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Thread: Pdr Chg, for Hunting load

  1. #1
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    Default Pdr Chg, for Hunting load

    My ML rifles are both 50 Caliber.

    I've settled on 60 grains of BLACK POWDER, and, RBs, for shoots, and practice.

    If I were to load for HUNTING,???

    How much powder (BP) should I use for the patched RB? (Range of charges)

    How much powder (BP) should I use for a 250 grain Conical?

    Thanks for your suggestions.

    Smitty of the North
    Walk Slow, and Drink a Lotta Water.
    Has it ever occurred to you, that Nothing ever occurs to God? Adrien Rodgers.
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  2. #2

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    Hey Smitty,

    To a large degree I let the rifles do the talking, but with both round balls and conicals my 50's all seem to really like something between 80-90 grains of 3f Goex or Pyrodex P. To a lesser degree (slightly larger groups and a little more fouling) they're also happy with 90-100 grains of 2f Goex or Pyrodex RS. I'm content with any of those powders in those charge ranges. I whacked a deer with 90 grains of 3f and RB at about 35 yards last fall, and it literally flopped to the ground in its tracks, bounced up and took about 3 steps and fell for good. Through-and-through penetration on the broadside lung shot. In fact I've only ever recovered one RB from game and no conicals. The recovery came with a face-on neck shot at 55 yards. Shattered the spine and came to rest against the hide on the back of the neck, expanded to close to an inch and still retaining most of its weight.

    Which game are you targeting? Some folks I know hunting moose with a 50 are happier with conicals in the 400-450 grain range, on top of 80 grains of 3f Goex or 777.

  3. #3

    Default Warning!

    Smitty...I load 90 gr of pyro rs behind a Buffalo 415 gr slug in my hawken, gives a pretty good recoil. I will warn you not to shoot small critters with that load in the wrong place....nothing left! However if you shoot a small deer in the neck for example, you will know if you got him as the legs in the air above the smoke are visible! Have a blast!....Desertdog

  4. #4
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    I haven't got any certain plans for hunting, maybe deer hunting in MO, or IL.

    I asked about both, because I'm sure that RBs would be OK, for deer, and I have a Lee Mould for a 250 grain Conical bullet. I got it a long time ago, thinking it would make my ML legal, (under the old rules) (min 45 cal. & 250 grain) for hunting here in the Greatland, should I wanna do that.

    My rifle has a 1-66 twist for RBs, and I dunno if even the 250 grain Conical would stabilize in that twist, but it's the shortest 50 Cal. conical I ever heard of.

    I have a Nother gun with 1-48 twist, that I could use now. I've fired 100 grains, a time or two, in that one, and it didn't blow up on me. I have no idea how accurate that load would be, though.

    I'm just thinkin ahead. I'm also thinkin that I should use LESS powder for the Conical bullets. I dunno, and if so, I don't know how much less.

    Anyway, that's where I'm at on this.

    Thanks
    Smitty of the North
    Walk Slow, and Drink a Lotta Water.
    Has it ever occurred to you, that Nothing ever occurs to God? Adrien Rodgers.
    You can't out-give God.

  5. #5

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    My results with a short conical like that 250 in a 1:66 50 cal barrel (Lyman GPR) were "okay." I could manage groups around 4" at 50 yards. The kicker is, as the range stretched beyond 50 the groups opened dramatically. At 100 yards I couldn't keep them on the paper. Things seemed to improve the faster I launched the conical, probably because I was getting more spin, the faster I pushed it. Understand that the the same rifle with RBs will usually break 2" at 50 yards and average around 3-4" at 100 if I do my part.

    I've also got a 1:48 50 cal and it delights in conicals up to over 400 grains and comes back for more, plus it likes RBs just as much. It's a nice "compromise" when it works so well with both.

    For deer I'd have no qualms using the RB. It really smacks them with any load I've tried from 70 grains on up. For my own tastes a 50 cal RB is a little light for moose, but I've seen it do a credible job on Rocky Mountain elk in the hands of a good marksman making lung shots. I wouldn't want to try angling the RB into the lungs from behind, but it certainly is an elk killer on broadside shots. I'd happily use it for elk while picking my shots, but for moose I'd probably go with a fairly heavy conical on the order of 400 grains.

  6. #6

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    Smitty, My experience mirrors BB's. My White Mountain carbine has a 1 in 21 twist and it loves the Lee real bullets and surprisingly it even shoots a around ball pretty good. I had a 1 in 66 Lyman Great Plains rifle and it wouldn't shoot the Lee bullets for shucks but did real well with a tightly patched round ball.

    I spent the day playing with a Springfield Hawken that I just got off gunbroker for a hundred bucks. All I shot through it was round balls and am happy with how that went. This gun is a 1 in 66 gun and I will give it a go with the Lee conicals but am not expecting much. If the 32 inch barreled Lyman wouldn't stabilize them then I doubt the 28 inch barrel on this one will either. I'll give it a go none the less.

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    Thanks for the good information, ALL.

    Smitty of the North
    Walk Slow, and Drink a Lotta Water.
    Has it ever occurred to you, that Nothing ever occurs to God? Adrien Rodgers.
    You can't out-give God.

  8. #8
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    Thumbs up

    For the round ball I would run fro 75 to 90 grains 2Fg/ or pyro R/S and select the charge based on the tightest pattern your gun likes the best. For the conical load I would follow the same charge pattern. This is assuming you are using iron sights and anticipate being in the 80 yard and closer firing range. The critter you smack wont be happy.

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    OK, and Thanks mmmiller5:

    Smitty of the North
    Walk Slow, and Drink a Lotta Water.
    Has it ever occurred to you, that Nothing ever occurs to God? Adrien Rodgers.
    You can't out-give God.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by mmiller5 View Post
    The critter you smack wont be happy.
    And dat's da truth!!

