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Thread: 54 cal new englander

  1. #1

    Default 54 cal new englander

    so dad sent me this rifle recently and I finally ran some rb's down her on saturday.

    The barrel is a 1:48 twist.

    I ran some 530 rb's with .010 patches. They were what I thought to be a bit loose

    I started at 80 grains of pryodex RS for a handful and some at 90. The 80 shot ok at 50, the 90 opened up. I think I need to jump up in patch thickness and try a tighter fit. That or jump to the .535 rounds and start with the .010 patches.

    I also have some great plains bullets and a lead to some custom bullets very similar to the GP's I plan on running.

    My question is what should I be shooting for powder wise for hunting. I know accuracy is my main obj. I dont know what my max load is yet it didnt have the manual (came used). So I'm flying blind.

  2. #2

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    I've got one just like it, so I can be fairly specific. Or at least as specific as is possible when comparing two firearms, even in the same model and caliber. I.e., it's a pretty good place to start, but your gun might be a little different.

    I shoot mine almost exclusively with .530 balls with .018 patches I cut from washed "pillow ticking" from Walmart and lube with Mink Oil Tallow from Track of the Wolf. When using .535 balls I drop to .015 patching from Oxyoke, but I get it plain and lube it myself. The gun seems really partial to almost any grease-type lube, but really dislikes Wonder Lube. Best powder with mine has turned out to be 3f, whether Pyrodex P or Goex real black. It's okay with 2f Goex or Pyro RS, but noticeably better with the faster stuff. BTW- Mine likes 80 grains as well as 90, but I shoot 80 for a little less recoil and a little less cost. The furthest I've shot a deer with it was 75 yards, and the ball whistled right through.

    BTW- I sighted mine in right on at 75 yards, which puts it around an inch high at 50 and 4 low at 100.

    I've tried LEE REAL (both weights), Buffalo (both weights), Lyman Plains bullets, and Hornady Great Plains. You've got the best of the bunch in your plans to use the Hornady. Mine definitely shoots best with a lubed felt wad (actually 58 cal) pushed into the bore beneath the bullet. My charge of choice with it is 80 grains of Pyro RS or 2f Goex. It comes back sharp enough to let you know you've got something more than a round ball in the bore. Haven't popped any game with a conical yet, but if looking for a moose it would be my first choice.

    By the way- I tried Power Belts and sabots of various weights. Puke. The Hornady Great Plains outshot them by quite a margin.

  3. #3

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    Thanks BB! I havent tried the GP's yet. I did grab some different patches today 15 and 18 thousands. I also grabbed a box of .535 rounds just for kicks.

    Are the 58 cal felt wads for pistols?

    And where are you finding the goex? I'd like to try it in my double also but its a pain to find down south so I've stuck with RS for now.

    You mentiond Pyrodex P with a round ball? I assume its a faster powder? Do you use the P behind the gp's also?

    Lastly whats my max powder load for this. I dont have the manual for it, dont want to over do it. Kind suprising reading guys shooting hotter loads with the hawkins in a 50 than this in a 54. reckon its due to the 28 vs the 26" barrel lengths?

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by TradBow View Post
    Thanks BB! I havent tried the GP's yet. I did grab some different patches today 15 and 18 thousands. I also grabbed a box of .535 rounds just for kicks.

    Are the 58 cal felt wads for pistols?

    And where are you finding the goex? I'd like to try it in my double also but its a pain to find down south so I've stuck with RS for now.

    You mentiond Pyrodex P with a round ball? I assume its a faster powder? Do you use the P behind the gp's also?

    Lastly whats my max powder load for this. I dont have the manual for it, dont want to over do it. Kind suprising reading guys shooting hotter loads with the hawkins in a 50 than this in a 54. reckon its due to the 28 vs the 26" barrel lengths?
    I got my felt wads from Track of the Wolf. Scroll down the page I linked and in 58 cal they have both lubed and plain. I got the lubed first time around, then got the plain and started lubing them myself with my own concoction. Guys who shoot a lot buy their own punches and sheet felt, then cut their own. I don't shoot enough conicals to justify that.

    I got my Goex at Great Northern Guns.

    Yeah, Pyrodex P is their version of 3f, and it's faster than Pyro RS or Goex 2f. I haven't tried it behind a conical yet, but a number of my guns (including some larger calibers) actually shoot round balls better with it than with 2f black or Pyro RS. Always worth a check. BTW- If you can find a source of Goex, give 1f a try in your double. I get better patterns with it in my 20, 12 and 10 gauges.

