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Thread: Any actual Alaskan experience HUNTING with Lyman Great Plains .54 PRB

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    Default Any actual Alaskan experience HUNTING with Lyman Great Plains .54 PRB

    I'm looking for any Alaskans who actually have "real first hand experience" hunting big game here "in Alaska" (moose, caribou, black bear) using any FLINTLOCK muzzleloader shooting .54 PRB (230 grain patched round ball) burning REAL Goex blackpowder. I've been playing with smoke poles for a couple of years now, mainly a Lyman Great Plains Hunter with a fast twist 1 in 32" barrel...shooting the Lyman 450 grain .54 caliber buffalo bullet using Pyrodex with great accuracy. I only recently got myself a Lyman Great Plains Flintlock with the slow twist 1 in 60" barrel, which is limited to both PRB and real Goex (a hard to find commodity here). I've found decent accuracy with 90-120 grain loads, but would like to hear from an Alaskan with Alaskan experience hunting with PRB burning Goex in a flinter...as to real world killing power on our "larger than deer" critters. I'm finding the old ways using 18th and 19th century technology to be very interesting to this longtime Alaskan. Using 209 primers igniting blackpowder substitute pellets or even smokeless powder, does not a muzzleloader make! Any traditional muzzleloading Alaskan hunters out there? I would sure like to hear from "those in the know", NOT speculation, here say, "I know a guy" in the lower 48! Thanks in advance to any Alaskan Traditionalists...

  2. #2

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    No first-hand help with larger-that-deer on the Great Plains 54 flinter, even as I've shot a lot of deer with it. No kids at home since I got into muzzleloaders over a decade back, so zero reason to shoot the big ones. Three of my hunting pards are regular elk and moose killers with 54 round balls, but you don't want to year about that.

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    Brown bear, sure I would like to hear about anyone's experience hunting with a .54 flintlock shooting a PRB with real blackpowder...even if second hand, as long as it's factual. It's only guys who choose to share opinion and conjecture based on nothing factual or real, only imagined...that I'm hoping to avoid. There's allot of that on here from "Wannabee's". You certainly are exactly the kind of guy I'm seeking advice from, having read your numerous knowledgable posts for years.

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    There was a guy on the traditional muzzleloader forums:http://www.muzzleloadingforum.com/fu...hp?tid/299456/ talking about successfully downing bison with a .54 prb. I have a percussion Lyman GPR round ball shooter which I intend to use to go after a moose next winter. I have no previous experience hunting with mine yet but everything I've heard, here and elsewhere from those whose words I have no cause to doubt indicates that the .54 ball should work fine on moose if used within its limitations.
    Louis Knapp

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    Those buds of mine have been dropping moose and elk with their 54's for years. Neither species is made of cast iron, and in fact are pretty easy to kill when you hit them in the right place. That's in the hands of the shooter and not a reflection on the gun. As I recall, all of them limit their moose shots to 50 yards, and the two who hunt elk go out as far as 75 yards. I'm on the sidelines of course, but they kinda elbow each other about powder charges. Two are using 90 grains of 2f and the other uses 90 grains of 3f. One of them is convinced he needs to shoot hardened balls for better penetration on moose (wheel weight equivalent), but the other two give him the dirty finger on that point. They shoot pure lead. Dunno the total animal count, but they're mostly hunting elk or moose every other year, and they've been doing it for something like 20 years. No mishaps, second shots or lost game. The big constant is careful stalking to close the range, then accurate shot placement.

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    Not exactly what you are asking but if you choose to hunt using flints, may want to build a bit of a stash of black powder. Only consistent source I know of in Alaska is GNG. Who knows how long they will continue to offer a supply, especially if regulations become even more burdensome.

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    BrownBear, if I remember correctly, you like using 3f powder for your own 54 flinter?

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    Quote Originally Posted by abreitzm View Post
    BrownBear, if I remember correctly, you like using 3f powder for your own 54 flinter?
    I actually have three of them, and you're 2/3 right. Two of the three really prefer 3f for best accuracy. Added bonus for that, the 3f is just dandy in the pan. I can detect no speed advantage for 4f in the pan, and the 3f is a little more resistant to humidity issues on damp days.

    I'd surely try both in any new flinter, and let the gun decide which is best.

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    Thanks for the much appreciated and knowledgable input guys! I've recently joined McKinley Mountain Men so I'm hoping there are members in that organization with lots of experience burning real black powder in a flinter shooting PRB. Accuracy thus far with my Lyman Great Plains 1 in 60" .54, seems very acceptable even to 100 yards...but I'm thinking a self imposed practical limit to be realistically about 50 yards max. That's the point where that 230 grain ball drops below 1000 foot pounds of muzzle energy. Thoughts, Brownbear?

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlaskaGrizz View Post
    That's the point where that 230 grain ball drops below 1000 foot pounds of muzzle energy. Thoughts, Brownbear?
    FPE is all about modern bullets and next to nothing about muzzleloaders. Round ball performance is more akin to archery in that regard. Poke a big enough hole in the right place, and they'll bleed out. But the bigger the hole the faster and more reliably they fall. I've frequently taken deer with 58, 62, 72 and 75 caliber muzzleloaders (yeah, I like em big), as well as 50 and 54 caliber. In my youth I took a couple of moose (62 caliber) and a couple of elk (58 caliber) with muzzleloaders, and results reminded me more of my years poking them with revolvers launching hard cast bullets. They die quick, but seldom in their tracks.

    On the other hand 50 yards is a good max for a 54 on moose (according to my 54 cal buds and my own experiences with larger calibers), simply because the odds are good of getting full penetration and 2 bleeding holes at that range. Same as archery, and same as handguns, again.

    I'm sure you're right in the ballpark, and joining MMM is a very good move. You'll find lots of experienced moose pokers there, I'm sure. And I'm sure they'll give a nod and thumbs up to your Lyman 54 and planned shooting limits.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlaskaGrizz View Post
    Thanks for the much appreciated and knowledgable input guys! I've recently joined McKinley Mountain Men so I'm hoping there are members in that organization with lots of experience burning real black powder in a flinter shooting PRB. Accuracy thus far with my Lyman Great Plains 1 in 60" .54, seems very acceptable even to 100 yards...but I'm thinking a self imposed practical limit to be realistically about 50 yards max. That's the point where that 230 grain ball drops below 1000 foot pounds of muzzle energy. Thoughts, Brownbear?
    AKGriz,

    Several members of McKinley Mountain Men have harvested large game with muzzleloaders. I believe that both Pat Reed and Keith Bayha have taken bison with MLs and a few others have taken moose. George Thompson took a moose with a .75 cal brown bess musket. Just ask around.

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    My hunting partner pretty much hunts everything with a 54 muzzle loader. He even took a muskox with it. He uses a percussion but when I was in Kodiak in the 70's a good friend of mine even hunted brown bears with a flintlock. It was a Ted Fellows rifle and even went off upside down. I have a Great Plains percussion and owned one in flint in the 80's. I've switched to the Sharps now instead of muzzle loaders. I like it a lot more in brown bear country, faster to reload. Jim

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