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smooth bore pistol ball size?


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I am looking at smooth bore flintlock pistols......................... because I can.

 

The choice here is limited so I have narrowed it down to 44 or 45 cal.

 

I can get 433, 440, 445 and 451 balls.

 

If I am using a .01 greased patch should I be using the 433 (for the 44) or the 445 (for the 45) balls or should you go a little bigger for a tighter fit (noting the pure lead ball can lengthen a bit to fit)?

 

Or do I go thicker on the patch still with the smaller balls?

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Well....being a smooth bore, as you know, you have no lands and groves in the barrel. You want a snug fit, but not as tight as a pistol with rifling. You just want it snug, so it won't bounce down the barrel, on it's way out. The ball can be snug, but not loose, and that is all you really need.

Not knowing...I am presuming the bore diameter for the .44 is .440, and for the .45 is .450. I am not sure if that is the case.

  

 In my .45 smooth bore, I use a .440 ball, and patch it with a .010 thick patch, IF I patch it, that is. That combination adds up to .450, which is a really tight fit in my pistol.

Most times I don't patch it, and just put a square of cut paper down over the powder, and one over the ball.  

 

I do not have a .44 smooth bore. I would think a .443 with a .010 patch, which totals out to .453, would be too tight, if the barrel is .440 in diameter.

If that is the case, use a .433 ball, with no patch, and with a square cut paper between the powder and ball, and one over the ball, to keep it snug.

If I was going to use a patch/ball combination, in a .44, I would use a .429 ball, with a .010 patch which would factor out to .439 diameter.  

 

I do have a 20 gauge, or .615 caliber, fouling piece. In that one, I use a .60 caliber ball, with a .010 thick patch, so my patch/ball combination is .610, and that still leaves me a little "room", so I don't have to use a hammer to pound my load down the barrel.  

  Some folks even use a .580 caliber ball with a .015 thick patch, in their .615 fowling piece, which totals out to .595, and they think it is the most accurate.

I have even used a .60 round ball without any patching, and it had a snug fit even then, and was as accurate as a smooth bore probably can be. 

 

For a more in-depth look, check out you-tube, and look at "duelist1954", and type in "smooth bore". He uses the cut/folded paper method, and also he uses tow, and also he does patching as well.

According to my own experience, if I use a patch and ball combination, in a smooth bore, I make sure to get the patch/ball combination just slightly smaller than the bore diameter...since I don't have any lands and grooves to worry about. You just need the round ball to be snug in a smooth bore, but not so snug that you have to use a hammer to pound the load down on the powder. Each firearm is different, and each one responds to it's own patch/ball combination, or responds to using no patch. 

    

My Two Bits.

W.K. 

 

Edited by Waxahachie Kid #17017 L
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If you use a smaller ball you will have more options. Also a 430 ball with a .010 patch will be very tight in a .440 bore. Remember that patch is .010 on all sides of the ball not on just one so you are compressing the patch to 1/2 of its original thickness. That is a good thing however as BP will get better ignition with a tight patch which will hold its position giving you better compression.

kR

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17 hours ago, Subdeacon Joe said:

You could try the Ordnance Department standard for smooth bore cannon of a ball 39/40 of the bore size. 

SJ once again you have hit the nail on the head.

 

I am thinking too small I don't need/want a pistol, I need a CANNON!

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Just a thought; Wouldn’t a .01 patch actually add .02 to the ball diameter?

It isn’t merely on one side.

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This is for round balls...not conical bullets. 

 

Well...the bore's diameter is say .450 inches wide. The round ball's diameter is fixed at .440 inches wide. That means there is a equidistant space around the circumference of the bore, and the ball, since the ball is smaller in size than the bore, and ideally the round ball is centered in the bore.

At any given point, along the circumference of the bore, and the ball, the space between the bore, and the ball is the same distance...in this case .010 inches....all the way around. 

 

The patch wraps itself around the ball, and fills in the space between the ball and the bore. It will be .010 all the way around, in this instance. Since that space is the same, all the way around the ball, you should get the same space diameter at any given point, between the ball and the bore.

 

Of course, the patch side toward the powder, and toward the muzzle, may only slightly contact the bore, and parts of the patch/ball not at all. In effect, you have a round ball, sitting in a cylinder, so only part of the patch, on the round ball, will contact the bore. The same is true if you don't use a patch at all. Some part of the bare round ball will not contact the bore...a part facing the powder, and a part facing the muzzle, simply because there is no bore to contact, on these two areas. But we are only concerned with that part of the ball/patch that contacts the bore. 

