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Thread: .45 cal. Patch Size?

  1. #1
    Boolit Master



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    .45 cal. Patch Size?

    Getting ready to shoot a .45cal Hawken I got a few months ago. Just cast some .445 round balls and am ready to shoot. I donít need to know the thickness, but what size square patch should I be cutting to start.
    Thanks

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    Set the ball on the patch ,gather it up around the ball and cut ,take cut patch an lay it on the patch strip/square it /there you go/Ed

  3. #3
    Boolit Master



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    Well I guess I need a smaller mold if I want to patch. I’m new to rifled muzzle loaders. My lead wasn’t pure lead and I don’t like the idea of pounding the the ball in as I have seen done. I figured the patch would take up the rifling groves and I wouldn’t need to deform the ball. Where do I go from here. Already resigned to buying a .440 mold.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    Guess I will not mention a 445 mold then or patch thickness /Ed

  5. #5
    Boolit Master

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    what ed said.

    what kinda load does yer shooting needs require?

    the matter of the load itself, in terms of loose or tight, is solely dependent on cast ball diameter and patch thickness. a .445 ball will work just fine, it's up to you to get the right patch thickness. again, all of this depends on what kinda load you need and want (ie - hunting, target, plinking, etc).

    a .445 ball will be difficult to have a relatively loose load that won't blow through a thin .010" well lubed patch. but a .445 ball and a .015" or .018" patch will be a *tight* load and you will need a hammer to get it past the muzzle.

    for the most part, but not always, tight loads will be the most accurate. so, loose loads will need smaller diameter balls and thicker well lubed patches.
    "Owning a handgun doesn't make you armed any more than owning a guitar makes you a musician." - Jeff Cooper

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    I have a T/C Hawken, and also discovered that the .440 ball is the best size, so I bought the mold. I tried the .445, and got tired of pounding the ball down the barrel. Also, as previously mentioned, thinner patches make seating the ball easier, but they burn through rather easily. Also I found .015 to .020 patches work the best with the .440 ball. Last patch thickness I purchased was .018, which seems to work pretty good.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master pietro's Avatar
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    .

    As a general rule, cut patches 1-1/2 times larger than the bore diameter, for any PRB application to any BP rifle's bore size.



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

  8. #8
    Boolit Master

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    i prefer either prelubed patch strips or ball boards - makes for perfect loads every load, and no specific patch diameter needed (but yes - patch thickness absolutely needs to be predetermined and well tested).
    "Owning a handgun doesn't make you armed any more than owning a guitar makes you a musician." - Jeff Cooper

  9. #9
    Boolit Master northmn's Avatar
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    When I shot competition I preferred to keep a strip of cloth and would seat the ball with a ball starter and then use a patch knife and cut off the patching. Gave a nice round patch that fit the ball. Trying to line up precuts did not work as well. Also lube is important. A wet lube is better for continual shooting as in a match. Some liked moose milk which was a mixture of water soluble machining oil and water. Many of the cleaning solutions work. For hunting I preferred the grease lubes.

    DEP

  10. #10
    Boolit Master Maven's Avatar
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    This may sound stupid, but I once averaged all the patch diameter/size dimensions I read about in a thread on another forum. It came out to 2.3 x [actual] RB diameter. In the case of Greg's .445" RB, that would be 1.02" or 1". Btw, I've using this calculation for years with no issues at all.

  11. #11
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Typically some say enough to wrap the RB. That gives you a little leeway so you don't get too far off to one side. Actually a cut patch at the muzzle doesn't really come out round because of the folds. If you collect some after firing, they are shaped some where between round and square.
    Aim small, miss small!

  12. #12
    Circumfrence of a ball with a .445 diameter is 1.39, so just about 1.5" should give you a complete wrap. Easier to center the ball if you go a little bigger though. Easier still if you cut strips of patching mateerial about 1.75 and cut them at the muzzle.

  13. #13
    Moderator Emeritus / Trusted loob groove dealer

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    Quote Originally Posted by GregLaROCHE View Post
    Well I guess I need a smaller mold if I want to patch. Iím new to rifled muzzle loaders. My lead wasnít pure lead and I donít like the idea of pounding the the ball in as I have seen done. I figured the patch would take up the rifling groves and I wouldnít need to deform the ball. Where do I go from here. Already resigned to buying a .440 mold.
    If it is hard to get the ball down bore, your load is too tight. I've been using wheel weights in patched round ball guns for 45 years.
    The solid soft lead bullet is undoubtably the best and most satisfactory expanding bullet that has ever been designed. It invariably mushrooms perfectly, and never breaks up. With the metal base that is essential for velocities of 2000 f.s. and upwards to protect the naked base, these metal-based soft lead bullets are splendid.
    John Taylor - "African Rifles and Cartridges"

    Forget everything you know about loading jacketed bullets. This is a whole new ball game!


  14. #14
    Boolit Grand Master

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    I started out using WWs many years ago. I had no pure lead and I could get WWs for free. That and I didn't know how important it was to use pure lead like some seem to think it's the only way to get accuracy. Some time ignorance is bliss.
    Aim small, miss small!

  15. #15
    In Remembrance Reverend Al's Avatar
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    I shot muzzle-loaders for years when I first started shooting as a teenager (about 50 plus years ago!) and the usual "rule of thumb" was that you needed a patch that was about the same size as the outside diameter of your barrel. Then just buy a round hole gasket punch in that size. We would cut patches on a wood block and then dip them into melted patch lube of 50/50 Beeswax and non-salted Crisco. Add a little bit of olive oil or canola oil if you want your lube a bit softer.
    I may have passed my "Best Before" date, but I haven't reached my "Expiry" date!

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by waksupi View Post
    If it is hard to get the ball down bore, your load is too tight.
    here here !!!
    The superior accuracy of tight patch ball combos is largely a myth (if not totally)

    depth of rifling makes a difference to patch thickness
    I shot thousands of rounds out of CVA barrels with a stock size ball (440,490, 530) and calico patch, moose milk lube - loads slick and quick - hits the bullseye every time ya point it there - once those guns got some miles on em I maybe moved up a ball size (445,495,535) or went to pillow ticking patch (one or other not both until they get well worn) However those barrels are nice medium depth rifling (about 8 thou I think) Way shallower than a Green Mountain - I dont like deep rifling for muzzle loaders (another myth I reckon)

    I never used WW balls - never had need to - Waksupi sez it works - I believe him - dont need to test the theory, still got plenty soft lead!

  17. #17
    Boolit Master



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    Thanks for all your input and advice. I’ve got some testing to do now with different combinations.

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