In order to participate in the GunBroker Member forums, you must be logged in with your account. Click the sign-in button at the top right of the forums page to get connected.

stuck ball in barrel

jtrue4jtrue4 Member Posts: 3 ✭✭
I'm new to black powder shooting and to the forum. Thanks in advance for your help. I'm shooting a reproduction 1851 Navy .44 revolver. I'm using .454 round balls, cutting my own wads out of felt and using Pyrodex (15 grains). I shot it for the first time today and after about 5 or 6 rounds the ball got stuck in the barrel. I got the ball out with no problem, but what am I doing wrong? Is it because the barrel is fouled? Do you have to swab the barrel that often? I lubed the wads with crisco, but thats the only lube I used, is that where my mistake is? Thanks!


  • stankempstankemp Member Posts: 509 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Might be a little large on the ball (445? or 451? recommended)but it should still be OK - but fouling after only 6 shots? Shouldn't happen.

    Light charge/ failure to ignite all the powder? How did the cylinder rotate after the stuck ball -ie where in the barrel did it stick?
    Sometimes the rotation may skip correct index slightly causing the ball to encounter a misalignment of the barrel and chamber.
    I have seen this with my Rogers and Spencer - fortunately , I did not fire that round as I spotted the bad index.
  • yblockheadyblockhead Member Posts: 942 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I'm away from my books at the moment, but I believe you should be running a .451 ball and a little higher charge. This all depends on which make of revolver that you have. The round diameter should be stamped on the barrel. I've always used GOEX (I like old school) and never had any issues other than the clean-up after words.
  • hillbillehillbille Member Posts: 14,090 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    ball size shouldn't matter, it would be shaved when pressed into the cylinder, my guess would be lack powder, or old pyrodex, not burning properly or fully. Try 20-25 grains in a cylinder, checking for proper cylinder rotation and lockup between shots.

    worst case the cylinder may be sized to large for the barrel. My bet would be on the powder though. good luck
  • ken44-40ken44-40 Member Posts: 201 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    15 grains of Pyrodex is definitely too light for a .44. 15 grains of Goex would be too. Ball size shouldn't matter cause you're cutting a ring, or swaging the ball to the chamber size anyow. If the ball loads easily and cuts a complete ring, the size should be fine. If the ball is hard to seat in the chamber, changing to a smaller (.451) ball would be adviseable. IME, Piettas and ASMs like .451s and Ubertis like .454s.
  • jtrue4jtrue4 Member Posts: 3 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Thanks, guys. The manual I got with the gun says .454, 12-15 grains, but that was with fffg black powder. Maybe I need to use more pyrodex. I'll try about 20 grains next time and see what happens. I'm also going to try shooting without the wad and just using crisco. It should be safe with that .454. It fits good and tight. Thanks for all your help.
  • allen griggsallen griggs Member Posts: 35,149 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    There is no way that ball should get stuck in the barrel, on the sixth shot, even with a low charge of 15 grains.

    A load of 15 grains would be powerful enough to kill a man.

    There must be a problem with the powder.

    Get a new pound of powder, preferably, fffg black powder.
  • PredictatvPredictatv Member Posts: 6 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    I agree, have two Remington 44 replicas. The ball gets cut to fit upon ramming home. As long as ball fits snug in chamber? You're good.
    Only a couple observes....Check the primer hole for fouling. A partial plug can cause the powder to burn poorly. The cap will ignite good. The powder will just go fssssph. Or a soft boom. No BOOM. Please be sure to swab loaded ball chamber with a good lube. Even good ol Crisco. This helps prevent chain fire and aids the ball down the bore.

    Otherwise? It sounds like you're using good practice. If, it happens again? Don't remove ball just yet. Get barrel to where you can see into front and back. See if you can tell what stopped the ball. Lead? Or powder fouling? If, in doubt? Wash out the bore and check again. Then push out ball backward. What ever stopped it should show itself.
  • Chief ShawayChief Shaway Member, Moderator Posts: 6,185 ******
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by SoreShoulder

    I use no wad, crisco on top of the balls, and have gone 35 rounds with max charges no problem.

    15 grains would be fine but I bet you're not really compressing the powder enough.

    Your ignition could have been a bit weak due to lube in the powder-crisco is runny stuff if it gets warm. Just a guess. Or maybe the cap wasn't seated well or the flash hole was partially blocked or you got some of the crisco on the cap which weakened ignition?

    I'd say this pretty much nails it for me on the subject.
    Only time I've ever seen a ball fail to make it out the barrel was due to a heavy rain storm and some wet powder.
  • dandak1dandak1 Member Posts: 450 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    The only time I got a ball stuck in the barrel was with a light load of BP. I switched to pyrodex P and never had an issue again. Are you using P or RS in your loads? Still I would think 15 gns ( measured with a volume measure and not weighed) with Pyrodex P would definitely get it out of the barrel. Are you seating the ball/wad combo firmly?
  • v35v35 Member Posts: 12,710 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Bad ignition. Anything like 15 gr should make the ball fly pretty good.
    Is the rammer seating the ball hard on the powder and do the caps,when fired alone give a loud pop?
    On some tired or poorly fitting revolvers the hammer doesn't quite reach the nipples and you get poor ignition.
Sign In or Register to comment.