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What size balls? And does silk work?

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Grenadier1758

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I judge the thickness of patch material (pre-lubed) with a micrometer that has a torque limiting thumb screw/clutch so that the crushing force is uniform. A $10.00 digital caliper from Harbor Freight is good enough with a little practice. Buy some patches that say what they think the thickness is and see how close your test tool comes. Again the truth is at the range, and with your expectations. Hunting deer cleanly is far different than winning a bullseye match at a known distance.
Although I think the Harbor Freight micrometer is a bit more than $10 and the $20 digital caliper is acceptable enough for our purposes, the torque limiting screw will not compress the material as much as it will get compressed during loading. When I use a micrometer for measuring patch thickness, I use the method proposed by @Ontario47. At the fabric store, the material has sizing which will result in a reading that is off and way off for measuring the compressed thickness. Bulk material needs to be washed and dried to remove the sizing. The material takes up the lubrication better and will tighten up the weave and survive the loading stress.

By the way, make sure the crown at the muzzle is smooth. Use your thumb and wet or dry sandpaper to smooth out the crown. This will ease loading and possibly prevent the sharp lands at the muzzle from cutting the patch.
 

pipascus

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Patch thickness? See above, the timing and order of replies appears out of sequence. My micrometer method compresses the material a lot. The correct thickness is determined by the ease/difficulty of loading, the expected accuracy, and the condition of the fired patch.
Thank. Saw that afterwards. I'll see about the micrometer thing, get some different cloths, and do some tests... once I get the rifle finished.
Thank you!
 

Dibbuk

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In my experience, silk turns to ash instantly when touched by flame or ember. I would expect a silk patch to be consumed before the ball reaches the muzzle.

IIRC, artillery propellants were stored in silk bags so as not to leave any scraps in the bore.
 

pipascus

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OK so I did some diggin in my old email and found this invaluable information!

Back when I got the kit, I picked it up at Jim Chamber's house. He gave me a tour of his private flintlock collection, which was just amazing!!!
They didn't have my barrel so I was going to leave when this little pickup truck shows up, making his way down the dirt road. Turned out it was Mr. Rice from Rice Barrel and he had my barrel with him. He gave me some advice, and I am so glad I wrote this down, printed it, took a picture, and emailed it to myself!
Also, I was corresponding with Mark Baker, and he had helped me choose this rifle. Have since lost contact but hope to connect again some day, maybe around a camp.
Anyway...
What do you all think? Seems like sound advice very similar to what I've been getting here.
FullSizeRender.jpg


Also, I found this target from the first time I ever shot a flintlock back around 2003 at the Alafia River Rendezvous in Florida.
 

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Eterry

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I don't see a thing wrong with Mr Rice's advice. For a target load i would start around 60 grs. I use fffg in most everything, it cuts down on fouling it seems, and you can use a little less of it compared to ffg, according to the Lyman black powder manual.

I don't think silk adds anything, and i tried shooting a silk handkerchief and the 1200fps lead bullet went straight thru it.

I don't buy into the Hollywood hype.
Enjoy your rifle. Btw, good shooting.
 

Art Caputo

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In my 58 cal, GM barrel, I use a .570 with .015”, 80gr FFFG, cotton patch lubed with Mink Oil. I get the same accuracy with a .018” patch, but fewer shots between swabbing. At 80 grains, recoil is very manageable with sufficient accuracy, energy, and trajectory( only a 1” difference compared to my 50 cal. at 100 yards) for 100-125 yard shooting. Spent patches look fine in my 1;70TW, square cut riffing. I have never tried silk or linen patches.
C54DE4B1-3604-4D9F-90B3-3827CD8E135B.jpeg
 

GregLaRoche

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Silk has a very low flash/ignition point. I once had silk sock liners. When I tried to dry them over a campfire, they shriveled right up. Nothing like wool or cotton socks. I don’t think they would be suited for patches. Expensive too. Try cotton or maybe linen is tougher, but I haven’t tried it. I also only patch smooth bore .69cal with dry patches.
 

tenngun

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Ml houses sell multi sized patches. You might want a package of each and try to see how it shoots. When you see what sizes is best you can feel it, then buy cloth that matches.
ive heard a rumor that Boone, Bridger and Smith nevered carried a mich.
 

Calum

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What's MI houses? Do you have a website please? I'm looking for .005 patches. Ox Yoke used to make them, but has since quit.

Thanks,
Mike

Ml houses sell multi sized patches. You might want a package of each and try to see how it shoots. When you see what sizes is best you can feel it, then buy cloth that matches.
 

Flinty Scot

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check thrift stores for linen garment to take apart for patching.bTake your micrometer; it'll at least give you a startinfg point. It's nearly all been washed many times too. Unless they used sizing when ironing, it's long gone.
 

tenngun

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Muzzle loading houses. Log cabin sport shop, track of the wolf, Jedidiah Star, Dixie gunworks, October country.
 

tenngun

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Yeah I heard that line in LOTM and thought the "extra 40 yards" was BS, but also considered maybe there was some improvement in accuracy or even ease of inserting the ball. The fact mentioned above about the pressures in that barrel compared to the material make sense.

For lubricant I was thinking of soaking strips of the patch material in something like a bee's-wax/olive oil blend and hanging it from my horn strap so I can cut a piece off as I need it. But how do you determine the thickness of the patch material?

Thanks!
Most every shot driven at very high velocities ( for an ml) will slow to around 1100 fps at a hundred yard. And 5-700 at two hundred yards, 3-400 at three hundred yards. Even if it bought you a little extra velocity any advantage would be gone by a hundred yards..
a .50 at 2200 fps at the muzzel will be going about 50 fps faster at three hundred yards then a .50 at 1100 fps at the muzzle.
 

Kansas Jake

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like this Toot? The upper shot was the fouling shot on a clean bore. I quit after the second shot because it would only mess up a good target.
The rifle is a Ardessa Hawken picked up at a pawn shop for $50. It had some rough spots in the bore but cleaned up pretty well.
 

toot

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yes it is truly a ONE HOLER, FOR SURE !! see, one doesn't have to have a $2000.00 + gun, to make bragging rights. !!
 

Kansas Jake

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The gun is pretty accurate considering my old eyes and average shooting with open sights. I've carried it deer hunting a couple of times because it is light and handy.
 

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