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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have found that in my TC Renegade I can't even hit the target with a .490 roundball with a patch (not sure of the thickness), but with TC maxi-balls I am able to get a 2" group at 50 yards with 80grs. of 2F. The TC MAxi-hunter/balls measure at .505. What I'm thinking of doing is going to the linnen store and acquiring some pillow ticking, or some type of patch material .015 or .020 thick. Will I have any pressure problems if I go over .015 thick? My idea is that a thicker patch will allow me to actually make use of the shallow 1 in 40" rifling and will give me the accuracy I'm looking for. Those TC bullets aint cheap!

For what it's worth I just looked... my patches are .010. If push comes to shove I'll just get a green mountain barrel with 1 in 60" rifling, since patched round ball is what I want to shoot anyways.
 

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Back when I was shooting BP rifles, all of my round-ball patch material was linen cloth... IIRC, it measured right at 0.012 to 0.013" thick and was pretty uniform, not to mention that it would hold lube really well. I was able to hold 2" groups at 100 yds with my Hawken, but then again, my eyes were young and fresh.
 

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I use the 015" thickness with .490 round balls on my TC Hawken and it works, but the combo is about all I can handle getting the combo down the bore for tightness. .015 is a pretty common patch thickness, so I'd try that, first. No way could I manage to get a .020 patched .490 ball down the bore, but, then, maybe a guy could. Track of the Wolf does carry sizes larger than .015 if you need them, though.

Another option is to try some .495 round balls if you want a tighter fit. By the way, my Hawkens prefers conicals, too, same as your Renegade and they're much easier for me to load. 2" at 50 yards with conicals is pretty darn good in my book - about all these old eyes can manage at that distance without a scope, anyway. Not as traditional as shooting PRB, maybe, but I'm just shooting for fun, these days.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I use the 015" thickness with .490 round balls on my TC Hawken and it works, but the combo is about all I can handle getting the combo down the bore for tightness. .015 is a pretty common patch thickness, so I'd try that, first. No way could I manage to get a .020 patched .490 ball down the bore, but, then, maybe a guy could. Track of the Wolf does carry sizes larger than .015 if you need them, though.

Another option is to try some .495 round balls if you want a tighter fit. By the way, my Hawkens prefers conicals, too and they're much easier for me to load. Not as traditional, maybe, but I'm just shooting for fun, these days.
I may try some .495 roundballs too, but that would only put the total thickness up to .500 with the .010 patches I have; the conicals are .505 and shoot a 2" group at 50 yards. It's worth a try though! I'm with you... I'm mostly shooting for fun but I do like to hunt with this thing. Haven't killed anything with it yet though.
 

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most of my 48 twist barrels like a little lower powder charge for prb loads, somewhere around 70 grains. look at some of your fired patches (a spotter is helpfull) to see if they are burning through or tearing that will tell you a lot
 
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Tman if you have a 1 in 40 twist it is too fast for round ball. The thicker pillow ticking may help, but you are not going to make a Tack driver with that twist. My 1 in 48 lymans will do good, but my 1 in 66 lymans will do much better. Drop your charge 10 grains and thicker patch and see what happens.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well, I bought 2 yards of .016 cotton patch material. I will drop the charge as suggested and see what happens. I knew 1 in 48 (kind of a median from what I've read) wasn't good for PRB, but from what I've read with a thick enough patch you can get it to shoot minute of deer, which is all I'm looking for right now.
 

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My wife says I'm starting to become a grumpy old man, so bear with me for a minute.

If you are not hitting the target how do you know that you are not shooting a 1" group with patched round balls that are shooting higher or lower than your maxi-balls? I doubt that you will have the same point of impact using the same sight picture at 50 yards for both round balls and maxi-balls. Move your target to 25 yards and make it bigger.

I think the thicker patching is a good step in the right direction. Also try different patch lubes. Make sure you are shooting with your barrel in the same condition for each shot. What I mean by this is to have a systematic loading procedure, for example: wiping a wet patch down the barrel after each shot, followed by two dry patches then loading your next shot, repeat for each shot in the group. Black powder will foul your barrel with each shot if you do not wipe a cleaning patch after each shot. You end up with a bore that is smaller in diameter for your 5th shot than it was for your first shot if you do not have a constant condition in your barrel. This has to effect your accuracy.

Good luck, I think patched round balls are the only way to go!!
 

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1/48ish is a compromise twist, dont do conicals or round ball really good, but does do both, kinda.

