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Red Wiggler
March 13, 2012, 10:36 AM
Just bought a used 54 cal rifle, wich ball should I start out with?

Sure Shot Mc Gee
March 13, 2012, 11:00 AM
Inline or Traditional rifle? is good to know first. As they (both) require different types of projectiles because of their barrel twist rates. As far as a 54 cal ball? .530 dia. would work good for your application with a 10-15ths patch. I personally shoot .535 dia. with a 10ths. patch out of my 54s. Like I said. Just my personal preference is all. Again just my humble opinion.;)

Pahoo
March 13, 2012, 11:10 AM
Inline or Traditional rifle?
Good point as in order to define your optimum load, you need to address the requirements of your rifle. Twist is going to come into play. I'd guees you have a SideLock but it's only a guess.... :confused:

Be Safe !!!

Hawg
March 13, 2012, 11:12 AM
A round ball isn't going to perform well with a twist faster than 1:48. Something like 1:60 is a lot better for round ball.

Beagle333
March 13, 2012, 11:13 AM
Hi Red Wiggler,
and Welcome to the forum. :)

Got a picture of the new rifle?

Red Wiggler
March 13, 2012, 11:48 AM
Sorry, no pic yet. Hawkin custom gun at least twenty years old, would assume a slow twist, havent checked, twenty nine inch barrel, flintlock.

Fingers McGee
March 13, 2012, 11:51 AM
Sure shot +2

My .54 Tryon Rifle likes a .535 ball with .010 prelubed patch; but, it's got a few thousand rounds through it.

Pahoo
March 13, 2012, 11:57 AM
Hawkin custom gun at least twenty years old, would assume a slow twist, havent checked, twenty nine inch barrel, flintlock.
You do have good taste and I welcome you to the forum as well ..... :D

Be Safe !!!

Red Wiggler
March 13, 2012, 12:38 PM
thanks!

Doc Hoy
March 13, 2012, 05:05 PM
Now go buy a revolver so we have something to talk about.

:D

dlbarr
March 13, 2012, 05:22 PM
RW, I have a hawken-type rifle in.54. It has a Green Mtn barrel w/ 1:70" twist. it shoots a patched rb real well and my fav combination is a .520" ball & .020" patch. It: 1) loads easier and 2) is as accurate (out of my gun) as tighter ball/patch combination.

Strafer Gott
March 13, 2012, 05:40 PM
FWIW, Bore sizes on .54 vary with maker. Some, like Pedersoli, tend to run a little tight, like a Santa Fe Hawken, and the .520 is the ball that will work. Most TC's want a .530 ball. If they don't patch tight enough to suit you, get thicker patches. If it still don't suit you, they sell .535 balls. How tight you patch is up to you and your rifle. Some guys, myself included patch real tight for the first load, then back off .005 on the patch thickness for a speedy reload.
The difference is the second load pushes just fine without the ball starter, and you save a little time. With a flintlock you need the time to prime.

Pahoo
March 13, 2012, 06:38 PM
The difference is the second load pushes just fine without the ball starter
That's true and the Mountain Men didn't' use ball starters. ... ;)

Be Safe !!!

Red Wiggler
March 13, 2012, 09:49 PM
Well actually doc I do have a couple of production revolvers, nothing special.

http://i1097.photobucket.com/albums/g353/chuckr1952/58remingtonpistol003.jpg


58 remington, pietta.

deerslayer303
March 13, 2012, 11:47 PM
Welcome!! Love the user name btw. I must see this rifle. Get to snappin. :D
my .54 Lyman GPR runs great with the ball patch info I recieved here from Hawg Haggen I think. Anyway it will dang near put them in the same hole with a .535 ball and a .015" patch.

Jbar4Ranch
March 14, 2012, 12:29 AM
Inline or Traditional rifle? is good to know first. As they (both) require different types of projectiles because of their barrel twist rates.
I have an inline .54 cal with a 1:60 round ball twist - A Pedersoli Gamma 9000.

Lyman's Great Plains Hunter, a traditional side lock, has a 1:32 twist.