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#3154161 - Wed Oct 23 2013 06:15 PM New muzzleloader
Newbie3230 Offline

Registered: Thu Nov 01 2012
Posts: 6
Loc: SE PA
I'm new to muzzleloading. Currently looking at a couple of Hawken style muzzlelaoders by different manufactures. My question to everyone is what caliber .50 or .54 and why? Any input would be greatly appreciated.

#3154220 - Wed Oct 23 2013 07:04 PM Re: New muzzleloader [Re: Newbie3230]
Stikbow Offline
old hand

Registered: Wed Sep 14 2005
Posts: 1107
Loc: Lackawanna Cty.
Both will do the job. Having said that I shoot a .54, it carries a little more energy, especially when using round balls.
Sgt USMC '80-'87

#3154233 - Wed Oct 23 2013 07:13 PM Re: New muzzleloader [Re: Stikbow]
blackpowder Offline
old hand

Registered: Sat Dec 25 2010
Posts: 1029
Loc: blooming valley pa. in nw pa 1...
same as stikbow says, plus if you ever get a chance to go after bigger game, the .54 would be a plus.

Edited by blackpowder (Wed Oct 23 2013 07:14 PM)

#3154284 - Wed Oct 23 2013 07:51 PM Re: New muzzleloader [Re: Newbie3230]
zimmerstutzen Offline
The man

Registered: Fri Oct 19 2001
Posts: 9838
Loc: lancaster
Yep 54 for a couple reasons. A 54 bore can burn a little more powder in the same length as a 50 cal bore. That results in slightly more oomph imparted to the 54 round ball. While the 50 may move slightly faster, energy is a factor of velocity AND mass so the 54 weighing more actually makes up for the speed. It bucks wind slightly better and the trajectory is nearly as good as the 50.

At the deer end of things, the 54 makes a hole about 15% larger and penetrates about the same. That means more shock and blood loss.

#3154357 - Wed Oct 23 2013 08:41 PM Re: New muzzleloader [Re: Newbie3230]
mountainman09 Offline

Registered: Sat Dec 19 2009
Posts: 1343
Loc: lawrence co ,pa usa
i use a 50 i cant defend what Zimm said but i will say with a good shot placement you will not lose any game
hate hang fires

#3154465 - Wed Oct 23 2013 09:36 PM Re: New muzzleloader [Re: Newbie3230]
good ole boy Offline

Registered: Wed Jan 20 2010
Posts: 5858
Loc: Washington Co. Pa.
Either would be fine with the edge to the .54 if you have a choice.But if the rifle you decide on is a .50 don,t hesitate cause it will do a fine job.

#3154502 - Wed Oct 23 2013 10:01 PM Re: New muzzleloader [Re: Newbie3230]
Newbie3230 Offline

Registered: Thu Nov 01 2012
Posts: 6
Loc: SE PA

#3154670 - Thu Oct 24 2013 06:23 AM Re: New muzzleloader [Re: Newbie3230]
crappie-hunter Offline
On the board

Registered: Mon Jul 16 2007
Posts: 376
Loc: Cumberland Co. Pa.
Either will do , just remember when using round ball bigger is always better. I use 50,54,58,62, all have taken deer.

#3154704 - Thu Oct 24 2013 07:03 AM Re: New muzzleloader [Re: Newbie3230]
DCabets28 Offline
Carpal \'Tunnel

Registered: Mon Aug 05 2002
Posts: 2591
Loc: Covington Twp, Lackawanna Coun...
I concur with all of the advice above......Get the .54. thumbs


T/C---One Perfect Shot

TCA Member #5016

#3154912 - Thu Oct 24 2013 10:08 AM Re: New muzzleloader [Re: Newbie3230]
zimmerstutzen Offline
The man

Registered: Fri Oct 19 2001
Posts: 9838
Loc: lancaster
A 50 caliber is considered by most to be good for deer to 100 yards. A 54, over the same powder may give you an extra 10 yards. It isn't a big edge. If you could find a 58, that would be much better at killing and bucking wind, but it loses much of it's edge with the steeper trajectory. The 50 is flatter shooting.

So if you are terrible at estimating ranges, the 50 may be the ticket, less need for "kentucky elevation"

But keep in mind that the average deer shot in PA is shot at something like 35 yds. If you are hunting the scrubby swamps and hollows or won't have 100 yd shots, it really doesn't matter much what caliber you chose.

i would personally still go with the 54, but it is easier to find commercial feed for a 50.

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