Author Topic: Roundball and patching question please? Patches releasing?  (Read 24477 times)

Offline Marcruger

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Roundball and patching question please? Patches releasing?
« on: August 24, 2015, 04:17:28 AM »
Hi Guys,

I took my new rifle out yesterday and had an very enjoyable shoot. 

It carries a Rice, roundbottom rifled, 42", Southern Classic in .50 caliber. 

I shot it at 30 yards to get started, and got some good groups.  I tried 40 grains of 2f, then 50 grains, and at 60 grains it started "cracking" and tightened the groups up though with vertical stringing.  I'll try 70 grains next to settle down the stringing.  A .490 Hornady roundball with TOTW Wonderlube pillow ticking patches .018.   

Here's a question - I couldn't find any of the patches from the 20 rounds I put downrange.  The grass wasn't that long, and I went back and forth several times.  Nothing.  Am I correct in guessing they stayed attached to the balls and went through the target?

I am wiping with a damp patch followed by a dry patch after each shot.  After the 3rd shot that patch and ball combo gets very tough to shove down.  I have to do a light clean to get back running.  I am guessing my patching is too tight with that ball?  I have some thinner patching onhand, plus some Teflon impregnated patching sheet that I can use as well to experiment.  Just curious if anyone has any comment on this combo?  Could the super tight fit in the bore cause the patches to stick to the ball? 

Great to have long-time experts to lean on for advice.  These forum boards are just super. 

Many thanks, best wishes, and God Bless,   Marc

Offline SCLoyalist

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Re: Roundball and patching question please? Patches releasing?
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2015, 05:13:35 AM »
I suspect your patches are disintegrating.   A .500 bore with .016 deep grooves (which ought to be 'ballpark' for your barrel) is going to have a groove to groove diameter of .5+2*0.016 = .532 inches.   You're trying to fill it up with a .490 ball and two thicknesses of 0.018 patching for a total of  only  .526", which raises the possibility of a marginal gas seal.    Try going to a thicker patch  and/or a bigger ball (e.g. .495/.498).  JoAnn Fabric sells different thicknesses of pillow ticking, cotton drill and duck, and they'll sell you one-quarter yard (i.e. 9" by 42")  which is enough to experiment with without too much expense until you find something that works for you.

You may be seeing good groups because you're only shooting 30 yards.  If you have patch integrity problems, they should show up at 50 yards and beyond.

 Short of using superglue as patch lube, I think it's impossible for a patch to stay with the ball more than a few inches, although the patch may end up 10 or 20 yards downrange.  To find patches, have a friend spot for you - have him focus 10 yards down range and see if he can spot the patch as it comes down.    Or, if safe to do so, shoot at a cardboard backer from about 7 to 10 yards away.  The patch should hit the cardbard without going through and just bounce off and  fall on the ground.

« Last Edit: August 24, 2015, 05:21:48 PM by SCLoyalist »

Offline smylee grouch

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Re: Roundball and patching question please? Patches releasing?
« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2015, 05:40:35 AM »
SC is right, try a tighter combo. It sounds to me that your patch lube  combo need some revision along with a slightly larger ball. Only change one combination at a time and see how it shoots. Working up a load is some of the fun of shooting these things.

Offline Long Ears

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Re: Roundball and patching question please? Patches releasing?
« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2015, 05:51:36 AM »
The Great White North tight ballers will chine in here soon but I agree with the others, you need a thicker patch to tighten the load. With a good lube and somewhat tight load you should be able to shoot all day without wiping the bore. If you're using true Black Powder. My bet is that patch is disintegrating and or burning through. The fun begins, Bob

hammer

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Re: Roundball and patching question please? Patches releasing?
« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2015, 01:53:12 PM »
Breeze blowing from the side?    Patches are light and can drift a good few yards away from the shot path.

I would use a wet lube for multiple shots with no cleaning.   I use Nests Foot Oil from horse riding equipment suppliers.  And use it wet, not just damp.   Eases loading and softens fouling.

