Shredded Patches – Suggestions on what to do?

Muzzleloading Forum

Help Support Muzzleloading Forum:

bldtrailer

Pilgrim
Joined
Aug 25, 2018
Messages
335
Reaction score
415
Location
Berks Pa.
DSC03040.JPG
DSC03160.JPG
green mtn .50 50-100 yrds .020 denim(10oz) patch tallow lube .490 ball swiss 3f 70grns
 

DixieTexian

Pilgrim
Joined
Mar 6, 2007
Messages
198
Reaction score
296
View attachment 163927 View attachment 163928 green mtn .50 50-100 yrds .020 denim(10oz) patch tallow lube .490 ball swiss 3f 70grns
This man is clearly a street/graffiti artist based on the colors of his targets and spray paint used to achieve said excellent color.
Please, sir, avail us of your artworks of somewhat dubious legality so that we may all sit in pure wonder at the zenith of your mastery.
 
Joined
Feb 23, 2009
Messages
14,824
Reaction score
2,826
Location
Central Minn
I'm going to show an example of what happens to patches when there is significant gas blow by and when the patches and ball are better matched to the bore. poured from a volume measure of 65 grains. You can see the thin patches are shredded due to gas blow by. The patches that fit best to the bore look fine with no holes.
I agree with your savvy advice,
But I think (ouch) that "if centered", the 520 group would score higher,,
 

M. De Land

75 Cal.
Joined
Dec 25, 2011
Messages
7,251
Reaction score
2,059
In the attached photo are some of the most recent patches I have shot with my Kibler Colonial Rifle which has a 50 caliber Green Mountain barrel. Here is a little history and then my question.

These patches where shot using 80 grains of my home-made BP which is in the 2F-3F grain size, patch material is denim .022” measured with digital caliper and cut off at the muzzle, lubed with Ballistol/Water 5 to 1 mixture, balls were Hornady .490. These are the best-looking patches I have shot with this rifle in just over 100 rounds fired.

I started using my cast .490 balls and have used some Hornady .490 and .495 balls and have used several different patches .010”, .015” .018” sizes made of drill, ticking and other 100% cotton material. I have used Wonderlube, Bore Butter, Spit, and Ballistol straight and different water/Ballistol mixtures. All of these ball and patch and lube combinations have given me completely shredded and destroyed patches, so much so the patches were not recognizable as patches but just shred pieces of cloth. I have used Goex 2F as well as my home-made BP. I have scrubbed the barrel a total of about 250 in and out times with Maroon Scotchbrite. I have attached a .490 ball to a ball extraction screw tip and pushed it down the bore with a .015” lubed patch and extracted it to see if there was any damage to the patch by rough rifling and while I can see rifling marks on the patch there is no damage to it.

I have been shooting traditional muzzle loading firearms for over 50 years. One Lyman Great Plains Rifle, flintlock, Two T/C Hawken style rifles (percussion), a Jonathan Browning Mountain Rifle (percussion), Traditions Hawken Woodsman (percussion) and several BP revolvers (all percussion) and various other rifles and pistols (percussion and flintlock) owned by friends. I have never seen patches destroyed like they have been with this rifle. I have seen some undersized patches that have been burned through, but nothing like this.

I am also quite concerned about accuracy, because I can get no consistent grouping like my other rifles. So, my question is - What do I need to do to fix this? I would appreciate any suggestions to remedy this.
One of the things that may have some effect on why it takes awhile for GM barrels to wear in is the 1137 steel alloy they use in black powder barrels. It is gun barrel certified and fairly hard with .37 percent carbon.
Typical high power gun barrel steel has .40 carbon in most cases so it's nearly as high of a carbon content which is what makes steel hard.
 
Last edited:

LME

50 Cal.
Joined
Jul 8, 2019
Messages
1,074
Reaction score
1,480
I would try a load of 60 grains or use a patch over your charge. One or both should work? In all my dealings with M.L.s I have never had a problem like yours except when the rifle was over charged?
 

