The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community banner

1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,346 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
This season is shaping up the same as last year. History, last day of late muzzy last year I shot a doe that I tracked for 2 hours(easily a mile or two). Lost it when it crossed a creek that I had no way around. Yesterday I walked up on a mom with little ones. When I shot it dropped and thrashed around. By the time I had the gun reloaded it jumped up and went trotting(kinda funny) down through the woods. I had blood where it was thrashing, but only found a few drops in the dirt(leaves have only started coming down). Jumped them once, mom and two little ones. I waited an hour and went back at it. No sign of blood so my dad and I started walking. Looked for two hours with nothing. Went home to drop some clothes and thought there was a spot where deer liked to bed that we didn't check. Went back out to check that area. Low and behold I found a mom and one little one. Yep I shot the wrong dang deer, but it's dead somewhere just not where they bedded. So got a crew and started searching again. Covered about every square inch of that woods with nothing. Called it off another hour and a half and said the yotes will be eating good.

Now, I'm really disappointed in the performance from last year and now. The gun shoots great, but I'm questioning the balls I'm using. We've always used the Hornady swagged balls with good luck. But I'm thinking that because they are pure lead and flatten on contact with anything are they the best idea. I'm wondering if using a slightly harder alloy of lead will get more penetration. I know that the deer my dad and I have shot we've found the ball flat as a pancake still in the deer. The one I keep on my desk still has the pattern of the patch imprinted in the slightly rounded side where the powder charge imprinted it in the lead.

I don't know I'm just really down and miffed right now. Almost wrapped the gun around a tree yesterday. Seriously, I had it by the business end and wound up, just couldn't swing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,678 Posts
Not saying I'm right, but sometimes things happen.

A muzzleloader needs to be cold and clean after the initial shoot, adjust sights, swab, reload, shoot, to get things hitting where we want. That cold and clean with three shot, no swab between shots, the next day, is only to varify that the first shot will go where aimed, and the charge is the best for that gun.

EXAMPLE: Saturday is sight in day, swabbing between shots, and eventually everything seems to come together.
Sunday. First, (fouling round) is lower than sighted, next two string upwards. Too much powder, and the bore condition on Saturday was more fouled than you thought. You need another cold clean range test after adjusting the sights and dropping the powder charge at least 5 grs. For saboted rounds bullet wt is wrong.

Just had this happen with the barrel Lyman replaced for that recall, and once before with a T/C. Took four trips to finally arrive at 90 grs FFG under .535 RB with .015 patch full pan of FFFFG. All lube must be dry patched out before the first shot or POI is only guesswork, and NEVER dry patch a fouled bore, only a clean bore prior to fouling round.

Initially was a 7" spread @ 50 yds, the final load was under one inch CTC.

Hope I am wrong about this being the problem, but you seem understandably very frustrated, and this could be somewhere to start.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,678 Posts
The question on the round ball quality. Hornady has very good quality, as does Speer. The humble little round ball is made of pure lead, and despite the idea it is ballistically inferior to litterally all other bullets it shares in common with the bumblebee that no one ever told it that bumble bees are areodynamically unable to fly, and the round ball is soooo inferior.

Well, bumble bees fly, and a properly placed ball makes deer very dead. In fact, the only way to improve on the short range efficiency of the lowly round ball is to increase the size, and mass, because truth be known, pure lead is the most reliable bullet material, never breaks up, rarely fails.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,372 Posts
IMO, the 20th shot from a ML should load and shoot the same as the first all the time with no swabbing. if you have to clean between shots, then keep searching for that "right" load, it is out there, you just need to find it:wink2: shot placement maybe TJ?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,678 Posts
IMO, the 20th shot from a ML should load and shoot the same as the first all the time with no swabbing. if you have to clean between shots, then keep searching for that "right" load, it is out there, you just need to find it:wink2: shot placement maybe TJ?
.
You got my vote! I only manage 3-5 between cleaning at the range. After that I've found the heavy 90-120gr FFG charges build up too much fouling. If I really wanted to spend a day at the range I figure 50-70 grs FFFG for the main charge would probably work out, but my flinters are primarily hunting guns that I load with the FFG.

I've read a lot of the black powder guys on HPA like FFFG for even their hunting loads, but I would rather spend the extra time setting up my guns for the FFG charges. I guess to each his own.
Elaines Thunderhawke perfers Pyrodex Select, and she could shoot all day with that one if she wanted, since fouling build up is even less than FFFG
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,150 Posts
I am no expert by any means. I started shooting & hunting with a muzzle loader when PA 1st opened a season for deer with one.
I bought a TC Hawkin 50 & was disappointed with the accuracy. an old timer that had been using black powder guns longer than

PA had a season was at the range one day when I was struggling to find a load for my 50.


he gave me a few pointers & things started to get better. one thing he stated was that trying to be totally traditional will not always work.ut
staying close to tradition he gave a suggestion of using 3F & a patched round ball pre-lubed with T/C #13.
my TC shot extremely well with 90 grains of 3F & a pre lubed .010 patch.
plus I could shoot all day as the pre lubed patch helped to clean the bore when loading.


as you all know, you need to find the magic combination for each gun..... so keep on trying .....:thumbs:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,372 Posts
I have .32's, .36, .45, .50 and a couple .62's and shoot 3f in all of them. I also blow down the barrel after every shot. same with the .40's and .54's I have shot or helped people get sighted in. Its a time thing. It worked 200 years ago a still does today. we tend to complicate things these days that really aren't complicated at all.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,678 Posts
You really are more accomplished and experienced than I am. But I think the purpose here is helping TJ straighten out his problem, once we find what it is. I just had an idea to get the ball rolling.

