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Thread: Any issues for PP'ing a slower boolit?

  1. #1
    Boolit Master BCRider's Avatar
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    Any issues for PP'ing a slower boolit?

    Back story........ I'm trying to find the right boolit for a Uberti 1885 rifle. I've slugged the bore and it looks like the groove diameter is roughly .378 to .379 depending on where I measure.

    I just shot a series of lubed cast with a variety of powders and the boolits measure .379 or .3795 depending on where on the boolit I measure. But these ain't doing the job. At 50 yards the BEST I can get is a roughly 3" circle even from bench resting. I was expecting/hoping for more like 1" since I'm getting a really nice sight picture.

    So I'm looking at some boolits I cast earlier for my rolling block which drop at .377 and thinking about PP'ing and then running through a custom push thru sizer to .380 (I've got the shop and tools for this).

    Question....... Now the thing with .38-55 is that it's not a fast round. I'm going to guess that it'll be happiest even with PP rounds at around 1300 to maybe 1500 FPS. Is that going to be an issue for PP'ing?

    I'm going to give it a try regardless and will report back with the findings. But I thought some of you might have some hints to avoid any slower speed pitfalls.

    I've also been reading the sticky threads on papers and procedures on what to use and how to use it. Mostly I'm just wondering if there's any tricks I'll need to deal with the lower muzzle speed.
    Witty saying to be plagarized shortly.....

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    Should be no worries.
    I prefer soft paper like writing paper and not rag paper so it fragments easier.
    Wrap the paper so it wants to peels off on exit.
    I wrap so no lead touches the bore and with a flat rolled base with a small dot of lead exposed on the base.
    I lube with 50/50 bw/vas.
    Seat out long as possible with nose engraving.
    I would do a chamber cast and try and match that fit as possible.
    Some rifle loads will shoot well groove size others when filling the throat.
    A very well soaked soft lube soaked patch can work well with low velocity if the lube is not too sticky.
    I prefer a patch that can be hand twisted in a well formed non molested case that is wrapped wet and drys the right diameter with a rub of lube over it.
    Ahhh heaven!
    Last edited by barrabruce; 06-08-2019 at 08:22 PM.

  3. #3
    Boolit Grand Master 303Guy's Avatar
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    I would think that a softer alloy should work. Perhaps try printer paper and wrapping to a diameter that will allow firm finger twisting to seat the patched boolit in an unsized case. As barra suggests, seat out as far as possible. Try it with low loads of shotgun powder and work up with slower powders and see what happens. Do you need the higher velocities? Like for a bit of range or taking out critters? (Nothing wrong with making high speed holes in paper!)
    Rest In Peace My Son (01/06/1986 - 14/01/2014)

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

  4. #4
    Boolit Master Harter66's Avatar
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    Since you're making a .380 sizer ....... Unless your cast doesn't drop that big ........

    I shot some .258 cores in a .264 WM at .257.264 over a pitifully light load of 10 gr of Unique . The muzzle report was about a toss for the FN 98 hammer fall from the 26" barrel . Pretty slow , pretty low pressure too .

    At the other end of the spectrum I patched some 535s for a 45-70 in a Marlin sub sonic . Nice big paper chits . Probably about 12,000 psi load for 900 fps .
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  5. #5
    Boolit Master BCRider's Avatar
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    Some progress but no shooting report yet. I paper patched a couple of .376 bullets and it's sitting at around .389 or so now before being final sized. Just raw printer paper wet wrapped and shrunk naturally. I started to make a push through sizer on my lathe but I messed up and it is way too big. Hoping to try a new sizer starting at .380 bore and see if it sizes and lets the paper spring out to around .381 to 382. I'll polish the sizer more open if need be. And if needed I'll do a sizer to push the .376 bullets down a few thou.

    The quest continues.... More as real life allows. Thanks for the suggestions so far. I continue to read threads in this forum to get further up to speed on this paper patching thing.
    Witty saying to be plagarized shortly.....