Muddly

40 Cal
Joined
Jan 8, 2019
Messages
289
Reaction score
429
My 2 Pennsylvania Hunter flintlocks...
One seems to like .015 patches and a .490 ball with 70 grains of 3f Swiss and a .54 cal o.p. wad. Patches show abrasion by the lands but otherwise are good. I do swab between every shot. I'm not enjoying patched ball in their 1-66 twist...
Accuracy and consistency are rather poor. 3 inch 50 yard groups are cause for rejoicing, although she has shot several around an inch.
Tease...
The other requires 2f and a .010 with a .490 and wad. Those poor patches are blown to shreds most of the time. Ones that do survive, show abrasion by the lands. Lube is T.O.T.W. mink oil. Patches are Ox Yoke pre-cuts. Can't say an average group as they're all over the place.
Both rifles show infuriating inconsistency. No issues with bore condition. One has a redone crown, the other a factory crown. No indication of obvious runout.
If I didn't like their looks and handling so much...
If I can't get them to shoot ball, or maybe 250 grain R.E.A.L.s or Pa. conicals, I might have them lined. One to .45 with a 1-28, the other back to .50 with a 1-38. Superb twists for conicals of reasonable ( comfortable recoil) weight.
 

bldtrailer

Pilgrim
Joined
Aug 25, 2018
Messages
335
Reaction score
415
Location
Berks Pa.
I use colored paper so I can see the silver front sight without blacking it (silver on white paper with my sight is lost)
I also polished my barrel bore suggested by Mr Dixon
 
Joined
Jul 25, 2021
Messages
725
Reaction score
567
Location
East Northport NY or Marlow NH
In addition to the wisdom here, I would use a patch lube with more oil/beeswax in it. Make sure your patches are 100%cotton.
What are the pros to using a dry patch and then conversally what are the cons to a excessively lubed patch. I use well lubed patches what are the issues with that
 

Nuthatch

40 Cal
Joined
Feb 19, 2019
Messages
399
Reaction score
398
Location
CA
My first thought was, as others have stated, to drop the powder charge down to 50 gr & watch things from there as you build up.

There's also a possibility that your homemade powder is part of the problem. If you're compressing to a standard density before graining, then it's probably not the problem. But if you're graining right after milling, then your powder isn't as dense. Low density powder burns faster. Faster burn rate = earlier peak pressure. Just speculating here but it's something to consider. Your 2-3F might behave more like 3-4F if it's low density.

This idea is only in my head because I'm dealing with something similar right now. My homemade powder is lower density so I upped the charge to 100 grains by volume to get to 70 grains by weight. But it shot more like a true 90-100 grains of 2 or 3F commercial powder. Backing the charge down to 70-80 grains by volume (closer to 50-60 grains by weight) tightened up the group & put the POI back where it should have been. It wasn't until after I cleaned up & pulled targets that I noticed all the charred & torn patches downrange...

As for lubes, my favorite so far is a mix of beeswax & bear grease. I use it with a .480 ball and a 0.02" denim patch in one of my other guns that I use for a late season backpack hunt in a dry, fire-prone area. I hit that lubed patch for 5 seconds with a blow torch & it only started melting the grease -- no charring or burning. I don't use it at the range because it's a pain to use compared with spit. But for something I'm going to have down the barrel for a few days & then potentially lob into dry grass, it's pretty good. Slick as snot when loading too.
 
Last edited:

golden sky

40 Cal
Joined
Nov 5, 2021
Messages
239
Reaction score
137
one guy on a video sharing community shows how he solved shredded patches , i for get his name but he basically just runs a dry patch over the powder charge, then uses his standard lubed patch and ball after that. cured his issues with holes and shredded patches

could also try using a felt wad or card over the powder 1st
 
Joined
Oct 4, 2013
Messages
611
Reaction score
799
What are the pros to using a dry patch and then conversally what are the cons to a excessively lubed patch. I use well lubed patches what are the issues with that

I use well lubed patches with beeswax /olive oil. I find that for me, it eases loading, and keeps the powder ignition from blowing by the ball, toasting the patches. The well lubed patch seems to be less burn resistant.
 

