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Thread: Questions on basic theory and technique of paper patching.

  1. #1
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    Questions on basic theory and technique of paper patching.

    I can't stand it anymore, I have to try this PP thing again now that I've found this forum and found out what I tried years ago wasn't really the best way. I've been reading up on the numerous "newbie" threads trying to get the basic idea of the CBPP, I'm coming up with more questions than answers, so let me ask some that have come to mind with my first "real" foray into this art.

    I'm going to try this with my Winchester model 70 in .270 Winchester using the 6.5mm Cruise Missile cut down one band (148 grain), and I bought some Office Depot 100% cotton vellum paper with the fine grid for the purpose, it's .0028" thick. The rifle has a groove of .277" and a bore of .270" and has been decoppered, but has never been fired with cast or patched before.

    First, I keep seeing posts indicating to use a boolit just over bore diameter, .001"-.002" or so, and to patch to .001" or so over groove. Sound like a good place to start?

    How does alloy hardness/toughness/composition play into this? I'm assuming one can push softer alloys faster with a PP, and that super-hard boolits aren't desireable. Any general guidelines for this?

    Paper? I figure the Vellum paper is mentioned so much that it's hard to go wrong there, what do you guys think?

    Angle of ends? I've seen everything from 30 to 45 to 60 degrees, any consensus on this? I tried 45 degrees and it seems to work ok, but I'm clueless here.

    Direction of wrap in relation to rifling. I gather that it really doesn't matter. Anyone find that it does?

    Method of patch application. I see dry, wet, thinned glue, dry with pasted edge, etc. I made about 20 tonight with just plain water and as-cast boolits, no lube on the boolit, is this a "try and see" thing to see if the patch comes off correctly, or would I be better off using some sort of lube film on the boolit?

    Speaking of lube, I cut the tails and ran them through a .278" H&I sizer while applying slight lube pressure, this put a little bit of Felix lube in the groove areas and compressed the base nicely, leaving a .279" finish. Looks great, but who knows what the gun will think. How about the eggspurts?

    Tails. I twisted them tight and laid them out to dry, they wanted to unravel a bit, but stayed tight on the edge of the base. I guess that's good enough, once dry they were stable. I see folded bases in some pics, but for a .272" boolit that would be tough to get right. is there any advantage to having a little base showing, like about the size of the spure hole?

    How far up the boolit to wrap? This boolit has a long nose, I wrapped just above the break in the ogive even though the long nose patches up to be just over bore diameter. Does anyone shoot a "bore rider" with the bore-riding portion patched, or is the object to just patch the bands on such a boolit?

    Throat fit? Typical guidlines for a good fit apply I assume, any tips?

    Chamber neck fit. This one has me buffaloed. Some people patch the boolit up to fit a fired case, some size the case for "normal" neck tension on the boolit, some use the groove diameter to determine patched boolit OD or size-to diameter. I experimented with seating some boolits and did the latter, with .003" neck tension on the .002"-over-groove patched/sized/lubed boolit, looks great but again, IDK. It would take another full wrap to fill a fired case.

    Some of you use filler, some don't. I use a lot of Dacron and slow-burning powders with regular cast, but this undersquare .270 makes me a little nervous with something like wheat bran. I don't see a lot of direct references to NOT using filler, so what are you folks doing?

    Finally, I get that PP'ing is not for low-velocity stuff, so I'm assuming I should start with starting loads for J-words, and not ten grains of Unique! Sound right?

    Whew! That was long-winded. Did I miss anything I know it's a long road of experimentation like any cast boolit endeavor, but I'm trying to get my ducks in a row as much as I can in the beginning, and try to get pertinent info to this caliber in one thread. Any and all tips you guys have would be greatly appreciated!

    Gear

  2. #2
    Boolit Grand Master 303Guy's Avatar
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    Angle of ends? I've seen everything from 30 to 45 to 60 degrees,
    I tried angles that allow the top start to overlap the bottom finish. I think it all depends on what's easiest to apply. Too little angle and the start corner might lift. At 30 I've not had that problem and I find 30 easy to work with.

