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Thread: Paul Matthews "PaperPatching" Book

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    Paul Matthews "PaperPatching" Book

    I'm about to embark on a project to work up hunting and target loads for my nephew's Shiloh Sharps chambered in 45-70. Years ago I had a C. Sharps and used some of Mr. Matthews books to assist me, but never even thought of paperpatching back then. I do use paperpatching for my muzzleloaders with great success so now want to look at it for cartridge as well... I know that there is a difference and I have been reading on this forum and the internet about using this technique in black powder cartridge loading. My question is one of those "opinion" questions. Is the information available on this forum about paperpatching presented in enough detail to cover my needs better than Paul Matthews book on the subject? Do I need both... there probably no real right or wrong answer on this... I was just curious to ask those of you who paper patch successfully and have used both resources... thank you for reading and thank you in advance for sharing your thoughts.

    Kindest regards,

    TheMoose
    Perhaps my learning skills have diminished in my senior years.. 50 years ago I could read something once and then "have it"... Now I read it about three times, do it a couple of times and then... "have it" only about half the time.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    The book is good and I enjoyed reading it.

  3. #3
    Boolit Man Distant Thunder's Avatar
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    Themoose,

    I bought Matthew's book many, many years ago before I was doing any thing that resembled "successful" paper patching. Having always been fascinated by the idea of paper patching I found the book interesting and informative, that's the good part. The bad part is that a lot of his writings deal with smokeless paper patching and my interests have mostly been centered around black powder. The two are not the same. I found it difficult to sort out the useful information on ppb and bp from the smokeless info. I just wasn't able to link enough together to really help me at a time when I knew very little on the subject.

    On the other hand there is a wealth of good and useable information available for the asking here and on other forums when it comes to ppb and bp. You still have to sift thru it to find the best and most consistent methods for you and your applications, but it is in there.

    Paper patched loads for target and hunting are two different animals and there is more than one way to succeed with each. I know very little specifics about how to load paper patch bullets for hunting, but I am just starting to want to do that. I'll begin the process of researching that subject this winter and I will be looking to those who are doing it successfully and are will to share their "secrets" on the various forums.

    Target loads I've got working pretty well, but I am always open to the ideas of others who offer them. I don't experiment as much as I used to, but there often is a better way to do something I'm already doing and I'll give that a try, like when it comes to cutting patches. This year I used a friends suggestion on bore pigs to move forward on my fouling control in matches. That was one of the last areas that I needed to get a handle on and it has really helped me. Now I see others are doing pretty much the same thing with their pigs. News travels fast on the internet. There's a lot of ways to do this stuff, some of it just works better.

    Good luck!

    DT

  4. #4
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    Bent Ramrod's Avatar
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    I’ve read pretty nearly every book and Internet article on paper patching, and I still had to make every mistake and follow every red herring for several years before things started coming together.

    You may notice that all books on paper patching have a qualification in them somewhere that the instructions given will allow the reader to assemble paper patch cartridges capable of “hunting accuracy.”

    Most of my extensive reading indicates that “hunting accuracy” means 4” groups at 100 yards. If that is where you want to be, Matthew's’ book will do for you. I was always interested in target accuracy, so I found the more nuanced writings on the Internet, which occasionally even included pictures of targets made with the loads they mentioned, to be of much more help.

    Matthews’ writings on the subject bounce from black powder to smokeless powder and from bore to groove diameter paper patched loadings in a way that left me pretty confused, as I recall. As far as I was able to determine, though, he never fired a single patched boolit in the course of a long campaign of BPCR Silhouette matches, using them instead for hunting, mostly (IIRC) in Pennsylvania, at the typical woods ranges.

    The most exhaustively detailed description of paper patched loading for black powder rifles is Randolph Wright’s book, but, again, he only guarantees “hunting accuracy.” Detail on target accuracy is found only on the Internet sites, admittedly with the “YMMV” caveat, but many of the individuals writing have actually done it. Look here (back to the beginning), on the Shiloh forum and the Historic Shooting forum to find these writings, and look for names like Brent D, Kenny Wasserberger, Rdnk, Rick Mulhern and Don McDowell, who actually show scores and pictures of targets, as opposed to saying “I did this and accuracy was good.”

    But find a copy of Elmer Keith’s Rifles for Large Game, and read pages 372-374. (I think Mulhern quoted them somewhere on one of the Forums mentioned.). After you get everything working, it really is that simple.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    Thanks to all for your kind input. I find your comments and experiences very helpful.

    TheMoose
    Perhaps my learning skills have diminished in my senior years.. 50 years ago I could read something once and then "have it"... Now I read it about three times, do it a couple of times and then... "have it" only about half the time.