1/60 or slower is prime for round ball. After 1/72 loading becomes a chore.

.015 should be a good starting point for a .490 ball. Darn tight for .505, but that is what I would use. As long as you are using TC 1000+ products, those tight patches will slide down and seat well.

Before you start, get an old bed sheet, put it in front of the shooting bench, capture your patches on it, its the easiest way to fit patches. You just have to read them.

Now as far as powder goes. 95% of all newb borestuffers over charge their rifles. ITS JUST A WASTE OF POWDER.
You can find out the MAXIMUM charge by using the Davenport Formula (which is listed here and other BP forums)
Then find your MAX charge, and work backwards until you get the best group.

My 45 cal 42 inch barrel has a max charge of 74.5 grains, anything more just exits the barrel UNBURNT. My effective charge is 55 grains, and thats what I shoot at.

Being you have a way shorter barrel, I bet you charge numbers will be less than mine

Anyone wants me to repost the Davenport Formula, PM me and I will
 

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Wash the patching a couple of times to get sizing out and to help it adsorb lube, it is 100% cotton right. .016 is a start, .018 to .022 better. Denim is much better than what they sell for ticking these days. I think my buddy used around 60 grains of 2f, .018 ticking and .490 balls in his renegade, won a bunch of matches with it. Clean between shots, just a wet patch. Get a SS range rod with a guide along with a good short starter. Unless it has already been done you will need to pin that TC Ramrod through the ferrules. Around 5 to 10 grains of powder trickled below the nipple will push it out gentle enough that fired into a 5 gallon bucket of water will stop it when it pulls off if not pinned :biggrin:
 

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What your fired patches should look like. I got this off a google search. The one far right looks a might frayed but the others look good.
Cuisine Flower Dish Metal
 

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I have TC Hawken .50 caliber rifle and I used 70 grains of FF with .495 round ball and lubed cotton sheets as my patches. It shot very good with this combo. For hunting I used maxi-balls and 100 grains of FF. It would shoot tight groups (quarter size) from a rest at 50 yards. I did make a modification to my front sight on the Hawken. I filed the front bead to be much smaller in size. I found the stock sight to be way too big. After making this mod my groups got much smaller.
I also liked Buffalo bullets for hunting. They shoot real good in my Hawken (comparable to maxi-ball) and are lethal on game.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks for all of the info guys.

Pard, I googled and found the davenport formula; saw where you posted it on cast boolits. I'm no math whiz but I think I can figure it out. :tee:
 

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Other than trying different powder charges and experimenting with patch thickness/material, lube and different ball diameters, I don't have anything to add that hasn't already been suggested. I'm not a fan of 1:48 twist for round balls but that was the rate of twist used by the Hawken brothers on their rifles. I think for them it was a compromise, using a rate of twist that would work for several different calibers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Other than trying different powder charges and experimenting with patch thickness/material, lube and different ball diameters, I don't have anything to add that hasn't already been suggested. I'm not a fan of 1:48 twist for round balls but that was the rate of twist used by the Hawken brothers on their rifles. I think for them it was a compromise, using a rate of twist that would work for several different calibers.
Yep... if this doesn't work I'm going to conclude that the rifle is simply "shot out". I did notice when shooting conicals that even at 50 yards, with an 80gr. charge behind a 250gr. TC Maxi-hunter, I could hear the gun go off before the bullet hit the target. The barrel is 26 3/4".
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Well I don't know if it's the tighter patches, or using the Davenport formula and dropping my charge like Pard suggested, but the first shot was literally right on the X, and the next 4 or so were only about an inch away from it. Minute of deer... I'll refine it later if I get to hunt this year. Thanks for all the help guys! Man I love this place...
 

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Did you recover any patches? We helped a guy by showing him his shredded patches and giving him some of our ticking to use.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Did you recover any patches? We helped a guy by showing him his shredded patches and giving him some of our ticking to use.
I couldn't find any, there was a pretty high wind, but I suspect they probably got blown through. I'm satisfied with the accuracy for now, but I will play with it more later this year. Will pillow ticking not allow that to happen?
 

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Well I don't know if it's the tighter patches, or using the Davenport formula and dropping my charge like Pard suggested, but the first shot was literally right on the X, and the next 4 or so were only about an inch away from it. Minute of deer... I'll refine it later if I get to hunt this year. Thanks for all the help guys! Man I love this place...
Congrats!
 
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