Author Topic: Sighting in my Isaac Haines rifle today, but with a thinner patch  (Read 1303 times)

Offline Maven

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My .54cal. Isaac Haines (Chambers/R. Rice bbl.; Waksupi built) has been nothing but reliable, very few hang- or misfires.  Accuracy, however, has been a bit of a problem though.  Even though I use the .530" (home cast) RB and patch combination (.018") that Rice himself told me to use, I wasn't getting the smaller groups I'd hoped for.  While the .530" RB and .018" patch is easy to load and accurate enough for [most] woods walk targets, I just wasn't enamored of the rifle's performance.  Powder brand, charge, and granulation didn't make a consistent difference, but RB diameter and patch thickness sure did.  To wit, a .535" home cast RB + a .014" pillow ticking patch improved things, but it was beastly to start and ram home, even with a steel rod.  (My palm still hurts just thinking of it!)  Things got so bad that I ignored the rifle until a few months ago, when I tried, (gulp!) a thinner, .011" -.012" patch with the .535" RB.  Wow, what a difference!  Not only does that combination load easily, but it is accurate as well.  I've attached a photo of today's frolic below.  While that's not my favorite target (I prefer it in black), I was very pleased with the 10-shot result @ 25 yd.  Here are the particulars:

The Patch:  This is "Sew Classics" (from Jo Ann Fabric) 100% cotton twill; two are attached to the target.  It "mics" @ .011" - .012" and has never burned through even with heavier loads.

The Load:  70gr. Graf's/GOEX FFg under a home cast .535" (.537" in fact, Lee Precision mould).

Patch Lube: 1 Ballistol: 6 water.  Patches were wet when loaded and no bore wiping was done for the entire range session of 12 shots

Prime:  Elephant FFFFg + some GOEX mixed in.

Distance to target: 25 yd.

Shots on target:  10.  Two additional shots were taken at clay pigeons I placed on the 25 yd. berm:  Got 'em both, but no rest used.

Other:  Shot from a heavy rest + rear bag.  The rifle was position in the front rest exactly as I hold it when shooting off hand.


Paul W. Brasky

Offline MuskratMike

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Re: Sighting in my Isaac Haines rifle today, but with a thinner patch
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2022, 11:19:33 PM »
Looks to me that "problem solved". Every rifle is unique in itself. My .54 loves 75 grains of Goex 3F a .530 round ball and a greased .018 patch. No two are ever the same. Glad you found a combination that works so well.
Happy 4th
Mike
"Muskrat" Mike McGuire
Keep your eyes on the skyline, your flint sharp and powder dry.

Offline Maven

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Re: Sighting in my Isaac Haines rifle today, but with a thinner patch
« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2022, 01:25:27 AM »
Thank you Mike, and a happy 4th to you as well.
Paul W. Brasky

Offline smylee grouch

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Re: Sighting in my Isaac Haines rifle today, but with a thinner patch
« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2022, 05:15:07 AM »
Looks like you have it dialed in nice at 25 so how does it shoot at 50?

Offline Daryl

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Re: Sighting in my Isaac Haines rifle today, but with a thinner patch
« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2022, 06:34:30 AM »
I'm surprised. Could be your bore is on the tight side or something else is at play. If you are happy, I am happy for you.
Daryl

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

Offline Maven

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Re: Sighting in my Isaac Haines rifle today, but with a thinner patch
« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2022, 03:10:05 PM »
50 yd. will be the next test.  As far as the bore goes, a .535" RB will roll ~half way down of its own weight, but that diameter ball and the thiner patch seem to play well together.  We'll see if that's true for longer distances too.
Paul W. Brasky

Birddog6

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Re: Sighting in my Isaac Haines rifle today, but with a thinner patch
« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2022, 04:18:20 PM »
Mine likes .530 ball & .015 pillow ticking patched with my patch grease for hunting (Rice Barrel) 65 grains of 3F Scheutzen.  Easy to load & reload.

