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Old July 8, 2013, 02:03 PM   #1
indy1919
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How Many Rounds can be fired before BP gun is fouled

How many rounds can be fired from different styles of black powder weapons before the gun will be so fouled with black powder residue that the weapon will need to be cleaned before any more firing.

I am thinking of some different types

A single Shot Musket Muzzle loader
A Single Shot Rifle Muzzle Loader
A Single Shot Rifle cartridge rifle
A Lever Cartridge style rifle
A C&B Revolver
A Cartridge revolver
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Old July 8, 2013, 04:25 PM   #2
maillemaker
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It depends on your lube and how tight you size your bullets to your bore.

In N-SSA competition using beeswax/crisco lube I routinely fire off 12 or fewer shots without much problem.

Steve
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Old July 8, 2013, 05:04 PM   #3
Hawg Haggen
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It depends on the gun, patch thickness, bullet size, cylinder gap. Different things for different guns. A Colt will run longer than a Remington. A rifle with minie balls will run longer than one with patched balls etc.
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Old July 8, 2013, 06:08 PM   #4
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I agree with Hawg, and if we are letting in subs it depends on the subs. I find in my own gear that some combinations of BP and bullet weight burn really dirty, tying up my cartridge revolver in under 25 rounds.

With fair to middling clean loads I can get to 50 rounds without "having" to clean the gun, but I usually head home about then.

I have a couple smokeless loads for the same Redhawk that are good for 200 rounds between cleanings- steel target afternoon - I don't have any BP loads that I think will make it to 200 rounds without cleaning.
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Old July 8, 2013, 06:13 PM   #5
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Some ML rifles are fouled after two shots. Muskets were designed not to be and the ball is relatively small vs. the bore. The army's of the period expected dozens of shots.

Breach-loading guns are not supposed to foul. You can believe that but don't rely on it. Obviously cartridge guns would be the most perpetually shootable before cleaning.
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Old July 8, 2013, 06:24 PM   #6
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1860 Army

Went 60 rounds with my Pietta 1860 Army and it could have done more.
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Old July 8, 2013, 06:56 PM   #7
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Don't shoot B/P pistol. But if my T/C Hawken qualify's? being a 45 cal. Fouling its bore doesn't take long {I've noticed small bore seem to foul quicker than its bigger brothers do} Patched .445 ball, Wonder Lube, .010 patches, 77-80 measured Gorex 2-FF. Two or three shots Max is all my rifle will accommodate. After that it would take a mallet to pound one down.

S/S
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Old July 8, 2013, 07:06 PM   #8
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Cheat.
Use Triple 7 BP substitute, and it'll go about as long as smokeless without fouling.
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Old July 8, 2013, 07:13 PM   #9
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Five to Ten

As stated, there are too many variables and one that is seldom mentioned, is SideLocks versus the InLines. Another factor is humidity. At our last class, it was raining lightly and we set up, under a shelter. The stocks were getting wet. I know we were in for it and was wishing that it would pour. The first indication is when you start getting hang-fires. That came on after the fifth round. We had ten students in each group of five so we really stretched it out, before we did a cursory cleaning. Eventually we had to switch to the back-up. ....

Serious shooters don't wait and clean after every shot. ....


Listen to the gun and;
Be Safe !!!
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Old July 8, 2013, 07:37 PM   #10
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I only shoot single shot muzzleloaders, both rifled and smoothbore...percussion and flint, and in calbers from .40 to .62. I regularly fire 40/50 shots without a cleaning and have no problems. I have found a lot of people use some strange lubes on their patches that don't readily allow for a lot of shots. I normaly use a mix of Murphy's oil soap and Windex to lube patches and to clean the guns with. I use a pretty wet patch around the ball which pushes the majority of fouling down the bore..allowing you a cleaner bore for the shot. When hunting with one, I will normally use some bore butter on the patch and use a wad over the powder to keep from contaminating it with the bore butter.
There must be a hundred different things guys use for muzzleloading, but this procedure has always worked for me.
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Old July 8, 2013, 09:08 PM   #11
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Gene Autry used six shooters and I'm sure he could fire hundreds of shots without cleaning . . . . come to think of it, he never had to reload 'em either.

I can usually fire 60 plus rounds in my '51 without cleaning . . round ball with a lubed leather over the powder wad under it and gently lubed on top. I must be doing something right as the cylinder still keeps turning . . . .

On single shot rifles and smoothbores . . . I have no idea as I always clean in between with a spit patch. When I was shooting NSSA I usually cleaned between relays but had no problems with getting a number of rounds loaded . . usually around 12 shots or so and it probably would have been more if the timed event wasn't ended.
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Old July 8, 2013, 11:46 PM   #12
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Have never had my Remmy's cylinder jam and stop turning no matter how many rounds we put through it. Now, in the early days when I was a newbie, the cylinder pin wouldn't come out without a whack or a soaking but that's been solved by pulling the cylinder every couple of loads and rubbing it (cylinder arbor/pin) down while we reload the capper.
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Old July 9, 2013, 09:48 AM   #13
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No single answer.
Nor will an answer be found on a forum.
Shoot yer gun and find out.
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Old July 9, 2013, 02:45 PM   #14
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Quote:
I can usually fire 60 plus rounds in my '51 without cleaning
Yes, but the question is, do you have to reload?
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Old July 9, 2013, 03:50 PM   #15
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im pretty much like Stony in that i get 40-50 shots from my rifles when loaded with PRB and true black powder and using spit as a lube , before loading becomes difficult .
when that happens i simply run a couple wet patchs and keep shooting. when im done , i clean the gun
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Old July 9, 2013, 07:21 PM   #16
Pahoo
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Defining Fouling !!!

