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Thread: Paper Patched Bullets Don't Work

  1. #1

    Paper Patched Bullets Don't Work

    Whether it actually happened, or it's just urban myth - the version of the story I have goes like this: the tall foreheads at NASA got together with the egg heads at the Jet Propulsion Labs and over beers or coffee - and they turned their formidable knowledge of flight dynamics on the common honey bee. They studied the critter, hemmed and hawed, took measurements - and then the slip sticks came out for some recreational out house math. The results were unexpected, and they frowned in consternation The programmable calculators came out. The results of that induced panic - and the whole shebang ended up in an ivory tower somewhere with a Cray supercomputer. The results were devastating. The super computer pronounced that it was physically impossible for the bee to fly. The honey bee had broken math and the laws of physics - because the little critter flew when science said it should not. Minds snapped and careers ended with gibbering, crazed ex-scientists trying to assimilate the impossible. Some snapped, and became irredeemable intellectual wrecks and liberals. Banished from the hallowed halls of academia, others ended up as gibbering, gobbling zealots of fringe cults like The Flat Earth Society.


    I fear we may be headed down the same path, gentlemen. Those of you with fragile minds and egos had better turn away from what follows. Those of you that wish to follow this path to it's conclusion - you have been warned!


    Consider the paper patched bullet. Some of the gun club duffers and stubfarts at my rod n' gun club say that the paper patch serves to contain the exploding pressure behind the bullet - and the pressure in turn drives the bullet forward. I've heard them say the same about the patched round balls favoured by our front-stuffing brethren in the muzzle loading forum. I know this to be false: with ultra slow motion photography, we see clouds of burning gases exit from the muzzle of a flintlock first - followed by the patched paper ball. And of course, as the ball follows its trajectory, the patch falls away. It is my conviction that Dr. Sam Fadala was right - the patch serves only to impart the spin from the rifling.


    Moving forward from the muzzle loader to our BPCR guns … shouldn't the same apply? I've never used paper patched bullets myself but have seen others do it. When the gun fires, what comes out of the muzzle is the gases, the bullet, and confetti. To me, the paper patch has to be fully or partially immolated and incinerated during the firing process. How can mere burning paper in that state even serve to impart the spin of the rifling to the bullet? Is this possible?


    Methinks not.


    Unless somebody can convince me of the error of my logic, I will be forced to address our fellows of the BPCR persuasion with admonishment and reprimand. Pending logical evidence to the contrary I will have to insist that they cease and desist with their erroneous ways and repent - or be forever cast out and exiled from The Brotherhood Of The Boolit.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master

    rfd's Avatar
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    PPB cartridges work extremely well. they win matches against greasers. i only load my bpcr guns with PPB cartridges. there are distinct advantages with a PPB cartridge. i stopped using greasers years ago. how the PPB cartridge is built is of importance. the slick bullet and paper selection matter a bunch, but are not at all difficult to determine.

    building PPB's - a primer


  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by rfd View Post
    PPB cartridges work extremely well. they win matches against greasers. i only load my bpcr guns with PPB cartridges. there are distinct advantages with a PPB cartridge. i stopped using greasers years ago. how the PPB cartridge is built is of importance. the slick bullet and paper selection matter a bunch, but are not at all difficult to determine.

    building PPB's - a primer

    Picture worth a thousand words ,(kinda says it all) /Ed

  4. #4
    Boolit Master


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    The air in the barrel in front of the bullet comes out first no matter how well the combustion gasses are sealed behind it. If there is crud and fouling in the bore, that first gust can be dirty and appear as if the bullet is leaking gas.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nueces View Post
    The air in the barrel in front of the bullet comes out first no matter how well the combustion gasses are sealed behind it. If there is crud and fouling in the bore, that first gust can be dirty and appear as if the bullet is leaking gas.
    My thoughts also but then too why MUST it be one way or the other and not both? That is (pure speculation here folks) that a small, almost insignificant but still detectable, amount of gas does get by the patch while the vast majority of it is still contained behind the bullet. Even if a PPB were loaded without the paper and most of the gas blew right past as it rattled down the bore some gas would still be trapped behind the poorly sealed bullet otherwise it would not even leave the barrel, or am I simply missing the OP's point in all this?
    Statistics show that criminals commit fewer crimes after they have been shot

