Author Topic: Poor groups and pillow ticking patch size  (Read 8817 times)

Davemuzz

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Poor groups and pillow ticking patch size
« on: December 27, 2019, 01:55:45 AM »
I'm shooting my .54 caliber Green MT. barrel and not getting consistent groups. My 100 yard results are all over the place and well over a foot in size. I will get half of the shots in a 6" group, but then the other half is disappointing to say the least. I had one drop a good 20" at 100 yards.

I'm using (or have tried) loads from 80gr. FF to 110FF, a .530 Hornady RB and .018 pillow ticking with mink oil lube. The initial load into the barrel with the PRB is tight.....but not difficult. This leads me to believe I'm getting initial blow-by around the PRB.

So, I am going to try a .020 cotton patch. My question is ....is the cotton patch as tough as pillow ticking?

Thanks much.

Edit:  I entered the incorrect ball size of .520 when in fact the correct size of my shooting was using .530 Hornady RB.  I am awaiting Hornady .535 RB's to arrive.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2019, 08:24:37 PM by Davemuzz »

Offline recurve

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Re: Poor groups and pillow ticking patch size
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2019, 02:21:43 AM »
I had to fallow Mr Dixons advise and smooth out the barrel with steal wool and thicker patch
form this at 25 yrds (nothing seemed to group) to this after steal wool and patch ,020 denim   50yrds



Joe S

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Re: Poor groups and pillow ticking patch size
« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2019, 02:34:25 AM »
I have the same barrel. I could not get it to group well until I used 0.535" balls and 0.018" - 0.020" patches. Also, I had to go to 90 grains of FF. Lighter loads do not group well at all, but with this combination I can shoot 2 1/2" groups at 100 yards (on a good day).

To answer your question, pillow ticking is cotton. How well your "cotton patch" works will depend to a large degree on how tightly it is woven.

Offline rich pierce

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Re: Poor groups and pillow ticking patch size
« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2019, 02:46:21 AM »
Are you recovering and reading your patches? Otherwise, all is guesswork.

Any ball/patch combo that stays intact can give decent accuracy. Fiddling with ball sizes and patch combos is only useful for finding a combo that gives you a seal and stays intact. So reading patches is the main way of finding out what’s wrong with your load.
Andover, Vermont

Davemuzz

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Re: Poor groups and pillow ticking patch size
« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2019, 03:13:53 AM »
I could not recover my patches today as the temp's were in the 60's (unusual for this time of year) and the range was very busy.

My current PRB is the .590 Hornady and the .015 patch. (As I stated above and I'm sure you guys have read) and this combo goes down pretty easy even after 5 or 6 shots without a barrel swab. That is what leads me to believe I'm getting some blow-by in these loads.

Offline RichG

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Re: Poor groups and pillow ticking patch size
« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2019, 03:22:27 AM »
.520 is a small ball for a 54. In my green Mtn 58 I use a .565 rb and an .025 patch with mink oil. My 54 Colerain(round groove) I use a .526 and a .025 patch with mink oil. I would think with a .520 ball you would need a patch at least .025-.030 thick. And your patches will tell you if you're getting blow by.

Offline Skychief

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Re: Poor groups and pillow ticking patch size
« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2019, 03:28:32 AM »
A lot of pillow ticking offered now is loosely woven junk in my opinion.

I've been using cotton duck material for years in some of my rifles, with complete satisfaction. 

Good luck, Skychief

Offline Mike from OK

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Re: Poor groups and pillow ticking patch size
« Reply #7 on: December 27, 2019, 04:10:07 AM »
Are you recovering and reading your patches?

Rich speaks the truth... This is where I would start.

Mike

Davemuzz

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Re: Poor groups and pillow ticking patch size
« Reply #8 on: December 27, 2019, 04:19:23 AM »
I will collect a sample of patches the next time out. I did mic my bore and got this:

Land to land = .544
Grove to grove = .554

Now, I took these with my Dial Micrometer using the small\thin blade end. It's gotta be very, very close.

FWIW

Offline Daryl

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Re: Poor groups and pillow ticking patch size
« Reply #9 on: December 27, 2019, 05:13:31 AM »
I expect blow-by & patch disintegration is your main problem.  For such an undersized ball, your patches are way too thin.
If you are going to use such a small ball, your patches must be MUCH thicker. Guys up here, find satisfaction with a .020" to
.022" patch, either denim, pocket drill, canvas  or linen and a ball that is only .005" smaller than the bore, at the most, .010"
smaller than the bore.
Your measurements do not look right for a GM barrel.  The bore should be .540" and the grooves should have .012" deep rifling.
That would produce a groove dia. (groove to groove) of .564".  Getting a good accurate measurement of the bore is not easy with
calipers.
The best way, if necessary, is to un-breach the barrel, run a rod up to almost the muzzle from the breech end and drive an oversized ball
into the muzzle, then push it out, catch it on a folded blanket and measure the lands and grooves on that ball. That will give an accurate
measurement.
Suffice to say though, that the bore will be VERY close to .540" and the rifling will be .010" to .012" deep for each groove. We've been shooting
these barrels for a lot of years and we automatically go with a .005" under calibre sized ball and 10oz. (.022") denim, or canvas, pocket drill or canvas patch.
This formula works in EVERY gun we've tested. All that remains is to find the powder charge the gun wants. We already know the ball and patch
combination will work with any powder charge you are likely to use.  The greater the charge, the higher the pressure and the tighter the combo must be.
That, is a given.
Daryl

