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Thread: Patch thickness #2

  1. #21
    Boolit Master



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    Twill refers to the weave of the fabric. It is much stronger than a simple weave, so it should hold up better than normal pillow ticking.

  2. #22
    Boolit Buddy quail4jake's Avatar
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    I've had best luck in deep rifled patched ball type barrels with a smaller ball and thicker patch with lots of lube. It seems that in smoothbores it really doesn't matter as long as the ball makes a snug fit with the patch... .610 ball and .010 patch (cleaning patch) soaked in melted bore butter in the 20 bore smoothbore goes in with a nudge from the starter and performed as well as a tighter patch. The rifle does well with the same fit but more patch (.020), any looser and the group enlarges, any tighter and the group enlarges and it is a P.I.A. to load. Polish the crown with 1500 grit paper and thumb pressure and lap the bore if you feel any inconsistency in ramming pressure...

  3. #23
    Boolit Master


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    i'm with waksupi - i have no need for so tight a patched ball that i can't either thumb it or knife handle it past the muzzle. i never use a "short starter" and 3f works fine for both tube and pan. heck, even 1-1/2f works for both just as well, too, sometimes better. we should all start thinking and emulating more like times of the mid 18th century - at least we won't have to worry about hostiles, french soldiers, and redcoat regulars.

    loose loads are easy to pull when ya dry ball (yes, if you haven't dry balled yet, yer day is coming, promise). my loose load it's plenty accurate if i do my part well. currently using jo-ann's .015 red stripe ticking along with a .526 (tanner) or .530 (lee) mould and 70 grains of swiss 3f down the tube of the kibler .54 colonial. i can fire off a dozen or so shots without any need for fouling control. some folks get too concerned over reviewing fired patches - if the ball consistently goes where i point, i could care less about fired or blown patches or whatever. ymmv.


  4. #24
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by rfd View Post
    i'm with waksupi - i have no need for so tight a patched ball that i can't either thumb it or knife handle it past the muzzle. i never use a "short starter" and 3f works fine for both tube and pan. heck, even 1-1/2f works for both just as well, too, sometimes better. we should all start thinking and emulating more like times of the mid 18th century - at least we won't have to worry about hostiles, french soldiers, and redcoat regulars.

    loose loads are easy to pull when ya dry ball (yes, if you haven't dry balled yet, yer day is coming, promise). my loose load it's plenty accurate if i do my part well. currently using jo-ann's .015 red stripe ticking along with a .526 (tanner) or .530 (lee) mould and 70 grains of swiss 3f down the tube of the kibler .54 colonial. i can fire off a dozen or so shots without any need for fouling control. some folks get too concerned over reviewing fired patches - if the ball consistently goes where i point, i could care less about fired or blown patches or whatever. ymmv.

    all good - I agree with ya both - however when the ball dont go where you think ya pointed it is a good time to go chasing patches !
    Have to admit I do use a short starter - but I load loose enough could do it (just) with the ramrod - my knives are all homemade and have the steel right to the end of the handle - dont want to mess up the crowning job - otherwise that would work.

  5. #25
    Boolit Master


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    i cheat a bit with using a knife to press down the patched ball just past the muzzle, particularly with this russell rifleman's blade that i scaled and brass pinned ...




  6. #26
    Boolit Master Toymaker's Avatar
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    Guess the saying that every gun is different holds true again.
    My heavy bench rifle used Teflon patching, but that's a different story.
    Patching for the off-hand rifle is nominally 0.015" BUT since the fabric is pinched between the side of the rifle bore and the ball I measure it crushed. I crank down on the micrometer as hard as I can and look for a fabric 0.004". Then it is washed in the clothes washer with lye soap (purchased at the local farmers market), dried in the gas dryer, and washed and dried again. Then it is cut into strips and soaked in a solution of 1 part machinist's oil and 7 parts water. The excess is squeegeed between my fingers and the strips are spread on a sheet of steel and air dried. Then they are rolled and stored in 35mm film canisters until needed.
    The fit is tight. I use a quarter inch button starter to set the ball below the level of the muzzle and cut the patch with a straight razor. Then I use a 6 inch short starter to get the patched ball down the bore a bit. BOTH get smacked with a leather mallet. You smack a short starter with the palm of your hand you run the risk of damaging the Ottoman nerve that runs through your hand.
    Then the range rod comes into play and the ball gets seated on the powder with one long hard push. Some years ago Bevel Brothers wrote about an experiment in MuzzleBlasts magazine. They showed pretty conclusively that black powder explodes most efficiently when compressed at 65 pounds. I spent a lot of time with my rifle on the bathroom scale pressing for 65 pounds after reading that rifle. I don't get any flyers unless I flinch, jerk or close my eyes. Reading the patches and they look good. Got a couple of display cabinets full of plaques and medals so I must be doing something that works with my rifle. Finding that combination is part of the fun.

