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Hi all, looking to learn from those of you that are experienced. This is one of those things I always think could never happen to me. Ha!

New to this BP thing, well not totally, but pretty new. I have an old rifle I inherited from my dad. I knew he had some kind of gunk in the barrel to store it and to loosen a (then) rusted nipple. I thought I got it all cleaned out, BUT when I went to the range yesterday, I loaded it with about 80gr (50 Cal percussion) and a round ball and patch. I shoved it all the way down and kept bouncing the ram rod till it had a nice rebounding bounce of it's own. That's the way I was shown by some locals.

Anyway, after about 10 number 11 caps it would not fire. I'm more than reasonably certain the powder has never gotten wet in storage. It's been a wet year but none of my smokeless has shown any signs of moisture. The powder flowed nice and smooth, like when I loaded for BPCR (same powder Pyrodex RS).

I had to take the rifle home (no tool at the range), and took it apart. Tried to use compressed air from compressor at about 110psi.

Obviously not enough. It moves it bout 3" up the barrel and that's it. The ramrod has threads in the cupped end and I assume this is for a bullet pulling screw? How effective is this?

Could I re-seat the bullet, remove the nipple, pour powder in there and make it shoot out?

Suggestions?
 

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handirifle said:
Could I re-seat the bullet, remove the nipple, pour powder in there and make it shoot out? Suggestions?
I would try that but only safely while at the range.

At home, I would use a ball puller attachment on a ramrod with a T-handle on the other end of the ramrod.

I pull my loads many times during hunting seasons after a day's hunt...
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I would try that but only safely while at the range.
I kinda figured that went without saying. My point was would that work?

My ramrod is wood. The one with the t handle is made of something else?
 

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Removing the nipple and dribbling a little powder in usually works. You probably pushed some crud into the fire channel while loading or wiping the bore. Next time bring the nipple wrench to the range. :grin:
 

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you can get but should already have a bullet puller on hand.
the wooden ram rod should work but you should get a range ram rod they are not that much. use the bullet puller and get a good in the bullet go to a vice and lock the ram rod in it and start yanking on the rifle you Will need a few quick yanks to get the ball to start moving but once it does it will come out easy.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I have a nipple wrench, not with me at the time of course, but the correct size allen wrench would have been nice too. I had my centerfires there with me and a small tool kit but not everything I needed.

Live and learn. I noticed when I tried to blow the bullet out with air, some of the powder came back out from the buildup of pressure.

Next time out, I'll do the powder in the nipple thing.

What is a good source for the puller and range rod?
 

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You can get a range rod and puller from Cabelas, Bass Pro, Midway etc. Your local gun shop may even have them.

If you are going to pull the ball I would suggest removing the nipple and placing the barrel in water to kill off the powder charge first.

If you are going to try shooting it out I would leave the bullet where it is after using the air compressor and try to work in 10 grains or so of fine powder through the nipple, then seat the bullet and try shooting it out.

It sounds like the gun hasn't been shot in awhile so there may be a patch that was at the bottom before you loaded the powder or something could have crawled in there and died?

I haven't had to use a puller on a contaminated charge yet. I have been able to work in some powder, reseat and shoot the ball out. It has, on occasion, taken more than a few attempts.

Before I take a muzzleloader out shooting I run a few patches saturated in alcohol down the bore and pour some down the bore to remove any moisture and oil, than blow it out with the air compressor. Since you have a compressor it might be a good practice for you also. It makes sure your ignition path is clear and contamination free before loading.
 

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As long as we are on the subject, anything you can get stuck down a bore, can probably be shot out of the bore. However, the new fangled air pressure thingy does a pretty good job. The important part of the operation is to make sure the object is down on the powder charge before you let it go. In order to not loose my part, I will shoot it into a bucket of dirt or sand. If you do stick a jag, be sure to unscrew the ramrod before you try to shoot it out.

C F
 

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For a range rod I use one of the universal shotgun rods like you can find at Wally World. Just be sure and get the one with the threadee T handle, I pulled one of the press fitted ones off. A ball worm is just a screw thread that you screw into the soft lead projectile. When you do pull, hook the rod up to something and pull on the rifle, that way you can't shoot yourself with the ramrod. Even better pull the nipple, and set the barrel in a bucket of water until all the powder is out of the rifle. :D
 

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Personally, I would refrain from swabbing the barrel with alcohol while at home & then going to the range, as while you are on the way to the range the barrel is flash rusting... (If you think not try testing a piece of mild steel & rub with alcohol & put it under a microscope & watch it)

