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Old September 7, 2020, 10:21 PM   #1
burbank_jung
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Paper patch vs Powder Coating

How accurate are paper patched bullets compared to PC cast bullets?

I was thinking of acquiring a .308 mold and paper patching 200 grain bullets up to .312"
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Old September 8, 2020, 04:37 PM   #2
Grey_Lion
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Be interested to see the replies to this one. In my mind - there are so many variables here to account for.

One question I have is why would you paper patch? Are you looking to avoid leading? Or do you have another reason for it?
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Old September 8, 2020, 05:00 PM   #3
reddog81
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Originally Posted by Grey_Lion View Post
Be interested to see the replies to this one. In my mind - there are so many variables here to account for.

One question I have is why would you paper patch? Are you looking to avoid leading? Or do you have another reason for it?
Those were my thoughts also. I've never paper patched, but I've read up on it. It seems like it's much more of an art than the simple process of PC'ing.

I'd guess that accuracy will be dependent on many variables including techniques used, specific gun and mold.
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Old September 9, 2020, 12:36 AM   #4
burbank_jung
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I was thinking about casting a .308-200gr bullet for my Arisaka. The groove to groove diameter is just over .31105"". And so, instead of honing the mold, I would paper patch the bullets to increase the diameter of the bullet. Also, I can shoot a softer cast lead bullet.
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Old September 9, 2020, 12:40 AM   #5
burbank_jung
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If I were to hone the 200gr cast bullet mold to .311, I would PC it. And, to ensure a softer tip ( a different topic ), I would try dropping a pure lead buckshot in the mold before pouring in my wheel weight mold, then water drop it.
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Old September 9, 2020, 06:38 AM   #6
mehavey
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Standard three wraps of wet onionskin (.002") paper will add 10-thou to bullet diameter.
You're going need a mould dropping at ~ 0.302 to start with.
https://thefiringline.com/forums/sho...61&postcount=7
Thicker paper/two wraps is problemmatic

Were I you, I'd consider that a 308 mould will probably drop at 310; PC it; then shoot unsized

Last edited by mehavey; September 9, 2020 at 06:44 AM.
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Old September 9, 2020, 11:04 AM   #7
reddog81
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Were I you, I'd consider that a 308 mould will probably drop at 310; PC it; then shoot unsized
That's what I would do. Check to see actual size as dropped. It'll probably be around .309 or .310. Once you powder coat and add .001 to .002 you should be about good to go. You can get a .311 or .312 sizer and you should be good.

After PC'ing, I size my ".308" bullets to .311 for use in 300 Blackout.

For paper patching I believe you should start with a mold .001 or .002 over bore diameter. I have no idea what an Arisaka would be, but a quick search online looks like .303. So you would need to start with a mold that drops closer to .304 or .305 and not one for .308 (which is actually probably closer to .309 or .310).
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Old September 9, 2020, 11:40 AM   #8
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I'm going to try an in-between experiment using 14 lb Tyvek "paper". Sort of a cross between paper patching and powder coating. I'm thinking the Tyvek may be rugged enough to allow fewer turns per wrap. But I don't know that it works yet, so this is not a recommendation.

If you want to paper patch, as already indicated, you would need to narrow the bullets through sizing dies. It's a good deal of trouble and the bullets tend to lose some of their axial symmetry in the process of sizing them extreme amounts, reducing their accuracy.

Other than that, paper patching is laborious but has a couple of advantages. One is that it is easier to keep its thickness perfectly even all around the bullet than with coatings. Another advantage come with the paper fibers. Just as cutting a lot of them will dull a knife edge, they tend to strop the bore, promoting its smoothness for unpatched lead bullets.
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Old September 9, 2020, 01:24 PM   #9
Jim Watson
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The NRA once did tests on paper patching smokeless small bores.
As I recall, it was useful for making up odd calibers, but it was not going to turn army surplus into "match grade."
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Old September 9, 2020, 03:58 PM   #10
burbank_jung
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Tyvek

Uncle Nick, How do you propose to use the Tyvek? Will you wrap the bullet and put it in an oven? Will you coat it and put through a sizing die?

I was thinking of using rice paper, shoji, or some other Asian paper for my "Asian" rifle. Maybe it sounds weird but it'll be fun.
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Old September 9, 2020, 04:00 PM   #11
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Reddog81. I get the impression that you can shoot paper patch bullets close to jacketed bullet velocities but not so with PC.
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Old September 9, 2020, 04:28 PM   #12
mehavey
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Quote:
I was thinking of using rice paper,...
You need at least the strength of 25% (I use 100%) cotton fiber to handle the ride down the bore.
Rice paper is somewhat "papyrus" like in that it's actually tree pith. I'll be fascinated if you find something thin enough.

Boys & girls, it took me to researching many, many (many) weeks years and years (and) years ago to find/buy/test what finally fit/worked.

Don't expect "BANG, WOW, COOL" overnight.

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Old September 9, 2020, 04:34 PM   #13
burbank_jung
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I'll record the 25% for reference. Maybe the Japanese make something with cotton in it. The rice paper isn't the real kind but some kid of wood fiber.
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Old September 29, 2020, 07:38 PM   #14
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With paper patch, you clean your bore shiny clean every time you shoot a round. You can shoot soft lead bullets at jacketed velocities getting impressive expansion. But you have to buy a custom mold that drops at .301 or .302 if you want to shoot in a .311. Waterproof the exposed patching with paste wax.

However, patching in time consuming. If you only wrap for hunting, you should be OK. In an hour I can wrap 20-30 bullets and do it right. In an hour, I can powder coat thousands of bullets. The learning curve for me was a long one. But if you have time and attention to detail, go for it.
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Old September 30, 2020, 11:04 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by burbank_jung View Post
Reddog81. I get the impression that you can shoot paper patch bullets close to jacketed bullet velocities but not so with PC.
As a person who did some cast bullet rifle shooting years ago, I found that I got top accuracy (30-06 Ruger #1), from heat treated (hard) bullets. As a current powder coater (pistol, not rifle), it seems that if a person powder coats, that there is no way to heat treat the bullet as the process of baking the powder coat anneals the bullets. So from the standpoint of rifle accuracy only, paper patching would seem to be more conducive to accuracy than powder coating.
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Old September 30, 2020, 09:22 PM   #16
burbank_jung
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It is claimed that you can water drop the PC bullets into cold water to increase hardness.

Paper patching looks like too much work unless I'm replicating a 45/70 or 50/50 round. PC looks easier. However, would a double PC be detrimental to bring a .309"cast bullet to .311? Another option could be to hone out a .309-200gr aluminum mold to .311 and powder coat to .312.
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Old October 1, 2020, 08:42 AM   #17
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It is claimed that you can water drop the PC bullets into cold water to increase hardness.
That seems to be the case, but there are other factors to consider. For instance, it takes awhile for the heat treated bullets to age harden. So if the bullets are going to be sized post-heat treating, they should be sized before age hardening begins or they get difficult to size ( I have seen two different Lube Sizers with the linkage bent/damaged from sizing many hard bullets).
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Old October 1, 2020, 10:19 AM   #18
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Nice point but if you are resizing the paint that's around the lead, you should be safe, yes?
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Old October 1, 2020, 10:22 AM   #19
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Somewhat off topic but if you are casting rifle bullets and want to soften the tip and leave the shank hard by submerging the shank in cold water and heating the exposed tip, then the bullet should be allowed to harden for a week or after you cast or does it matter? I know the paint could melt or burn but let's say we keep the temperature under 400 degrees.
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