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Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Northern Berks County, PA
Re: .50 or .54 caliber
If you look up the mass of a round ball, the mass goes up very quickly as diameter increases, and it is not directly proportional. I think a 440 ball is like 128gr, a 490 is the listed 176, the 530 at 224, etc. The 600's I shoot are 324gr! The 69's and 70+ balls are massive.
I've never owned nor shot a 54, but it is regarded as the best "compromise" caliber, from what I've gathered. Gives good mass and "thump" with a respectable trajectory. The 50 and lower can be somewhat flat, but lose mass. The big bores provide tons of stomp, but are bigger trajectories, too.
That said, I have enough powder in my 62 that the big ball is 2" high at 50 and 1" low at 100, which is about perfect for me.
For production guns, you're looking at 50 or 54, though. I think the 58 MIGHT be produced in a limited basis?