Round or Square Patches? Is There Really a Difference?

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starman

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Does it make any difference if patches or square or round? Square is a lot easier to make, but should I spend the extra time and energy to make them round? Does the shape of your patch really affect accuracy? Your comments are appreciated. Thanks!
 

Grenadier1758

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The difference is that one patch is square and the other patch is round. Other than that there is not a lot of difference in performance. You want the patch to be slightly larger than the ball so that when the ball is started, the patch is in the muzzle and not likely to grab onto the loading jag. There's been testing done on the square versus round patch and for most of us there is no difference in performance.
 

pilot

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The patches that start off square are cut off flush with the muzzle when I load and are then round. Mostly. Most of the time I load with a strip of patch material about 2 inches wide and trim flush. I only use cut patches when I clean.
 

Grenadier1758

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I should have used my disclaimer in that I use the 1 1/2" strip to cut at the muzzle. With a sharp knife, there is no real loss of time in loading and I am not going to worry about my jag getting caught up in loose fabric. The ball is always centered in the patch. Lubricant is applied as I load and is consistent from shot to shot. Another benefit to the strip is that I can stagger the cut out to efficiently get the most patches from my strip of patching (#40 Pocket Drill Cloth).
 

rafterob

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As mentioned square or round no difference. But as far as I know, you can't buy pre-cut square patches. So then what is the point to pre-cut your own square patches? Cut at the muzzle from a strip. That way you get the right size patch every time.
 

Eric Krewson

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I pulled out a new piece of ticking the other day when I was shooing, I cut a strip, I always l cut at the muzzle in the past but cut a few square pathed to try. I found them easier to dip in my can of mink oil to lube than a strip and a little faster to load because there was no cutting required. I found them handy and convenient, to each his own.
 

tenngun

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Black Powder Maniac has a good idea. He has his strip of patching material then folds it in half lengthwise and make cuts almost across the material, leaving a strip with even cutouts every inch in a half or so.
He lays the now open patch on the barrel, pushes the ball in to the muzzle, and with a tug pulls the patching strip away.
 

old ugly

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i have tried round, square, and cut at the muzzle, no difference.

linen is the best material. it never bows out.

i buy linen by the yardage and ruffly cut square patches with the scissors, most arnt even square. here is a picture.

and as long as i can shoot 1/2 as good as walkingeagle im happy.

ou
 

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old ugly

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Black Powder Maniac has a good idea. He has his strip of patching material then folds it in half lengthwise and make cuts almost across the material, leaving a strip with even cutouts every inch in a half or so.
He lays the now open patch on the barrel, pushes the ball in to the muzzle, and with a tug pulls the patching strip away.

that is a good idea!
cotton should work but i wonder if linen will tear? worth a try.
ou
 

starman

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When you cut at the barrel, is the top of the ball even with the muzzle and you just cut straight across?
 

Flintlock

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I pre cut and lube a bunch of square patches and keep them in a Altoids type tin along with a half dozen balls. Makes easy and quick loading and I do a lot of small game hunting, Squirrels, birds, rabbits and use only head shots so I think there is no difference in accuracy.
 

tenngun

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When you cut at the barrel, is the top of the ball even with the muzzle and you just cut straight across?
You need it down below the muzzle so you don’t nick the ball with your knife.
 

smoothshooter

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Does it make any difference if patches or square or round? Square is a lot easier to make, but should I spend the extra time and energy to make them round? Does the shape of your patch really affect accuracy? Your comments are appreciated. Thanks!
No.
 

hanshi

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I pre-cut them square using scissors and they load fast (not that speed is EVER a factor for me) and nicely. Easy peasy!
 

Ben Meyer

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I cut at the muzzle with my flintlock, and use square precut with my Hawken percussion. I pretreatment with ballistol and water 7:1, dry them and put them in an airtight container.

My question is, once prelubed, how long does the lube last? Ever need to relube them?

I pre cut and lube a bunch of square patches and keep them in a Altoids type tin along with a half dozen balls. Makes easy and quick loading and I do a lot of small game hunting, Squirrels, birds, rabbits and use only head shots so I think there is no difference in accuracy.
 

ohio ramrod

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It isn't a question of how long the lube lasts, but how long the patch will last. If you use a soluable oil for lubes the patch material will weaken with time. I have left lubed patches in a loading block from one deer season to another and the lube is still "slick" but the patches tear So now I make sure the left patched balls are replaced with new ones. (The patches, the balls are still good. )
 

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