View Full Version : Ball Not Seated on Powder

January 13, 2002, 08:51 PM
I have read time and again, "make sure that your patched ball is rammed down on top of the powder". Is it dangerous if it is not all the way down or do you just lose accuracy?


Jim Watson
January 13, 2002, 11:57 PM
A friend of mine loaned his TC Hawken to his shiftless brother. Brother shot it until so foul he could not ram the next ball all the way down on the powder, and decided to shoot it out. It bulged the barrel. TC made it good, but my friend said it was never as accurate as the original.

Don't do it.

January 14, 2002, 12:32 AM
Black powder that has an air space in front of it is NOT a good thing!!! Fired in this condition, you can expect a bulged barrel or ringed chamber.

Mike Irwin
January 14, 2002, 02:37 PM
The same applies for cartridge rifles or handguns employing blackpowder. If you don't have the bullet firmly seated on the black powder, or something in there (like a wad or grease cookie) to take up the air space, you can ring your barrel.

Nothing sucks worse than ringing the barrel on a $2,500 custom Sharps.

Charlie Lima
January 18, 2002, 10:38 AM
From all I have read & been told by those that know more than I do, Black Powder that is compressed is a rapidly burning flammable, same as how smokless powder operates [ note: i am not saying that they are interchangeable, they are not. Just same characteristics]. Loose black powder is an explosive, acts like TNT. Ringed barrels\ chambers are the least of your worries.:eek:

Mike Irwin
January 18, 2002, 11:02 AM
Well, there are significant differences between TNT and black powder.

TNT is a high explosive, while black powder is a low explosive. The high/low designation is determined by the propagation characteristics of the explosive's shock wave and its burning rate.

As for compressed black powder being flammable, I don't think that is correct at all.

Black powder burns/explodes, which ever you like, at the same rate whether it's compressed or not.

Smokeless powder is, uncompressed, a flammable solid, and thus can be shipped on trucks with "flammable solid" plackards.

Black powder, however, in any bulk form, can only be shipped on trucks with "Explosive" plackards.