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How long would you go when using spit patches without concern?

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I still consider myself a newbie and at 49 still wet behind the ears with this crowd. And I don't use spit patches, its immature and whatever, I don't care. I'm grossed out by it, there, I said it. But I'm interested in the discussion.

In my mind the patch and lube serve 4 purposes - 1) gas tight seal, 2)softening fouling, 3)keeping the patch from burning, 4) to make the prb slide down the barrel easier

I'd like to know why a frozen spit patch would be a bad thing?

I'd be more worried about a spot patch sitting in a barrel too long, powder wicking out the moisture, and the patch smouldering , especially if it's fire season. I've seen my own patches smouldering when I went too light with the lube.
 
Many of the original rifles I have examined contained residue of grease in their patch boxes. W/o forensic analysis , it would be difficult to learn exactly how many different compounds were used for patch lube , besides spit. Animal grease , and bee's wax in the right proportions were a common frontier lube , as well as straight rendered animal fat. To compound the spit patch questions , did the empty , non patch lube residue empty patch boxes , only carry only unlubed spit patches??
 
I always use a spit patch in competition or when practicing which is 99% of my shooting. It will at most be in the barrel for a couple minutes. If I am hunting I use a lubed patch because it might be in the barrel for a couple days or possibly a couple weeks depending on how lucky I get.
 
I still consider myself a newbie and at 49 still wet behind the ears with this crowd. And I don't use spit patches, its immature and whatever, I don't care. I'm grossed out by it, there, I said it. But I'm interested in the discussion.

In my mind the patch and lube serve 4 purposes - 1) gas tight seal, 2)softening fouling, 3)keeping the patch from burning, 4) to make the prb slide down the barrel easier

I'd like to know why a frozen spit patch would be a bad thing?

I'd be more worried about a spot patch sitting in a barrel too long, powder wicking out the moisture, and the patch smouldering , especially if it's fire season. I've seen my own patches smouldering when I went too light with the lube.
Spit patches work fine in mild weather and for match shooting but are not very good when left for long periods of time for several reasons.
1. spit will stay damp for a long time on a cotton patch and can rust a bore if left long enough with the trace of sodium in it.
2. spit can migrate into the powder from the patch and give you a reduced charge.
3. spit patches freeze and loose their pliability in really cold weather.
4. spit makes loading hard on the bare fingers in very cold weather.
 
. To compound the spit patch questions , did the empty , non patch lube residue empty patch boxes , only carry only unlubed spit patches??
I wonder about that too. Did some rifles never get used in the field as opposed to the local occasional shooting match? Or, maybe many of the old timey shooters/hunters never use the patch box at all.

One time when I forgot my capper I put a few caps loose in the patch box.
 
into the powder ? maybe.
Yeah, I have read that opinion many times...

When shooting from a bench I have never noticed any degradation of the powder from moisture absorption but then, 1. I do not let the load set in the barrel for very long. 2. Perhaps any degradation would be approximately the same for each load and would also be in for the same as shooting offhand (which is really all I am interested in).

If I was serious about shooting ML benchrest, which I am not, I would wipe between shots with wet then dry patches and then load using a dry lubed patch. However, I want to duplicate within reason how our 18th century ancestors loaded when woods walking.

If I were to develop a benchrest/dry lube loading method the POI would (I assume) be different for my spit patches so it is not in my interest.
 
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I have always used pre-lubed patches. 50 years ago I made them myself now I buy them from October Country. I will leave an unfired rifle over night but If I have fired it during the day, It gets cleaned as soon as I leave the woods. May not be necessary but I have some really old guns that still look new on the inside of the barrel
 
I often use spit (saliva) on my patches when target shooting or just having fun but always shoot them straight away. If I'm hunting then it's always a lubed patch - usually with ox-yoke. Never had any issues with rust
 

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