Using a Patch Knife.

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Brokennock

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It seems 75% of this countries men cannot-will not sharpen a knife well enough to cut patches, they saw at it until the ball pops out on the ground then monky around 20 minutes looking for it and wondering if there is a easier way.
Yup. I'm amazed at how dull people let their cutting tools get.
I also don't understand the tiny little knife as a patch knife thing.
I'm usually all about knives of about 2 to 3 inches for everything, including field dressing big game. But, for patch cutting, a blade long enough and sharp enough to cut the patch in one pass seems ideal.
 

Hawkman

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Yup. I'm amazed at how dull people let their cutting tools get.
I also don't understand the tiny little knife as a patch knife thing.
I'm usually all about knives of about 2 to 3 inches for everything, including field dressing big game. But, for patch cutting, a blade long enough and sharp enough to cut the patch in one pass seems ideal.
I use a 2” knife as my patch knife. I also have it attached to my sling strap on my bag so it only gets used for patches. I see it as our equivalent to a quilters fabric scissors. Never use it for anything other than patches.
 

oldhunter1954

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Not sure how good of a picture this is. The patch material has been lubed and placed over the barrel and the ball driven flush with the barrel. Then I pull up on both sides of the patch material and use my patch knife to cut material flush with the barrel.
 

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Red Owl

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Yeah, get the patch knife shaving sharp and then use it for nothing else. Years ago (1970's-1980's) a lot of shooters had a sheath for the patch knife on a strap of the hunting pouch/shooting bag. "Spit" patches were used for range shooting and worked as well as anything else. They dried out after a while so for hunting- a lube patch.
Incidentally, some shooters use square pre-cut patches and claim they are as accurate as round pre-cut patches.

Sharpen one side? Good idea. cuts the bevel in half. For patches only, should stand up fine.
 

Stykbow

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Speaking of sharpening, how many just sharpen one side of the blade?
Only if it’s a single bevel blade. I have a little single blade folder (some sort of Swiss army) that is a single bevel. That’s what I cut patches with.
 

Sidney Smith

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I use strips of uncut pillow ticking in my .54 caliber guns. As others have said, start the ball in with the short nub of the starter until the ball is just below the muzzle, then trim off the excess with a knife. Any knife will work so long as it's sharp. I use the blade from my Gerber multi tool for this purpose. That blade is razor, and I mean razor sharp. Cuts patch material like a hot knife through butter.
 

beardedhorse

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All my patch knives have only a single bevel and the other side of the blade is flat. Do you guys cut the cloth towards or aways from you? This determines whether the bevel is on the right or left side of the blade. I have not found any measurable change in accuracy if a pre cut patch is not perfectly centered in the bore under the ball. There are friends who use square patches (pre cut) and swear they work as well as round. The pushing daisies patch is scalloped around the edge. Haven't tried them yet to see if they are any improvement on commercial round patches. Thickness planer blades make good patch knife blades as does some straight razors.
 

Cruzatte

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I searched for postings, but everything was about making or selling patch knives, not using them.
I've seen one feller put the end of the long patch material over the muzzle, place the ball, and cut off the patch that wasn't under the ball. I don't remember if he started the ball into the muzzle or not.
That seems like a logical method, but I've only seen him do it once.
Do y'all do it like this, for uncut patches, or do you have other steps or methods involved?
How do you lube?
I know this is a pretty basic question, but I'm just getting started, and I don't want the other shooters laughing at me for doing something dumb.
Thanks,
Brazos
I don't use a knife dedicated only for patch cutting, but rather my belt knife. Or, sometimes I use a pocket knife instead. I place the strip of fabric over the muzzle, place the ball on top, push it down flush with my thumb, cut the patch, and push the combination home.

Patch lubes are a matter of choice. And there are dozens of threads on that subject here on the forum.
 

.36Rooster

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It seems 75% of this countries men cannot-will not sharpen a knife well enough to cut patches..

I sharpen my patch knife with a stone every time i clean my gun. Damn thing will cut a greased patch like hot butter. And anything else it touches as well. Better to just be damn careful with it in general...
 
