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I have a TC Hawkins 50 cal.....what is the best load for this gun? I want to use conical bullets and not round ball with patch...will be using 2F powder...also might have my son shooting....what is the lowest effective charge for deer? Thanks...
 

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With that set-up, I'd start at 80grs FF and move up at 5 gr increments. You normally lose accuracy with too much powder and accuracy is what it's all about.
 

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80 or 90 grains of 2fg is all you really need to kill deer, even if using a large conical like a t/c maxi ball. That big chunk of lead doesn't have to be moving real fast to get the job done. My son has been shooting them out of his traditions flintlock and 80 grains has been giving him good groupings at 50 yards.
 

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Your best load is what will group the tightest and be able to hit what you aim at with that 1ST shot out of a clean bore.That gun WILL give you less than 1 1/2"groups at 50yds. when you find what it likes be it maxi or RB.
With blackpowder more is not always better.If it groups well with 60grs,use it.I'm killing deer with my small frame 45's and 50grs of powder.Key is to find what YOUR gun likes then hit them in the heart or lungs.A deer will not live or go far with a 1/2" hole in the heart or lungs.
 

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Just FYI. Great feedback, I'm learning along with RuffedG. Since I did not harvest during archery or rifle, I am counting on my first attempt with flintlock using the same rifle... Thanks all.
Just keep hitting the range, and play around with different loads, etc, and you will find something that works. Once you find out what your gun likes, then stick with it. Some guys play around and never decide upon the correct load. Once you hit pay dirt stay there.
 

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.50 cal hawkins 1-48 twist

1-48 twist will shoot a .490 rb very good ..We use 3 f not 2 f ..With 3 f you have to reduce your loads by 10% vrs 2f...I use.018 pillow tick ,hornady rb ,bore button on powder and 70 grs of 3f for deer..I cut the pillow tick at muzz with knife ..

Now i have friend that shoots thousands of shots with rb in .50 cal hawkins ...He uses 90 grs of 3 f ...To me that is just too much recoil,smoke, noise but he knows he stuff ..I like 70 grs best ,no kick and not as much smoke and my bullets are almost touching at 50 yards...

I also clean barrel after every shot at range ..

Do not let anyone tell ya a hawkins 1-48 twist will not shoot a rb well ,it will VERY WELL...

Got of topic Question was what load using Conical..

Powerbelts hollow point 295/348 work well ,i like the 348 best as its LONGER.. And it goes thru deer better ..NOW you cannot beat the original 370 maxi-ball if you like bore butter thing and cheaper prices than powder belt ..HAWKINS was made for maxi-ball not maxi-hunters...LONGER bullets work better in 1-48 twist ....So stay with those 2 ...For load of 2f geox I would use around 70/ grs with both if you go to 80 grs and your bullets open up back down to 70 grs if they close up stay with 80 grs but remember more kick with 80 grs ...sight in your gun at 13 yards using the 6 o,clock hold then move pout to 50 yards and check your groups....
 

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Never heard of longer/heavier bullets stabilizing better in a slower twist as a rule. Thing ive found with my muzzleloaders is you have to determine what you consider acceptable accuracy and experiment with different projectile/load combos till you hit that sweet spot.
 

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Never heard of longer/heavier bullets stabilizing better in a slower twist as a rule. Thing ive found with my muzzleloaders is you have to determine what you consider acceptable accuracy and experiment with different projectile/load combos till you hit that sweet spot.
Try shooting a maxi-hunter vrs 370 max ball in hawkins .50 cal..Get back to me on what happens..Testing we did not only us but factory in New york I used to talk to them a lot years ago ..You would not believe how many barrels went back to Thompson because of maxi-hunters..They sent barrels back with note its fine.....

Funny thompson made the maxi-hunter and was aware of SHORT bullet not able to stabilize well in 1-48 twist..



I seen box after box of maxi-hunters shot and all over paper ,put in maxi-ball and groups cloverleafed ...

hawkins .50 cal was made to shoot the 370 gr maxi-ball and on test site at plant they would cut holes..

1 of the top gun builders there who died was kind of cranky guy at times because some would not listen to him when we call he would say ROOSTER stay with 370 gr maxi-ball not those maxi-hunters and he was right in our testing too..

Can you get maxi-hunter of certain weight to shoot good ,YES we had 1 member of our group got good results with 225 maxi-hunter but he had to use 90 grs of 3 f not 2 ft to get it too work and kick from gun was unreal but it shot good groups....
 

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Not disputing you just have always heard that lighter/shorter is better in slower twists. My 1/48 traditions pa pellet shoots great with the 275 maxi hunters over between 70-80gr 2f.
 

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I shoot TC Hawken 50cal w/ 240 PA Conical and have finally got "My load" right. 85gr 3F (little faster burn) and just the conical, and i now can shoot 3" group at 75. First test shot out at range for rifle at 100 was bullseye.

i will say that the guys who stated trying different setups out are spot on. I've experimented w/ wonderwads, patch/ball combos, 5gr increment testing w/ powder, Lee's conicals and now clean w/ alcohol between shots, and have really tightened things up.

I prefer "traditional" style bullets, and not PB's or anything like that, but that's my choice and not a beef against and of them. I just didnt have great results.

Most important is to find something that gives you confidence as these guns can be cantankerous, and you owe it to the animal to do some homework. Id also suggest taking notes if you spend an afternoon on the bench, as its better to sit down and review at home to see where your headed. Good luck and once you get it in, you'll have a lifetime of enjoyment.

If i could only keep one gun, it would absolutely be my smokepole.

Nut
 

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I kill deer with my cap and ball CVA mountain rifle with 65 gr. 2F and maxi ball. Deadly accurate and complete pass through. This was an old rifle I built from a kit..and was told they only shoot round balls. I learned a long time ago to just shoot your rifle..and take any advice, especially on the internet..with a grain of salt because no matter what you say or do on message boards, you will always be wrong, and someone else is always an expert! There will be a lot of people that will say my powder charge is too light with this rifle, especially with this maxi ball..but when I walk up to my dead deer..It was me that I listened to..not the expert behind the keyboard. Don't get me wrong, there are many people here that give great advice. My advice..shoot your rifle..bow..whatever, and through trial and error you will find what works and have fun doing it! Heck.. if some guys would saw how I filed down a big musket flint to fit the way I liked in my Great Plains flintlock..they would probably be going into cardiac arrest right now!
 

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I shoot TC Hawken 50cal w/ 240 PA Conical and have finally got "My load" right. 85gr 3F (little faster burn) and just the conical.............................
These PA Conicals are 240 grain sledgehammers !!

I shoot them out of my Mountain Rifle over 80 gr. FFFg and it shoots bugholes to any distance ya got any business shooting with open sights.

EVERY deer I ever shot with a PA Conical had two holes in it.
 

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These PA Conicals are 240 grain sledgehammers !!

I shoot them out of my Mountain Rifle over 80 gr. FFFg and it shoots bugholes to any distance ya got any business shooting with open sights.

EVERY deer I ever shot with a PA Conical had two holes in it.
What twist is your mountain rifle? Tried them out of 2 1-48 rifles with several powder combos and couldnt get good groups....however my uncle has a 1-48 pa pellet...same as mine and they shoot lights out. As prior poster mentioned you have to experiment with YOUR individual gun. Not the first load ive tried that someone elses gun shoots great but doesnt shoot worth a darn in my same exact model gun.
 
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