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Old April 24, 2010, 08:49 PM   #1
sneeker
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Hunting load

I'm shooting a T/C Hawkens flintlock 50 cal 28" barrel.495 ball/patch. 65grains of goex 3f gives me very good groups out to 100yds. I'm wondering if this is a good hunting load for whitetail deer? Thanks.
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Old April 24, 2010, 09:26 PM   #2
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sneeker, I have a T/C Renegade cap lock in 50 cal and use 55-60g fff goex for target shoots out to 145yds w/ excellent results, I wouldn't be afraid to take a75yd shot at game, at all. If you are unsure if the rifle is capable of making a kill shot at 100yds, work up new loads in 5g increments till your accuracy goes down and use that for hunting. You can go to the Goex site and find fps on different loads if that helps you make up your mind. Aim small, miss small!!
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Old April 24, 2010, 09:37 PM   #3
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sltm1, out to 100yds I can stay in a three inch circle or flirt with it. Didn't know if 65 grains of 3f had the proper punch for deer. Thanks.
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Old April 24, 2010, 09:46 PM   #4
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Don't forget that round balls lose velocity much faster than bullets. Valid question, sneeker. Muzzle velocity would be a good starting point, then do the math to determine energy figures at your hunting distance. Should work just fine for most close-up hunting situations.
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Old April 25, 2010, 07:03 AM   #5
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65 gr under a .50 prb will kill a full grown Michigan whitetail buck at 100 yards, assuming the shooter can hit a 3" circle with that load at that distance. I would personally not take that shot, but there are many who can.
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Old April 25, 2010, 07:47 AM   #6
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Thank you Mykeal, That's what I was looking for, early on when I went up in load it seemed to spread things out, but that was before I came to be using the patch material and lube ratio I'm currently at. I'm going to try bumping it up a bit next time at the range but if things go awry again with a larger load I wanted to be comfortable knowing 65 is a good load for hunting.
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Old April 25, 2010, 10:04 AM   #7
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I have a Thompson Center Hawkin with a 1/ 66 twist, 32 inch green mountain barrel in the 50 cal. I also shoot round ball and hunt with it. I use 75 grns of powder . The max I would shoot at a deer would be a hundred yards with it. This past season during early muzzle loader season, I harvested a 125 pound doe at 50 yards with a lung shot. The doe only traveled twenty five yards and a good blood trail.
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Old April 26, 2010, 03:12 PM   #8
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I called and spoke to a guy at goex, and he was of the mind that a 65 grain charge of 3f would be fine for a hunting load. Thought I'd pass that along.
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Old April 26, 2010, 03:32 PM   #9
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Back when I was shooting compention rifle, I had a T/C Hawken with a 50 cal
Douglas barrel with a 1-66 twist. My best accuracy load and the one I used
all the time, even at 25 yds. was a .500 round ball .020 patch and 110 grs
Goex FFF. Yes, thats right 110 of FFF. Won several state championships
with that combo. Ex-wife stole it about 35 years ago. Boy would it shoot!!
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Old April 26, 2010, 04:17 PM   #10
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Geez, how in the heck did you get that size ball w/ a patch that thick down the barrel? When I was experimenting with patch and lube combinations I could barely get a 495 ball / and a patch that compressed to .017 in there. That patch must have really compressed quite a bit then. You were a shooter for sure, are you still shooting competitions, woodswalks and such?
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Old April 26, 2010, 05:07 PM   #11
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Got to old to shoot rifle offhand anymore. I still do light bench. Have 8
bench matches comming up in May & June. I use a .45 1-60 twist on a
T/C Hawken stock Flintlock. Load .454 round ball .022 thick Teflon coated
patch 90 grs Goex FF. This combo shoots 2 inch groups at 100 yds. Been
shooting this for 30 years now. Have shot 50's at 100 yds and 50. Shot a
50 and 3 X's at Friendship and only came in 3rd in the match. It was a
Buffalow match 50 yds. Sometimes you get the bear and sometimes the
bear gets you. I'm mainly a pistol shooter, but even that is starting to get
hard to do. Mebby I'll just stay with bench. At least I can sit down.
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Old April 26, 2010, 05:55 PM   #12
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The competition sounds like it's pretty stiff at friendship matches. I bet it's nice to hold your own there. With the way I'm set up now at 50yds I shot 2x's and 3 tens w/ 1 1/2" outside to outside group. I just recently got this patch and lube ratio worked out,so I'm in the infancy stage with this. At 75yds I got 3 tens and 2 just outside the 3" circle,at 100yds I got 1 ten 1 nine and 2 just outside. With all things being equal with patch/lube in your opinion would going up in charge produce tighter groups? I just haven't had the chance to try it yet and was wondering. Thanks
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Old April 26, 2010, 07:28 PM   #13
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I will address just one thing at a time. Easy that way. First powder charge.
It really doesn't matter what kind of Black Powder, The thing to remember
is the veolicty. I'm not talking hunting here or casual shooting. This is to get
the very best accuracy at 50 & 100 yards from a light bench gun. Light bench
is anything under 14 lbs. The veolicty you want is 2000 fps. You have to figger how to do that in your gun. I get 2000 fps with 90 grs Goex FF in my
45 cal. If shooting a 50, it's going to take a little more than that. This is why
40's are so common. You can get 2000 fps with only 65 grs FFF. A friend of
mine shot a 50 & 5 X's last year at 50 yds Bullalow match. He was 68.
I think his 5 shot went into 3/4 inch. That's shootin. That's open sights also.
Any help I can give you, I will. What I tell you is how it is in the real world
of National compention shooting. This is how the big dogs do it.
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Old April 26, 2010, 07:35 PM   #14
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One of my 50's at 100 yds.

