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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Gents-

Brand new to ML-NOT to rifles or marksmanship. I have been given my brothers Thompson Center Black Diamond with fiber optic sights. I plan on putting good glass on.

My question is can someone recommend a good starting point for test loads? Meaning powder type and amount, bullet type and weight?

Your input is greatly appreciated
 

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I use 2 -Triple 7 pellets and a 240 gr XTP Mag express sabot in my Black Diamond and I'am touching holes at 100 yards,I swab between shots.I have taken quit a few deer with it and it puts them down with one shot.I do have a Luepold VX2 on top.Good luck in your black powder adventure.
 

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I have zero experience with inline muzzleloaders...none at all...but I've been shooting flintlocks for over 10 years now...



I'd recommend loose powder over pellets...choice would be up to you...many get great reviews...I only shoot black powder so I can't help with the substitutes..I know many of the substitutes produce higher velocities and often burn cleaner and are less corrosive than real black powder...so I'd definitely look into them...


Why loose powder over pellets?? Loose powder ignites easier (not a big issue with an inline..and, to me, you limit yourself... believe they are only sold in 50gr pellets..50, 100, or 150gr (if you gun is rated for it) is your only choices..which might work...but maybe the sweet spot is 90..110...120gr etc...


With black powder I usually run 10gr increments when trying to work up a load...



Projectiles, you have many options...lots of sabot combos and full bore bullets to choose from...there is one place I don't skimp on...and that's my bullets...I know deer aren't tough...but I pay for the peace of mind and insurance of shooting good bullets...


I have a fast twist barrel on my flintlock I just built..I test fired Thor bullets from it...I'm pleased with the accuracy...and if they perform as they are designed to, I will be very happy...but..they aren't cheap... definitely not a bullet I will shoot on the range besides checking the POI..

I went with them over a sabot just because I've never shot sabots and like the idea of a full bore bullet...
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Retiredusne8 said:
I use 2 -Triple 7 pellets and a 240 gr XTP Mag express sabot in my Black Diamond and I'am touching holes at 100 yards,I swab between shots.I have taken quit a few deer with it and it puts them down with one shot.I do have a Luepold VX2 on top.Good luck in your black powder adventure.
EXACTLY the info I was after-thanks brother!
 

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two trip 7 pellets and a 280 grain bullet exceeds the loads used by buff hunters on the plains in the 1860's. Deer really haven't evolved into tougher animals over the past 150 years. One trip 7 and that bullet would be about the equivalent of the old 45-70 loads and some folks think a 45-70 for deer is overkill.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
zimmerstutzen said:
two trip 7 pellets and a 280 grain bullet exceeds the loads used by buff hunters on the plains in the 1860's. Deer really haven't evolved into tougher animals over the past 150 years. One trip 7 and that bullet would be about the equivalent of the old 45-70 loads and some folks think a 45-70 for deer is overkill.

Comfused.....so are you giving a recommendation to me (original poster and asker of question)

Or.....

Are you disagreeing with someone? If so....who?? No one recommended a 280 grain bullet.


Gents-just trying to learn more about this type of stuff. Don't care to be a part of any measuring contests.
 

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Can't speak for Zimm, but guessing it was a typo and he meant 240gr bullet...



There is no measuring contest going on...all of us are regulars on here...the black powder forums specifically...


Like I said, I have zero experience with inline muzzleloaders or pellet powder or black powder substitutes...

I have shot many different loads in my 3 flintlocks..and I hand load ammo for my center fires...I've patterned my flintlock Fowler and 870 12ga...

One thing I have learned from all that and can say for certain is no 2 guns always like the same thing..they MIGHT...but they might NOT...you gun..even though the same make.and model may shoot the exact same load very poorly...

That's why I suggested loose powder...you can experiment...to me, that's most of what I love about muzzleloaders...a good excuse to shoot.. experiment...see what works better...

By all restart with pellets..I know dropping pellets down a barrel is easier and quickerthan messing with loose powder..I'm no purist and I don't run around with elf looking wool clothes lol..if I could drop some pellets down my barrel I probably would!


Just don't be afraid to experiment...use whatever you learn on here or other places as starting points...


By all means if you have questions absolutely ask them! This is a great place and lots of guys know what they are talking about...we were all new to this stuff at one point...within 15 years ago I never touched a flintlock..now, I just built my own...I learned a lot of what I know about muzzleloaders right here on this forum...some things I learned on my own
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I spent so much time on the range with my TC Hawken flintlock that I discovered round balls and a lead conical bullet shoot to the same point of impact with different powder charges without moving the sights...that's pretty cool...and saves recoil and costs on the range...



Good luck!!
 

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240 gr XTP's and 100 grains of pellet are just a very practical, common load for Whitetails in most eastern US habitat. Probably overkill in the energy department, but trajectory is a factor too. More pellet equals faster bullet, equals flatter trajectory, but then stability may become an issue at some point.

I know guys who shoot smokeless muzzle loaders with the the equivalent of 200 grains of black powder and hand turned titanium ballistic tip bullets. They have true 200 yard muzzle loaders, they are looking to shoot deer at long range.

Experimenting is a lot of the allure to muzzle loading, more so with traditional guns than in lines.

I was interested in Zimm's angle and did some Googling. I never thought to try 50 grains of powder personally, but its apparently totally adequate out to 70 yards or so. Kind of makes sense though, for traditional guns its fairly common to start out with grains of BP equal to caliber.
 

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When I went cartridge gun hunting with a Trapdoor sprinfield in 45-70, many hunters said OMG why such a powerful gun for white tail. The 45-70 loads were 60 grains of 2ffg and a 380 grain bullet. Yes the trajectory had an arc. But not really that bad. It isn't necessarily the powder, but the bullet. A 240 grain bullet will never carry it's initial energy as far as a heavier bullet of the same caliber. So what is gained in speed in the short run, is sometimes completely lost with the light bullet. Trip 7 is certainly hotter than pure black powder and will give more speed under most circumstances. A 50 grain pellet of trip 7 would be about the equivalent of 60 grains of black powder. The problem with easy button muzzle loaders is the lack of convenience of adjusting the load. Where 75 grains of trip 7 would do just fine (about the equivalent of 90 grains of black), the pellets don't come that way. So folks "upload" Muzzle loading bullet match guns were capable of 6 inch groups at 400 yds in the 1860's and in international competition were shot to 1,000 yds. (Google the 1870's Creedmore match where the Americans cartridge guns beat the Irish team's muzzle loaders, but only by a fluke when an Irish shooter accidentally shot the wrong target.) The reason so many in-lines cannot match the accuracy of the muzzle loader target guns of 150 years ago, is the modern light weight bullets destabilize after 150 yds. The 400 to 600 grain bullets used in Creedmore competition were good to almost 1,000 yards before destabilizing.

There is a serious flaw in the notion that more powder equals more speed and flatter trajectory. This is especially truee with black powder. There comes a point when increasing powder that the muzzle velocity increases drops off. For three reasons. More powder adds to the weight that thee initial powder burn must push out of the barrel, the extra powder takes up more bbore space behind the bullet, meaning the bullet has correspondingly less space to accelerate befforre muzzle exit and more importantly, since these powders burn slower, there is a higher percentage of the powder still burning after the projectile has exited the muzzle. Extra powder to an extent just gets burned up after muzzle exit. Most pellets are hollow so the flash from the cap can ignite more of the powder with the initial ignition. That means more rapid burn, and trip 7 is a bit faster burning anyway. Whether it is still burning on projectile exit, I don;t know.
 
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