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Rockrivr1
06-27-2008, 10:14 AM
I have a few questions on this Brown Bess that I'm hoping you guys can help me with. I mik'd out the bbl and its at .745. So I went to Track of the Wolf and they have .715 and .735 balls. I noticed though that they do not have pre-cut patches in the .70 and up range. I guess I'll have to buy the pillow ticking strips and cut/lube them myself. Unless you guys know of a place that sells pre-cut patches of that size. I'm fairly certain the .60 to .69 patches will be to small.

My question is if I go with the .715 balls and .20 patches I'll be up at .735. That leaves .10 space left. Is that good or is that to much room for accuracy reasons?

If I go with the .735 ball, I'd need to go with a .10 patch and I think that would be to thin for the amount of powder used. I would think the patch would burn and lose it's effectiveness.

I could go with a .69 ball and the .20 patches, but I'd only be at .719. This would leave .26 of space, which is probably to much.

Also, If I go with the .20 pillow ticking that I have to cut what would you recommend I lub them with?

Thanks guys

jdubois
06-27-2008, 11:16 AM
Rockrivr1, unfortunately I don't have enough experience to say what the best combo would be. My only advice would be to get a bunch of different sizes and try them out to figure out what works best for ya. I noticed that at 25 yards, shooting .715 balls in my .735 barrel with .69/.015 patches, it didn't make a huge difference if I didn't put the patch in.

Joe G, happy to do it for you. Had one of the Honey Porter's last night. Very tasty, thanks! For some reason my two year old got it in his head last night that you had come to take me away, and he subsequently freaked out. Took me about a 1/2 hour after you left to convince him I wasn't going anywhere. Silly boy.

Vintovka
06-27-2008, 12:11 PM
Rockrivr1, I have some of the same questions myself. Mine miked at .745 as well, and a my ".75" ball miked (correctly) at .735. I haven't measured the thin patches I bought with the balls, but I doubt that they're over .01.

However, I'm not totally confident with the .745 reading, as I dropped a ball down the barrel, and it stopped a few inches from the muzzle. I'm sure I could have jammed it down with the rod, but since I don't (yet) have an extractor, that test will have to wait. I suspect that the minimum diameter is closer to .735, in which case, the thin patch (or maybe no patch) should be fine.

I'm also considering picking up some .69 balls and thick patches for comparison sake. I don't know if they're cheaper, but I figure I should be able to get by with a bit less powder.

I'll certainly report back with my results (and some range pics) :)

Vintovka
06-29-2008, 06:41 PM
Today, I managed a half hour at the range today with my new Brown Bess, which resulted in 4 successful (and satisfying) rounds. Here's a very brief report:

I arrived at the range with my new Bess, some 75-caliber (.735") balls, thin (.02") lubricated patches, a 1" flint, and some ffg and ffffg black powder. Not knowing how to shape or fit a flint, I just jammed it into the hammer, along with a leather patch. A dry-fire test knocked the frizzen back and left some streaks along the face, so I figured I was good to go.

After measuring out ~70gr of ffg, I tried to load the ball and patch. No luck... as the barrel mic'd around .745, the .735 ball + patch just would not budge. Removing the patch, I was able to push the ball down the barrel with only gentle pressure on the rod. I'll have to see if I can find thinner patches.

Firing off the round took a couple of attempts, but it finally went off with a "click-BOOM". The subsequent shots (only 4 total, due to time constraints) all took multiple attempts, but the results (when it went off) were satisfying. The failures-to-fire were certainly a result of problems with the flint, which I'll work through with time and practice.

The closest I was able to get to point of aim was about 1' from 50 yds (low and slightly left) from standing. I expected it to shoot low - that should be reduced when I file down the bayonet lug, and any other deviation is likely the result of learning how to hold a 5' long musket still in the 1/2 second between trigger break and ignition. I'm certain that it is capable of more accuracy once I get more practice in... 4 shots simply isn't enough time to judge a new gun.

Closing note... I just inspected the musket, and found that my flint was missing (but the leather pad still in place). Judging by some wear on the tip of the hammer, I believe that at least my last shot was taken with no flint - the sparks from the hammer against the frizzon was sufficient to ignite the primer in the pan! Clearly I have to work on my technique. [grin]

matt
06-30-2008, 09:26 PM
I'm very disapointed at the lack of pics in this thread.

ArmedMainer
06-30-2008, 09:29 PM
Maybe they can make up for it when they are get together and throw some lead down range ??[smile]

Rockrivr1
07-01-2008, 09:51 AM
I arrived at the range with my new Bess, some 75-caliber (.735") balls, thin (.02") lubricated patches, a 1" flint, and some ffg and ffffg black powder.

