Going to be making smoke

sakodudesakodude Senior MemberPosts: 3,248 Senior Member
Posted an inquiry a while back about a T/C scout BP rifle I was considering. Well, went a bit more traditional and bought a T/C Hawken style today in 50 cal.
Not sure it's even been fire it's so clean and the price was right.
I have FF & FFF powder, the real black stuff, what would be a good starting charge with a PRB?
TCHawken50cal002_zpsdf2a9627.jpg
TCHawken50cal001_zpse4df79ba.jpg

Sako
«1

Replies

  • VarmintmistVarmintmist Senior Member Posts: 6,461 Senior Member
    What is your twist rate?

    Bore butter works as a good place to start for a patch lube. Dont believe all the boiling water stories where you must pour 17.3 gallons down the tube while dancing in a feather loin cloth. Here is the BP cleaning secret. If BP residue gets wet, it is neutralized....... done. Run some wet patches down the bore, get the place where flame goes into the bore wet, then dry it. Hit it with some water displacement 40, then lube. If it was a flinter then you would have to remove the lock and pour some boiling water over it. That cleans it and the heat helps it dry, then water displacement 40 and lube.

    http://pdf.textfiles.com/manuals/FIREARMS/lyman_blackpowder.pdf Try 80 of 2F to start.
    It's boring, and your lack of creativity knows no bounds.
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,271 Senior Member
    Try a starting charge of about 70 grains of 3-F, and go up in 1/2 grain increments until the group sizes start shrinking. Real BP can be scale-measured, but don't try that with synthetics like Pyrodex. They're measured by volume, not weight. Somewhere between 70 and 80 grains, you'll find a charge your rifle likes. Then make a powder measure from a piece of .45-70 rifle brass or a drilled-out piece of deer antler, etc. that holds that exact charge. Patch thickness can also be a factor, so try various thicknesses of machine-washed cotton denim in .015", .016" and .017" sizes. I always get some really odd stares when I go into a fabric store with a dial caliper and start measuring the material. Squeeze the material HARD between the jaws of the caliper to simulate the pressure of the ball on the patch as it's rammed down the barrel. Use a finger-wipe of Crisco, Hodgdon's "Spit Patch" or just chew on a piece of patch material for awhile before loading. The commercially available prelubed patches are WAY too greasy! If you're concerned about powder contamination, use a thin fiber wad between the powder and the patch. Good luck!
    Jerry

    Edit: Most of those rifles have a 1:48" twist, which is a compromise between PRB and conicals. 1:66" or 1:72" works better for round balls only.
    Hide and wail in terror, Eloi- - - -We Morlocks are on the hunt!
    ASK-HOLE Someone who asks for advice and always does something opposite
  • VarmintmistVarmintmist Senior Member Posts: 6,461 Senior Member
    FYI the bore butter goes on THIN. If you get pre lubed, squeeze them between your fingers.

    For some reason, when I have chewed patches at a range session, the 3rd or forth taste real bad.

    From what I can see, it is 1:48. It will shoot OK, keep the charge moderate though and it will shoot better. Dont worry about proofing your bbl, the last deer I took was at about 70 yds with a 54 cal RB over 70gr 2F.

    Congrats on your new gateway drug.
    It's boring, and your lack of creativity knows no bounds.
  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 23,904 Senior Member
    Nice looking
    A Veteran is someone that served in the Military, it does not matter where they served.
  • sakodudesakodude Senior Member Posts: 3,248 Senior Member
    NN wrote: »
    Nice looking

    thank you.

    Sako
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 21,803 Senior Member
    I have a Thompson Renegade 50 that Teach found for me. I like it a lot. I don't have anything to compare it to, but I can shoot it better than pie plate accurate at 100 yards, which in my book translates to Minute Of Deer, and that's all I require of it. I've actually gotten quite attached to it. I love the sound and the smoke,

    :tooth:

    And it adds two weeks to my deer season.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • KSU FirefighterKSU Firefighter Senior Member Posts: 3,245 Senior Member
    Congrats on your new gateway drug.

    Boy ain't that the truth! Nice looking smoker! They are addictive as all get out, Teach and the rest on here got me started in the right direction. Enjoy! (BTW: You Suck!)
    The fire service needs a "culture of extinguishment not safety" Ray McCormack FDNY
  • sakodudesakodude Senior Member Posts: 3,248 Senior Member
    What is your twist rate?

