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Thread: Paper patching, what works for me.

  1. #1
    Boolit Master pdawg_shooter's Avatar
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    Paper patching, what works for me.

    WHAT WORKS FOR ME.

    For years now I have seen post here where people are making the same mistakes patching I have made over the last 40+ years of paper patching. So, like the title says, here is what works for me.

    First of you must know the size of bullet you need to start with. That means slugging your barrel. No other way I know of to get the information you need to size the bullet. It need to be .001/.0015 over BORE diameter. If you can cast at that diameter, fine. If not you need to size the bullet to that size. Push through dies work best. One more step I use is to make a chamber cast so I can see the leade angle and measure the throat size. More on this later.

    As for what bullet works. I have had my best luck with standard grooved bullets sized to the correct diameter. I have had, and sold, a number of smooth sided bullet molds over the years. The grooves give the paper someplace to grip and after drying and shrinking holds a bit more lube. If you use a “bore riding” design the nose needs to be the same size as the body. In most cases that will mean lapping out the nose section of the mold. I paper patch for hunting so I match my alloy to the velocity I am using. ACWW works good up to about 2600fps, after that you need to go a bit harder.

    Now for the paper. Over the years I have tried ever type and weight of paper I could find. Now, I use only green bar printer paper. This is the paper that has the holes down both sides to pull it through a printer. It works as well or better than anything I have ever tried. I dip it in straight water and roll it on with a lot of stretch. NO overlap on the last wrap. A small gap (.010 or so) doesn’t seam to bother much, but a lap will distort the bullet enough to muss up accuracy at long range. I do twist the tails and trim after drying. I want the paper to cover and protect the bullet base. A gas check design seems to make it easier to twist the tail without tearing and shoots fine without the check. I let the patch dry overnight and then clip the tail, lube and run through another push through die to get the correct finish diameter. This need to be GROOVE diameter +.001/.003, or as large as will fit the throat. That’s where the chamber cast comes in.

    For lube most anything will do. I now am using White Label BAC. I even tried lard once and that worked fine. Enough said on that.

    For load workup or paper punching or plinking, I do not size the brass, just seat the bullet shallow and let the rifling finish seating the bullet. Get the best accuracy that way. For hunting I neck size and seat to where the round will feed through the action. I have the vest accuracy and velocity using a powder that gives me 100% plus load density. Hope this all helps someone get started with paper patching.
    45 AUTO! Because having to shoot someone twice is just silly!

  2. #2
    Boolit Bub
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    Thanks for the info, I'm about to break into paper patching and this looks like a good primer.

    Can you clarify the not overlapping the wrap part. Do you only butt the wraps ends? I was under the impressions you wanted several wraps to build back up to just over groove diameter. Thanks for the help.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master pdawg_shooter's Avatar
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    Two wraps with the last wrap ending where the first lap starts. Easy to see with wet paper.
    45 AUTO! Because having to shoot someone twice is just silly!

  4. #4
    Boolit Bub
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    That makes sense, thank you sir.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master pdawg_shooter's Avatar
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    Anytime guy. Ill help any way I can.
    45 AUTO! Because having to shoot someone twice is just silly!

  6. #6
    Boolit Buddy
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    thanks pdawg.
    your info always is a big help for a starter like me !

  7. #7
    Boolit Master pdawg_shooter's Avatar
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    My e-mail is pdawg.shooter@gmail.com if I can help anyone out.
    45 AUTO! Because having to shoot someone twice is just silly!

  8. #8
    Boolit Buddy Haggway's Avatar
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    Thans for the info, on the basics.

  9. #9
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    This needs to be made into a sticky.

    When I first started re-experimenting with smokeless powder and paper-patched cast boolits last year, I spend many hours researching information on this site and others, as well as buying and reading Paul Matthew's book The Paper Jacket. I tried lots of things in several calibers, experimenting with paper, fit, boolit design, alloy, powder types, and after all the things that worked and didn't, Pdawg summed it all up in one short paragraph. I tried it and it just plain works.

    >Core sized .001-2" over bore. I roll boolits on a case lube pad and push-through size (Lee style). I also have some custom moulds that require no sizing. Grease-grooves are a must, micro-bands like Lee or Ranch Dog "tumble lube" bands are a very good design for this.

    >Patch to .001-2" over groove, larger if throat permits. The preferable thing is size the patch to the throat freebore diameter, and size your necks to have an ID of .001" smaller than freebore diameter to hold the boolit just well enough.

    >Paper Jackets shoot best for me when firmly engraving the patch into the lands or the taper/ball seat of the rifle's throat upon closing the breech. Seating long and letting the gun do the final seat per Pdawg's method gives me the most consistent and best accuracy.

    >Green Bar printer paper, of the 16 lb variety, is absolutely wonderful stuff. Wet patch, two wraps and a twist, cut the ends of the patch anywhere from 30/45 degrees, what ever you prefer.

    >Any lube works, but you need something for the patch, even straight Johnson's Paste Wax or beeswax. I prefer a really soft mix of beeswax and Vaseline. Don't be afraid to base-first size/lube like a conventional boolit, just heat the sizer up a bunch so the lube flows well.

    >Begin with starting charges of the slowest ball powder for which you can find data for your gun and the equivalent weight of copper-jacketed bullet.

