Trends in BPCR Long Range Shooting

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Distant Thunder
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Re: Trends in BPCR Long Range Shooting

Post by Distant Thunder » Sun Feb 07, 2021 9:02 am

I have only done enough shooting with two different 2-Diammeter paper patch bullets to have anything to add to this conversation.

The one I have worked with the most and indeed have posted about the most is the one I use in my .40-65. That rifle has an 18-twist Badger barrel on it from a time when some people held the belief that a slower twist was better, I am not one of those people. The rifle was rebarreled and chambered with something akin to a Ron Long chamber, but with a freebore section that is nearly .375" long. The rifle was supposed to be specifically for the RCBS 400 grain flat nose bullet with it's very long shank and with silhouette in mind. I tried two different RCBS molds over the years and could never get that bullet to shoot at all well.

I had some spectacular results all the way out to the rams with a Fred Leeth version of a PJ Creedmoor design that weighed 420 grains, but I also had days when I couldn't get a group at 200 yards with that same bullet and load. Shooting it at distance was pointless on those days. The only bullet that shot well day in and day out in that rifle was the RCBS 350 grain version of that same bullet as their 400 grain and I often used the 350 for silhouette. Yes, it always knocked the rams down, surprisingly and not with any authority, but always. I finally put the rifle in the back corner and used a .45-70 in it's place.

Then about 5 years ago Arnie Seitz came to me with a 2-Diameter paper patch bullet he had designed for his .40-65 and for Bob Wood's Browning .40-65. Both rifles had similar chambers with a fairly long freebores. I'm sure Arnie came to me because I was 1) making paper patch bullet molds for my .45 caliber rifles, 2) having great success with them and 3) he knew I had a .40-65 with a chamber that had a bunch of freebore. I was more than happy to make a mold for Arnie in part because I saw a glimmer of hope that it idea might work in my .40-65 as well. It turned out that both Arnie's and Bob's rifles had 16-twist barrels and the bullet length Arnie used was for that twist. I knew right away that I would not have good results with a bullet that long in my rifle.

I began my research into what length of bullet might work in an 18-twist .40 and it turned out that a bullet about 1.240" long was figured to be optimal. Because my rifle had been used primarily for silhouette, and still would be, I wanted as much weight as I could get in a .40 caliber bullet only 1 1/4" long so it would have a good chance of knocking rams down. It would have to have a short nose and be rather blunt. I found the design I thought work fit that description best in the original Sharps designs you see in the old pictures. Dan Theodore had worked with such a bullet in .45 caliber and I copied his configuration and made a mold to produce that bullet style in .40 caliber.

My bullet turned out right at 1.250" long and with my mix of pure lead and linotype it came out at 11 BHN and weighed 382 grains. The mold was cut to fill that long freebore, seat very shallow in the case and engage the rifling. With such a short bullet and such a long freebore the bore diameter section of that bullet is only .150" long, the rest of the shank patches to a .409" diameter to fit perfectly into the freebore and leave enough to get only .075" of the bullet in the case. Very nearly a breech seated bullet. The fit of the .409" diameter into my R-P cases is also snug. That bullet is as much as possible precisely held in alignment with the fireformed brass in the chamber, the long freebore and the lands of the rifling. With those 3 points of contact it has proven to be the most accurate paper patch rifle I own. It will regularly print 10 shot groups at 220 yards that are under 2 inches.

It has proved to be accurate out to 600 yards in challenging conditions and is able to hold it's own against rifles chambered in .45-70 and .45-90. The 2-Diameter paper patch bullet can work exceedingly well when fitted to the chamber and loaded properly.

Wrapping these .40 caliber bullets is no different than a straight sided bore diameter bullet. With the long groove diameter base (actually .001" over groove) I just wrap it like it was a straight side bullet. The .150" of paper that extends out over the bore diameter section is just loose. When a round is chambered that section just sort of compresses into the rifling leade and holds snug. I've never had any problem with these bullets patched that way.

