Gunboards Forums banner
1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,125 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

I'm currently working with a .50 cal CVA Hawken rifle to prepare it for deer hunting. I chose to start with patched round balls to get a feel for the rifle before I decide if I want to experiment with conical bullets. A local shop had Hornady .490" round balls and Traditions .015" thick pre-lubed patches. When I went to load the rifle I found the patched bullet to be an extremely tight fit. It was to the point that the bullet starter left an impression on the ball. Is this to be expected or should I try a thinner patch? A possible contributing factor was the below-freezing temperatures that may have made the patch lube thick. Any thoughts or advice would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Ken
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Yeah I have a CVA and I use a .490 ball and a .10 patch works great. A lot a people say the tighter the more accurate but for hunting I would go with this set up. Conicals I would suggest a TC maxi hunter. I live in Colorado and we can't use sabots but that gun probably wouldn't like these.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,125 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the replies. I'll see if I can locate some thinner patches. Do you guys generally have better luck with pre lubricated patches or patches you lubricate yourself?
I should have mentioned earlier this is a 30 year old rifle marked as being made in Spain. It was never fired before yesterday (long story). The instruction book calls for .012-.015 patch and a .490 ball.

Thanks for the recommendation on the maxi hunter. What weight are you using?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,294 Posts
Tight fitting is fine for hunting as you aren't loading more than one or two balls (assuming you fire at an animal, etc) If you're at the rifle range, you'll quickly not be able to load the gun with a fouled barrel and tight patches. Keep the same size ball and go with an .010 patch as others have said. Swab the bore every couple shots to insure you don't get one stuck half way down the pipe.

Pre-lubed or ones you lube yourself is a flip of the coin really. Both work. In my case though I found that the patch material that requires me to cut it with each shot is more accurate than precut patches. Why this is so, I do not have a clue, but all I use in my flintlocks is the patch material that I must cut myself.
 

·
Gold Bullet member
Joined
·
11,757 Posts
Just a thought... only because I've done this before... but be sure you have only one patch. It is easy for two to stick together and seem like one.

It may be tough to start, but that can be somewhat normal. But yes, try .010" patches with a wet lube.
 

·
Platinum Bullet member
Joined
·
20,901 Posts
I've made my own patch lube for several decades - from a recipe handed down to me from an old gent who said his family used it for several generations:

Beef tallow + beeswax. More beeswax to keep it solid in the summer months, and less for winter shooting, but start at 4 parts tallow to 1 part beeswax. You can get beef fat at about any meat counter for free & render your own, since they have to pay someone to haul it off.

Rub a little of the mixture into a dry patch. Not much is needed. If you heat the lube & soak the patches, it will be way too much & leaves excess in the barrel to build up fouling quicker. Prelubed patches always contain way too much lube & work beter if ypu heat them up & squeegee out the excess with a puttyknife or even a credit card edge.

For the past 3 years, I've switched to a dry patch: 4-5 parts denatured alcohol to 1 part castor oil. Soak the patches and lay out for the alcohol to evaporate. Whats left is a dry patch with a fine amount of castor oil distributed throughout. They load easy and don't leave any excess lube behind in the barrel to accumulate excessive fouling. I use it for rifle patches, musket TOW and also musket & shotgun fiber wads.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
I found a soluble oil that works good (got a quart from work), I mix 6 water to one oil, soak the patches for several hours, lay out to dry. I bought several yards of cotton material from a fabric shop several years ago and have had very good luck with my CVA 45, 50 and TC Hawken .54. I have tried deer tallow and beeswax and it worked but I like the drier patches.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,125 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks again for the replies. I switched to some .010 patches with a separate lube. It worked a bit better for loading but got very difficult to load after just a few shots. I did a quick cleaning with Ballistol and after just 2 more shots it was too fouled to load - embarrassing trip to the gunsmith. I'm shooting 70 grains of Goex FFg.

I'm not sure where to go from here. Maybe just plan a good cleaning every couple shots? Different powder? Stick to smokeless guns?