    I never had the manual for mine, but there are PDF manuals at the TC site. They don't put one out specifically for the NE, but scroll down and get the one titled "Shooting TC Side Lock Black Powder Guns." Max listed for round balls and all conicals is 120 grains of 2f. Never went that high with either. Highest I've gone with 3f or Pyro P and round balls is 90 grains, and that's plenty snorty for my needs and my shoulder.

  5. #5

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    Thanks for the info. I'll let you know what loads on both conicals and rounds I settle on. There's one jug of p in town right now ill have to grab it. I also thought we had a shop in square banks selling goex. Problem with traveling is finding the bp on a hunt. Had a heckuva time last spring finding rs in Kansas City. Either sold out or didnt carry. Made for a lot of tail chasing lol. Can't imagine with our current situation trying to find caps and powder.

  6. #6

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    I spend a lot of time around "black powder purists," the guys who refuse to use substitutes. They get a real eye opener when they travel. Sounds like you and I have that point in common- While I prefer the results with real black, I want to know how to make the substitutes work in each of my guns. I call subs my "traveler's insurance."

    Dunno if they're still around, but in the past Nor'West Company in Two Rivers has been a source for black powder in your area. Thom Swan is supposed to be a real good guy, but I haven't had the chance to deal with him yet. Phone # at the link.

  7. #7

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    Thanks for the link I have the next few days off, will give him a shout.

    got tired of lugging the 7mm on some winter hunts and have always wanted a smokepole so it should be fun though rare I use it. I had issues just finding powder on a few hunt spring hunts though this last one took a day just to find powder. I didnt know it initially and flew with a full tub of RS twice and a tin of primers. oops! they did manage to dump the hole pound of RS out in the bag for me though lol.

    I might grab some 777 2f for kicks to try in both. Any thoughts on it? And do I have to load any differently? I know rs and goex 2f I can load volume to volume and be pretty close.

    Went out at after work tonight right at dark to try the .015 patches. They fit like I expect a PRB to go....Even after busting a fouling cap it still missfired grrr! I found some butches bore shine one spring down south and brought it home...stuff works great but takes more to get back to firing than cleaning with straight water. I did have to replace the nipples on the double with some red hots. almost eliminated my miss fires in her. Wish I could find them locally!!! Gives me an excuse to order a few other things along with a few sets of nipples lol.

    Have you ever bothered changing over to musket nipples and if so whats your thoughts on elimating missfires? The flash hole is kinda goofy in this rifle imho compared to some of the older smoothies I've handled in the past.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by TradBow View Post
    Thanks for the link I have the next few days off, will give him a shout.

    got tired of lugging the 7mm on some winter hunts and have always wanted a smokepole so it should be fun though rare I use it. I had issues just finding powder on a few hunt spring hunts though this last one took a day just to find powder. I didnt know it initially and flew with a full tub of RS twice and a tin of primers. oops! they did manage to dump the hole pound of RS out in the bag for me though lol.

    I might grab some 777 2f for kicks to try in both. Any thoughts on it? And do I have to load any differently? I know rs and goex 2f I can load volume to volume and be pretty close.

    Went out at after work tonight right at dark to try the .015 patches. They fit like I expect a PRB to go....Even after busting a fouling cap it still missfired grrr! I found some butches bore shine one spring down south and brought it home...stuff works great but takes more to get back to firing than cleaning with straight water. I did have to replace the nipples on the double with some red hots. almost eliminated my miss fires in her. Wish I could find them locally!!! Gives me an excuse to order a few other things along with a few sets of nipples lol.

    Have you ever bothered changing over to musket nipples and if so whats your thoughts on elimating missfires? The flash hole is kinda goofy in this rifle imho compared to some of the older smoothies I've handled in the past.
    My hunting pard is a real fan of 777. It's more expensive in general, but it's hotter so you use less. You're supposed to use about 10-15% less than either Pyro or real black for the same performance and similar pressures. It's sure accurate and easy to clean up. I have some and have shot it with excellent results. In truth, once my Pyro is burned up I'm likely to switch to 777 as my preferred sub when black supplies are low.

    Sounds like a nipple change in in order. Last time I was in Sportsmans they had the hot shots. You can also get them from Track of the Wolf. In truth I've had better luck with their Ampco nipples than any others, including musket.

