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Can anyone offer a cure?

bpostbpost Member Posts: 32,221 ✭✭✭✭
My Encore 45 cal BP rifle SS barrel shoots great. I am getting 1-1/2 inch three shot groups at 100 yards with a dirty barrel. The best load so far is using Hornaday XTP's and sabots over Pyrodex or American Pioneer Powder sticks.

My problem is the first shot, using sabots is 4-6 inches from the aiming point. There is no real pattern, it is just not in the center of the bull. The next few shots will be right on the money.

If I clean the rifle, it tosses the first shot out again....

This forces me to hunt with a dirty rifle to keep accuracy, this is not good with BP rifles over the long haul.

Any help is appreciated.

Comments

  • chigerchiger Member Posts: 40 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    That's why I don't shoot sabots B. ;~) But it's for a different reason.

    My TC Renegade not only sends the first shot as a flyer, but grouping goes away as well. Of course it was rifled for a patched round ball. Your Encore is actually rifled to shoot modern loads better.

    What your problem tells me is that you probably aren't getting a good mate between the rifling and sabot until there is some residue to take up the space. Or the load is not being ignited properly on the first shot.

    Are you making sure to swab out the bore completely before you load for the first shot? And are you firing at least 2 primers in the clean barrel before you make the first load? Both of these will have a profound effect on how efficiently the first shot's load is consumed.

    Also, I'd try a different brand sabot or different make of bullet if you are doing both of the above. I know they are all suppose to be the same, but there are differences from manufacture to manufacture. Some manufactures are a thousandth or two bigger. And some sabot makers use different materials that will distort under pressure and grab the rifling quicker. Both are possible solutions.

    Hope that helps. A 1 1/2" group is not bad at a hundred yards for sure, but your Encore will do better. My 54 cal Renegade does that benched up with iron sights, 90 grains of black powder and a patched 229 grain round ball. It makes 1 hole as many times as I shoot it at 50 yards! Not braggin', just mention it to give you a frame of reference.

    You may need to experiment with sabots, powder loads and bullet weights a little more to cure your first shot problem and get better groups to boot. Sometimes, more or faster is not better.

    chiger,
  • bpostbpost Member Posts: 32,221 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Thanks chiger,
    I think (hope) the solution is at hand. I don't normally pop a couple of primers before loading. I do clean the barrel with lacquer thinner before shooting to assure an oil free bore. I'll try popping some primers then loading and see how that helps.

    My goal this year is to get real serious about shooting at 200 yards with it. My hope is to find a bullet/powder/sabot combo that will hold a respectable group at that range.
  • mbsamsmbsams Member Posts: 1,076 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    So how does it group with a clean barrel for every shot? I wipe the bore with an alcohol soaked patch between shots - soak patch - wipe, turm it over wipe - dry patch - wipe, turn it over wipe. only takes a few seconds. this way you barrel is always clean - you will find this cleaning to be all you every need to do. At the end of a days shoot I will add a couple passes with a brush and a couple more patches. My bore is perfect and I have done nothing else to the gun for more than 20 years.
  • bpostbpost Member Posts: 32,221 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by mbsams
    So how does it group with a clean barrel for every shot? I wipe the bore with an alcohol soaked patch between shots - soak patch - wipe, turm it over wipe - dry patch - wipe, turn it over wipe. only takes a few seconds. this way you barrel is always clean - you will find this cleaning to be all you every need to do. At the end of a days shoot I will add a couple passes with a brush and a couple more patches. My bore is perfect and I have done nothing else to the gun for more than 20 years.


    I did not know you were supposed to run a patch between shots. [:I][:I] After a shot I just pour in more powder and cuss like the dickens trying to get the sabot started into the rifling. Then the gut busting fun begins as I push the sabot/Hornaday bullet combo onto the powder. Power belts load a lot easier but offer less accuracy.
  • slumlord44slumlord44 Member Posts: 3,702 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Just for kicks, run a patch through it soaked in WD 40 . Have a muzeloader that this cured that problem. Got no idea why but it worked. Possibly acted like a fouling shot in some way?
  • chigerchiger Member Posts: 40 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Hey guys,

    One other thing I forgot to mention. Seating is really important for consistent shooting. I actually have a line scribed on my ramrod where each of the loads I shoot is supposed to be seated. Which is basically 50 grains W/round ball and 90 grains W/round ball. Once you find a load that works. You might want to do that as well. Just use a knife or Sharpie and spin the rod on the seated load.

    I mention this because you said something about having trouble ramming and seating the loads. If it doesn't seat, I bump it against a tree or post or something a couple times. And if I'm trying a load I don't know, I always bump it against something a time or two to be sure. BEFORE I put a primer on of course. Still have need of most my bits and parts. ;~)

    It's not that important for my gun to get the bore absolutely dry when I shoot though. I just run a couple patches through to remove excess oil. And the truth is, most any solvent I might use may react badly with the BP hunting load or Pyrodex target loads.

    Heck, Slumlord's suggestion is something I did out of frustration to my brother's CVA 50 cal. And it cured his problem. So you just never know.

    If there's one thing that 35 years of shooting the same guns has taught me, it's that being consistent with every aspect of your loads is the number one thing that will increase accuracy. The same primer, same loads, same cleaning (post and pre shooting)...right down to how you seat the load and the direction you turn the weave in a patch. Everything!

    We can't bench load accuracy into brass, so consistent technique has to be our #1 goal.

    chiger,
  • OdawgpOdawgp Member Posts: 5,380 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by bpost1958
    If I clean the rifle, it tosses the first shot out again....

    This forces me to hunt with a dirty rifle to keep accuracy, this is not good with BP rifles over the long haul.

    Any help is appreciated.

    I think everyone has this same problem

    I don't know if there is a cure for it[?]

    when at the range I clean w/ spit patch in between every shot and sight the gun in that way I can get 2-3 shots to group well enough to kill with it at 200yds
  • glabrayglabray Member Posts: 679 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Laquer thinner is a very powerful solvent. Are you sure you are getting all of it out of the barrel before you load? It will kill powder and may soften the plastic sabot.
  • bpostbpost Member Posts: 32,221 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by glabray
    Laquer thinner is a very powerful solvent. Are you sure you are getting all of it out of the barrel before you load? It will kill powder and may soften the plastic sabot.


    Yes, I make sure the bore is dry as a bone. I use Lacquer thinner and a bronze brush to lift the sabot plastic, if any, up so a patch can clean it out. I load a dry bore free from all solvents and oil.
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