    >Experiment with compacting, inert, granular fillers once you work out the case prep, core size, and patch.

    >Alloy: Pure lead, 50:1, soft range scrap, stick-on wheel weights, roofing lead, shower pan lead, or clay pipe joint lead is good to 2000 fps in most guns, 2200 fps in some others. Air-cooled wheel weights to 25-2700 fps, depending on caliber. Water-quenched and aged 50/50 clippy wheel weights and pure lead will go to 3K. Water-quenched clippy weights will go faster than that. High-antimony, brittle alloys like linotype or even Teracorp Magnum (92-6-2) are too brittle for best results, very hard on paper during engraving. The alloy needs to be malleable. Lead/tin binaries are excellent for smokeless paper patching.

    >This exact technique has worked for me with smokeless powder from .270 Winchester at over 2700 FPS to .45/90 at over 2,000 fps, and a bunch in between.


    Save yourself the headaches and just follow Pdawg's path, all of his advice is rooted firmly in experience and will yield amazing results if you spend the time to get things just right.

    Gear
    Last edited by geargnasher; 11-16-2012 at 09:39 PM. Reason: Add infomation learned since first posting.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    i second what gearnasher said...this should become a stickie. it would save newbys like myself lots of time and could be added to by others that have their years + experience with smokless patching.

    thanks fellers and keep the good stuff comin!
    WHEN ALL IS SAID AND DONE...MORE WILL BE SAID THEN DONE

  11. #11
    Boolit Master




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    Thank you, pdawg. I don't PP yet, but I intend to do so just for kicks. Maybe when I retire. I agree - this would make a very useful sticky. enjoy MIke
    Politicians are a lot like diapers. They should be changed frequently, and for the same reason. Benjamin Franklin

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    Thanks for posting this. I had no idea even how to try to begin paper patching. It sounds very intriguing for the most part. I'm an avid reader and this is my first stop into learning the art of paper patching. I'm the sort who reads everything about the subject before undertaking such a monumental task. BC
    Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me."

  13. #13
    Boolit Buddy
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    This is right on time! I'm wanting to start PP for the 45-70 I haven't picked up yet

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    pdawg_shooter,
    you mention that a push-thru sizer gives best results; is the Lee push-thru die satisfactory?
    "We take a thousand moments for granted thinking there will be a thousand more to come. Each day, each breath, each beat of your heart is a gift. Live with love & joy, tomorrow is not promised to anyone......"

    unknown

  15. #15
    Boolit Master pdawg_shooter's Avatar
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    Sure is, you may need to lap it to the correct diameter. Fellow here name of "Buckshot" will make you one of the correct size you want on order. Hes does great work and the price is right. Saves a lot of time and messing around.
    45 AUTO! Because having to shoot someone twice is just silly!

  16. #16

    Pesky questions...

    Bore diameter must mean groove diameter.
    Now, paper patching may well get me where I wanna go in velocity, but it is a labor of love.
    And quite tedious.
    Now, let me propose... painting the bullets with liquid paper. Anyone tried this?
    There is a point where paper is in emulsion, gosh, that would be quick work if I could just spray, or tumble the paper on.
    Do you have anything on that?
    Thanks for your very informative post!
    Mark

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by snowshooze View Post
    Bore diameter must mean groove diameter. NO. "Bore diameter" means just that.
    Now, paper patching may well get me where I wanna go in velocity, but it is a labor of love.
    And quite tedious. It is whatever it is to you, or what you make of it. The same could be said of swaging or muzzle loading.
    Now, let me propose... painting the bullets with liquid paper. Anyone tried this? =gummy, latex/vinyl mess.
    There is a point where paper is in emulsion, gosh, that would be quick work if I could just spray, or tumble the paper on.
    Do you have anything on that? People have tried to do the Papier Mache thing for years, I don't know of anyone who has a success story. Try to work out a method, there's a first time for everything and many inventions have been brought about by members of this site.
    Thanks for your very informative post!
    Mark
    Gear.

  18. #18
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    Ok, you guys are talking about patching for a rifle. I'm loading some pistol loads and thought I'd try paper patching them. Are you wrapping these the same way? Or, with the case neck flared, placing the dry paper between the bullet and case, allowing it to be cut off in the seating motion? It kind of makes a paper gas check when the case is crimped back. Since I'm a newbie to this, I have no idea if this is beneficial or not. I thought I'd read in one of the threads about using white paper in this manner. It also had a high amount of titanium in it and helped to polish the bore. Am I wasting my time doing it this way for pistol loads?

  19. #19
    Boolit Master pdawg_shooter's Avatar
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    I have in the past patched for .357, 44mag, and 45Colt. Works fine, but why? In a handgun a lubed "naked" bullet works just as well and is a lot less work. Patching for a rifle lets you equal or surpass jacketed performance, in both velocity and accuracy. Plus if you match you alloy to your velocity you have a bullet that will perform as well as those $2.00 each bullets the makers are pushing on us.
    45 AUTO! Because having to shoot someone twice is just silly!

  20. #20
    Boolit Master dougader's Avatar
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    I really want to get started with this. I have been experimenting with a 338-06 and a nice paper patched lead projectile would be awesome to take for elk this fall.

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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