"a gun without hammers is like a spaniel without ears" King George V

Offline TonyM

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Re: Poor groups and pillow ticking patch size
« Reply #10 on: December 27, 2019, 05:38:17 AM »
For what it is worth:
I shoot all my GM barrels with a bore  size ball and .012 tight woven cotton patch, except the .54. I use .535 for that only because I cannot readily find a .540.
For lube: either my home made bore cleaner(water, soap, balistol) or olive oil.

Davemuzz

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Re: Poor groups and pillow ticking patch size
« Reply #11 on: December 27, 2019, 03:33:12 PM »
For what it is worth:
I shoot all my GM barrels with a bore  size ball and .012 tight woven cotton patch, except the .54. I use .535 for that only because I cannot readily find a .540.
For lube: either my home made bore cleaner(water, soap, balistol) or olive oil.

I'm going to give the .535 RB using my existing .018 mink lubed patch a try first. I like to keep it simple before I get into elaborate barrel crowning, barrel polishing etc. I very much appreciate all the responses to my post as I find the expertise on this forum to be the best. I have another GM barrel on my .50 caliber T\C and I shoot the Hornady Pa. Conical out of that barrel and find it to be frankly...."wicked accurate" for a flintlock.  Shooting the Pa Conical doesn't require patch size and lube as the hollow base expands to seal the charge behind it. To bad Hornady doesn't make these for the .54 Cal.

I've ordered the .535 ball and I'll post my results.

Again....Thanks!!

Offline Dobyns

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Re: Poor groups and pillow ticking patch size
« Reply #12 on: December 27, 2019, 08:49:45 PM »
I keep various thicknesses of ticking and cotton duck or cotton canvas on hand.  The heavier pillow ticking is pretty tough, but I've never cut or blown a .025" cotton duck patch.

The "natural" colored cotton duck cloth at JoAnn Fabric is .025" and the dyed colors are thinner at .020".  My heavy ticking is .020" and the lighter stuff is .015".  Wash it in hot water and dry in high heat to shrink it.

Offline WadePatton

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Re: Poor groups and pillow ticking patch size
« Reply #13 on: December 27, 2019, 09:43:23 PM »
Spinnin' tires without patches to read, but agree with the notion that your combination isn't fat enough. A different idea:

If you have a lot of 520's to shoot I'd start loading them up with a "shim" patch on top of your ticking patch. If you have some really thin stuff you might add it in layers to see how thick a combo you can seat.   

I run a 530 in .20"+ denim in my Colerain 54.  I have put a 535- maybe two(!) down that bore with the same patch, but it was an ugly wad of lead when it got to the charge. It just was easier to force it down than to pull it out-and that's too tight for sure and I won't do it again. The point is that just a .005" smaller ball made it all work out. 

The patches are re-shootable, and I do reshoot them when I find 'em.
Hold to the Wind

Offline MuskratMike

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Re: Poor groups and pillow ticking patch size
« Reply #14 on: December 27, 2019, 11:01:07 PM »
I also shoot .530 and a .015-.018 ticking patch soaked in Neatsfoot oil. I often pick up and reuse my patches. When I used .010 patches they were not reusable and had small burn through holes.
"Muskrat" Mike McGuire
Keep your eyes on the skyline, your flint sharp and powder dry.

Offline smallpatch

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Re: Poor groups and pillow ticking patch size
« Reply #15 on: December 27, 2019, 11:44:43 PM »
Dave, please don't take this the wrong way, but...... your balls are too small!
In His grip,

Dane

Davemuzz

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Re: Poor groups and pillow ticking patch size
« Reply #16 on: December 27, 2019, 11:58:05 PM »
Dave, please don't take this the wrong way, but...... your balls are too small!

Yes. Sometimes the truth hurts.   :'( :-\ 8) 8)

I shoot a lot of different caliber rifles\pistols during the year and reload for all of 'em.  Several years back I learned in interesting lesson when working up a load for my 38-55. I worked up the load using a WLR primer and when I got happy, I loaded up 100 rounds using a different CCI LR primer. Because of the long column of powder in the 38-55, the different primer actually decreased the velocity by 115fps. A first time "noticeable" velocity difference.

