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post #1 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-07-2009, 08:16 PM Thread Starter
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Lyman Plains Rifle .50 caliber questions

What do you recommend for bullet and powder. I am new to this. I have conicals now. Would like to know what you recommend as powder charge for conicals and any input you would like to add about anything or any load for this gun.It is a .50 caliber. Any info is appreciated. I have 240 grain hornady conicals and Goex powder. The conicals say 1/66 twist and it these were the recommendation of the gun dealer so it must be a 1/66 or better twist.
I am not sure how to tell if it is the Great Plains hunter or Great Plains rifle which have different twists. It says Great Plains Rifle on the barrel. Nice gun. I have had it several years and haven't shoot it much. I am thinking about hunting this flintlock season and any input would really be appreciated. I know a great gun like this and I haven't used it, sounds like I am a jerk or have more money than brains but that is surely not the case. I have spent way too much time chasing squirrel dogs.
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post #2 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-07-2009, 08:44 PM
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Re: Lyman Plains Rifle .50 caliber questions

First what is your twist and what range hunting will you be doing. If it is a standard slow twist, it will be more accurate with patched round balls. And of course with a given powder charge, a round ball will go faster and keep a fair amount of it's power within 70 yards. Once you get beyond that the advantages of a conical CAN take over.

Traditional wisdom was to use 2fg in calibers over 45 and 3fg in calibers 45 and under. With modern steel, etc. 3fg can certainly be used in a 50 caliber, but use common sense. 3fgt burns hotter and faster with higher pressure thhan 2fg. It may also burn cleaner depending on how tight the projectile is. Always consult your owner's manual and remember that maximum charges are the upper range of what the manufacturer thinks won't blow up the gun. It has little or no bearing on what is most accurate. Generally some where around 80 grains is a good hunting load for nearly any 50 cal. For pete's sake, there is no reason to use 100 grains or more, especially if using 3fg (hotter powder remember?) The other limiting factor is that only so much powder can burn efficiantly within the length of your barrel before the projectile exits. Having more than the optimum charge results in powder being wasteed in muzzle flash and usually in increased fouling in the bore. If you have the 32 inch barrel, somewhere around 90 to 95 grains is the max optimum load anyway.

If you have a fast twist barrel, conicals will work well, but again, there is little reason to use any more powder than you would use with a round ball. Buufalo hunters made one shot kills at 400 yds with 70 or 80 grains of powder and 450 grain bullets. You most likly won't be shooting at buff and certainly not at 400 yds. So remember that a little powder is good, more can be a waste.

Read your manual. Don't rely on anonymous posts about guys using 13 pellets of whoop butt in their guns. Do they have the same gun, are they lying, etc. I shudder about the safety of what some folks must do after reading some posts about charges allegedly used by others in their guns.

Use common sense and always err on the side of caution. You, your gun and your face will last alot longer.

As for buying it at a gun dealer and recccommended projectiles. 1:66 is for patched round balls. If it has deeper round ball rifling, many conicals won't hit a flock of barns, because they can't seal the bore andd prevent blow by. Ask yourself, did he sell me them because they were more expensive and had more profit than round balls? Was it a gun shop, or a muzzleloader shop. Usually a big big difference.

For target shooting with round balls, I'd suggest 50 grains of 2fg and work your way up to 80 grains of 2fg for hunting with a patched round ball. A 490 ball and a .10 patch, maybe a .15 patch. You shouldn't be bruising your hand to start the ball down the muzzle.
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post #3 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-07-2009, 09:24 PM
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Re: Lyman Plains Rifle .50 caliber questions

I've got a Lyman Great Plains 50 Cal. flintlock and shoot 80 gr. FFF (3F)Goex black powder. I use a .015 Patch and a Hornady .495 lead ball. Prime with FFFF (4F) Goex. Shoot's plenty good. Better then me! You've got a good rifle there.

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post #4 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-07-2009, 09:25 PM
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Re: Lyman Plains Rifle .50 caliber questions

I'm thinking you have the Great Plains Rifle.They did make the Plains Rifle about 30 odd years ago.
The Great Plains Hunter has shallow rifling and a 1:32 twist for conicals.
If it is the Great Plains Rifle its 1:60-66 depending if its a new one or older.Lyman cuts their rifling deep.This takes thicker patches of .018-.020.Round balls of either .490 or .495.Mine like FFg and 80grs.Once you have it broke in,you should all but cut the same hole.

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post #5 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-07-2009, 10:35 PM
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Re: Lyman Plains Rifle .50 caliber questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Muab Dib
I've got a Lyman Great Plains 50 Cal. flintlock and shoot 80 gr. FFF (3F)Goex black powder. I use a .015 Patch and a Hornady .495 lead ball. Prime with FFFF (4F) Goex. Shoot's plenty good. Better then me! You've got a good rifle there.

Muab Dib
I agree with this as your mostly likely combo---however save the money on the 4F and load and prime with 3F that way you only need one powder---I have a 54 cal Great Plains and the 4F causes some problems at times with fouling around the touch hole...3F has never done this and I have suggested the same powder for both to many here who nowonly buy 3F for both----feel free to chime in fellers.
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post #6 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-07-2009, 11:11 PM
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Re: Lyman Plains Rifle .50 caliber questions

I hear ya Bunky. Just that I've got about 3/4 lb. of 4F left and have been trying to use it up. Haven't tried 3F in the pan yet but you're not the first person who advised it. Thanks for the reminder.

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post #7 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-07-2009, 11:25 PM
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Re: Lyman Plains Rifle .50 caliber questions

No problem. Try the 3F and see next time you shoot.

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post #8 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-08-2009, 12:06 AM
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Re: Lyman Plains Rifle .50 caliber questions

When I first got into flinters, I used 3fg in the pan as well. It definitely works and for some I suppose they can't tell the difference. I think 4fg makes for a ever so slightly faster lock time. I know some target shooters who will carefully crush 4fg to make an even finer prime. (A practice I consider dangerous)
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post #9 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-08-2009, 12:08 AM
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Re: Lyman Plains Rifle .50 caliber questions

When I first got into flinters, I used 3fg in the pan as well. It definitely works and for some I suppose they can't tell the difference. I think 4fg makes for a ever so slightly faster lock time. I know some target shooters who will carefully crush 4fg to make an even finer prime. (A practice I consider dangerous)
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post #10 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-08-2009, 12:26 AM
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Re: Lyman Plains Rifle .50 caliber questions

I can`t remember who, but one of the brands use to make a 5F powder for the pan.

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