Patch thickness/ball diameter is trial and error.  I go by the belief that the deeper the rifling, the thicker the patch must be.   When the patch material on the land is squeezed into the ball on loading, as it should be, leaving the weave impression in the lead, the material over the grooves must fill them as much as possible.  And the patch should be a very tight weave.  Proper ticking is intended to be feather and bug proof and it has a three-way weave.   Place a handkerchief sized piece of test material over the muzzle with the centre area well lubed.   With a ball in the depression of the bore, drive the ball down an inch.   Gather the excess material and pull the ball back out.  You can now see how hard you had to load the ball, whether the patch weave is deeply impressed into the lead circumference and any slight rifling marked (there may be some with thinner material/wider ball combo for shallow rifling).   Also any damage that may have been caused to the patching in the loading process - there shouldn't rightly be any.  You can get a lot of useful information this way before you try at the range.
Good luck.

Offline Don Steele

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Re: Roundball and patching question please? Patches releasing?
« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2015, 01:55:28 PM »
If you are wiping with a damp patch, followed by a dry patch...you should be creating a uniform bore condition between shots...that's the whole idea behind wiping between shots in the first place.
That said then..you shouldn't be experiencing any increased difficulty "after the third shot" as you noted...or any other time.  If you are...there's a problem with your wiping protocol. Jag not the correct size for wiping, wiping patch not correct, whatever you use to make it "damp" is not the best product for the task  and possibly too little of it to effectively remove fouling from the bore.

The load combination you are going to be trying NEXT sounds pretty standard. .490 ball, .018 prelubed patch with 50-70 gns. 2f blackpowder is a combination that should not generate any "weird" results.

IMHO...using teflon coated patching material at THIS point in the process will just be a waste of time and money. I use it occasionally for benchrest shooting when I already have a really good groups and want to see if I can tighten them further. That's just me.
Good luck...you're on a really fun path...ENJOY.
Look at the world with a smilin' eye and laugh at the devil as his train rolls by...(Alison Krauss)

Offline Bill-52

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Re: Roundball and patching question please? Patches releasing?
« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2015, 04:38:15 PM »
Marc,

I agree with the suggestions of trying a tighter patch/ball combination. My favorite rifle has a Rice barrel, .50 caliber, Golden Age/York, B-weight, 46", with round bottom rifling. While your barrel's sweet spot will likely be different, as a reference, I use a .495 roundball and a .020 patch soaked, but not dripping, with Mr. Flintlock lube. Loading is relatively easy and I don't wipe between shots.  Used patches are usually 10 - 15 yards out, intact with ragged edges only.

Now is the fun part - working up your optimal load/patch/ball/lube combination.

Bill

Offline smokinbuck

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Re: Roundball and patching question please? Patches releasing?
« Reply #7 on: August 24, 2015, 05:16:16 PM »
Regardless of tight or loose loads, I can'tell imagine e your patches "disintergrating", it just doesn'the happen. Drifting get to one side or the other, yes. I'very had good luck with .4o5 rb and .015 pretty lubed patches and 60 grains of FFFG goex. Shoot all day without wiping.
Mark
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Offline bob in the woods

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Re: Roundball and patching question please? Patches releasing?
« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2015, 05:38:38 PM »
Everyone always has their opinions on what constitutes a good load, but there are variables to consider .
Your particular barrel has .016 round bottom  grooves. That fact alone dictates that your patch is too thin.
The post by SC was good info. I'd start there.

Offline SCLoyalist

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Re: Roundball and patching question please? Patches releasing?
« Reply #9 on: August 24, 2015, 05:54:49 PM »
patches "disintergrating", it just doesn'the happen.

Maybe 'disintegrating' isn't quite the right word, but what I meant was patch damage along the lines of the top patch in this picture:



Finding a whole patch in the grass can be challenging, but finding one like the top one that's changed shape and color separates the men from the boys.

As I recall, the rifle these came out of would keep the shots in a six-bull black at 25 yards offhand, even with the shredded patches, but going out to 50 yards was a whole different story.    The three patches were shot out of the same gun, same load and patching material, but different lubes.   (The only reason the bottom patch looks so good is it was shot with an inert cornmeal filler between powder and patch, so hot gasses couldn't get to the patch to eat it up.)   The experience with this gun convinced me that the patching and lube are more important components of the "optimal load" than I had been giving them credit for being.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2015, 07:02:06 PM by SCLoyalist »

ken

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Re: Roundball and patching question please? Patches releasing?
« Reply #10 on: August 24, 2015, 05:55:39 PM »
Many times older wonder lube patches will degrade, rot so to say. over time . Try a patch material that you lube your self with what ever you like and see how that holds together.  A friend of my used  pre lubed patches that came out of the rifle like confetty

