Patched Ball Shooters

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Mad Irish Jack ODonnell

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Feb 11, 2016
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I have an old rubber, pasta, wringer set that I can tighten and loosen for proper pressure. I cut cotton flannel into 1 1/2" strips (various lengths.) and I roll them up. I place 3 or 4 rolls into a plastic med Pill bottle; pour in EVO to 1/4" over the rolls and cap the bottles. I leave for a couple days or more, unless I need some, for the rolls to soak up the oil. I remove the rolls and then run them through a tight wringer to extract as much oil as I can from the strips. I'll hang them for a few hours, roll them up again and STORE them in a cleaned, dry bottle. I only oil up a bout 8 to 14 rolls until I get low. the patched balls load easily and my bore cleans up well with soap and hot water (5 minutes tops.).
 

toot

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Mar 30, 2019
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210
EVO-ROGER THAT! it is great. but after a while your wife will get smart as too where it is going!
 

BigAl52

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Feb 3, 2016
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667
Might want to add Hoppes #9 Blackpowder to that list Jon. Ive used it and it works great.
 

Squint

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This is one of the most interesting topics that have come up, being, what is a good patch lube? For at least 10 years In my Lyman Flintlock, I used wonder lube or TC 1000 and got by okay. I also used the same thing in a T/C percussion In the years before that. Accuracy was only fair but more than adequate for deer. Then I joined a muzzleloader club and shot Competitively. Didn't take long to find out that what I was doing wasn't that great, so that begun the long road to testing different patch lubes.
Now to me, it's just a hobby and I only do it for certain times of the summer, so it has taken a long time. First off it's hard to believe how much difference patch lubes make. I tried everything that I could think of including Hoppies #9 blackpowder cleaner and patch lube. I used moose milk which wasn't too bad except I had a patch start a grass fire and that worried me, M.A.P. lube was about the same. Fast orange hand cleaner worked better then moose milk or MAP, but water is one of the ingredients and that concerned me. Testing turned out to be rather time-consuming and slow as I tested each lube with at least three different weights of powder all using the same identical balls and patch thickness. I would shoot three shots at each Target and compare the group. I finally ordered two different custom-made patch lube's that looked much similar to each other and cost about the same. Without making anybody mad or angry, I won't really say what the two brands were,For I'm sure that my results only apply to my rifle. Now going back to all the other lubes, the best one of the previous group was the fast orange hand cleaner. It was about a 5 inch group at 50 yards. All of the lubes did their best job with 50 grains of FFG and a 50 caliber and 176 grain ball. One of the Lubes that I purchased produced 8 inch groups and one produced 3 inch groups. These all were shot from a dirty barrel. Using a clean barrel, the first shot was very close to the bull's eye at 50 yards from all the lubes I tested and would have killed a deer. Surprisingly the groups didn't open up until the barrel was dirty. I did use a felt spacer between the patched ball and the powder just like a hunting load that might be loaded for several days. Some of the lubes would shoot higher than others, some would shoot on the right side of the bull some on the left. All were worse with a dirty barrel. The one that shot the 3 inch group also only shot about 2 inches high compared to the Bull's-eye out of the clean barrel.
Squint
 

BigAl52

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Feb 3, 2016
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667
Squint I wouldnt let it bother you if you make someone mad about your findings with the 2 lubes you like. Everyone is entitled to there opinion. Go ahead and post the lubes you like.
 

White Fox

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Mar 14, 2015
Messages
51
My first and only experience with olive oil as a patch lube was in the early Fall a decade or more ago. Oiled some ticking strips as I prefer cut at the muzzle patches. Took these to the range with two or three rifles I was enjoying at the time.

After firing my first shot I turned away firing line to load again, and as I rammed the patched ball home I smelled smoke. Turning downrange I noted with horror a yard wide patch of burning grass. After stomping this out I fired three more rounds using the olive oil lubed strip. Each fired patch was easily located by the tendrils of smoke.