    Folding the tail on a 270? I do it with a 25 just as easy as a 30. You may apply a spot of glue under the overhanging corner but not over the boolit shank. Actually, I know it strengthens weak paper but not whether it makes any difference.

    To me the most significant dimension on a PPCB is the length. That's because we nee something to hold onto while applying the patch and twisting, folding or crimping the tail (or overhang in my case).

    A basic rule? Well, I suspect that filling the throat and not crushing the patch (or core underneath) during seating is rule #1.
    As for lube, there must be a rule but I don't know what it is. I would say apply enough lube to make a difference but not so much as to fill the air-space in the paper and definately not a sticky lube that can get between the paper and the boolit.

    As to choice of papers, I've found softer or weaker papers to be usable for lighter loads where the 100% cotton papers won't confetti. The converse might also apply.

    Another basic requirement is to get some patched loads together in time for the postal competition!
    Rest In Peace My Son (01/06/1986 - 14/01/2014)

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  3. #3
    Boolit Master pdawg_shooter's Avatar
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    The best paper I have found is 16# green bar printer paper. The kind with the holes down both sides. I use a 60 angle on my patches. Match the alloy to velocity. Pure up to about 2200, WW to around 2600, and WDWW as fast as you want. I size the "bore riding nose" and shank to bore diameter +.001/.0015 and patch to the start of the ogive. I like full support for the full length of the bullet. This prevents distortion due to acceleration in the barrel. Most any lube will work. Right now I use BAC. I chose a powder that will give me as near to 100% load density as possible. This has always given me the best accuracy.
    45 AUTO! Because having to shoot someone twice is just silly!

  4. #4
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    I use notebook paper, or inexpensive printer paper. I make my ends at 45*. For my .30s and .303 Brit, I cut across the width into 1" strips. I then take a piece of vynl venetian blind and cut it to length. This I use as a guage to cut the rest. Once I find the length, the guage measures it for me. Being plastic, it will not dull the scissors, and I can adjust the length on the fly.
    I size my castings to .308, then wrap twice soaking wet. For the .30s I size to .309, for the .303 Brit, I size to .314. I use just a tad of Auto Wax to slide through the sizeing die. The die wipes most of it off.
    While wet, I twist the tail. When dry, I snip off half. This end gets rammed up to the base on sizeing.
    I use a lot of Zinc castings with paper patching. They work real well.
    Must be the paper.
    Good luck.

  5. #5
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    Start here geargnasher...
    A very good thread on Hi-Vel PP if you haven't already read it..
    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/showthread.php?t=77461

    Like ktw suggested below get "The Paper Jacket by Paul Matthews"..


    Quote Originally Posted by pdawg_shooter View Post
    The best paper I have found is 16# green bar printer paper. The kind with the holes down both sides. I use a 60 angle on my patches. Match the alloy to velocity. Pure up to about 2200, WW to around 2600, and WDWW as fast as you want. I size the "bore riding nose" and shank to bore diameter +.001/.0015 and patch to the start of the ogive. I like full support for the full length of the bullet. This prevents distortion due to acceleration in the barrel. Most any lube will work. Right now I use BAC. I chose a powder that will give me as near to 100% load density as possible. This has always given me the best accuracy.
    Your vellum will work..
    I haven't tried 16# green bar as none is available were I live..
    Last edited by Nrut; 06-21-2011 at 01:02 PM.





  6. #6
    Boolit Master ktw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by geargnasher View Post
    First, I keep seeing posts indicating to use a boolit just over bore diameter, .001"-.002" or so, and to patch to .001" or so over groove. Sound like a good place to start?
    The published guidebook for this is The Paper Jacket by Paul Matthews. Worth picking up. His recommendation for an as cast diameter was slightly over bore diameter.

    Quote Originally Posted by geargnasher View Post
    How does alloy hardness/toughness/composition play into this? I'm assuming one can push softer alloys faster with a PP, and that super-hard boolits aren't desireable. Any general guidelines for this?
    I work with two alloys (WW, Range Scrap) and two papers. I experiment with the different combinations toward getting the best fit to throat/bore/groove dimensions. In general it is possible to push soft alloys a lot faster when paper patched than you can in a grease groove bullet.

