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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-06-2011, 11:34 AM Thread Starter
tdd
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Caliber?

I'm mulling over ideas on having a long rifle made.....talked on the phone for over half an hour with Allen Martin a month or so ago. Need to get a budget figured out and start making real plans for the rifle.

Been leaning toward a 54 or 58 caliber. Any thoughts?

I've hunted with a 45 and a 50 in the past....the 45 underwhelmed with with round balls, and the 50 was adequate. Sure wouldn't mind giving a deer a bit more thump.
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-06-2011, 12:38 PM
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Re: Caliber?

I started with a .50 cal. TC, then had a .45 built which I wasn't pleased with in the whitetail woods. I bought a used .50 cal. from Brad Emig, and found it to my liking, but as with most of us in this flintlock group, I hankered for something bigger. Besides, my son, who is also a lefty, received the used .50 for Christmas one year, and has since taken a few whitetails with it.

I finally had Brad put a .54 cal. GM barrel on his Yorktown stock, and I've never looked back. It still requires that you know the limitations of your weapon, and that you hold out for broadside, double lung shots.

Next week I'll tote the .58 cal. fowler I put together from one of Brad's kits. This gun is still a virgin, so I'm anxious to have an, "inside the 50 yard line" opportunity with its front sight only.

Good luck with your final choice, and good hunting! But, you must realize that a single longgun in the house is a lonely creature!

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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-06-2011, 01:29 PM
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Re: Caliber?

For a rifle, I'd go with the 54. For several reasons.

The 54 is large enough to carry well and buck wind without being an overly heavy gun to carry in the woods. Once you get up to a 58, according to the stats in the Lyman Black Powder handbook, once you get to a 58 you lose more than you gain in muzzle velocity and energy. In addition, a 58 caliber requires sufficiently more barrel wall and heft to start getting too heavy for some folks to carry all day. I agree with alot of folks who say that velocity and energy isn't everything. A 58 caliber hole has a big advantage in shock and blood loss. But even with modern steel, you can only put so much powder behind a prb and stay within the safe range.

How much more will the finished gun weigh? If there is no difference, go with the 58. Even with the lower ballistics for the 58, most long hunters have open sights and are hunting under 125 yards. At that distance trajectory can be adjusted. Beyond that distance, open sights have difficulty even drawing a bead on a white tail's boiler room.

So, if there is no weight differential, go 58, if 58 requires stepping up to a heavier barrel, stick with the 54.
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-06-2011, 01:38 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Caliber?

I had originally thought I'd go with the 50 because of barrel weight. Then I looked at some of Mr. Martin's rifles and handled a rifle that was a 58 or 60 caliber and it felt lighter and more easy to hold than the Lyman GPR I hunt with now.

I definitely want to go 54 or bigger. Just not sure exactly which caliber I prefer.

Where I hunt, it's a mix of tight, thick brush and open fields. Since I mostly hunt from fixed stands, I don't worry much about the length of the rifle being an issue. I could have shots from arm's length to over 100 yards. I try in flintlock season to setup where the area I expect to see deer is 75 yards or less.
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-06-2011, 01:40 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Caliber?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BerksCoflinter
I started with a .50 cal. TC, then had a .45 built which I wasn't pleased with in the whitetail woods. I bought a used .50 cal. from Brad Emig, and found it to my liking, but as with most of us in this flintlock group, I hankered for something bigger. Besides, my son, who is also a lefty, received the used .50 for Christmas one year, and has since taken a few whitetails with it.

I finally had Brad put a .54 cal. GM barrel on his Yorktown stock, and I've never looked back. It still requires that you know the limitations of your weapon, and that you hold out for broadside, double lung shots.

Next week I'll tote the .58 cal. fowler I put together from one of Brad's kits. This gun is still a virgin, so I'm anxious to have an, "inside the 50 yard line" opportunity with its front sight only.

Good luck with your final choice, and good hunting! But, you must realize that a single longgun in the house is a lonely creature!
Yes, it is....but for what I'll potentially spend to get what I want, it'll be lonely! Either that or I will be lonely, because I will be thrown out with my long rifles if I buy more than one.

(Right now... I'm sure given a few years, a nice small-bore long rifle could find its way in the house when no one's looking....)
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-06-2011, 10:37 PM
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Re: Caliber?

I ordered a custom rifle back in January. And I just received the rifle. I went through the same thing you are going through. Mine will get used for the same thing, plus hopefully another cow elk hunt or two.

The only hard part of my decision was the caliber of the rifle. I kept thinkiing about getting the 54. However my final decision was a 50 caliber. I wish I could tell you I had an epiphany of some sort. But I didn't. I just decided the 50 was a more than adequate all around caliber.

I will also be allowing a few other people shot my rifle. And at this point in their shooting career I think the recoil on the 50 will be better for them. I don't think the recoil is a deciding factor. Just another consideration.

Good luck in your choice. But I honestly don't think you can make a bad choice as long as you go with a 50, 54, or even 58. Tom.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-07-2011, 12:14 AM
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Re: Caliber?

Hello TDD;

Well if a tradional custom made longrifle were being made for me I would choose the .54 caliber in a swamped barrel, flintlock, and a slow twist for ball of course. A .50 would be ok but the .54 is a better ball gun.

I like half stock plain rifles like the TC PA hunters with a hooked breech so I can swap barrels. I prefer the .50 caliber myself because that is what is the standard or common caliber today. I have a fast 1/28 twist barrel for conical (385/410 Hornady Great Plains) bullets and sabots,a slow 1/66 twist barrel for .50 caliber ball and 240 grain ball-ets (actually better than a .54 ball in my opinion) that can be switched between the same stock. I love the versitility of such a set-up. If I need to step up from ball to ball-et to sabot to heavy conical it's quick easy and compact.
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-07-2011, 02:19 AM
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Re: Caliber?

.54 all the way for a rifled barrel.

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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-07-2011, 12:06 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Caliber?

Thanks, guys. I'm really looking forward to this project. No clue when it'll get off the ground, but I'm excited about it.
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-07-2011, 08:39 PM
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Re: Caliber?

Got an email from Allen Martin last week. He is starting my gun! I had second thoughts about my caliber choice .54 after my last visit with Allen. I shouldered both of the guns you did and the bigger bores are lighter. He already had my barrel so I couldn't waffle even if I had wanted. I should be ready to make another trip up for a fitting in a week or two after he gets the buttstock carved. Good luck with your decision it is part of the fun of the process. Luckily I can't add much more to my gun at this point. Every email seems to cost me a feww hundred!

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