  6. #6
    Boolit Grand Master 303Guy's Avatar
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    You might consider making a neck sizer to open up new cases to fired case size. I made a sizer die to bring a fired case down to a clearance size to grip patched boolits firmly. I noted that the neck does not expand measurably on seating with printer paper - the paper compresses. This doesn't work quite as well with sized boolits but then again, with sizing both necks and boolits the fit can be controlled.
    Rest In Peace My Son (01/06/1986 - 14/01/2014)

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  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by BCRider View Post
    Back story........ I'm trying to find the right boolit for a Uberti 1885 rifle. I've slugged the bore and it looks like the groove diameter is roughly .378 to .379 depending on where I measure.

    I just shot a series of lubed cast with a variety of powders and the boolits measure .379 or .3795 depending on where on the boolit I measure. But these ain't doing the job. At 50 yards the BEST I can get is a roughly 3" circle even from bench resting. I was expecting/hoping for more like 1" since I'm getting a really nice sight picture.

    So I'm looking at some boolits I cast earlier for my rolling block which drop at .377 and thinking about PP'ing and then running through a custom push thru sizer to .380 (I've got the shop and tools for this).

    Question....... Now the thing with .38-55 is that it's not a fast round. I'm going to guess that it'll be happiest even with PP rounds at around 1300 to maybe 1500 FPS. Is that going to be an issue for PP'ing?

    I'm going to give it a try regardless and will report back with the findings. But I thought some of you might have some hints to avoid any slower speed pitfalls.

    I've also been reading the sticky threads on papers and procedures on what to use and how to use it. Mostly I'm just wondering if there's any tricks I'll need to deal with the lower muzzle speed.
    Rule of thumb is that the better accuracy comes from the largest cast bullet you can chamber cleanly. A larger diameter bullet enters the rifling straighter and better centred than a smaller diameter cast bullet.

  8. #8
    Boolit Buddy Old Coot's Avatar
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    Try patching a fired case so that the patched bullet just slides into the case . You may have to bell the mouth of the case first.
    As to alloy, since the velocity will be under 1500 fps I would use pure lead or lead with a little tin added to improve fill out. You may want to get a universal decaping die from Lee, and a bell die. Just bell the mouth of the case so it is about .005 larger, and then only iron the bell off of the case without crimping (I assume that this is a single shot rifle). Other than that I can't think of any thing that you should do.

    As long as you are getting good ignition with your load I wouldn't make any changes. Brodie

  9. #9
    Boolit Master Lead pot's Avatar
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    There is a lot of misinformation on the forums that smokeless powder does not obturate a lead bullet using smokeless powder so one winter I decided to see just what a smokeless load will do to a PP bullet that was cast with 1/16 T/L alloy and patched to bore diameter. I never use smokeless powder in my Sharps, Stevens or high walls so the results I found were very interesting. The biggest problem was protecting the bullet from getting gas cuts like you see on the left bullet and the accuracy suffered greatly also the bore was packed with lead when I cleaned the rifle.
    Pick the proper burn rate smokeless powder and all will be right.
    You will see better accuracy using a load between 1200 to 1800 fps using cast patched bullets.
    Click image for larger version. 

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  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    If you have access to a lathe & capabilities. No doubt in my mind this situation is a temporary set-back.
    "JUST A OLD DEPLORABLE THAT'S IRREDEEMABLE."

  11. #11
    Boolit Master BCRider's Avatar
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    303Guy, I've already made a few different neck expanding and flaring inserts to fit in my powder drop die. So that doesn't scare me at all. But it's a good point that all of this goes hand in hand.

    I do have a good machine shop and I'm thinking of buying a small size Lee mold and machining it to produce purely paper patch bullets similar to the ones above. And hopefully drop out at or just a hair bigger than the sizes noted above and in the sticky resource threads.

    I temporarily went with another option to get by for the big match of last weekend. I made a heavy sleeve that polished out to .382". then I had to bore and add a smaller size "nose". With that I was able to bump some .379 bullets up to .382. That got me through the long range side match in pretty nice style. I was getting hits on the distant targets with pleasing regularity. But I misread the wind during the second three shots after re-setting the sight. The wind at my back had died so I goofed when I set the sight two Vernier points low thinking I' get a boost. So two out of the twelve total shots went under the belly of the buffalo silhouette I was shooting at. So I tied for first at 10 out of 12 but the other guy managed his shots in 9 seconds less.