    Quote Originally Posted by geargnasher View Post
    Paper? I figure the Vellum paper is mentioned so much that it's hard to go wrong there, what do you guys think?
    I like the Mead Academy tracing paper. It's thin and readily available from a wide variety of stationary stores. I also have a large roll of slightly thicker tracing paper I inherited from an old office move that works when I need a slightly larger diameter.

    Other papers work. The ones to stay away from are any kind of coated papers. These contain a form of clay which, over time, is likely to be too abrasive in the bore.

    Paper has a grain. Depending on which direction you cut it, it will stretch more or less during the wrap.

    Quote Originally Posted by geargnasher View Post
    Direction of wrap in relation to rifling. I gather that it really doesn't matter. Anyone find that it does?
    There were some posts here a while back that made the case that you should wrap in the direction where the rifling "tightened" the patch on the bullet as it moved down the bore rather than "loosened" it. I used to do it the "wrong" way but the argument made sense and I changed over to the "tighter" way. If it made any difference on the target it was incremental and I haven't noticed it.

    Quote Originally Posted by geargnasher View Post
    Method of patch application. I see dry, wet, thinned glue, dry with pasted edge, etc. I made about 20 tonight with just plain water and as-cast boolits, no lube on the boolit, is this a "try and see" thing to see if the patch comes off correctly, or would I be better off using some sort of lube film on the boolit?
    I wrap wet with straight water. I think this gives better stretch and improves the grip of the patch on the bullet after drying than wrapping them dry. I don't use any form of glue (haven't seen any need for it).

    I use a very light coat of Lee Liquid Alox on the dried patched bullet prior to running them through a Lee push-through sizing die. I'm not sure how necessary it is. I do think it helps hold everything together better when bullets sit for some time between patching and loading. I don't think it hurts, provided your patch is coming off cleanly at the muzzle. I haven't experimented with shooting them dry.

    Quote Originally Posted by geargnasher View Post
    Tails. I twisted them tight and laid them out to dry, they wanted to unravel a bit, but stayed tight on the edge of the base. I guess that's good enough, once dry they were stable. I see folded bases in some pics, but for a .272" boolit that would be tough to get right. is there any advantage to having a little base showing, like about the size of the spure hole?
    I have shot them several ways (with twisted tails, flat bottom & covered, flat bottom with small gap). It's largely a function of how wide you cut the patches prior to applying them. I haven't seen any significant difference between them on the target but I haven't rigorously tested the differences either.

    Quote Originally Posted by geargnasher View Post
    How far up the boolit to wrap? This boolit has a long nose, I wrapped just above the break in the ogive even though the long nose patches up to be just over bore diameter. Does anyone shoot a "bore rider" with the bore-riding portion patched, or is the object to just patch the bands on such a boolit?
    Far enough up the nose to reduce the possibility of stripping the patch at the beginning of the rifling . I haven't tried patching a bore riding bullet.


    Quote Originally Posted by geargnasher View Post
    Throat fit? Typical guidlines for a good fit apply I assume, any tips?

    Chamber neck fit. This one has me buffaloed. Some people patch the boolit up to fit a fired case, some size the case for "normal" neck tension on the boolit, some use the groove diameter to determine patched boolit OD or size-to diameter. I experimented with seating some boolits and did the latter, with .003" neck tension on the .002"-over-groove patched/sized/lubed boolit, looks great but again, IDK. It would take another full wrap to fill a fired case.
    General guidelines to start with
    a) Smokeless loads: as cast diameter slightly larger than bore, patched diameter groove diameter or very slightly larger.

    b) Blackpowder loads: use a softer alloy and a finished patched diameter of bore size. Any larger will present difficulties with loading in a fouled bore. Relies on obturation to fill the grooves.

    c) I'm shooting a single shot. I avoid crimping and only use enough neck tension to hold the bullet in place during transportation and loading. With heavier neck tension you risk damaging the patch at loading and the softer alloys used won't always stand up to it. If you can load them at high neck tension without patch damage it would be worth some experimentation.