Quote:
before the gun will be so fouled with black powder residue that the weapon will need to be cleaned before any more firing.
Another factor is your personal technique. Also, what do you mean when you say fouling. The OP stated that your barrel get so fouled that you are force to clean. Now, on rifles, I swab between each round with a seasoning patch. The bore will be reasonably clean but eventually I'm pushing a bunch of junk down the bore. Also, my cup or breech plug is building up as well. I can still load but my primer channel is closing up. My first indication is hang fires and eventually, misfires. That to me, is fouling as well. ....

On the label of 777, it says; Easy Cleaning Muzzleloading Propellant. Well, not so fast and not so easy. As much as I dislike BP, I can shoot it longer than 777 and you don't have to worry about shelf life ....

Be Safe !!!
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Old July 9, 2013, 07:59 PM   #17
indy1919
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Well I will be honest I was Thinking at this question In More of a Historical context.. Like say you were having to fire till the gun stopped working...

BUUUUUT I was more then Excited reading peoples different modern day hands on experiences

Per myself I shot an Enfield 1853 clone with real black powder.. and by round 46 I was having major problems ramming down the Minnie balls and it took several caps to get the last few rounds to fire.. Now I did lube generously.. From this readings I see that could have been an issue....
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Old July 9, 2013, 08:06 PM   #18
4V50 Gary
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Humidity, type of powder, lube, condition of revolver, etc. Your mileage will vary.
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Old July 10, 2013, 05:41 AM   #19
Old Stony
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indy1010.....If I were to venture a guess as the fouling with your Enfield, it would be the mini balls and the type of lube. Using some pasty lube would limit your shooting somewhat, compared to a wet patch around a round ball cleaning out some of the fouling as you load. The mini would probably not contact as much of the bore to "scrub" it as it seats also.
All in all, you are getting a bunch of shots from that type of weapon, so you are doing it right.
I don't think after all these years, anyone had really improved on real black powder either. I remember one ad where some guy actually ate some powder...I think it was maybe "Golden powder?", just to prove how environmentally safe it was, but these companies come and go and the good old black stuff keeps smokin'.
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Old July 10, 2013, 09:11 AM   #20
maillemaker
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Quote:
Well I will be honest I was Thinking at this question In More of a Historical context.. Like say you were having to fire till the gun stopped working...

BUUUUUT I was more then Excited reading peoples different modern day hands on experiences
Period lube per the ordinance manuals was made from either 1:3 tallow/beeswax (prior to 1861) or 1:8 tallow/beeswax (after 1861).

I made up a batch of ammo using the RCBS-500M Minie and the period 1:8 lube and it worked fine. It seemed a bit stiffer to load from the start than the more runny Crisco/beeswax lube I usually use for competition shooting, but as the barrel warmed up it seemed to work fine/better. I assume this is from the more solid lube melting as the bullet is put into place.

I have not shot until I could not shoot any more but it was clear that the period lube was getting more difficult to load more quickly than my modern competition lube. Runny lubes like we tent to use modernly were probably not an option in period as they would tend to wick into the cartridge paper and ruin them.

Quote:
Per myself I shot an Enfield 1853 clone with real black powder.. and by round 46 I was having major problems ramming down the Minnie balls and it took several caps to get the last few rounds to fire.. Now I did lube generously.. From this readings I see that could have been an issue....
I'm assuming you were having hangfires and trying multiple caps to get it to go off? If so, be careful doing this as firing the cap can move the ball off the powder. I have tried firing out a misfire before and after a couple of caps I figured I would re-seat the ball to make sure the powder charge was compressed against the touch hole. I was surprised to note that the ball had in fact moved forward in the barrel. I was surprised that the cap had enough force to move the ball in the barrel but not set off the powder.

So I'd be careful firing too many caps into a misfire without re-seating the ball. And of course I'd wait a couple of minutes before sticking a ramrod down a missfired barrel.

I have purchased one of the C02 compressed gas dischargers that you hook up to your nipple and they blow the ball out. They work great and can save a day at the range.

Steve
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Old July 10, 2013, 11:50 AM   #21
Hawg Haggen
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Quote:
Per myself I shot an Enfield 1853 clone with real black powder.. and by round 46 I was having major problems ramming down the Minnie balls and it took several caps to get the last few rounds to fire.. Now I did lube generously.. From this readings I see that could have been an issue....
My minies drop from the mold at .577. The weight of the ramrod will push them down to within three inches or so from the charge on the first shot or the fiftieth if I use a soft lube. I lube in the grooves not in the base.
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Old July 10, 2013, 02:24 PM   #22
maillemaker
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Quote:
My minies drop from the mold at .577. The weight of the ramrod will push them down to within three inches or so from the charge on the first shot or the fiftieth if I use a soft lube.
What kind of groups do you get, Hawg?

Steve
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Old July 10, 2013, 03:07 PM   #23
Hawg Haggen
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I don't shoot a lot of paper but one holers up to about 50 yards, touching at 75, a little space between them at 100 but pretty spread out at 300 but still minute of five gallon bucket.
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Old July 10, 2013, 06:09 PM   #24
maillemaker
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That's fantastic for that loose-fitting a bullet!

Steve
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Old July 10, 2013, 06:15 PM   #25
Hawg Haggen
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Its really not that loose. You can hear air hissing past it as it goes down.
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