My Method Of Removing Stuck Balls


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Cosmoline
February 15, 2013, 07:14 PM
I had another boo-boo in a musket and got a dry ball, no lube, stuck in there. It was stupid of me. But instead of trying to dig it out with some corkscrew arrangement I turned to the method I had resorted to in the past--I turned the musket into an inertial bullet puller.

Here's how it works. I remove the ramrod, flip the musket muzzle-down above the rug-covered hard floor. With my right arm at 90 degrees to the stock, I lift the musket up a foot and let it and my arm drop THUMP onto the carpet. I do this over and over again, about five times, until the ball pops loose from inertia and drops out.

I've done this now with multiple smooth and rifled muzzleloaders and it seems to work all the time. The stress on muskets is negligible, since they're designed to skewer a warhorse. Rifles can be a bit more fragile, but provided your inletting is good and you have a solid fit of breach to stock you won't have bent pins. If there is a poor fit or any question about fit, you can simply remove the barrel and do the same method with the barrel.

This is the one method that worked for me when all else failed. It appears the bullet simply cannot stop itself from popping loose. Anyone else use it?

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MCgunner
February 15, 2013, 07:44 PM
Was at the range one day talking to a fellow gun club member and not thinkin' loading my CVA Plainsman with patched ball. I forgot the power...:rolleyes: What I did was pull the nipple and pour as much powder in there as I could, replaced the nipple. I fired it and the ball came out. :D From dunce to genius in minutes.

alsaqr
February 16, 2013, 08:41 AM
What I did was pull the nipple and pour as much powder in there as I could, replaced the nipple. I fired it and the ball came out.

Removed a lot of them that way. Works like a champ.

xXxplosive
February 16, 2013, 09:02 AM
Well...........wouldn't be using that method on my custom built guns....I have no problem soaking the patch and ball and either pulling it or using a discharger...wouldn't bang the muzzle on the carpet to remove a stuck ball sending the breech pounding into the stock.....OMO.

BSA1
February 16, 2013, 09:32 AM
How about removing the barrel from the stock first?

72coupe
February 16, 2013, 10:25 AM
OP thanks for the info but I will not be using that method.

woodnbow
February 16, 2013, 01:18 PM
Nother tool to put in the toolbag, thanks OP..

Rattus58
February 16, 2013, 03:34 PM
I had another boo-boo in a musket and got a dry ball, no lube, stuck in there. It was stupid of me. But instead of trying to dig it out with some corkscrew arrangement I turned to the method I had resorted to in the past--I turned the musket into an inertial bullet puller.

Here's how it works. I remove the ramrod, flip the musket muzzle-down above the rug-covered hard floor. With my right arm at 90 degrees to the stock, I lift the musket up a foot and let it and my arm drop THUMP onto the carpet. I do this over and over again, about five times, until the ball pops loose from inertia and drops out.

I've done this now with multiple smooth and rifled muzzleloaders and it seems to work all the time. The stress on muskets is negligible, since they're designed to skewer a warhorse. Rifles can be a bit more fragile, but provided your inletting is good and you have a solid fit of breach to stock you won't have bent pins. If there is a poor fit or any question about fit, you can simply remove the barrel and do the same method with the barrel.

This is the one method that worked for me when all else failed. It appears the bullet simply cannot stop itself from popping loose. Anyone else use it?
I've tried that before and with a minie ball worked out ok... my lands and grooves in my zoave are shallow and wide and so isn't a real problem... This has only happened to me when I've been at the range with others around gabbing about muskets and such and losing my sequence to chatter... so the caution is... pay attention to yer ramrod too....

Hellgate
February 16, 2013, 04:01 PM
I've done what MCgunner does only with a stuck ramrod that wouldn't come out when swabbing. A few grains of powder and POP! goes the ramrod.

hawkeye74
February 17, 2013, 03:44 PM
What I did was pull the nipple and pour as much powder in there as I could, replaced the nipple. I fired it and the ball came out. From dunce to genius in minutes.