The other 2-Diameter paper patch bullet I've worked with some, but not a lot, is the one BACO makes in .44 caliber, JIM441505EPP. That bullet is an Arnie Seitz design and he and I worked back and forth with the dimensions to make a bullet that will fit the Shiloh standard grease groove chamber and work with a 17-twsit .44-77. Right out of the box that bullet has shot very well in my Shiloh with it's Krieger barrel. The only thing I would change if I had it to do over again is that I would have had BACO make the base length about .300" long. That would probably work out better by having more of the bullet in the case mouth and use a little less powder. The .44-77 is not as powder capacity challenged as the .40-65 especially with paper patch bullets. I will probably modify the mold before long.

Patching these .44 caliber bullets requires a bit of training. I've been wrapping bullets for more than 10 years and I do it all by eye using just my fingers and I do it dry, always. For these I quickly learned how to start the patch so that as the patch is wrapped around what is essentially a tapered bullet the top corner at the end comes out more or less close to the starting corner or at least not ahead of it. A little bit back from the leading edge doesn't worry me. Yes, I end up with a bit wider gap at the bottom of the bullet, but I don't worry about that either because it does not seem to matter in the end results. I know guys have fiddled around making special templates for cutting nonsymmetrical patches but I like to keep it simple. I don't want a patch that has a right way and a wrong way to wrap it. I just want to pick up a patch, decide which tip to start and wrap the bullet. I then push them through a sizing die (custom) and seat them in the case. It's not overly complicated and that's how I like to keep it.

There are plenty of things to worry about when loading black powder cartridges, I don't worry about the things that time has proven don't really matter. That is one of the main reasons I shoot paper patch bullets in the first place. The main reason being they just look soooo damn COOL looking! :D
Jim Kluskens
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Re: Trends in BPCR Long Range Shooting

Post by Don McDowell » Sun Feb 07, 2021 9:26 am

In the 10 years or so I've been shooting the dual diameter bullets, I've found that a narrower patch than what one would use on a straight sided bullet eases most of the wrapping problems. Wet wrapping show's a definite advantage on the patch adapting to the difference in base and nose diameters. Using the same length of patch for both type bullets works. I also believe that as with the straight sided bullets keeping the leading edge of the patch even is important. The gap in the patch will show up on the fold over on the base, and make the fold look odd compared to the parallel sided bullet.
Wrap em up and shoot em. The rifle and the target will tell you the rest of what you need to know.
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Re: Trends in BPCR Long Range Shooting

Post by bruce m » Sun Feb 07, 2021 3:27 pm

patch length is a good question.
there seems to be no hard and fast rule other than study confetti and keep adjusting until it is right.
2 things that can affect this are alloy hardness and wadstack.
softer wadstacks might well reduce bumpup due to cushioning, allowing a shorter patch.?
going from 16:1 to 12:1 shows a requirement for a slightly shorter patch.
patches that cut to the front with the softer alloy do not do so with the harder one.
shoot, recover confetti, and adjust until it is right.
not cutting at the front offers the potential for disturbance of flight, while not patching forward enough offers the potential for leading.
getting it right takes thought and work, but not much, and when it is right you just repeat.
some of arnies antimonial bullets tested by kurt show no bumpup in the minor diameter.
it will be interesting to see where this goes long term.
one would suspect that the minor diameter would be better patched in case of leading, but then how will that patch strip, as this process relies on bumping into the rifling.?
with such minimal bumpup, there is less chance of a gas seal, but all you need is enough.
they look more like jacketed bullets fired with smokeless, but who cares if it works.
the other question about them is how airflow works on them.
where the diameter changes there must be some disturbance in airflow, which might be better for stability or worse in the transonic zone.
how does it affect the b.c.?
the softer (12:1) bullet that comes out of the barrel with straight sides might well offer better airflow, as well as a faster gas seal.
these are exciting times in this area.
i would just add this.
when i talk of alloy ratios, i am using aust lead and tin (and antimony) that i mix myself using weights on a good set of scales.
some recent posts have suggested tha u.s. lead might contain more impurities than it used to.
maybe our bullet hardnesses are different for the same actual ratios.
bruce.
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Re: Trends in BPCR Long Range Shooting

Post by Distant Thunder » Sun Feb 07, 2021 3:38 pm

The pictures I've included here are just random sample I rounded up to illustrate what I have when I patch my 2-D bullets.

