RepackboxMidSouth Shooters SupplyInline FabricationLee Precision
ADvertise hereRotoMetals2Titan Reloading

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 23

Thread: Powder FIRST!

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Oklahoma
    Posts
    864

    Powder FIRST!

    Was having a blast shooting my Hawken this last weekend, adjusting sights at 50 yds. in prep for muzzleloader season. I'd shoot 2-3 prb's adjust the sights, swab out & reload.

    Then I did it. after looking at the target, I walked back to the bench & proceeded to promptly seat a patched ball to the breach, with no powder! I knew instantly what I'd done by the mark on my ramrod & the sinking feeling of hearing the ball "tink" when it hit bottom.

    First tried to pull the ball but my hands were too slippery to get a good purchase on the rifle & ramrod, as well as the lack of leverage to pull the rod. The first few attempts the ball puller pulled out from the ball. Tried to use one of those co2 "unloaders" to no avail. Then I remember reading somewhere ( a Sam Fidala book maybe?) about tying a rope around the ramrod then tying the rope to a tree & pulling the rifle away from the rod & ball. So I threw a few half hitches of rope around the rod, snugged up to the handle. Wrapped the other end of rope around a tree & pulled on the rifle, IT WORKED! What a feeling of relief.

    I then swabbed the bore & fired another 5 or so balls, was pretty happy with the sights so I called it a day for that rifle.

    So I guess I learned something; POWDER FIRST you dummy! and it sure feels good that what I've only read about, works!

    Just wanted to share my "boneheaded" moment.
    Bob

  2. #2
    Boolit Master



    MUSTANG's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Moapa, Nevada or Kalispell, Montana
    Posts
    1,474
    Did it ONCE. Had to resort to removing the nipple. Dribble/push a couple of kernels of powder into the hole' re-screw the nipple in; then a cap and fire. Ball sort of fizzled out the end of the barrel and landed about 6-7 feet in front. I know that IT WORKED feeling of relief.
    Mustang

    "In the beginning... the patriot is a scarce man, and brave and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." - Mark Twain.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master arcticap's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Central Connecticut
    Posts
    543
    One time my cleaning rod got stuck in the barrel when at the range.
    I put a piece of patch material on the jag that was too large and thick, and when I tried to reverse the rod to pull it back out it got stuck in the breech.
    If I didn't get it out shooting would have been finished for the day.
    My son tried to hold the gun as a I pulled the rod but it was frozen in place.
    I went to an auto store a few miles away and bought a spray can of Slick 50 lubricant and went back to the range and saturated the bore & patch.
    After struggling with it some more, I found that the muzzle loading club range had a simple metal fixture attached to a support beam for the firing line roof.
    It was an angle iron type of fixture that had a simple slot in it that allowed the T handle of the cleaning rod to be slipped into it to hold the rod in place.
    I think that it was designed for this purpose and I didn't even know about it.
    Then I was able to simply yank on the gun and pull the rod free as the lube began to work.
    What a relief since the Hoppe's BP cleaning rod was made from threaded aluminum sections that could break off.

    When it happened another time at home I stuck the T-handle in the space between the hinges of an open door, and then closed the door a little bit which held the T-Handle in place so that I could yank the gun which pulled out the rod.
    I wouldn't have thought of it if I hadn't seen the fixture at the range.

    I stopped using a regular size cleaning jag but lots of folks turn down their cleaning jag to make it a smaller diameter because they are well known for getting stuck.
    I ended up buying a Kleenbore .41 caliber cleaning jag after that and using larger patches to swab the bores of nearly every caliber and gauge of ML that I have.
    It provides plenty of grip on the patch as long as enough patch material is used.
    Or sometimes I'll use a patch loop attachment to hold the cleaning patches.

    Dixie Guns Works sells a ramrod puller which comes in handy when a rod gets stuck or is difficult to pull.
    I have one that I received in a Christmas gift exchange at the ML club.
    But I don't usually ever bring it along to the range when it could be needed.
    These pullers have leather covered jaws that apply a firm grip to the ramrod or cleaning rod. --->>> https://www.dixiegunworks.com/index/...+RAMROD+PULLER

    A piece of rubber could also help to grip a slippery ramrod that's tight in the bore.
    One such piece of rubber or similar material is called an arrow puller.
    It can come in handy when a ramrod is being difficult to grab on to. --->>> https://www.homedepot.com/p/Allen-Ar...E&gclsrc=aw.ds

    https://www.sportsmansguide.com/prod...SABEgKiPPD_BwE
    Last edited by arcticap; 09-22-2020 at 09:49 AM.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master


    skeet1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Helena, OK
    Posts
    1,160
    I have done that also but what I used was my air compressor to get out the ball. I just removed the nipple and with an air nozzle directed a blast of air into the chamber. If you do this be very careful about the direction the muzzle is pointed. You will be surprised at the velocity the ball has! Like an oversized air rifle.

