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Thread: Introduction to paper patching (home made jacketed lead bullets)



  1. #1
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    Introduction to paper patching (home made jacketed lead bullets)

    Buffalo hunters did it around the campfire after the hunt. It CAN'T be THAT hard, boys. I have now successfully paper patched bullets in 2 cartridges, .30-30 Winchester and .45-70 Gov. Both seem to work well.

    What are Paper Patched Bullets (PPB's)
    Pieces of scrap lead, (in our case, cast on a Coleman stove outside) that have been sized(in a reloading press) and wrapped with paper. They are sometimes then sized again, and are lubricated. They can be used for target or hunting. They were developed, many years ago, for military use.
    A lead bullet, wrapped with thin paper(called a patch), and lubed.

    Why shoot Paper Patched Bullets
    Paper patched bullets were designed to allow cast lead bullets to be fired at higher velocity than is normal for unpatched lead. The paper patched bullets I've shot have run up to about 2100 fps(approximately, didn't have a chronograph that day, going on estimation here folks) or so, without leading the barrel. These bullets show the potential of being at least as lethal as a basic, inexpensive jacketed bullet, fired at normal velocity. But these are home made, meaning you can make them in the off season, to be used when you want. They are nearly free, if you discount your hobby time or rainy day time.

    Paper Patched Bullets and Hunting Big Game
    For me, big game hunting is pretty much the driving force behind ppb's. I haven't taken any large game with cast lead bullets(below .50 muzzle loader). I'm not an expert in all this, there are folks both here and on other forums who know more than I do. My goal is simple: to develop a way, for an ordinary hunter, to cast, patch, and load his own hunting ammunition, with the bullets being cheap (in equipment and materials) and fairly simple/easy to make. I'm on the way there, I haven't gotten there yet. Join up and come along for the ride!

    The Basic Concept
    -Bullets cast of salvaged lead (range scrap, wheel weights, net/fishing sinkers, or what you can scrounge)
    -In a Lee Mold (.30-30, hopefully .308 and .30-06 too, and .45-70) that costs less than a pizza
    -Wrapped in an exotic material known to the few as: "Tracing paper", available at hidden locations across the WORLD (Wal-Mart, Staples, any school supplies place) ($5 for a pad that lasts for a long, long time)
    -Sized in an inexpensive sizer (Our friends at Lee again, sizer and mold together costing less than 2 large pizzas and some wings on the side)
    -Lubed in a highly secret, expensive material: Axle grease, $5, hardware or auto parts store, a can will outlast you

    Then loaded as normal, to be used like a normal bullet, at normal game, ranges, and speed. (You can spend extra time, money, and stress, making basic hunting bullets into magic super bullets if you want, I'm trying for basic but do-able for Johny Deerslayer). That is my goal. It seems to have great potential for the .45-70 and the .30-30 so far.

    Last basic concepts
    -The thinner the paper, the better
    -Magic wonder paper is great, just use tracing paper (or even printer paper) if you can't find the mystical super paper that someone suggests their Uncle Virgil used on bullets to take down angry watusi.
    -Paper is tougher than you might think. It is reported to CLEAN metal fouling from bores, and even cause a barrel to wear out faster. However, you'd probably have to shoot more than we really will for this to make a noticeable difference.
    -Lead alloy can be about as soft or hard as your game requires. It won't lead. The paper takes the place of a copper jacket in the barrel to eliminate metal fouling. That is the whole key: higher velocity, no leading.
    -The jacket (paper patch) can be set up to be inside the case, with no exposed paper, and a light crimp. This WILL work in a Marlin magazine tube without incident.
    -As with all reloading, use this information at your own risk. No liability will be accepted for use of information shared here.

    I'm not an expert, nor am I a guru. I'm just trying to help the average reloading deer hunter to make his own bullets without undue expense, or fuss. I'm going for cheap, realistic accuracy and performance, not some high end wonder bullets. Your needs may (or may not) vary.

    Mommicked
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    Re: Introduction to paper patching (home made jacketed lead bullets)

    Go to reloading and I would say the collectors forums and let them know. There is a lot of good paper patchers in Marlin Owners, I've read some of their knowledge and will try to get it to here.
    God Bless Our Troops -- Retired Tool & Die Maker -- The center of an Aspirin is the same size as the center of the moon, aim for the center.

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    Re: Introduction to paper patching (home made jacketed lead bullets)

    Interesting subject I want to start casting soon.
    Why would you use axle grease and not liquid alox? I would think grease could cause powder problems if the ammo was stored for along time. Alox is not suppose to harm powder.

    Russ

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    Re: Introduction to paper patching (home made jacketed lead bullets)

    I have used Lee liquid alox, and axle grease.

    Axle grease was suggested to me by a paper patcher whom I consider a mentor to me. So.....I tried it. It not only worked well (or good enough for my humble purposes) but it was readily available, and cheap. I will suggest that there probably is a better lube available, and it may very well not be alox. I have not tried alox yet with paper patches, but I have had ammo loaded for a few weeks with axle grease and no problems that I felt were the problems of the grease.

    I will keep the possibility of it contaminating the powder in mind, and will try alox at first chance. (I have used alox with gas checked bullets). It seems too thin to me though. I often size patched bullets, and the excess grease goes into the paper, and leaves a waxy, almost dry paper with no 'globs' of grease on it.

