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RB Size For Lyman Deerslayer

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by MinScout, Oct 1, 2006.

  1. MinScout

    MinScout Member

    Mar 19, 2004
    I've been shooting .535 round balls out of my .54 cal Deerslayer, but they are so terribly tight that it takes practically all my strength to start the ball and ram it home. I was wondering if using .530 balls might enable me to reload faster without losing too much accuracy or if I just need to try a thinner patch. Any thoughts?
  2. .38 Special

    .38 Special Senior Member

    Sep 15, 2006
    Orange County, CA.
    Experimentation has proved to my own satisfaction that super-tight ball/bore combinations are vastly overrated. My own technique is to slug the barrel and then find a ball/patch combo of no larger than groove diameter. This pretty much always means a combo that doesn't quite "fill" the grooves. A combo up to five thousandths undersize groups as well as a combo that must be forced down to the breech and seats with only gentle pressure.
  3. arcticap

    arcticap Mentor

    Mar 20, 2005
    Central Connecticut
    I don't use such tight loadings and I still almost always use a mallet to start my PRB's. Then I also use the mallet to tap the load down the length of the entire short starter (longer ones) before ramming. It sure helps to not beat up the palm or worse yet, break a ramrod and/or cause a puncture wound.
    A slightly smaller ball shouldn't really make much of an accuracy difference, but if it does, you can always try to compensate with a slightly thicker patch. Odd size patch materials can be found at fabric stores and even in Walmart fabric depts. You only need to try sample sizes of 100% cotton fabric, but may have to rinse out the factory sizing first (and bringing a micrometer along might help! :D ).
    And you can always try using a mallet...it works! ;)

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