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Old April 26, 2010, 07:58 PM   #15
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I want to thank you for taking the time to give me down to earth time tested info about what I'm so new to but have come to have a great love of very quickly. My main concern right now is staying in a three inch area of a given distance for hunting before the season arrives.If I don't feel like my "ducks are all in a row" with this I will not shoot at an animal with it. If I can accomplish this with enough time to play with becoming more of a target shooter before the season it would be a bonus. I wanted to know that the rifle was putting the ball where I wanted it before I solely concentrated on offhand shooting. That way I know it's me and my form putting it where it goes from there. I'm looking forward to going to a woodswalk or bp shoot of some kind one of these days, They look like they are a blast. Wow... on that target. You sir, are a shooting machine. Well done.
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Old April 26, 2010, 08:45 PM   #16
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I have killed 7 deer and 6 wild hogs with a .490 round ball and 80 grains of Goex ffg.
Longest shot 80 yards but that deer didn't make 40 yards.
All these shots were one shot kills, lung shots and complete pass throughs.
Your 65 gr of fffg would probably equal 70 or more grains of ffg.

If you could sneak that up to 70 grains I bet it would be equal to my hunting load.
Even still I would be confident on a lung shot with your load at 100 yards.

I have also killed over 90 whitetails with the 30-06, and I can assure you that the round ball is a great deer killer, and is superior to the 30-06 at these close ranges.

Last edited by simonkenton; April 27, 2010 at 03:52 AM.
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Old April 26, 2010, 09:43 PM   #17
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round ball superior to a 3006 at 50 yards?

I dont know what wurld ur livin in,but a ball of soft lead150 to 180 grains in weight traveling at 1956 fps cant compaRE with my 308 win 165 gr spbt @2700 fps ,the 308 energy is nearly double,with modern bullets tremendos shok,and energy transfer,can down an animal instantaioniously,as i proved to myself with a running head shot on a young buck in thick timber laST SEASON,on the other black powder side,I met a 12 pointer in the corn on thanksgiving day several seasons ago,as he stomped his hoof,trying to get some movment out of me,I snapped the cva to my sholder and sent a 385 grain buffalo bullet thru his neck /uppersholder area at last light,he ran into a thicket about 50 yards away and was found the next mournin,by a snot nose kid with a 10 gauge whod tagged the buck illeagley,his friends told him to give me my deer,but I told him he owed me one,and continued the hunt,I sure wish I could have used a high power rifle on that hunt,and maybe our troops will switch to caplocks since they are superior to a 30 06:barf:earth to simeonkenton........hello...........

Last edited by andrewstorm; April 26, 2010 at 09:49 PM.
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Old April 27, 2010, 03:57 AM   #18
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That is great, andrew, to learn from you that the 30-06 packs more foot pounds than the muzzleloader.
You know, I can read ballistics charts too.

But, I am talking from years of experience, and, as I said, from having killed well over 100 deer and hogs.

Now, andrew, if you can just get the deer and hogs to read the ballistic charts, they will learn that the modern rifle is supposed to kill better.

