I agree with what has been said so far.
However, even a slightly oversize bare ball that's been pounded down to seat on top of the powder charge can generally be safely fired out of the barrel. So the chances are that it won't get stuck in that respect.
There is a way to fire bare balls safely without using a patch. That would be to sandwich the ball or projectile[s] in between the powder and a tight fitting card or wad.
That would be similar to a how a modern shotshell is loaded.
It can be sandwiched in between an over powder card or base wad, and an over shot card or similar wad such as densely compressed newspaper which serves to hold the projectile securely in place on top of the powder charge.
Another example which would work would be to sandwich the bare ball in between two wads of highly compressed newspaper.
A loose fitting bare ball can often shoot fairly accurately at a close range like 25 yards or so.
Last edited by arcticap; February 2, 2012 at 03:28 PM.