    You see lots in print about the futility of round balls on game compared to the latest modern plastic-wrapped jacketed wonder bullet. Look between the lines though, and most originate from the manufacturers or from hunters who simply want modern ballistics from ML's. I question the motives of the manufacturers and the ambition of the hunters.

    Respect the range limits of a round ball, and it really does unexpectedly well on game. I'm impressed every time I land one on flesh. The move to long bullets and cartridges a century and a half ago was mostly about convenience and extending range, and the basic effectiveness of round balls at shorter ranges got lost in the shuffle.

    I've only managed to recover a single round ball from all the game I've shot. Everything else was a complete pass through with impressive wound channels and exits. I'm yet to have an animal run more than 50 feet, and several have dropped in their tracks. The single ball I recovered happened to be a 54 cal rather than a 50, launched on top of 90 grains of Pyrodex P from a Lyman Great Plains rifle. It had expanded to and inch while retaining over 90% of its weight! Few if any modern bullets can claim that kind of expansion and weight retention. No wonder I'm seeing such impressive wound channels! And none of the modern bullets are as cheap as round balls or can be made for free at home with a $20 mold.

    Nope, a round ball can never perform as well as modern bullets at longer ranges. So what! Keep the range sensible and they still perform quite well.

  11. #11
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    BrownBear:

    (Penetration, expansion, and weight retention.)
    It sounds like they oughta make RB Shootgun slugs.

    Smitty of the North
    Walk Slow, and Drink a Lotta Water.
    Has it ever occurred to you, that Nothing ever occurs to God? Adrien Rodgers.
    You can't out-give God.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smitty of the North View Post
    BrownBear:

    (Penetration, expansion, and weight retention.)
    It sounds like they oughta make RB Shootgun slugs.

    Smitty of the North
    Basically they do, in the sense that smoothbore muzzleloaders are "shotguns."

    Actually they did load round ball shotgun shells for many years, before the the advent of the Forster slug. The Forster was an attempt to wring a little more range and accuracy out of shotguns than could be achieved with round balls or "punkin balls" as they were popularly known in their day.

    I had several boxes of the old punkin ball loads back in the 70's. Got them from a friend who got them from his granddad. They were about as accurate as rocks.

    Digging deeper, I found the balls to be way smaller than the bore with no wadding. They kinda rattled down the bore and I bet you couldn't hit any part of a deer consistently past about 30 yards. For that job, the Forsters really did provide a marked improvement in accuracy, but my experience comparing Forsters on game with same-weight round balls on game, the round balls have it all over Forsters for penetration.

    BTW- RB's can be way more accurate from a smoothbore muzzleloader than those round ball shotshells were from shotguns. That's cuzz you patch the round balls for a tight fit even from smoothbores. By fiddling with the powder charge and patch thickness you can fine tune the load into something surprisingly accurate. More accurate in fact that Forster slugs out of any shotgun I've ever used.

    I've been messing pretty hard with a smootbore Brown Bess musket (75 caliber, compared to 72 cal for 12 gauge, just a little smaller than 10 gauge). I've only got my load worked to the point that I'm getting 3" groups at 50 yards. One of my hunting pards has a 62 caliber smoothie (20 gauge) and he can deliver 3" groups at 75 yards all day long. Heck, maybe the problem is my eyes, because most of my rifles won't do any better for me at 75 yards! They always seem to get more accurate when this guy tries shooting them.

    EDIT---

    It just occurred to me why the round balls were so much under bore size in a 12 gauge. I looked up the weights versus diameter of different ball sizes and here's what I got.

    The 12 gauge bore is .729, but a 1 ounce round ball is only .662. That's 16 gauge!!!! A .729 round ball that would be a tight fit in a 12 gauge bore would actually weigh 586 grains or 1 1/3 oz. Make it a .715 ball to leave room for a tight fitting patch and the ball would still weigh 550 grains or 1 1/4 oz. I'm betting they also went so small to allow for chokes.

    No wonder those punkin balls were so inaccurate in a shotgun!

    BTW- I'm using .735 balls in my Brown Bess. They come in at 598 grains, which is 1.35 oz.

  13. #13
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    That's interesting BrownBear:

    I have a 20 gauge shootgun. Maybe, I'll cut off a shell, remove the shot, chamber it, and load a patched RB.

    I do have some 20 gauge slugs, though.

    Smitty of the North
    Walk Slow, and Drink a Lotta Water.
    Has it ever occurred to you, that Nothing ever occurs to God? Adrien Rodgers.
    You can't out-give God.

  14. #14

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    That would be real interesting to try, but I'd sure mike your choke, probably remove it. Most guys shooting 62's use a .610 ball and a .018 (pillow ticking) patch. My only experience with slugs in 20 gauge shotshells were Forster style. Never tried them past about 35 yards, but they were at least as accurate as 12 gauge. There are lots of the standard arguments in the states requiring slugs for deer whether a 20 gauge is adequate, or you need a 12 instead. The one deer I shot with a 20 dies just as fast as the several I have shot over the years with a 12, but I'm certainly no expert.

  15. #15
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    My 20 Gauge is a Single barrel, and I think the choke is Imp Cyl.

    I got the slugs to carry with me when I was small game hunting in case I needed to repel a bar.

    I did see fresh bar tracks once, so I put in a Slug.

    They came in 5 round boxes, and I would buy them when I seen'em. Next thing you know, I had 4 or 5 boxes of'em.

    Smitty of the North
    Walk Slow, and Drink a Lotta Water.
    Has it ever occurred to you, that Nothing ever occurs to God? Adrien Rodgers.
    You can't out-give God.

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