Offline smokinbuck

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Re: Roundball and patching question please? Patches releasing?
« Reply #11 on: August 24, 2015, 05:58:20 PM »
Patches such as the top and middle ones shown definitledefinitley indicate they are to thin for your barrel and load.
Mark
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Offline hanshi

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Re: Roundball and patching question please? Patches releasing?
« Reply #12 on: August 24, 2015, 08:57:49 PM »
The .50 barrel on my Lancaster is a Rice, round bottom barrel.  I shoot a .490" ball, .024" mattress ticking patch lubed with Hoppes #9 Plus BP lube.  I almost never wipe the bore during an afternoon shooting session; and this can be upwards of 50 plus shots.  This combo is pretty snug but quite loadable with a wood rod and short starter.  I have even reused the fired patches.  Rarely, against all logic, a torn/burned patch will be found cohabiting with the good ones; this can occur with any gun I own.  If you can't find your patches it's probably because they have been burned and shredded and are difficult to see.  I don't buy patches especially the lubed ones, I prefer to make mine from strong material.  .500" + .016" + .016" = .532" (bore), .490" + .024" + 024" = .538".  This allows .006" of compression and a good (for a prb) gas seal.  In fact, I've been toying with the idea of trying a .535" ball (which will require me to buy another mold) and the same or even thicker patch.  And I have witnessed patches sticking to balls but it is a rarity.

The .45 in my stable has square rifling some .010" to .012" deep.  I can shoot a .445" ball with a .024" patch.  Although I normally shoot a .440" ball I detect no difference between them.  Bore: .450" + .012 + .012 = .474".  Load: .445" + .024 + .024" = .493".  This instance gives .019" of compression.  Even with a .440" ball compression is still .014". 

The cure for your patch problem is to use a thicker and stronger patch material.  If there is no significant patch compression in the bore then the load is too loose.  Smoothing the crown and the use of an op wad often helps.

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Offline Daryl

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Re: Roundball and patching question please? Patches releasing?
« Reply #13 on: August 24, 2015, 08:58:00 PM »
As SCLoyalist noted, your combination measurement of .526" in a .532" groove diameter shows at least .003" per side, TOO thin. A .495" ball and .022" = .539" will only give a .0035" compression in the grooves but will give a seal for any powder charge you will ever use.
The .010" undersized ball is not a good choice for deep, rounded bottom grooves.

Brother Taylor does better than quite well (hard to beat) using a .495" ball and .022" ticking or denim patch in his Rice .50 with rounded grooves.

As a matter of fact, we were out playing yesterday at the range, from 25yards and out to 100 yards. A fun day. I shot my .32 squirrel rifle, .58 Musketoon and my 14 bore rifle - Neither of us had to wipe the bores during the 4 hours of shooting.  I did hav eto put down the .59 and .69 when the barrels got hot and heat mirage made the target's bullseye bouncy.  

The rifles shot quite cleanly and when cleaned after getting home changed the water for each.  The breeches were dunked into a 3 pound coffee can of water and flushed water into and out of the bores - single patch to clean, 3 to 4 patches to dry. copiously sprayed WD40 into the bores, blasted the excess WD40 out the nipple seats on the .58 and .69, as well as out the vent of the .32 then used that WD40 patch to wipe down the outside, then replaced the barrels in their stocks. Locks cleaned in water with toothbrush, then blown off with compressed air, then sprayed liberally with WD40, wiped and blew off the excess, then replaced in their stocks.

For the last targets we shot, Taylor put up a couple 2" round black bulleye's at 25 yards. I kept this offhand target for measuring, shot with my 14 bore rifle using 3 drams (82gr. 2F) and a 15 bore ball (.677") with .030" patch (12 ounce denim). I managed to get all 5 making a hole that measured 1.458" outside to outside & .781" centre to centre after subtracting the .677" ball's diameter.  It was an extra good target for me.  All fired patches are reusable if re-lubed, BTW.