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nkbj

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Will be needing the patch knife soon.
Today I've been lapping and coning a barrel with narrow land deep round bottom rifling.
.580 round ball with denim patch will be my starting point. May step it up to .585 diameter.
 

vintovka

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Was taught long ago to use a well stropped straight razor. Use big one on the range and really short one was carried in a deerhide pouch in my bag. Think the short one was not for shaving but called a "corn" razor (yuck) and originals are fairly rare Learning to cut the patch at the same point each time seems to help consistent groups off the bench. The razors are so sharp you need to avoid hitting ball or fingers.
 

DOUBLEDEUCE 1

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I carry a strip of pillow ticking on my bag at times. I cut a square patch from the strip, then lube for loading. I don’t like handling sharp things when handling slick or wet things, it saves my fingers that way. Other times I’ll carry pre-cut square patches in a tobacco tin. Take one out, lube and load. I also use a short starter, I’ve seen people who weren’t careful, using the flat side of a knife blade to start the ball, slip a cut themselves. Not for me. Sometimes it’s hard enough to keep my ten fingers where they belong and out of harm’s way. :thumb: :cool:
 

vintovka

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I carry a strip of pillow ticking on my bag at times. I cut a square patch from the strip, then lube for loading. I don’t like handling sharp things when handling slick or wet things, it saves my fingers that way. Other times I’ll carry pre-cut square patches in a tobacco tin. Take one out, lube and load. I also use a short starter, I’ve seen people who weren’t careful, using the flat side of a knife blade to start the ball, slip a cut themselves. Not for me. Sometimes it’s hard enough to keep my ten fingers where they belong and out of harm’s way. :thumb: :cool:
I used the big shaving razor to load up 2-3 walnut bullet blocks for a day at range. Difficult to cut close to wood surface so quit.
 

N.Y. Yankee

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I like the idea of cutting at the muzzle but I much prefer pre-cut lubed patches, especially for hunting. Guess it's just what I'm used to doing.
 

Rifleman1776

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put the end of the long patch material over the muzzle, place the ball, and cut off the patch that wasn't under the ball. I don't remember if he started the ball into the muzzle or not.
That may be the most common way of doing it. The ball should be seated slightly below the end of the muzzle, like 1/16" to 1/8". I do it that way with pre-lubed patch material (ticking). Been doing it for decades. But....wat works best for you is the best way.
 
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It seems 75% of this countries men cannot-will not sharpen a knife well enough to cut patches, they saw at it until the ball pops out on the ground then monky around 20 minutes looking for it and wondering if there is a easier way.
You are so kind! 75%? It’s more like 95%! I switched to box cutter blades years ago, never looked back. It allows you to lay flat on the muzzle and “hack away” w/o touching the muzzle with the edge, saving a lot of bluing on it! Again, no like I care much of looks if the gun shoots good!!
 

Colterkid

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It seems 75% of this countries men cannot-will not sharpen a knife well enough to cut patches, they saw at it until the ball pops out on the ground then monky around 20 minutes looking for it and wondering if there is a easier way.
I agree, no one knows how to sharpen a patch knife.
I've been sharpening knives for years, and last year it cost me $30,000 dollars ( well, the insurance company, I only paid $1500.00) when I slipped with mine and cut a tendon on my finger. If you can't pick individual hair's off your arm, It ain't sharp.
 

Mr. Flintlock

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I searched for postings, but everything was about making or selling patch knives, not using them.
I've seen one feller put the end of the long patch material over the muzzle, place the ball, and cut off the patch that wasn't under the ball. I don't remember if he started the ball into the muzzle or not.
That seems like a logical method, but I've only seen him do it once.
Do y'all do it like this, for uncut patches, or do you have other steps or methods involved?
How do you lube?
I know this is a pretty basic question, but I'm just getting started, and I don't want the other shooters laughing at me for doing something dumb.
Thanks,
Brazos
If you use patch material cut at the muzzle. The ball will always be centered in the patch.
 
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