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Thread: Cutting a Patch at Muzzle's End

  1. #41
    Boolit Master


    rfd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OverMax View Post
    Muzzle wear.
    Steel on steel I suppose it could happen. But not a overwhelming concern for me. Being in my mid seventy's I figure I don't have enough time left to encounter such a disappointing sight. lol
    +1

  2. #42
    Boolit Master



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    A big reason why folks experience wear at the muzzle while cutting patches is due to the fact that they use a knife sharpened on both sides. I was given a patch knife from a serious muzzle loading rifle competitor back in the 1940s and early 1950s. He had inherited it from his grandfather who has learned muzzle loading technique from his grandfather. The knife has a very thin, flexible blade, sharpened on only one side. Instead of holding it an an angle (as one must with a blade sharpened on both sides) you hold it flat against the muzzle. It is not possible to scrape the muzzles surface with this patch knife. Obviously, there would be a left-handed and right handed knife with blades sharpened on opposite sides. My one-sided patch knife has served me for 50+ years and never scratched the surface of any rifle's muzzle when used correctly. It also has a concave blade so you can carry it in your shooting pouch and not cut your finger searching for it.

  3. #43
    Boolit Master RogerDat's Avatar
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    Reminds me of the broad axes used for shaping timbers, they too came in left and right sided versions with the opposite sides flat. Wonder how many of those nice patch knives were screwed up by someone figuring the flat side was a defect? I have one of a pair of broad axes that had a little of that done to it. Fortunately it takes a lot of work to bevel an axe and the guy didn't get far.
    Je suis Charlie
    Scrap.... because all the really pithy and emphatic four letter words were taken and we had to describe this way of getting casting material somehow.
    Feedback page http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...light=RogerDat I do trade a bit from time to time.

  4. #44
    Boolit Master


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    i prefer a standard twin beveled blade for the patch knife blades i use to build patch knives rather than a single bevel. these are small carbon steel knives with 2-1/2" blades on the average, typically from helle kinves. laying the haft of the blade flat atop the muzzle means the razor sharp blade is raised very slightly above the muzzle and will never cut steel, only cloth. the patch knife has its own sheath on the shooting bag strap, ready for patch strip use.


  5. #45
    Boolit Master Maven's Avatar
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    Any chance of posting a photo of that knife, curator?

    All, You can make a decent patch cutter from a clam knife (to open their shells) if you sharpen the blade and cover one side with masking tape so it won't mar the muzzle.

  6. #46
    Boolit Master pietro's Avatar
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    .

    I made my one-sided (flat) patch knife from an anvil pruning shear blade.





    .
    Experience is a wonderful thing - It lets you recognize a mistake, when you make it again.

  7. #47
    Boolit Man
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    Quote Originally Posted by rfd View Post
    +1
    + another 1

  8. #48
    Boolit Master
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    I have deep fried patch material in Crisco, as well as used moose milk when at the range. I have a little custom knife made by a friend of mine for a patch knife. For hunting I do not use a spit patch, as there is a possibility of it drying out and not doing what it is supposed to do. For target and range shooting it's fine.
    Tom
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  9. #49
    Boolit Master
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    Spit patch on the range and Bore Butter or Sperm oil for hunting . Cut the patch on the muzzle with either a razor or a 100 year old German steak knife I got from my grandfather . I'll have my ball centered in the patch since I do think it makes a difference and will not be swayed .
    Grumpy Old Man With A Gun....... Do Not Touch !!

  10. #50
    Boolit Master
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    Has anyone seen Butler Creeks poly patch? It's been years, the first ones I bought were like a double ended egg cup, I put the ball in one end and some "spit ball" lube in the other. Worked excellently, very accurate and loaded easily. The next several bags I bought had the cup on one side, the other end was flat. It still loaded well, really didn't require lube as the patch itself was slick, and still accurate. My hunting measure was an old .444 case.
    When using strips to patch with I tried to get old blue jeans pocket material.of I had to cut individual patches I made sure that they covered the whole muzzle, there by insuring that the ball would be fully encased after using the short starter.
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  11. #51
    Boolit Master

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    I thought that I read that the Butler Creek poly patches were discontinued due to having some of the balls coming off of the patch in the barrel. I still have some 50 cal. green ones that I got in a trade. Never tried them.

