Are you a black powder fanatic?
If you are you just might be a fan of the old school patched round ball.
I take a look at the top four reasons I am a big fan of the ole patched lead round ball for muzzleloader shooting.
Currently I mainly shoot a somewhat vintage .58 Investarms Cabela’s Hawken Rifle. It was a Christmas gift from my best hunting buddy and outdoors mentor nicknamed The Grizz. I have found a properly loaded patched .570 size lead ball at 100 yards will give a beverage can a very bad day. This rifle will give any big game animal a healthy dose of lead even a bit past that distance. The tradition of the ole patched lead round ball goes way back before conical bullets were even in existence. Tough pioneer fellows such as Daniel Boone were served well with the patched lead round ball. Step back and ram that load down the barrel and imagine what the old timers saw while doing loading the same as you are doing.
2. No leading
When shooting patched round balls no lead will ever touch the inside of the barrel itself. That means no messy lead clean ups. Mopping the barrel out with hot soapy water followed a spray of alcohol and a dry patch will clean the barrel well. Lastly some Bore Butter on a cleaning patch is all that is needed to protect and season the barrel. Put the bristle brush away. You now will not need it.
3. Easy to carry
Lead round balls are at home in a small leather drawstring bag as they were centuries ago. There is no messy lube to get all over everything. Carry the pre-lubed patches in a little box or together in a speedloader. You are all set for a quick reload if needed.
4. Tailor your load and cast your own!
Casting round lead balls is quicker and much easier than conical projectiles in my opinion. They cast true with no missing edges or rolled over and too shallow grease grooves as might happen with conicals. Make sure you use pure lead for your round balls.
Shooting a lead round ball offers many advantages. Currently I use CVA Pre-Lubed Shooting Patches that are .015″ in thickness. Thinner diameter patches can be used that might make your individual smokepole shoot better. You can cut your own shooting patches and also change the lubrication. It’s all up to you. Different company’s might have small differences in patches or round balls that your charcoal burner might like over the competition. How much black powder do you need to smoke that whitetail? While my rifle is rated in the books to 140 grains of FFG black powder even 100 grains is deadly at 100 yards. Half the fun of black powder rifles is playing around to see what combinations work best for your rifle. Get out there and smoke some targets.