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jkilroy
December 21, 2008, 05:23 PM
Hi,
I'm brand new to the forum, and Merry Christmas to everyone.

I'm having problems getting my TC firestorm to shoot any kind of groups with any and all loads. I'm fairly certain it's me not holding the gun on the same spot on the target with the open sights. Currently I'm shooting 777 3fff with 370 maxi ball loads. I was shooting sabots and I tried powerbelts, all with the same result no grouping, all over the paper. Year before last I was able to get the sabots to shoot, now this year I tried and they didn't work, plus I hate loading them. That gun was made for conicals, so it should be able to shoot them with acuracy. I even called TC and they said use the 370 maxi ball with 70 grains of black powder. I'm not going to go to black powder and I also refuse to use RB, sabots or spend the money for powerbelts. My question is, is anyone able to get the maxi balls, or any of the conicals for that matter to group? I also don't clean in between each shot.

When I went out on Sat and my first shot hit the bullseye, howerever I wanted to get it 1.5 high at 50 yds. I adjusted the sight and the next shot hit the edge of the target high iand to the right. t was all down hill from there.

mykeal
December 21, 2008, 07:59 PM
First of all, you need to modify your sighting in technique. Making sight changes after one shot is a fool's game. You don't know if the next shot was off because of the sight change or because you flinched. Yes, I read that you're 'fairly certain' it's not you, but 'fairly certain' is not good enough.

Take a MINIMUM of three shots before you change the sights. And if you feel good enough about the group to make a change, make only enough to adjust the center of the group to the POA.

Next, what load are you shooting? Have you adjusted the 777 load down to the equivalent 90 grain black powder load? You're using fffg 777; was the T/C recommendation for 90 grains of ffg or fffg? If ffg, did you further adjust for the change to fffg?

777 should be decreased between 10 and 15 percent to achieve the equivalent black powder load; your 90 grains of fffg (if that's what it was) should be 77 grains of 777; if you can't measure finer than 5 grain increments, 80 grains is within the 10% range, but 75 would likely give better accuracy. Try both. All of this is by volume, of course.

The change from ffg to fffg (if appropriate) requires another 10% downward adjustment, but base that on the 777 load of 77 grains, so that you would end up with 70 grains by volume.

That 70 or 75 grain fffg 777 load is the starting load for determining what will give the best groups. Shoot 3 to 5 rounds at 50 yards at each of 65, 70, 75 and 80 grains (WITHOUT changing sights - you're interested in group size, not POA/POI relationships); that should tell you where the best load is. Clean the bore with one wet and one dry patch after EACH shot.

One little known fact about 777 is that it is sensitive to compression. You should seat the ball only hard enough to ensure that it is on the powder column, and no more. And use the same technique every time in seating the ball. Over compressing will cause erratic results with 777, and using a different technique will result in different amounts of compression and further confuse the picture.

Good luck. I hope this helps.

jkilroy
December 21, 2008, 08:10 PM
I'm borrowing a bech rest from someone from work. I'm going to start at 80 grains because I did try 75 and the bullets keyholed. They did seem to group though. I was changing the sight after shot multiple times. How many clicks should you go if it's way off?

Thanks

arcticap
December 21, 2008, 11:41 PM
On a positive note, mykeal has provided sound advice to try to work out a load for that TC conical.
However there may be problems with the TC MaxiBall that just might not be solvable. But since your first shot was on target, it's understandable for you to not want to give up on the MaxiBalls just yet.
That first shot out of a cold clean barrel is the most important one when in a hunting situation. The subsequent group just isn't quite as important if the 1st shot can be counted on to remain on target. That may mean that you need to thoroughly swab to clean the bore after each shot. As mentioned, the 777 powder can be erratic and may be the root cause of the problem. You won't know for certain until you've exhausted all of your remedies and finally try another powder or conical.
Sometimes using a wool wad over the powder helps with accuracy, but in this case, I doubt that they will. That is unless you already have some on hand to easily give them a try.
777 is simply not the ideal powder for every rifle or bullet, and despite what TC says, the Maxi is not the ideal bullet for every rifle or even for the Fire Storm.
If the accuracy of the Maxi fails to improve, then I would recommend to next try the Hornady FPB bullet that's available at many WalMarts.

http://www.hornady.com/images/newproducts/2008/fpb_illustration.png

http://www.hornady.com/story.php?s=770

They work well in a wide variety of guns, and the hollow base expands to grab the rifling well.