  12. #52
    Boolit Master

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    I didn't like them.

    I'll stick to muslin, ticking or thin cotton.

  13. #53
    Boolit Master
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    I put a dab of lube under the ball. Never had a problem, but I heard of the warnings.
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  14. #54
    Boolit Master

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    That is a good idea about the lube! That should fix it.

  15. #55
    Boolit Master
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    The ones with the flat end were sold as "Maxi Patches" for use with maxi balls, but I guess with enough sticky lube they might hold a round ball in unless you carry the rifle point down. I suppose it wouldn't hurt to tamp the buttstock on the toe of your boot just to make sure. My brother and I both used to shoot each type in our TC .54s until they were unavailable. GF

  16. #56
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    The maxi patches were different. I never bought those as I liked my maxiballs as issued with lube.
    Tom
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  17. #57
    Boolit Master taco650's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rfd View Post
    i prefer either patch strips ... or ball boards.



    i heat gun in gato feo to all patch strips, no fouling control needed between shots. smells good, feels good, good fer yer skin, too.

    Not familiar with this product. Can you elaborate on where to get it, what it is, etc? Thanks.

  18. #58
    Boolit Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by taco650 View Post
    Not familiar with this product. Can you elaborate on where to get it, what it is, etc? Thanks.
    gato feo (aka "ugly cat") is a home made lube for all manner of bullets and patching. i use it as a lube for cloth patch strips for muzzleloaders and as a dip or pan lube for grease groove bpcr/bptr bullets for cartridge guns. it is a superb lube that rivals the best, if not even better. there are three ingredients, all are easy to acquire. gato feo is an old 19th century formula for bullet lube, as researched and compiled by "mr. gato feo". the complete story is long winded and at the bottom of this post, if need be read.

    GATO FEO #1 LUBE
    ***************

    by weight, double boiler melted ...

    1 part mutton tallow (purchased in a 1lb tub online at dixie gun works www.dixiegunworks.com )
    1 part pure paraffin canning wax (i use gulf wax brand, purchased online - do a google search for "gulf wax", there are many vendors)
    1/2 part filtered beeswax (local or purchased online - lots of vendors)

    since the mutton tallow comes in a 1lb container, i add a pound (1 carton) of gulf wax and weigh out a 1/2lb of beeswax, to make 2-1/2lbs of gato feo lube. plenty of lube for a whole year or more of shooting both muzzleloaders and cartridge guns. but if a smaller amount of the lube is needed, just weigh out smaller quantities of each ingredient.

    double boiler melted - half fill a large pot with plain water, put on a stove, put a smaller pot or large coffee can filled with the gato feo ingredients, turn on the heat. stir often. when fully melted and mixed, pour the gato feo into a large milk/juice carton. allow to cool and harden. peel off the carton and cut the block of wax into chunks - it will be just the right consistency for rubbing into muzzleloader patch strips, and then heat gunning into the weave (as shown in the above video).


    ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~* ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

    Everything You'd Ever Wanna Know About Gato Feo #1 Lube - by Mr. Gato Feo

    About 1998 I began posting a 19th century bullet lubricant recipe that, when assembled with very specific ingredients, works exceedingly well with black powder. It must be made, as no one offers it commercially.

    Within a year of my posting it with ingredients I specified, someone else named the recipe after me: “Gatofeo No. 1 Lubricant.”

    “Gatofeo” means “ugly cat” in Spanish – and I’ve been grinning like a drunken Cheshire at the honor.

    The recipe I posted – when made with the specific ingredients I list below -- equals or exceedss SPG, Lyman Black Powder Gold or other commercially made black powder lubricants and is cheaper to make than buying the commercial stuff.

    Many have attested to its excellence on other message boards, particularly when soaked into 100% wool felt wads for use in cap and ball revolvers. It’s also a good bullet, patch and shotgun wad lubricant with black powder.

    The recipe is:

    1 part mutton tallow. I buy mine from Dixie Gun Works, which offers it again after months of unavailability. This is the toughest ingredient to find, but worth the search. There’s something almost magical about mutton tallow. It doesn’t go rancid and it really keeps black powder fouling to a minimum.

    1 part canning paraffin -- the same paraffin used to seal preserves in jars, sold at the grocery store in 1 lb. packages containing four slabs. Gulf is a common brand. Hardware stores with canning sections have it too.