This first picture shows 3 different bullets, the two that I posted about a bit ago in this thread (a .40 & a .44) and a straight sided Metford style ppb I have been working with in my .44-2 1/4 most recently.

Left to right you'll the .40 caliber 2-D bullet in both patched and unpatched. Note the step between the two diameter in the bare bullet. The patched bullet is just patched with a straight patch and if you look close you'll see the minor misalignment of the leading edge. I try to get this perfect, but in truth they don't always come out as planned. This minor misalignment doesn't in my experience hurt the accuracy of the round. This is my most accurate ppb rifle.

The second two bullets are the 2-D .44 caliber bullets. You can see the transition angle BACO cuts in their 2-D molds and you'll notice the gap is indeed wider at the base than at the leading edge. The difference doesn't hurt accuracy any that I've seen.

The bullet way over on the right is the .44 Metford, it is straight sided and is patched with the same length (height) patch cut with the same template as the .44 2-D. The patching is really the same. Both bullets shoot very well.
2-D bullet patching.jpg

The next picture shows the base of the two .44 caliber bullets from above after patching. I do try to have less paper folded over the base, but that is less important to me than that they start at a consistent height on the side of the bullet. About .020" below where the ogive starts is what I aim for. The fold over looks very good and even on these bullets. That is important and not bunching up in the middle, at least some lead peeking through a hole in the middle. Sizing the patched bullets irons out the fold over very nice.
2-D vs Straight bore Dia-1.jpg
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Re: Trends in BPCR Long Range Shooting

Post by bruce m » Sun Feb 07, 2021 4:16 pm

getting back to sealing gas with very hard bullets.
my major diameter is 0.125" long, and sits in the case around 1/10" when against the rifling.
being agaist the rifling assists in consistent cartridge o a l, holding the bullet back on the wad.
should that short base not bump up and seal, and i am relying on diameter of the patched bullet alone, the length of my major diameter might be too short.
who knows.
i am lucky that all i can get is swiss here in oz (that is worth using) so around 1/10" compression is often around the mark, and is also enough to hold the bullet out as you chamber a round.
jim,
i am not having a go at you, but i like my ends to come a lot closer than in your pictures.
i find that not hard to do, with std bullets, but with dd bullets use a specific patch template that takes a bit of mucking around to finalize.
i just worry about a little offcentre bit of alloy filling that void, and its potential to reduce the balance of the spinning bullet.
probably unfounded, but that is me.
i just have visions of you, brent, zack, and kenny in a shootoff.
a bullet just in counts, and a bullet just out is a dropped point.
bruce.
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Re: Trends in BPCR Long Range Shooting

Post by Distant Thunder » Sun Feb 07, 2021 4:22 pm

bruce,

Never a problem going at me and I hear what you are saying, it just doesn't seem to affect things enough that I can see it in my targets. Perhaps if I was a better shot I'd have to worry about it more.

I fold up like a cheap lawn chair in a shoot off. Heck I'm lucky if I hit the right target half the time!
Jim Kluskens
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Re: Trends in BPCR Long Range Shooting

Post by mdeland » Sun Feb 07, 2021 4:27 pm

Boy i hate hitting some one else's target, especially with an X shot ! Course it's much easier to do at long range than midrange. Still I have learned to bring the front aperture up through the number board onto the target.

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Re: Trends in BPCR Long Range Shooting

Post by Distant Thunder » Sun Feb 07, 2021 4:44 pm

Mike,

I haven't seen the number boards at long range in years! It's often just blind luck that I'm on my target. I do find that with a scope on the rifle I can see the numbers very well and I will be working more with a scope in the future. I'm going for an eye exam in two weeks and I'll see what that shows, it's been about 6 years. I know I had more trouble last year seeing with irons than a man should. So I am shooting more with my scopes than before.
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A new age of tyranny dawns in the United States! If anyone is brave enough to say so they're destroyed by the BIG Tech branch of the Federal Government for spreading lies! "Reeducation" camps to follow!

