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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-27-2016, 10:21 PM Thread Starter
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Perplexed

Took the .45 and .50 cal Bedfords out to do some shooting and experimenting. Chrono'd the .45 to satisfy my curiosity. It averaged 1900 fps with a .440 ball, .020 patch and 70 gr of 3f. (with that velocity, I'd probably even be comfortable backing off the charge a bit, depending on how it groups). Shot an inch to the left, where I left it last year, but will fix that next trip.

Decided to shoot the .50 cal at 100 yds to see what it would do and where it hit, like I do with my other .50 and .54 rifles.

Now the perplexing part. Past experience showed me that both my .54 and other .50 both shot groups between 3-4 inches and 6-8 inches low. Fired the 1st shot with this new .50 and it went 5-6 inches high at 10-11 o'clock near top edge of paper. Hmmm? So, fired a 2nd shot and it hit 3-4 inches high near edge of paper at 2:30. Quit then to think that out a bit and save powder, plus the range started to fill up (that time of year). Load was not the hunting load I had decided on, but did group very tight when I chono'd the load. 80 gr 3f .490 ball .020 patch. Averaged 1966 fps and was curious

Only "WAG" I have right now is my "baseball" theory. My other rifles have 1-66 twist. This one has a 1-56 twist. Thinking the faster rate of twist with the higher velocity is over spinning the ball and it is flying off a bit. Kind of how spin on a baseball will effect it's flight. Like I said, just a WAG

Next trip to the range I will back off to the planned hunting load (70 gr 3f which shoots well at 50 yds) and see what it does. I'm not tore up that it did not group at 100 yds, but like with my other rifles, like to know it can "just in case".

Any ideas or similar experience from others? will let you know what happens when I back off the charge. Just never had a load go high at 100 yds. Like I said, expected 6-8 inches low, even if grouping sucked

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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-28-2016, 11:45 AM
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Re: Perplexed

As a centerfire rifle reloader, I can tell you 10" faster spin is pretty significant. Your baseball theory is probably correct. More twist and climbing POI can be directly correlated depending on crosswinds.
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-28-2016, 12:11 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Perplexed

Been handloading about 30 yrs for rifle, pistol, and shotgun and shooting flintlocks for 25 yrs. First time I've had this happen.

This is 2nd worst thing I've seen. Worst was cast bullets keyholing at 50 yds in a 303 British even after slugging the barrel and sizing for it, and the 303 Enfields are a pain since bores vary so much, but I love em (definitely need to try a different style bullet for that one when I get time to pick up another mold and cast some)

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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-28-2016, 03:12 PM
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Re: Perplexed

My 62 has a 1:56 and I push them fairly hard (120gr 2f, and a 46" tube). That's just where the the rifle hits how I want it to....2.5-3" high at 50 and 1-1.5" low at 100.

Just to give you another data point...although the change in caliber probably skews it.
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-28-2016, 03:45 PM
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Re: Perplexed

One other thing I thought to check: how are your patches looking? Though I doubt that extra spin would suddenly start tearing patches, ya never know...
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-28-2016, 03:58 PM
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Re: Perplexed

Plenty of 50's with 1:48 out there.... it's not out of the question, but I wouldn't be shocked if the patches are fine.
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-28-2016, 08:52 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Perplexed

Patches are fine and sighted in about 1 inch above point of aim at 50 yds ( I like a slight 6:00 hold) with 70 gr. 3f. Never shot this 80 gr 3f load at 50 yds. Going to try to get on the range Sunday morning and try the 70 gr load at 100 yds and see what happens. Just something that make you go hmmmm

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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-28-2016, 09:33 PM
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Re: Perplexed

Might try FFg just to see.I had some 50's that liked FFFg and others that liked FFg.
I'm guessing if your custom barrels are longer they will like the longer burn of FFg.
Can't hurt to try!

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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-29-2016, 12:43 AM
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Re: Perplexed

if the concern is your group hitting higher at 100 than it is at 50yds, this may be coming from a barrel that is bored off centered, which is not uncommon

the off center flat (if octagon) may have been put in the stock facing up instead of down

if it's the group size in general, I would try switching to 2f, a .495 roundball and thinner patch if necessary, or different brand of black powder, different lube
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-29-2016, 12:54 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Perplexed

410, I started with 2f with this rifle. 80gr 2f was my load in my old .50 cal for years and this new one shoots that load well too. Will definitely try the 2f at 100 yds though. Good idea to try it and see. Like you said, can't hurt right?

managed to scan targets for reference to what I'm talking about, if it helps. The 70 gr 3f 50 yd target is exactly what I look for with point of aim at bottom of the orange (inch high at 50 yds). Top target is the 100 yd 80 gr 3f target. Orange sticker is 2" dia.





3f just happened group the same as 2f (shot a tad higher is all). But, was getting faster lock time priming with 3f instead of 4f. So, was thinking I'd just try using 3f for both if it shot just as good.

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