Any thoughts on keeping a .32 flintlock bore clean in the field & range?

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Everyone,
I have a :
.32 Flintlock Pedersoli Kentucky rifle with a 32 " barrel and I can
only get about 11-12 shots out of the barrel before the bore gets
so tight I'm afraid I'll get a ball stuck part way down. I'm using
Goex FFFg black powder.

In the first outing I used pre-lubed patches (Ox-yoke(?)) and .010
patches with a .310 lead ball. I varied between 30 or 40 grain of
powder for the charges. And on about the 12th or 13th charge I
couldn't get the ball in the bore because it was so tight. It was a
brand new rifle so I decided to stop but that ended my participation
in the match I was shooting in.

Last Sunday I had the range to myself so I experimented with 30-70
grains of Goex FFFg black powder and on the 11th shot the ball was
so tight it went "Sqeeeeeek" down the length of the barrel. I was using
.010 "Spit" patches of natural fibers sized to the bore. As in the last time
I ran a cleaning Jag down the bore in between shots as well as a proper,
brass .32 cleaning brush. When I brought the brush up I got a lot of unburned
or partially burned grains of powder. I went home, cleaned the rifle and its back
to normal.

I did note that on the first few shots that I was on the bull @ 25 yards but
as I shot and the bore got tighter my groups drifted low and to the left which
tells me that the pressures and velocities went up as the bore became dirty.

I was thinking of trying to find some FFFFg black powder to get cleaner burning
but I'm not sure it would help. I have FFFg Hodgen 777 but I don't think that will
ignite in a flintlock. I'd like to get 25+ shots out of the barrel before having to shut
down. I haven't had the same problem in my .54 percussion cap but I use 777 in
that bore.

The thing is I really enjoy shooting the rifle (I knapped the flint myself at the range),
its much lighter than my .54, it burns less powder and even at 40 grains it sends a
45 grain ball down range over 2000 fps with a loud "Crack!" .
Any ideas?

Blessings,
Longbeard
 
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with 30-70
grains of Goex FFFg black powder
brass .32 cleaning brush. When I brought the brush up I got a lot of unburned
or partially burned grains of powder

Most people shoot 10 to 20 grains of FFFg in a .32. Flintlocks might go 5 grains more than a percussion to allow for pressure loss thru the touch hole. 30 to 40 grains would be considered pretty large. 50 to 70 grains is excessive. Pretty much explains your fouling level.
 
Last edited:
OP
L
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I'll try that. I followed the basic rule of one grain per caliber so I started with 30 grains. I also
have the book by Sam Fadala and his chart runs from 30-70 grains. I'll find and pull out
the chart from Pedersoli too.

LB
 
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Think I've posted this before, but my .32 paper punching load (cap lock) is 20 gr. Goex FFFg, .318 ball, .018" drill patch, CCI #10 caps and spit lube. Unless its really hot and dry I can get thru 25-30 rounds without wiping and accuracy is excellent. Hunting loads get olive oil lube, wiping between shots is required as the lube doesn't deal with the fouling.

C4C13597-7390-4BD9-AEFF-B5BE73DF963F_1530469123386.jpg

25 yd 5 shot group, benched on a 1" orange dot.

I know one guy that uses a BP/777 duplex load in his flintlock (47 caliber). Basically you put 5 to 10 grains of real BP down the bore then load the 777 charge on top of that. Prime with real BP. Not really sure how that would work in a .32 since you're dealing with pretty small charges already, plus it looks like a pain in the butt.

You're going to have to play around with charges, patch thickness, ball diameter, lube etc to come up with something that works in your rifle.
 
Last edited:

Andy54Hawken

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For any 32ish caliber rifle that I have owned or shot , I have found that 28-35 grains works the best...and that fouling happens no matter what.
Granted that these are original rifles using 2F Black Powder....I do not like any BP substitute for any gun or any shooting...YMMV
Andy
 
OP
L
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Think I've posted this before, but my .32 paper punching load (cap lock) is 20 gr. Goex FFFg, .318 ball, .018" drill patch, CCI #10 caps and spit lube. Unless its really hot and dry I can get thru 25-30 rounds without wiping and accuracy is excellent. Hunting loads get olive oil lube, wiping between shots is required as the lube doesn't deal with the fouling.

View attachment 572749

25 yd 5 shot group, benched on a 1" orange dot.

I know one guy that uses a BP/777 duplex load in his flintlock (47 caliber). Basically you put 5 to 10 grains of real BP down the bore then load the 777 charge on top of that. Prime with real BP. Not really sure how that would work in a .32 since you're dealing with pretty small charges already, plus it looks like a pain in the butt.

You're going to have to play around with charges, patch thickness, ball diameter, lube etc to come up with something that works in your rifle.
I'm old enough to remember stories about Elmer Keith and others mixing up Duplex and Triplex loads. I'd rather
just use real BP.
If I can, I'd like to find a smaller powder measure (say for BP revolvers & pistols) with finer increments for better
measurements. Inexpensive suggestions?

LB
 
OP
L
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For any 32ish caliber rifle that I have owned or shot , I have found that 28-35 grains works the best...and that fouling happens no matter what.
Granted that these are original rifles using 2F Black Powder....I do not like any BP substitute for any gun or any shooting...YMMV
Andy
In a few weeks I'll make another pilgrimage to the Gunworks in Springfield, I'll try FFFFg black powder
@ 10-20 grains to see if I get more complete combustion.

I was thinking; If a pound of powder is 7,000 grains and I load 10 grains at a time, that means I get to
shoot 700 times... I'll stock up on balls and powder :)

I got into black powder & muzzle loaders as a way to relax & tinker. As I slowly move twords my retirement
I hope to move to a rural area of the Dakotas or Montana, etc. and the little 32 flint will be my
constant companion, where allowed. I don't mind spending the time finding its likes and dislikes,
in fact I enjoy our time together.

Blessings one and all,
Longbeard
 

Andy54Hawken

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I'll try FFFFg black powder
@ 10-20 grains to see if I get more complete combustion.
4F is for priming only...do not use it as a main charge.
Also I too have read of Elmer Keith and others making "Duplex loads" of black and smokeless powder...that is not a good idea...I don't care what famous gun writer did it in the past ...do not do that either...

I am sure that Pedersoli makes a fine rifle...one that is "overbuilt" even...but there are a lot of poorly built muzzleloaders , guns made with iffy quality steel and parts...

Or just too many folks who will go with the idea of "a little is good , so more is better " with loading methods , for me to suggest 4F as a main charge or duplex loads of any kind , even "Duplex loads" of Black powder and Black Powder substitutes , in any gun , regardless of make , quality or vintage.
Andy
 
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Regarding my suggestion for the duplex load. This comes straight from the manufacturer’s website (Hogdon):
Flintlock: To insure proper ignition in flintlock systems, 5 grains of FFFFG priming powder should be placed into the bore prior to loading the main charge of Triple Seven or Pyrodex. Consult the loading data in this brochure to determine the proper charge for the caliber firearm used and the chosen projectile. The main powder charge should be reduced by 5 grains to compensate for the addition of the priming powder.”

Have to assume this has passed muster with their R&D and legal departments.
 

Andy54Hawken

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No matter what or who says so ....I still think using 4f in a main charge is a bad idea ....it can lead to too much pressure if misused.

Way too many old guns , poor quality guns , gun made with questionable parts or bad loading methods , for me to say use 4F in or as a main charge or a duplex load of any kind

You all do as you wish....
Andy
 

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