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Re: Trends in BPCR Long Range Shooting

Post by mdeland » Sun Feb 07, 2021 5:08 pm

Yeah, I'm 71 and am just starting to notice eye sight degradation. I can still see the bull pretty clearly but not quite as sharp as before. All my midrange shooting has been on a military base so I don't know what it is to shoot without number boards.
Funny thing is when I occasionally get on some one else's target it is usually with my muzzle loader indoors or 100 yard offhand outdoors. That is the deficiency of a globe front with a post insert.

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Re: Trends in BPCR Long Range Shooting

Post by Kurt » Sun Feb 07, 2021 5:36 pm

My last Lodi match I cross fired several times in one relay that made me pull the tang sight off and mount the scope for the next relay.
The number boards at Lodi are hard to read even from the 800 yard line for me. I have to pick a dark spot in front of the berm or back stop. If I pick the wrong one I cross fire and it has cost me an X and tens helping the neighbor.
Irons are out for me at some of the long range matches. Gong shoots I can still make contact because only one black critter with a big white spot. But I been known to cross fire at the Q also shooting the bucket LOL.

Bruce,

Using a hard bullet like the 1/12 you mentioned, that bullet needs a tight fit into the lead or with a PP snug in the bore with a proper wad stack to make obturation for a good consistent gas seal.
I have seen bullets shot with 1/10-1/12 that had soft wads like felt or cork with an additional card where the slightly undersizes PP bullet was barely marked by the lands.
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Re: Trends in BPCR Long Range Shooting

Post by bruce m » Sun Feb 07, 2021 6:53 pm

yes kurt,
harder bullets need a good fit.
if you want to shoot hunting and dirty, a softer bullet undersize might be your friend.
the old rounds like 40/70 used 20:1, and were expected to shoot well dirty.
crossfiring has one thing better than just missing.
it is at least a good sighter if your scope is on that target.
jim,
the little line of alloy where the patch gap is probably makes little difference, and they say a gap is better than an overlap for some reason.
2 things it does is offer more drag, and puts the bullets centre of mass a little off the geometric centre, slightly reducing stability.
both these things can cause low shots.
increased drag is probably not an issue if every bullet (patch) is the same.

the centre of mass thing can allow more induced problems to occur in such things as windshear condition and going into the transonic zone.
we know that spinning the bullet faster improves stability, but this is a double edged sword in that the faster you spin an off balance bullet the worse its stability becomes.
and a bullet that has a wobble presents a greater frontal area to the line of flight, more drag, hits the target low.
i must confess that i also have not noticed serious problems with bullets like that, but since patching to touch have also has a lot less of those "0dd" shots.
one place you do not want an odd shot is on your first sighter.
bruce.
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Re: Trends in BPCR Long Range Shooting

Post by Kurt » Sun Feb 07, 2021 7:51 pm

Bruce.

You cant compress lead but it but you can make it flow. The gap or over lap of the patch will flow the lead elsewhere and it would change the balance but I have no idea just how much it would effect it being just .0015 - .0022" the paper is thick used for patching. I have read in some of the old books when the grooved bullets came into use for long range shooting that they mentioned uneven filled out lube grooves of the slightest was enough to change the balance to affect the accuracy.
But with my shooting ability I cant tell one way or other. I just cant do what I once could and even if I could I don't think it would be good enough to see the difference.
One more thing that really made me scratch my head from what I have seen and that is a .40 caliber PP bullet reacts more than a .45 caliber even with them shot with a powder load in a .40-65 and the other from a .45-90 using the same alloy mix. The set back was more with the .40. This is something I wanted to check out deeper to see if it was an error with the 10 shots of each I looked at.
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Re: Trends in BPCR Long Range Shooting