    Quote Originally Posted by geargnasher View Post
    Some of you use filler, some don't. I use a lot of Dacron and slow-burning powders with regular cast, but this undersquare .270 makes me a little nervous with something like wheat bran. I don't see a lot of direct references to NOT using filler, so what are you folks doing?
    I prefer choosing a powder with a higher load density over using a filler with Paper Patching. I do use Cream Of Wheat as filler in midrange loads with grease groove bullets but my experience with it is limited to straight walled cartridges (38-55).

    I have worked with dacron/packing pellets/toilet paper with grease groove bullets in bottlenecked cartridges with varying results. It rarely resulted in a worse load but doesn't always significantly improve one either. I wouldn't be afraid to try it with paper patching if you felt the need to improve a particular powders burn characteristics.

    Quote Originally Posted by geargnasher View Post
    Finally, I get that PP'ing is not for low-velocity stuff, so I'm assuming I should start with starting loads for J-words, and not ten grains of Unique! Sound right?
    If you are looking for a plinker load it's not hard to find one with an easier to prepare WW alloy grease groove bullet. All the additional effort of patching would be kind of pointless. I would be looking at midrange to jacketed loads to make the effort worth while. The advantage to paper patching is shooting softer alloys at higher velocities than grease groove bullets allow.

    -ktw

  7. #7
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    I tried vellum, I had better luck with green-bar paper. the angle dont matter. I read an article here that explained that direction of wrap does matter, so I wrap so that the patch is tightened on the boolit. Lube does a lot to protect the patch from the elements and it helps the paper survive the sizer, but I cant tell that it helps it shoot any better. I roll my patched boolits in 50/50 bees wax/olive oil.
    It is very important to get the tension of the paper, between the boolit and the barrel, right. I had a PP boolit that was shooting great, I changed the boolit to a harder alloy and I lost all of my accuracy.
    I twist all of my tails so far. I just twist and then use scissors to trim the tails short.
    I wrap dry, I wrapped wet when I was using velum 'cause it would hold together but any other paper will come apart when it is whet and you will twist the tails right off.
    You don't want your patch to get piled up on the rifling so wrap far enough up the boolit so that the rifling presses the paper into the side of the boolit.
    I'm no expert, but that's what I know on the subject. It seems that there are many details that have to be just right in order to make it work, but when you find the magic combination, it works really well.

  8. #8
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    Good info, I'll get a picture up tonight of the ones I patched and lubed last night. I pulled a seated boolit and measured it, the case only swaged it .0005", so I think I'll keep using the dies I have unless I start seeing problems.

    I usually use as slow a powder a possible with GG boolits, it improves the loading density, launch, and seems to act as a filler itself, protecting the boolit base somewhat on initial firing and helping get the boolit engraved without blowing all the lube off before it gets a good seal in the bore. I'm considering at least H4350 for this one, maybe H4831.

    303Guy, I'm workin' on it, I see we already have a benchmark set! This is going to be as much a competition of riflemen as it is of their ammunition. It's been a long time since I shot at 200 yards without the aid of some expensive support equipment, and I sucked at it then. Might have to drag out a sling and use that.

    Gear
    Last edited by geargnasher; 06-21-2011 at 02:17 PM.

  9. #9
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    My brother is the one doing the paper patching but I have helped him with it. I swaged some 0.452 pure lead 480 gr bullets for him for use in the 577-450 Martini-Henry. We used some rag paper made for paper patching cut at 45. We made two wraps with the water moistened papar, twisted the end and tucked it into the hollow base. We dipped them in melted beeswax and loaded them over a beeswax cookie, 0.60 card wad and about 80gr of FFG. We got pretty much factory ballistics (1290 fps) which is what we should have gotten since we duplicated the factory loading procedure. Hope the info is useful.

    Bob
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  10. #10
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    Gear,

    You received a lot of good advice. I have some comments. The SAAMI chamber drawing for a 270 Win, shows the entrance diameter to the forcing cone at 0.2783"D. Many NRA articles talked about PP tearing if the final sized PPCB diameter was equal or greater than the chamber entrance diameter to the forcing cone. PP tearing caused poor accuracy. I would suspect something like 0.002" less in final PPCB sized diameter would work properly, i.e. 0.276"D. I do this and my PPCB are fast, reliable, and accurate. Also I found that sized PPCB sometimes grow a little after final sizing by about 0.001", depending on paper used. So size some PPCB, measure diameter, record, and then measure them again in a week or so.