45man

32 Cal.
Joined
Feb 25, 2004
Messages
641
Reaction score
313
I'm going to show an example of what happens to patches when there is significant gas blow by and when the patches and ball are better matched to the bore. The rifle was my Harper's Ferry with a Colerain barrel. It has the deep radius grooves. It likes the 0.535" ball wrapped in a dampened 1 part Ballistol to 7 parts water cotton drill patch of 0.018" thickness. The test load was a 0.520 ball and 0.010" patch using the same lubricant. The powder was 3fg GOEX poured from a volume measure of 65 grains. You can see the thin patches are shredded due to gas blow by. The patches that fit best to the bore look fine with no holes.

View attachment 163887

View attachment 163888

Now back to @JGH45's problem. We see the shredded patches and the patches with holes in them. JGH45 has tried various loads and patch combinations inserted into the bore and there is no sign of cutting the patches. But we see holes when the rifle is fired. This appears to be an indication of gas cutting. Now how do we address the gas cutting. We do this by matching the ball and patch to the bore. Step one, Measure the land-to-land dimension of the barrel. Measure the groove-to-groove diameter of the barrel. Now we can determine the groove depth. I like to select a ball that is 0.005" smaller in diameter than the land-to-land dimension. The patch needs to be compressed to slightly thicker than the groove depth + 0.0025. This does not have to be a hard compression of the patch. Sure, you will need a short starter to load the ball and patch. But to address the gas cutting, the lubricated patch has to fill the grooves. Maybe @James Kibler has a suggested load for the 50 caliber barrel used in the Colonial Rifle?
Yes, indeed, I found the patch weave must be engraved on the ball from the bottoms of the grooves. Balls are hard to start and a karate slap must be applied to the starter.
My friend wants a ball to thumb start and after a few dozen shots I found a piece of patch 1/4 inch in size. With a thicker patch he tries to whimp it in. I told him to make a starter with a large ball, not the 1-1/2 inch thing he bought. And then, SMACK the starter.
 

golden sky

40 Cal
Joined
Nov 5, 2021
Messages
239
Reaction score
137
Yes, indeed, I found the patch weave must be engraved on the ball from the bottoms of the grooves. Balls are hard to start and a karate slap must be applied to the starter.
My friend wants a ball to thumb start and after a few dozen shots I found a piece of patch 1/4 inch in size. With a thicker patch he tries to whimp it in. I told him to make a starter with a large ball, not the 1-1/2 inch thing he bought. And then, SMACK the starter.
sounds like yall need a barrel coning tool
 

Bebop Cowboy

32 Cal
Joined
Oct 25, 2022
Messages
24
Reaction score
9
Location
32707
In the attached photo are some of the most recent patches I have shot with my Kibler Colonial Rifle which has a 50 caliber Green Mountain barrel. Here is a little history and then my question.

These patches where shot using 80 grains of my home-made BP which is in the 2F-3F grain size, patch material is denim .022” measured with digital caliper and cut off at the muzzle, lubed with Ballistol/Water 5 to 1 mixture, balls were Hornady .490. These are the best-looking patches I have shot with this rifle in just over 100 rounds fired.

I started using my cast .490 balls and have used some Hornady .490 and .495 balls and have used several different patches .010”, .015” .018” sizes made of drill, ticking and other 100% cotton material. I have used Wonderlube, Bore Butter, Spit, and Ballistol straight and different water/Ballistol mixtures. All of these ball and patch and lube combinations have given me completely shredded and destroyed patches, so much so the patches were not recognizable as patches but just shred pieces of cloth. I have used Goex 2F as well as my home-made BP. I have scrubbed the barrel a total of about 250 in and out times with Maroon Scotchbrite. I have attached a .490 ball to a ball extraction screw tip and pushed it down the bore with a .015” lubed patch and extracted it to see if there was any damage to the patch by rough rifling and while I can see rifling marks on the patch there is no damage to it.

