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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-04-2016, 01:40 PM Thread Starter
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Patch & Balls

Ok, I've accumulated round balls and different patches in plenty of numbers over the years. Mostly from buys as "throw-in" stuff. I have questions though.

First, I have a full box of round balls. However, the sticker on the front is gone, so I'm unsure if they are .490 or .495 ? I assume that I will need calipers to determine exactly ? or is there another way ?

Second. Patches. I have no idea the thicknesses of many patches I've acquired, but.... is the common theme that you want a thicker .015 patch for a .490 ball, and a thinner .010 for a .495 ball ? I can pretty much determine that some are thicker than others, though I'm not exactly sure just how thick they are.

2A-Wash. Co.
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-04-2016, 01:55 PM
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Re: Patch & Balls

You need a caliper. I don't know how anyone into this sport lives without one.

The digital calipers that Lowes (example) sells are pretty accurate and easy to read. $25 or so?
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-04-2016, 03:43 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Patch & Balls

Quote:
I don't know how anyone into this sport lives without one.
Really ? Why ? If I have a .50 Cal, and buy a box of roundballs (which I will know if they are .490 or .495, and I buy patches that (whatever thickness), and they shoot well, why would I ever need a set of calipers ?

My guess is that 90+% of muzzy hunters, that simply hunt, and don't do the "woods walk" shoots, or rendezvous shoots, in order to win prizes, don't take the time to hone their shot to "drive tacks", and do not own a set of calipers.

2A-Wash. Co.
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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-04-2016, 03:53 PM
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Re: Patch & Balls

Fleroo,

The thick or thin doesn't necessarily go with .490 or .495. It is determined by accuracy of the different combinations, including the load of powder you pour down the barrel.

One 50 cal. gun might like a thin patch and .495 ball, with 65gr. of 3Fg. And pattern like crap with the same powder and ball, and a thicker patch. Another might like a thick patch, .490 ball, and 80gr. 2Fg powder.


It is a combination of powder, patch, ball and bore. And maybe the weather... eyesight... how you hold your mouth when you pull the trigger...

“There is Truth in the Old Saying, That if you make yourself a Sheep, the Wolves will eat you.”
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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-04-2016, 04:15 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Patch & Balls

Well, I do understand what you are saying Rusty, to a degree... right down to how you hold your mouth when shooting (sarcasm... I think ). But, there has to be some relevance to ball/patch diameter, no ? I mean, a .490 with a .10 (thin) patch, should cause some "blow by" ? It stands to reason, since you are JUST making the bore-size dia of .050, right ? Regardless of charge powder size ?

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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-04-2016, 04:28 PM
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Re: Patch & Balls

Sorry, thickness of the rifling comes into play also. Deep rifling needs a thicker patch, shallow rifling not so thick.

The calipers will allow you to check rifling depth, as well as bore (land) diameter.

Round bottom rifling is fairly deep, so a .015, .018, or .020 will work well, again, depending on that barrel.

An example would be your Pedersoli KY rifle. They tend to like a thinner patch, .010, .012 or maybe .015. Their rifling is not as deep as most, especially the round bottom rifling.


“There is Truth in the Old Saying, That if you make yourself a Sheep, the Wolves will eat you.”
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-04-2016, 04:47 PM
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Re: Patch & Balls

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fleroo
Quote:
I don't know how anyone into this sport lives without one.
Really ? Why ? If I have a .50 Cal, and buy a box of roundballs (which I will know if they are .490 or .495, and I buy patches that (whatever thickness), and they shoot well, why would I ever need a set of calipers ?

My guess is that 90+% of muzzy hunters, that simply hunt, and don't do the "woods walk" shoots, or rendezvous shoots, in order to win prizes, don't take the time to hone their shot to "drive tacks", and do not own a set of calipers.
Why do I try to help..

Well, you could end up in a predicament like the guy in the OP that doesn't know what diameter or thickness he's dealing with.

If you go into a fabric store to buy patch material...how do you know what the thickness is? Just because something has a blue stripe doesn't mean it's .018. Some you come across is no more than .012.

With store bought precut patches, they can be labeled (I have some) .010 and they only measure .0055. Believe me, it makes a difference. I've found questionable labeling on many pre cuts. Brand doesn't seem to matter.

I suppose that if you don't want to buy/use calipers you can live like that and deal with all the issues of not knowing for sure what you're using. I don't know how anyone does and still has a good experience. I want everyone to have that....so I suggest what will help.
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-04-2016, 05:16 PM
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Re: Patch & Balls

Keep set in truck and shooting box!!! Very valuable tool.
I shoot a .50 cal. Getz barrel from the 80's
.490 with 16-18 thousand patch.
How they load is as important. You can jamb a .495 and .15 thousand patch down with a range rod and hammer!!!!! Not too many wood rods would survive???

Chartiers valley#725 F&AM
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-04-2016, 05:49 PM
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Re: Patch & Balls

The components you got.....

Were they purchased and in original packaging/labeling?

Often when I see .490 round balls for sale/available as "throw-in's", they are in a coffee can or margarine dish with a label in pen or sharpie that says "490" or "round balls" or something.

Without a caliper, you really have no idea what you're working with for sure.

For the cost of a caliper, it seems like it'd be cheap insurance to know what you've got.
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-04-2016, 06:24 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Patch & Balls

OK, the answer seems to be, YOU NEED CALIPERS, though some of y'all need to relax a bit. I thought perhaps maybe the old if it drops in an XYZ opening, it's .490, if not, it's .495. The more I post on this forum, the more I realize I may be mingling with the eclectic cream of the crop, dyed-in-the-wool spark throwers ?

To whomever asked, ya they were throw-ins on some other deal. They appear to be in the Hornady box, and you can clearly see where the sick on label was there at one point, but fell off. Perhaps I'll buy calipers ? Perhaps I'll melt them down and make sinkers ?

Thanks for the replies.... Question answered..... Mods, please delete.

2A-Wash. Co.
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