Here's a review by Randy Wakeman:

http://www.chuckhawks.com/hornady_FPB_bullets.htm

If these don't work then next I would recommend changing powders.
Since you'd rather not shoot sabots, give the Hornady FPB a try since you just may need to select another bullet anyway. And the plastic tip can be removed if that creates a problem for you to hunt with it in your state.
I've heard others complain about the terrible accuracy of the various Maxi's. The main reason why folks like them is because they load easier than the Hornaday Great Plains bullets which can be very difficult to load but which have a much better reputation for accuracy. And the Great Plains also does extreme damage to deer. But because it's another pure lead bullet, I would still try the FPB first just in case the Fire Storm has shallow rifling.
The FPB's should be even more accurate without quite as much difficulty loading because they are made with such precision, are jacketed and have a hollow base.
Good luck and let us know how it works out for you. :)

shortwave
December 22, 2008, 07:33 PM
If you borrow benchrest,your 1st shot is bullseye and things go south after that, whats the condition of your bore on that 1st shot. I noticed you said you didn`t swab between shots. If bore is clean 1st shot with bullseye,as Articap said "try swabbing between shots". Also does your bore have a light coat of bore butter on that 1st shot and dry the next?? Try to duplicate the condition of bore on your 1st shot to the 2nd shot. Your rifle will tell you what it wants and loading consistency is the key.

jkilroy
December 22, 2008, 08:50 PM
I have the lead sled now and hopefully sun I'll shoot it again. The barrel had some bore butter when I cleaned it. I have never, ever got the flintlock to shoot good, but I never spent real time fine tuning it. I'd like to stay away from black power and powerbelts, but I guess those will be my last resort, because I hate spending the money on powerbelts and the triple seven is so much cleaner than black powder. I'm hearing of much problems with the 777.

If my sights are way off how many clicks of the rear sight should I make each adjustment?

How many people have problems with accuracy if they don't clean between shots?

shortwave
December 22, 2008, 11:41 PM
Have you tried other b/p substitutes. I`ve shot alot of 777 but prefer American Pioneer. Its clean,consistent and although some have experienced moisture problems,I`ve not. There`s others out there but those are the two substitutes I`ve got the most exp. with. As far as Powerbelts goes I`ve got an inline that shoots them great(out to 100+yds) and another one that doesn`t. Everyone has there own regiment they use when loading. Full size bullets I use bore butter and swab between each load. Shoot, patch with #13, dry patch, patch with light coat of bore butter. If I`m shooting a sabot bullet-shoot,#13 patch, dry patch. When zeroing I`ll do this routine between every shot cause my first shot in the field when hunting will be out of a clean bore. After zeroed I`ll then see how many shots I can fire till things go south. As mykeal posted, don`t worry about bullseye`s at first. Get tight groups(3-5shots) first then worry about moving groups to bullseye. If your not grouping you`ll go crazy trying to zero. Be patient and enjoy. It may take awhile but once you find rifles "sweetspot" you`ll see what that rifles capable of. Goodluck!

mykeal
December 23, 2008, 06:53 AM
I'm going to start at 80 grains because I did try 75 and the bullets keyholed. They did seem to group though.
I guess I wasn't clear. 80 grains should be the heaviest load you shoot, not the starting load. Go back and read my earlier post
Shoot 3 to 5 rounds at 50 yards at each of 65, 70, 75 and 80 grains

If my sights are way off how many clicks of the rear sight should I make each adjustment?
That depends on how far off the point of aim (POA) is from the point of impact (POI), what range you are shooting and type of scope you have; some use 1/8" clicks and some use 1/4" clicks. In general, and this is of little use until you know what your scope's design is, 1 click moves the POI 1/4" (or 1/8") at 100 yards. So if you're shooting 100 yards and the POI is 5" off from the POA, you need to adjust 5 times 4, or 20 clicks. If you're shooting 50 yards, that needs to be doubled.

