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Old March 13, 2012, 10:36 AM   #1
Red Wiggler
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what 54 cal ball?

Just bought a used 54 cal rifle, wich ball should I start out with?
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Old March 13, 2012, 11:00 AM   #2
Sure Shot Mc Gee
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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.

Last edited by Sure Shot Mc Gee; March 13, 2012 at 12:17 PM.
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Old March 13, 2012, 11:10 AM   #3
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Sure Shot + 1

Quote:
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....

Be Safe !!!
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Old March 13, 2012, 11:12 AM   #4
Hawg
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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.
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Old March 13, 2012, 11:13 AM   #5
Beagle333
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Hi Red Wiggler,
and Welcome to the forum.

Got a picture of the new rifle?
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Old March 13, 2012, 11:48 AM   #6
Red Wiggler
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Sorry, no pic yet. Hawkin custom gun at least twenty years old, would assume a slow twist, havent checked, twenty nine inch barrel, flintlock.
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Old March 13, 2012, 11:51 AM   #7
Fingers McGee
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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.
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Old March 13, 2012, 11:57 AM   #8
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Great Choice !!!

Quote:
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 .....

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Old March 13, 2012, 12:38 PM   #9
Red Wiggler
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thanks!
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Old March 13, 2012, 05:05 PM   #10
Doc Hoy
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Yes...Welcome to the group

Now go buy a revolver so we have something to talk about.

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Old March 13, 2012, 05:22 PM   #11
dlbarr
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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.
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Old March 13, 2012, 05:40 PM   #12
Strafer Gott
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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.
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Old March 13, 2012, 06:38 PM   #13
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Shoot for fun !!!

Quote:
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. ...

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Old March 13, 2012, 09:49 PM   #14
Red Wiggler
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Well actually doc I do have a couple of production revolvers, nothing special.




58 remington, pietta.
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Old March 13, 2012, 11:47 PM   #15
deerslayer303
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Welcome!! Love the user name btw. I must see this rifle. Get to snappin.
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.
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Old March 14, 2012, 12:29 AM   #16
Jbar4Ranch
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sure Shot Mc Gee
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.
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