Reducing jag diameter

Discussion in 'Shooting Accessories' started by Baxter, Mar 13, 2019.

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  1. Mar 13, 2019 #1

    Baxter

    Baxter

    Baxter

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    With my new Dremel vise, I will be able to mount my Dremel motor and chuck a jag or two to reduce diameters as many have recommended.
    The question now is, how much to reduce? I have 0.018 and 0.020 ticking that I have used in my .54 caliber rifles and these have given good service with .530 balls.
    Thanks to any/all for help.
     
  2. Mar 13, 2019 #2

    AlanG

    AlanG

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    Long winded answer coming

    You can of course just buy a .50 Cal. Jag- works great for general use in a .54, and use the actual .54 when you need the tighter fit. I always carry and use a .40 in a .45, .45 in a .50 and so on.

    How much to reduce?- simple answer is try as you go, also some jags come with some pretty sharp edges that should be slightly rounded off.

    There really is no need to spin it to reduce diameter, and you are not going to get a Dremel to chuck up much of anything with any real accuracy, and the business end of the jag will be so far out from the chuck you are not going to be able to apply much pressure. An ordinary drill would most likely work better.

    You can get very good and fast results by screwing the Jag into a section of range rod (or in a pinch the ramrod itself), laying it on a flat surface with the jag end hanging off it, and rolling the rod towards you with the palm of your hand while running a forward stroke with a file to reduce diameter, checking as you go.

    I have a full size metal lathe with 5C collets and could turn a jag to any dimension I want in a few seconds really, but honestly simply buying the next undersized jag has worked great for me for a lot of years.

    My 2 cents anyway.
     
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  3. Mar 13, 2019 #3

    FishDFly

    FishDFly

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    "The question now is, how much to reduce? I have 0.018 and 0.020 ticking that I have used in my .54 caliber rifles and these have given good service with .530 balls."

    If you are seating the ball, why reduce the diameter of the jag?
     
  4. Mar 13, 2019 #4

    Melnic

    Melnic

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    Since recently learning I needed to turn mine down I have been using a drill press.
    don't go too tight or you can mess up the threads. IF there is something I can wrap around the threads to help, that would be great.

    I have been doing a couple things that seems to work so far (still working on my methodology)
    1) Have more than 1 jag. If you order from TOW, they don't cost much
    2) Taper the jag some so that the first ring is about .01" smaller than the last (last ring is closest to the rod)
    3) Champher the first ring without having a sharp edge (kind of rounded)
    4) A rough point to reduce the biggest ring to is .040"-.050" smaller than the bore. If you go too small, it won't really clean into the grooves.
    5) Have one that is not turned down if you like to clean your ML in a bucket of hot water, it will get more of a pump action.

    If anyone has some strong opinions against what I have been doing, lemme know, I have some spare .54 jags I have not turned down.
     
  5. Mar 14, 2019 #5

    Juice Jaws

    Juice Jaws

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    I just do what Alan G does , buy the right size.
     
  6. Mar 14, 2019 #6

    azmntman

    azmntman

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    Turning them down will be a project for me real soon to be able to "properly" swipe between shots w/o pushing crud into breech
     
  7. Mar 14, 2019 #7

    Festus

    Festus

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    I just turned one down a couple weeks ago. Bought a 50 cal jag but decided it was a little tight. Chucked it up in my drill and polished it a bit with some sand paper and it works great now.
     
  8. Mar 14, 2019 #8

    zimmerstutzen

    zimmerstutzen

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    I have chucked them in a drill and just polished slightly with fine sand paper wrapped around a paint stick to keep it flat. Or as said just roll it one way lightly pushing a fine file across it the other way. Your shooting patch thickness should have no bearing on the jag size. The cleaning patch thickness will have some bearing on it. I use a cotton flannel cleaning patch (sometimes also to load) and a commercial made jag is usually just right for the flannel.
     
  9. Mar 14, 2019 #9

    Juice Jaws

    Juice Jaws

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    Guess I been lucky because I have never had a problem pushing crud into the breech.
     
  10. Mar 14, 2019 #10

    Poboy

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    Dirty minded folk could take that wrong way, for sure. :mad::confused::(:eek::D
     
  11. Mar 14, 2019 #11

    BrownBear

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    Pretty darned common for too-tight jags to push fouling down into the breech, where it accumulates with repeated swabbing. If you can find cleaning patch material thin enough, you can beat it. You want the patched jag to go down nice and easy past the fouling, then bind just a little to snare the fouling as you withdraw the rod from the bore. I have about a 10-year supply of flannel picked up for pennies when our local Walmart closed its sewing department. Too tight with factory jags. Just fine with a few thousandths turned off my jags.

    Frankly there's no reason to chuck them so tight in your drill that you damage the threads. If you're really worried about it, take a turn or two of masking tape around the stem before chucking it. Doesn't take long or a heck of a lot of pressure on the sandpaper to remove a few thousandths, and you're certainly not going to be banned from the world of muzzleloading if you do it.
     
  12. Mar 14, 2019 #12

    Melnic

    Melnic

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    oh, one thing I thought about, when you make the mistake of putting in a dry cleaning patch down a fowled bore and it goes down easy, then bunches up and gets stuck no matter how hard you pull on the way out, you know it is the right size :)
     
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  13. Mar 14, 2019 #13

    Rifleman1776

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    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    That is the right way. Just take down to the size that works for you. Fuggit decimals and perzactness. Jest do wat works. Or, jest make yer own.

    http://s496.photobucket.com/user/Rifleman1776/media/maplejagtip.jpg.html?sort=3&o=150
    [​IMG]
     
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  14. Mar 14, 2019 #14

    Grenadier1758

    Grenadier1758

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    Ah, melnic, in that case, a few drops of solvent will penetrate into the patch, dissolve enough of the fouling to let you pull the jag and patch out. At least that worked for me.
     
  15. Mar 14, 2019 #15

    Baxter

    Baxter

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    I erred in my OP - spoke of my loading patches rather than my cleaning patches, which are common commercial cotton patches. My apologies. Too many things going on right now; rain on melt of 2' of snow and some flooding going on, run here, run there, mop, mop and mop.
     
  16. Mar 14, 2019 #16

    Melnic

    Melnic

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    Grenadier1758: "Ah, melnic, in that case, a few drops of solvent will penetrate into the patch, dissolve enough of the fouling to let you pull the jag and patch out. At least that worked for me." (don't know why but quote button does not work for me)

    yes, that has been my get out of jail card that I have used :) Even with a lubed cleaning patch, I have learned my jag was too tight and needed to pour some solvent down the tube.
     
  17. Mar 15, 2019 #17

    Baxter

    Baxter

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    I took AlanG's advice and ordered a .45 jag for my .50cal. and a .50 jag for my .54cal's along with several other items from TOW yesterday, but I still wanted to try modifying one of my on-hand .54 jags. I looked through the Dremel accessories that my daughter bought with the motor and foot-control and found an adapter with a female 10-32 fitting. I screwed the jag into the fitting and very carefully stepped on the foot control a few times to get the "feel of it" and then began to reduce the last "ring on the jag. Worked fine with a 180 grit sanding block. I am pleased with what I did but I need to test this and the undersized jags when the 2' of snow clears so that I can get to the range.
     

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