After that experience I swore off olive oil, and did some research on ignition temperatures and burning characteristics of all sorts of vegetable oils. The details were lost when our house flooded in September 2013, but I recall that the one with lowest temp was olive oil, and the highest temp was peanut oil. Wanted to try peanut oil, searched for a source to buy a pint or quart, but only found one and five gallon quantities, for use in turkey fryers. Now I just stay with Moose Milk (2 oz water soluble machining oil, 2 oz Murphy's Oil soap, water to make up a quart) for shooting matches, 50/50 lamb fat and beeswax for hunting, and plain old spit for one particular 40 cal flinter.
 

toot

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Mar 30, 2019
Messages
210
try old paper hornets nest. it will not burn. that is what they used in days of old. and a lot of muzzle loaders use today.
 

afishhunter

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Feb 14, 2019
Messages
93
my bore cleans up well with soap and hot water (5 minutes tops.).
Unless you are using a petroleum based lube, hot soapy water pumped through the bore will clean the bore (and nipple and drum if so equipped) well.

Hot soapy water is all I've used to clean my muzzleloaders since I started shooting them in the 1980's.
(I like DAWN dish soap for the "soapy" part.)

@toot
I've never heard of usuing old paper hornet/mud dauber nests before.

How do you keep it from disintegrating in the bore?

You must have more of those bugs buzzing around than we do here in South Central Idaho.
'Tis rare to locate a unused nest around here. Even a nest currently in use is not all that common.

An interestng concept, but I don't think I want to use dirt as a patching material. Getting a consistant thickness would also be a pain in the sitter.
 
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Hanshi

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Jan 21, 2015
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1,239
Just me but IMO olive oil makes great salad dressing but poor patch lube. Long, long ago in the old country olive oil was used in lamps; kinda stopped me from trying it. So it's mostly Hoppes and mink oil for my use.
 

tbvaughan53@gmail.com

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Buffalo NY
I have moved to frog lube and away from petroleum products. Apply to a hot barrel after steaming it perfectly clean and the lube binds with the metal. Shoots great and constant, fueled cleaning is a breeze.
 

Winter Hawk

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Dec 26, 2015
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Olive oil is what was referred to as "sweet oil" back in the dim recesses of the past. I use it for cooking but it will smoke a lot sooner than other oils. I tried it as a patch lube and to lube my rifle like they did w-a-y back when but decided that there are better lubricants available. Lately I've been using SnoSeal boot grease with good results and Ed's Red for lubing the bore and externals.

~WH~
 

Winter Hawk

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I've never heard of using old paper hornet/mud dauber nests before.

How do you keep it from disintegrating in the bore?
You don't use hornet nest as patching, but as a wad. In a smoothbore you can use it both over the powder and then over the ball or shot to hold the load in place. From what I have read it doesn't burn.

When we came to Ohio 13 years ago there were wasps and hornets all over. I couldn't go out in the field without expecting to get stung. Even mowing the lawn was hazardous because the little beggars would make underground nests, and did NOT like the lawnmower going over their hole.

That lasted for 2007 also. That winter they died off and I haven't seen any more since then.

Later,
~WH~
 

Hanshi

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Jan 21, 2015
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DO NOT kiss the frog lube or else you'll have a very angry swordsman hanging onto your lips.
 

burlesontom

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Apr 10, 2018
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186
My simple patch lube is just water soluble oil (WSO). I bought it at the tool supply store that caters to machine shops. Its supposed to be mixed 20-1 but I do more of a 12-1 ratio. I bought a gallon of it 25 years ago and still have over half of it left. I can shoot shot after shot without wiping apparently all I want to shoot.

I put my precut patches in one of those round plastic snuff cans and drizzle some of the WSO over the patches until they are wet. I like to use a dry patch under my patched RB to act as a firewall. My ball patches after firing look almost good enough to reuse. The firewall patch is pretty burned up.

After I am done shooting I use the WSO on an old Tee-Shirt patch to clean the bore and wipe off around the nipple. The water evaporates and leaves a protective coat of film. I then do a proper clean up later. I think this is the same stuff that Birchwood Casey sells. At least it seemed like it.