Post by bruce m » Mon Feb 08, 2021 1:31 am

kurt,
you are dead right about lead flowing.
this is a thing that some people just can't seem to catch onto.
they just seem to think a bullet comes out of the end of a barrel like it goes in.
your snow tests abundantly illustrate this point, and we are indebted to you for sharing them.
not having snow i cannot compare the bullets i observe with with yours, as i have to dig them out of backstops.
if i had to say i hate 1 bullet the most it is the paul jones creedmoor.
it is said that it was designed from an original long range bullet found in a backstop.
well if it was an original long range bullet it was probably cast too soft, and the nose set back too much.
it would also have probably been a smooth sided bullet, and was converted to grease groove to appeal to modern tastes.
i can remember reading about original rifles being incorrectly chambered as groove diameter bullets would not fit.
so some heathen wrote an article describing how to correct the "wrongly chambered" rifle by reaming it out.
how many good honest old rifles were just butchered through pig ignorance and a stubborn refusal to seek the truth.
anyone using the paul jones creedmoor design might not be dicing with death, but they are dicing with leading when that nose bumps into the rifling.
the first bullet i ever used was such a design, and i tried it at 20:1 because it was all the vogue at the time.
for those who want to try, there are much better designs and better alloys available today and the knowledge to go with it.
i think nose design has a big part to play in setback, and the elliptical has a lot to offer here.
the metford nose, also good, in its original form was quite short nosed and tapered away quickly from barrel contact.
study of original postell suggests a similar feature in that the nose profile tapered away from the barrel quickly, and at its widest was a little less than bore diameter to allow for a little expansion while still avoiding rubbing alloy onto steel.
this is most likely why the original postell was considered a bit hard to get a load for, as the unsupported nose could easily go to one side on firing when loaded and cast by a grunt .so how have modern guys dealt with that .
you sell more moulds if thickos can use them too, so they have made tham so called bore riding like a paul jones creedmoor.
i would be surprised if any mould maker now would even know how to make a true postell or a purchaser would recognize one if he saw it.
of course patching solves the lead to barrel problem by putting paper in between. you just have to work out where the paper needs to be when the bullet starts to move. not hard for some. harder for others.
40s might set back more than 45s, but i have never really thought about it, just patching to where the confetti says to do it.thinking of nose lengths in calibres is of value, compared to in actual measurements.
thus a 1.5 calibre long 40 cal nose will be shorter than 1a 1.5 calibre 45 cal nose.
not sure whether thinking of setback in calibres might be interesting.
calibres are a useful measurement in many ways.
i would bet that you can shoot better than you say kurt. with age comes some loss of ability, but on the other hand comes experience and cunning.
cunning is not to be underrated.
i will repeat about off balance bullets.
it is in windshear or going in or out of transonic where an odd shot will manifest itself out of character.
the odg used to hammer swage their bullets to fill any slight voids in them that might affect balance.
modern slug gun shooters do the same.
getting guns to shoot is not hard.
you just have to do the miles, which includes thinking and being systematic.
it might take a year, but it will work if the rifle is sound.
hopping around the place like a sparrow with a lot of guns will make you feel good, but highly unlikely any of them will see potential unless by luck alone.
making all the noises without substance will not cut it in long range.
bruce.
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Re: Trends in BPCR Long Range Shooting

Post by semtav » Mon Feb 08, 2021 6:37 am

An interesting dissertation Bruce. I was going to start a thread and pose the question to you about noses and leading now that I'm back to testing some grease groove loads for someone. What would be handy is a pictorial dissertation of bullet drawings. And where the problem lies with each design.

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Re: Trends in BPCR Long Range Shooting

Post by Kurt » Mon Feb 08, 2021 7:55 am

When I was a kid I like playing with tops. I made a whip with a long string on it and wound it around the top to make it spin faster and longer. I had long tapered tops and short squatty tops and even using that whip to spin that top faster it would decay faster than the short squat top.
I still relate this to the bullets I tend to use now. I have the long sleek nosed ellipticals and the short squatty blunt nosed like the original Sharps and the original postell. Yes they might need the extra twitch on the elevation screw over the longer nosed but that blunt nosed will get there when the conditions deteriorate.
The Postell bullet you mentioned, I have always said, if I was to have just one bullet mould it would be the postell in a groove less design.
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