Black Powder

QuinianQuinian Senior MemberPosts: 707 Senior Member
I was hopin I might get some tips from you smoke pole guys. I'm using a Traditions .50 with 70grn powder and patched RB. I recently got them working right and was cosidering using them for this seasons deer. What do you guys like to load? I was thinking I might up it to 90grn but I'm a big fan of the RB so I don't think I'll be using sabots or anything

Replies

  • wildgenewildgene Senior Member Posts: 1,036 Senior Member
    ...70grs. sounds a little light, try going up in 5gr. intervals, what you should see is a point where your load tightens up, & on the next interval starts to disperse again. Fine tune w/ 1gr. intervals. One thing w/ shooting critter w/ a round ball, they're large, slow, soft, & don't really expand. A shot to heavy bone is much more effective than the traditional "heart/ lung shot", most of us use w/ a high power rifle. Shoulder, neck, spine will put 'em down & you don't need to worry much about "bloodshot", a round ball will walk right thru a deer's rib cage, killing 'em eventually, but "eventually" pretty much sucks...
  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 18,738 Senior Member
    if 70 grains give you the accuracy you want, and the distance you need, it should work just fine.
    I only use 75gr of triple 7 in mine
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,340 Senior Member
    I'm using 80 grains of 3-f BP under a patched round ball in my Traditions .50 caliber flintlock. I've taken several deer with that load out to 100 yards or so with full penetration through the heart/lung area. Barrel length has a lot to do with how efficient a BP charge will be, as heavy charges in short barrels end up with lots of muzzle flash and not much increase in power. Tinker with the powder charge in 1-grain increments until you find the most accurate load for your barrel, and also pay attention to the patch thickness. Pre-lubed patches that are available commercially are WAAAAAY too greasy. I like to use washed denim material somewhere in the .015" to .017" thickness range with a .490" diameter roundball. Drop me a PM and I'll send you some information on making a "dry lube" patch with water-soluble machinist's cutting oil that really cuts down on barrel fouling and increases accuracy.
    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
    I use only GOEX black powder, so what I say is geared to that and none of the modern substitutes. Each of my flintlocks, about a dozen of various cals from .32 to .65, will use a different amount. In my Hershel House .50cal with a 46 inch barrel I use 72gr 3f with a WonderWad patch over the powder and a patched round ball with the patch lubed like Teach has mentioned. Accuracy is MOA at 75-100yds. In my Hershel House .32cal squirrel rifle with a 46 inch barrel I use 29gr 3f and loaded same as the .50cal. Accuracy is "squirrel head" at 30-35 yards. In the .50cal David Dodds chunkgun that I traded off to Teach I used 78gr 3f, and I'm sure accuracy would be MOA at 100yds. (Friends in Pennsylvania regularily kill deer at 300yds with these target rifles using PRBs).

    You will find that usually there will be 2 powder charges that will give excellent accuracy. For example, I have a David Dodds .40cal Early Reading Rifle that will deliver MOA accuracy at 50 yds using 40gr 3f, and also with 25gr 3f, a light charge for squirrels. You will find that your accuracy will increase by wiping out with a "dry lube" patch after each shot, putting a WonderWad felt patch over the powder then carefully seating a PRB using the same dry lube patch as mention above. Washed Denim in ..018 thickness works for me in my .50cals, and .012 in my .32cal. I've always heard that one of the Cardinal Rules to PRB accuracy is to use just the exact amount of powder that will burn totally just as the ball reaches and leaves the muzzle, and aparently there is a high-end and a low-end charge that will do that, dictated by pressure created/length of barrel/speed and probably other factors.

    Accuracy is achieved by experimenting and practice, practice, practice! Get the info on making dry-lube patches that Teach and I use as well as probably 100% of the serious chunkgun match shooters Get a micrometer and play around with patch thicknessess. Be sure to use the WonderWads since these are proven to increase accuracy up to 20%. You will be surprised at how a simple 2 or 3 grains of powder, or a .015 instead of a .018 patch thickness will affect round ball accuracy.

    wildgene.......I'm not sure that I totally agree with you about heavy bone shots as opposed to double lung shots. It's been my experience over the years that if you can double-lung hogs, deer or bear, the animal won't go much more than 60-75 yards before going down. Doesn't kill 'em instantly, but they can't go because they can't breathe! I'm sure others will have even different opinions!
  • gunrunner428gunrunner428 Senior Member Posts: 1,018 Senior Member
    You will find that usually there will be 2 powder charges that will give excellent accuracy. For example, I have a David Dodds .40cal Early Reading Rifle that will deliver MOA accuracy at 50 yds using 40gr 3f, and also with 25gr 3f, a light charge for squirrels... I've always heard that one of the Cardinal Rules to PRB accuracy is to use just the exact amount of powder that will burn totally just as the ball reaches and leaves the muzzle, and aparently there is a high-end and a low-end charge that will do that, dictated by pressure created/length of barrel/speed and probably other factors.

    Woodsrunner, thanks for that breakdown. I use 2f Black Powder in my Lyman Great Plains .50 cal percussion rifle, and have found near-identical accuracy with 70 and 90 grains. I know 3f can give great performance in .50 caliber behind a PRB, but my only hang-up there is that it also gives higher pressures than 2f, and without a chronograph I am not eager to push the rifle, although I'm sure she'd handle it just fine. I knew my accuracy results, but couldn't quantify it before reading your post.
Sign In or Register to comment.
Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Guns & Ammo stories delivered right to your inbox every week.