The combination I used measures .677" + .030" + .030" = .737".  The groove diameter of that barrel is .690" + .012" + .012" = .714". Thus, I have .737" - .714" = .023" divided by 2 = .0115" compression in the bottoms of the grooves - which makes for a perfect seal.

Bore is the tops of the lands to the tops of the lands. Groove diameter is bottom of the groove to the bottom of the groove opposite, the largest size and the size that must be beaten to get a seal.  

I should also note here, I was shooting WW alloy round balls from a Tanner mould, not pure or dead soft lead.  The quite hard lead is why I used the undersized balls. When using pure lead, I use a .684" ball and those same patches.


I changed the water for each gun and the container's water was practically clear, only slightly grayish.  That included cleaning the locks in the same water as the barrel.  The only buildup was in the breech area - which is why I use such snug combinations - NO POWDER BUILDUP in the bore.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2015, 09:03:06 PM by Daryl »
Daryl

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Offline Marcruger

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Re: Roundball and patching question please? Patches releasing?
« Reply #14 on: August 25, 2015, 01:23:16 AM »
Wow!   What fantastic information.  Now I just need to extensively experiment and see what my rifle likes. 

I already have a box of .495 roundballs, so I may try that soon. 

I am curious, where do y'all find a reliable supply of tough patching larger than .018?

In blackpowder cartridge, some folks wipe with a water-soluble cutting oil/water mix.  Any of you try that? 

Please keep suggestions coming.  I have only taken it out once, so I have the rest of my life to get it right.  ;-) 

Notice, I am not blaming the barrel maker or the gun maker.  They rock!   :-) 

Best wishes, super thanks again, and God Bless,   Marc

Offline SCLoyalist

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Re: Roundball and patching question please? Patches releasing?
« Reply #15 on: August 25, 2015, 02:03:54 AM »

I am curious, where do y'all find a reliable supply of tough patching larger than .018?

In blackpowder cartridge, some folks wipe with a water-soluble cutting oil/water mix.  Any of you try that?  


My patch material sources of late have been JoAnn Fabrics and onlinefabricstore.com.    They carry pillow ticking, linen, denim and duck fabrics.  The problem is they don't use compressed and uncompressed fabric thickness in their product descriptions.  FWIW, JoAnn no. 40 cotton drill is approximately 8 oz/sq yard, has uncompressed/compressed thicknesses around 0.020/0.016.  Their 10 oz canvas duck weighs 10 oz/yd (duh!) and measures 0.028/0.020.  They have several pillow tickings, including one with rather dark blue, almost black striping, whose thickness is 0.026/0.018.    If you do buy fabric store material, run it through your washing machine once or twice to remove any 'sizing' they've put into the cloth to stiffen it.   And, be advised if the lady behind the JoAnn counter inquires what sewing project you're buying ticking for, you're going to blow her mind when you tell her you're going to cut it into 1-1/4" pieces and shoot it out of a Davy Crockett gun.

Never tried oil/water mix for wiping, did try it as a patch lube in the manner described by Dutch Schoulz (i.e. soak patches in the mixture and allow water to evaporate).  Has potential for working okay, but results vary from gun to gun.  If you're going to wipe between shots, water ought to do about as well as oil/water, IMO.   Or, if your rifle likes a really wet patch, you can shoot, pour the next charge of powder down, ram down the wet patch wrapped around the ball.   Fouling will get pushed down atop the powder charge, leaving a (relatively) clean bore ahead of the ball.  In essence, loading for the next shot cleans for the last.   Of course, if your rifle doesn't shoot well with a wet patch, or you're hunting and don't want to have a wet patch down the bore for several hours, that's not an option.

Good luck and enjoy.
« Last Edit: August 25, 2015, 02:10:19 AM by SCLoyalist »

Offline bgf

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Re: Roundball and patching question please? Patches releasing?
« Reply #16 on: August 25, 2015, 02:12:19 AM »
JoAnn fabric store bull denim in natural color and 10-11oz. (Not sure) works pretty well for me. Wash it up and lube with spit or water.  I wipe between shots in chunk matches, but either not at all or between relays in other shoots.  As long as the fouling does not set up before loading, wiping isn't essential for ease of loading, though it can be desirable for best results at times.  I usually just lick one side of the cleaning patch and run it down an back, then turn it over.

