Whether you can load it or get any accuracy depends entirely on the rifling/ Deeper than average round ball rifling will simply not shoot a conical any more accurate than a spit ball fired from a straw.
Some shallow round ball rifling will shoot them just fine, although faster twist does better. Through most of it's run, TC has barrelled most of it's products with shallow medium twist or fast twist rifling
Zimm is right.Depth of rifling and twist is the key with them.They are allot more expensive than a round ball and the Powerbelts will NOT make a bad hit a good one.No deer is gonna live with a 1/2" hole in the heart or lungs from either.
Patched round balls pushed through rifled, long barreled flintlocks, helped extend our 18th. century, Pennsylvania borders ever westward. Patched round balls remain a killing sphere of lead to this day!
Powerbelts are crap. my dad shot a deer and the projectile was found in the deers chest cavity, not a single bit of expansion. Could have shot the same bullet again because there was absolutely no damage.
i used hornady sabots for 2 seasons (44 caliber projectile, sabot makes it 50cal) and they expand GREAT! BUT, didnt notice a difference in killing ability between those and roundballs, besides the price
I have a T/C PA Hunter and started shooting 348gr. Powerbelts last year on the recommendation of a friend. I heard some bad reports on the 250gr. so I went with the 348gr. They shot very well for me. I took a doe last year at 130 yards. I don't think I would have taken the shot with a RB but they grouped so well at 100 yards I felt comfortable with the shot.
Don't know what powder charge you had, but assuming a minimum of 90 grains, and that 350 grain bullet, you were shooting the equivalent of the old Winchester 45-90 Buffalo loads. Ought to be capable of taking a 1,800 lb buff at 130 yards.
I'm going back to round balls myself. I tried several different projectiles as I was convinced the RB's weren't any good.
Several years ago I picked up a pack of empty sabot hulls to try 240 gr 44 cal HP's as I loaded them for my 44 mag. They shot great in my cabelas hawken rifle. I stuck with them for awhile because they shot good, and were easy to load. Problem was cleaning all the platic from the rifling. What a pain. I never was able to connect with any fur with it. I missed more deer than I care to admit.
Last year I shot target with a bunch of guys that have been deer hunting for a long long time with muzzleloaders, and have taken countless deer. They ALL use round balls.
I was loading up and all I got was stares. I was like... What? I got the "why would you spend all that money on those things when a round ball kills them every time".
Outdoors shows and manufacturers have been peddling the newer, bigger, faster, more powerful line for years. It is what sells product at the shops. There was a time that the 30-30 was THE white tail cartridge in the PA woods. White tail must have evolved into much tougher animals because now you need a big bad super mag cartridge developed during the past 10 years to kill them.
As usual some have chosen to divert the topic away from the question asked to their own agenda. To the OP, the powerbelt is a superb hunting bullet and likely there is one that will shoot well out of your gun. Choose a weight that matches your twist and a construction that matches your velocity. The 245 gold has killed a number of deer for me out of my short barreled TC Renegade (1:48), it shoots VERY well out to 100yd and has killed a number in that range. Now mostly I use the longer barreled Lyman GPH (1:32) and find it prefers powerbelts in the 300-350 range. Although it shoots the 245s well they actually chrony at less velocity than the heavier bullets with the same powder charge. I suppose they don't generate enough pressure to maximize the powder burn. My longest shot was last year on a doe at a ranged 193yd, a pass thru.
The primary issue is driving a lightly constructed lightweight powerbelt at a high velocity because they expand like crazy. Throw a gold around 1500fps or a platinum around 1700fps and you'll get great penetration with nice expansion. Because you have a carbine I suspect you wouldn't get in trouble no matter what flavor you shot. I have them but haven't shot anything with them but I think the ideal deer powerbelt may be the 270 platinum. It is light enough to be fast, strong enough to handle the velocity, and heavy enough to carry enough energy and trajectory for long range. I lean to the platinums because they are just better across a wider range of velocities. I recovered a number of golds from deer and they REALLY expand. I had a 295 gold disintegrate finding just slivers with the metal detector on a 97yd hard angling doe.
On the other hand I've recovered 338 platinums from behind shoulder shot elk at 60 yd, and shoulder shot at 20 yd, both looked really good found under the far hide. Same gun as the deer, the Lyman, with the same load, 90gr. 777.
For me when there is more than theory and paper on the line I use powerbelts and that powder that doesn't work in flintlocks, 777. After 8 years of using that combination taking a bunch of big game I'm still waiting for the first problem. Jester on here with his Lyman flint has also had good success using PBs and 777 on big deer and black bear.
None of my TC catelogues have the Penn Hunter listed, but according to some posts I read on other forums, they have a 1:66 twist with groove depth of .010 inches. That would be too slow and the grooves too deep for accuracy with most conical bullets including the powerbelts.
Note that all but one of the guns referenced to by Tundra Griz have fast twist shallow rifling to accomodate conical bullets. The Lyman in the last picture, may or may not be a shallow fast twist barrel, Lyman offers both.
I like the PB's as Tundra said also. They are great in the flinter but don't do as well out of the TC Encore. The 245 aerotip has been the ticket for me taking deer, a boar and a black bear. Longest shot was 139yds on a deer and it was a pass through. I get good expansion and penetration with the aeros and did have a penetration issue with the hollow points thus changed over.
At 50yds I can shoot'em all day in a snuff can lid. At 100 yds with my peeps I'm still at a 4" group or tighter.
I'm shooting 5gr 3f bp in front of 90gr 2f 777 with 4f pan. I doubt I will chnage that formula unless I get a chance at larger game such as an elk of moose. In that case I'll be picking Tundragriz's brain for some load ideas on loads and PB configs. Maybe someday when the money is right!!!
Mode of ignition has nothing to do with the efficacy of a particular projectile. Bores can be smooth, straight rifled, twist rifled, progressive rifled, accelerated twist rifling, grooves can be round bottom, swaled, square, narrow and wide. rifled barrels can even have chokes. Each style of rifling handles particular projectiles differently.
What twist and groove depth bore are you using, Jester? The OP has a slow twist, deep grooved, round ball barrel if my information is correct.
If your flinter has a bullet barrel or compromise twist rifling, it is apples and oranges to the gun mentioned in the op.
My Lyman GPR is a lefty. Originally it came with the slow 1:60 twist barrel. I purchased a right handed 1:32 twist barrel from Lyman and had it modified to be used with the left handed lock.
I will add that prior to replacing the 1:60 barrel I shot the 295 PBs for about 3 years and had the same amount of success. At that time I was not shooting the distances I am now but they shot well and held tight groups.