    Bore butter works as a good place to start for a patch lube. Dont believe all the boiling water stories where you must pour 17.3 gallons down the tube while dancing in a feather loin cloth. Here is the BP cleaning secret. If BP residue gets wet, it is neutralized....... done. Run some wet patches down the bore, get the place where flame goes into the bore wet, then dry it. Hit it with some water displacement 40, then lube. If it was a flinter then you would have to remove the lock and pour some boiling water over it. That cleans it and the heat helps it dry, then water displacement 40 and lube.

    http://pdf.textfiles.com/manuals/FIREARMS/lyman_blackpowder.pdf Try 80 of 2F to start.

    Thanks for the info and link. I did not get the box or manual with this rifle so twist is unknown but from research I believe it to be 1:48. That is disappointing about the cleaning ritual, I just got a new loincloth:tooth:

    Sako
  • sakodudesakodude Senior Member Posts: 3,248 Senior Member
    Teach wrote: »
    Try a starting charge of about 70 grains of 3-F, and go up in 1/2 grain increments until the group sizes start shrinking. Real BP can be scale-measured, but don't try that with synthetics like Pyrodex. They're measured by volume, not weight. Somewhere between 70 and 80 grains, you'll find a charge your rifle likes. Then make a powder measure from a piece of .45-70 rifle brass or a drilled-out piece of deer antler, etc. that holds that exact charge. Patch thickness can also be a factor, so try various thicknesses of machine-washed cotton denim in .015", .016" and .017" sizes. I always get some really odd stares when I go into a fabric store with a dial caliper and start measuring the material. Squeeze the material HARD between the jaws of the caliper to simulate the pressure of the ball on the patch as it's rammed down the barrel. Use a finger-wipe of Crisco, Hodgdon's "Spit Patch" or just chew on a piece of patch material for awhile before loading. The commercially available prelubed patches are WAY too greasy! If you're concerned about powder contamination, use a thin fiber wad between the powder and the patch. Good luck!
    Jerry

    Edit: Most of those rifles have a 1:48" twist, which is a compromise between PRB and conicals. 1:66" or 1:72" works better for round balls only.

    Thanks Teach. so the grove dia looks to be about .510 my inside micing skills may be somewhat lacking. I have round balls that measure .490 (that makes me feel a bit inadequate ) given that, a patch thickness of about .010 would be about right, yes? I also have some 385gr pre-lubed Hornady great plains bullets to try out. Any opinion on these?

    Sako
  • gatorgator Senior Member Posts: 1,689 Senior Member
    Nice looking smokepole.....Welcome to the most relaxing way to enjoy the shooting sports.
    USMC 80-84
    -96 lbs
  • sakodudesakodude Senior Member Posts: 3,248 Senior Member
    snake284 wrote: »
    I have a Thompson Renegade 50 that Teach found for me. I like it a lot. I don't have anything to compare it to, but I can shoot it better than pie plate accurate at 100 yards, which in my book translates to Minute Of Deer, and that's all I require of it. I've actually gotten quite attached to it. I love the sound and the smoke,

    :tooth:

    And it adds two weeks to my deer season.

    What is your projectile of choice?

    Sako
  • sakodudesakodude Senior Member Posts: 3,248 Senior Member
    Boy ain't that the truth! Nice looking smoker! They are addictive as all get out, Teach and the rest on here got me started in the right direction. Enjoy! (BTW: You Suck!)

    Thanks:tooth:

    Sako
  • sakodudesakodude Senior Member Posts: 3,248 Senior Member
    gator wrote: »
    Nice looking smokepole.....Welcome to the most relaxing way to enjoy the shooting sports.

    Thanks, I was given about 8# of powder and around 3000 or so caps so I expect to be shooting it quite a bit:p

    Sako
  • KSU FirefighterKSU Firefighter Senior Member Posts: 3,245 Senior Member
    sakodude wrote: »
    Thanks for the info and link. I did not get the box or manual with this rifle so twist is unknown but from research I believe it to be 1:48. That is disappointing about the cleaning ritual, I just got a new loincloth:tooth:

    Sako

    Mine had the twist rate stamped onto the barrel.
    The fire service needs a "culture of extinguishment not safety" Ray McCormack FDNY
  • sakodudesakodude Senior Member Posts: 3,248 Senior Member
    Mine had the twist rate stamped onto the barrel.
    Not so lucky on this one unfortunately.

