Question about bullet diamete for paper patching???

  • Last Post 07 November 2014
2frogs posted this 10 July 2008

How do you determin which is the correct diameter for the bullet to be before paper patching? I mean if my barrel slugs to 4585 dia. what size paper patch bullet mold would you all suggest I use..And I read somewhere that the paper should be wrapped 2 times.Is this correct? Where is a good place to get the mold and paper that I will need?  I was thinking of Buffalo Arms..Or is there a better place to get things I am not aware of...Also can the bullets be lubed by hand or is it best to run them through a luber sizer? I guess I just have too many questions about it...And probably most of my alloy will be wheel weight material..After all being on a fixed income....Thank you for your advice.....Johnny

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runfiverun posted this 14 July 2008

from what i know file:

for p/p you want the bullet to be same as or just under land size so that the paper fills the space from the lands to the groove diam.

this also tears the paper away when it leaves the muzzle.

you size wrapped paper and all to bout 001-002 over bbl diameter, and can just smear with lube by hand.

if your final wrapped bullet is the size you want you don't have to size.

ww's, pure lead, etc will work fine as it shouldn't be touching more then about .001 of your lands.

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PETE posted this 15 July 2008


  Here's how I do it.......

  First you need to determine what final patched diam. you want. Either bore or groove size. There are proponents of each, and certain venues require one or the other. In any case the procedure is the same.

  First you need to know either the groove diam. or the land diam. if that's the final dim. you want.

  Then you need to know the thickness of the paper you will be using. The only caveat here is that two thicknesses of paper equal or exceed the hgt. of your lands. This is to prevent the lands from cutting thru the paper and pulling Lead off the bullet.

  Then you take four (4) thicknesses of that paper and subtract that from your groove or land diam.

  That will be the diam. of the bullet you need.

  I add a thousandths or two to this final bullet diam. to take into account the various amounts of shrinkage you will end up with due to different amounts of tension you put on as you wrap the bullet. Plus you want about a thousandths over the final dim. just like I want for plain cast bullets.

    I rub a little lube on and run the patched bullet thru a sizing die to make sure the final dim. is what I want and to even up the lube. I've never tried seeing if a luber would put enuf lube on the bullet, so it's something you can try and see. I rub on a very dry lube made from 50/50 by wgt. of Motor Mica and Lithium grease.

  You're correct in thinking that 2 wraps are needed. There is another form of wrapping called a Chase Patch (one wrap) but 2 wraps is done by most except for the slug gun shooters and those wanting to experiment a bit.

  Since the mould diam. you will end up with will more than likely be a non standard size you will have to go to a custom maker. Colorado Shooters Supply is a good outfit and they will make your mould to the exact size you want. I have several.

  Patching paper is as close as your nearest staionary store. It's best to use 100% cotton paper but that's getting tough to find. Another is 9# airmail paper, which is also hard to find I hear. Most people will use any of the standard kinds on paper you use for printing off copies on your printer. Just don't use any of the paper that has a shiny/slick coating on it. Regular paper especially for patching can be gotten from Buffalo Arms Co. From what I've written about paper you can see it's imperative to know the paper thickness before determining your bullet mould diam. The papers above will range from .0015” to .004"+.

  You can use any alloy you want for shooting paper patch bullets. Your wheel wgts. will work fine unless you want/need the best accuracy. I've used everything from pure Lead to Linotype and there is very little difference in accuracy. That's the nice thing about paper patching. Since the bullet itself doesn't come in contact with the bore there is no chance of Leading. Of course different hunting and target situations you'll have to adjust your alloy to suit.


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Emmett posted this 23 August 2009

I ordered my paper patch mo;d from [email protected] High quality but quite expensive. They will make it to your specifications. Emmett

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Daryl S posted this 07 June 2010

Johnny - if you are shooting smokeless powder, the bullet should be bore size to about .001” over. If you are shooting black powder, the patched bullet should be bore size, using the black powder charge to slug the bullet up to fill. Loaded in this fashion, with a grease ball and lubed paper, you should be able to shoot 10 shots and push ALL the fouling out the muzzel with one dry patch. If not, your lube needs work, or amount of lube increased in the grease ball. Fouling at the throat - lube too hard, Fouling at the muzzle, not enough lube - fouling full length, poor lube. For BP and smokeless, 60% beeswax, 40% Vaseline works well - melted and mixed - for the patch (after patching) and for lube ball or grooved lubricated bullets - works well in large calibres to around 2,000fps without leading.