As for your example that the modern rifle is superior, you made a HEAD SHOT on that deer.
Any shot that wipes out the central nervous system will drop a deer.

Get a few more years of experience, quite a few, in fact, and get back to me, kid.
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Old April 27, 2010, 02:12 PM   #19
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I'm with you simonkenton, if you are going to get silly we should all go to 300 Wby and not mess around with the old 30-06 either. All I know is a round ball out of my inline in front of 90 grains of Goex makes a 4" group at 100 yards and when it comes to me, black powder and deer I want my shot to be 60 yards or less. Dead is dead.
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Old April 27, 2010, 10:34 PM   #20
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If you'll notice, sneeker, all rifles are a bit different, even muzzleloaders. The right ball diameter and patch thickness will be determined by the bore diameter and trial and error. Slow twists in the neighborhood of 1-66 seem to work best, factory barrel in your rifle was 1-42 IIRC. I like 2F, some folks like 3F. Doesn't matter, you need to figure out what your rifle likes. I like real black powder but Triple 7 and Pyrodex have ardent followers. I'd start around 60 grains and work up. Learn to read patches and use a good lube. I like Wonder Lube but others may work better for you.
Round balls are pure lead and are pretty amazing hunting projectiles. They expand very dramatically and transfer what modest energy they have quite well. Your hunting range should start short but as you refine your load and shooting technique 100 yds isn't out of the question. I'm a lot happier about 50.
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Old April 28, 2010, 06:35 AM   #21
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The lube I'm using is ballistol w/ a ratio of 8:1,patch is drill that compresses to.015. Got it from Joannes fabric. I tried five different mat.w/ different thicknesses and three diff. lubes from 4:1- 8:1 ratio's shooting groups of five w/ a diff. target for each one wiping between each shot (to give each one a fair shake)before I found what I'm using now.This gave me the groups I spoke of before. I'm going to experiment with the charge next time to see what happens. Yea, it's funny you can take the same brand new model rifle built side by side and they will like completely different lube/patch combinations and loads to shoot well. Thanks, all.
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Old April 28, 2010, 09:33 AM   #22
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simeon says,roll over,play dead

OLD man my point is not based on years of expert shots,like a running 180 yard neck shot with 90 gr 777 and 250 gr hornady sabot,that cartweeled the 250 pound doe ,no expansion,but energy transfer paralised the animal,ballistics are very different from balls to bullets,some guys like balls as you do,in over 125 big game harvests mostly deer and mostly muzzeloaders shooting conicals, as Ive learned a BB is not superior to a pellet when dispatching roof chewing squrrels,even if the BB s were lead, her in upper mich.the deer elk n hogs have very thick hides ,n fat reserves.and a ball will not transfer energy as well to produce shoc on an adrenaline enriched animal no matter how romanticly historical it is to you......................................................................................................

Last edited by andrewstorm; April 28, 2010 at 09:41 AM. Reason: typo
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Old April 28, 2010, 11:53 AM   #23
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Got hogs and deer in Wisconsin too and they drop just fine with a round ball. Those deer don't seem to pay much attention to ballistics reports or maybe they are punier in Wisconsin and die easier than they do in Michigan. They pay more attention to the big hole made by the big blob of lead that just ruined their day. I bet none of them can quantify the difference between a 3000 fps .30 projectile and a 1000 fps .50 projectile. Its like the difference between being hit by a 55 mph semi and a 120 mph sports car. Dead is dead. Now you boys play nice or you will have to go to your room.
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Old April 28, 2010, 01:33 PM   #24
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Pure lead round balls make the best killer. Period.. Energy doesn't mean a thing. Period.. Animals can't read!!
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Old April 28, 2010, 03:51 PM   #25
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kwhi43@kc.rr.com, You have it correct.

The energy figures are designed to sell guns and bows. Since the velocity in the formula is squared, a little increase can make the energy figures skyrocket making a more attractive gun therefore better sales.
The number you need is momentum. The 50 cal round ball with 65 grs of powder has enough momentum to pass completely through a deer. Holes on both sides, air into the body cavity, blood on the ground and the oil light goes on.
Deer will be down easily a quickly as one shot with a 30-06.
If you were dependent on Kinetic energy to kill an animal, how in the world could you expect an arrow to be as efficient as it is?
The round ball won't shoot through the side of a truck but I don't think you'll be hunting trucks.
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