    Ken

  5. #5
    Boolit Master arcticap's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Central Connecticut
    Posts
    543
    A ball puller is the last resort for me, certainly not the first method that I'd try.
    That's why I bring a nipple wrench with me to the range at all times.
    If the gun has a clean out screw then I try to keep the threads clean and lubed so that it can be removed.
    And I don't over-tighten it.
    I also bring along a screw driver.
    I don't ever want to use a ball puller if at all possible.
    Trickling powder under the nipple has always worked to expel the ball for me.
    Last edited by arcticap; 09-22-2020 at 01:01 PM.

  6. #6
    Moderator Emeritus / Trusted loob groove dealer

    waksupi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Somers, Montana, a quaint little drinking village,with a severe hunting and fishing problem.
    Posts
    17,976
    I've dry balled so many times over the past 45 years, I figure I have saved at least ten pounds of powder.

    Funniest incident we had was at one of our spring shoots. One of the top shooters dryballed. Put some powder in under the nipple, pointed the rifle at a stump and fired. The ball bounced from the stump, and hit him on the side of the hip. Very low velocity, so no harm done.
    I was booshway at this shoot, and in the evening I rounded up a couple cohorts. I had my camera, and had another guy with a clipboard. I told the "victim" that we had to always make an accident report. I told him to drop his pants so I could take some pictures of the wound site, and then we would do the paperwork. He is smart enough he didn't fall for it, and gave us a drink of whiskey instead.
    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!


  7. #7
    Boolit Master RU shooter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    SW Pa.
    Posts
    2,579
    Just a matter of time till it happens . I gave up on ball pullers . If I can't dribble powder in to shoot it out . I'll just call it a day go home and take the breach plug out
    If you find yourself in a fair fight, your tactics suck!

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Posts
    1,864
    ## only twice that I can remember - (major shoots - super embarrassed) - usually this happens when guys are talking around the loading benches. I carry a small flintlock primer in my percussion gun bag and always got a nipple wrench and screwdriver. If anything at all interrupts my loading process I double check - damp the end of the ramrod and put it down on the charge - see a couple grains of fresh powder stuck on the end its good -if not - investigate further - save a heap of trouble
    # Double charged one once
    # Chain fired a cap and ball once (just a twofer not the whole cylinder)
    ## double patched a ball a few times of late - multiple patches cut with a big punch and forgot to separate em before I dunked em in the lube - stuck together

    Seen a very experienced shotgun shooter (not me) fire a rather large ramrod at a clay bird one time - shoulda seen the bruise next day!

    Dry ball is an embarrassment and a PITA but really no big deal
    Shooting your ramrod or doing a double powder charge is heading into not so smart territory............................. (long time ago and only done it once)

  9. #9
    Boolit Master bedbugbilly's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    MI (summer) - AZ (winter)
    Posts
    3,919
    Glad you were able to get the patched ball out without having too much of a problem. If you shoot a front stuffer - it's bound to happen sooner or later. I have done it several times and have to take the blame for it each time. LOL I was thinking the other day about the very issue of drywalling as I'm getting a new rifle set up. I have ball pullers but I'm going to order one o the CO2 device they make for discharging a ball without powder load. I have seen them used for years down at Friendship and they work slick. I'll stick it in the range box and hopefully never need it but would sure be nice to have when you aren't near a compressor.

  10. #10
    Moderator Emeritus / Trusted loob groove dealer

    waksupi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Somers, Montana, a quaint little drinking village,with a severe hunting and fishing problem.
    Posts
    17,976
    Quote Originally Posted by bedbugbilly View Post
    Glad you were able to get the patched ball out without having too much of a problem. If you shoot a front stuffer - it's bound to happen sooner or later. I have done it several times and have to take the blame for it each time. LOL I was thinking the other day about the very issue of drywalling as I'm getting a new rifle set up. I have ball pullers but I'm going to order one o the CO2 device they make for discharging a ball without powder load. I have seen them used for years down at Friendship and they work slick. I'll stick it in the range box and hopefully never need it but would sure be nice to have when you aren't near a compressor.
    Get one at our local bicycle shop, lots cheaper. Get a couple inflation needles for balls, and cut off the first 1/8" or so to remove the side vent holes.
    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!