If you just used gun oil or a bore grease in the bore, just swab it good & dry til ithe patches come out clean. (This leaves a extremely thin layer of preservative on the metal & it will not flash rust) If you want to use alcohol, do so at the range & then load & start shooting as you wiped out all the rust inhibitors with the alcohol & left the metal exposed.
Anytime you use alcohol in a bore you need to start shooting or lube the barrel, one of the other........ (IMHO)

Anyone that cleans a rifle & then wipes with alcohol to disperse the moisture will tell you it is Most important to apply a bore preservative right after doing the alcohol swab. :wink:
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Been away from the post for a while. Yes, I am an experienced shooter (40+years now) and been reloading smokeless more than 30. Have done some BPCR but limited. read some good books on BP and am pretty familiar with the safety issues.

How much pressure do the Co2 blowers have, just in case the powder in the nipple area doesn't cut it? Although I do think it will fix the issue.

Might get out tomorrow AM to do this, will see.
 

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Years ago bought one of the CO2 things for getting a stuck ball out. Gave it away to a gal that was raising 2 boys on her own, as they had gotten a ball stuck in a 50 cal. Got another one latter as the guy I fish and shoot with seemed to forget a couple times to powder before the ball. (this thing comes with a in-line adaptor also). Lost my jag someplace and got to thinking about another one. Had several old shotgun cleaning rods and thought why not make one. Found a good wood screw and fitted it into the end of the rod. Used J B weld to secure it. The rod has the threaded head , so just put some J B on the thread and in the handle. This is a 3 piece rod and fits into my range box. Teaching a couple younger ones to shoot B/P and have a feeling making them use the ball puller will help remember to powder first. I keep the CO2 thing handy with a box of 5 CO2 handy just in case.

Gun Runner
 

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Discussion Starter #15
gun runner
What did you use to center the rod in the bore to keep it from screwing in between the ball and barrel?

So I assume the C02 works pretty good?
 

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Dint use anything to keep it centered. Basicly eyeball and feel. But now that you mention it might look into a couple of washers bbl. dia. and drill them to fit the rod and J B weld them in. The CO2 thing works fairly well, less you got a real tight patch ball then you run into problems, and have to resort to either the jag or pulling the nipple and pouring enought powder in to blow it out.

Gun Runner
 

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Along the line with handirifle's question, I have had problems with getting the worm to hold the ball. I screw it in as far as I can get it to go, then when I start to pull, the worm pulls out of the ball.

I have ran into this twice with trying to unload the gun at camp....not with the ball being stuck. Both times I finally just ended up shooting it but would have preferred to pull the ball.

I was wondering too if maybe the worm was off center and not getting centered in the ball even though the worm looked centered on the ram rod. Any ideas??

-Turtle-
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Whaoooo!
I got that sucker out :grin:
I took it out to the hills and poured some powder into the nipple area, screwed the nipple back in, and put on a cap. Then I reseated the bullet. I then held it as far away from my face as possible (can you say chicken?) and pulled the trigger. Pop, Bang, zip. Out it went, right through a plywood sheet it was pointed at. Nice 1/2" hole I could see 20yds away.

I thought, gee all that fuss fot that?

Then I proceeded to use the ram rod as a jag sort of, and pushed some cloth down the muzzle thinking to clean it out a bit and shoot some more. About 1" into this process, I realized one of two things was likely to happen here. One, the cloth would come off this makeshift jag, or two, since it is going down tight, it might get stuck. So I stopped and tried to pull it back.

And the winner is?

Any votes on number two????? :shock: When I pulled the ramrod back out, a funny thing (NOT) happened. There was no tip on the ramrod, there was also no pulling it out with the extra cloth.

Luckily for me, this time, it was just a trip home, put the cloth in the vice and pull. Yahoo!!!

I think by the time I get to hunt with this thing, I'll have made MOST of the stupid mistakes I can make. And since I'll be on a hunting trip with it, that will mean I'm still alive.
 

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I think if this was my rifle I would first put the ramrod all the way down and make sure at least that the ramrod has clearance without any patch or anything else on it. If you have a clear path to the bottom I would get one of the Traditions bore light that you drop into the bore and look at what you have in the way of a bore. I would then decide how to deal with what the condition of the bore is before I tried shooting any more. Once the bore is clean and all the fouling,rust, birds nests etc. are removed and you are satisfied that there is clean rifling then you can start trying to shoot it. If you have a bore with some kind of restriction like a section that is rusty or something like that it could be somewhat dangerous to try shooting it until it is cleaned up as the restriction will make pressure differences that you do not want. If you do not feel confident that you have the necessary ability to do this you should find someone that does to help you evaluate the bore.
 
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