Shredded Patches – Suggestions on what to do?

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bldtrailer

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green mtn .50 50-100 yrds .020 denim(10oz) patch tallow lube .490 ball swiss 3f 70grns
 

DixieTexian

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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.
 
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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

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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.
 
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LME

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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

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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

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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
 
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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

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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.
 
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golden sky

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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
 
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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

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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.
 

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