    1/2 part real beeswax -- Beware of today's toilet seals, which are not real beeswax but petroleum-based. Get real beeswax, not the synthetic stuff. Though hobby shops may carry small cakes of beeswax, it’s expensive. Your best bet to find it will be at “Mountain Man” Rendezvous, Renaissance Fairs and from local beekeepers. Check the net for reasonably priced beeswax. I’ve also seen it offered occasionally, at a good price, on Ebay. Can’t find a local beekeeper? Call your county extension office in the government pages; they’ll have a handle on who rides herd on bees in your area. Toilet seals haven’t been made from real beeswax for at least 10 years, near as I can tell, and perhaps much longer. Check the label, if it doesn’t say “beeswax” it’s almost certainly synthetic and should be avoided.

    All parts are by weight, not volume!

    I measure out 200/200/100 grams on a kitchen scale, toss the ingredients into a wide mouth Mason jar, and set the jar in 3 or four inches of boiling water for a double-boiler effect to melt it. When thoroughly melted, mix well with a clean stick or disposable chopstick, then allow to cool at room temperature. (rfd note: when melted and mixed, i pour the hot lube liquid into a cleaned out milk or juice carton - when solidified, peel back the carton and extract the large block of gato feo, cut into usable cakes with a knife).

    Do not try to hasten cooling by placing the jar in the refrigerator, or the ingredients may separate.

    The result is a medium hard lubricant that keeps black powder fouling soft and eliminates or reduces leading. No refrigeration is needed to store this lubricant; just tighten the lid on the jar and place it in a cool, dry place.

    I have lubricant I made in 2002 that is still like-new, stored in a tightly sealed jar. Mutton tallow does not go rancid like other natural fats, or at least not as quickly. The mutton tallow I have on hand was purchased in 1998; it’s still good.

    The above recipe is not quite invented by me. I found the ratios in a very old factory recipe that listed only “tallow, paraffin and beeswax.”

    The Gatofeo No. 1 lubricant calls for very specific ingredients: mutton tallow, canning paraffin and real beeswax. Any deviation from these three specific ingredients results in an inferior lubricant.

    Let me restate: Do NOT substitute lard, Crisco, old candles, deer tallow, bacon grease, bear fat, vaseline, synthetic beeswax or anything else – it won’t be as good as these three in combination. I know, because I’ve made small batches of variants and others have tried other ingredients, reporting back that the lubricant worked okay, but not as well.

    To lubricate pistol and rifle wads or patches, melt a little lubricant in a tuna or cat food can at a very low temperature on the stove. Add the wads. Two tablespoons of lubricant will easily lubricate 100 .44-caliber wads. Stir the wads until they soak up plenty of lubricant.

    Turn off the stove and remove the can. Allow the lubricated wads to cool to room temperature. Snap a plastic pet food top (sold in the pet food aisle) over the can.

    Write .44 Greased Wads (or whatever) on the side of the can with a wide marker. Store the can in a cool, dry place. You can easily bring the can to the range in your bag. When you get low on greased wads, simply place the can on the stove at very low heat, add more wads and lubricant, and recharge your stock.

    The cans stack on top of each other on the shelf. The plastic lid keeps out dust and critters, and holds in the lubricant’s moisture. It’s a quick, easy, transportable system to make and use the greased felt wads. The same system can be used for unlubricated wads, small parts, balls, conical bullets or whatever you need to organize.

    Plastic, pet food lids are inexpensive. Check a Dollar Store or its equivalent for a good price.

    Smaller quantities of greased wads are easily carried in Altoid sour candy tins or shoe polish tins. Both types have indents or keys to open the lid easily with greasy fingers, and that’s important. Trying to pry open a greasy lid with greasy fingers, without some lever or side-indent, is maddening.

    Hinged tins are not as good, because moisture escapes around the cutout for the hinges. The Altoids sour candy or shoe polish tins seal tightly.

    Zip-Loc bags are also good for holding small amounts of wads (greased or dry) for the range but I most like the cans. They seal tighter and resist damage to their contents.

    Gatofeo No. 1 Lubricant is good for a variety of black powder applications. I also use it for heeled bullets in my Marlin Model 1892 in .32 Long Colt caliber, over small charges of smokeless powder, and in my .44-40 rifle bullets over black powder or smokeless powder.

