The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The North Corral > Black Powder and Cowboy Action Shooting

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old January 14, 2013, 06:55 PM   #1
Justified
Member
 
Join Date: January 14, 2013
Location: Midland Michigan
Posts: 21
50 vs 54 cal.

Hey all,
new here, first time black powder buyer but avid shooter and last year I started reloading, (38 special, 9mm, 223 REM, 300 Savage, 12ga.). Good times when I can find primers!

I really like the looks and feel of the Hawkins style rifle but what caliber to start with 50 or 54? I am 6' 1" and 275 lbs. no recoil problems here. I will be killing mostly paper and maybe an occasional deer. I want to cast my own bullets, call me cheap, dumb or both. Is there an advantage of 1 over the other?

I am Justified

Last edited by Justified; January 14, 2013 at 07:19 PM.
Justified is offline  
Old January 14, 2013, 07:21 PM   #2
Nathan
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 1, 2001
Posts: 1,882
50. More stuff available locally. I have a 54, but it seems a during breed.
Nathan is offline  
Old January 14, 2013, 07:23 PM   #3
Hawg Haggen
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 8, 2007
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 11,639
I used a .50 for over 30 years but since I got my .54 I don't want another .50
Hawg Haggen is offline  
Old January 14, 2013, 07:30 PM   #4
North East Redneck
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 6, 2012
Location: Berkshire Hills
Posts: 484
Either caliber is fine. I have no problem finding stuff for .50 or .54. Personally I prefer .54. If you can, try both before you buy. If not buy the .54 first. You will be buying more anyway
__________________
NRA Life Member
Goal Member
SAF Member
North East Redneck is offline  
Old January 14, 2013, 07:53 PM   #5
FrontierGander
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 30, 2009
Location: Boncarbo,Colorado
Posts: 334
for a traditional sidelock shooting patched round ball, you'll enjoy the 54cal a lot more.
__________________
Frontier Muzzleloading
FrontierGander is offline  
Old January 14, 2013, 11:52 PM   #6
Sure Shot Mc Gee
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 2, 2012
Posts: 1,976
No doubt its a 54. Everything else is a wanna be._
Sure Shot Mc Gee is offline  
Old January 15, 2013, 05:29 AM   #7
Hawg Haggen
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 8, 2007
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 11,639
Well there's the .58
Hawg Haggen is offline  
Old January 15, 2013, 06:04 AM   #8
Sure Shot Mc Gee
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 2, 2012
Posts: 1,976
58. Just had to sneak that one in there didn't yaw.
Sure Shot Mc Gee is offline  
Old January 15, 2013, 06:05 AM   #9
Doc Hoy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 24, 2008
Location: Chesapeake, VA
Posts: 4,562
Welcome...

Welcome to the forum.
__________________
Doc

My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government. Thomas Jefferson
Doc Hoy is offline  
Old January 15, 2013, 07:27 AM   #10
B.L.E.
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 20, 2008
Location: Somewhere on the Southern shore of Lake Travis, TX
Posts: 1,884
.495 roundballs for a .50 caliber weigh 182 grains.
.530 roundballs for a .54 weigh 224 grains.
.535 roundballs weigh 230 grains.
Just to help you compare the two calibers.

Of course, if you want kick, MiniƩ bullets for a .58 weigh 535 or so grains.

(MiniƩ is pronounced min-e-AY, the accent on the last syllable, named after the person who invented it.)
B.L.E. is offline  
Old January 15, 2013, 08:58 AM   #11
Justified
Member
 
Join Date: January 14, 2013
Location: Midland Michigan
Posts: 21
Casting Maxi-Balls for 54 Cal.

What about casting Maxi-Balls for the 54 vs the 50, any issues there?

Justified
Justified is offline  
Old January 15, 2013, 10:00 AM   #12
Strafer Gott
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 12, 2011
Location: New Mexico
Posts: 1,118
Figure out your twist, and how you feel about putting plastic in your gun.
Fifties are mostly about inlines and sabots. .54 cal with a roundball is a good start, and will knock'em DRT. But the guys that shoot .58's think that's the one that'll knock down pretty much anything DRT. Maxiballs are insane weight wise, but they are not easy to load.
Strafer Gott is offline  
Old January 15, 2013, 10:50 AM   #13
Wyosmith
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 29, 2010
Location: Shoshoni Wyoming
Posts: 1,146
Justified, are you going to buy a rifle or build one?
(Or have one built)
For one built to your specs you can have many more options.
Factory 50 cals are usually very heavy. Not a problem if you don't have to carry it up a lot of mountains, but for those that do a lot of foot work getting into their hunt areas, a lighter rifle is a wonderful thing.

If you build, you have the options of;
Caliber.
Length
Weight
Straight barrel
Swamped barrel
Tapered barrel
Rifling geometry
Rifling depth
Rifling twist.
Left or right handed rifle
Type of sights.
Placement of sights
Half stock
Full stock
Flint lock
Cap-lock
Wood and grade of wood.
And a lot more.
Wyosmith is offline  
Old January 15, 2013, 11:52 AM   #14
Justified
Member
 
Join Date: January 14, 2013
Location: Midland Michigan
Posts: 21
Off the Shelf

I will buy off the shelf or maybe build. Hawkins style cap lock definitely. Weight is not really an issue to me, Land is flat cedar swamps and I can drive right to the blinds if necessary. Really want to cast my own bullets.

