Finally connected with a 58......
After a long time looking for a Big Boar, I found a 58 that was the deal for me.... Got my hands on a 58cal Kodiak in good shape- I bought it on gun broker sunday and I cannot wait til it gets here!!! I was at the gun show this weekend and had already bought some .570 balls and picked up some .015 patches and a bore brush today. YES I am driving my wife INSANE!!!!! My turn after all of the coach purse drama, (if you havent had the privelege of buying a coach purse, dread the day you have to help pick one out) and the fact that I broke her laptop and had to replace that too but that is a story for another time.
Anyways I am wondering if anyone out there has one in 58 and has any recommendations on where to start. I have heard that they have a little oversize bore, but I guess that can vary from gun to gun. Like I said I have some .570 balls and .015 patches, ffg 777, CCI caps- my only question is what to use for a patch lube? I was thinking about using bore butter just because it is available anywhere. (stupid question) Also, how do you put it on? Do you just smear it on the patches, or do you heat it up and soak the patches in it and let them dry? In doing some research I am beginning to believe that the patch is more important than the lube. Makes sense. Anyways, Im gonna continue to drive my significant other crazy til it shows up, so any advice you can give me would be great!
Congratulations! I haven't owned one, but regard them highly. Even with two other 58's in the house, I'd jump on the double if the right one came along.
Originally Posted by aknewbie
The one I'm acquainted with prefers thicker patches than those .015's, plus gets much more consistent ignition with real black powder, which you can get at Great Northern there in Anchorage. Cheapest patches going come from fabric shops. The blue and white striped all-cotton "pillow ticking" from Walmart or Joan's Fabric is standard, and comes in at .018. You can also use old blue jeans (all cotton, of course, cuzz you really don't want any synthetics to melt in your bore when you fire the gun). As I recall it costs less than $5 a yard, and you get several hundred patches per yard.
Run it through the washer and drier, and it's ready to go. You can get one of those roller wheel cutters for less than $10 at Walmart, and you're ready to turn out a whole bunch of patches quickly. Square works just as well as round, and is a whole lot easier to turn out. When making precut patches, I fold the ticking into 5 layers, then cut the patches. Lately I've taken to using strips and cutting the individual patches at the muzzle. For doing that it works better to simply rip it into strips roughly 1 1/2" wide, then rolling those up to put in my possibles bag, applying the lube to a small spot just before I seat the ball. Push it down about 1/4" below the muzzle and cut off the excess with a sharp knife.
I concoct my own lube from 2 parts deer tallow and one part olive oil out of pure stubbornness to do as much as possible myself. It doesn't work any better than bore butter, but it's fun to make. You can apply lube to patches individually or in a bunch. The folks who apply it in a bunch usually put some patches in a ziploc, add bore butter, then give it a very few seconds in the microwave. Once it's soft, work the patches in the bag back and forth through your hands to kneed in the lube.
You only need a little smear of most lubes on the outer surface of the patch as you seat the ball, so you don't need to get real carried away with how much you put on your patches if you're prelubing. In fact it ends up saturating the patches and getting on both sides when you lube in bulk using the microwave. It's not really a big deal, and both methods work fine. As long as they're faintly moist or greasy, it's probably good enough. They don't need to be sopping. I know folks that spit patch at the muzzle, and some that use either olive oil, crisco or even Hoppes black powders solvent.
To check on how your combo is doing, pick up the patches after you fire them. There's a good write-up in the Lyman BP manual on how to "read" your patches to determine what's going on in your gun. You don't want rips or holes in the recovered patches. That's a pretty good sign that the patching is too thin. Mine look almost unfired when I get them back, except for a little browning on the side toward the powder and a black ring on the other side where it squeezed between the ball and bore. Why all the fuss? Because if your patches are breaking down, accuracy will suffer dramatically.
You can go to 120 grains of 2f or 140 grains, according to some authorities, but most folks I know don't go over 100 grains for general purpose loads in a 58. I use 80 grains of 3f in my shorty (26" barrel) and 90 grains of 3f in my GRRW Hawken (36" barrel). There's about a 10% reduction factor in going from 2f to 3f, so those are the equivalents of roughly 90 and 100 grain 2f charges. My hunting pards use 80 grains of AP 2f and 90 grains of 2f 777 in their own 58's. With real black I get a little less fouling with 3f, and it's not bad with either. I use it mostly because I get 10% more loads out of a can of powder.
Final thought for the moment, I sight in most of my 50 cal and larger muzzleloaders dead on at 75 yards. Depending on velocity, that puts them pretty close to right on at 25 yards, an inch or two high at 50, and three or so low at 100 yards. With your double and its pair of rear sights, I'd shoot the barrels individually to test patching and such and sight them in individually, rather than shooting both at the same time for sight-in. That avoids confusion and gets you on the money with each barrel quicker than shooting both for group and sight-in. You can go back to shooting both once you get each one sighted in to the same spot, if that makes sense.
Congrats on finding the .58.... Will be interested in hearing how you like it. The info from BrownBear was also very good. I did a Google search on patching and found the enclosed article on paper patching http://www.members.shaw.ca/bobschewe
just another method, but not as easy as BB's advice.