Best way to use spit patch?

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sidtrog

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Pardon my inexperience, what is the the best procedure for using a spit patch? Particularly in the field rather than at the range. Does one hang a strip of patch material on your bag, chew one end while you pour powder then put the wet end over muzzle, start ball, cut patch?
Also separate but related question, how was grease based lube used in the field during a long hunters day? Assuming he had something like rendered bear fat to wipe down his gun for cleaning/rust prevention would he have also used it for patch lube? Is there any evidence that a patch box was ever used to store pre-lubed patches? I have wondered because if this was common I would think we would see more old stocks stained with grease absorbed through the patch box.
Sorry for the scattered questions; I did try searching forums, not very well probably.
 

Flintlock

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Spit patches are for those who never leave the range not for hunters and outdoorsmen. Most everyone would have carried some form of lube, weather it be a oil, tallow or fat. I used to use the patchbox but would wear one out opening and closing the lid. Some grease a strip of cloth but I prefer to pre cut (Square) patches and keeep them in a small tin with a few balls. I can reach in my bag, grab the tin, a patch and ball with one movement and add a few balls to the tin if needed. A spit patch can and will dry out while hunting or trekking loosing the ability to actual lube the ball and also making pulling a ball at the end of the hunt or after foul weather that much harder. So much easier to lube a patch with olive oil, bear grease or salt free fat.
 

sidtrog

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I have read some comments that disagree with the thought that spit patches quickly dry out... but have never tried to test it myself
 

Flintlock

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I have read some comments that disagree with the thought that spit patches quickly dry out... but have never tried to test it myself
Some of us leave our rifles loaded for days or weeks on end, spit patches would easily dry out.
 
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For a short while I experimented with spit patch but truth be known was only during ranges or woods walk thru's. I liked the fact that it helped to keep the fouling soft but certainly not for a long time. Some of the drawbacks was that a patch shoved in my law like some snuff for some silly reason tended to activate a gag reflex. Other area of concern is I did not want a rust ring developing near the breech from salts as it dried. I guess some folks use them but it's much easier for me to use Olive Oil, Ballistol soaked patches etc.
 

megasupermagnum

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I really doubt anyone is going to have used spit patches in the field more than one time. No they don't immediately dry out, but they will be worthless in 1/2 hour. Hunting is not a practical application for spit patches, or any kind of water lube.

For grease, yes there have been rifles and documented evidence that the patch box did indeed hold lube for shooting. It seems they were as varied as today, everyone did their own thing. What sticks out to me is that in every case I've read so far, the loading procedure was to take a patch, either a strip or a pre-cut that was dry, and then take it and wipe it in the grease to get one side lubed. It seems to me they did this more to facilitate loading than anything. I've not seen any mention of trying to soak grease into a patch. I've tried it myself, and it seems like it would be very tough to get the exact same amount of lube on every patch. I like consistency, so I pre-lube all my patches.
 

George

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Is there any evidence that a patch box was ever used to store pre-lubed patches?
_Travels Through the States of North America and the Provinces of Upper and Lower Canada, During the Years of 1795, 1796 and 1797_, by Isaac Weld, Jr., a young Englishman.
"The best of powder is chosen for the rifle barrel gun, and after a proper proportion of it is put down the barrel, the ball is enclosed in a small bit of linen rag, well greased at the outside, and then forced down with a thick ramrod. The grease and the bits of rag, which are called patches, are carried in a little box at the butt-end of the gun."

Spence
 
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Spit patches do NOT dry out in half an hour. I have no problem with leaving the gun loaded all day with them while hunting but will admit that I do not leave my guns loaded for several days. Been doing it since the 70's and no rust rings etc.

Obviously some do not like them and denigrate them but some of us use them to good result.
 

SamTex1949

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Seeing we have seen and or have long rifles with a "grease hole" instead of patch box imply the shooter would swipe
patch material over it as he was loading .
 

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Daveboone

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I currently do not use a spit patch, but used to while hunting. Tuck a couple patches in the cheek and carry a couple balls in your pocket. Certainly though, just carrying a preload with a pregreased ball is much quicker and efficient. Pop the end caps, on quick push and you are reloaded.
 
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For a woods walk I hang a strip of patching from a strap that hangs around my neck. When loading I pour powder down the barrel, stick the end of the patch strip in my mouth and wet it, put the patch over the bore, add a ball, short start it and cut the patch. Seat the ball and it is ready.

I get better accuracy with the Dutch dry lube method, but I don’t like swabbing between shots on a woods walk. A spit patch lets me load and shoot 15 or more shots with acceptable accuracy with no swabbing.

For a load that stays in the barrel for a while such as for hunting I use a greasy lube.
 
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Considering personal hygiene, using spit patches is not the wisest thing to do, when there are better options.
Imagine all those germs getting blown out of the barrel!
You probably don’t blow down the barrel either.

I haven’t found any better options, it’s readily available and I don’t have to fumble for it and it works great for me.

I don’t care what you use, just don’t denigrate those of us who like it, that’s all I ask.
 
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I do know that on the woods walk portion of the Winter Rendezvous at Fort de Chartres, I would spit on the ball end of my paper patched cartridge before loading and each ball was easy to thumb start and I didn't need to wipe the bore during the walk. Not much of an application for a hunting procedure, I have used paper cartridges with the ball end dipped in my liquid version of olive oil and bee's wax. Good for the first shot, but fouling gets built up quickly and reloads become more difficult.
 
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When I started shooting in the 70's EVERYONE! and I do mean everyone at the club where I learned blew down the barrel and used a spit patch and we had some very good shooters who taught me. Our Seneca run was the envy of the region.

Most of the shooters there now shoot production guns and use some kind of lube and some would like me to quit blowing down the barrel (they are all showing up at the shoots in Levis and bib-overalls).... Sorry been doing it for some time and I plan to quit..... when I die.

You guys using lube and wiping between shots and stuff, more power to you, just don't be an (*^*)&^^%$ about it
 

hanshi

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Actually none of the posters have been an (*<*)&>>%$ about spit patching, they've just given their experiences and preferences same as you did. FWIW way back when I started muzzleloading a spit patch was all I used. Later I found other ways to lube patches and drifted away from spit patches. But now I tend to be too dry even if I wanted to wet them the natural way. I precut the patches and use mink oil in the bush and Hoppes, and occasionally mink oil, at the range. I have a dear friend who uses nothing but spit patch and he is quite satisfied doing so. We've hunted together a lot over the years and both have our own procedures.
 
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Actually none of the posters have been an (*<*)&>>%$ about spit patching, they've just given their experiences and preferences same as you did. FWIW way back when I started muzzleloading a spit patch was all I used. Later I found other ways to lube patches and drifted away from spit patches. But now I tend to be too dry even if I wanted to wet them the natural way. I precut the patches and use mink oil in the bush and Hoppes, and occasionally mink oil, at the range. I have a dear friend who uses nothing but spit patch and he is quite satisfied doing so. We've hunted together a lot over the years and both have our own procedures.

Yes sir, you are correct. no one was being a (*<*)&>>%$ and I apologize for that. Mea Culpa

I do not begrudge those who use lubes and I do not tell people not to use them.
There are those who tell newbies not to use spit patches however and I disagree.
 
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