Justified
Justified is offline  
Old January 15, 2013, 12:03 PM   #15
brazosdave
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 7, 2012
Location: Copperas Cove, TX
Posts: 287
I own a .50 and have shot both. I gotta say, I really like the .50 but the .54 is , well, it's a .54!
__________________
"I'm your huckleberry, it's just my game"
brazosdave is offline  
Old January 15, 2013, 12:33 PM   #16
deerslayer303
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 10, 2011
Location: Leesville SC
Posts: 1,134
.54 or better yet .58!!!!! "walk tall and throw a BIG ROCK!!" If you have hunted very long then you know a Whitetail is a STRONG WILLED ANIMAL!! I have put 180 gr 30-06 bullets right in the kill zone and have seen them run for quite a ways, not always but have seen it. So the way I figure it, I want the biggest round ball I can get to pack a good WALLOP!! YRMV!
__________________
"You're so drunk you cant hit nothin, In fact you're probably seeing double"...."I have TWO GUNS one for each of ya"
deerslayer303 is offline  
Old January 15, 2013, 12:37 PM   #17
10851Man
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 20, 2009
Location: High Desert Mountains CA.
Posts: 410
What .50 and .54 loads (conical) would you recommend for deer or other large game????

What are the conical (minnie ball???) weights in each caliber????
10851Man is offline  
Old January 15, 2013, 12:40 PM   #18
Fingers McGee
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 19, 2008
Location: Missouri
Posts: 1,843
Have had both calibers over the years. Onliest one I've kept is a Pedersoli .54 cal deluxe Tryon Rifle. It's been a meat getter from the get go and still shoots better than I do.
__________________
Fingers (Show Me MO smoke) McGee - AKA Man of Many Colts - Alter ego of Diabolical Ken; SASS Regulator 28564-L-TG; Rangemaster and stage writer extraordinaire; Frontiersman, Pistoleer, NRA Endowment Life, NMLRA, SAF, CCRKBA, STORM 327, SV115; Charter member, Central Ozarks Western Shooters
Cynic: A blackguard whose faulty vision see things as they are, not as they should be. Ambrose Bierce
Fingers McGee is online now  
Old January 15, 2013, 01:01 PM   #19
FrontierGander
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 30, 2009
Location: Boncarbo,Colorado
Posts: 334
if you are going with a CONICAL shooter, then the 50cal would be the way to go as the options are huge.

250gr Thor is my choice for my 50cal sidelocks and inlines.

__________________
Frontier Muzzleloading
FrontierGander is offline  
Old January 15, 2013, 01:06 PM   #20
4V50 Gary
Staff
 
Join Date: November 2, 1998
Location: Colorado
Posts: 16,593
.50 is for fun.
.58 is for harvesting. Go with a Minie gun and reach out, reach out and touch something at up to 500 yards.

OK, if you're dead set on a Plains type rifle and will be using it for hunting, go with .54. Not as available but bigger balls do more damage.
__________________
Vigilantibus et non dormientibus jura subveniunt. Molon Labe!
4V50 Gary is offline  
Old January 15, 2013, 05:50 PM   #21
Hawg Haggen
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 8, 2007
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 11,639
Get a load worked up for a round ball and its unbelievably accurate at around 100 yards or maybe a little more but not limited to that range. They can be good deer harvesters out to 200. A conical hits harder. Minies are the easiest to load and are very accurate. However your twist rate will decide what works best.
Hawg Haggen is offline  
Old January 15, 2013, 05:58 PM   #22
10851Man
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 20, 2009
Location: High Desert Mountains CA.
Posts: 410
Hawg,

I get the 'ball' thing and 'conicals' from my revolver experience, and I understand Sabots too, but can you explain Minnie Balls to me????

Also, what would be a really accurate load from both a .50 and a .54???

I am trying to get me a reasonably priced used Deerslayer until I can afford a .58 Zouave...
10851Man is offline  
Old January 15, 2013, 07:24 PM   #23
Hawg Haggen
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 8, 2007
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 11,639
Hollow base conical. They're a couple of thousandths under bore size so they load easily and the skirt expands to engage the rifling when the rifle is fired.

One of my .58's.







As for an accurate load your rifle will determine that. What works in one may not work in another.
Hawg Haggen is offline  
Old January 15, 2013, 07:26 PM   #24
10851Man
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 20, 2009
Location: High Desert Mountains CA.
Posts: 410
Hawg,

What loads are good in your rifle??? I am looking for a starting point...
10851Man is offline  
Old January 15, 2013, 07:30 PM   #25
Hawg Haggen
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 8, 2007
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 11,639
I used 90 in my .50, Oddly enough 90 is a good load in my .54 but I only use round balls in it as it has a 1:66 twist. I use 70 grains in my .58 P 53 Enfield with minies.
Hawg Haggen is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:42 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.11883 seconds with 9 queries