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Cap and Ball Query


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When you load .454’s or .457’s in your 44 revolver a sliver ring gets cut off the ball.  Does the ball spin true to the cut off out the barrel or does it spin every which a way out the barrel.  
 

I have shot cap and ball since I was a sixteen year old, 67 now and just now put the think on this.

 

Also on cast your own round ball, should the sprue be centered down towards the powder or faced outward.

 

I know these questions would be easy to lampoon, but hold off making sport of my query till folks that are a bit more serious answer first.

 

 

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I use to do mountain man rendezvous before I got into cowboy action. I would make my own round ball and trim the sprue and load it muzzle facing, I was taught that way. The ring is normal and the ball will grab the lands and do the rest. I shot a flintlock smooth bore pistol then and a Hawken rifle from a Track Of The Wolf kit. But I have percussion revolvers I shoot for fun and the ring always happens to me, hope this helps. 

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Why I mention the ring cut out is I was wondering if the rifling follows the cut portion all the way out the barrel spinning like a planet on its axis.

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Sprue should be facing up.  If facing down, it messes with the accuracy.

Imperfections on the base cause accuracy problems.

 

A properly sized roundball follows the rifling as it goes down the barrel, and spins giving very good accuracy.
A RB shot out of a smoothbore is not very accurate.

--Dawg

 

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Rifling will spin a round ball on it's axis (perpendicular to the shaved section of the ball).  It has to - the ball is forced into the grooves of the barrel unless it is undersize.  How far the ball retains it's spin without beginning to tumble I don't have a clue.  Probably at least the first 50 yards, since the ball retains pretty good  accuracy that far, IME.  And from the experience that Dave Tutt obtained in 1865.

 

good luck, GJ

 

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4 hours ago, Prairie Dawg, SASS #50329 said:

Sprue should be facing up.  If facing down, it messes with the accuracy.

Imperfections on the base cause accuracy problems.

 

A properly sized roundball follows the rifling as it goes down the barrel, and spins giving very good accuracy.
A RB shot out of a smoothbore is not very accurate.

--Dawg

 


What up Dawg!

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Question from a non-black powder shooter, but something I wonder while reading this . . .

 

If the cylinder shaves a ring off the ball when you load it, wouldn't loading the ball with the sprue directly to the side help by shaving the irregularity (the sprue) off the ball?

 

Edit to add: If there is any kind of mold ring, it would be in line with the sprue, wouldn't it? So wouldn't it be possible to orient the ball so that the (likely miniscule) bit of mold flashing is shaved off also?

Edited by Ozark Huckleberry
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17 minutes ago, Ozark Huckleberry said:

Question from a non-black powder shooter, but something I wonder while reading this . . .

 

If the cylinder shaves a ring off the ball when you load it, wouldn't loading the ball with the sprue directly to the side help by shaving the irregularity (the sprue) off the ball?

 

Edit to add: If there is any kind of mold ring, it would be in line with the sprue, wouldn't it? So wouldn't it be possible to orient the ball so that the (likely miniscule) bit of mold flashing is shaved off also?

No.

kR

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There was a good test article by the Bevel Brothers in "Muzzleblasts" magazine. There is a slight accuracy issue if the ball sprue isn't oriented straight up towards the muzzle, but it wasn't dramatic. Same with oxidized balls. @Cholla may be able to help with which issue. I often shoot my Hawken out to a hundred yards with 50gr. of 3F powder with excellent accuracy using my own cast balls which aren't always cast perfect.

 

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PLUS ONE for THE Prairie Dawg.

 

Additionally, Swaged Ball doesn't have a sprue so there is no "orientation."  Also, shaving that ring of lead has the ball fitting tightly in the chamber, serving to prevent "Chain Fire."

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The prevailing method is to load sprue up. But, at SASS distances it isn’t going to matter. Again, I recommend Mike Beliveau’s videos. He digs into all of this. 

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Since beginning in muzzle loaders in the mid-1970s, I was taught to load with the sprue up.  As mentioned above you can't really be assured the sprue is directly in line with the center of the chamber, and any offset will imbalance the ball's center of gravity, altering its flight path once clear of the muzzle.  

 

Your chamber should be slightly larger than the groove diameter, such that even shaving a ring of lead (leading to minutely

more area to grip the rifling), your ball will take up full impact of rifling.

 

My C&B revolvers are 1851s in .36 caliber and once upon a time I shoved a round ball thru the barrel and measured after exiting the muzzle, A true .36" groove diameter.  My .375 balls get about .001-.002 off each side, still leaving a .371 or .373 diameter ball to fully engage the rifling.    

6 hours ago, Ozark Huckleberry said:

If there is any kind of mold ring, it would be in line with the sprue, wouldn't it? So wouldn't it be possible to orient the ball so that the (likely miniscule) bit of mold flashing is shaved off also?

My mold doesn't leave a mold ring worthy of note.  With the sprue up, and centered, the mold ring is lined up with the ball's centerline, and each portion of the ring is affected equally by both pressure from the powder firing and air against it as it travels forward.  I've never been able to positively identify any measurable difference in accuracy between cast and swaged balls.  At least to the 25 yard line.  I simply like the convenience of swaged balls in the .36.

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I've used round balls in my 45-70 for Plainsman. Balls that I've retrieved from under a snow bank in the spring, were quite elongated with some still having the lubed wad still attached!

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Yes I have.  The results were, in a word, Gruesome.  The chamfer did make seating the ball much easier.  The down side, was the chamfer resulted in a large increase in fouling.  A very large increase in fouling.  Most notably fouling the Arbor.  I don't see it as a real good idea.  Shaving a nice ring of lead also lets one know you have sealed the chamber to inhibit Chain Fire.

 

Just went back and finished the Video.  I tend to be annoyed when a "Hack" figures out how to post a U-Boob vid.  Not only confused with his terminology, but I'd have to point out Cap Gun chambers don't have "Throats."  Chamfering the chamber mouth does nothing for accuracy, good or bad.  It does increase fouling.  Before anyone gets excited, in my humble (not) opine, the Birch Wood Casey bluing pen is less than useless.

 

'Most forgot.  For Pietta Cap Guns, a .451 or 452 Ball.  For Uberti, a .454 Ball.  For Ruger, a .457 Ball 

Edited by Colorado Coffinmaker
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