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At least I admit it

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by NIB Shooter, Oct 18, 2003.

  1. NIB Shooter

    NIB Shooter Member

    Ok I shoot my new TC Hawken the first time. About 20 shots. I'm hooked, this is great.

    Then....did I put the ball in without the powder? (come on, you did it once to)


    I don't know!

    I tried a bullet puller and I can't get any contact with lead. Nothing shows on the screw. No lead. Patch shows no lead.

    I checked TC for the exact barrel length. They say 28". Ramrod measures 27 1/2. Exactly .50, the diameter of the ball.

    I have no clue if a ball is in the gun. Help! I see French and Indians over the hill. What should I do?

    Please don't send me back to .22 shorts at the arcade! I love this black powder stuff!
  2. 444

    444 Well-Known Member

    (come on, you did it once to)

    Yes, I am sorry to say I have done that. At least once.
    Try this, tap the end of the ramrod to try to get it driven into the ball a little bit. Another thing you can try is to remove the nipple and attempt to pour some powder in behind the ball and shoot it out. They also make a compressed air or co2 device that screws in where the nipple goes and blows the ball out with a blast of air.

    Then again, maybe you didn't load it at all; been there also. Try this, blow into the barrel and see if air comes out the other end.

    If you get this straightened out and the french are out there, load and fire at will. Try not to give away your position or they will surrender before you can shoot them.
  3. NIB Shooter

    NIB Shooter Member

    I had a girlfriend that asked be to do all of the above......you sure about this.
  4. 444

    444 Well-Known Member

    Doing this to girlfriend would be more fun.

    Then after three or four minutes you can get back to work on the gun.
  5. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

    Welcome to the discombulated shooters' club. I've done it and so has many of other experienced smoke pole shooters. Keep the ball puller handy and as long as you're not in a running gunfight :eek: or have to fight off a critter with claws :uhoh:, you'll do just fine.:)
  6. NIB Shooter

    NIB Shooter Member

    Too late. Iroquois are having cafe latte on my porch!

    Anybody have an actual internal barrel length on the TC Hawken. I tried to call them, but, can you believe it, they take off for the weekend.
  7. sebago

    sebago Well-Known Member

    I'd go with that co2 ball discharger device. Whatever's in there will come out a lot easier. And faster. Not that I have any personal knowledge or anything.
    BTW sorry to hear about the Iroquois, they're lousy tippers.
  8. Whitworth

    Whitworth Member

    ............Once you get your situation taken care of, mark your ramrod for an empty bbl, and then mark it with a full charge. Anything in between means ya gotta problem.

    Also, if you happen to have a friend who wants to talk to you while you're in the middle of loading your rifle, or something else demads your attention stop at a point with a reminder. I have left my powder measure (brass) stuck in the muzzle, or Minie' thumbed part way, or range rod left in the barrel. This way I know EXACTLY where I was when interupted.

    Had a guy get sidetracked and he loaded 2 slugs over 150 grs of Pyrodreck pellets. It certainly set him free when he touched it off. A bad scope cut, his thumb gave him a bloody nose and he banged his (thankfully only a stainless and plastic thing) rifle against the concrete bench pretty good while waving it around like a baton as he tried to keep from going over backwards off his stool.

  9. NIB Shooter

    NIB Shooter Member

    Yeah, but what kind of group did he get/
  10. Whitworth

    Whitworth Member

    .............After that he was done shooting for the day. No group :)

  11. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

    For the internal length of the bbl...

    Drop your ramrod into the bbl and measure it to the muzzle. Deduct from that figure the length of the false muzzle that is designed for ball starting.

    Speaking of natives, about three years ago I asked to be adopted into the Chickasaw Nation. When asked why, I told them I would open the Chickasaw Nation Smoke & Tobacco Shop on Market Street and split the profits with the tribe. They don't have to abide by state tax laws when it comes to sale so they can actually sell cigarettes cheaper than anyone else. Then I was dumb and suggested why open a store and keep hours? Do it as a "dot-com" and just have a warehouse on the reservation. Having talked myself out of a job, I wasn't adopted into the tribe. Anyway, I just learned this year that the suggestion to "dot-com" it was used and it brings revenue into the tribe. I'm still not adopted and my picture isn't on the warehouse wall as the spiritual founder of the store either. :(
  12. Iggy

    Iggy Well-Known Member


    Try the bullet puller as stated above.. Tap the cleaning rod a bit to start the puller into the the ball
    Thread the puller into the ball to get a good bite,and pull it..