After measuring out ~70gr of ffg, I tried to load the ball and patch. No luck... as the barrel mic'd around .745, the .735 ball + patch just would not budge. Removing the patch, I was able to push the ball down the barrel with only gentle pressure on the rod. I'll have to see if I can find thinner patches.



Chris, Thanks for posting this. It's going to help me out a LOT. I've been trying to figure out what ball patch combo to order and your bbl mik's out the same as mine. I'll order the .015 and .010 patches and try those with the .735 balls. I'm also thinking of getting the .715 balls with the .020 patches. Will see.

One other question for everyone that got the Bess. HOW THE HELL DO YOU PROPERLY INSTALL THE BRONZE FLASH GUARD!!!!!!!???????!!!!!! I messed with it all last night and I couldn't figure it out. If I installed it under the screw that holds the frizzen in place, that little tab does not allow the frizzen to close properly against the pan. If I tried the screw that holds the spring, it's way to low. Finally gave up and called it a night. Anyone having the same problem?

Vintovka
07-01-2008, 10:02 AM
I'm very disapointed at the lack of pics in this thread.


Ok, ok... next time I get to the range (later this week), I'll bring a camera. [grin]

JonJ
07-01-2008, 10:06 AM
Here's the tutorial page (http://www.middlesexvillagetrading.com/tutorials.SHTML) from MVTC. It shows how to install the sling, flashguard and fitting of the bayonet. You may not want to install the flashguard[wink]

There's a page on how to make the paper cartridge the Britts used. I'll see if I can dig it up too.

ETA: Found it.

Here's what Pete says about the cartridge:

I scanned a page out of the 1967 booklet "Sketchbook '76" and saved it as a pdf file for you to download and print out. It gives you a template showing the dimensions and shape of the cartridge paper to use.

Here's the link:

http://www.middlesexvillagetrading.com/images/tutorials/CartridgeSketch.pdf

I find that newsprint paper is the best to use today. We've tried other type of paper, some are too brittle (for instance, the yellow pages), some too thick and hard to tear. (copy paper is hard to tear with your teeth)

For a Bess, we've been experimenting with the British issue ball. They used a .690 ball for their .750 bore guns. that left exactly enough windage for a cartridge to be loaded, paper and all.

For the .69 cal French guns, let's assume it takes the same amount of windage for the paper. That leaves what, a .630 ball? Something in that area should work. I've got a .600 ball mold here, and I'll have to try making some cartridges for a .69 cal gun to see what it does.

Since 70 grains seems to work so well in my .69 guns, I'd try loading the cartridge with 90 grians of FFg. That leaves 15 grains for the priming charge and 5 grains to be spilled in fumbling to prime. (it's below freezing here and shivering hands leads to spilled powder LOL)

Let us know how it works out!

Pete

Rockrivr1
07-01-2008, 10:20 AM
Here's the tutorial page (http://www.middlesexvillagetrading.com/tutorials.SHTML) from MVTC. It shows how to install the sling, flashguard and fitting of the bayonet. You may not want to install the flashguard[wink]

There's a page on how to make the paper cartridge the Britts used. I'll see if I can dig it up too.

ETA: Found it.

Here's what Pete says about the cartridge:

Thanks Jon. I was actually contemplating taking that tab off all together last night, but wasn't sure if I was trying to install it properly. Thanks for the link!

Vintovka
07-01-2008, 10:22 AM
I'll order the .015 and .010 patches and try those with the .735 balls. I'm also thinking of getting the .715 balls with the .020 patches.

I think the .015 may still be too tight, but it's certainly cheap enough to try them out. I'll pick up some .010 patches for the .735 balls before I try again (hopefully this week). I'm also planning on getting some .715 balls. I think that .030 patches would be the perfect fit, but they don't seem to exist. I'm not sure if doubling up (.020+.010) is recommended - I'll have to do some more research on that.



One other question for everyone that got the Bess. HOW THE HELL DO YOU PROPERLY INSTALL THE BRONZE FLASH GUARD!!!!!!!???????!!!!!! I messed with it all last night and I couldn't figure it out. If I installed it under the screw that holds the frizzen in place, that little tab does not allow the frizzen to close properly against the pan. If I tried the screw that holds the spring, it's way to low. Finally gave up and called it a night. Anyone having the same problem?

I haven't really looked into it, other than to read through Middlesex's tutorial (http://www.middlesexvillagetrading.com/installaflashguard.shtml). (Edit: Jon beat me to it)

I won't actually be installing mine unless I end up joining a unit, since when I'm at the range, I probably won't be shooting right up close to anyone else anyway (both out of courtesy, as well as out of concern for other people shooting near me while I'm handling powder).

Vintovka
07-01-2008, 10:29 AM
There's a page on how to make the paper cartridge the Britts used. I'll see if I can dig it up too.

ETA: Found it.

Here's what Pete says about the cartridge:

Thanks for the diagram!

