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Torn patches!

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Hey everybody, first let me preface this by saying that I know there is a very similar thread going right now by @DillyJamba about basically the same issue. I started my own out of respect for him. I didn't want to hijack his thread as he works out his issue. Coincidentally, DillyJamba is a member of my gun club and the rifles we are having patch issues with are both .54 Lyman GPR! I've had this rifle for about a year and did encounter some torn patches a while back that I thought was resolved by smoothing the crown.

So this past Saturday I went out to practice for the 100 yard bench match we were having the next day at our club. My load was 70 grains 3F Goex, .530 cast ball, .018 pillow ticking, moose milk for patch lube. The 10 or so shots I took were all over the place, with about an 8" group. I walked out and searched for my patches and every one of them had a tear. I came home and ran some pieces of Scotch-Brite pads up and down the bore, hoping that might smooth out any burrs or sharp lands. Afterwards I doubled up cleaning patches so it was really tight and ran them up and down and there was no tearing whatsoever so I was pretty sure it would be resolved. The next day I shot in the match and did terrible, I was still having the same problem. Yesterday after work I went out to the range to try some different stuff and attempt to figure out what was going on. I tried less powder, different pillow ticking, different lube, etc.. Nothing helped much. Since we have a CO2 tank at my club, I decided to short start a ball and blow it out to determine if it was being torn at the crown. Checked that patch and it was fine. Then I dryballed one, fully seated and blew that out, it wasn't torn either. It appears that the problem isn't with the rifling being sharp. I'm wondering what to try now and why it's happening? Some kind of filler (corn meal/cream of wheat) between powder and patch? Or a wad between? A more robust fabric for patching? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated as I'll be heading back out tomorrow evening to give it another shot!

I'll put some pictures below showing my patches that are torn, as well as the ones that I blew out with the CO2. Thanks! -Justin
 

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Good luck! Same gun same issue same club what are the chances, seems like you’re a little further down the rabbit hole than me on this.

I’m trying a few other patch materials on my next outing if that plays a part I’ll share my findings. Seems like your patches are only slightly ripped compared to how mine are coming out of the bore
 
I have found that the strength of the patch isn’t the same as the thickness. Look for a stronger material, perhaps the blue ticking is but I only base that on what I use in many rifles over the years.
The blue is what I was using at first. I switched to red yesterday because it was the only other material I had to try. I'm cutting up some old denim jeans right now to give that a shot.
 
Well, you did a very thorough diagnostic routine, excellent!

I stayed out of the other thread because on a new gun with sharp corners and crown, what everyone was suggesting was probably the most likely culprit.

However, my first thought when someone says they are blowing patches or getting burnt holes in their patches at the land interface is TOO LOOSE.

Now, .018" patches and a .530 ball should be plenty tight, especially with shallow rifling, but there is the crappy ticking factor, too. Fabric store stuff I've seen lately has extremely open weave and low thread count. Old ticking is supposed to be pinfeather-proof so the mattress and pillow feathers don't penetrate it and poke/scratch your skin. Modern ticking is for decoration or "style" rather than function and cheap ticking is what we get now that Purple, Sealy, and Tempur rule the bedroom sets.

You can make the ticking tighter by boiling it in a pot on the stove and drying it on high heat, or you may wish to shop for tight Muslin or denim twill.

I use some pretty "open weave" material sometimes and get away with it but use a lot of wet lube and a large ball. Some barrels like a smaller ball and thicker patch, some the opposite, some to fine with a loose combination and some insist on a very tight one to produce acceptable groups.

One piece of advise I have found universally true came from a well known match shooter who once stated "for match accuracy, use a tighter combination than you think you need, and more powder than you think you need".

Personally, I'd start by shifting up to a .535" ball and examine groups and patches. If accuracy is poor but the patches look good, increase powder charge incrementally. If that doesn't help, go back to the .530 ball, starting charge, and a .020 or .022 patch and work up through the charges again for groups.

By the time you've done all that youbwill know how the rifle behaves and will have the barrel and bedding nicely settled in.
 
