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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

Curious as to whether anyone else does this.

Folks talk about swabbing the barrel between shots.

What I've worked out seems to be at least as effective.

First, I dump the powder down the barrel.

Next, I take a jumbo cotton ball and stuff it in the muzzle. It's a tight fit in a .50. I shove it down with the cleaning jag on the ramrod. Takes about as much effort as seating a ball with a .015" patch.

Finally, I seat a ball on a lubed patch (50/50 Crisco/lanolin) and shove it down on top of the cotton wad.

I can fire as many shots as I like using this method. My record thus far has been 25 charges fired with no noticeable difference in seating effort and no visible buildup. Accuracy remains constant, as well.

Anyone else try this method? What were your results?

Thanks,

Josh
 

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Well I have used wads, and corn meal as a buffer between the powder and the patched ball but never tried cotton balls. Don't the cotton balls come out of the rifle on fire? If they do, this might not be a thing I would want in the woods or the hay field on a dry Autumn day.
 

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Cayugad mentioned the cotton balls might be on fire when they come out. Thats possible I guess. I wonder if they had Crisco on them would it keep them from burning. They might not burn anyway.
 

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Well I made wads out of wool felt. The kind you purchase at a hardware store for insulation of windows. I soaked them in olive oil and then used a rolling pin to squeeze as much of the oil out of them as possible. After they were laid on wax paper to dry, they would not start on fire. They make a good buffer. I cut them out with a hollow hole punch.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hello,

Nope, I expected that they would smolder (I've never seen cotton actually burn unless infused with a fuel) but they don't even do that. They blow apart like a dandelion puff.

Surprised me, but in a pleasant way.

Josh
 

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Is the point of the cotton ball on top of the powder to "swab" the residue from the previous shot, thus making it easier to seat the next ball?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hi Broom,

Well, it was a nice side effect.

But the main purpose was to serve as an over-the-powder wad for when I didn't want the patch lube to contaminate the powder.

Was on the range and wasn't getting much out at all when swabbing between shots, as I would usually do.

looked in at the muzzle from the side after loading the cotton ball, and thought, "well, this looks... clean."

So I guess I would say that a tight-fitting cotton ball also swabs. It's a dual purpose deal.

Josh
 

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I use Ballistol oil for lube (four parts water and one part oil) and leave the patches slightly damp. It's like swabbing your barrel every time you ram the ball down. I can shoot all day without swabbing and maintain good accuracy. Never had a problem with it contaminating the powder charge.
 
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