    Anyway, I'm still going to try some paper patching in due time and see how it all compares. And see if I can bump up the velocity to a bit over the present 1350'ish where I seem to be getting the best performance from the cast boolits.
    Witty saying to be plagarized shortly.....

  12. #12
    Boolit Grand Master 303Guy's Avatar
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    Just a consideration, if you are going to open up a mold, leave shallow grooves to grip the patch. I used to use a soft but fairly tough alloy that would impress in the paper and grip it. Then I went to a harder and tougher alloy and found the patch would slip to I resorted to rolling the boolit between to fine files. Bastard files might be better but if you are opening up a mold then leave shallow grooves - much easier I would think.

    On the other hand, sizers can be quite useful. I made one that produces a two diamer boolit with and angled transition. I was trying to match the boolit to a particular throat. It kinda worked Ok but wasn't all that parallel on the base section. I thought of doing the sizer die in two sections pressed into an outer body. That way I could get the ID parallel and the double taper just right before bringing them together. Never got that far - yet. Now that I'm heading for semi-retirement, I hope to do some of my desired projects.

    In the meantime, the molds that I made a few years ago have been quite useful. Smooth sided nose pours. Two diameter with taper transitions - also a two part press together project waiting for time and or energy.

    Bumping up is a thought I have had - so it works!

    P.S. I envy your good machine shop. Mine is pretty basic.
    Last edited by 303Guy; 07-07-2019 at 01:30 AM.
    Rest In Peace My Son (01/06/1986 - 14/01/2014)

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

  13. #13
    Boolit Master BCRider's Avatar
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    303Guy, that's some primo advice on leaving some slight roughness on the mold. Thanks.

    And it's not what you got it's what you do with it. Often a lot of work arounds can be used to get the results that are sometimes thought can only come from a lot of fancy tools. Given what you're describing I think you're doing fine with what you have.

    ....now if it's dreaming about a nicer and more spacious setup instead of trying to cram too much into a closet then that's another issue. Room is certainly nice! And LOTS of good storage!
    Witty saying to be plagarized shortly.....

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    For your interest.
    This is a couple of groups with my 310 cadet with paperpatching going @something more than the speed of sound rough guess 1200-1300fps???
    Only 50 yards and was gusting with a steady rest.
    Best I can to with a peep and post.

    They were wrapped with rifling so would peel off and placed in 50-50 bw/vas till they were hot as the melted wax.
    Left to harden on paper standing up.
    As you can see the lube seems to carry to the target and the patch must get away cleanly.
    They were breach seated as my chamber is but really a taper.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    5 shots with 3 grns bulleye
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Theirs 8 shots in this somewhere.
    Hope it helps.
    Ohh the paper ends up being a soft some what fragile "mulch?"
    Haaahaaaa
    Last edited by barrabruce; 07-08-2019 at 01:09 AM.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master BCRider's Avatar
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    Bruce, I'd be more than happy with a group like that. My bumped bullets produced a best group of only about 3 inches at 50 yards from a half dozen recipes for three powders and amounts. But it was the best I could do for the time I had left so I went with it. I'll be over the moon if/when I manage a group like yours for one of the recipes.

    Leadpot, if you are still reading how did you capture those boolits with so little damage?
    Witty saying to be plagarized shortly.....

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    As prior read. Not in anyway attempting critiquing your P/P idea. Sorry your thinking is opposite in theory. Ideal way to paper patch a straight wall cartridge. Resize a usual cast to a smaller in dia bullet so's to allow its paper patching (as much a 6 calibers smaller in diameter) Patch 3 (minimal turns) larger to your desired bullet wanting wo/ FL re-squeezing a patched bullet to desired shooting diameter.
    Doing such FL resizing simply transforms your wrapped core bullets paper into a wooden hard like material. Keep in mind the patching >needs< to shred at muzzle not be carried {a down range distance} before falling away. (simular to a sabo doing)
    The longer patching stays attached beyond muzzle's end >accuracy will surely suffer.
    Where the problem lies many patchers crimp such cartridges much harder than a desired non-resized fired case. Any applied crimp again affects accuracy. So to Paper Patch with success. A full case of powder that settles no lower than the bullets base when seated and such patched bullet is held in place wo/ applied crimp. Four things required. Proper paper_proper powder_Proper bullet size with wrap_ patience galore.
    "JUST A OLD DEPLORABLE THAT'S IRREDEEMABLE."

