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Looking for some advice in terms of sighting in my flintlock. I recently purchased a TC Renegade .50 cal last xmas and wanted to go out to the range sometime next week. My question for you experienced smokepole guys is what steps I need to take to try and find a half decent load?

I plan on purchasing some 320gr maxibals to shoot. Should I start with 70grs of FF and shoot at 25yards and keep moving out to 50, 75yds or stay at the close range and adjust powder by 5grs? Also, is it best to swab between each shot or maybe after 3 or so? Run bore cleaner or just hot water? Much appreciated for the tips! I know for best results I need to develop a "ritual" in terms of loading and was wondering what some of the rituals you guys have when loading each shot. Thanks
 

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You are going to get a ton of help. But let me start with one very basic requirement. You have got to clean that rifle within an inch of its life. Get all the grease, oil loose machining chips and grit out of it. This includes the lock along with the barrel and trigger. In addition, read anything published by Sam Fadalla on black powder and flintlocks. You are embarking on a wonderful experience. Have fun and shoot safely.
 

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Thanks jimsdad, this will be my 5th year out in late season but being away at school I have never been able to put the time in at the range. I hunted with a traditions pa pellet with ZERO success the first 3 seasons but learned a lot from this forum just reading all the different posts on flintlocks. The one thing I can say is that I do clean my gun very thoroughly and keep it clean during the season.
 

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When your "out there" hunting, and you have taken a shot, and maybe by chance missed...your pan, flint, and frizzen will now be "coated" with BP residue. Nothing will attract moisture (even from the air) faster than BP residue.

So, I always carry about a dozen of those small alcohol patches that you can buy at any pharmacy. (You know...the kind that are in individual packs for people who give themselves injections) After a shot, and things "quiet down" I will open one of these and wipe down the pan, frizzen and flint.

Because it's alcohol, it will dry almost instantly and the patch will remove the BP residue. I will also run one down the tube if I've shot more than one (who...me miss twice??) and the ramming is getting tough. Again, the alcohol will remove a good bit of fouling and dry quickly.

FWIW

SW
 

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Hobbyson said:
Looking for some advice in terms of sighting in my flintlock. I recently purchased a TC Renegade .50 cal last xmas and wanted to go out to the range sometime next week. My question for you experienced smokepole guys is what steps I need to take to try and find a half decent load?

I plan on purchasing some 320gr maxibals to shoot. Should I start with 70grs of FF and shoot at 25yards and keep moving out to 50, 75yds or stay at the close range and adjust powder by 5grs? Also, is it best to swab between each shot or maybe after 3 or so? Run bore cleaner or just hot water? Much appreciated for the tips! I know for best results I need to develop a "ritual" in terms of loading and was wondering what some of the rituals you guys have when loading each shot. Thanks
I would start at the 25 yard range and stay there till you get the tightest group. You'll have to experiment with different load sizes, 70 grains is a good starting point. I'd try and go up in 5 grain increments till you see what it does. I can't stress this enuff, group first, adjust sights later. A tight group is much easier to make sight adjustments with. If you have to adjust first to get on paper by all means do it. I personally try and maintain a 1/2" high zero at 50 yards.I swab my barrel every 3 shots with a alcohol soaked patch followed by a few dry ones.
 

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Stikbow is right the only thing i do differenr is i use 50grs at 25 yrd to get my group [it just saves powder]then i hunt with 70grs of 3f not a major difference in my groups but every single one of us do things a little different to get the same thing
 

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Hobby, I cannot speak to minis but my Hawken .50 loves 90 grains of swiss, .015 patch, and a RB. I site at 50 and it gives me a 1" group. Obviously you will need to play around with the load to find the sweet one. Muzzys are just like any other rifle if your are looking for accuracy. You need to spend time at the range developing a load that works best for your gun.

Follow Jimsdad & Stikbow recommendations
 
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