    Give Gatofeo No. 1 Lubricant a try. I haven’t found anything better for lubricating the felt wads and Lee conical bullets in my cap and ball revolvers.

    (rfd note for muzzleloaders: rub a cake of gato feo into yer patch material on both sides, then heat gun the lube into the weave on both sides, roll up the strips or cut into squares, a Superior lead ball patch lube that's also excellent for swabbing the bore when afield if need be, too.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    I guess I didn't mention an aspect of canning paraffin in this post. Truth is, I've been writing about the wonders of what is now called Gatofeo No. 1 Lubricant for about eight or nine years, and I've written various versions of the same post. I guess I left out the explanation concerning canning paraffin.

    Yes, canning paraffin is a petroleum product, but it's also pure paraffin. There are no scents, unrelated oils, glitter, etc. such as are found in decorative or scented candles. It's pure, and that' why I specify it.

    When I first began using canning paraffin, I too wondered why it didn't create the tarry fouling when used with black powder, as other petroleum products do. Fact is, I posed this question in various message boards years ago.

    A chemist provided what seems a plausible answer: Canning paraffin lacks the hydrocarbons found in other petroleum products. Apaprently, these hydrocarbons are the offender.

    I'm no chemist, and I don't have access to a lab that could test for the presence of hydrocarbons, so I remain uncertain if what he said is true, opinion or S.W.A.G.

    All I know is that canning paraffin -- the same translucent stuff that is melted and poured into the open mouths of preserve jars, does not create the hard, tarry fouling I typically find with other petroleum products (automotive grease, transmission fluid, rifle grease, lithium grease, etc.).

    The natural greases (animal and vegetable in origin) also dissolve more easily in soapy water during cleaning. Petroleum grease resists dissolving and tends to float around in the water as tiny clumps, often sticking to the steel surfaces of guns and requiring additional cleaning.

    Canning paraffin works. I can't explain it. The original 19th century factory recipe called for "paraffin" and that was the only description. There are different types of paraffin, but I chose canning paraffin for its purity and availability. Luckily, it worked just fine and I didn't have to search for a more esoteric paraffin.

    Perhaps it lacks the hydrocarbons that are claimed to be the culprit. Perhaps not. But I do know that canning paraffin is the best paraffin I've found and it doesn't create a hard, tarry fouling when used with black powder.

    I've made other variations of Gatofeo No. 1 Lubricant with substited ingredients, including old candles, and the resulting lubricant is not as good.

    It's kinda like the ghost I witnessed years ago: I saw it. I have no doubts. But I can't explain it.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    The old recipe I found only listed:
    Tallow
    Paraffin
    Beeswax

    No specifics beyond these were given.

    The recipe was originally used by factories for bullets that were outside lubricated, as found on heeled bullets. The only heeled bullets loaded by factories today are the .22 Short, Long and Long Rifle, and the .32 Short Colt (occasionally loaded by Winchester).

    I used the above recipe and assembled it with mutton tallow, canning paraffin and beeswax because it's what I had on hand when I found the old recipe.

    I have a Marlin Model 1892 rifle that uses heeled bullets, which I cast myself. After using the lubricant with .32 Long Colt reloads, I decided to try it with felt wads for my cap and ball revolvers, and patches for my CVA Mountain Rifle in .50 caliber.
    Doing so, I was impressed with the old recipe assembled with mutton tallow, canning paraffin and beeswax. I've also used it with black powder loads and lead bullets in my .44-40 and .45-70 rifles, as well as .45 Long Colt revolver.
    I used very specific ingredients, but didn't change the ratio of 10/10/5 parts.


    I first posted the recipe -- with mutton tallow, canning paraffin and beeswax -- about 1999 or 2000 on many message boards. Shortly after posting it, someone dubbed it "Gatofeo No. 1 Lubricant" and the name stuck.

    Did the old factory recipe specify liquid or solid paraffin? I don't know. I suspect it was solid, because the lubricant must be sticky and solid, to stick to the bare, smooth lead of an outside-lubricated bullet not protected by the case. Only a very small portion of the bullet is inside the case -- the heel -- the rest of it is exposed to grit and lubricant wear-off while carried in pockets and game bags.

    Modern .22 rimfire lubricant that covers the bullet is much harder and tenacious than the old factory recipe I found.
    I suspect it's entirely wax of some type, with no grease or beeswax.