Good luck! Same gun same issue same club what are the chances, seems like you’re a little further down the rabbit hole than me on this.

I’m trying a few other patch materials on my next outing if that plays a part I’ll share my findings. Seems like your patches are only slightly ripped compared to how mine are coming out of the bore
Thanks! I'll do the same and let you know how it goes. Yeah mine aren't as bad as yours but at 100 yards it really made a difference.
 
Thanks @IanH, I appreciate the advice. I have a .535 mold and I'll get some cast up and try that out. The pillow ticking I have is from Walmart so likely not the best quality. I'm hoping the denim I try tomorrow will help. I also remember @Grenadier1758 mentioning that drill cloth from JoAnn's fabric is good stuff so I want to get some of that as well.
 
Thanks @IanH, I appreciate the advice. I have a .535 mold and I'll get some cast up and try that out. The pillow ticking I have is from Walmart so likely not the best quality. I'm hoping the denim I try tomorrow will help. I also remember @Grenadier1758 mentioning that drill cloth from JoAnn's fabric is good stuff so I want to get some of that as well.

Most of our members reporting on their .54 Kibler Woodsrunners are using the same combination you were with none of the problems you had. Different barrels need different things.
 
Many years ago, I had (still have) a rifle that simply shredded cotton ticking patches. The only cure was to use linen patches. At that time I could find tightly woven linen material. It cost about three to four times what ticking cost, but that solved my shredding problem. Now about a few thousand shots later, I can shoot the cotton drill cloth patches and they stay intact. The weave on linen patching of 100% linen from flax is getting quite open, so I am now using the drill cloth. Good call @Justin.44. By the way, the drill cloth should be washed on high heat and dried on high heat to tighten the weave on the drill cloth.

@IanH, I get my #40 drill cloth from JoAnn's Fabrics. It measures 0.018" in thickness. Take your calipers or a micrometer.
 
All I got is Hobby Lobby, an independent craft store with huge fabric section, and chinamart. You're right about linen, would make decent mosquito netting. We get hung up on the pattern sometimes but all that matters is material, thickness, and weave. Not one of the personel at any of my local sources had ever seen a man checking their wares with calipers before me, I live in a black hole when it comes to muzzleloading.
 
There is nothing wrong with those patch's you show in the photo's.
Change the lube,, it's too wet,, big time.
It's about bore consistency from shot to shot. Each shot deposits fouling, that's ok, because the next shot will deposit fouling,,
If you swab, wipe or clean, or even make an extra stoke with a patch between shot's, you have changed the bore condition from shot to shot.
Now with all of that,, it just means you have to do the same routine, every motion, each time you load, every time, with every shot.
Consistent.
Other wise it look's like you guy's are just sloppin too much juice on,, if you want accuracy back off the juice,, cleaning comes after the shooting.
✌️
 
The pillow ticking I have is from Walmart so likely not the best quality.
More than likely therein lies the problem.

No doubt different rifles of the same make and caliber can provide different results. However, in my .54 GPR (1990 model) the only patch material I have used is from October Country. It is .018 red pillow ticking. I have shot 70 grains of 3F BP, 80 grains and now settled on 90 grains. All recovered **shooting patches** look like they can be reused. Accuracy is very good with holes darn near touching from 75 yards. Shooting .530 swaged Hornady RB lubed with TOTW Mink Oil. Shooting patches are lubed well.

Now to further prove my point, this particular rifle has had very few shots put through it before it came to me. It was as new. However, I was finding that the **cleaning patches** were coming out with **cuts** in them. Not blown through like your **shooting patches** are. 50 strokes with some bore compound rectified the cut **cleaning patches** issue.

If your **cleaning patches** do not have cuts in them, then its a darn near certainty that the WalMart ticking you're using is inferior.

With that said, before you do anything else, I recommend your order some .018 red pillow ticking from October Country. I also highly recommend TOTW Mink Oil. I use the same material and lube in my .32 Crockett squirrel rifle with the only difference being its .015 instead of .018 in thickness. Before I was using cotton patches that blew to pieces.

