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Thread: shredded patch mystery

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    shredded patch mystery

    I noticed something curious at my range while shooting my muzzleloader. I have a T/C Hawken with an after market Green Mountain roundball barrel in 54 cal on it. I bought the barrel a few months ago and have run 50-75 shots through it. I'm shooting .530 balls and TOTW precut pillow tick patches lubed with bore butter over 80 gr Pyrodex P. The last 2 times I had it at the range, accuracy with this combo was outstanding. Yesterday, I shot 3 shots at 50 yds, went to inspect and was surprised to see a 4-5 in group. I chalked it up to human error and walked back to the bench. On the way back, I found the patches had shot and they were shredded badly. I haven't seen that before. Anyway, I shot 10 or so rounds and accuracy was not what it could be. several patches did not shred but must did (that I could find). I have on past trips inspected the patches that I could find and I never found a shredded one, Most were frayed around the edge but I don't care about that. When I cleaned it last night, the cotton cleaning patch that I pushed the soapy water back and forth through the barrel had several holes in it. It looks to me like the lands are cutting the patches now and cut the cleaning patch.I haven't noticed this before either. I know this is a fairly new barrel, but I would have thought that if the lands are too sharp, they would have cut the patches from the start. I place a dry patch behind the lubed patched ball over the powder because I did that with another 54 cal I had and it worked well. I have ordered some supposed linen from the internet, it's purported to be flax from Europe, in hopes that it will be tougher. Anybody know what could have happened?

  2. #2
    Boolit Master

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    Maybe a ball that was a little oversize, and one patch was fitted tighter on the cleaning rod.
    That might make those patches fit tighter and start the cuts or holes while inside the barrel.

    The edges of the shredded patch may have tried to roll in between
    the ball & barrel on the way out instead of staying folded over and on top of the ball.

    I'm not a BP guy, but;
    I don't see any other variables that could keep all of them from not looking the same.
    Last edited by Winger Ed.; 09-18-2020 at 03:27 PM.
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  3. #3
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Pre cut patches may be starting to get old. Try some new ones. I got a gun that was doing that. Literally destroying patches. Try running a polishing compound like JB bore past up and down the bore a few hundred strokes. Maybe a berr worked loose. Don't really know for your situation, new one to me.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by T-Bird View Post
    I noticed something curious at my range while shooting my muzzleloader. I have a T/C Hawken with an after market Green Mountain roundball barrel in 54 cal on it. I bought the barrel a few months ago and have run 50-75 shots through it. I'm shooting .530 balls and TOTW precut pillow tick patches lubed with bore butter over 80 gr Pyrodex P. The last 2 times I had it at the range, accuracy with this combo was outstanding. Yesterday, I shot 3 shots at 50 yds, went to inspect and was surprised to see a 4-5 in group. I chalked it up to human error and walked back to the bench. On the way back, I found the patches had shot and they were shredded badly. I haven't seen that before. Anyway, I shot 10 or so rounds and accuracy was not what it could be. several patches did not shred but must did (that I could find). I have on past trips inspected the patches that I could find and I never found a shredded one, Most were frayed around the edge but I don't care about that. When I cleaned it last night, the cotton cleaning patch that I pushed the soapy water back and forth through the barrel had several holes in it. It looks to me like the lands are cutting the patches now and cut the cleaning patch.I haven't noticed this before either. I know this is a fairly new barrel, but I would have thought that if the lands are too sharp, they would have cut the patches from the start. I place a dry patch behind the lubed patched ball over the powder because I did that with another 54 cal I had and it worked well. I have ordered some supposed linen from the internet, it's purported to be flax from Europe, in hopes that it will be tougher. Anybody know what could have happened?
    Lee Shaver World class muzzle loader shooter /gunsmith and high end barrel maker gave away his secret used on all new barrels .It goes like this ,1st lube a patch , insert into barrel several times /2 leave patch on jag and cut another patch same size but of oooo/4 .0 steel wool oil and lay it on top of that oiled patch and then continue till that roll is gone . It does not start easy but once you get it started (It is hard) but when you get done with that roll it removes no material it just polishes/burnishes the tool marks left by the barrel maker ,(most every one) except those high end custom makers like Lee ,he tells of doing this to his brand new barrel and takes it out and shoots top score with out testing . He charges top dollar doing this for those not willing to but shares the how for those that are /works for his centerfire barrels also ,, all my barrels get this break in cause it works that good /google Lee"s barrel break in and try it/Ed

  5. #5
    Boolit Master

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    what ed said. it works perfectly. no kiddin'!
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  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    I use steel wool - same idea little different method
    take a tired brass/copper brush and wrap the steel wool around just a bit at a time until is almost impossible to get it to enter the bore - some oil and I use jewellers rouge - a few passes and you might need to add more steel wool just to keep it tight - you can feel when yo have done enough and you will feel the difference cleaning specially when you run a dry patch down.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    I'll do that. We talking hundreds of strokes, tens of strokes? I'm assuming that with 4/0 it would be hard to mess up?

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    I began the process like Ed said. I cut the roll into 16-18 steel wool patches and am passing each down and back 50 times before changing patches. Did it for a while till my arm got tired, will continue later. Sound adequate?

  9. #9
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    Get rid of the Bore Butter patches. Horrible stuff. Try some different lube.

    It's not unusual for a barrel to take several hundred shots to break in. I did have one by Judge Resley years ago that just would not stop cutting patches, even after around 500 rounds. I got some valve grinding compound, worked it into the patches, and used around 10 gr. powder behind a patched ball to launch them downrange. Took about a dozen, anf the barrel quit blowing patches. When I was still building guns, I would just go ahead and cast a lead bore plug and lap them with the grinding compound, just on general purposes.
    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.
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  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    Well, I'll see how this works. Thanks, I will report back.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by T-Bird View Post
    I began the process like Ed said. I cut the roll into 16-18 steel wool patches and am passing each down and back 50 times before changing patches. Did it for a while till my arm got tired, will continue later. Sound adequate?
    I used one of those biscuits of wool cut up as patches ,use a patch till it gets easy then get a new one and continue till you think your good (then do some more) ! Lee Shaver gets paid shop time same as barrel making (EXPENSIVE) to do what your doing only he gets paid a lot more . He does not milk it he just does it till he knows the client will be happy and he only counts results not strokes ,use a bore light or a (luminock)arrow nock it"s what I use . When the bore looks like a mirror your close Ed

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    Well, I did what I said I'd do, seems to have worked. Shot 7 shots all except one in group, I could'a pulled that one. But much better than yesterday, hunted down all the patches, not one shredded. May polish a little more. My problem is knowing when "you're good" takes experience. I'm better now. If I go some more it ain't gonna hurt. Thanks for the advice guys!I don't have a luminock or a bore light, but I can judge results.

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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