 

So, no, the patch isn't merely on one side, it is on all sides of the round ball....but the deal is, the space between the bore and the ball is equal all the way around....presuming, of course, that the bore is round, and the ball is round. 

 

 

    

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Y'all are overthinkin it. Frontier shooters had better things to do with hard work required to make cloth than shoot it downrange.

 

I have read journals where they used hide (squirel was preffered) wasp or hornet nest for paper patch (collected in dead of winter) or just about anything that would wedge the ball in the barrel' even a slightly oversize ball.

 

Unless you are shooting competition strings and need the very best most consistent repeatable shot its a smoothie. No rifling so that ball is going wherever it wants. Ever shoot tracers and watch that one laser beam just zoom off on a curve?

 

If you can get it down that barrel with hand pressure on the ramrod 15 bazillion CUP are gonna use that as the weak spot and push it out.

 

Powder' patch, ball, repeat until recoil therapy restores sanguinity 

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1 hour ago, Waxahachie Kid #17017 L said:

This is for round balls...not conical bullets. 

 

Well...the bore's diameter is say .450 inches wide. The round ball's diameter is fixed at .440 inches wide. That means there is a equidistant space around the circumference of the bore, and the ball, since the ball is smaller in size than the bore, and ideally the round ball is centered in the bore.

At any given point, along the circumference of the bore, and the ball, the space between the bore, and the ball is the same distance...in this case .010 inches....all the way around. 

 

The patch wraps itself around the ball, and fills in the space between the ball and the bore. It will be .010 all the way around, in this instance. Since that space is the same, all the way around the ball, you should get the same space diameter at any given point, between the ball and the bore.

 

Of course, the patch side toward the powder, and toward the muzzle, may only slightly contact the bore, and parts of the patch/ball not at all. In effect, you have a round ball, sitting in a cylinder, so only part of the patch, on the round ball, will contact the bore. The same is true if you don't use a patch at all. Some part of the bare round ball will not contact the bore...a part facing the powder, and a part facing the muzzle, simply because there is no bore to contact, on these two areas. But we are only concerned with that part of the ball/patch that contacts the bore. 

 

So, no, the patch isn't merely on one side, it is on all sides of the round ball....but the deal is, the space between the bore and the ball is equal all the way around....presuming, of course, that the bore is round, and the ball is round. 

 

 

    

Take a RB and a patch, any patch any ball. Lets say a .440 rb and a .010 patch fold the patch over the ball. Measure it, the diameter of the patch and the ball WILL be .020 larger than the ball it is easy to do and will provide you proof of the measurement.

kR

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9 hours ago, Major Crimes said:

SJ once again you have hit the nail on the head.

 

I am thinking too small I don't need/want a pistol, I need a CANNON!

 

Windage is windage.  It gives you a starting point, at least.

 

But, yes, you need a cannon!
 

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10 hours ago, Major Crimes said:

SJ once again you have hit the nail on the head.

 

I am thinking too small I don't need/want a pistol, I need a CANNON!

But you can’t carry two cannon.

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Oh yes....when measured, the diameter of the patched round ball, if the patch is .010 thick, will double. I was just relaying the gap measurement, between the round ball and the bore, presuming you had a .450 diameter bore, and a .440 round ball...and I did not intend to address the diameter of the patched round ball. The gap between the ball and bore is .010 all the way around. But, yes, wrapping a .010 patch around a lead ball, and putting the measurement to it, will double the measurement, from .010 to .020, since the patch wraps around the ball.

I have not seen a (store bought) patch, that you purchase, smaller than a .010 size. I am sure there may be folks out there that may make patches that are smaller in thickness than .010. I haver never used, seen, or purchased one.  

 

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3 minutes ago, Waxahachie Kid #17017 L said:

presuming you had a .450 diameter bore, and a .440 round ball...and I did not intend to address the diameter of the patched round ball. The gap between the ball and bore is .010 all the way around

 

.450 minus .440 is .010.  Divide by 2 and you have a windage of 5/1000 all the way around,  assuming that the ball is centered. 

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1 hour ago, Abilene Slim SASS 81783 said:

It’s been my understanding that the purpose of patching is to engage the the rifling of the barrel. Why is it needed in a smooth bore?

 

1.) It keeps the ball from rolling out. 

2.) It creates a seal so you don't lose as much gas around the ball.