    From what I've observed -- tiny teats on the point of the lead .22 bullet -- it's applied by dipping the completed cartridge upside down in melted wax up to where the bullet meets the brass case. Dipping in melted lubricant was the old method and is evidently still used today.

    I know of liquid paraffin used for lamp fuel, but don't believe I've ever seen it. Perhaps I simply haven't recognized it.

    Interestingly, one muzzleloading outfitter's site claims:
    WARNING: Paraffin and other petroleum products can cause "Cook offs". It is neither fun nor healthy to have your musket unexpectedly fire while you are loading.

    This is the first warning of this type I've seen, and I've been using black powder for nearly 40 years. I don't understand how a "cook-off" can be generated by paraffin. Does he mean it creates longer-lasting embers?
    The age-old definition of "cook-off" means that the gun metal becomes so hot that the powder is ignited by this heat. This is a common problem in machine guns, and perhaps semi-autos fired quickly with a great deal of ammo, but in a black powder rifle?

    The owner of the site clearly has a great deal of experience in black powder shooting, but i have to doubt this assertion. I've yet to hear of anyone experiencing unexpected ignition by using petroleum products. I and others have learned that most petroleum products, when used with black powder, create a hard, tarry fouling. Of this there is little doubt.

    Canning paraffin lacks this characteristic. A chemist wrote me long ago that canning paraffin lacks the hydrocarbons that petroleum greases and oils contain. I don't know about this; I'm not a chemist, petroleum engineer or geologist. However, I DO know that I don't experience the hard, tarry fouling when using canning paraffin.

    Whatever it lacks or possesses, it's clearly different from other petroleum products.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    The source of Gatofeo No. 1 Bullet Lubricant recipe comes from a 1943 American Rifleman magazine article on bullet lubrication. The recipe was listed as a factory lubricant for outside-lubricated bullets. That recipe was:

    10 pounds Tallow
    10 pounds Paraffin
    5 pounds Beeswax

    I'd had very good experience with mutton tallow, so I used that. I wanted the purest paraffin I could find. Candles often have scents and "dripless" ingredients added, so I used canning paraffin. I ensured that I used real beeswax, not the phony petroleum product used for toilet seals the past 15 or more years.

    In short, I took pains to use the finest ingredients I could find, based on their purity or my experience with them.
    The result was a lubricant that delighted me with its usefulness for bullets, patches and wads (revolver and shotgun) in black powder and smokeless firearms, economy and effectiveness.

    The 1943 article notes that the recipes are very old factory concoctions. Considering that outside lubricated bullets have been produced by factories since the 1850s, this recipe could very well go back that far.
    Hence, my statement that the Gatofeo No. 1 Bullet Lubricant recipe dates to the 19th century.

    Paraffin vs. petroleum product ....

    I've tried numerous petroleum products with black powder since my first cap and ball revolver in 1970. None of them I've found very good. Far better has been natural oils and greases based on animals or plants.

    Yet, canning paraffin is an exception. At least when blended with mutton tallow and beeswax, as found in the GF No. 1 recipe.
    A chemist years ago told me (online) that canning paraffin lacks the hydrocarbons that other petroleum products contain.
    I don't know about that, but I do know that canning paraffin does not promote the hard, tar-like fouling that other petroleum products do, when used with black powder.

    I use Gatofeo No. 1 Bullet Lubricant (named by someone else years ago, not me) for a variety of black powder applications.
    It's very similar to commercially sold SPG Lubricant, but much cheaper because it's only available as a homemade product. I can tell no difference in performance between the two.

    Gatofeo No. 1 Bullet Lubricant is also good for lubricating bullets at 1,200 feet per second, or less. I use it in .38 Special and mid-power .357 Magnum loads with the same 158 gr. bullet.

    Brewng a batch of Gatofeo No. 1 Bullet Lubricant is a bit of a pain, because it requires finding very specific ingredients, but a little goes a long way and it's ultimately worth it.

  19. #59
    Boolit Master
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    i have shot for years cutting the patch at the muzzle. the knife is a old hickory parring knife.

    now forthe simple you don't drag the knife blade across the muzzle. you cut it just above the muzzle.

  20. #60
    Boolit Master

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    nice video, thanks for sharing.

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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