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Thread: New to muzzleloading and need information

  1. #1
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    Default New to muzzleloading and need information

    Very new to muzzleloading and would like to get some recommendations on powder loads. I bought a new Lyman percussion Deerstalker in 54 (1:48 twist) and want to shoot patched round balls and the maxihunter conicals but not sure what powder loads to use. Any suggestions? My first and only shooting session I was using 100 grains for patched balls at about 70 yards.
    Also couldn't resist an older percussion 58 made by Investarms. No paperwork with it but guessing it might also be a 1:48 twist as well. Anyone out there with one that can confirm or let me know the twist I actually have? Want to shoot the same (patched round balls and maxihunters) out of this gun as well and would appreciate powder recommendations.
    One last question for anyone who has an Investarms (or knows the answer). I would like to buy extra nipples for this gun but not sure of the size. I know my Lyman is a 6 X .75mm and the nipple wrench will not fit on the Investarms nipple. Removed and cleaned the Investarms nipple with a small open ended wrench and it seems larger than the Lymans but do not know the thread size.

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    Member GD Yankee's Avatar
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    My one recommendation for your Deerstalker is don't over do it on your powder charges. I use Pyrodex RS, about 83 grains by weight (which is what my brass powder measure gives me at it's maximum capacity), but don't substitute loads between powder.

    http://www.hodgdon.com/ml-warning.html

    When I first shot my T/C Renegade .54 I tried lead conicals, round balls and saboted bullets. The patched round balls (using T/C prelubed with Wonderlube patches) shot most accurately with the moderate charge of about 83 grains Pyrodex RS. Higher charges than that just go more inaccurate. Lead conicals also didn't shoot well much past 90 grains. In fact pushing them past 100 grains got me keyholes at 50 yards. Your gun isn't made to be a magnum long range hunter. Go for accuracy and start on the bottom of the load list, working up from there to find the sweet spot.

    I did have better luck with higher charges and excellent accuracy with saboted bullets. Truthfully, though, they weren't much more accurate than the patched round balls. Those sabots really need a faster twist like a 1:28. But then, if that is what you want to shoot, you might as well get a modern in-line.

    If you can't find answers for your Investarms gun, you might call Dixie Gun Works. Look them up on line. They are a huge resource for muzzle loader stuff.

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    Thanks for the response. I was wondering if I was using too much powder. You said 83 grains by weight? I thought that I was supposed to be measuring by volume. I don't reload so do not have a scale. I will try starting low and working up.
    Only reason I was considering the maxihunter conical was that I thought it might be better for moose and/or black bear than the patched round balls. Hunting with black powder is not my end goal but something I would consider if I shot enought to become proficient. Hard enough to get a legal moose with modern rifles. Just thought it might be fun to shoot. Can always pick up an in-line but kind of like the idea of a side lock percussion.
    Will contact Dixie Gun Works to see if they can help on the Investarms. Emailed the company in Italy but no response.

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    Member jdb3's Avatar
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    My Lyman Great Plains loves 90 grains of 3F. Will out-shoot me with that load. My hunting partner hunts everything with round balls. He gave up on the conicals. He also uses 90 grains of powder with a roundball. Jim

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    Thanks Jim

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    My wife has a Deerstalker 54, and she too likes 90 grains of 3f Goex or Pyrodex P with a .530 ball and .018 patches. It's a real deer stomper without being too hard on the shoulder. For general shooting she uses 60 grains of either powder, and for a real hoot, uses 35 grains for head smacking snowshoe hares. It's wickedly accurate with all those loads. She hasn't ventured above 80 grains with maxis or maxi hunters, but with those the gun definitely prefers Goex 2f or Pyrodex RS.

    Investarms is actually the company that made your Lyman, too. I'm betting it uses the same nipple, but can't swear to it. Drop a line or call Lyman, and if they don't know, take the nipple to a good hardware store and use a thread gauge or try some nuts on it to make sure. Come to think of it, I'm sure the folks at Track of the Wolf can tell you which is the right nipple.

    One more BTW- The Lyman nipples don't fit CCI caps 100% right, being slightly too large or too tapered. They're fine for Remingtons and RWS, but if you're going to shoot CCI go ahead and get some replacement nipples from Track while you're talking to them. I'm really fond of their Ampco bronze nipples.

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    Member fishnngrinn's Avatar
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    Regarding twist rate, refer to this site:
    http://www.gunnersden.com/index.htm....ist-rates.html
    Happy shooting
    NRA Lifetime Member

  8. #8

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    Good summary of measuring twist rates. Just for reference abreitzm, the original Hawken rifles and many others were 1:48. No sweat on the 1:48 in the Deerstalker. I've got them as slow as 1:72 and 1:110 in my big bores, and they're no more accurate than my wife's 1:48. But that's not a complaint!

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    Thanks all!
    BrownBear, I had read that Investarms made the Lyman so assumed that the nipple on the Investarms would be the same size. When I got it home and tried to clean the gun for the first time before shooting, I found the the nipple wrench does not fit on the end of the Investarms nipple. I used a small open ended wrench and removed the nipple. I still have not compared the screw size to the Lyman but it seemed bigger on the Investarms. Italian gun so one would assume that it is metric?
    By the way, really glad I pulled it; really dirty and the hole was plugged with gunk. Would it be a good idea to replace with hot shot nipples (have been reading old posts - a wealth of knowledge) or just go with the bronze?

  10. #10

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    If you're going to shoot Pyrodex, I'd certainly go with the hotshot. It won't hurt a thing if you use a hotshot with real black, either. They're not necessary and a little more expensive, but we're talking pennies.

  11. #11

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    I am almost certain that the Hawken rifle sold by Cabelas as the "Cabelas Hawken" and the Investarms Hawken are one and the same!

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by elmerkeithclone View Post
    I am almost certain that the Hawken rifle sold by Cabelas as the "Cabelas Hawken" and the Investarms Hawken are one and the same!
    http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/Vie...Item=227683797

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    Member sea_goin_dude's Avatar
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    That gunners den site is great for lots of information, thanks for posting it.

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