  6. #6
    Boolit Master

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    On a bore riding bullet the soft heavy bullet expands to seal the bore under pressure the paper rips the rifling and imparts spin to the bullet. The paper is intact in the barrel. The base wads also expand to seal the barrel. Recovered patches come out with the outer wrap in confetti or strips as its press the hardest. the inner wrap is intact and shows the rifling press into it thru the outer wrap with the fold over intact with it. Recovered patches may show a slight discoloration from fouled bore but no burns or scorching is apparent even the fold over is clean and white.
    Examining recovered patches can tell you a lot about you load and barrel. I paper patch for 38-55, 45-70, 40-65 and 45-90. One advantage to the PP bore riding bullet is one its up in the bore and wrapped correctly well centered. Most load these with 1/8"-3/16" of the bullet in the case making more room for powder. On some cartridges this can be a big plus. Accuracy can be very good when everything is right. Another plus can be a slightly better BC do to less drag from engravings on the bullet. Another is as long as the patch stays intact no leading In the bore. I have seen pics here of recovered fired bullet that show the rifling on the sides thru the PP bullet but now depth to it.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    I thought the NASA study was about a bumble bee....

    As for patched RB in a muzzleloader, if you look at the base of a Maxi-ball after it is fired and the backside of a rb, you'll see little burn marks in the MB, and may find weave marks in a rb where it gripped the rifling.
    Tom
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  8. #8
    Boolit Master

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    all interesting comments and dialogue. that's good and that's about all. with a black powder PPB cartridge the bottom line to me is that once a slick and patch mate well, and are harmonious with the bore, all is good 'n' happy and load testing for cartridge variations can begin. PPBs offer no leading issues, bore riders have no concern over OAL, and very little brass is worked 'cause the PPB just gets pushed into fire formed brass. them old timers knew good stuff. i shudda listened up decades ago.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master Nobade's Avatar
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    I wish this thing had a like button.
    "Quemadmoeum gladis nemeinum occidit, occidentis telum est."

  10. #10
    Boolit Master GhostHawk's Avatar
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    ROFLMAO @ educated idiots @ NASA and JPL.

    Any farm boy can tell you even bumblebee's fly.

    If the study shows the bee should not fly it seems to me some part of the science is wrong.

    Danger, Danger Will Robinson!

  11. #11
    Boolit Master kens's Avatar
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    All that about gas leakage and gas blowby has to do with bullet (ball) to bore fit and patch (paper or cloth).
    Soft lead obturates (expands in diameter) with the detonation of the powder.
    Doesnt matter if you use cloth patch with round ball, or paper patch with (soft)bullet, or grease groove bullet, they all (are capable of) obturate and seal the bore.
    Heck, you can even use a naked bullet, no lube, no patch, and it is possible to obturate and seal the bore, and spin the bullet,......you just may not be able to repeat that operation a great many times before leading.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guy La Pourqe View Post
    Whether it actually happened, or it's just urban myth - the version of the story I have goes like this: the tall foreheads at NASA got together with the egg heads at the Jet Propulsion Labs and over beers or coffee - and they turned their formidable knowledge of flight dynamics on the common honey bee. They studied the critter, hemmed and hawed, took measurements - and then the slip sticks came out for some recreational out house math. The results were unexpected, and they frowned in consternation The programmable calculators came out. The results of that induced panic - and the whole shebang ended up in an ivory tower somewhere with a Cray supercomputer. The results were devastating. The super computer pronounced that it was physically impossible for the bee to fly. The honey bee had broken math and the laws of physics - because the little critter flew when science said it should not. Minds snapped and careers ended with gibbering, crazed ex-scientists trying to assimilate the impossible. Some snapped, and became irredeemable intellectual wrecks and liberals. Banished from the hallowed halls of academia, others ended up as gibbering, gobbling zealots of fringe cults like The Flat Earth Society.


