1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

My Method Of Removing Stuck Balls

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by Cosmoline, Feb 15, 2013.

  1. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Well-Known Member

    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?
  2. MCgunner

    MCgunner Well-Known Member

    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.
  3. alsaqr

    alsaqr Well-Known Member

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

    xXxplosive Well-Known Member

    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.
  5. BSA1

    BSA1 Well-Known Member

    How about removing the barrel from the stock first?
  6. 72coupe

    72coupe Well-Known Member

    OP thanks for the info but I will not be using that method.
  7. woodnbow

    woodnbow Well-Known Member

    Nother tool to put in the toolbag, thanks OP..
  8. Rattus58

    Rattus58 Well-Known Member

    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....
  9. Hellgate

    Hellgate Well-Known Member

    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.
  10. hawkeye74

    hawkeye74 Well-Known Member

    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.
  11. EljaySL

    EljaySL Well-Known Member

    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.
  12. Rattus58

    Rattus58 Well-Known Member

    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...
  13. 44 Dave

    44 Dave Well-Known Member

    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.
  14. alsaqr

    alsaqr Well-Known Member

    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:

  15. hawkeye74

    hawkeye74 Well-Known Member

    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.:)
  16. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Well-Known Member

    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.
  17. MCgunner

    MCgunner Well-Known Member

    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.
  18. MCgunner

    MCgunner Well-Known Member

    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
  19. snakeman

    snakeman Well-Known Member

    he he he balls and nipples
  20. BHP FAN

    BHP FAN Well-Known Member

    I LOVE our sport!

Share This Page