  17. #17
    Boolit Grand Master 303Guy's Avatar
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    I've mentioned before that I have had accuracy success with a patched boolit at subsonic velocity. These were not recovered but what was recovered were patched boolits from a catch medium that still had their patch intact. So I wondered whether I could design the patched boolit to keep its patch on all the way to the target. That won't happen at higher velocity and pressure but all I'm wanting to do is make holes in paper (and shoot a few rabbits and hares).




    Light boolit above and heavy below. That's with cheap printer paper, unsized so in its softest form.

    The bottom boolit looks wet because it's been brushes in running water to get the medium off.

    My thinking is that if the patch stays on intact then accuracy cannot be negatively influenced by how and when the patch comes off. So why not just go plain cast? Bore condition. Mind you, even with a mint bore, doing this would keep the bore clean. That first one was fired in a mint two-groove Lee Enfield. So even the sharp rifling didn't cut through the patch.
    Last edited by 303Guy; 07-09-2019 at 01:09 AM.
    Rest In Peace My Son (01/06/1986 - 14/01/2014)

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

  18. #18
    Boolit Master BCRider's Avatar
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    Overmax, more good reasoning. It'll be used in a single shot rifle so crimping isn't an issue. I do aim for a moderate neck tension just to give the powder a chance to get burning well before the bullet moves. But once I get onto this I may also try minimal seating depth and let the bullets self seat against the lead of the rifling if I can. But for now I'm trying to limit the variables.

    I did spin some paper around a .376 size lube groove bullet. Just regular printer paper. Two full but not quite overlapping wraps. When dry the size of this combo ended up being .390" where the groove diameter is more like .381'ish. That seems a bit excessive. So I was looking at making up a sizer that squeezes the core bullet down about .004 and find slightly thinner paper to try again. I've got a bunch of stuff on my plate but I'm going to have a go at this option starting next week.
    Witty saying to be plagarized shortly.....

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    Some of the patching procedures I know of.
    A few published requirements before a patched bullet is cycled into battery.

    From the get go. Keep in mind not all barrel twists accommodate patched bullets. So;
    Brass must be fully fire formed prior to you're rifles chamber.
    Brass case/s should be trimmed to length so to match each other (which is helpful to achieve: near identical POA termination on target.)
    No die FL re-sizing or Neck re-sizing can I suggest or the intentional application of a modern bullet lube over the wrapped patch during a typical re-sizing effort. After-all that's one of the many jobs a dry patch paper preforms i.e. limited barrel lubrication.
    Bullets should be paper wrapped 3 turns {minimum} and allowed to dry to preferred .001 or .002 oversize of> bore measure. And seated in a cartridge case with the same measurement i.e. {.001 or .002} near contact with its bore.
    Bullet material used should have a low 7 or 8 BHN figure. This lead softness figure accommodates some bullet contact with its rifling which helps to true spin and paper shred at muzzle.
    Powder used. Must be measured so to create {interior shelf or bullet base rest} which controls a patched bullets rearward movement once seated to its desired depth. Artificial means applied crimp isn't always a successful way as its not a suggested Paper Patch procedure. Given thought. Mid to late 19th century Paper patching. Such rifle cartridges were seldom re-sized. Like I've commented prior. Such patched bullets are held seated in case with minimal neck pressure and a large measure of B-powder. Now~ I don't expect everyone whom reads this write agrees. Although with me that's a Members prerogative.
    Last edited by OverMax; 07-10-2019 at 11:33 PM.
    "JUST A OLD DEPLORABLE THAT'S IRREDEEMABLE."

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    I bought some 7/8ths x 14 tpi threaded rod from a old machinery supply house years ago. 3x3' lengths I dont remember the cost but must have been fairly. Since at the time all the lathe I had was a 6" sears craftsman metal working lathe. One of the first things I made was a neck die for 7.62x54r cartridge. Maybe about 1" long. My dies were overworking the case neck. Never hardened it as the screw stock is harder than the brass.

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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