Offline bgf

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Re: Roundball and patching question please? Patches releasing?
« Reply #17 on: August 25, 2015, 02:16:40 AM »
PS.  Patches don't stick to the ball.  I was amazed at the number of Teflon patches on the ground than looked like they had been loaded upside down and another shooter told me they turn inside out, which I think is correct and pretty amazing.

BartSr

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Re: Roundball and patching question please? Patches releasing?
« Reply #18 on: August 25, 2015, 07:23:11 PM »
I now use "Bull Denim" which has natural color and about 0.022 thick.

Paul

Offline Daryl

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Re: Roundball and patching question please? Patches releasing?
« Reply #19 on: August 25, 2015, 08:47:59 PM »
I've never seen Bull Denim, but used to smoke Bull Durum time to time when I was 'much' younger. Nasty disk shaped 'backy' in the white bag with pull strings.

The denim I buy here is usually listed by the ounce in weight.

6, 8, 10, 12oz.  12 ounce measrues .030" in my calipers, crushed as hard as possible between finger and thumb on the tines, not the roll wheel.
My Mitutoyu micrometer measures the 12 ounce denim at .025"- crushed.

I use only the 10 and 12 ounce. I measured the 8 ounce at .0195" average.  It is too thin for some rifles, in that although it shoots cleanly (no necessity to wipe while shooting 50 to 100shots), it does not give as good accuracy as the thicker patching. I still have a bit of the 8 ounce so I use it as shop rags. Not thick enough or fuzzy enough for cleaning, even. Works for rags.

Every rifle I have except for the .69 likes the 10 ounce Denim, which I measure at .0225" compressed as hard as I can, between finger and thumb on the anvils of my dial calipers.  .0225" is the average of 3 different measurements from 3 different calipers. My newest set of calipers are Hornady brand and the give the "average" reading, thus I only use them now.
Daryl

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Offline PPatch

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Re: Roundball and patching question please? Patches releasing?
« Reply #20 on: August 25, 2015, 09:38:34 PM »
I have a Rice round bottomed rifling 50 cal on my Lancaster rifle. I shoot .495 RB with a .022 pillow ticking patch and spit only as lube. It will shoot all day without needing wiping. It will give you a harder trip down the barrel if it is a low humidity day and you let the gun sit for a while after the last shot, but it will go down and seat on the ball without resorting to any hard pushing.

dave
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BartSr

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Re: Roundball and patching question please? Patches releasing?
« Reply #21 on: August 25, 2015, 10:23:30 PM »
I now use "Bull Denim" which has natural color and about 0.022 thick.

Paul


From Joann.com,
http://www.joann.com/sew-classic-bottomweight-10oz-natural-bull-denim/prd26101.html

Paul


Offline Standing Bear

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Re: Roundball and patching question please? Patches releasing?
« Reply #22 on: August 25, 2015, 11:12:24 PM »
Anybody know what the thread count is on this 10 oz denim?  Is it a real tight weave?
Thx
TC
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Offline Natureboy

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Re: Roundball and patching question please? Patches releasing?
« Reply #23 on: August 26, 2015, 12:04:24 AM »
I used some linen from JoAnne's, and couldn't find any patches in front of my gun.  Not only that, I started a fire at the range, from that linen.  I went to 7oz denim, also from JoAnne's, and the groups tightened up.  I found every patch, some as far away from my station as 30 feet.  Yesterday, I experimented with some ticking, and could find only 1 patch.  The rest were apparently shredded like the linen, and my groups opened up again.  Going back to the denim, I got 2-inch groups of 5 at 50 yards.  Next up, the 10oz bull denim.  Experimenting is fun and a good excuse to make smoke.  I hope to see connected groups, but maybe I just can't see that well after all these years.

Offline moleeyes36

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Re: Roundball and patching question please? Patches releasing?
« Reply #24 on: August 26, 2015, 12:19:11 AM »
Just a word of caution to anyone buying fabric for patches at JoAnne's or some other store like that.  Carefully check the label on the bolt to make sure it is 100% cotton.  Some fabrics, especially ticking and denim, are now made in China and many have some synthetic content added in order to lower the price.  When I find what I want, I buy a few yards ahead to make sure I don't have trouble finding it again.  Buyer beware.

Mole Eyes
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