    Sako
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 21,803 Senior Member
    sakodude wrote: »
    What is your projectile of choice?

    Sako

    All I've shot in mine are hard lead balls. They are fairly accurate as I said. Teach cautioned me about bullet choice so I'll let him chime in and get you the straight skinny on it.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • VarmintmistVarmintmist Senior Member Posts: 6,461 Senior Member
    sakodude wrote: »
    Thanks Teach. so the grove dia looks to be about .510 my inside micing skills may be somewhat lacking. I have round balls that measure .490 (that makes me feel a bit inadequate ) given that, a patch thickness of about .010 would be about right, yes? I also have some 385gr pre-lubed Hornady great plains bullets to try out. Any opinion on these?

    Sako

    Wrong.
    If you are using 490's a .010 patch will be the size of the lands, you need to fill the grooves so as not to pass gas. Get some .018's.

    I think the lyman link described the patch ball thing pretty well.
    It's boring, and your lack of creativity knows no bounds.
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 21,803 Senior Member
    Wrong.
    If you are using 490's a .010 patch will be the size of the lands, you need to fill the grooves so as not to pass gas. Get some .018's.

    I think the lyman link described the patch ball thing pretty well.

    Eyew! Hey hurry and get some thicker patch material, we don't want you passing gas around here! :yikes::rotflmao::rotflmao::rotflmao:
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • sakodudesakodude Senior Member Posts: 3,248 Senior Member
    Wrong.
    If you are using 490's a .010 patch will be the size of the lands, you need to fill the grooves so as not to pass gas. Get some .018's.

    I think the lyman link described the patch ball thing pretty well.

    That was what I went by, groove dia .510 minus ball dia .490 = .020 difference divided by 2 =0.10 :uhm: Now I may have measured wrong, kind of hard telling if I got the mic in opposite grooves so I will try slugging the bore as suggested in your link and see what I get.
    Thanks.

    Sako
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,271 Senior Member
    The patch material compresses a little as the ball is rammed, and you want a gas-tight seal. After a few shots, look for spent patches about 10 yards downrange. If the patch thickness is right, there will be an "X" imprinted on the patch, with no tearing or burn-through. A torn patch is too tight, a burned one is letting firing gases blow by. Go with a minimum of .015", and if the groups are unpredictable, try .016 or .017. Tighter patches will be almost impossible to ram in a dirty bore. My target smokepole likes .017", but it's cleaned after every shot. My hunting Pennsylvania flinter with the 1:66" twist works OK with .015" patches and I can get 4 or 5 shots between cleanings with an alcohol swab and 2-3 dry patches. Pop a cap on an empty barrel after cleaning and before reloading to be sure there's no alcohol left in the nipple.
    Jerry
    Hide and wail in terror, Eloi- - - -We Morlocks are on the hunt!
    ASK-HOLE Someone who asks for advice and always does something opposite
  • woodsrunnerwoodsrunner Senior Member Posts: 2,725 Senior Member
    Two additional comments:

    1. Start off as Teach says in his first post, but maybe start with 60gr 3f initially and work up from there. You will get the most accuracy by having the powder charge completely burned just as the PRB reaches the muzzle, so barrel length will enter into the equasion. I'm not familiar with this rifle, but I would imagine the barrel length is less than 42 inches. Just try 60gr also, and work up from there.
    2. You can improve the accuracy a little and eliminate any patch burn/damage (which influences accuracy) by putting a .50cal felt patch down over the powder before running the PRB down. Circle Fly makes these, and you can possibly find them locally in larger gun stores.

    EDIT: I've got an excellent custom made .40cal flintlock that I'll let go for an excellent price if you want to "upgrade"!
  • HvyMaxHvyMax Senior Member Posts: 1,786 Senior Member
    Got your starting charge covered. When I clean mine I boil a pot of soapy water and stick the back of the barrel in then use a patched jag to pull and push it through the barrel a dozen times or so before hitting the barrel inside and out with ballistol. I use a big pot because I am usually cleaning 6-10 at a time.
    Wal Mart where the discriminating white trash shop.
    Paddle faster!!! I hear banjos.
    Reason for editing: correcting my auto correct
  • sakodudesakodude Senior Member Posts: 3,248 Senior Member
    Two additional comments:

    1. Start off as Teach says in his first post, but maybe start with 60gr 3f initially and work up from there. You will get the most accuracy by having the powder charge completely burned just as the PRB reaches the muzzle, so barrel length will enter into the equasion. I'm not familiar with this rifle, but I would imagine the barrel length is less than 42 inches. Just try 60gr also, and work up from there.
    2. You can improve the accuracy a little and eliminate any patch burn/damage (which influences accuracy) by putting a .50cal felt patch down over the powder before running the PRB down. Circle Fly makes these, and you can possibly find them locally in larger gun stores.

