View Full Version : Round Ball roll around box.

January 26, 2013, 07:17 PM
Ok folks, in the meantime while I'm waiting for paint to dry, I've cut up some plywood to make a round ball roll around box. I'm going to throw it in the truck of SWMBO's car and cover half of the bottom with roundball and let em roll to get rid of the sprue or flat spot. I should have asked this BEFORE I cut it out. But is it worth it? Or do folks do this just to make their balls look better?<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<... oh my gosh that didn't read well did it. I'm going to start calling them things PROJECTILES :D

January 26, 2013, 07:31 PM
Get a Lee mold and don't worry about the sprue.

January 26, 2013, 07:44 PM
Yeah I got a Lee for the revolvers, but I got this Lyman for the GPR, and I think the Lymans leave a nice flat spot.

January 26, 2013, 07:52 PM
Some will definitely argue with this but it's been documented that the sprue shlould not be a concern. There have been posts in this forum in the past. As a rule or practice, you center the sprue pointing up. ..... :)

I run my own lead in the summer, have shot both side by side and have seen no difference between them and the factory balls.

Now then, if you feel that it does, I'd suggest and old cast iron frying pan and let them roll around in that. Would save you from having to kill a full grown plywood. .... ;)

Be Safe !!!

January 26, 2013, 08:25 PM
Plywood killed, roll around box idea killed too. One less thing. Thanks guys. I'll just make it into a rabbit box instead.

January 26, 2013, 08:27 PM
Them sprues is important!!! You can turn em just a bit when loading and you won't have to adjust your sights no more. The ball will go that way since it'll be heavier on that side. If you shoot em in a rifle and you used striped pillow ticking patches, be sure to line up the stripes across the grain with the sprue and it'll cancel each other out too. No problem!!!
:p:p:p http://castboolits.gunloads.com/images/smilies/chain.gif

January 26, 2013, 08:44 PM
Plywood killed, roll around box idea killed too.
Doesn't have to be so for most of the fun, comes from trying new things and ideas that comes with this great adventure called; Muzzleloading. ... :D

I know you like to tinker just like I do and this sure allows us to do so. .. :)

Enjoy and;
Be Safe !!!

January 27, 2013, 09:42 AM
^^ Yes indeed it does Pahoo. I'm always piddling with something.

January 27, 2013, 10:55 AM
I'd rather see the rabbit box myself. :) I have raised literally thousands of rabbits and I've had a couple of good dogs as well. I'm fond of a good rabbit dog, if you couldn't tell. ;)

January 27, 2013, 11:39 AM
The ball will go that way since it'll be heavier on that side

KEWL, I can get the GPR to shoot around some corners! :D

January 27, 2013, 12:01 PM
Wow, I can relate to a rabbit box as well as I use to raise rabbits. I was surprised to see that you guys raised them. Could go on but rabbits belong in another forum. Sorry. ... :rolleyes:

Be Safe !!!

January 27, 2013, 12:49 PM
Wow, I can relate to a rabbit box as well as I use to raise rabbits. I was surprised to see that you guys raised them. Could go on but rabbits belong in another forum. Sorry. ...

LOL we are WAY off topic and gonna get in trouble :D. But the box I'm referring to is one for trapping wild rabbits, so I can put them in the pot. Yum.

January 27, 2013, 02:13 PM
Some people put them in a case tumbler. I never saw any reason to.

January 27, 2013, 07:36 PM
I just skin them, oh we're off rabbits now, sorry.:D:rolleyes::)

January 28, 2013, 09:37 AM
After 45+ years of shooting traditional round ball muzzle loaders, this is the first time I have heard of someone deliberately wanting to "roll around" their lead balls to remove the sprue. Wouldn't hurt anything but I see no value in it either.
As Pahoo said, just use. Sprue up.
As for the cockeyed sprue making the shoot left or right. :p
Oh, well. It is do yer own thang game.

January 28, 2013, 09:55 AM
I swore I read something on here once about letting them roll around in some form of container. Maybe it was another forum. But either way, I HAD to read it somewhere, because there is NO WAY I would think that up on my own. :D

January 28, 2013, 11:22 AM
I loaded my round balls from Lee molds in my tumbler and ran it with a little soap and water for a while. It smoothed out the edges of the sprue cut and gave the whole ball smother appearance.
Decided that the gain (virtually none) was not worth the nasty inside of the tumbler and the dirty hands from handling the ball.
I don't do that anymore.