How many people have problems with accuracy if they don't clean between shots?
Impossible to answer. Some do, some don't. It's a matter of what each individual gun likes or doesn't like. Notice I said 'each individual gun". It's not a matter of make and model; each combination of gun, shooter, powder, lube, bullet, etc. is different, so finding the right combination takes patience and experimentation.

Gbro
December 23, 2008, 10:21 AM
Impossible to answer. Some do, some don't. It's a matter of what each individual gun likes or doesn't like. Notice I said 'each individual gun". It's not a matter of make and model; each combination of gun, shooter, powder, lube, bullet, etc. is different, so finding the right combination takes patience and experimentation.

Well said,
however, I would list those in this order
1. Lube
It must be compatible with your powder.
When I shoot a patched RB (i know you don't like them, but bare with me) out of my .45 flint with a micro grove barrel I have to clean between every shot if I use bore butter, however a spit patch allows me to shoot all day without cleaning between shots.
I do use the bore butter for a hunting load and know that i will have a hard time reloading if that is needed.

2. Powder
You don't like BP, But you also say,
I have never, ever got the flintlock to shoot good, but I never spent real time fine tuning it.
BP is a must for flinter's.
All substitutes leave residue that needs to be cleaned. a good BP solvent makes cleaning so easy why make a fuss over it?
If its easy you want, use the pellets. That is what the fire storm was designed for.

Good luck with your shooting. Remember you will get out of it what you put into it. Its not supose to be as easy as smokeless cartridge 20th century.....

jkilroy
December 23, 2008, 08:10 PM
I didn't mention I'm shooting open sights.

mykeal
December 23, 2008, 09:29 PM
Open sights vary considerably. I'm not familiar with those on your gun, so I can't tell you what each increment of adjustment means. That's something you'll need to find out by experiment, after you get a load/technique that shoots a good tight group.

jkilroy
December 28, 2008, 10:09 PM
Here are the results of shooting; 90 grains of powder with 250 grain sabots using black powder. I achieved 1" groups. The maxi balls did not work, I tried 80, 90, 95, and 105, they were all over the place. The lead sled worked great, I need to buy one now.

I did find out something that bothers me now and it may explain why my rear sight was adjusted almost all the way down. When I was cleaning it, I discovered the the bracket that bolts to the barrel ,which the wedge pin goes through, which holds the barrel to the stock was loose. I tightened it, but I wonder if it will throw off the sights? The sabots were shooting great. I shot about 6 shots in a 1.5 group.

I also cleaned between each shot. BTW, the black powder really goes off fast, wow!

Hopefully now if I see a deer I will be able to hit it.

Also, the one shot I fired off without cleaning resulted in inaccuracy.

arcticap
December 29, 2008, 02:59 AM
Congratulations on finding an accurate load and nice shooting.
I'm also glad that you changed your mind about shooting sabots.

The loose wedge pin holder shouldn't matter because the sights are attached to the barrel and it couldn't have been loose enough to make much if any difference at all.
Just focus on keeping the front sight steady and gently squeeze the trigger straight back and hopefully you'll hit what your aiming at.
Good luck & enjoy your hunt! :)

shortwave
December 29, 2008, 09:06 AM
jkilroy, ditto what Articap said, especially about shooting sabots. What distance are you shooting at? Couple more Tips #1-The more range time you spend the more the system you use to load(shoot) your m/l becomes automatic. Thats a good thing but when the time comes and you ram that sabot home and remember you didn`t put your powder charge in:o have a ball pulling adapter (jag) that screws in the end of your ramrod to pull bullet. Sooner or later it happens. #2 If hunting in rainy(snowy) weather have a small balloon,cut off finger out of latex surgical glove or piece of tape over end of bore to keep moisture out. I usually carry a few cut fingers in hunting possibles bag. Again good shooting and have fun!