I worked in my dads machine shop all my young life and we used WSO as a coolant when cutting parts. When I bought my first and only bottle of Birchwood Casey BP cleaner I knew what it was and knew I could make it in large amounts for much cheaper.

I've gotta try some GoJo.
 

Mossie

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Jan 29, 2017
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Exotic ? yes. When I received my latest project ( now torn asunder) a CVA Frontier Carbine, I wanted to just make sure it would function. Looked around in my small shop for some kind of patch lube. Finally saw a plastic jug of Cornhusker's Lotion. Consistency seemed appropriate so 5 shots with no wipe, no resistance buildup .485 +10. Didn't shoot for accuracy as it has the wrong sights on it. Out
 

Squint

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MT
Squint I wouldnt let it bother you if you make someone mad about your findings with the 2 lubes you like. Everyone is entitled to there opinion. Go ahead and post the lubes you like.
Hi BigA152. I had to think about that for a few days, and you're right it wouldn't hurt to post the lube that worked so well for me. It's called BLACKPOWDER BULLET LUBE, and it's made in Polaski, Tennessee and I got it from Hermit Homestead Crafters. It looks just like other ones I've tried, reminds you of a mixture of beeswax and other things but it really works good in my flintlock. Now I've got a whole new thing, I bought me a traditions percussion, one and 48, 24 inch barrel with the black fiberglass stock and it only weighs 5 lbs. 14 oz. It's a 50 caliber and as soon as the weather permits I will be out trying Burning powder. I bought this to be able to shoot off hand, I've already made a peep site for it, I'm 80+ and my eyes aren't as good as they were, but I can still see fairly good with glasses. I have a fake shoulder along with several wrist operations and consequently shooting off hand has been quite a problem, and that's the reason for the new purchase. I've got at least six different lubes put together with .018 Patches And as soon as the weather cooperates I will be out trying them out, For the best group. If I can make it work as good as I hope, I'll even use it for turkey shoots as it is a nice little rifle. I'll let you know what one works the best.
Squint
I corrected the repeats in this post, sorry about them but my computer temporary quit when I was setting this up and I wasn't aware of the repeat. I have now removed it and it probably makes a little more sense.
Squint
 
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Buck Conner

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Oct 20, 2015
Messages
4,601
Guys I am going to put together a small collection of patched balls stuff here. This will include things like patch material, cutting patch at muzzle, patch lubes, Patch lube recipes, ect.

Pre-made patch lubes:

Frontier's - Anti Rust & Patch Lube
Frontier's - Buckskinner's Blend Patch Lube
Frontier's - SHOOT OUT! Patch Lube & Bore Enhancer
TC Bore Butter
Trapper's Mink oil tallow
Ol' Grizz patch lube
Lehigh Valley Lube
Wonderlube 1000 plus
Liquid Wonder Lube 1000 Plus
Hornady one shot cleaner & protectant
Birchwood Casey magic muzzle cleaner <a href='/tags/77' rel='nofollow' title='See all tagged subjects with: #77'>#77</a> black powder solvent


Make it yourself Patch lubes: If you guys have your own recipe, reply with the recipe and I will add it to the list.

Olive Oil & Bees wax - Mix bees wax in a small amount at a time. You want your patch lube to be a little stiffer than crisco, but not to the point your patches are hard enough to "crack".

Moose Milk: Have your typical Shot Glass ready!
1 shot glass of water soluble oil "Ballistol"
1 shot glass of Pinesol
2 shots hydrogen peroxide - 3% solution
20 shots of water
When weather turns very cold to the freezing point, you can add 2 shots of Alcohol to your mix to prevent it from freezing.


Another recipe for another form of moose milk:

Castor Oil 4 oz.

Murphy's Oil Soap 1 oz.

Witch Hazel 4 oz.

Isopropyl Alcohol (91%) 8 oz.

Water (non-chlorinated) 16 oz


Go Jo hand cleaner
.
Interesting data Jonathan ..... :thumbs up:
.
 

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