If shooting black powder and using full sized bullets (groove diameter after patching), you might be unable to load the second or third shot due to fouling buildup in the throat - that is why the bullet needs to be undersized. They load easily over fouling as the lube softens the fouling and the undersized bullet slips into the throat easily. The BP 'blow' will slug it up to deliver excellent accuracy, if 1” to 1 1/2” is excellent enough for black powder.

2 wraps is correct.

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redball 2 posted this 07 June 2010

If you are using a modern smokless rifle such as a 30'06 the bullet should be bore diameter or a little over. look up col Harrisons articles. they are the best info still.

NEI makes moulds for several different calibers.

there several books that deal with this. read them before you try to make some. they work but are more labor intensive than groved bullets. that is probably why more aren't used.

Jim Wilcox

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303Guy posted this 13 June 2010

If I may add a few points - The biggest factor is sizing the patched boolit to fit the throat of your particular rifle.  Many folks - myself included - like ordinary cheap printer paper.  Two wraps of that is going to be deeper than the rifling depth.   With soft-ish alloy, the boolit will bump up and impress intop the rifling grooves with smokeless powder just fine.  Also, with soft-ish alloy, the patch will iron the rifling impressions into the core without cutting through.  Sometimes it takes quite some effort to get the patch to 'confetti' at the muzzle.  More powder charge and hense pressure is sometimes required.  More pressure translates into more boolit surface pressure against the patch in the bore (obturation pressure) which breaks it down.

I am busy making molds to suite my rifle chambers throat measurements.

Printer paper is pretty soft and compresses readily in the bore and more importantly, in the case neck.  This allows seating an oversized patched boolit into unsized case neck.  The paper compresses to hold the boolit firmly without expanding the case neck or compressing the core.  This could mean the boolit gets swaged down as it inters the transition cone.  Not always a good thing as it can stretch the patch and form wrinkles if excessive.  I've no idea how that effects accuracy.

An important factor with paper patche boolits is neck tension.  One does NOT want too much!  What happens is that excessive neck tension can result in the boolit bending on seating.  (Harder boolits will withstand higher neck tension - straight air cooled WW will not - just don't ask me how I know!/images/emoticons/134.gif)

Anyway, it seems there are no hard and fast rules with paper patching although most would probably agree there are more ways to fail than to succeed! Most would probably also agree that paper patching is a heck of a lot of fun!:wnk:

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Smedley Up Over posted this 03 October 2014

Howdy Folks, Old post, but I figured it was better to continue this one, VS starting new one.

In theory what is written is correct, even the author of the Paper Jacket would agree.

But there are two schools of thought on this. One is what is written about, the other is that with a .001 over bore, you will get a perfect first shot, but till need to chase every shot with a cleaning rod and patch. Ok for bench shooters, not practical for hunting or general out in the field use.

Im being told by several shooters that a .441-.445 diameter mould is better, giving room for follow up shots. Several mould makers, make them that small, and up to .450.

To avoid buying a second mould, Im trying to find a happy medium from tight, to rattling down the barrel. All the Sharps shooters are using the .441, I dont have one, Im using a H&R 1871 Buffalo Classic, and their is nothing posted about using either method with this rifle.

So I am here to ferret out which way to go.

What say you?

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onondaga posted this 03 October 2014>Smedley Up Over

PP bullet sizing is not as critical as you might think. Wet the patches with Lee case lube before rolling and when that dries, size the PPd bullets to your chamber throat diameter. You can juggle between bullet size and patch thickness to get a PPd  bullet suitable to size for your chamber throat fit.