Also I referenced the manual and this rifle has 1 in 66 inch twist rate. Any suggestions on what type of conical bullet might work for that?
 

·
Platinum Bullet member
Joined
·
20,901 Posts
Most people nowadays seem to be unaware that patch lube has a greater effect on fouling build-up than any other single factor. Petroleum-based lubes and grease are the worst, and not ever recommended for black powder ball or patch lubes. More of any lube is never a good thing. When you seat a patched ball, the patch lube leaves a deposit on the bore surface. When fired, an excessively lubed patch leaves more lube in the bore, which immediately grabs and holds soot and debris as the burning powder pushes the projectile out the barrel. The result is quicker fouling build-up.

Minimize the lube coating the bore surfaces and you minimize the fouling build-up. That's why I use the "dry" patch made with a little castor oil dissolved in DA. There's enough lube to make loading easy, but not enough to leave a lot of residue.

Other dry patch material includes Ballistol dissolved in water to treat patches, but it takes longer for the water to evaporate out, and as long as you don't mind your fingers smelling like you've been pickin' your butt, Ballistol works just fine.

1:66" twist barrels are designed for roundballs. A slower twist allows for more powder to be used with good accuracy at higher velocity. Not sure why you need a conical, since it won't make up for poor marksman skills. Practice with roundballs until you can hit where you aim & you won't need a bullet not designed for that particular barrel.
 

·
Gold Bullet member
Joined
·
11,757 Posts
Try a wetter lube, like Lehigh Valley or, as you say, Ballistol.

Are you using real BP or a substitute? Is the bore pitted?

One thought is that your bore may be a bit undersized, but that's not likely.

Start with a clean, dry bore, and a thin, wet lube. If you have to wait more than 5 minutes between loading, then swab the bore clean. If you are shooting and reloading continuously this is not required, however if you are going to wait any period of time then the residue will harden up inside the bore.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,125 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I'm using real FFg BP. The bore is as new. I obtained some castor oil today so I'll try that system and see how it works. Both times I tried the rifle the lube was rather thick, especially given the cold temps. I'm hopeful a thinner lube will yield better results. Thanks everyone for the suggestions.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,294 Posts
Kenb;

Have you mic'd your round balls? Maybe what the box said was .490, could in reality be .495? Companies do make mistakes sometimes. If I were you and I was still having issues loading, I'd get a ball and put a caliper or micrometer to it and check the diameter. Then you will know for sure. You should get at least 5 shots through the bore before it starts getting really tough to load. At least that's been my experience.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
53 Posts
kenb, have you tried cleaning between shots? Through my own trial and error, I have found that I get an almost endless time at the range with the Hawken when I run a dry patch through the bore after each shot to sweep up all the fouling, or a very lightly wetted patch every few shots (just plain water) which is then followed by a run with a dry patch to make sure everything is dry again for the new powder. I use round ball and 2FF Goex. I do not clean using ballistol at the range, only used it after the full cleaning when I get home. I think I discovered through trial and error what some of the posters described above. If you use too much oil or lube, it will attract more fouling and cause it to stick in the bore. The patches I use are dry, .010 with 490 Hornady roundball. I think maybe your issue is too much oil and lube. Try not letting the fouling build up and lightly cleaning it after each shot, that is what has worked for me. Like you, my first few outings I was using a lot of ballistol and very greased wonderlube patches, which was I think was making it hard to ram the ball home after only a few shots from all the retained fouling
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,132 Posts
i cut my patches from a strip of cloth as i load, pushing the ball into the patch strip and cutting the patch off flush with the muzzle . by doing that you have a centered patch. i also use unsalted crisco as lupe in the patch strip, working the crisco in with my fingers, you do not need much. i also use fff black powder(burns cleaner) and a .490 RB. i,m not a believer in useing a hammer to get the ball down the barrel. all i use to clean my muzzle loader is warm-hot water and a non petroleum oil to protect the metal. eastbank.
 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top