Sorry you think I complicate things, I just do what works for me, and if I might help someone else, as I also have done in the past, I'll try.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,372 Posts
You really are more accomplished and experienced than I am. But I think the purpose here is helping TJ straighten out his problem, once we find what it is. I just had an idea to get the ball rolling.

Sorry you think I complicate things, I just do what works for me, and if I might help someone else, as I also have done in the past, I'll try.
Notice I said "WE" complicate things now days, we all do:smile_big: TJ actually has been to my house and shot here some. I know for me, I shoot a .62 cal and have never really had a good blood trail. always a dead deer, but not much blood and they don't go far, but they are always there. it almost sounds like shot placement to me given his time with shooting ML's. hopefully we will hear more from him.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,514 Posts
This is how I do it, which was taught to me by the man who built my custom 45 caliber long rife. He shot at a lot of local matches and a couple of times at Friendship. Back in the late 1970’s when I shot competition I used a black power solution mixed with water made by Hoppies, I now use the cleaning patches by TC.
First shot is a fouling shot, I don’t much care where it goes as long as it’s down range.
I then run a wet cleaning patch down the barrel followed by a dry patch. I do this after every shot before reloading.
This way I have the same degree of dirty barrel between each and every shot. If the load is what the gun likes and I do my part, I have good group.
I seldom do a complete cleaning during the season unless it’s been raining or snowing. I just empty and clean the pan, put a piece of tp paper on pan and close the frizzen. This will draw any moisture from that area, and place gun in cabinet.
 
  • Like
Reactions: flintlock hunter

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,678 Posts
Everyone who's posted here seems to be mostly on the same page, the only real "exception" is me using FFG for anything .50 cal & up. Maybe after this early season I'll check out the FFFG possibilities in my .54 flinter.

As for TJ, My thoughts were the fouling round might be off enough to make the shot placement a bad one, and I only sought to help correct the potential problem. Since you two already know each other, and live close enough to shoot together on occation, my long distance speculation can only serve to cloud the waters. Please let me know what you find, and the correction, I'd be interested. In the unlikely event I can be of any help, I'm here.:smile2:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,346 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Yeah, I hung the gun up and won't bother to touch it until next year. I've never needed a fouling shot with the Beck I built. Clean and cold or half a day at the range it shoots about the same. I only say about, because there's always that outlier that you go "I didn't twitch, I'm dead on target why was that one there"??? Miss-measured powder, improperly lubed patch, ball that was a couple grains off, who knows.

As an aside, when I go to the range I clean every 3 shots. Full out cleaning, no "get the fouling out", with a lube wipe when clean. Aside from the residual heat, it's basically a freshly cleaned bore.

Maybe if I get some time I'll pull out the scale and weigh up these balls to see if there is any variation. Even so, I've never had that much of a variation at 50yrds(the shot was estimated at 40-50). And my rest Sat was about perfect. I had time to step forward and put the gun up on a fencepost for a rest. Even my dad commented that my muzzle didn't twitch until there was a cloud of smoke. The only thing I can come up with is the angle of the target might not have been what I thought it was. She was quartering away, so maybe it was more of a facing away than quarter.

I brought up using alloy only because the shot last year blew threw a sapling(1-1.5"diam). I know that bled off most of the energy, but since it was only 15-20 yards from the deer the ball had no choice but to still impact the target. I mean it would have had to take a serious angle at that distance not to hit her.

The more I've thought about it this weekend I'm leaning more towards trying my 20ga fowler out with round balls. Unfortunately that won't happen until next year since I have no free time between work and the deer shop until Jan. I'm just miffed to no end right now because I've now wounded more deer in 10 months than I've ever missed and/or wounded in 30 years of hunting.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,769 Posts
No way of knowing where the deer was actually hit, unless you have the deer. We've all made less than perfect shots that felt good. Focus on shooting/practice, rather than the patch/lube/lead hardness ect. That will drive you nuts. Take blackpowder up on his offer!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,416 Posts
It's that 1st shot out of a clean bore.While I can shoot MANY times with out cleaning any of the calibers I have,I do every 3rd shot at the range.NOTHING lives with a hole in the heart or lungs no mater the caliber,projectile used,or powder amount.Squirrel hunting with the muzzy REALLY helped me years ago.Guys down south are killing deer with 32 calibers when squirrel hunting.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
117 Posts
this was maybe a 60 yard shot with 80gr 2fg gear hart owen and a .490 round ball. If you had hit the animal in the kill zone, You would have had the same results. But without recovery, who knows what went on.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20,880 Posts
If you hit a deer in the heart or both lungs,those organs will no longer function and the deer will die in seconds.The projectile means very little
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
71 Posts
We've all lost one before. Hunt long enough and it is going to happen. First, don't beat yourself up too much. Yes it is terrible to waste the animal and its a sign of your ethics that you are distressed, but let it pass and work to rebuild your confidence in your equipment and yourself. It is possible that after last year you developed a bit of target panic. I know after a loss of a deer I had to work very hard on rebuilding my confidence.
Take your time, get some range time in, dial your gear in once again and feel confident in your capabilities.
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
Top