Frequently Asked Question: Patches | Top Rated Supplier of Firearm Reloading Equipment, Supplies, and Tools - Colt

Frequently Asked Question: Patches

Here is a question that comes in frequently from customers to the Sinclair International Technical Center:

I have the right size jag and patch! Why doesn’t it fit down the bore?

What most people are taught is to center punch the patch and run it down the bore of a dirty rifle .This can sometimes result in a bent or stuck cleaning rod in your rifle because of the bore being restricted from the powder fouling (carbon) and copper left in the bore. Some shooters try to remedy this by utilizing a smaller patch; this is not the best solution because the patch may not make full contact with the inside of the barrel. This is especially true if you use the same size patch to dry out your bore. An alternate solution is to use two different size patches – a smaller one for wetting the bore down at the start and then a larger patch for pushing out debris loosened by your brush and to dry the bore. This would mean spending extra money on more patches! While we would appreciate that from a business concern, you really need not spend the money for extra patch sizes.

When the patch is too tight, stab the patch slightly off center
When the patch is too tight, stab the patch slightly off center

The solution to the problem is quite simple. Using the correct size patch, position your jag so the point is positioned about ½ to ¾ of the distance from the center of the patch out towards any of the outside corners or on a round patch towards any edge. By positioning the patch in this manner, the patch doesn’t overlap as much on the jag and it goes through the bore snugly, but not so tight that all the solvent is squeezed off the patch as it enters the bore. The purpose of the first couple of wet patches is to thoroughly wet the bore with solvent and push out any easily loosened debris. Then the cleaning solution along with the mechanical action of the wet brush that will follow will loosen the hard stuff. Don’t worry about the jag making contact with your bore because even though the whole jag is not covered with patch there will be enough of the patch around the jag to center the jag and hold it off the rifling. Even if it did contact it would not cause any harm because the brass jag is much softer material than the barrel steel. As you clean the barrel, alternating between brushing and patching to remove the loosened material you should start moving the jag back towards the center of the patch in a few steps until you are back in the center of the patch. With the jag back in the center of the patch, the patch will be making uniform contact with the bore as it follows the rifling. As we wet patch after brushing we look for either a blue stripe (copper) or a black stripe (carbon/powder) on the patch. If we see either we know the barrel isn’t completely clean and we clean some more. If there is just a faint bluish hue to the patch it is probably the solvent just pulling some copper out of the jag.

We included our patch selection chart below that may help you with selecting the right size patch to begin with.

 

Catalog # SIZE CALIBER
#CP-34 3/4” Square 17 through 22 caliber Rimfire
#CP-1000 1” Square 20-22 Rimfire
#CP-1100 1” Square 20-22 Rimfire
#CP-118 1-1/8” Square 22 caliber Centerfire
#CP-10118 1-1/8” Square 22 caliber Centerfire
#CP-1200 1-1/4” Square 22 caliber to 6mm
#CP-1300 1-1/4” Square 22 caliber to 6mm
#CP-1400 1-1/4” Round 22 caliber to 6mm
#CP-1500 1-1/4” Round 22 caliber to 6mm
#CP-138 1-3/8” Square Oversize 22 caliber to 6mm
#CP-10138 1-3/8” Square Oversize 22 caliber to 6mm
#CP-1600 1-1/2” Round 6mm-6.5mm caliber
#CP-134 1-3/4” Square 6mm through 30 caliber
#CP-10134 1-3/4” Square 6mm through 30 caliber
#CP-2 2” Round 30 through 38 caliber
#CP-2000 2” Round 30 through 38 caliber
#CP-1700 2” Square 30-35 caliber
#CP-214 2-1/4” Square 38 through 45 caliber
#CP-3 3” Square Shot-gun & 50 caliber
#CP-3000 3” Square Shot-gun & 50 caliber

 

This is just our look at a regular question that we get on our tech line. Cleaning is one of those subjects that there are more opinions on than there are grains of sand on a beach. Please feel free to share your thoughts on this subject on the Sinclair International blog with your fellow shooters!

Phil Hoham

Sinclair Technical Staff