Unless the ball is firmly seated at the bottom of the breach, this method is potentially very dangerous. Most barrel bulges, ruptures, etc occur when the bullet is not seated.

EljaySL
February 17, 2013, 04:42 PM
I would think a couple of grains wouldn't be too bad even if the ball was in some weird position. I guess it depends on what he meant by "as much powder as I could".

Anyway, personally I'm a big fan of those CO2 units. I had to use one once and it worked like a charm.

Rattus58
February 17, 2013, 05:01 PM
If the ball is blocking the fire channel, its going nowhere. Carefully constructed screw works wonders especially if you are able to fashion some kind of ball puller mechanism by threading your rod and using a guide to slowly extracate the bullet till its moving freely enough to just pull out. You have to use a more aggressive screw for this job on some bores/barrels i've discovered over the years too... so homemade usually is best.

This is a grande argument for paper cartridges in my estimation too...

44 Dave
February 17, 2013, 05:49 PM
Use a little common sense! When I worked in an iron mine, the old guys on the powder crew knew how much charge to use if they got a tram stuck.
Small amounts of powder and know where the thing is stuck.
A puller would be my method of choice, but only had to do it once.

alsaqr
February 18, 2013, 08:13 PM
Unless the ball is firmly seated at the bottom of the breach, this method is potentially very dangerous. Most barrel bulges, ruptures, etc occur when the bullet is not seated.

Yep, seat the ball before firing. However, its highly unlikely that 3-5 grains of powder will burst a muzzleloaeder barrel. This gentleman did some tests with balls not seated firmly on the powder:

http://www.ctmuzzleloaders.com/ctml_experiments/bpcompress/bpcompress.html

hawkeye74
February 18, 2013, 08:30 PM
Most fouled bp guns happen when there is a powder charge that didn't go off. If no powder, probably no issue. If you are not positive, that 3-5 grains is likely to set off the unfired charge resulting who knows what damage to the barrel or you.:eek:

Seat the ball anyway in an abundance of caution. Safety first.:)

Cosmoline
February 19, 2013, 01:02 PM
If the ball is blocking the fire channel, its going nowhere.

Unless you use my method. That's the point of it. As far as the delicacy of custom rifles, you just remove the barrel from the stock. And you need not apply any big force to the thing. Let physics do the work and gradually it will loosen the ball and roll it out.

And unlike the trickle-o-powder method, this one can be done at home. If there's fouling in the bore, clean it out and lube it down first so the ball will slide out once it starts moving.

MCgunner
February 20, 2013, 08:05 PM
And unlike the trickle-o-powder method, this one can be done at home. If there's fouling in the bore, clean it out and lube it down first so the ball will slide out once it starts moving.

Well, now days, my shooting range is right out the back door. :D When I lived in town, I never came home with a charged gun if i didn't wanna go hunt with it the next morning.

But, good knowledge for the mental tool kit. :D I might need it some day.

MCgunner
February 20, 2013, 08:17 PM
Like mama used to say, more'n one way to skin a cat. :D

The one thing I would worry about is damage to the barrel crown, but pad the floor probably would help prevent that.

Think this would work better with Minie ball since they don't fit that tight in the bore. I shoot mostly Minie ball in my 1:24 twist Hawken Hunter Carbine. Now, I don't think I'd to this to a scoped inline, but then, my CVA Wolf has a tooless removable breech plug, so it's moot. :D

snakeman
April 20, 2013, 07:54 PM
he he he balls and nipples

BHP FAN
April 21, 2013, 03:32 AM
I LOVE our sport!

BlackNet
April 21, 2013, 12:08 PM
Failed to mention on thing. The CROWN on the muzzle helps greatly with accuracy ;) Dropping it will cause dents, dings, scratches and the like and that does degrade the firearm not only in value but in accuracy as well. Just get you a ramrod or use the CO2 way, both in which does not devalue the firearm or degrade accuracy.

