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Thread: Possible Patch Lube Opinions Sought

  1. #1
    Member stevelyn's Avatar
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    Default Possible Patch Lube Opinions Sought

    Everyone including myself has been in search of the ultimate patch lube at one time or another. I've used a few commercial recipes and have even cooked up my own.

    I'm curious about the the possiblities of using a preparation such as Obenauf's leather oil or LP as a patch lube in addition to waterproofing boots/leather.

    Obenauf's claims that their products contain no petroleum products (very important for those using Pyro and black) and that the main ingredients are propolis and beeswax.

    What say ye learned muzzleloading members of the AOD braintrust?
    Now what ?

  2. #2
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    Since going to T/C's Natural lube I have not found a need to look for anything else.
    I can remember the days before it came out and what a difference it has made to the ease of shooting, loading, and cleaning.
    just my $0.02

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by stevelyn View Post
    Everyone including myself has been in search of the ultimate patch lube at one time or another. I've used a few commercial recipes and have even cooked up my own.

    I'm curious about the the possiblities of using a preparation such as Obenauf's leather oil or LP as a patch lube in addition to waterproofing boots/leather.

    Obenauf's claims that their products contain no petroleum products (very important for those using Pyro and black) and that the main ingredients are propolis and beeswax.

    What say ye learned muzzleloading members of the AOD braintrust?
    Haven't tried it but I'm guessing it would work. My hesitation is that I have no clue what propolis is. If it's waterproof or leaves some kind of burnt residue, it could be a dickens to get out of the bore after shooting.

    Dave's recommendation of Nature Lube is a good one if a commercial product is okay.

    I took it on myself a couple of years ago to try making my own lube. I settled on a concoction of 2 parts deer tallow and one part olive oil for cold weather and 3 parts tallow to one part olive oil for warmer weather. Texture of either is about like Nature Lube in summer and winter temps around here. A 1:1 combo has a texture about like vaseline in cool weather, but goes liquid instantly when you touch it with a warm finger. If I was looking for one lube that did the job year around I'd probably blend a little beeswax into the 2:1. Olive oil was a matter of expedience, and if I wanted to use all local products I'd track down some bear oil instead. A friend has beehives, so the wax is local.

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    Member stevelyn's Avatar
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    My hesitation is that I have no clue what propolis is. If it's waterproof or leaves some kind of burnt residue, it could be a dickens to get out of the bore after shooting.
    It's a resin bees collect from trees and plants.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Propolis
    Now what ?

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by stevelyn View Post
    It's a resin bees collect from trees and plants.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Propolis
    That makes Obenaufs and interesting prospect for patch lube, especially if it's a paste rather than a liquid. Nothing to base it on other than superstition, but I've always been leery of liquids for hunting loads that are going to be sitting all day long in the gun. Liquids are excellent for range shooting, but I've always worried that they'd dampen my powder if they sit too long in the bore.

  6. #6

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    I love bore butter, it smells so good. Alot of old timers used grease. Anyone ever try Crisco?
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  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anton74 View Post
    Anyone ever try Crisco?
    Yeah. I've used a fair bit of it, and it works great on everything from cap and ball revolvers to patched round balls in rifles. Lots of folks use plain old olive oil, too. I know range shooters that swear by Hoppe's #9+ black powder solvent as a patch lube. Plain old spit is popular with a bunch of range shooters, too.

    Lots and lots of things will work. It's interesting though that things fail too, sometimes in one gun while working fine in another.

    I have noticed that if your patch/ball combo isn't real tight in the bore, it's harder on lubes. I also notice that some lubes work fine with moderate loads like for target shooting, but fail when you move up to a stiff powder charge.

    Six of us were out shooting muzzleloaders together Friday afternoon using lubes including my 2:1 deer tallow lube, a 1:1 version of it, Hoppes #9+, prelube commercial patches, bore butter, and crisco. Started shooting at 35 yards with moderate loads and there were no failures in all the patches we checked. Moved the targets back to 100 yards, stiffed up the loads and went back to shooting. Only two of us were hitting a paper dinner plate offhand with any regularity. After some trading off guns it became clear it was the two rifles more than the shooters who happened to be using them. Got to checking patches, and the guns that weren't hitting the plates were the ones being loaded with looser patches. The patches were failing.

    I started passing out my pillow ticking (.018) patches to guys who had been using .010 and .015 patches, and that immediately tightened up the rifles and stopped the patch failures. Didn't seem to matter which lube was being used, as long as the patch was tight.

    I'm starting to think that "lube failures" are more a question of patch failures.

    The big difference we noticed was in ease of loading after several shots without swabbing the bore. The Hoppes #9+ and the bore butter were best, letting the shooters more or less keep on shooting without swabbing. Crisco was about the worst, and my beloved deer tallow concoction was somewhere in between.

    Any of that useful?

  8. #8

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    Actually you got me thinking. Alot of people will spend all day tweaking there rifle loads(cartridge), but when it comes to BP the just grab whatever is available and shoot. Just because you are taking your BP rifle to the range doesn't mean you have to leave your chronograph at home. I always like to try different styles and sizes of patches. No matter what you use, if you don't have a good seal. then you might as well be throwing rocks.
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  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anton74 View Post
    No matter what you use, if you don't have a good seal. then you might as well be throwing rocks.
    That's it.

