Caliber choice - 50 or 54? - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-02-2011, 04:04 AM Thread Starter
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Caliber choice - 50 or 54?

Looking at replacing the rock lock.

In a 1:66 twist, what are the differences between the .50 and .54 round balls?

I would assume size and weight will affect everything to some degree. But realistically, we are still talking 75 yards as the long shot.

Looking at the Lyman GP if it makes a diff.

Is your position a short term gain - or a long term loss? Separate the issues.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-02-2011, 12:56 PM
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Re: Caliber choice - 50 or 54?

The 54 holds a slight edge over the 50 for ability to buck wind annd carry it's energy down range. At 75 yards, the differences are probably negligeable. For shock value on the game, the bigger hole, even with some ball flattening, is going to be larger with a 54 and will normally result in a larger blood loss. The 50 leaves more options in terms of availability of store bought projectiles, if you should wander into throwing huge minnie type bullets.

If you are of the sort that really heavies up the powder for hunting, the 54 will probably burn more efficiently in that 32 inch bore. According to the Lyman, Black Powder handbook, 1st ed. 100 grains behind a 495 PRB in a 32 inch barrel results in Muzzle energy of 1561 ft/ lbs and 100 yd energy of 501 ft lbs. The results for a 100 grains of the same, under a 535 PRB in a 34 inch barrel gave muzzle energy of 1347 ft/lbs and 100 yd energy of 515. The 50 caliber holds an edge over the 54 probably out to 75 or 85 yds, but by the 100 yd the 54 starts to have the edge.

Two other consideration are that between two production guns of the same model but different caliber, the 54 will be an oz or two lighter.

for typical whitetail distance, I'd still go with the 54, it can extend the kill range slightly and makes a bigger hole.

I once shot muzzle loading sillywets up at Shippensburg. My 45 target gun couldn't knock down the heavy targets past the first distance. The 50 caliber could knock the 200 yd pigs some times if hit right. The 54 did the job much more reliably. (Nothing worse than having a hit, hearing the "ding" and just having the target pivot slightly but not fall down. )
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-02-2011, 06:58 PM
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Re: Caliber choice - 50 or 54?

Hit them in the heart or lungs and I doubt you or the deer will notice a difference.I know I can't.

The answers to all of life's questions are found in the Bible!
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-02-2011, 07:59 PM
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Re: Caliber choice - 50 or 54?

When it come to round balls,,,Bigger is allways better for hunting...
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-02-2011, 10:58 PM
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Re: Caliber choice - 50 or 54?

I've hunted them with .440, .445, .490, .495, .530, and for the past several years, .535 round balls. With the exception of one questionable shot taken with the .54 at a quartering-to doe, I've recovered every one targeted.

The .45 remains my finest looking custom-made piece, but I can shoot it accurately inside a barn! The .50 served me well, and has continued to do so for my son.

The .54 is my favorite, and I commend Brad Emig for creating a fine looking and straight shooting lefty Yorktown for my autumnal years!

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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-02-2011, 11:22 PM
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Re: Caliber choice - 50 or 54?

I thought they stopped makin dose lil 50 caliber flinters!!

No brainer to me...a 54 is the best choice based on my field xperience in killing deer & wild boar with both 50's/54's. The 54 is far superior without a doubt!

Stan,,,the Lyman 54 GPR w/32",1-60 twist bbl is the ticket IMO for a factory production roundball pitchin flinter!!!

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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-03-2011, 02:11 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Caliber choice - 50 or 54?

Happens to be the rifle I am looking at..

Is your position a short term gain - or a long term loss? Separate the issues.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-03-2011, 03:48 AM
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Re: Caliber choice - 50 or 54?

All my muzzleloaders are .54 right now. Hunting for a .32 or .36 at the moment as well as a PA pellet [left hand] for the grandson.

A long time friend of mine took 2 deer and a bull moose with a .45. All one shot kills.

I picked .54 for myself as when it comes to roundball bigger is actually better.

The choice of off the shelf balls and bullets definately falls toward the .50 now allthough .54 is available plus molds for RB and conicals are easy to obtain in .54.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-03-2011, 08:16 AM
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Re: Caliber choice - 50 or 54?

.54

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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-04-2011, 06:51 PM
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Re: Caliber choice - 50 or 54?

With the round ball guns, a 54cal + is always better.
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