    Powder wise, I'm using 100% loading density loads with W760, W748 and I'm happy. There are some W760/H414 loads for J-bullets greater than 110 gr. However, there are many other good powder choices.

    Hope this helps.

    Best regards,

    CJR

  11. #11
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    Cool

    Gear, you have gotten some of the best advice going, from some of the best here. The only thing I would add is, see what works best for you & your rifle. Try different sizing, paper thickness, & whatever it takes to reach your goal. That's where the real fun begins, even something that does not look like it should work is worth a try. And a 45-70 405 gr lopeing along at 1200 fps shreads the paper very well, just a puff of confettie when you get it right.
    Gun control 1ST ROUND ON TARGET.

  12. #12
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    HOLY BAT GUANO, IT WORKS!!

    As soon as I got home from work, I grabbed five 1f Remington cases, prepped them, dumped in 50 grains of Reloder 22 (I like round numbers), seated some of the boolits I patched last night, and hit the range. This is a new-to-the gun scope (recoil ate the last one) I traded from another member, so I just bore-sighted it and shot the five at 25 yards to give me the best odds of hitting the target. These Cruise Missiles have an annoying tendency to fly sideways so I was hedging my bet.

    Here 'tis, along with some confetti from in front of the bench, I saw a nice little shower of white flakes through the scope each shot, seems to be working great. The fourth shot flyer was a really corroded boolit I'd used just for experimentation with patch wrapping, in fact it's the first one I did and it was kinda sloppy, no wonder it flew high. The second, third, and fifth shots are 3/16" on center. The bore is immaculate, no unburned powder or paper fragments, just SHINY. I love it.

    This is my first try with our new image hosting software, hope it works!

    Gear

    Last edited by geargnasher; 06-21-2011 at 09:53 PM.

  13. #13
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    Goody, goody!!!! ... felix
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by ktw View Post
    There were some posts here a while back that made the case that you should wrap in the direction where the rifling "tightened" the patch on the bullet as it moved down the bore rather than "loosened" it. I used to do it the "wrong" way but the argument made sense and I changed over to the "tighter" way. If it made any difference on the target it was incremental and I haven't noticed it.
    This thread?
    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/showthread.php?p=755288

    CM
    Retired...TWICE. Now just raisin' cows and livin' on borrowed time.

  15. #15
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    That's the very one, a darn good article to read IMHO. Thanks Montana!
    You see? That's the great thing about this sight. Quit the headbanging and cut to the chase! I joined CastBoolits to learn how to patch for smokeless powder rifle, and Its been great. Still haven't gotten the perfect combo, but these guys saved me years of learning common knowledge the hard way. Information is power!
    Glad you got 'er goin Gear!

  16. #16
    Boolit Grand Master 303Guy's Avatar
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    Good post ktw.

    In fact, this is a good thread and should be made a sticky by virtue of summing up heaps of knowledge and thoughts.

    HOLY COW, geargnasher! You hit the 'The Load' just like that!

    Now's the time to write down the rules of how it should be done!
    Rest In Peace My Son (01/06/1986 - 14/01/2014)

    ''Assume everything that moves is a human before identifying as otherwise''

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    Another one bites the dust!

    Best regards,

    CJR

  18. #18
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    I agree, It should be a sticky, we have precious few in the smokeless PP section, like none so far and lots of the basic rules of thumb are right here in this thread.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by CJR View Post
    Another one bites the dust!

    Best regards,

    CJR
    That was easy wasn't it...

    Next....





  20. #20
    Boolit Master

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    Cool

    Now another one is "hooked". Great start, now move it out & see if it stays together, that's where the real test begins. Seems like someone awhile back wanted to know if a 270 could be made to shoot cast, guess this is a good answer.
    Gun control 1ST ROUND ON TARGET.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check