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patch question

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foresthawk

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I am putting a .45 caplock into service using a roundball.
What thickness patch would be recommended to use?
I have patched .54 rifles in the past, but not yet a .45.
Thanks for suggestions.
 

cositrike

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I am putting a .45 caplock into service using a roundball.
What thickness patch would be recommended to use?
I have patched .54 rifles in the past, but not yet a .45.
Thanks for suggestions.
You first need to find the actual caliber of the gun. Then choose a couple of different sized balls. Get some patching material. The most usual sizes at 15 and 20 thou. Start shooting at about 40 grains 2f or 3f go up in 5 grain increments. Bigger ball, smaller patch. Smaller ball bigger patch, until it’s shooting good for you. That’s my long winded way of saying, all guns are different and you need to work up your load for your gun. Good luck and good shooting
 

Bob McBride

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Perfect advise above. If I start out with a .440 ball I use .018/.022 patches and with a .445 ball .015/.020. Thicker patching is usually better but load ease will factor in. As tight is as is practical to get the results you need for what you’re doing is best practice.
 

oldwood

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It's been a while since I shot w/ a .45 target rifle , but think the barrel was a 1 turn in 56 " twist , .445 ball , .012 ,to .015 thin lubed patch ,and powder sweet spot was 62 gr. fffg. Very accurate. Shooting 200 yd. silhouettes offhand. Rifle style was percussion back action lock on an intentionally muzzle heavy Pittsburgh half stock w/ barrel rib under 34" X 7/8" oct.. Could hand this rifle to most anyone and they could hit w/it... @ 7.5 lb. was pleasant to shoot most of the day. ..............oldwood
 

Carbon 6

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Better get yourself a range rod first, and a good ball starter if you don't have one. Experimenting with patch thickness is a good way to break your ramrod.
 

Grenadier1758

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Tell us a little more about your rifle. Who is the maker of your rifle? Different makers can have different dimensions for their components. Is it new or used? What performance are you expecting to get? What was the performance of your 54 caliber experience?

Lets go back to @cositrike. The answers to your question have to come from knowledge about your rifle. We need actual measurements of the caliber. What is the land to land diameter? What is the groove to groove diameter? Groove depth is the Groove diameter minus the land to land diameter divided by two. What is the twist rate? Some alterations in our suggestions can be based on those dimensions.

Then, do you want the ball easy to start or extremely accurate for target shooting?

My suggestion for a reasonably accurate starting load is ball size of land to land diameter - 0.010". The patch thickness should be approximately the groove depth + 0.005". In most cases that will be close to 0.015". You will want a short starter to ease the loading of even most modestly tight loadings.
 

ohio ramrod

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It is just my personal belief but I like to go with a smaller ball thicker patch combination to start with. But as said earlier each gun is different.I like to start with an easy loading combination and work my way up to tighter fits.It is easier to find thicker patching material than different sized balls.
 

BallBoy

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I don’t have a micrometer or calipers to measure material for patch thickness. Does anyone have experience ordering various patch materials from TOW or other vendors who sell patch material?
 

Grenadier1758

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Get a good feel for the fabric in your blue jeans at the least worn areas. Most denim jean material is100% cotton. At the local fabric store, look for pillow ticking, mattress ticking, drill cloth and canvas. The materials may feel a bit stiffer than your well washed blue jeans, but you should be able to get a sense of the thickness. If it is close to feeling like your blue jeans make a selection of 1/4 yard and give that a try. The cost of a 1/4 yard of fabric at the local fabric shop will likely be less than a package of patches at the local gun shop. Wash before using as a patch material. If it works you can go back and get more or try some other fabric.
 

oldwood

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BB.......before you get discouraged about patching , find yourself a cheap compression mike. These are not devices from rocket science or tools to do brain surgery. I'm a fairly impatient mechanic and couldn't live w/o my truth-telling little mike. Trust me....in this dark and devious hobby we're in, patching material can be different gun to gun, load to load , caliber to caliber , and you will somehow get pulled into getting another rifle of another caliber. I'd hate to see you fall into the patching swamp in the future. Also , listen to what Grenadier says , he's close to an expert in what makes a m/l load and shoot. .............oldwood
 

Grenadier1758

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You're being to kind to me @oldwood. I wouldn't give me all that much credit. Just been around a lot.

To be sure @BallBoy should go out and get a cheap digital caliper. With calipers capable of acceptable accuracy going for about $20 from Harbor Freight, there's no reason to not have some form of precision measuring device. Besides you won't mind abusing those cheap calipers by doing compression testing on cloth. But you would be amazed just how accurate you can be just by feel.

Compression micrometers for measuring cloth are a lot more expensive than those calipers from Harbor Freight.
 

tenngun

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Ashley was going over a list of supplies for ‘voo.
Blankets check, guns check molds check, worms check,bar lead check,
What this? He ask no micrometers? How in gods name is them boys going to know what thickness of cloth they need for patching
Ol’Henry says ‘wal them boys will just have to make do
I do buy lots of patching but have been known to make do. I’ve never owned a mich
 

BallBoy

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Thanks for the help and valued advice. I’ll have to ask Santa for some measuring instruments for Christmas.
I’ve got 4 ML’s I’ve only shot one.
A 50cal TC that I built from a kit probably 40+ years ago, when I new nothing. My knowledge about ML is still growing. The others are two .50cal and a .54cal. Looking forward to range time figuring out Powder/patch/ball combinations for each rifle. The TC will probably be a conical shooter once I figure out the rate of twist.
Thanks again Derek
 

Grenadier1758

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The T/C with a T/C barrel will have a 1 in 48" factory supplied twist. The rifling is done by a hard button to make the grooves. These work pretty good for a solid based conical and tight fitting patched round ball.

Tell us about your other rifles.
 

Carbon 6

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Ashley was going over a list of supplies for ‘voo.
Blankets check, guns check molds check, worms check,bar lead check,
What this? He ask no micrometers? How in gods name is them boys going to know what thickness of cloth they need for patching
Ol’Henry says ‘wal them boys will just have to make do
I do buy lots of patching but have been known to make do. I’ve never owned a mich
I can find patching without a micrometer or calipers, but they make life so much easier. I think everyone should own a digital or dial calipers. I use mine for all sorts of things. I have several.
 

BallBoy

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The others are all GRRW rifles.
Two early .50’s both were made around 1974. a .54cal newer build with an older barrel stamped with the maker mark of “GP” Gardell Powelle who’s my cousin. This rifle also has the GRRWCA Mark as well. One of the .50s was also made by Gardell. He is still alive and lives in the Uinta Basin Roosevelt area.
Almost forgot to add I’ve got a Euro Arms .44 ML pistol I purchased about 25yrs ago that I love to shoot. I use spent pistol brass for my various powder charges with FFF Black.
Derek.
 
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BallBoy

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Do you wash the patching materials before use?
Derek
 

Grenadier1758

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The washing and drying will tighten up the weave and remove the sizing so the patch lubricant can penetrate the fibers of the patch material better. It will be solfter to compress into the windage between the ball and the land and form into the groove.
 
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