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Old April 8, 2019, 07:32 PM   #6
HillBilly Willy
Join Date: March 10, 2009
Location: Upstate NY
Posts: 54
Originally Posted by arcticap View Post
I would hate to see the bore get damaged by shooting steel, although some folks do shoot steel BB's or small caliber slingshot ammo. But that's usually in a modern gun made with a modern steel barrel.
Bore? What bore? It's pretty pitted. It has had a rough life. A dozen old nuts wasn't going to do any noticeable damage. But you do make an excellent point. If and when I shoot it more, I would use something more appropriate.

Originally Posted by arcticap View Post
An .80 lead ball would weigh about 800 grains [or 1.8 ounces] compared to an ounce of lead which weighs about 437.5 grains.

Right now .22 ammo is pretty cheap at only 3-5 cents per round or so. I've shot .22lr bullets that were pulled from misfires and loaded them into smooth bores.
Round nose .22lr bullets usually weigh 40 grains each, and the hollow points about 36 grains each.
If you can get a hold of some .22lr ammo, the bullets can be easily popped out or wiggled off using pliers.
I do have lots of .22 ammo. Thanks for the suggestion!

Originally Posted by arcticap View Post
Starting loads are traditionally one grain of powder to match the caliber number of the bore size.
But 100 grains doesn't seem to be excessive for such a large bore.
Have fun and be safe.
The more I read up on the Brown Bess (based on the lock in this piece), the more I realize it is just a collection of parts put together to make a gun. Since the Brown Bess had a .75 caliber barrel, and this barrel is larger than that, with no visible markings, I have no idea of the quality of the steel. Heck, I'm not even convinced that the whole lock is from a Brown Bess as there are some differences in it, and some or all of the parts could be some kind of an early American copy, like a Provincial or Committee of Safety musket. Finally, like you said, I'd never put a .80 ball in it now, so yeah, the lower the pressure, the better.
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