3.) It keeps the ball from rattling down the bore and gives you a more consistent aim.

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Since I am currently on Mouse Safari and am not staying in Motel 6, and don't have a Smooth Bore (shotgun excepted), and have never had a smooth bore (shotgun excepted), and never plan on having a smooth bore, I DON'T HAVE A CLUE.

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My example Bore .501 + . 485 Ball + Lubed Pillow ticking ten thousands = nice tight fit and can hit a man sized  Target in the torso out to 75 yards ....

The patch does compress some and if you pull a patched ball you can see a bit of the weave pattern of the ticking on the pure lead ball ...

70 gr. by volume of Goex 3F is the load used .... barrel length is 10 inches ... #11 RWS Caps ...

 

Jabez Cowboy  

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In the wayback we never bought patches. We made our own out of pillow ticking (100% cotton) usually lubed with whatever favorite concoction  we liked at the time or whatever was at hand. I have used patches as thin as .005 but it does not carry much lube.

kR

PS other material will work for patches but it has to be tested first. Take a piece of the fabric and burn it, if it produces a light ash it will work. If it melts and leaves a residue do not use it as that is what will end up lining your barrel.

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Someone found a Pedersoli manual and  this is interesting (read strange)

 

The ball size for the 45 is 464 with a .01 patch. The consensus on the site is that's a typo.

 

I might just treat it as a journey of indeterminate length or destination:blink:

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  • 2 weeks later...

Wow, I just got the prices:blink:

 

$1175 for the .44 Continental and $2250 for the .45 LePage, both are Pedersoli's.

 

I would have thought smooth bore flintlocks were cheaper than revolvers or C&B?

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I think Middlesex trading company IIRC is the name of a place I bought a .69 flinter double once upon a time. Might have some you are interested in

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9 hours ago, Texas Joker said:

I think Middlesex trading company IIRC is the name of a place I bought a .69 flinter double once upon a time. Might have some you are interested in

Its very difficult and expensive to buy guns from the USA and import them to Australia.

 

If you can get it done you are easily doubling the price of the gun.

 

A Ruger Vaquero pair cost us $3599 retail and that's thru an importer, if we go it alone it can cost more.

 

a35faff0-7baa-497a-9fa2-414f629c04df_small.jpg

RUGER
SASSV3574

VAQUERO SASS PAIR
357MAG 6 SHOT
STAINLESS STEEL
117MM BARREL
NEW $3599

Edited by Major Crimes
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On 2/11/2021 at 2:52 PM, Major Crimes said:

Someone found a Pedersoli manual and  this is interesting (read strange)

 

The ball size for the 45 is 464 with a .01 patch. The consensus on the site is that's a typo.

 

I might just treat it as a journey of indeterminate length or destination:blink:

Well, it was probably printed in Italy, right after lunch break, and the vino bottles were empty. 

That would have called for a round of opera singing, and more vino. By the time it got to the printer, nobody in the village gave a big rats ... what it said. 

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I'm sorry pard I didn't pay attention to the fact you are from 42 wallaby way.

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4 hours ago, Badger Mountain Charlie SASS #43172 said:

Well, it was probably printed in Italy, right after lunch break, and the vino bottles were empty. 

That would have called for a round of opera singing, and more vino. By the time it got to the printer, nobody in the village gave a big rats ... what it said. 

A fellow measured his pistol and it was .462 (at the muzzle) still a bit off a 464 ball and .01 patch but weird none the less.

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14 minutes ago, Major Crimes said:

A fellow measured his pistol and it was .462 (at the muzzle) still a bit off a 464 ball and .01 patch but weird none the less.

 

If you use the 39/40 mentioned above, you come up with 0.45045.  Add in the 0.020 that a 0.010 thick patch would add and you have 0.47045".  Figure that there will be some compression of the patch and I think a 0.450 ball should work.

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On 2/22/2021 at 9:13 PM, Major Crimes said:

Wow, I just got the prices:blink:

 

$1175 for the .44 Continental and $2250 for the .45 LePage, both are Pedersoli's.

 

I would have thought smooth bore flintlocks were cheaper than revolvers or C&B?

These are not production pistols.  They probably sell one of each per week, which means that they are hand assembled.  The three that I have seen looked impressive.

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The bullet mold that was shipped with 45 cal revolvers threw a .440 cal ball.  There. A factual answer that has nothing to do with the long gun question.

I shall now go away with a warm fuzzy feeling because I have added to the information and helped a fellow black powder fan.

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