View Full Version : Need some starting loads
August 29, 2010, 01:46 PM
If ya'll wouldn't mind i am looking for some starting loads for a .54cal Hawkin and a .44cal 1858 revolver. I have hornady lead round balls for ammo for both and i will be using Goex powder if that matters. I'm just getting into this so that is why i'm asking for starting loads,i can work them up more after i get started and get the hang of everything. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
August 29, 2010, 02:08 PM
90 grs. and a .015 patch for starters in the .54. It may take some experimenting to get the best load /patch combo. Especially if it's a 1:48 twist. 25 grs. in the .44 is a good place to start.
August 29, 2010, 02:21 PM
Here is something that might work for you.
In the Remington .44 caliber Revolver, 30 grains of FFF black will make an easy starting load. 40 grains is a fairly warm load for that particular pistol.
In your .54 Hawken, start out with about 60 grains of FF black Rifle Powder. Work up from there. That rifle will shoot pretty well with that load. When you get up around 90 grains, you are getting to the stout loads that some will use for hunting. Some people go even hotter than that, but there is no reason to really. I dont think you are going to be shooting elephants with it.
In both those guns there is a variety of projectiles that will behave differently at different loadings - especially the Hawken.
The Remington Revolver will have some conical bullets available for it in different types. There is one that is a flat nose hollow base short conical that does well in this gun. You have to take the cylinder out and load it on the bench and put it back in the pistol. There are some solid base conicals for it, and of course the good old .454 round ball load.
The .54 Cal Hawken is one of the best guns to get your hands on. I had a .54 Thompson with all iron hardware on it and traded it. Biggest mistake I ever made. I have a .50 Thompson Hawken that I have been shooting for over twenty years. I wont trade that one.
Man, there are some serious loads and serious projectiles out there for your .;54 Hawk. Lots and lots of them. Sabots, jackets, solids, hollow bases, hollow points, wad cutter looking flat nosed bullets, maxi, minie; just a whole slew of them. And they all shoot a little different from each other with different powder charges. Probably one of the most versatile guns on the planet. It will kill anything from a rabbit to an elk to a moose to a bear. And it is one of the easiest guns to take down and clean. Hawken is a handy and sturdy system. .54 is a decent caliber.
Choose your desired projectiles. Choose your desired working range. Buy good components and begin experimenting with loads starting at 60 grains or so, until you hit on something that works well for you and your rifle. WRITE DOWN SOME NOTES involving your loadings and the results. A year from now you will definitely want those notes to refer back to.
Remember, Pyrodex and most probably other substitute powders will have the same BULK rate, but not the same gravitational weight. Using a dipper measure or measuring tube will be OK to do with with either Pyrodex or Black Powder. But, if you are using a scale, Pyrodex cannot be weighed out the same as traditional black powder. You will need proper specs on it in order to use graviational weight. Dont have an accident.
August 29, 2010, 03:53 PM
Thanks for the info guys,i really appreciate it. I will be taking notes as i go with both guns so i know down the road what charge works best with what bullet. I have a large supply of FFG and FFFG Goex powder so for the next couple years i expect to mostly use that.
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