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butch56
January 5, 2009, 07:33 PM
I shoot a 50 cal Hawkins. Does any one know what is the correct patch to use with a 50 Cal. What would be the difference using difference thickness patches. Eg 50 Cal round ball can be .490" would you use a .010 or .015 or .005. You can also have balls be .495. I am trying to fine tune my muzzler loader Is there a recormended mix that should be used. Right now I am using .490 ball with a .010 patch Thanks Butch

mykeal
January 5, 2009, 07:46 PM
Butch56,

Welcome to the forum.

There is no single best combination we can give you. You will need to shoot several combinations to find out what's best for your gun.

Start with the .490 ball and the .010 patch, use 60 grains ffg and shoot 3 to 5 rounds at 50 yards using the same POA. Swab between rounds and use the same loading technique for each round. Then repeat with 70 grains, 80 grains and 90 grains. Next, try the .490 with .015 patches and repeat the series. Next try .490 with .018 or .020 patches, if you can load them safely. Finally, shoot .495 ball with .005, .010 and .015 patches.

If you don't change loading technique or POA your groups should tell you what ball, patch and powder charge your gun shoots best with.

My .50 cal Thompson Center Hawken likes .490 balls with .015 dry lubed patches over 70 grains ffg real black powder.

pohill
January 5, 2009, 07:49 PM
I asked the same question at a store yesterday - the answer I got was that the ball size (.490) and the patch size should equal the listed caliber of the gun, which would mean you'd use the .010 with the .490.
I have a rifle that was a .54 caliber but is now a .56, so they suggested that I use a .550 ball and a .010 patch. I have some .535 balls and they told me I coud use thick denin patches to make up the difference.

kirpi97
January 5, 2009, 08:08 PM
Finally. Some of the best answers I have seen. It is a trail and error event. What works for one may not work for another. But what you have is a starting point. And what more can you ask for.

Come back later and tell us what you found works for you. And then you will get several different opinions telling you what others feel is even better. And what I have found out...

Is that I am ever learning new ideas and techniques. That is what makes BP so enjoyable. That of course and the smoke.:D:D:D

mykeal
January 5, 2009, 08:13 PM
...the ball size (.490) and the patch size should equal the listed caliber of the gun,...
That would be true if the rifling groove depth was the same on all rifles, and everyone used the same bore size for a given caliber. Unfortunately, or actually fortunately, that's not the case.

pohill
January 5, 2009, 08:28 PM
I forgot to mention that this great gun was reamed from .54 (rifled) to .56 smoothbore at some point (which would make it a 28 gauge shotgun from what I understand). It was made in the 1860s in Belgium and it's in great shape - I shot it a few weeks ago. I might have the barrel relined.
My son has a Hawkins .50 and we use .490 ball and .010 patches. Now that is a fun gun.

Pahoo
January 5, 2009, 08:36 PM
It's well documented that the thinner the patch you can work with, the better performance. There are a few more factors to consider. A patched round ball is very forgiving as well as exact powder measure. You also need to look at how your ball is printing on your patch. I season my barrels and in one, a .015 works the best. Another lets me get by with a .010. Then on another, I can't push a .018 down the barrel. .018 is the thickes patch I use on any of my Hawken models. Patch lube is also a factor and in short, just like the other replies, "Range time is in order." Might suggest you get a book by Sam Fadala as he covers this subject quite well. Oh yes, my hunting load is 90-95 grains of 777 and target load of 70 grains of 777. Teaching load is 40 grains of 777.


Be Safe !!!

pohill
January 5, 2009, 08:50 PM
Question (probably an obvious answer): does a thicker patch build up more pressure in the barrel? Something to think about in my old rifle musket.

kirpi97
January 5, 2009, 10:36 PM
It was made in the 1860s in Belgium and it's in great shapePohill, I just purchased a 14 gauge percussion twice barrel shoots gun. The only markings are Belgium stamps.

As your toy is Belgium, I was wondering if you could point me in the direction I could go to discover the possible maker of this little beauty. Since I didn't pay a whole lot for it, I doubt it is anything along the line of yours.

kwhi43@kc.rr.com
January 5, 2009, 11:34 PM
Butch, You need to slug your barrel. That is to measure it. A .50 should measure .500 across the bore and if the grooves are .010 deep, the groove
should be .520. This can vary from gun. What make is yours and the twist?
Whatever the bore is, the ball should be this dia. If it is .500 then the ball
should be .500. The patch should be when compressed tightly the same as
the groove depth. That is to say that if the groove is .010 deep then the patch should be .017 thick loose and when compressed it will be .010 to fill
the groove. Bottom line here is to use a .500 ball, .017 pillow ticking patch
with water souabel oil "Moose Milk" for lube and if 1-48 twist use 70 grs
Goex FFF Black Powder. If slower twist 1-66 use 100-110 grs. If this loads
too tight, drop down to a .495 ball, but after a couple hunderd shots you
probably will go back up to a .500. I use "Teflon" lubed patching and it lets
you load very tight combos with very little effort. Wife used a .410 ball in
her .40 rifle that measures .400 right on the button. Green Mt. barrel. And
.022 thick Teflon patching Load is 60 grs. GoexFFF for 2000 fps. This has won
many a match for her including three Mo. State Championships.

pohill
January 5, 2009, 11:42 PM
kirpi97, I paid less than $300 for my rifle. I've been poking around different sites trying to find out who made it but it's tough.
Here's a list of proof marks - scroll down to the Belgian ones and maybe you can find out something.
Can you post a pic of it?

https://store.bluebookinc.com/Info/PDF/Firearm/Proofmarks.pdf

kirpi97
January 6, 2009, 01:30 AM
Here are a few close-ups. My camera abilities are not good enough to get the proof mark. I hope to change that when the wife gets home. It is her camera.