    There's probably no 100% reliable forumula you can take from one rifle to another, just as identical loads perform differently in bolt action rifles of the same model. Each gun has its own "personality" and likely needs fine tuning for peak performance. Mix in rifles of the same caliber from different makers, and things can really move sideways on you.

    Best is to try various combos while being as thoughtful and consistent as you can be. It won't take long for a muzzleloader to tell you what it likes and what it doesn't.

    I've got a prized 58 caliber that's unquestionably the most accurate muzzeloader I own. But when it first arrived and I took it on its maiden voyage to the range, i was darned near sick. It wouldn't do 3" at 50 yards. Monkeyed around with patch thickness and ball diameter, and suddenly it was shooting ragged holes at 50 yards with almost any powder charge. Moved back to 100 yards and it shot better than my eyes could see. I regularly break 2" for five shots with PRB, and it does even better when younger eyes are doing the sighting. If I hadn't spent time exploring loads, that purty thing would be a safe queen now and a purchase I sadly regretted. But now I'm so proud of it I use any excuse to talk about it (including this one!).

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post
    If I hadn't spent time exploring loads, that purty thing would be a safe queen now and a purchase I sadly regretted. But now I'm so proud of it I use any excuse to talk about it (including this one!).
    I have a CVA my parents bought me as a Christmas present around 18 years ago(Back when choices where limited and not many used BP) It didn't care much for round balls, but I could hit a coffee can at 125yds with Hornady Great Plains bullets(Not many people use those). I really need to get to the range and tinker around. If you get a BP rifle that shoots awesome groups, then you should never get rid of it, they aren't like other guns. Now if the wife can only get me an orginal Hatfield for Christmas I will be happy and sure to brag on here.
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  11. #11
    Member aknewbie's Avatar
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    Default 58?

    Quote Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post
    But now I'm so proud of it I use any excuse to talk about it (including this one!).
    So what is that 58?

  12. #12

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    Thank you for asking!!!

    It's a Green River Rifle Works Hawken with a 36" barrel tapered from 1 1/8" at the breech to 1" at the muzzle. GRRW was around in the 1970's turning out near-custom guns one at a time. They were trying to compeat with TC and CVA, but at 2 or 3 times the price. Probably one of the more accurate Hawken reprductions around in terms of detailing. They're really sought after now and don't come up for sale very often.

    Mine has an unbelievable dark-stained curly maple stock, and the wood to metal fit is right up there with the very best all-custom rifles, modern or muzzeloaders. GRRW had several gunsmiths working for them, and they stamped the bottom of the barrel with the name if the individual who did the work. Turns out that I'm acquainted with the one that made this particular rifle. When I contacted him, he gave me some details on the gun and sent me this explanation of why the gun is so unbelievably accurate:

    "I can tell you that the secret to the accurate barrel is the way they were bored and rifled.
    They were first drilled as usual. But what is unusual is that they were never reamed as most if not all barrel makers do now - and did then. We first cut the lands and then cut the grooves depending on the bore size. It's been a long time but as I recall the big bores had the grooves cut first. This made for tool marks that ran the whole length of the barrel on both lands and grooves in the direction of the bullet travel. Also, as the cutter head advanced towards the muzzle oil pressure and some cuttings put a minute amount of pressure on the cutter and you ended up with a sort of choke near the muzzle. This was accidental and was discovered while "slugging" a barrel to check for rough spots. Once found on a test barrel we noted it on all of them and theorized the above means by which it occurred. The result was a barrel that needed just about zero break in and was wonderfully accurate as you have discovered. To the best of my knowledge no one is producing barrels in this manner. So you have a real prize there no matter which of the old GRRW crew made it."


    One of the big reasons GRRW guns are so hard to find these days is the accuracy of the barrels. Lots of them have been dismantled so the barrels could be used in custom builds.

    Yeah, I feel really lucky to have it!

  13. #13
    Member aknewbie's Avatar
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    Default custom 58

    Sounds like a real nice rifle brown bear! I would love to have a 54 or 58 but I want something a little shorter for hunting. Dont get me wrong, I really like the longer barreled rifles like the GPR's and the like but I dont like carrying them in the brush. New Englanders, Deerstalkers, and the very rare Big Boars would be my ideal choice. A little easier to bust brush with.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by aknewbie View Post
    Sounds like a real nice rifle brown bear! I would love to have a 54 or 58 but I want something a little shorter for hunting. Dont get me wrong, I really like the longer barreled rifles like the GPR's and the like but I dont like carrying them in the brush. New Englanders, Deerstalkers, and the very rare Big Boars would be my ideal choice. A little easier to bust brush with.
    Good luck on the Big Bore! I've been looking for quite a while and never found one, but I'll pass on the word if I spot one. My hunt ended when I found a TC Hawken with a 26" 58 cal custom barrel. Lots of wood had been removed to accomodate a 1 1/8" barrel (tapered to 15/16" at the muzzle), but it's still sound. My wife's Deerstalker 54 is a dandy, and if I hadn't found the 58, that's what I'd own. My 26" 58 is a dandy close range gun, and frankly a beater I'm more inclined to use any time the weather is sour, rather than the GRRW Hawken 58.

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