Gbro
December 29, 2008, 10:28 PM
I also cleaned between each shot. BTW, the black powder really goes off fast, wow!

If you can tell the difference you either have some very bad powder, or you are packing the 777 to tight.
Unless you are referring to the "Much more pleasant sound of good old black powder going off with a much more desired sweet wonderful smell!;)
The 777 powder has a "sissy sound to it, Hey:D

The lead sled worked great, I discovered the the bracket that bolts to the barrel ,which the wedge pin goes through,

That would be called the "Under barrel rib"
That could have been caused by the lead sled, There have been many warnings not to weight the sled down to much as it will in some cases damage a firearm from recoil not being absorbed in a dynamic medium, ie your shoulder.

arcticap
December 30, 2008, 12:31 AM
I use protection on my muzzle too in the form of a balloon, and there's so many colors to choose from. ;)

have a ball pulling adapter (jag) that screws in the end of your ramrod to pull bullet.

The Fire Storm is one of the few sidelocks with a removable breechplug.
Who would ever forget to load the powder first anyway? :D

shortwave
December 30, 2008, 05:12 AM
Hell, I know a guy who forgot to put bullet in. Embarassing when you step up to firing line(match shoot ), tip barrel towards ground and powder rolls out the end and by-stander points out your error. I know that guy real,real well:o:o.

jkilroy
January 1, 2009, 10:00 AM
My gun has a removeable breech plug and I have used scotch tape allready when it rains.

SteveDS
January 2, 2009, 02:04 AM
jkilroy
I am new to this forum also, but have been using a Firestorm since 2005 with some luck. In stainless with a synthetic stock it is my wet weather flintlock.
1. TC claims it is designed for Pyrodex pellets NOT Triple 7 pellets.
2. I have been told that Pyrodex pellets have a small amount of BP on one end to facilitate ignition. May work great with inlines, but my experience with them in the Firestorm has been very disappointing – delayed or no ignition.
3. Loose Pyrodex and Triple 7 are not recommended by TC (and I have confirmed this for myself).
4. You can use loose subs IF you put a small helper charge of BP under the main charge. Personally have had some success with 10 Gr of 2f BP under Pyrodex in some limited testing.
5. Attempted a helper charge under Triple 7 and had issues. Actually launched the main T7 charge (and bullet) out the barrel without T7 igniting. First time it happened assumed I did not load main charge – was not the case as it happened again.
6. In an effort to find some way to use T7, I have found a mix that Hodgdon seems to specifically recommend against (Hodgdon Warning: NEVER mix any two powders regardless of type, brand or source….) but for some reason has proven to be one of the better performers in my particular Firestorm – TRY AT YOUR OWN RISK.
7. Using Lee dippers
8. Helper charge – 10.3 grs 2F (0.7 dipper)
9. Main charge part 1 – 28 grs 2F(1.9 dipper)
10. Main charge part 2 - 59 grs T7 (4.0 dipper)
11. Mix main charge part 1 and 2 together before being placed in the barrel on top of helper charge.
12. Using this recipe I have consistently had three shots groups with Powerbelts at 75 yds with all shots touching (well not all the time, but if I do my part 3 out of 5 attempts). Need to swab between shots or by the 5th or 6th reload you will be looking for a mallet to seat the bullet and accuracy will be gone.
13. Kind of a pain, but if you really want to use T7….
14. My hunting load is 100 Gr of 2F BP under a Powerbelt and I have seen 4 deer drop within sight – also considered Barnes Expander but groups seem to open up.