Stuck ball!


April 30, 2012, 10:33 PM
Help! So I was at the range planning on sighting in my Muzzleloader (CVA Deerslayer .50) but I loaded it with a patch that was too dry. So well it got stuck about 6in down. Of course I didn't have my ball puller at the time so after I got my puller i couldn't quit get it. So a friend said to just run some TC13 down the bore and let it soak into the patch. I tried it, but apparently left it in too long and it soaked the patch and through into the powder :banghead:. I tried the puller again, well it pushed the ball down :fire:. Foolish me it seems, some wet powder smooshed out the nipple. So I clean it up and figure I can just let it sit and dry out then just fire the ball out. I guess I cleaned the wet powder too well and when it dried it is in too far for the cap to ignite it :( This would have worked out so much better if I had a longer/better range rod with a T-handle.

I'm at my wits end. Can I try to pour a little powder in from where the nipple screws in to assist in igniting? Would that be safe? A friend did that once and it worked fine for him, but it wasn't after there was wet then dried powder. Should I just bite the bullet (heh) and invest in a good range rod? I'm still just learning and love black powder and would hate to have screwed up my first ML when I can't afford to replace it yet:(:(

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April 30, 2012, 10:49 PM
Pull the nipple, pour in about 5-10 gr. of three F Goex, replace the nipple, reseat the ball on the powder charge, [Be sure to seat the ball on the powder charge] and fire....good to go.

May 1, 2012, 01:19 AM
More than once I have used compressed air to dislodge a stuck ball. Just have to find a nozzle that will fit in when you unscrew the nipple. Electrical tape around the nozzle helped create a seal. Make sure the muzzle is still pointed in a safe direction.


May 1, 2012, 01:56 AM
More than once I have used compressed air to dislodge a stuck ball.

Good Lord!!! How many psi is your compressed air?

May 1, 2012, 02:11 AM
They make a CO2 cartridge affair just for dislodging stuck balls....I'm just too cheap to buy one.

May 1, 2012, 06:21 AM
Compressed air (regular shop air, 40-60 psig is more than enough), a CO2 cartridge device or shooting it out by adding dry powder are all good, safe techniques. You can probably still remove it with a ball puller if you had a good range rod with a T handle, so buy one. This will happen again.

May 1, 2012, 06:29 AM
But I don't want it to happen again!:what: LoL. I know its the nature of the beast with these now so I need to be prepared. I really appreciate all the advice it makes me feel a little bit better. Now just need some free time to pop out and clear it.

May 1, 2012, 03:53 PM
yeah, it's really no biggie...I just don't like putting anything in my bore made of steel, with big scratchy threads on it. I've done it, but only as a last resort.

May 2, 2012, 06:04 AM
See BHP that is my big fear, putting that damn screw down the barrel. Plus this is something i really need to learn how to do properly, its like Mykeal said...It will happen again.

May 2, 2012, 06:53 AM
I don't understand the concern about putting the screw down the bore.

Is the screw not mounted in the center of a large brass ring? Would that ring not contact the sides of the bore first, keeping the screw away from the sides?

What am I missing here?

May 2, 2012, 03:44 PM
Unwarrented nervousness in regards to sharp steel objects

May 2, 2012, 03:46 PM
That's what they're for.

May 2, 2012, 06:01 PM
Had a ball stuck about 8" in, one time. (don't know why) Shortened my range rod to the first segment, and attached the screw ball puller. Make sure you have the screw all the way into the ball, or you will pull lead threads out, and not the ball. My range rod does not have a "T" handle - it has an aluminum straight handle. A few gentle taps under the handle with a nylon hammer, and the ball walked its way out. (still never found out why the ball stuck)

May 3, 2012, 06:49 AM
Unwarrented nervousness in regards to sharp steel objects
Ah, yes. I see your 'point'.:evil:

May 3, 2012, 07:59 AM
You need to own a ball puller but hope never to need it. They do work though, with parience.

May 5, 2012, 06:24 PM
Got it! Put about 12gr FFF in and POP it comes out, flopped in the grass maybe 10ft in front of me:D Appreciate all your input! I'm ready to tackle this particular problem should it happen again.

Clean up was kinda rough, the wet powder from before was still damp and gummy. Ate up about half my patches swabbing it. Wife didn't like the smell and sent me to the garage to finish the job:rolleyes: I think my next day off I will do a nice deep cleaning with some hot water just to doubly make sure I got it all out....after I pick up more patches at least

T Bran
May 5, 2012, 06:43 PM
I keep a 3' long 3/8'' diameter solid fiberglass rod in my guncase whether I'm going to the range or the field. It is super ridgid and feather lite. Many a ball has been driven in and many stuck shotshells have been tapped out with the rod. If you do bugger up an end just trim it back a bit. Wont mar the bore or barrel and really inexpensive they are sold here as tickle sticks for lobster hunters.
One more tip put the rod in the bbl and then use the weight of the gun to drive it in or out that way your hands arent in line with the bore in the event of an oops. I usually just stab a tree with the rod sticking out of the bbl till im satisfied.
Brass rods are nice also but a bit heavy to carry 3' of and I wouldnt just toss one in the case with my gun either. Dont use wood as it can make things very bad if it fails and wedges in the bbl.
Have fun.

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