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Can you paper patch round ball? #14906273 05/24/20
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MTDan Offline OP
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So I'm entirely new to non-jacketed bullets and have too much time on my hands. I'm trying to formulate a plinking/small game load for a 9.3x57. I've been reading about people using a single 0 buckshot pellet .32 diameter I think, in 30 called rifles. 000 buck is .36 diameter, really close to my .366 bore. Could I patch it? Would it work without the patch? Is it a stupid idea from the start?

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Re: Can you paper patch round ball? [Re: MTDan] #14906319 05/24/20
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DigitalDan Offline
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Depends on how much of a loony you are.

I paper patched RB loads for the .44 Mag. Sized to .422" and double wrapped with 9# onion skin. Single balls shot fairly well, somewhere in the 1-1.5" range at 50 yards. Double balls formed intriguing double groups of about the same size, one to point of aim and the other about 4-5" at 10 o'clock. Loads were fairly mild except the last experiment. One ball, 2400 fps over the Chrony and I have no idea where it went. Missed the target completely.

It's a fairly tedious process to wrap a ball with paper, certainly more so than a conical.


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Re: Can you paper patch round ball? [Re: MTDan] #14906613 05/24/20
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sharps4590 Online Content
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Wouldn't it be easier to get a .375 mold, or smaller depending on what's available for cheap, and size them down in a sizer/luber? Being soft lead they should size pretty easy.

Having said that, I'm a poor one to be talking about trying something just to see if it can be done.

Last edited by sharps4590; 05/24/20.

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Re: Can you paper patch round ball? [Re: MTDan] #14906666 05/24/20
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anything can be done, should it be? Hell yes!
i ran some rb's through a 357 sizer, cant remember the cast size. think they were 375's but may have even been 44's. ended up with a long round both ends abortion.
shot them out of a Taurus 357 and got 3 inch pattern at 25 yards. went on to some other loonie experiment.like loose # 12 shot over and under cork in a rolled crimped 41 mag. that one put grouse in the freezer!


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Re: Can you paper patch round ball? [Re: MTDan] #14906743 05/24/20
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What about swaging down a .375 round ball? Would the case mouth do that for me when I seat it?

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Re: Can you paper patch round ball? [Re: MTDan] #14906810 05/24/20
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I would first try pushing an oversize ball through a cheap Lee sizer die of a diameter to match the regular bullets you shoot in it, plus a couple thousandths. (Rather than go through the rigamarole of determining exact throat diameter, that would get you started.) Lee is pretty good about supplying odd diameters, or buy one off the shelf and hone it to size, no big trick. The case mouth could effect diameter but not enough so to swage a larger ball to desired size. If you were he'll bent on creating a projectile perfectly sized for the occasion.

The biggest trick I see in all this is getting the ball seated "straight" in the case. Ie: with either the paper patch or the swaged band square to the bore. Lopsidedness in that regard couldn't do any favors accuracy-wise.

Probably best bet is to prime/charge a fired unsized case and thumb seat a ball big enough to be a tight fit in the unsized case neck. Smear some lube on it, and see how it shoots. Might surprise you. Mold companies make a plethora of diameters for round balls.

Last edited by gnoahhh; 05/24/20.

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Re: Can you paper patch round ball? [Re: MTDan] #14982067 06/19/20
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Yondering Offline
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Originally Posted by MTDan
What about swaging down a .375 round ball? Would the case mouth do that for me when I seat it?


If you were really cool, you'd paper patch two balls together into one projectile. smile Kidding, but only sorta; multi ball loads can be fun and useful.

If you're interested and aren't already aware, for about $15 or so you can get a Lee push through die for cast bullet sizing that fits your normal reloading press. (I recommend choosing a size .001" less than you want, and then polish out the rougher internal section.) That's a quick & easy way to swage down that .375" round ball; I've done that a bit for various 35 cal rifles and 9mm. You'll want to put some sort of lube on it afterwards though, tumble lube is easy and so is powder coating. A big advantage to sizing down the larger ball is that it gives a little bit of bearing surface for the rifling to grab.

Otherwise sizing smaller and paper patching per your original idea is the way to go. I've had really good results with paper patched bullets and just wish it was a little faster to do in large volumes. Never tried it with a single round ball, but have made double ball loads for fun and that can work well, you just need to make sure the case neck is long enough to hold both, or handle the cartridge very delicately.

Last edited by Yondering; 06/19/20.
Re: Can you paper patch round ball? [Re: MTDan] #15003591 06/27/20
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You might have more luck paper patching a lead bullet designed for a 38/357. They would be about the right diameter to patch out to 0.368 for your 9.3. If you're just plinking a RN design will probably feed better.

Re: Can you paper patch round ball? [Re: JFE] #15005981 06/28/20
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Originally Posted by JFE
You might have more luck paper patching a lead bullet designed for a 38/357. They would be about the right diameter to patch out to 0.368 for your 9.3. If you're just plinking a RN design will probably feed better.

This seems like the best option, in my mind. Round balls are fun, and fairly accurate to 50-70 yards, but they are not as precise in my experience as something that has more bearing surface.


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Re: Can you paper patch round ball? [Re: MTDan] #15012881 07/01/20
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My brief experiments with "deformed " roundballs were not encouraging, accuracy wise. But, I was forcing, and shaving lead .390 balls in my fired cases with a drill press spindle (yah, I know) In my 9.3 x 62 I finally went to a cheap Lee mold, .379 (?) and a Lee bullet sizer .356 (I think) which I hogged out and honed to around .370". That did the trick for accuracy, feeding and ease of loading into charged cases etc. But, by all means, pursue you idea...I am famous for a low patience level, doing things half assed and a short attention span.


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