I also load my muzzleloaders very tight. I have a TC Patriot .45 caliber pistol that burns holes in patches unless I use a tight fitting .451 ball instead of the recommended .440 or .445.
I also get good results with my .36 caliber Green Mountain barrel using .020 Teflon coated patching material and Hornady 000 buckshot. This takes a mallet and a good short starter to get in the muzzle but once started, it slides right down.
A .36 caliber rifle and 000 buckshot is a true miser's rifle.