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Discussion Starter #1
Good Morning,

In the coming days I will be testing out some whoppers in my Pedersoli Traditional Hawken Rifle (1-48" twist). The projectiles are 535 grain conicals made by No Excuses, a Utah-based company. Upon speaking to the owner about a starting load I will be starting with 80gr of FF Goex and will work my way up. I'm not looking to mimic a 460 WBY mag, but I'd be satisfied with a 1- 1/2" group @ 50 yards with a velocity north of 1,200 FPS.

https://www.muzzleloading-bullets.com

Has anyone here experimented with heavy conicals with your .54? If so would you like to share your experience?

Kind Regards,

Brandon
 

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I haven't shot any heavy conicals out of my 54 cal flinter but have shot Dave's No Excuse 50 cal 460 grain conicals(.503) out of my custom White Super 91 .504 caliber. It has a Wilson 1-20 twist barrel. They are excellent conicals which stabilize well out of a super fast 1-20 twist barrel.

As far as conicals out of a 54 cal flinter...I had some 54 cal 348 grain Powerbelts I tried out of my flinter(1-56 bbl) and wasn't pleased with their performance. I see Dave only casts the 54's in a 535 grain which to me seems somewhat heavy(long) vs something lighter which may stabilize better in your 1-48 barrel? Be sure to report back on how they shoot.
 

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I've shot up to 460 grain with 1:48 with great results at 100. Those bigger 500 grainers however, I do not know. That might be pushing the limits.
 

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I got great groups out of a .54 Renegade percussion with T/C Maxi Balls and 85 grains of Pyrodex RS. I got the gun used but it is fairly new to me so I haven't done much experimenting.
 

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TC maxi balls, 435 gn over 100 gn FFg works fine in my Renegade .54
 
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If your shooting whitetails there really is no need to go bigger than a .530-.535 PRB. A .530 is about 225gr. and when fired using a heavy hunting load will more than do the job.

PRB's are about 12-cents a shot. Those 535gr are about .56-cents a shot. That's almost 5 PRB shots for one conical.

I doubt the deer would know.

MHO
 

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If your shooting whitetails there really is no need to go bigger than a .530-.535 PRB. A .530 is about 225gr. and when fired using a heavy hunting load will more than do the job.

PRB's are about 12-cents a shot. Those 535gr are about .56-cents a shot. That's almost 5 PRB shots for one conical.

I doubt the deer would know.

MHO
I think you are spot-on. we do however live in a "bigger is better" world. I have killed the bulk of my deer in the last 35 years with a .600, 324 grain rb. MORE than enough for deer and I think possibly too much, but that is what my smoothbore shot and that's what I used. the doe I shot in rifle season was shot with a 370 grain pure lead bullet at 1280 fps. out of my 40-70 at 100 yards. in and out with probably most of the energy from the bullet in the ground behind the deer. my .62 ml is shooting at almost 1500 fps. the deer this year at 110 yards was a complete pass through. so after all of that jabber, I agree that a prb is plenty for whitetails. BUT whatever the person is comfortable with and what shoots the best for them is what it is all about.
 

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I don't think the OP was thinking a "bigger is better" kinda thing or thinking you need a 500 plus grain bullet to kill an 80lb deer.... but is experimenting with the "slip fit" loading technique associated with the No Excuses precision cast conicals. Some interesting reading below discussing this technique, benefits etc.

Accurizing Your Rifle | White Muzzle Loading

https://www.muzzleloading-bullets.com/
 

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If they group good for you,use them.
If you can hit the EXACT spot you are aiming at with the 1ST SHOT out of a clean bore,use them.
If you think the bigger slug/ball is going to have instant drop and no tracking,DON'T use them.
Conicals often give blowby causing "Fliers" when groups are shot.
I have a 58 cal TC Big Boar.Played with maxis with it.Deer are no more dead than when hit with my 45's.In fact I have MORE drop in their tracks using a 45 RB and only 50grs of powder.
MY theory is they absorb more energy than with bigger/faster projectiles.
Testing and muzzys are GREAT ! All the different combos of powders,patches,RB sizes/conicals,etc.
Waiting on range results!
 

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I don't think the OP was thinking a "bigger is better" kinda thing or thinking you need a 500 plus grain bullet to kill an 80lb deer.... but is experimenting with the "slip fit" loading technique associated with the No Excuses precision cast conicals. Some interesting reading below discussing this technique, benefits etc.

Accurizing Your Rifle | White Muzzle Loading

https://www.muzzleloading-bullets.com/

Thanks Loggy. I didn't read it all word for word, I just scanned it, but figured that most of the advantage is ease of loading? but, that ease of loading exist with patch and ball. I think the loading factor for most ml shooters is due to the lack of time with their rifle and finding the right combination. all of mine load as easy the 10th shot as they do on the first, but it has taken a lot of time to get there. again, its what works for that person and where that first shot goes.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Ok, well after getting the Stomach Flu and having the holidays coming up my time was limited. I did get out late yesterday afternoon, but unfortunately I forgot my chronograph...Rushing to get out the door tends to do that!

I shot a 3 shot group for each charge at a distance of 75 yards. 80gr FF, 87gr FF, 95gr, FF, 102gr FF and 110 gr FF.(GOEX Powder) I cleaned in between groups and the loading was easy on a clean bore and fouled bore. I did use a lubricated wool wad in between the charge and the conical. Recoil was minimal at the lower end and really began to increase at 95gr FF and beyond. The recoil of the 110gr load was comparable to a 12 gauge slug. I could have continued and increased the charge capacity , but with a 28" barrel I figured I'd only be wasting powder.

Anyways the best group of 2.565" happened to be my hottest charge of 110gr FF. I honestly believe it could have been a better group, because I flinched and I pulled the shot left. (FYI the picture uploaded sideways.)

I'll document the velocity of this charge most likely after the season. From my research around various forums I'm estimating it to be around 1,525 FPS .
 

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