Cosmoline
April 21, 2013, 02:27 PM
That's why you have a rug or other padding under it. Gouging around with a ramrod is far more likely to cause damage to the rifle. Esp. if you're trying to skewer the ball with a steel puller. Besides worrying that much about the crown that you routinely ram a lead ball into by brute force seems somewhat excessive.

BlackNet
April 21, 2013, 11:10 PM
We had this big shoot at the local range this weekend and one guy had a stuck ball, I do believe he did some damage hammering the ramrod out of the barrel.

moonpie
April 22, 2013, 06:02 AM
Last time it happened to me i used my daddy's ol' air compresser. works to

M-Cameron
April 22, 2013, 11:56 AM
Has anyone tried making an air compressor adapter to thread into the nipple hole?

Seems like in the event of a dryball, one could just remove the nipple and thread in the air compressor and pop that sucker out with a good blast of air....

EDIT: haha, totally didn't read the post directly before mine....

mykeal
April 22, 2013, 04:36 PM
Alternatively, you can purchase small hand held CO2 cartridge dispensers from almost any sutler that you can carry in your kit.

Cosmoline
April 22, 2013, 06:47 PM
For a flintlock?

JN01
April 22, 2013, 06:56 PM
Yes. You just need an adapter.

EljaySL
April 23, 2013, 12:21 AM
I mentioned the CO2 units a few posts back, but maybe it bears mentioning that you can get adapters so that they slip over common cap sizes (with a little o-ring to get a good seal) and they also have a rubber cone-shaped affair that you could jam into pretty much any hole. You just put the cylinder into the unit, screw on an adapter, attach it to the gun, and pull the trigger on the CO2 unit. The ball will fly out with considerable force so do be thoughtful about where you point it. The whole unit and some extra cylinders zips into a bag maybe the size of my fist so you can throw it into your range bag and forget about it until you need it.

72coupe
April 23, 2013, 09:59 AM
So, does this convert your muzzle loader to a CO2 air gun?

Cosmoline
April 23, 2013, 12:30 PM
Yes. You just need an adapter.

I suppose if you have a threaded removable liner. But many just have holes of variable sizes.

JN01
April 24, 2013, 03:30 PM
It doesn't thread into anything. It is a long nozzle that is stepped on the end. Hold it firmly into the flash hole and squeeze the CO2 release.

Cosmoline
April 24, 2013, 03:34 PM
If the ball is wedged in there, you'll have a tough time getting sufficient PSI to dislodge it.

mykeal
April 25, 2013, 08:12 AM
I've never had any trouble generating enough pressure. It's the same system they use on the line at Friendship and it works every time.

Of course, I only have to use it to help other people since I never dry ball myself..:p

TheOld Man
April 29, 2013, 09:52 PM
I bought a Hawken at auction that the guy had stuffed a wad down the muzzle then realized he had screwed up. I tried a ball remover (The wood screw looking thing you put on the end of the ramrod) and when that failed I tried firing my grandson's BB gun into the nipple. That didn't work either. HELP! :what:

Next step is to buy a set of wall hanger brackets?

BlackNet
April 29, 2013, 10:18 PM
when that failed I tried firing my grandson's BB gun into the nipple.


Wait, what?

mykeal
April 29, 2013, 10:28 PM
HELP!
Read the rest of the thread.

Patocazador
April 30, 2013, 12:13 PM
I assume there were no BBs in the air gun. Try a "worm". It's a twisted piece of wire with an adapter to screw into your ramrod. I believe my T/C Hawken came with one. Otherwise put a brass bore brush in your cleaning rod and twist it in the bottom of the barrel. That should snag it.

TheOld Man
May 1, 2013, 09:33 PM
Worm Worked! Only problem was finding one. I miss LGS where somebody working there would know something.
Thanks for the suggestions.

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