neck, wrist or waist, so that it will always be available for use with one hand whenever needed, and not be lost when you simply drop it after you've finished ramming and want it out of the way to shoot the gun.
    As long as it's attached to your body so that it can be dropped yet still remain in easy reach, it would serve the purpose of protecting your gun without creating a noticeable handicap.

    So what if it's hanging or dangling when you shoot?

    If you're in a competition or official match, then you don't have to use it if you don't want to or they won't let you.
    But perhaps it would still be your choice to use it if you really wanted to protect your crown and you had enough practice using it efficiently.
    And anything made out of wood is period correct so maybe it would be allowed???
    No one wants to slow you down, but sometimes a person gets more satisfaction by being able to do things their own way.
    Using a muzzle protector 90%, 50% or even 20% of the time is better than 0%.
    Last edited by arcticap; 06-01-2020 at 11:43 AM.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    Delrin- Make a muzzle guide, cheap, light, and lathes like butter. I have made all kinds of stuff for both ends of barrels on all kinds of different platforms.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master



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    I have an original 1777. The muzzle is in good shape, but I’ve seen many for sale with wear from the steel ramrods. All the target shooters I know, never use the ramrod from the gun. You should buy or make one out of brass with a plastic muzzle guide/protector on it. Also very important that you mark where the rod is when you are fully loaded. The mark needs to be filled or turned on a lathe. Sharpie or paint never holds up for me.

    For accuracy start with half loads. Full loads as were designed for combat, are rarely the most accurate with these guns. Use 2F in the barrel and 4F in the primer pan. The secret is to use very little and don’t let it touch the touch hole. Let the sparks jump to it. The less priming powder you use, the faster the gun will shoot.

    Good luck!

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    if steel was going to harm the bore then why would country's that fielded them use steel / iron ramrods? I know the adage wooden ones would break --- well many seem to have survived 200 + years and still in / with the weapon. well then why did the first muskets come with wooden wiping sticks? then they went to a metal one?.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master

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    there's a valid reason for using a muzzle protector.

    evolving military weapon requirements are just that - military needs of the business, a broken rod means out-of-business - and that came to dictate a rod that can take more than a beating, thus a metal rod.
    "Owning a handgun doesn't make you armed any more than owning a guitar makes you a musician." - Jeff Cooper

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by toot View Post
    if steel was going to harm the bore then why would country's that fielded them use steel / iron ramrods? I know the adage wooden ones would break --- well many seem to have survived 200 + years and still in / with the weapon. well then why did the first muskets come with wooden wiping sticks? then they went to a metal one?.
    I guess shooters on the battle field in the prone position , waiting along side their busted ram rod for the burial detail had something to do with it

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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