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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm shooting a T/C Hawkens 50cal 28" barrel, p/b 65grain goex 3f load. I'm looking to tap into the wealth of knowledge here and find out if this a good load for deer.I'm getting groups in a three inch circle at 50,75,and 100yds with this load. Funny thing is I maintained the same poa and got the same poi.It must really be a flat shooter.In case when I get the chance to try a larger load,if things go awry just wanted to see if where I'm at is good and to what distance. Thanks.
 

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I used 70 gr, 2F in the same rifle, the load was very accurate. I kept my shots at 75yds or less never had a problem.

Shot placement is a much bigger concern than using a heavy load IMO.

Every rifle is a little different when it comes to load,patch and ball combo's, I don't use a heavy ( more than 75 gr)load of powder in any of my rifles.
 

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Don't be afraid to try different things. Increase your powder, or decrease it. Change patch thickness. Try different granulations of powder. This target was only 25 yards, but you can see the consistency I'm getting. I went from 2f to 3f.

Change only one thing at a time. There's no reason you can't tighten that group. There are 4 shots in that target by the way.
 

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Your TC should shoot a better group than that. What diameter ball and thickness of patch are you using?? How are you lubing the patch?? Powder is not the only real variable in BP shooting.

Personally I like 3F BP. I normally load 80 or 90 grains for hunting. Normally for me the most accurate loads are between 70 and 80 grains. But shooting up to 90 grains does not open the group up very much. You just need to make sure your rifle is burning that powder. A simple "snow" test will let you know if you are burning that powder or not.

I normally find my best hunting load is about 5 grains less than what a snow test shows as max load. Tom.
 

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I agree that a TC either Hawkens or Renagade should get groups of 1 1/2" or less at 50yds with the proper patch/ball combo.All of mine do with most giving clovers.Don't be too worried about power and more about accuracy.I've killed deer with 50grs couple of times in the 45's.
SHOT PLACEMENT!
Try both .490 and .495 RB's
Patches try .015,.018,and .020.
Try both FFg and FFFg but follow load charts for proper amounts.
http://www.goexpowder.com/load-chart.html
Work your loads out NOW and you will be rewarded come hunting season.
Don't wait till right before season.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Good to hear about the load you have used, thanks. At 50yds w/ the patch/lube combo I have now I've shot a five shot group at 1 3/4" group outside to outside dimension getting 2 x's and three tens touching. I'm feeling like I've got the patch/lube ratio worked out pretty well,for now. But I think I'll always play with it, it's to much fun not to.
 

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You realize you are hooked, once you sniff the sulfer you can't go back


Get a big tackle box that will handle a lot of weight, once you get to a muzzy shop and see all the goodies a little box will never do.

Enjoy
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I've got a nice Safeguard range bag that at this point can be called nothing but a bp bag.
Yep, it's stuffed. Thanks for all the input guys.
 

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Shoot over a fresh snow fall, start at say 70 gr and increase by 5 gr until you see your rifle start spitting out unburnt powder. It is very easy to see on fresh snow.
Back your load off 5 gr and you now have a load that is burning max powder. This will probably not be your most accurate load IMO.
 

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In a 50 caliber with a 28 inch barrel, the point of diminishing returns runs about 85 grains of 2fg or 3fg.
Black powder burns so slowly that more than that amountis partially unburned after the ball leaves the muzzle and the unburned powder falls on the snow.

Keep in mind that fouling generally also increases as that powder load is exceeded.

If you locate a copy of the first edition of the Lyman black powder handbook, you can figure out the optimum loads from the tables. compare the velocity increases of each ten grain increase in powder, The muzzle velocity will increase uniformly until the charge that has more powder that can be burned before the ball exits the muzzle.

Also, a tight patch ball combination will burn powder more efficiently and with less fouling than a loose patch ball combination.
 

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zemenar12 said:
What is the "snow test"?
Thanks
There are a couple of reasons to do a "snow test" with a flint lock rifle.

On of the main reasons is because of the hygroscopic properties of black powder(and other substitutes).Normally in our hunting seasons we have snow on the ground. And a high moisture content effects how much powder your rifle will burn. Your rifle will burn more powder in the dry summer months. So if you are burning less powder then your POI will change with a different amount of powder burnt, and the moisture content of the powder you are burning. SO the first reason to do a snow test is to realize how much powder your rifle is burning under the conditions in which you hunt. Not under the conditions at which you go to the range in the summer.

By shooting over fresh snow you can tell how much powder your rifle is burning. Just keep increasing the load by 5 grains until you see unburnt powder on the fresh snow. It really is that simple. When you find how much powder your rifle will burn then back off 5 grains and you will have a consistent powder burn because you are assured that you are burning all the power with every shot. So I do disagree. I believe this does give a more accurate load because of the assurance of a more consistent velocity since you are burning the same amount of powder.

I was taught to do this about 40 years ago by a bunch of old timers that really knew what they were talking about. These guys were riflemen, hunters, and real good shooters. And they knew there stuff. And it does work. I have been doing it for a long time.

IMO the best reason to do a "snow test" is simple. Because you do a snow test and sight your rifle in under the conditions in which it will be used. But then I always leave my rifle outdoors during hunting season so the rifle is always acclimated to the weather in which you are hunting. So I guess I can be a bit [censored] at times. You will never see my rifle inside the hot cab of a truck in hunting seson. Tom.
 

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I too have been burning powder for longer than some on here have been around, started in the late 60's, early 70's with some junkers and as I could scrape together a few bucks upgraded over the years. I started going to Friendship when primitive was just a few lodges across the creek in the hollow, haven't been there in 25 yrs.

My primary flinter is now a custom built .45 cal with a 40" barrel. I never load more than 70 gr of FFF BP under a .15/.18 patch .440 RB. I know she will burn a lot more than 70 gr with that barrel length. She is very accurate and when I do my part she has never let me down.

The graybeards who taught me always stressed accuracy, the least amount of powder to do the job will give you less crud in the barrel,less recoil,less danger of damaging you or your rifle. They also stressed "tight in, tight out" in other words use the tightest possible patch/ball combo to get the tightest group. They talked how our forefathers went to small calibers, away from the large calibers of their fathers rifles, so they didn't have to carry as much powder and ball over the mts but still survive.

We will have disagree on the heavy loads but that is one of the beauties of shooting BP, to each his own. At the end of the day, as long as everyone is using safe loads in their rifles, we can all sit by the fire, look into the flames and dream of what it would have been like to live as those who carried hawk and horn many years ago.
 

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One thing I noticed about muzzleloaders is that they respond to the same tricks that you use with a centerfire to increase accuracey. I honed my triggers and shrunk my groups by at least an inch. I glass bedded the tangs and tightened it up another noticable bit. Next I will glass bed the barrel channel, heck the Civil War re-enactors do, and see what happens. This is all on flintlock Lymans.

Muzzleloaders really can be very accurate.
 
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