    I have musket nipples for most of my guns, but it's more a case of having an alternative to #11's if they're hard to get. The musket caps don't seem to be any better about misfires in guns with that chronic problem. Usually fixing something else in the loading or cleaning, or changing brands of #11 caps does more to stop misfires than switching to musket versions. I have a couple of guns that just don't seem to like CCI caps with any nipple. Dunno why, because they're fine with Remington. By the same token, I've found some lots of Remington not to be reliable. Looking in the bottom of the tin I see quite a few primer pellets loose in the bottom where they've actually fallen out of the caps.

    It's lots of fiddling, no matter which way you go. Have to say that once they're tuned up my flinters are at least as reliable as my cap guns, so who knows.

    BTW- I haven't been there but as I recall "Two Rivers" is actually a little ways out the Chena Hot Springs road and close to town. Might be my failing geography, but I think he's pretty close to you.

  9. #9

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    You're right he's close. I actually drove by his house once a week running my trapline lol. I spent a little bit with Swanny today. Picked up 2 jugs of 2f and 2 jugs of 3f. I did look at some of the 777 also but decided I had spent enough for one day lol. I'll have to get some its about all you can find anymore. Real goex is going to be a royal chore to find down south. let alone caps.

    I went to the hotshots in my pedersoli and it almost eliminated miss fires. I did have issues with caps falling off on them though. Lugging the double around all day chasing long beards one year I almost emptied my capper. Speaking of cappers, I have yet to find a good one. Either they're sloppy and the caps and turn over or sideways, or like the current one it's jamming. Such a simple tool you'd think they would have it right long ago.

    I usually run cci magnums and so far havent had too many issues with caps. I have some rem caps also.

    I dont believe the musket caps burn hotter than a 11 cci magnum but it does have a lot more volume behind it. Thoght maybe that with a bigger hole would help. This newer boreshine I'm using is basically water compared to my normal ritual of water and bore butter. It does a much better job than the water/borebutter routine! I took the lock apart tonight it had some kind of oil that tarnished on. This stuff took it right off. I've been definatly impressed with it. Though I havent tried my Dads concoction yet. It is similar to the boreshine.

    Ran a number of balls today with the .015 patches and they shot good out to 100, the great plains shot as well but lower obviously. I didnt have any and cant find any 58cal felt wads locally to try and didnt mess with cleaning after the prb's so I cant say it's really accurate date. I do think the group wasnt as strung out with the gp's as much. More testing to come. I need to get a better bullet starter for them. Something thats not smashing the head of the bullet like the regular round ball starter does on the great plains. both loads were run with 90 grains of RS behind them. I didnt have time to shoot much more, was already running late. To make it sweet I had a couple moose hanging out close by. They could care less. Where in the world are they in september !

    I'll keep ya posted what I figure out for a load. Wanted to say thanks again for the tips and dont hesitate I'm all ears! I'll try just about anything a couple times. Is there any bp events/get togethers up here?

  10. #10

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    Sounds like you're on a roll. Good deal! Load updates are valuable, so keep them coming. One thing to look into with that Goex 3f or Pyro P- reduced RB loads for snowshoe hare. Mine is scary accurate with only 30 grains, giving me lots of field time with the gun, meat on the table, and cheap shooting. How can you beat that?

  11. #11

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    sounds like a plan. you're saying 30gr of 3f or P with a 54cal round ball? do I need to run a looser patch? I dont do much for hares, havent figured out a good way to cook'm to make them edible lol. I was thinking of picking up a smoothie. The 10's a little much for grouse, and so far my track record with the single 6 is pretty meger! maybe a 40 for predator calling, or something smaller. Though I'm sure the 10 is about perfect for it, maybe a 32.....

  12. #12

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    Same ball and patch as your heavier charges. Just dandy. Best part is, with mine sighted in at 75 yards with my hunting load, the 30 grain charge hits right at point of aim at 25 yards and is barely low at 50 yards. We use snowshoes lots of ways, but best is chili or stew. Leftover stew goes into shepherds pie or pot pie. For any of those, cut the meat into bight sized hunks first, cover with water and cook till tender before using it to make the final dish. Reminds me of turkey thigh meat, which is also a fave in our house. The 54 with 30 grains is so accurate in my guns, I'd sure use it for head shooting grouse if we had them around.

  13. #13

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    I cant imagine hitting a grouse too low with a 54 prb!!! LOL.

    You'll have to write up some of your hare recipes sometime. I'm all ears. I dont have a good stew recipe believe it or not. I have a good chili recipe though it uses mostly hot pork sausage, hotter the better.

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