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Do Patches Really Make That Big Of A Difference?


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#1 cayugad

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Posted 06 April 2011 - 12:29 PM

I was going through my wall of stuff looking at what I have in stock for the new rifle that will be coming in. The new rifle is a Lyman Great Plains .50 caliber Flintlock HUNTER with the 1-32 twist. While looking at the supply of conical bullets I came across a brand new unopened pack of 100% cotton .54 caliber patches that were not lubed.

I have often read of other people using patch material other then pillow tick. And also shooting pre cut patches. I got to wondering... could my pillow tick patch make that much of a difference? Or was I just being lazy and not wanting to keep pre cut patches around?

So I checked the wall and selected a Lyman Trade Rifle Flintlock in .50 caliber. It has a 1-48 twist. The card on it says 85 grains of 2f black powder and patched ball. So I decided this would be a good test rifle. Also noted on the card is... 50 yards sighted in.

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The weather was over cast, cloudy, no wind really to speak of. The snow had gone soft, so walking in it was a real PITA on my knees. But I got out to 50 yards according to the range finder.

I decided to shoot the cotton patches first, to give them the clean rifle barrel.

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I used a true 6 o'clock hold with the primitive buckhorn sights on the rifle. Shooting 85 grains of Graf's & Sons black powder and my home cast .490 roundballs. Moose milk was spritzed on the patches and then they were allowed to sit to somewhat dry.

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Shot #1 I forgave the patches. It was a clean barrel. I had put a new flint in the jaws. And ignition was instant with that Lyman lock. The other five shots were not all that bad in my opinion.

I then did a spit swab of the bore, and let it dry. I wiped out the frizzen, the pan and the nose of the new flint. When all was dry, I switched over to the pillow tick and moose milk, with the same powder charge and ball.

Since I did not want to shoot at the red circle more, I picked out the small green box on the side of the target (I am sure some of you know this target I use.) and proceeded to shoot at that. Again.. a true 6 o'clock hold was used.

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To say I was not pleased with that five shot group would be a lie. It was more then I could have hoped for. Then I started to really wonder... was that pillow tick that much better of a patch? Did I get lucky? What was the difference?

So I swabbed the bore again. Spritzed some more of the cotton pre cut patches and picked out the turkey image on the target.

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I was not pleased with that at all. Also I was about out of ball. So I figured to stop for the day and then save some for the new rifle. And would have to plan a day of casting again.

When I cleaned the rifle I again was amazed at black powder. All too often I hear people complain that black powder is messy, hard to clean, stinks, etc...

I removed the barrel from the stock. Made up a hot water bath with some Murphy's Oil Soap. And started cleaning the rifle barrel.

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This is what it took to clean my rifle barrel. After it was dry I treated it with Montana Xtreme bore conditioner, wiped it all down, and it was done. I like black powder to shoot.

"Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, a total wreck with a big smile on your face."

#2 PA RIDGE RUNNER

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Posted 06 April 2011 - 06:41 PM

Wow great shooting. Guess there is really a big difference in patch material for accuracy. As for cleaning I may use a couple more patches than that but I swab between each shot so I have only the real dirt from one shot. If I use a nylon brush first I can get by with only 3 or 4 patches on the water clean and 3 or 4 with whatever else I use to further clean.
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#3 cayugad

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Posted 06 April 2011 - 08:10 PM

I was trying to show that patches are important. Any slight change to the load you use can make a difference. As these patches kind of shot. Also that Lyman is a good shooter.
"Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, a total wreck with a big smile on your face."

#4 Fossil

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Posted 08 April 2011 - 12:16 PM

Nice patterns,looks like you got the patch situation under control too..............
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