I may make some of these up for fun, although for general range shooting, I'd imagine it's probably easier just to measure out charges, and more accurate to use a properly-fitted wad. Also, the cartridge would require using FFG to prime the pan, and from what I've read, FFFFG works best as a primer. I guess it must work, though, as the reenactors (and our forefathers before them) have been using the same powder for both for a long, long time.

jdubois
07-01-2008, 10:34 AM
There's a page on how to make the paper cartridge the Britts used. I'll see if I can dig it up too.

ETA: Found it.

Awesome, Jon. I hadn't seen that page. It sort of simplifies the French style, which I've found is annoying to make, but it sure shows exactly how to make the British style.

MassMark
07-01-2008, 02:08 PM
The fact that you guys are not post pics of these rifles yet is really steaming me....I won't help you until you do....(not that I can anyway)... [cheers]

Dirtypacman
07-01-2008, 02:30 PM
This is a great BP thread - I don't have one myself but very interesting read so far guys.

And Yes us BP Virgins demand a pic of this Brown Bess that seems to be getting around.

Dick
07-01-2008, 02:49 PM
Well, I wasn't in on the thread originally, but as long as you asked, here's mine, resting comfortably over my fireplace:

http://i124.photobucket.com/albums/p2/Pancora/178_7859-1.jpg

With regard to the original questions, although it's been a few years since I've shot the musket, my specs are .750 bore diameter, shooting 0.715" pumpkin balls, with patches cut from the old heavy cotton bags that lead shot used to come in (back in the day when you didn't need a home equity loan to buy lead shot) - those mike out at 0.033" - a good snug fit, but I never had any trouble ramming the load home. I don't recall the number of grains of 2F that I used to use (4F in the pan, of course). Never had a misfire, and accuracy seemed to be as good as expected from a smoothbore and round ball.

ETA: At the risk of going off-topic a bit, I toured a number of castles in Scotland a couple years ago where they had these things (originals, of course, not reproductions like mine) hanging on the walls by the hundreds, arranged in all kinds of geometric patterns. Very impressive, and also very humbling to realize how much wealth there is out there and how little of it is mine (but I already knew that).

Dirtypacman
07-01-2008, 03:47 PM
Awesome pic - thanks Dick

JonJ
07-01-2008, 03:54 PM
My photographic capabilities suck but here's a couple.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v629/jj-22/bb.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v629/jj-22/bb2.jpg

MassMark
07-02-2008, 01:00 AM
It's about damned time....Excellent looking rifles gentlemen - excellent! [cheers]

jdubois
07-02-2008, 07:13 AM
Excellent looking rifles gentlemen

To be entirely too pedantic, a Brown Bess isn't actually a rifle. It's a smoothbore musket. [smile]

MassMark
07-03-2008, 09:14 AM
To be entirely too pedantic, a Brown Bess isn't actually a rifle. It's a smoothbore musket. [smile]

Fair enough Mr. Smarty Pants... [cheers]

Vintovka
07-03-2008, 01:34 PM
Well, just got back from trying the .010 patches... no luck. At least in my bbl, a .735 ball + a .010 patch still doesn't fit (I'm assuming I'm not supposed to be using the kind of force I'd use for, say, loading a cap+ball revolver). Time to pick up some .005s, I guess.

Rockrivr1
07-03-2008, 02:01 PM
Well, just got back from trying the .010 patches... no luck. At least in my bbl, a .735 ball + a .010 patch still doesn't fit (I'm assuming I'm not supposed to be using the kind of force I'd use for, say, loading a cap+ball revolver). Time to pick up some .005s, I guess.

I don't think they make a .005, but I could be wrong. From what I've been reading, the .010 is considered to thin a patch with a powder charge needed for this round. Basically they say it will burn up upon ignition. Figure with a .735 ball and the .010 on both sides of the ball you are at .755. You may want to consider a wad or card instead of a patch. That way the powder is behind the wad or card and the ball rests on wad. Nothing to be jammed on either side of the ball. Do a search for Rockrivr1 on Muzzleloader.com as I got a number of answers from members there for almost the same question as yours.

Vintovka
07-03-2008, 06:14 PM
Figure with a .735 ball and the .010 on both sides of the ball you are at .755. You may want to consider a wad or card instead of a patch. That way the powder is behind the wad or card and the ball rests on wad. Nothing to be jammed on either side of the ball. Do a search for Rockrivr1 on Muzzleloader.com as I got a number of answers from members there for almost the same question as yours.

Rockrivr1, you are absolutely correct, and I can't believe I didn't consider the space taken by the patch on both sides of the ball. As I recall, I did pretty well back in physics class, but I guess it's time to go back for a refresher. Now, where's the embarrassed smilie? [grin]

Thank you for the pointer -- I'll certainly read through your advice on muzzleloader.com.