Even in the book The Paper Jacket you see the author do the same juggling. Cast bullets to G to G bore diameter, patch and then size to throat diameter is pretty simple and works when you have a mold that drops bullets at G to G bore diameter. If you don't have a mold that casts at G to G diameter but casts larger, then you have to size bullets to G to G diameter before patching and last size bullets to throat diameter. Some have success with a bullet that at as cast size can be patched and is then a fit to the chamber throat. That is nice when no sizing is needed at all.

The best place to start is from a true measurement by chamber casting or by chamber throat slugging to get an accurate throat measurement. You don't mention you have your bore measurement from bore slugging but the throat fit is even more important for your PPd bullets to have a sliding fit into for a stable start. The bore will size them the rest of the way when you shoot.

Got to disagree with you on the +.001.   Bullets that are over bore size and patched will shoot but you will get leading because the patches will be cut when shooting  the bore to lead contact. That is bad, the right setup shoots clean with no worries and it shoots well.

When you get good measurements, it is not that hard to get a cast bullet that just patches, loads and shoots. It is just that everything has to be the right size. Some guys hit it the first time they try, others do the lifetime waltz with guesses instead of measurements and never get PPd bullets to shoot well at all.


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Smedley Up Over posted this 04 October 2014

The patched boolit is overbore to .001, not just the boolit. That would be silly :-)

groove to groove is .458. Thats why Im looking at having made a adjustable mould at .447 diameter. Using 16 lb vellum paper which is .0025 single thickness, that would ad .010 to the boolit diameter, which should put it right at .458, the bore diameter.

Some say thats too tight, and I should have the mould made loose to .441-.445

If I make the mould diameter too wide, I can always go to 9 lb onion type paper, but folks say to stay with the thicker vellum paper.

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onondaga posted this 04 October 2014>Smedley Up Over

Your .458 G to G, if it is from a 45-70 Buffalo Classic, consider again measuring the throat. H&Rs generally have large throat diameters of .460-.462". but measurement is important.

Getting your PPd bullets a finished size of .458” patch and all will give you a wobbling bullet in the throat fit that will shoot all over the place if they are loose in the throat.

I shoot PPd bullets in a .458 Win Mag. Colt Sauer Grand African. My G to G diameter is .4570", My throat diameter is .4605” . My PPd finished bullet size including patch is .461” for a sliding fit into the throat. Smaller than that shoots all over the place from my rifle.


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Brodie posted this 04 October 2014

Smedley:  The easiest way to fit a paper patch bullet to your rifle and get accuracy quickly is to size the cast bullet .001 to .003 OVER BORE DIAMETER, and then patch the bullet to a snug finger press fit to an UNSIZED FIRED CASE.  This will fill the throat and prevent the bullet from rattling around in the chamber entering the rifling in who knows what orientation.  If the bullet doesn't fit the throat it won't be accurate.  Brodie


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Smedley Up Over posted this 05 October 2014

Now that makes sense why the .451 mould is so popular.

So the next step is a casting of the chamber and throat to get that size.

Or can I just figure its .460, and get made a .451 mould and go from there.

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onondaga posted this 05 October 2014>Smedley Up Over

Don't just figure .460 Throat. I really like H&R, NEF firearms but expecting exact ANSI chamber and barrel dimensions with match grade finishes in this inexpensive brand is not a great idea.

An inexpensive ($15.17) lifetime supply of an excellent low temperature chamber casting alloy with good product instructions right on the product page:>

I also get my certified Lyman #2 alloy from this place and they have other bullet alloys and pure lead too. Combination orders over $100.00 are shipped free in USA from this source.


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Brodie posted this 05 October 2014

Smedley UP and Over;  I would take Gary's advise it's the easiest way to accuracy along with slugging the barrel.  Brodie


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Smedley Up Over posted this 06 October 2014

After I posted that, I ordered up some casting alloy, and read up on how to do it tow different ways.

Ill get back with you all when I have the numbers.

Life is too short to guess

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Smedley Up Over posted this 07 November 2014

Well my first day off in a few months, and I did a casting. The throat is 45 degrees. Will need to find the neck & throat reamer.

I did two castings, and the numbers came out within .005 of each other.

Land to land .455 Groove .452

Me thinks either this is an error or her new name is lolita

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