I do a lot of stuff like that for my own amusement and the remote possibility that they may help.
Like sanding the ears off of the grip on Piettas. No change seen.
Lowered hammers on Piettas. Very little change seen. Probably won't do them again.
457 round balls instead of 454s. Bad deal. Too much effort to seat.
Slix nipples which allow use of lighter main springs. Big change-I like.

January 28, 2013, 11:51 AM
I swore I read something on here once about letting them roll around in some form of container.
Yes Sir, Put them in an old cast irom frying pan, put that on the floor of your trunk and just drive around. Won't hurt a thing but the balls do look different. .. ;)

By the way, when I run my lead, I always roll test and weigh my balls. My casting pot is an older one and I get many rejects. ... ;)

Be Safe !!!

January 28, 2013, 07:05 PM
to be on track,

if your truly serious about getting rid of sprues, you could build yourself a shot machine much like was used to make round ball from wire chunks.

basically its a rotating plate that is simply rotated about an axis, the bottom of the plate is set to be the desired ball diameter from the surface, balls are put between plate and surface and as teh plate spins it makes nice round balls.

January 30, 2013, 11:59 PM
When I production cast round balls we used to put them in a large tumbler for several hours to remove the sprues. I agree that it doesn’t make any difference but customers seemed to prefer them smooth.
For my own use I’ve always placed the spruces up or down.

January 31, 2013, 01:55 AM
well unless competition shooting where you want every edge, I wouldn't worry about the sprue.
However, when you load the ball, you can take care and place the sprue sidewise.
During seating it will get cutoff.
And contrary to popular thinking after seating the ball and then firing it, It isn't truly round when it leaves the chamber anyway. It is elongated somewhat.
Have fun shooting!!

January 31, 2013, 10:12 AM
I shoot N-SSA competition.

If you are shooting for competition accuracy out of smoothbore muskets, many of the shooters are very particular about their ammunition preparation. They will take their .69 round balls and roll them between two plates of marble to get them perfectly round. Then they will roll the balls between some files to put some "tooth" on them, and then coat them with Lee Alox lube.

I don't have a smoothie, but one of my team mates has let me borrow his, and it is amazing to shoot. When you "ram" the ball down on the charge, it feels like an air piston the ball fit is so precise. The ramrod literally "bounces" on the air compressed under the ball.

For revolvers, I find the Lee mold makes small sprues. The sprue is less of a deformation than what the ram on my '58 does to the nose of the bullet during loading anyway. I suppose if you were really particular you could machine or put some JB Weld on the nose of the ram and set a round ball in it to set up so that when the ram drove the ball home it would make a perfect spherical impression onto the ball, obliterating any sprue remnants.

But I have read before that the bulk of your aerodynamic impact of your bullets comes not from the front of the bullet but the rear.


January 31, 2013, 11:56 AM
For my own use I’ve always placed the spruces up or down.
It's much easier to center the sprue up then down. Also keep in mind that when you ram the ball home, you rod tip, will round off some of the edges. Lead is very soft and a shooting buddy of mine, use to take a spoon and lightly hammer the sprue edges. Again, it made little difference but he felt better. .. ;)

Be Safe !!!

Sure Shot Mc Gee
January 31, 2013, 04:07 PM
Put a 1/2 dozen balls in your pocket every day. Get the same action as SWMBO's car but quicker. Although you may get some looks being caught occasionally fondling your balls. Its just human nature to check and feel if the sprue stub is still there. Glad I could help y'all out Deerslayer 303.:rolleyes:

January 31, 2013, 05:49 PM
^^^ Oh my gosh LOL! Thanks for the help :D I don't think I'll play pocket pool but thanks for the suggestion. And if I'm up in Minn anytime and I see a guy standing on the corner rolling his balls in his pocket, I'll know thats you and I'll come over and say HI!! :D

Sure Shot Mc Gee
January 31, 2013, 10:35 PM
A meet & greet hand shake perhaps possible.
Oh that I would look forward too. You just feel free to roll up to me anytime and stick out that mitt of yours and I'd gladly pull mine out of my pocket and accommodate y'all. Speaking about balls. Have you given any thought of buying store bought Swaged ones._:)

January 31, 2013, 11:09 PM
Have you given any thought of buying store bought Swaged ones._ :eek: Oh no you did not ask me to think about "buying" balls!! LOL Thats again the rules of true Muzzleloading etiquette isn't it?? I already go again the grain by showing up in modern clothing, no possibles bag, no powder horn, no roll of ticking, and no patch knife. I DO NOT need to anger my ancestors ANY further by going to the store or ordering factory made swaged balls! :p