Okay, so we may have spent about the same. But I am not as good a trader as you so I may have over spent. But I like it and that has to account for something.:D:D:D

The jag box (I assume) is located underneath the stock halfway up the butt. I have some cleaning up to do. But overall it is a nice looking double barrel shotgun.

arcticap
January 6, 2009, 03:29 AM
When experimenting, there's always going to be tighter and looser combinations of patched round balls (PRB). Once it's discovered that a PRB combination is a little too tight, it's a good idea to have a wood or rubber mallet handy to gently tap the starter or ramrod as much as necessary until it's seated all of the way down on top the powder.
Don't ruin a wooden ramrod by snapping it or impale your hand.
The tightness of a load is really a matter of personal preference determined by performance & accuracy needs, the ease of loading desired for either range or field use, and how often between shots that a person wants to swab the bore.

Hawg Haggen
January 6, 2009, 03:50 AM
Don't ruin a wooden ramrod by snapping it or impale your hand.

Don't grab it close to the end, grab it close to the muzzle. Less chance of breaking it that way.

pohill
January 6, 2009, 10:57 PM
kirpi97, that is a great looking gun. Nice scroll engravings and the hammers/nipples look to be in great shape.

madcratebuilder
January 7, 2009, 09:56 AM
I shoot a 50 cal Hawkins. Does any one know what is the correct patch to use with a 50 Cal. What would be the difference using difference thickness patches. Eg 50 Cal round ball can be .490" would you use a .010 or .015 or .005. You can also have balls be .495. I am trying to fine tune my muzzler loader Is there a recormended mix that should be used. Right now I am using .490 ball with a .010 patch Thanks Butch

My T/C Hawken .50 shoots best with a .490 round ball, a .015 patch and a 70gr charge of Goex FFg. On a good day I can shoot about 5 moa. YMMV.

arcticap
January 8, 2009, 03:50 AM
http://thefiringline.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=40722&stc=1&d=1231404843

Nice shotgun kirpi97. :)
Are those damascus barrels?
Are you going to shoot it and is there anything to be concerned about if you do?

sundance44s
January 8, 2009, 06:37 AM
Butch most if not all of the Italian and Spanish made guns , will shoot round ball starting with the .490 and .010 or .015 thick patch ...if the rifle is used and well used ...you might try .018 thick patches to tighten it up .
The .495 and .500 balls would be going larger in size , not lower as I read in a earlyer post .
GreenMountain made 50 cal barrels will start life with the larger .495 ball and .015 patch shoot tighter groups .
The rifles made in Italy and Spain have deep grove rifleing , the rifles made in the USA have a shallower rifleing .
The old rifle makers would give mold to the person buying to insure the propper size ball was used .
These days the .495 and .500 size balls are hard to find on the shelves of your favorite sporting good stores ....So when needed casting your own is something to think about ....
I have several old muzzleloaders I have gone up in ball size to the .500 ball to make them shoot tight little groups ....so it can happen .
Your rifle will tell you which ball and patch it likes when you sight it in ..If it loads real easy with the ball and patch you use ...you probally will need to go larger size patch at least ...If you shoot a loose ball and patch you could get gas cutting in your bore ..Some rifles will shoot better with a well lubed patch others like the patches more on the dry side ...In any case you`ll need to work up the load your rifle likes best ..I`ve owned alot of muzzle loading rifles , each one a little different in it`s own way ...but I was able to make a good round ball shooter out of even the cheapest made on the market as long as the twist was for round ball shooting ...and not those new fangled sabots .

Hawg Haggen
January 8, 2009, 06:39 AM
Kirpi, I have one similar to yours but a little older. Mine was made by Ancion.
On mine the makers name is hidden in the scroll work on the barrel rib and is pretty faint.
http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y269/rebel727/shotgun/Shotgun044.jpg
http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y269/rebel727/shotgun/Shotgun033.jpg
http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y269/rebel727/shotgun/d00e9810.jpg
http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y269/rebel727/shotgun/cfd18363.jpg
http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y269/rebel727/shotgun/e8d03e44.jpg

pohill
January 8, 2009, 01:22 PM
Check out these proof marks and stamps (there's plenty more on other parts of the rifle):
http://i42.tinypic.com/o6k702.jpg

kirpi97
January 8, 2009, 03:16 PM
arcticapAre those damascus barrels? Yes.
Hawg Haggenthe makers name is hidden in the scroll work on the barrel ribI can't make out anything as of yet. I may have to do a little rubbing and cleaning to see if anything is there.
pohillCheck out these proof marks and stampsI haven't tore it down yet to see what stamps my be covered.

It may be a while before I get to it as family is arriving and I have to entertain them. And for whatever reason, they have been corrupted by the media into not having a love for the finer things in life. But I thank you for the info. And I will dig some more.

kirpi97
January 26, 2009, 09:07 PM
There is no engraving going up between the barrels. It stops just after the breach. And there is no maker's name to make out there.

From the stamps on the barrel, the shotgun was made in Liege (Belgium) for sale in England. It's mark (ELG*) is under British marks. And since the mark doesn't have the crown, it is sates between 1811 and 1892. With the additional, what appears to be the provisional mark EL (cursive) dates it after 1852.

So the best I can guess at this point is that the shotgun dates from 1852-1992. Now all I have to do is figure out what the 176 on one barrel and the 1 on the other denotes. The breach plugs have a star and what appears to be a S and a 2.

I will say this though. Hawg, mine may not be as old as yours, but I like my scroll work better.:D And Pohill, my shotgun doesn't have the number of mark your has.

I am not sure if I am better off now or if I am more confused.