For target I use .535 ball &  75 grains of 3F Schueutzen, same.15 pillow ticking & my liquid patch lube.

Working loads, i never shoot more than 3 shots at a bull & also donít want to hit the bull, as it distorts the sight picture. I want that bullseye perfectly round every shot.

I can move the sights after I find the load.

Offline Scota4570

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Re: Sighting in my Isaac Haines rifle today, but with a thinner patch
« Reply #7 on: July 05, 2022, 12:18:34 AM »
I recently had a similar experience with a 40 cal.  I went to a 395 ball and a 0.015 patch.  I lubed with 5:1 ballistol and let the strips dry.  At 50 yards, benched, double rested, peep sight, I got teenie little 5-shots groups.  That barrel is square bottom. wide  grooves and narrow lands.  I see the dry patch method as being the biggest factor in the improvement. 

I had another that refused to shoot.  IT had very wide lands and narrow grooves.  Mr. Hoyt has it in his shop to rebore.

Offline alacran

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Re: Sighting in my Isaac Haines rifle today, but with a thinner patch
« Reply #8 on: July 05, 2022, 01:53:36 PM »
If I understand "other" correctly, other than the shots you took at clay birds, the ten were shot from a rest.
That is the accuracy I would expect at 50 yards. Really at 25 yards you should have one ragged hole.
A man's rights rest in three boxes: the ballot box, the jury box, and the cartridge box.  Frederick Douglass

Offline Maven

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Re: Sighting in my Isaac Haines rifle today, but with a thinner patch
« Reply #9 on: July 05, 2022, 04:00:38 PM »
I would as well, but that's not my favorite target (not enough contrast), but it was handy.  I have others where I get "one ragged hole" @ 25 yd.  The posted target shows essentially two  5 shot groups, both with all shots touching. 
Paul W. Brasky

Offline hanshi

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Re: Sighting in my Isaac Haines rifle today, but with a thinner patch
« Reply #10 on: July 06, 2022, 12:18:37 AM »
I believe you've got the accuracy thing down pat.  If it works, don't mess with it. 
!Jozai Senjo! "always present on the battlefield"
Young guys should hang out with old guys; old guys know stuff.

Offline Maven

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Re: Sighting in my Isaac Haines rifle today, but with a thinner patch
« Reply #11 on: July 06, 2022, 01:43:45 AM »
Methinks you're right, hanshi.  Btw, we used to use the black version of that target for my club's 50 yd..22 Bench Rest competition (receiver sight or 'scopes, but no more than 9x; ammo no more expensive than CCI Green Tag or Wolf Match or Match Extra).  Let me tell you that even with the 7x scope I used, getting more than 10-X was outstanding and highly unlikely.  In theory, it was possible to get 20-X in a match as we shot two of those targets, but none of us with "hunter class" rifles ever came close.
Paul W. Brasky

Offline Clark Badgett

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Re: Sighting in my Isaac Haines rifle today, but with a thinner patch
« Reply #12 on: July 10, 2022, 06:19:39 AM »
My .54 Colonial liked a .530 ball and .010 patch. So does. My does friends Hawken.
Psalms 144

Offline wolf

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Re: Sighting in my Isaac Haines rifle today, but with a thinner patch
« Reply #13 on: July 19, 2022, 02:48:44 PM »
with my rice 54 i use denim and .535 ball, 75gr. of goex olde eynsford powder. my gun is a tack driver. this was shot off hand at 50yds. 3 shots. this is an exceptional group for me. but most times they will at least touch. off the bench the hole will just grow bigger. i have found a gun shoots better and better as the barrel is broke in.
I have never "harvested" a critter but I have killed quite a few,,,,,,,,,,,

Offline Maven

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Re: Sighting in my Isaac Haines rifle today, but with a thinner patch
« Reply #14 on: July 19, 2022, 02:53:55 PM »
Nicely done, wolf!  Unfortunately, my back and off hand shooting no longer is an option for me.
Paul W. Brasky