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Don't bother doing "load development" at 25 yards! As stated above, a good 40 yard load is sometimes a stinker further out. When prb loads spread radically at longer ranges it's nearly always about the patch quality. It's probably not surviving. Put up a BIG target with about a 6 inch black bull only at 100 yards and shoot for groups. Then you know your hunting load is good all the way out to the max range you will shoot.

Pick up your fired patches and study them. If they are frayed or cutting on the lands you either have too thin a patch, not a tough enough patch or a rough bore (being a Lyman, I guarantee you have a rough bore and are probably cutting patches) :eek:

And take lostid's advice. Swab after every shot. If you don't beleive lostid, the order Dutches system and take his word for it! :)

There are no shortcuts to good results with a ml gun and round balls. First, smooth your barrel out. Use as tight a patch as you can load in the field when wiping after every shot

Sorry to sound grumpy, I get worse all the time :grin:
 

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but by no means, should I find that magic combo, will I take to the field at that point
Good plan.

I probably should have made myself a bit clearer. I didn't mean to suggest anything about going afield with a load that was not fully tested. I was more addressing practicality. In other words, cut out the middlemen (25 and 50 yards) and go straight to the 100 rather than find a good 25 yard load only to discover it's no good at 100. Just a time and powder saver. If it works at 100 it works at 25! :)

Use a large target with a 6 inch black spot for a clear sight picture. The reason for large is to make sure that you hit the paper. Sight in is unimporant at this point. Just have a big enough sheet of backer so you can put your groups on it without messing with the sights. Just another practical time saver. Once you settle on your combo, sight it to hit dead on at 100 and you'll only be a few inches high at 50.

Recovered .018 patches (and the .495 roundball) are coming out perfectly, no cutting fraying or ripping. And I have recovered half a dozen or so.
I'd stick with that then. A good patch material is worth tracking down and hoarding :)

I have some .020 patches as well, but Im working up the nerve to use them (read that to mean my poor aching hand is working up to POUNDING them in there!!! )
They might be more accurate as long as your starter fits the ball well enough to avoid turning it into an egg or some other strange non aerodynamic shape! :shock: :) I had a load that was extremely accurate and I used it for match shooting with great success. It required a rubber mallet on the short starter to get it going.

Such a great load, I just hadda use if for the elk season :grin: I made a good hit on an elk which bolted all out in the dark timber. I didn't know yet that it was a good hit so I wanted to reload as quickly as possible. You guessed it, no rubber mallet in the possibles bag!! :eek: Well, by pounding my short starter against a tree I got it started :) The elk had piled up stone dead with a double lung plus top of the heart hit so it was all unncessary but still taught me a lesson :)

Most of the advice I give is backed up by some stupid learning experience. :-D
 
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