Rockrivr1
07-03-2008, 10:26 PM
Rockrivr1, you are absolutely correct, and I can't believe I didn't consider the space taken by the patch on both sides of the ball. As I recall, I did pretty well back in physics class, but I guess it's time to go back for a refresher. Now, where's the embarrassed smilie? [grin]

Thank you for the pointer -- I'll certainly read through your advice on muzzleloader.com.

We should get a bunch of us together with these Besses with everyone bringing their balls and patches. Figure between all of us we can come up with the best ball / patch / BP combination.

I just finished getting her ready for the range. The flash guard is attached, the flint is in and tested and I've completed the filing down of the front post so the bayo now fits. I'm just waiting for the package to show up from Track of the Wolf with the different balls and patches I ordered. I'm hoping to hit the range next weekend to give her a try. Can't wait!

Vintovka
07-08-2008, 10:40 PM
We should get a bunch of us together with these Besses with everyone bringing their balls and patches. Figure between all of us we can come up with the best ball / patch / BP combination

I'm certainly game... even if I don't ever find the perfect combination of ball / patch, any excuse to make the BP go "BOOM" works for me!

We should also put together a pool for whose new Bess will look most like a Revolutionary War relic by the time we do meet up. I'm learning that "I'll finish cleaning it tomorrow" really doesn't cut it with these things...

BearArms
03-15-2010, 01:40 PM
Did anyone pick up a blunderbuss? Those things look awesome.

atmay
03-16-2010, 05:44 PM
Did anyone pick up a blunderbuss? Those things look awesome.

I'm in for one in the new group buy. I can't wait!

BearArms
03-16-2010, 07:52 PM
I'm in for one in the new group buy. I can't wait!

Which one did you go with? I'm thinking about the 18" brass.

WillyJP
03-16-2010, 08:08 PM
Are you guys using blackpowder or a substitute? I bought a repro M1795 musket new about 4 years ago. I have never fired it and would be interested to here how people clean after shooting real blackpowder.

Rockrivr1
03-16-2010, 08:41 PM
Are you guys using blackpowder or a substitute? I bought a repro M1795 musket new about 4 years ago. I have never fired it and would be interested to here how people clean after shooting real blackpowder.

I use real black powder for my Brown Bess. You have to be careful as some of these BP rifles can't use the substitute and it could be dangerous to use it.

seanc
03-17-2010, 01:32 PM
What about this blunderbuss thing?? can somebody send me the details? I have wanted a blunderbuss forever!!!

ipscdrl
03-17-2010, 01:44 PM
I'm surprised that I hadn't seen this thread before. I have a 1975 era Brown Bess that I have shot quite a bit. You ONLY use real black powder in these. You can use f4 for the pan but I have had very good luck with 3F for both the pan ad the main charge. I roll "cartridges" with .715 balls and paper. I'll post some details when I get a chance. I have also made "shot" cartridges and broken a few skeet targets with them. Nothing like a smoke-pole to put a grin on your face.
http://i155.photobucket.com/albums/s309/ipscdrl/Musket/Muskshot2.jpg
http://i155.photobucket.com/albums/s309/ipscdrl/Musket/100_3681.jpg
They CAN be quite accurate, but it takes a lot of practice. Here is ten rounds fired off-hand at 50 yards.
http://i155.photobucket.com/albums/s309/ipscdrl/Musket/10shots25yds75CalMusket.jpg

Michael.

Bob J
03-18-2010, 07:43 AM
I'm in for one in the new group buy. I can't wait!

I'm getting one as well..... 18" steel BBL dutch .69 cal.....[smile]

Bob J
03-18-2010, 07:48 AM
What about this blunderbuss thing?? can somebody send me the details? I have wanted a blunderbuss forever!!!

http://www.northeastshooters.com/vbulletin/showthread.php/95241-OFFICIAL-GROUP-BUY-Muskets-OPEN

ipscdrl
03-18-2010, 09:41 AM
Are you guys using blackpowder or a substitute? I bought a repro M1795 musket new about 4 years ago. I have never fired it and would be interested to here how people clean after shooting real blackpowder.

The BP substitutes will not ignite from the flint spark. Save it for the percussion rifle. Powder can be gotten locally at Bob's gun shop in Webster. Track of the wolf (online) has everything else. Be sure to get the correct size flint for your lock. I use lead to hold the flint in the jaws. Most lumber yards will give you a small strip of lead roof material. The round balls are undersized for use in these rifles. After a few shots, the soot will make seating even a bare ball (no patch) difficult. Troy, I'll be at HSA all weekend and can head over to the rifle range for a little while either day. Let me know.

Pilgrim
03-18-2010, 06:11 PM
What about this blunderbuss thing?? can somebody send me the details? I have wanted a blunderbuss forever!!!

you need to be a paying green member to get in on the deal.