    I fear we may be headed down the same path, gentlemen. Those of you with fragile minds and egos had better turn away from what follows. Those of you that wish to follow this path to it's conclusion - you have been warned!


    Consider the paper patched bullet. Some of the gun club duffers and stubfarts at my rod n' gun club say that the paper patch serves to contain the exploding pressure behind the bullet - and the pressure in turn drives the bullet forward. I've heard them say the same about the patched round balls favoured by our front-stuffing brethren in the muzzle loading forum. I know this to be false: with ultra slow motion photography, we see clouds of burning gases exit from the muzzle of a flintlock first - followed by the patched paper ball. And of course, as the ball follows its trajectory, the patch falls away. It is my conviction that Dr. Sam Fadala was right - the patch serves only to impart the spin from the rifling.


    Moving forward from the muzzle loader to our BPCR guns … shouldn't the same apply? I've never used paper patched bullets myself but have seen others do it. When the gun fires, what comes out of the muzzle is the gases, the bullet, and confetti. To me, the paper patch has to be fully or partially immolated and incinerated during the firing process. How can mere burning paper in that state even serve to impart the spin of the rifling to the bullet? Is this possible?


    Methinks not.


    Unless somebody can convince me of the error of my logic, I will be forced to address our fellows of the BPCR persuasion with admonishment and reprimand. Pending logical evidence to the contrary I will have to insist that they cease and desist with their erroneous ways and repent - or be forever cast out and exiled from The Brotherhood Of The Boolit.
    ahh yeah .......but nothing is so black and white as that ---first that joke study used to be about the bumble bee - maybe somebody changed the rules of late?
    second --- the paper patch guys show us pictures all the time of shredded patches that are still white - almost as clean as when they went in the barrel - cant happen if there is gas blow by
    three - I say same with ball guns (despite my respect for Sam Fadala) if you pickup shot roundball patches and they got a neat black soot mark bore size in the middle and the rest of the patch is still clean I say werent no gas leakage there - or very little anyways - have picked up lotsa patches like that - but would be real easy to load a flinter for the camera too - just big powder charge, slack ball and skinny patch = heaps of blow by + shredded patch + plus really cool demo picture - if ya burnin patches up (paper or cloth) ya didnt do it right an yr boolit/ball not gonna go where its sposed ta.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    Ah yes the bumble bee theory as dis-proven by Mcdonald Douglas with the F4 Phantom jet. " Put a big enough engine in it and you can get anything to fly" and as for the paper patch bullets don't work I think there is a couple million dead buffalo's that will disagree to that theory as well.

  14. #14
    I remember seeing something that you could paper patch a boolit to be accurate and leave no grove marks on the boolit leaving a untraceable round in your target. Never tried it but seems to be a reason overlooked


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  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    The PP bullet still has groove marks,but none of the scrapes and cuts that bullets are identified by......but nowdays the cops can lift DNA from fired bullets,and identify powder and primer residue in microgrammes.......and the rifling specs may well identify the gun if its not common....When I was firing 45 cal PP bullets, An onlooker caught a flying patch in one piece,flattened it and read handwriting on the old schoolbook paper I used.....That one was easily identified.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    Here s a little known fact.....just about all nitro explosives/propellants have microdots in them that can be identified from the residue,pinning down manufacturer and batch details.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master Texas by God's Avatar
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    There's lots of things that science can't explain.
    And I'm fine with that.

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  18. #18
    Boolit Master

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    That was a part of the story in the movie shooter also. A bullet fired from his rifle was recovered PP and used to ssasinate a religious figure next to the president.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    The U.S. Air Force has proved that if you put enough horse power behind a brick bat it will fly.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    I'm not a competitive shooter, just a plinker. There are many folks far more knowledgable about paper patching than me. But with a little work, I found them to be very accurate in my Shiloh Sharps .40-2-1/4" rifle. I know there are many others that can shoot better than this. But iron sights and aging eyes limit my abilities.
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