Cleaning patches

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RATROD56

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I have a question about cleaning patch size. As I've said on previous posts, I am a newbie to muzzleloading, everyone has been great to me since I joined this forum no matter how dumb some of my questions have been. Hat being said, I have a 50cal. Hawken, I've been told by several people that 3" cleaning patches was what i needed. I have those and a 50cal jag but, the patches wont even begin to fit without tearing. Am i doing something wrong?
 

mooman76

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You don't need 3" with the jag. Basically the same size as you use for the patched RB. 3" would probably work when threading through the eyelet(name excapes me), Don't need anything special. I use old T-shirts cut up.
 

Zonie

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I've been using store bought cleaning patches to clean all of my guns.
The package for the 2 1/4" X 2 1/4" size I'm using says they are for .38 thru .45 caliber guns but they work fine in my .50, .54 and .58 caliber guns.

As a shooting patch for a .50 caliber gun would be around 1 3/8" in diameter I think it might be a bit too small to work well as a cleaning patch. It really wouldn't be much if any longer than the length of the cleaning jag when it was shoved down the barrel and if it was off center at all, it could leave some of the metal cleaning jag uncovered.
IMO, look for a cleaning patch that's at least 2 1/4" in size. Going to a 3 inch patch might be a bit too much of a good thing though. A patch that large will tend to bunch up in a wad above the jag and it might make removing the jag hard to do.
 

RATROD56

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I've been using store bought cleaning patches to clean all of my guns.
The package for the 2 1/4" X 2 1/4" size I'm using says they are for .38 thru .45 caliber guns but they work fine in my .50, .54 and .58 caliber guns.

As a shooting patch for a .50 caliber gun would be around 1 3/8" in diameter I think it might be a bit too small to work well as a cleaning patch. It really wouldn't be much if any longer than the length of the cleaning jag when it was shoved down the barrel and if it was off center at all, it could leave some of the metal cleaning jag uncovered.
IMO, look for a cleaning patch that's at least 2 1/4" in size. Going to a 3 inch patch might be a bit too much of a good thing though. A patch that large will tend to bunch up in a wad above the jag and it might make removing the jag hard to do.
I made a mistake, my patches are 2 1/4"
 

Zonie

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I don't know why the 2 1/4" patches should cause a problem. Like I said, that's the size I'm using.

If they are indeed tearing when you start them into your guns bore, it tells me the edges of the rifling grooves where they meet the crown of the muzzle are sharp.
If they are sharp, a shooting patch around a patched ball will also be tearing and that will ruin the accuracy the gun has.

Examine the edges of the grooves where the meet the crown. If they are sharp, use a piece of 180 or 220 grit, black, wet/dry sandpaper to dull them.
Do this by tearing off a 1" x 1" piece. Lay it flat across the muzzle and use your thumb to push it part way down into the bore. Then, rotate your hand back and forth while you slowly rotate the barrel. It may take several of these pieces of sandpaper to get the job done but when it is, all of the sharp edges will be rounded off so they can no longer damage the shooting or the cleaning patch.
 

bang

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I've been buying end of bolt remnants and just cutting the size that suits the application. It's cheaper than buying pre cut patches.
 

RATROD56

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I've been buying end of bolt remnants and just cutting the size that suits the application. It's cheaper than buying pre cut patches.
What kind of fabric do you buy?
 

Grimord

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You may also try putting your jag in a drill press and using a file to take down the diameter of the jag just a bit to allow a better patch fit.
 

deermanct

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100 % cotton fabric is what I use too. Just recently bought about 2 yards of white denim at Walmart. It was a bit stained and dirty. The lady there marked it way down. I think I paid about 5 bucks. Should last me quite a while as I cut my patches to about a inch and a half square.
 

JB67

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On my .50cals, a 1.5" patch is plenty. Anything bigger is a waste of fabric. The extra just bunches up and doesn't do anything. Just check the stain pattern on your dirty patches next time and you'll see what I mean.
 

Carbon 6

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I use old cotton T-shirts cut to about 1.5 -2" square. If they have trouble going down the barrel with a jag your jag might be too big. chuck it in a drill and sand it down a little bit.

Sometimes I cut a patch slightly too big and it won't start into the bore easily. I just move the jag to one of the corners of the square patch instead of the center and then it usually goes right down.

If you are using a button jag, you patches will have to be cut precisely and as small as possible. they are not forgiving at all like a shanked jag is.
 

RATROD56

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I've been happy with 2" square patches cut from decommissioned flannel sheets (estate sales or thrift store). I just make sure they are 100% cotton.
Thank you for the advice. I'm starting to realize that I'm pretty much wasting money using store bought patches. I am a traditional person so, the idea of using homemade makes much more sense to me. PS. "Decommissioned" I like that.😂
 

ord sgt

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I was given large quantities of cloth from a friend. He worked for the Dept. of Corrections and made deliveries to a women's prison. Got to know the women that worked the loading dock. Since those women make their clothing, plenty of scrap material. Instead of tossing the waste, they saved the cloth for him. After being given some of the scrap, I cut different size patches to suit my needs. Finally used up all the scraps, I now have to buy my material. He retired so we lost our source of free material.
 

Rich

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Round the leading edge or your jag a little helps with the tearing.
 

rp77469

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I cut cleaning patches from flannel remnants from the cloth store and one of those rolling fabric cutters. Mine are all kinds of sizes. I get so enthralled watching that fabric fall apart, I forget about keeping a straight line. Mine run from 1 inch to maybe 2.5 or three square. That's ok as my calibers run from .32 to .75 with stops at all the majors in between. I just roughly sort them out when I pick up the pieces, so to speak.
 

Nutnfancy

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Been using cleaning patches I cut from my old T-shirts for over 40 years, haven't cost me a penny for cleaning patches. My uncle recently gifted me his T/C 54 cal Renegade. powder horn and possibles bag and in the bag were some store bought patches, those are the only ones I've used that were not cut from old T-shirts.
 

Kansas Jake

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Me too on the t-shirts for cleaning patches. I also use patches from old flannel shirts. The disadvantage of the flannel is they are usually colored and are only used in the beginning part of cleaning as they don't show up when the bore is clean as well as a white t-shirt.
 

RATROD56

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Thank you everyone for the advise. I see now that buying patches is a waste of money. I thank you all very much.
 
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