For patched round ball The old rule of thumb was 3fg for every thing under 50 cal and 2fg for everything 50 caliber and up. With a modern steel barrel, folks can use moderate charges of 3fg in 50 and 54 caliber guns. Moderate being 80 grains and less.
Shooting a conical or bullet changes the pressure curve and I would not be shooting 3fg in anything over 45 cal with a bullet.
You can get away with 3fg in the barrel and the pan, but 3fg in the pan, is ever so slightly slower to ignite the charge. Many hunters can't tell the difference in speed. Match shooters can notice right off.
Two things about loading. Pour the charge down the barrel and before the patch and ball, or bullet, use the palm of your hand and bump the side of the gun two or three times. It helps settle the powder into the area inside the touch hole. You should be able to see grains of powder inside the touch hole. Then load the PRB or bullet.
Filling the pan, usually leads to a hiss before the gun goes off. Put just enough powder to cover the bottom of the pan.
When the gun goes off, most beginners hear the classic TV & Movie reaction of kachunk-sssssssss-boom. When you get accustomed to your gun and lock and loading, your gun should just go ka-boom. with no ssss between. With many custom locks, the shooter does not even hear the ka, the gun just goes boom.
Last edited by zimmerstutzen; 12-13-2017 at 08:28 AM.