I have been shooting traditional muzzle loading firearms for over 50 years. One Lyman Great Plains Rifle, flintlock, Two T/C Hawken style rifles (percussion), a Jonathan Browning Mountain Rifle (percussion), Traditions Hawken Woodsman (percussion) and several BP revolvers (all percussion) and various other rifles and pistols (percussion and flintlock) owned by friends. I have never seen patches destroyed like they have been with this rifle. I have seen some undersized patches that have been burned through, but nothing like this.

I am also quite concerned about accuracy, because I can get no consistent grouping like my other rifles. So, my question is - What do I need to do to fix this? I would appreciate any suggestions to remedy this.
Greetings, I have used commercial BP and up to 100 grains never tore a hole in my patches wheich are thw typical .010 pillow ticking. Question I have is - how potent is this Bp that you are making? Would you mind sharing the Recipe?
 

Nuthatch

40 Cal
Joined
Feb 19, 2019
Messages
399
Reaction score
398
Location
CA
Greetings, I have used commercial BP and up to 100 grains never tore a hole in my patches wheich are thw typical .010 pillow ticking. Question I have is - how potent is this Bp that you are making? Would you mind sharing the Recipe?
No recipe sharing here. Forum rules. Suffice it to say that it can be faster or slower burning than commercial. Faster isn't always a good thing. All depends how you make it. Plenty of online resources elsewhere if you want to get into it.
 

Tasbay

40 Cal
Joined
Jan 24, 2020
Messages
191
Reaction score
213
Location
New Zealand
JGH45. I have a layman Great Plains that was doing exactly what your rifle is doing to the patches with homemade powder (Though the rest of my rifles shot fine with it). Like you I scotch bighted the bore, tried differing load combinations and was at the stage of almost pulling my hair out. I was using .495 Balls and ticking patches with Olive oil for lube.
I carry old worn cotton bed sheet for swabbing the barrel. One day as the bed sheet was thin, I decided to try 2 layers of patch, 1 Ticking and 1 bed sheet layer on top between ticking patch and ball. It is hard to start down the barrel and needs a good thumping to get it down to the powder, but the rifle now shoots accurately, and patches could be used again if I desired.
It appears that gas blow by was the issue though my patches were also having the centres blown out like yours . Your patches are a copy of what mine were doing.
Give it a try, best of luck.
 
Joined
Aug 23, 2022
Messages
53
Reaction score
83
Location
Utah
Problem Resolved!
Thanks to everyone who has offered suggestions on possibly how to solve my shredded/burned up patches issue. I am pretty sure I have solved the puzzle, thanks to some comments from people on this forum that started me in the right direction and a couple of YouTubers. The main issue is the way I was making my BP. I have been using a Harbor Freight rock tumbler/ball mill to mill the powder and the tumbling jars are made of rubber. When milling the powder some of the rubber from the jars gets worn off and integrates with the BP. Apparently, the added rubber from the tumbling jars causes a higher burning temperature or some other phenomena, thereby burning and shredding the patches. The added rubber also causes excess fouling.

I have lined my tumbling jars so that nothing is wearing off into the powder during the milling process and the BP I am making now works very good with probably less fouling than my GOEX and the recovered patches look as they should. In fact, many of the patches look like they could be used again.

One lesson I learned is that I was not very careful in recovering patches when shooting GOEX and my home-made BP, so I thought I was getting the same shredded/burned patches shooting GOEX and my home-made BP. When in fact that was not the case. When I was using GOEX the patches looked good as they should and when I was using the home-made BP they were shredded and burned. If I had been more careful in recovering my patches, I likely could have solved the problem much quicker. Lesson learned!
 
Top