    Remove the nipple, trickle as much powder.. (4FFg would be best) as you can into the flashhole. Replace nipple, cap and fire in a safe direction.

    Last resort.. Take the gun to a smith and have him remove the breech plug and remove the ball.

    As an ol feller once told me.. If you ain't put a ball down without powder you ain't been shootin' much..

    Have fun!!
  13. P95Carry

    P95Carry Moderator Emeritus

    Yeah but.... Will sez he's gettin real pi$$ed at always bein shot at!:p :D
  14. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

    BTW, get a longer ramrod.
  15. smokemaker

    smokemaker Well-Known Member

    I bought a ball discharger/CO2 doodad last season... and nobody told me about the force the these things discharge with. (And I didn't bother to think about the consequences of 2000 PSI CO2 suddenly freed from it's silvery confines). Anyway, I shot the ball, patch, and 110 grains of Pyrodex RS out of my GPR and over the top of my neighbors house! Fortunatley, he was standing next to me when I did it, and has a really good sense of humor, so I didn't have to explain myself, but the moral of the story is: those CO2 dichargers are great, but watch out where you point the damn things when you discharge them (My muzzle was pointed skyward, by the way)
  16. 444

    444 Well-Known Member


    I never thought of that either. I probably would have done it in the house. :banghead:
  17. BluRidgDav

    BluRidgDav Active Member

    We've all done it.

    The suggestions about tricklin' some powder in thru the drum or using a blast of CO2 are good ones. But, they'll probably only work, if the ball isn't ALL THE WAY DOWN against the breach plug. There has to be at least some room left BEHIND the ball for the powder or gas to get into.

    If you have a bench vice and a pipe wrench, you can remove the breach plug yourself. Use some sort of padding around the barrel (leather is good) so as not to leave tool marks.

    But, before doing any of that, make sure that you DID load a ball;
    take your ramrod, put on the ball puller (the woodscrew looking thing),
    NOT the patch worm (the twisted fish-hook thing) and make sure the screw tip is clean (no old lead residue). Put it all the way in to the bottom of the barrel, and then whack it a few times with a mallet. Twist it a few turns and then pull hard.

    If there IS a ball down there, you will either pull it out, and your problem is solved. Or at least, you'll pull out a little bit of lead on the screw threads. Then proceed with the vice and wrench to remove the breach plug.

    If there is NOT a ball in there, the tip of the screw will be flattened out a little bit, from being pounded against the hardened steel breach plug. Your gun is empty. Load and fire at will.
  18. Mike Irwin

    Mike Irwin Well-Known Member

    I can honestly say that I have never put a ball in with no powder.

    I've done other stupid stuff, like cutting the living hell out of finger with the flint...

    You need to get a "range rod" for when you're at the range. These are longer than the rods that come with the guns, and are made from an unbreakable material. I have one that can literally be tied into an overhand knot, but is great for ramming home a ball.

    One of the most effective ways I've ever seen for removing a stuck ball?

    A grease gun, with a fitting that screws into the touchhole liner or drum.
  19. RevolverNoFTF

    RevolverNoFTF member

    Well I got it all sorted out...Called TC..got the lenght of the barrel.....
    used ramrod to measure....looked like nothing was in the barrel....Still...I was concererned.
    Tried putting paper in the barrel then just firing caps. Still nothing. The paper did'nt fly out. For days, I am in my garage trying to figure this out. Then a fellow at the range says put some powder thru the nipple hole. "Maybee there is an obistruction". So here I go again with another idea. I tried about a hundred. So I sit in my garage...pour some powder in the nipple...while the gun is on my lap. Put on a cap....pull the trigger.....BOOM!!!..what a noise in the garage!...the ball flies out hits the riding mower sideways then out thru the garage door....I open the garage door and see that the neighbors pride and joy bird bath some 85 yrds away is shattered and all over his back yard. I close the garage door. Go to my computer. List the Hawken on Gunbroker. Take out my Ruger .22 and go to the range.
  20. 444

    444 Well-Known Member

    Previous Post of mine.

    "Another thing you can try is to remove the nipple and attempt to pour some powder in behind the ball and shoot it out. "

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