stuck ball

Dean2

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Joined
Jul 31, 2010
Messages
974
Location
Alberta
Applying heat is a REALLY bad idea. Wet black powder will still go off. Do NOT apply heat to the loaded barrel. Also, boiling water will not soften even pure lead, temp isn't high enough. This is the problem with the internet, a lot of bad advice gets passed along. You are futzing with a loaded gun. Make sure you know what you are doing.
 

squeeeeze

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Joined
May 21, 2011
Messages
408
Location
Southern Arizona
Get a longer rod then or take it to a gunsmith. Sounds like your only 2 options if you can’t get the rusted nipple off or not willing to put air to it or modify. Nobody says you have to put air to it in your populated neighborhood. I’ve used air with success to remove a stuck ball as well as one of the Co2 kits made for stuck balls or removing loads without having to shoot them.

I have a 48” rod for my black powder muzzleloaders. My longest barrel is a 42” .62 cal smooth bore and has a pool ball on top for added oomph when loading or pushing ball screw into the ball. Threaded ball pullers that attach to your rod work well. You could always soak the barrel minus stock in soapy water for a couple days too.
 
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JustMe2

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Joined
Feb 18, 2012
Messages
247
Not true. Boiling water WILL soften the lead. It won't melt it, but will absolutely soften it. The hot water will also penetrate better around the ball and loosen it a little. Maybe the ball is surrounded by a cloth patch as they used to do and will absorb the hot water. Also you don't have to heat the barrel to red hot, just add a little heat like during multiple shots to heat the water helping penetration and soften the lead a little. It goes without saying, anytime you are messing with a loaded weapon, you need to be cautious and point it in a safe direction.
 

Critter Picker

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Joined
Oct 30, 2019
Messages
113
Location
Wisconsin
If it was me I would go the gunsmith route. I have pulled stuck balls with a worm.
Somehow having the loaded muzzle loader in a vice and standing in front of it yanking on a range rod doesn't give me a warm fuzzy feeling.
 

Critter Picker

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Joined
Oct 30, 2019
Messages
113
Location
Wisconsin
If it was me I would go the gunsmith route. I have pulled stuck balls with a worm and it is not the best thing to do.
There is something about putting the loaded muzzle loader in a vice and standing in front of it yanking on a range rod that just doesn't give me a warm fuzzy feeling.
 

Coues110

Active Member
Joined
Mar 24, 2014
Messages
29
I couldn't see the original post as to the type of black powder weapon, but if you already have wet powder you can put the barrel in a vice and remove the breach plug, then find a rod and push the ball thru. If the powder is not wet in a cap and ball rifle I unscrew the nipple and dribble a few grains of powder into the barrel thru the nipple hole making sure you don't crush the powder when you screw in the nipple, cap, then fire it. If the bullet isn't expelled repeat with about 5 grains of powder and ram the bullet back down the barrel on top of the powder before firing. Make sure you don't have powder residue in the nipple threads before reinstalling the nipple and use a little grease on the nipple threads.
 

Charlielee

Member
Joined
Nov 11, 2013
Messages
8
I stuck a 50 caliber maxi bullet down a Thompson Center Hawkin once. It was 2 or 3 days before the season started and I had to get it out. It would not move downward (even with a hammer) against a slight powder charge. So I located a 18” long drill bit extension that would hold a 1/4” metal drill bit. I drilled a hole through the bullet. Then I screwed a long 3/8”llag screw into the lead. The lag bolt had an 3/4”eye on the end which I put a tire iron through. The barrel was sqeezed tightly between wood 2x4 blocks. Then by striking the tire iron outward with the lower end against the workbench out came the “old maid”. That was in 1976 and I still have the lag bolt with the bullet in my muzzle loader bag.
Now, there are things that one does not do ever as are mentioned above, like never fire the weapon if the ball is not against the powder.
You have a project ahead of you so plan it out and be safe.
Charlie
 

Alibiiv

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LRH Team Member
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Jun 17, 2013
Messages
1,457
Location
Rhode Island
Based upon all of the unknown variables with this gun, there's not too many options other than to bring it to a gunsmith who has the necessary tools to remove the lodged ball. The best reply that I did find was the one where grease being pumped into the barrel through the nipple was the best, and....I am sure that the cleanup afterwards was a tedious job. I DEFINITELY do not recommend putting heat or dumping some 4FG into the nipple and firing off the gun, unless that gun was tied to a tree and I was pulling the trigger with a 30 foot piece of string.

If you value this gun, and from what you have written you do, spend the cash and bring it to a gunsmith who will have the necessary tools and know-how/experience to remove the ball or have the necessary tools to make a took to remove the ball.
 

DarryH

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Joined
Feb 4, 2014
Messages
73
Location
Omaha, Nebraska area
I am not a novice so I know what safety factors to consider. The penetrating fluid finally found its way around the ball and is trickling out the nipple. I am going to try the grease gun tip, That is one I have never heard of. I've cleaned a LOT of cosmoline filled bores so the mess does not bother me. I have a co2 ball blaster already in my kit. I may have to drive out of town and try that. Last try will be a long rod to try to pull the ball.
 

Dean2

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Joined
Jul 31, 2010
Messages
974
Location
Alberta
I am not a novice so I know what safety factors to consider. The penetrating fluid finally found its way around the ball and is trickling out the nipple. I am going to try the grease gun tip, That is one I have never heard of. I've cleaned a LOT of cosmoline filled bores so the mess does not bother me. I have a co2 ball blaster already in my kit. I may have to drive out of town and try that. Last try will be a long rod to try to pull the ball.
The grease gun trick works very well but you do need to get the nipple out first as you have to replace it with a grease zerk or you will never get enough pressure to move the ball. Very glad to hear the penetrating oil made it around the ball, that is an excellent start.
 
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