    EDIT: I've got an excellent custom made .40cal flintlock that I'll let go for an excellent price if you want to "upgrade"!

    Thank you, really appreciate yours and everyone else's advice. Check your PM if you would please.

    Sako
  • HvyMaxHvyMax Senior Member Posts: 1,786 Senior Member
    cpj wrote: »
    You need a range rod. That's wooden one is ok for woods work, but a dedicated range rod is essential IMHO.

    +1
    Wal Mart where the discriminating white trash shop.
    Paddle faster!!! I hear banjos.
    Reason for editing: correcting my auto correct
  • USUFBUSUFB Senior Member Posts: 830 Senior Member
    cpj wrote: »
    Don't forget a nipple wrench, powder measure, ball starter, cap holder, and something to put it in.

    Sounds a bit uncomfortable. But hey, if that's your thing.
    Sometimes, I lie awake in bed at night wondering "Why the heck can't I fall asleep?"
    NRA Life Member
  • sakodudesakodude Senior Member Posts: 3,248 Senior Member
    cpj wrote: »
    I think I'm shooting 70 grains of powder with a 490 round ball, can't remember the patch thickness. But it's Skoal can accurate at 50 yards, first shot and every shot thereafter. I boil a small pan of water, remove the nipple and submerge breech end in the pot. Using a .50 caliber bore mop I "pump" the boiling water (wear a glove, the barrel gets hot) through the nipple hole. The hot barrel will evaporate the water, then I'll run some patches through it to make sure it's dry,then lube for storage with some bore butter.

    Don't forget a nipple wrench, powder measure, ball starter, cap holder, and something to put it in.

    that pretty much lists everything in my midway cart right now. Good to know I got the list right. Don't recall where it came from but I have a synthetic ramrod already.


    Sako
  • woodsrunnerwoodsrunner Senior Member Posts: 2,725 Senior Member
    Stainless steel range rod is a "must have" for cleaning. Get one without fail and you'll be ahead of the game!

    Also concur with using BALLISTOL! This was invented by the Germans in the late 1800's and has been used since about 1895 and is still used as a small arms lubricant by todays' German Military! Ballistol in itself will clean and neutralize black powder residue in muzzleloaders. Run 3 or 4 Ballistol wet patches up and down the bore, and about the 4th will show NO black powder residue.

    sakodude: I'll respond to your message in the morning.....just too tired and worn out tonight.
  • sakodudesakodude Senior Member Posts: 3,248 Senior Member
    Stainless steel range rod is a "must have" for cleaning. Get one without fail and you'll be ahead of the game!

    Also concur with using BALLISTOL! This was invented by the Germans in the late 1800's and has been used since about 1895 and is still used as a small arms lubricant by todays' German Military! Ballistol in itself will clean and neutralize black powder residue in muzzleloaders. Run 3 or 4 Ballistol wet patches up and down the bore, and about the 4th will show NO black powder residue.

    sakodude: I'll respond to your message in the morning.....just too tired and worn out tonight.

    At your convenience. Ballistol has been on my bench forever. Particularly since moving to the humid midwest. Did not know it neutralized black powder though:up:

    Sako
  • sakodudesakodude Senior Member Posts: 3,248 Senior Member
    cpj wrote: »
    Add a spare nipple or two, I prefer stainless steel ones. Always a good idea to have a spare in case you drop one in the weeds, damage it, or "I SWEAR I left it RIGHT HERE!" Keep the spare in your kit with your other goodies.

    Good idea, Are these universal? All the T/C specific nipples are out of stock at midway but other brands are available. Going to order one for musket caps to try as I have some of those as well.

    Sako
  • sakodudesakodude Senior Member Posts: 3,248 Senior Member
    cpj wrote: »
    No, not universal, thread sizes vary. I THINK (double check) it's a 1/4-28 thread.

    Confirmed 1/4x28. thanks

    Sako
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