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For you guys that shoot a .54 Hawken, which conical do you use and why? Or if you prefer to use roundball instead I'd like to hear that too. I'm asking because I thought I was on the right track with T/C maxi balls that I was gonna try but a couple guys warned me about them not sitting tight and shifting in the bareel resulting in a bulge.

Thanks
 

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the maxis have flat base...they fit some bores tightly..some not as tight..

ive gone to buffalo ball-ets in my 50cal..will switch to probably PA conicals when i run out since they dont make the ball-ets anymore...both have a hollow base which expands to fit the bore when fired..but the ball-ets fit my bore well enough...


i do "check" it every so often while hunting just for piece of mind..takes 5 seconds to pull the ramrod and check..


54cal and a roundball aughta be fine too...my 50 and roundballs are accurate and deadly...my one complaint was they werent exiting..the 245gr ball-ets are exiting for me...2 holes is better than 1 for a blood trail..my buddies 54 seems to pass through better..



best thing to do is see what shoots best from your gun...dont get set on one projectile..if you have a 1:48" twist as do most production guns like TC, Lyman etc..you will find it might love round balls..or conicals..or both..

my TC likes round balls or short conicals like i shoot..i couldnt get the longer/heavier TC maxi balls or hunters to shoot for ME...

some guys put a wad over the powder and bullet on top and get better accuracy with the TCs due to the flat base...to me, thats 1 more thing to load..1 more thing to forget..i dont want bothered with it..so i never tried wads over the powder...

i actually played with loads and found a load that shoots round balls REALLY well and found another charge that shoots the ball-ets to the same point of impact as round balls as far as ive ever shot...so i can shoot both and never touch my sights..makes it nice at the range..i can shoot round balls which are cheaper and slightly less recoil etc..and hunt with the conicals..

good luck!
 

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I used TC maxi balls out of my .50 TC Hawken for the first few years that I used it. I never had a problem but I remember the warning was to recheck the seating if you bumped or dropped it. I don't remember why I switched to round balls, but it wasn't because I was worried about it unseating.
The .54 I'm building now will probably see round balls only.
I think I'm trying to go more traditional as I get older.
 

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Ever try one of these guys? 425gr. Plains Bullet Gun Shop gave me a box when I bought a used flinter from them, so I tried them. Now its PRB or one of these!

They also have a hollow base to expand and seal the gases when fired. When I first used them, I would check now and again while in the woods, and never had one unseat. Don't even check anymore, unless I bump it muzzle down.

Performance story on their web site shooting elk. GPB Performance on Elk I am guessing busting both shoulders is sufficient!
 

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Whether a conical will work in any particular gun depends on the rifling. Many round ball barrels are have rifling that is just too deep and the blow by ruins accuracy.
Traditional soft lead hollow based minnie balls must be just under bore size and depend on ignition pressure to expend the bottom of the bullet to seal the gases. So such bullets are generally loaded slightly undersize and have a real possibility of sliding forward and acting as a bore obstruction.

As for the modern style concicals, they are made for a fairly close tolerance to bore and a couple thousandths off can be too tight to load or so loose the bullets will slide around.

Keeping the muzzle up and at times to prevent the bullet from sliding forward is one alternative, A wad on top to help hold the bullet in place is another.

Sticking with patched round balls is even wiser
 

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I've been hunting with T/C Maxi's out of my .50cal T/C Hawken and Renegade for more than 30 years. I've heard the same stories about bullets moving, but never experienced it with either rifle. I hunt a lot with my caplock Hawken, often using it during the two week firearms deer season. As a precaution I check the load occasionally with my marked ramrod, but have never had a seated Maxi Ball move.
I've killed a lot of deer with the maxi's over the years and plan to eventually use them when I decide to apply for a ML Elk tag in Colorado.
 
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