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Thread: Paper patching and Forensic Ballistics

  1. #81
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Quote Originally Posted by warren5421 View Post
    Shoot a lot of black powder in a .45-70 Sharps or .38-55 Winchester High Wall but have never paper patched, also shoot a lot of cap & ball using paper cartages i.e. Sharps, Naviy 51's & Army 60's. With the C&B very seldom is there any paper to be found so my questions are how much paper is found with the use of a paper patch bullet if fired outside? Will the patch stay intact size wise or is it reduced to very small pieces that the wind can blow away? How many people working in forensics would even notice a paper patch paper when working an outdoor area where the shooter was?
    This isnít a direct answer to your question because I honestly havenít looked, but it may be relevant, I hope. I have two things that may help. Shooting paper patched .30-06, .44, and .45-70, I have never recovered a bullet that still had the patch attached. So I donít think it stays on, but that may just be my loads. My second thing, which is probably even less helpful, is shooting cloth patched round balls out of muzzleloaders, in which the patch is usually about 10-20 feet in front of the muzzle, depending on wind conditions and who knows what else, but either way, they donít go far. So I think it would depend on what distance our hypothetical character in the OPs novel fired his weapon from. I mean, if the muzzle is pressed against the victim, Iím sure the patch will be there, but I donít know in what condition it will be. My ML cloth patches are all kinds of frayed at the edges, but that doesnít translate to paper patches, I donít think. But if the shot was taken from a distance, I would think the investigators would have to locate the spot the shot was taken from and do it quickly enough before wind, rain, etc blows away the patch or patch fragments, dissolves them in a puddle, etc.
    I passed my last psych eval, how bout you?

  2. #82
    Boolit Grand Master 303Guy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    New Zealand
    Maybe I can help.

    The answer would be - it depends. To avoid the tail nub being recoverable, one can use a tailless patch. It's not difficult do develop a patch that will break up into small fragments but really, the patch is going to do whatever it does when the load is developed for accuracy.
    Rest In Peace My Son (01/06/1986 - 14/01/2014)

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

  3. #83
    Boolit Buddy BJK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2020
    central Maine
    So much of this thread I didn't read, sorry. Interesting thread just to exercise the grey matter.

    Sorta on subject, there was lead bulleted ammo sold by some big company that had a heavy plastic jacket. This was quite some time ago, maybe 30 years or more. It was removed from the market because the jacket was so thick the forensics were completely useless. Hmmm, a coated bullet with many coats of coating might simulate that bullet. I think if one was to do it, 2 coats as is normal, then sized. Then (experimentation would need to happen) additional coats, maybe sized after each one until a sufficient thickness is achieved.

    It's all coming back... It was S&W Nyclad. Today it either is made or was discontinued by Federal.

    I like the .30 sabot idea. It would be like the S&W Nyclad but with far more velocity. When I was playing with sabots I got 3400fps with a 55gr bullet in a 15" .308 handgun but accuracy was only 3" @ 100 yards and the manufacturer told me that was about all I could expect. I dropped the project. It was a completely odd ball loading, using a very fast powder for the cartridge. Muzzle flash and blast was spectacular.

  4. #84
    Boolit Master

    MUSTANG's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Moapa, Nevada or Kalispell, Montana
    Concerning the Nyclad - somewhere in the Steel Shipping container in the back 40 is a 2/3 full box of 38 Special Nyclads I picked up maybe 40 or more years ago when I went dumpster diving at some forgotten range. The previous post brought this back from the back files of my memory. Never shot them as at the time I thought "Gee, must not work very well if someone threw them out at the range." I thought at the time I would pull the cycled bullets and must some cast boolits in the brass.

    Found this link that indicated that in 2009 Federal was going to "Reintroduce" the Nyclad bullet. https://www.gunsholstersandgear.com/...009-shot-show/

    Not sure how thick the nylon clawing is - doubt it is thick enough to result in the rifling not engraving on the lead projectile. Same applies to trying to build up enough thickness with Powder Coating to keep the lead from engraving; besides with powder coating the powder coat if done properly adheres to the lead all the way to the target - as I would assume the Nyclad would also do. This would result in the coatings carrying the engraving signature that the Thread is reputed to explore as potentially not occurring.

    For me - I like to Paper Patch and will continue to do so. I would theorize that under microscope and other forensic tools; the rifle engraving from a properly patched boolit would be there under forensic evaluation. The barrel of a .308 Winchester for example is .308, and a properly fitted boolit for paper patching would be .309 or .310 - allowing the grooves to be slightly ironed into the boolit when fired. Just my thoughts/observations.

    "In the beginning... the patriot is a scarce man, and brave and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." - Mark Twain.

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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