  6. #6
    Boolit Man Distant Thunder's Avatar
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    Mr. Ramrod said it pretty well. I got almost nowhere with regards to "target" accuracy with Matthew's book and years of wrapping bullets. With the help of Brent I very quickly went from "hunting" accuracy to match winning accuracy. As I always say, I am amazed how easy it is to assemble my match loads, no fancy gadgets, no magical incantations, and promising my soul to the devil. It's just primer, powder, wad, and bullet. I DO believe of the things that go into it the bullet FIT to the chamber/bore is the single most important.


    DT

  7. #7
    Boolit Master Nobade's Avatar
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    Yes, the Wright book is a lot more useful for learning BP paper patching than the Matthews book is. But this forum is even better since you have a pretty large group doing it. Me, I was gratified to see several shooters at the bpcr Nationals shooting pp. It's come a long way recently!
    "Quemadmoeum gladis nemeinum occidit, occidentis telum est."

  8. #8
    Boolit Master

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    Loomis's book on paper patching is pretty basic and vauge. Mathews books are better but deal a lot more with smokless than the BP rounds. Its also some what vauge. Loading and Shooting the Paper Patched Bullet A beginners Guide And Shooting the traditional Shutezen rifle are much better as far as explanation and how to.

  9. #9
    Boolit Man Distant Thunder's Avatar
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    This may be of interest and is one of many old articles I saved to read and reread to feed my hunger for accuracy with paper patched bullets.

    From the March 1981 GUNS & AMMO an article by Elmer Keith:

    "In the old Creedmoor, and other long-range rifle match days, paper-patched bullets were universally used, both here, in England and other countries. Paper-patch bullets were the forerunners of modern metal patch and were, and still are, the most accurate of all cast-lead alloy bullets. The smooth, paper-patch slug is much easier to cast than any grooved bullet with its multitude of grooves and corners. Properly patched and loaded, it will also outgroup about any and all grease grooved lead alloy bullets. I tried every conceivable combination and finally decided the paper-patch original loads were by far the most accurate, generally shooting into an inch or less at 100 yards from good Sharps rifles, benchrested."

    "The temper was one part tin and 16 parts lead. They were and are an upsettage loads. The rifles were throated to exactly contour the paper-patch bullet and the long cases shoved them into the throat, where the explosion upset them to perfectly fill the grooves. Good Sharps rifle were chambered close and fired cases expanded very little, if at all, especially in the later-produced calibers."

    DT

  10. #10
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    All the books are helpful and unhelpful to some extent, as is the well intentioned advice of folks with a great deal of genuine expertise here and elsewhere on the interweb. But, at the end of the day, you will have to find what works in that rifle, for your conditions, and for your nephew. Mathews is a good place to start. Like everyone else, he has very strong opinions on certain things that other very successful paper patchers strongly disagree with. But, starting with Mathews, making some mistakes and observations, and discussing with folks on the web who have the trophies to prove that they are successful paper patchers will get you an awfully far way along.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    Pick up Wright's book on paper patching which is a great reference for starting out if you are using black powder. Also get on the Shiloh Sharps forums. The Blackpowder Shooting and Shooter to Shooter part of said forum has a lot of info which will shorten your learning curve. Why settle for 4 inch "hunting" accuracy when you can learn to make "match" grade hunting ammo which helps you more and shows better respect for the animal you are hunting.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master Don McDowell's Avatar
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    All of the books have something of interest, but at some point you need to put the books down, and go to wrapping and loading bullets. If you have the basics of reloading accurate ammunition, then paper patch simply becomes a matter of finding what your rifle likes, and what it doesn't. Lots of rounds down range in varying conditions, and a deep study in fouling control.
    GUSA #6
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  13. #13
    Boolit Master Don McDowell's Avatar
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    And going to paper patch does not necessarily rule out membership in the mould of the month club., but you can always sell your acquired greaser moulds to acquire new slicks.
    GUSA #6
    People will forget what you said...
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  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    Don although I only have a half dozen or so PP molds I keep a lot of grease grooved ones around too. I want to make sure that if Dave G. needs a new truck he's never going to be short of funds

    Chris.

  15. #15
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    Crash_Corrigan's Avatar
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    I pretty much read all of the Paul Matthews' books on the subject and I delved into the craft some. I have a pair of M 1's. The first one was made in 1954 and the barrel is about perfect. The stock is kinda worn some but not bad. I dug up a globe front sight and got myself a guillotine paper cutter and board and started to cut some computer paper.