This certainly works well for me.

Its not necessarily the shooting patch thickness, rather its the quality of the weave/material. You want consistency and when you have blown through patches, that is not consistent. The pics you posted of the recovered shooting patches prove this. Some are blown through more than others.

The red ticking from October Country, wherever they get it from, is durable, accurate and works like it should especially when used in conjunction with TOTW Mink Oil.

And FWIW, denim is not known to be all that consistent batch to batch.
 
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More than likely therein lies the problem.

No doubt different rifles of the same make and caliber can provide different results. However, in my .54 GPR (1990 model) the only patch material I have used is from October Country. It is .018 red pillow ticking. I have shot 70 grains of 3F BP, 80 grains and now settled on 90 grains. All recovered **shooting patches** look like they can be reused. Accuracy is very good with holes darn near touching from 75 yards. Shooting .530 swaged Hornady RB lubed with TOTW Mink Oil. Shooting patches are lubed well.

Now to further prove my point, this particular rifle has had very few shots put through it before it came to me. It was as new. However, I was finding that the **cleaning patches** were coming out with **cuts** in them. Not blown through like your **shooting patches** are. 50 strokes with some bore compound rectified the cut **cleaning patches** issue.

If your **cleaning patches** do not have cuts in them, then its a darn near certainty that the WalMart ticking you're using is inferior.

With that said, before you do anything else, I recommend your order some .018 red pillow ticking from October Country. I also highly recommend TOTW Mink Oil. I use the same material and lube in my .32 Crockett squirrel rifle with the only difference being its .015 instead of .018 in thickness. Before I was using cotton patches that blew to pieces.

This certainly works well for me.

Its not necessarily the shooting patch thickness, rather its the quality of the weave/material. You want consistency and when you have blown through patches, that is not consistent. The pics you posted of the recovered shooting patches prove this. Some are blown through more than others.

The red ticking from October Country, wherever they get it from, is durable, accurate and works like it should especially when used in conjunction with TOTW Mink Oil.

And FWIW, denim is not known to be all that consistent batch to batch.
Your patch material may be a blend of polyester and cotton. Get some pure cotton patch material from a fabric store. Your patches look like burn through at the base of the ball.
 
Thanks @IanH, I appreciate the advice. I have a .535 mold and I'll get some cast up and try that out. The pillow ticking I have is from Walmart so likely not the best quality. I'm hoping the denim I try tomorrow will help. I also remember @Grenadier1758 mentioning that drill cloth from JoAnn's fabric is good stuff so I want to get some of that as well.

I do have some of that #40 cotton drill cloth. I could meet up with you and share about 1/4 yard.

@IanH, JoAnn's Fabrics will have their % off coupon on their website and they will deliver to your house if they can find it in the Texas Hill Country.
 
Ianh has the answer. You have done well searching out the cause. My neighbor loves the .50 and had the same problems. I told him the .490 ball is too small. he bought some at .495 and problem solved. He actually shot groups after. I use a .535 ball in my .54 and even lapped a mold to .540, shot good but a bear to start them. When I had a .50 I always used the .495 ball.
 
If your **cleaning patches** do not have cuts in them, then its a darn near certainty that the WalMart ticking you're using is inferior.

That could be dependent upon how thick ( tight in the bore) the cleaning patch is. Which could be a function of cleaning patch thickness or cleaning jag diameter.
 
That could be dependent upon how thick ( tight in the bore) the cleaning patch is. Which could be a function of cleaning patch thickness or cleaning jag diameter.
Then why did things change when I polished the bore?

But by all means, folks always need to change to different size RB before trying different and better quality patch material.
 
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Then why did things change when I polished the bore?

But all means, folks always need to change to different size RB before trying different and better quality patch material.


My brief quote selection referred to the part about cleaning patches not being sliced. I meant that a loose fitting cleaning patch might not get cut whereas a tight fitting cleaning patch might.
 

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