  7. #27
    Boolit Master


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    yes, every gun is different - usually, sorta kinda, and it all depends on what the shooter requires with both loading parameters and shooting consistent accuracy.

  8. #28
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by rfd View Post
    i cheat a bit with using a knife to press down the patched ball just past the muzzle, particularly with this russell rifleman's blade that i scaled and brass pinned ...



    AHHHH I do like the way your mind works !!! That is so so clever

  9. #29
    Boolit Master
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    If I were to start a ball with a knife, I'd want to use the butt, not the side of the handle. With my hands full of patch lube, that's too much chance to slip and cut myself bad.

    I had a good casting day, cast about 300 balls with my .530" mold. With my 20-1 alloy, they came out very consistent at .532". With the new twill patches, and lubed with frontier muzzleloader's lube, ran one down to check fit. I can't quite start them with my thumb, but It doesn't take much force with the short starter. I rammed it all the way down, and pulled back out with my ball puller. I could not see even a hint of damage to the patch. I will hopefully get out to saturday to shoot.

  10. #30
    Boolit Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by megasupermagnum View Post
    If I were to start a ball with a knife, I'd want to use the butt, not the side of the handle. With my hands full of patch lube, that's too much chance to slip and cut myself bad.
    ....
    what "patch lube"? there's lube and then there's LUBE.

    i pre-lube patch strips with gato feo #1 - rubbed in, melted in with a heat gun. no muss, no fuss, no greasy kid stuff.

    to each their own, we were all trad muzzy pilgrims at one time - lots to learn and experiment with for sure.

  11. #31
    Boolit Master
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    I spent a lot of time at the range today. Unfortunately the twill patches are a no-go. I double checked by pulling a ball, and I am 100% sure they are not being cut on loading at all. On firing they are blowing to pieces. I tried down to 40 grains of powder up to 80 grains, and always run a felt patch underneath. The pillow ticking fared much better. Patches looked very good. Best accuracy came at 45 grains of powder. 40-50 all shot the same. I shot 4 shot groups at 100 yards, and they were in the 5-6" range. Definitely good enough for hunting with an absolute max range of 100 yards, but not quite the accuracy I'm after. I'm sure 45 grains would work on whitetail, but that's getting to be borderline, probably 1000-1100 fps muzzle velocity.

    All day shots felt good, I was getting a great sight picture with my peep sight rear and globe front. Just to confirm there was no problem, I tried another good load. I fired 5 shots, 90 grains FFg old eyensford, 435 grain maxi ball lubed with bore butter with felt wad under. That was a 3.5" CTC group. Those maxiballs were bought from october country, and they are the worst quality. One of the ratings said they were "lead raisins" and he is right. I have to wonder how these would shoot if I cast them, and lubed them with something that actually sticks.

    Unfortunately my TC Renegade just isn't a round ball gun. I've tried all kinds of tricks, and can't get past mediocre accuracy. It loves a maxi ball. I see three options 1. buy a mold and shoot maxi balls 2. buy a green mountain barrel 3. have this barrel re bored.

    I do have a TC New Englander I never put much load development into too. I might make that my round ball rifle.
    Last edited by megasupermagnum; 08-11-2019 at 07:30 PM.

  12. #32
    Boolit Master
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    At this point I believe I'll be sticking to a maxiball for the renegade. It's a picky rifle, maybe I just need to use what it likes. One last thing, I do have some .520" round balls. Would those be worth a try with some thick patching? I know I have duck canvas from work pants, I may have something else. Everything I have ever seen has shown a larger ball and thinner patch is the way to go in these rifles.

    I have two questions about the maxi ball. One, what kind of performance can I expect on game? The flat is almost non existent, which is not a good sign, but are they blunt enough that they perform more like a round nose? Two, has anyone found a problem with the maxi working it's way off of the powder in the barrel? I know with the Lee real's they are way too loose, and they will come loose eventually. The maxiball's I were shooting were much tighter, the base bands were slightly engraving, and the top band becomes fully engraved. I even slugged my barrel with one. The groove diameter is right at .551", and bore about .540". The maxiballs I got were terrible quality, but seemed to be in the ballpark .541" two bottom bands, and .550"-.551" top band. Since they did require moderate force to seat all they way, compared to a REAL which the weight of the ramrod will seat once started, I have to think this may be a non-issue. Has anyone ever tried an overshot card over a bullet to make sure it stays in place?

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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