As such, the 100 loads were impacting a good 12" lower at 100 yards. Just so I wasn't crazy I set up my chronograph for the CCI loads and yup.....it verified what my little brain (little brain......little balls....I see a pattern here) was thinking.

So, I figure when the extremely low hit from the .54 Cal occurred it had to be from blow-by. As were the other "spray" POI RB's that were occurring. I could be wrong......but when the bigger balls arrive......hopefully my groups will tighten up!!   8)

Offline David Price

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Re: Poor groups and pillow ticking patch size
« Reply #17 on: December 28, 2019, 03:47:52 AM »
Dave,

I have sighted in many 54 cal, Green Mt. barrels over the years.  I am amazed how consistent their bore size has been.  I have tried many combinations over the years  and I find a .530 ball with a .020 patch will give excellent accuracy with almost any amount of powder between 50 and 100 grs.    A .535 ball will also work well but I see no point in loading a ball that is that hard to drive down the barrel.  Of course if you want the best  your barrel will shoot,  you must do your home work and find the absolute best amount of powder, patch and ball size combination for that particular barrel. 

One other thing, always pick up your patches when shooting a new barrel, they will tell you more than we can.

David Price

Offline Daryl

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Re: Poor groups and pillow ticking patch size
« Reply #18 on: December 29, 2019, 07:18:00 AM »
Good summary, David, although we disagree on difficulty of loading .005" undersized balls. I
find them easy to load with .022" patches- in any bore size & the smaller the bore, the easier
 loading.
Daryl

"a gun without hammers is like a spaniel without ears" King George V

Offline rich pierce

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Re: Poor groups and pillow ticking patch size
« Reply #19 on: December 29, 2019, 05:17:18 PM »
Wade has a good solution there with a “shim” patch or doubled patching for round balls that are smaller than desired. Not as ideal as a close fitting ball but this definitely works.
Andover, Vermont

Offline Daryl

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Re: Poor groups and pillow ticking patch size
« Reply #20 on: December 29, 2019, 09:28:15 PM »
I have double patched in my .69, using a very small .662" ball. (16 bore ball in a 14 bore rifle)
The results speak for themselves. The .662" ball and 2 .017" patches. 5 shots in the group
although looks like 6 - just the way the paper tore under the top-left ball.
with the flinched 6th hole on the right side. range 50 yards.
This combination didn't quite measure up to larger than groove diameter, although it did shoot
well. Note, with the 3 dram charge, the pressure would have been extremely low- likely not over
5,000psi.


Daryl

"a gun without hammers is like a spaniel without ears" King George V

Offline David Price

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Re: Poor groups and pillow ticking patch size
« Reply #21 on: December 30, 2019, 07:36:38 AM »
This is two targets I fired  with a swivel breach rifle that I had just finished and sighted in.  I just used 65 grs.  of 2f powder,  and a .020 pre lubed patch.  The first picture is six shots, 5 of them joined, and one bad shot.  I fired three shots from alternating barrels.  The next picture is two more shots from alternating barrels.  You can see they would have joined the one big hole in the first target if I hadn't fired on a new target.

David Price





This is a picture of the rifle.






Offline thecapgunkid

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Re: Poor groups and pillow ticking patch size
« Reply #22 on: December 30, 2019, 02:11:10 PM »
Daryl...I expect blow-by & patch disintegration is your main problem.  For such an undersized ball, your patches are way too thin.

Yup.  Every tight group I have ever gotten was worked out one thing at a time.  If I wanted a certain Caliber ball, I used different cloth until I could get a sharper report, no tears.

However...most of my shooting is target or trail walk based, so my gun was never a multi-use gun.  With all the advice given here,  You might end up with a longer sighting in process for each use.

I also wrote the right combination down.  Something happened at 70...

Offline hudson

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Re: Poor groups and pillow ticking patch size
« Reply #23 on: December 30, 2019, 05:29:39 PM »
.520 is too small I would try .530 maybe .535. With patching the weave may not be very tight. Thanks to some one on the forum I found Army duct canvas, great stuff. Using .020 patching when switching to the 10.10 oz (.020) I had to go to a smaller ball size, from .535 to .530. A note it loads tight.
https://www.bigduckcanvas.com/army-duck/10-10-oz-36-inches-wide/

Davemuzz

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Re: Poor groups and pillow ticking patch size
« Reply #24 on: December 30, 2019, 08:22:48 PM »
I kept wondering why you guys were referring to a ball size of .520.  I went back to my initial post and see that I entered .520 ball size. That post is\was incorrect as the ball size I'm shooting is .530 with a .018 mink oil pillow patch.

I'm definitely sorry for the miscue.

Dave