    In my .30-30, I'm dropping 170 grain Lee bullets about .309", patching them with a double wrapped patch, and lubing them. (This patch goes not quite all the way around twice, hence, double wrapped.) Before sizing they are .314 or so. I then run them through a .311 sizer, and lose about 1/3 of my patches (meaning I have 6-7 usable bullets out of 10). Then I load and shoot with 170 grain jacketed bullet data. (This might not be safe, use your own discretion here please). Seems like I had to use the bullet expander ball from an old 7.62x39 die, but I may be mistaken. I also had a few rounds that wouldn't chamber, so a trip through the magazine and chamber for function check is currently required. I'm hoping to get my bullets sized BEFORE patching, and I will not lose jackets in sizing. But the jackets that have been sized are 'ironed' onto the bullet, filled with lube, and seem very rugged. The jackets DO leave the bullet as soon as it's out of the muzzle though (as is desired with a paper patch; you don't want it going all the way to the target).
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    Re: Introduction to paper patching (home made jacketed lead bullets)

    Hello Mitch,

    This is great to have a paper patch board. Myself, I have been successfully patching for the 45-70 and the 30-30 Winchester, and had great experiences in doing so.

    I really enjoy myself in the reloading room doing anything with reloading. I'm certain that PPB's are the best bullets and would still be made more and sold by major manufactures if they were not as time consuming. I do my patching in steps. after casting I sometimes size 458 to 457 before adding the paper. as each bullet is sized I put it in a bullet tray nose down to dry then lube and load.

    Last week I cast some .308" 170 grain FN bullets, and then I patched with tracing paper. I lubed them the other day and ran through a .314" sizer. and then yesterday I loaded them and shot them. All rounds hit within a sub minute with open sights. And I was according to my book right at 2000fps. The barrel was spotless no sign of leading or even powder left in the barrel. The primers were starting to flatten but did not show excessive pressure. These bullets were very soft. My lead hardness tester did not even register with the ones that I tested

    I have tried both hard lead and soft with my 45-70 and all shot well. I am excited about the knowledge of using PPB's and knowing that I can use the hardness of the lead for the use in the game being hunted.

    Shoot straight, Joe


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    Re: Introduction to paper patching (home made jacketed lead bullets)

    Let's rock and roll with this new forum.

    I don't have any tracing paper but used some of my wife's wrapping tissue to wrap 10 yesterday. I lubed by using the RCBS lube pad to just roll them. I am sure they won't work but just had to give it a try.

    Dave
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    Re: Introduction to paper patching (home made jacketed lead bullets)

    I have and still look for a good suitable paper to use for PPB's Mommicked and myself have found that tracing paper is good and easy to get. I have also found a few good books with a strong thin paper, dictionary's and some old school books are a good avenue. Rice paper is good but hard to work with, and what I have found is not made from rice. It is actually made from mullberry pulp. It is best to find what you can get more the same when you run out.

    I'm a rollin, Joe
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    Re: Introduction to paper patching (home made jacketed lead bullets)

    Gday fellers, I've managed to patch a few .44 hard cast swc pills that I was playing with in my 1894s.They seemed alright at first but then they began to keyhole so it's obvious that they're undersize for the Marlin. So now I got these patched bullets that look just like the ones in the pictures what do I do next? Do I need to buy a Lube/size die or can I lube them by hand? If I use axle grease is it best to shoot them right away or can I store them awhile?

    Hope these questions aren't too dumb.

    Cheers,
    Mark.
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    Re: Introduction to paper patching (home made jacketed lead bullets)

    Try SPG lube on your PP boolits. It was designed for black powder but works good on smokeless loads as well. It stores well and gives good results in my 1886 Winchester. I've only used paper patching in 45/70 but am thinking of trying it on my 375 H&H for deer season this year.

  10. #10
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    Re: Introduction to paper patching (home made jacketed lead bullets)

    I lube mine by hand, with axle grease. (Specifically marine grade boat trailer grease, but any should work, use what you have). Just a dab on the fingers and onto the bullet, smear it all round. After a few it should only take about a second or two to do one.

    After lubing, I then size mine because mine are usually oversize. Remember, I'm using 'standard' molds, so I wind up with oversize boolits. If I had a custom mold or custom sizer to 'pre-size' the unpatched slug, my smaller lead slugs would produce finished bullets at the correct size. (This, of course, would require a 'shorter' patch by a few thousandths). But my goal is to make ppb's that are simple and in almost anyone's price range, so I've been concentrating on sizing the patched bullets made from 'normal' lead slugs.

    Sizing the patched bullets causes a loss of 30-40% of my jackets (I lose the patch) but the ones that remain are tough, ironed on, and it distributes the lube evenly around and through the paper. It also flattens the paper at the base nicely. So for me, the loss of a few jackets is a bit of a trade-off, resulting in fewer but better bullets (?).

    You may have to flare the case mouths a bit. You may get away with unsized bullets, especially if you have an oversized bore, undersized slugs, or simply use thin paper and a SINGLE WRAP patch. The single wrap patch is talked about less, and is less fuss, but mine don't always stay just as they should, ymmv.
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