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Patch diameter?

Muzzleloading Forum

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PA lead

32 Cal
Jan 30, 2023
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I am well aware that you need to experiment with patch thickness to find out what your gun likes. Does this also apply to patch diameter. I am going to start with .490 balls and pre-cut patched so do I need to stay with the .40-.49 patches or also try the .50-.59 patches. I just wasn't sure the .50-.59 would too big and cause issues. Thanks
Feb 23, 2009
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Central Minn
I just wasn't sure the .50-.59 would too big and cause issues. Thanks
Too big is OK, as long as you think about what your doing.
All ya need is enough to go around the ball, right?, the only problem with too much is the possibility of the starter or rod end getting jammed up with the extra fabric,, it can actually bunch up when removing said starter or rod and lift the patch back out a bit as you raise the rod.
The simple fix;
Seat the ball, (don't drive it), lift the starter and gather the extra fabric above the ball,, and then push the whole thing down.
It's a technique used when cutting at the muzzle like @NorthFork said. Cause you don't really cut "at" the muzzle,, but a little above it,, the blade doesn't touch the barrel.
I've seen top shooters cut way over the muzzle, 3/8" or better!
Feb 28, 2005
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@necchi X2

If you want to be certain of adequate size, calculate the circumference of your ball and use that as a minimum size.

There are alternatives to the purchase of precut patches. Already mentioned; cutting at the muzzle. Some go to the extent of setting up to cut their own round patches. To each his own, but I have personally tried and tested the use of square precut patches and found that accuracy is indistinguishable from cut at the muzzle. Once again making your strip width at least as wide as the circumference of the ball and then cutting off the strip the same measurement.

Whatever method you settle on it puts you in more control of the the supply, quality and thickness of your patches.

Uncle Miltie

45 Cal.
Sep 6, 2022
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Better for the patch to be a little big than too small. I use Ox Yoke .50- .59 patches in a .50 caliber Rice rifle. Excellent size, works great, I have won a lot of prizes with it.