    I then wrapped some sized down 311284 boolits that I had cast with straight WW's and with a 13 gr loading of Red Dot I tried them out. The loading was a mite hot and the cases were thrown some distance away from me. I then worked with Unique and started out at 8 gr. That barely got the round out of the barrel and did not work the action at all. The fact that this cast boolit designed for a gas check was accurate without one but paperpatched appealed to the frugal part of my psyche. This rifle with a globe front sight and if I develop a decent 110 grain loading with a spire pointed boolit that is accurate out to 250 yds this rifle is going out into the hills West of LV and I am gonna call in some coyotes.

    I could probably do very well in taking these predators in my neighborhood as I see them all the time when out walking my dog but the neighbors would probably not appreciate having me tote around a Garand and taking out Mr. Wiley E. Coyote amongst their parked Mercedes', BWM's, Audi's, Lexus's, Bentley's or other pricey luxury cars. Alas I might have a boolit go thru and thru the desert dogs and then wreck havoc among the cars and expensive homes in the area.

    The ground is not likely to welcome the errant boolits as it is mostly asphalt, concrete or rocks as ground cover. Very little grass hereabouts. The homes are of frame construction and the exterior walls consist of gypsum wallboard inside, some insulation, fiberboard, black tarpaper, chicken wire and then an application of stucco. Nothing approaching brick used around here. These homes by Del Webb are expensive and really flimsy.

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ID:	226066 I have built better constructed goat shelters and chicken coops in Vermont by hand than these homes. I built my structures using 2"x6" vertical frames allowing a larger interior wall space for insulation. The interiors were plywood 5/8" thick then insulation then another plywood layer of 5/8" and then a layer of rolled black poly and then furring strips upon which I attached a layer of roofing shingles. I made these to resist the intrusion of racoons, bobcats, skunks, weasels and other varmints as I liked my Rhode Island Red chickens and my four goats. The homes in this neighborhood would not offer much protection from one of my errant boolits at all.

    I had to resort to firing off a warning shot into the air a few months ago as 3 of our local rabbit eating predators were fixing to make my dog, Sgt. Rambo their next snack in spite of my yelling and waving my arms at them. Rambo did his job and warned me that they were approaching, that they were there and then he skirted behind me and waited for me to do my thing. One round of .44 Special out of my snub nosed revolter fired into the air @ a 45% angle reminded the cannines that there were other safer things to do in a different area.

    I am still playing around with the Garands but now I am going in the direction of a smooth sided 150 gr spire pointed boolit but PC coated without paperpatching. The PC process is rampant in my loadings for pistols and revolvers. I have got it down pretty well and it is more efficient than paper patching. My final loading will probably be with 4895 a PC'd 150 gr smooth sided boolit and with the adjustable gas valve on the 1943 Garand I expect decent results. Time will tell as I have just finished applying a linseed oil finish to a new stock for the '43 and I have now the task of taking apart the old weapon and putting the new stock into service. The old stock had a soft rubber recoil pad and a buncha of brass nails on the top of the heat shield part of the stock. It looks nasty and merited replacement. The Garand itself is in excellent condition although a typical mixmaster of Winchester and Springfield parts but a beautiful action, receiver and barrel. My stock finishing efforts took months of painstaking work and I only hope I can fit the '43 guts to this new stock in a decent manner.
    Pax Nobiscum Dan (Crash) Corrigan

    Currently casting, reloading and shooting: 223 Rem, 6.5x55 Sweede, 30 Carbine, 30-06 Springfield, 30-30 WCF, 303 Brit., 7.62x39, 7.92x57 Mauser, .32 Long, 32 H&R Mag, 327 Fed Mag, 380 ACP. 9x19, 38 Spcl, 357 Mag, 38-55 Win, 41 Mag, 44 Spcl., 44 Mag, 45 Colt, 45 ACP, 454 Casull, 457 RB for ROA and 50-90 Sharps. Shooting .22 LR & 12 Gauge seldom and buying ammo for same.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master dave roelle's Avatar
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    Jump over one thread here and you wil find a wealth of current information. The Silhouette thread

  17. #17
    Boolit Master Don McDowell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gunlaker View Post
    Don although I only have a half dozen or so PP molds I keep a lot of grease grooved ones around too. I want to make sure that if Dave G. needs a new truck he's never going to be short of funds

    Chris.
    Yessir I'm wondering if I can declare him and Steve Brooks as dependance on my taxes.
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    People will forget what you said...
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    But People will NEVER forget how you made them feel

    Want to join in adult conversation about shooting the old ways without the hysterics associated with other places?http://historicshooting.com/mybb/index.php

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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