  11. #11
    Boolit Master



    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    NH
    Posts
    3,060
    mnemonic till it is in there, powder, patch, ball, powder, patch, ball, powder, patch, ball

    Keep repeating maybe it will help

  12. #12
    Boolit Master

    rfd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    NJ via TX
    Posts
    3,617
    there are those who've dry balled and those who will sooner than later. there are no exceptions.

    i use a heavy brass rod with a good screw worm and drop it down the tube, give it a few twists to make it bite the ball, and there's a paracord lanyard on the rod's handle for looping over a tree branch (or foot), a few tugs and the deed's done.
    The only government I trust is the .45-70 ....

  13. #13
    Boolit Master

    Winger Ed.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Just outside Gun Barrel City, Texas
    Posts
    3,079
    I had a buddy who was a BP guy and did that once.

    He wrestled with it awhile, quite a while actually.
    He finally got mad, took out the nipple, and put a grease gun fitting on it,
    then pumped the patched ball out with air driven grease gun.

    I didn't see it, but can imagine what an unholy mess it made.

    As he was telling me the tale, I told him, "I think there has got to be easier ways to do that".
    He got mad at himself all over again and said, "Shut up".
    FAIR WARNING:
    As often as not, I offer sarcasm rather than advice.

    It wasn't playing the blame game, finding fault, and complaining about every little thing that made America great.
    It was God, guns, and guts.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Brushy Mountains of NC
    Posts
    860
    I've done it more than a few times myself, usually just shoot it out. Haven't done it with my flintlock yet as I haven't shot it much.

    I was at a match once and two guys were trying to pull a stuck ramrod out of a Springfield musket. Someone yelled "North-South Musket Pull".

  15. #15
    Boolit Mold
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Location
    SE Missouri
    Posts
    12
    I was just gifted a cheap ML that this may have happened to. I friend of my uncle brought the rifle over to his house, handed it to him and said “it’s loaded but won’t shoot. Have fun...” My uncle has no BP experience and proceeded to put it into a spare closet for 15 years. He is now in the process of moving and rediscovered it. He was afraid to mess with it so he gave it to me. I haven’t had any free time to putz with it yet but who can say no to a free rifle and two boxes of supplies?

    I know the original owner and I think it would probably be wise to just pull the breech plug and punch whatever he stuffed down there the rest of the way through. He’s kind of known for making poor choices and I think I’d rather take the safer route with something he’s had his hands on. Haha

  16. #16
    Boolit Grand Master

    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Southern Illinois
    Posts
    5,956
    You don't need to pull the breach plug. That should only be done by people that really know what they are doing, and with the proper tools and at a last resort. If you can get a really strong air compressor that could do the job. They also sell CO2 cartridges made to launch out your load so to speak. Put some oil down the bore first to help loosen it first. A good steel rod with a ball puller type screw attached could do it to. Some people when these other things don't work will get a grease zert with the same threads as the nipple, and pump it out. Keep in mind you shouldn't have to fill the bore. Once the grease loosens it, it should come out fairly easy from there.

    I might add, wise choice not to try to shoot it out, you just don't know what kind of powder was put in there.
    Aim small, miss small!

  17. #17
    Banner Sponsor

    lar45's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Arkansas
    Posts
    1,978
    Quote Originally Posted by MUSTANG View Post
    Did it ONCE. Had to resort to removing the nipple. Dribble/push a couple of kernels of powder into the hole' re-screw the nipple in; then a cap and fire. Ball sort of fizzled out the end of the barrel and landed about 6-7 feet in front. I know that IT WORKED feeling of relief.
    +1
    Just had to clear the barrel on a Neighbor's ML a couple of days ago. Drizzled in as much as I could get, screwed the nipple back in, capped and let her rip, went over 12" in the wet clay of my berm. I stopped digging after 12".

  18. #18
    Boolit Master


    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    The Lowcountry
    Posts
    509
    P.G.I.F
    Powder goes in first.
    never done that before!

  19. #19
    Boolit Master Hanshi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    760
    I've never dryballed accidentally, but have many times dryballed (AHEM!) just to see what it felt like.
    Young guys should hang out with old guys; old guys know stuff.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master Maven's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    4,664
    A likely story, Hanshi. That's why I try to hit my thumb with a hammer when I'm building something!

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