Wasp nest patch

Discussion in 'General Muzzleloading' started by Thunder14, Sep 11, 2019.

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  1. Sep 11, 2019 #1

    Thunder14

    Thunder14

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    ok I saved a wasp nest this year and I’m wanting to try making the patch from it,has anyone had any success with this method.It will be used in a 50cal Hawken and a 50cal Frontier.
     
  2. Sep 11, 2019 #2

    Grimord

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    I've tried it with a .54 that I was having some issues with. I just took a couple of layers from the nest material and pushed it down over the powder charge with the ram rod. Seemed to improve the accuracy some, but not any more than just a plain patch put down over the powder. With this particular gun, that has a rough barrel, I have finally settled on a felt wad over the powder charge. This protects the patched ball better. My patches are no longer shredded, and accuracy is much improved.
     
  3. Sep 11, 2019 #3

    Loyalist Dave

    Loyalist Dave

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    Yes I think it's a wad not a patch..., you guys know what I mean, but I mention it here for any folks new to our hobby that might not understand.
    I've only used the hornet nest for smoothbore wadding. I've used wool felt for wadding between the ball and powder in a rifle.

    LD
     
  4. Sep 11, 2019 #4

    Tom A Hawk

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    I also use a felt wad on my .54 caliber rifles. Except that I use an oversized 12 gage wad which serves dual purpose. It protects the ball patch and also cleans the bore on the way down. My understanding is wasp nest was used as an over powder wad with shotguns.
     
  5. Sep 11, 2019 #5

    Stony Broke

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    I've used it quite a lot in smoothbore barrels, but it also works well over the powder for my hunting loads with rifled barrels. I simply just take a small chunk of it and seat it over the powder to keep the patch lube from the powder in a load that might stay intact for some time. I have had rifles loaded for weeks this way and it has always done it's job.
     
  6. Sep 11, 2019 #6

    Thunder14

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    Thanks for the input I’m going to give it a try nothing to loose.
     
  7. Sep 12, 2019 #7

    Ben Meyer

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    How DID the pioneers use wasp nest? I think I read somewhere they'd rip off a chunk, work it with their fingers into a dust, dropped it down on top the powder then loaded a ball on top. Is this right? Asking cause I'm not certain.
     
  8. Sep 12, 2019 #8

    Spence10

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    I've been looking for years for some documentation from the period that they used it at all. If anyone has that proof I'd like to see it.

    Spence
     
  9. Sep 12, 2019 #9

    Tom A Hawk

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  10. Sep 12, 2019 #10

    Spence10

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    I'm looking for some evidence it was used in the day. I suspect it's one of those things passed down by the graybeards as unquestioned truth, but actually has no evidence to show it is anything other than a fairly modern idea.

    I'd like to be proved wrong.

    Spence
     
  11. Sep 12, 2019 #11

    Tom A Hawk

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    Finding historical documentation is probably unlikely. However, I am able to report that when I was first getting into muzzle loading as a teen I was searching for guidance. My maternal grandfather, who was born in 1900 and hunted with muzzle loaders, told me he used bees nest as wadding with his percussion shotgun. He also cut the heads off tacks when unable to get lead shot...:)
     
  12. Sep 13, 2019 #12

    Dale Allen Raby

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    I've heard of this practice before, but never tried it. I suppose that if one wanted paper in an 1850's wilderness area for this type of purpose, any of several paper-wasp nests would be a viable source... possibly the only source. Supposedly, a wad of paper over the powder charge seals the bore better. I personally think this is one of those "your mileage may vary" ideas, but hey, there's no harm in trying.

    Now, realistically, the commonly found white-faced hornets around these parts strenuously object to people tearing their nests apart for any reason. Also, they are typically located in inconvenient places even if you manage to find one in the winter and kill all the wasps before they wake up as soon as you bring the nest indoors.

    In 1850 it might have been an option, but today? Paper in almost any variation is available in sheets and rolls in a variety of places. Even in many wilderness areas, you can find it just blowing around on the ground because of litterbugs. Rather than risk breaking my neck falling from a tree or getting stung to death by tiny flying soldiers, I think I would try some crepe paper or maybe just recycle some Post-It notes. Manufactured paper is essentially the same product that wasps/hornets make, but with more consistent physical characteristics.
     
  13. Sep 13, 2019 #13

    Grenadier1758

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    Certainly, a paper hornets' nest is really little more than fine wood fibers bound together by hornet spit. Not much of a difference from cardboard. Use of hornets' nest seems to be more of a romantic speculation than any documented use. Wads made of grass or crushed leaves or other plant material work quite acceptably and you don't have to disturb a nest of wasps.
     
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  14. Sep 13, 2019 #14

    Artie Peltier

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    In RI you can find paper wasp nest in the trees when the leaves fall. Some are large and are made of layers of gray paper. I wanted to try the material in my muzzle loaders but the occupants were still in there. This year I’ll wait to multiple frost get the nest,put it in a plastic bag and fumigate it. Don’t need a bunch of wasps loose in the house. Looking forward to trying it. Thanks Art
     
  15. Sep 13, 2019 #15

    Zonie

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    Rather than fumigateing it, if you have the space in your freezer, toss it in there for a couple of days or a week.
     
  16. Sep 14, 2019 at 12:08 AM #16

    Spence10

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    The idea that you will wind up with a house full of hornets if you bring a nest inside after cold weather starts is one of those perpetual old wives tales which refuse to die. Take a look at the life cycle of the bald faced hornet which builds the nests. They all die in the late fall, only the young queens survive the winter, and they do it buried in the ground or somewhere insulated against the cold, not in the nest. By the time cold weather comes along the nests are completely empty. NO hornets overwinter in the nests.

    Spence
     
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  17. Sep 14, 2019 at 3:06 AM #17

    Dan Masson

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    DEFINITELY a Winter time harvest!
    I don't think hornets would cooperate with this in the Summer!
     
  18. Sep 14, 2019 at 3:10 AM #18

    Walkingeagle

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    In our neck of the woods the wasps are already moving into the ground. I collect nesting material while elk hunting.
    Walk
     
  19. Sep 14, 2019 at 3:18 AM #19

    Stumpkiller

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    I've used it in smoothbores as a wadding but never tried it as a patch.
     
  20. Sep 15, 2019 at 5:23 AM #20

    Mad L

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    While researching Shooting Bags (hunting bags, rifle bags, possibles bag; whatever you wish to call yours) I came across an article about a "Civil War era" bag found, sorry I dont recall just 'where' I found this article. However it went on to describe the bag as soarly worn but upon examination of articles they found deteriorating inside was "some wasp (or maybe it said 'hornet') nesting material"; it went on to briefly describe how the material "along with leaves, etc" would be used as "patching material" when all else was used up.

    Now of course I do not recall were this writing is but I do recall it being among several descriptions of various rifle bags found through the years of the author's studies.

    But then again it could have just been a hand down from the greybeards the author grew up with, seeing as how I can not produce for you the actual documentation or photos. Aside from all that, I dont have paper wasps here, only mud sabers, but since reading that article I have wanted to find some and try....

    Have you boys heard the story of 'Belzy Dodd and the Indians'?
     

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