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Old March 23, 2014, 04:35 AM   #1
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conical bullet performance

I havent used anything but round balls for my muzzleloading rifles yet. Now im getting a pedersoli Hawken .50cal with a 1 in 24" twist, thats a conical bullet rifle.
some questions about the use of conical bullets pop up:
Are they very hard to load? Compared to a round ball?
Do i have to use pure lead to cast them?
I see stupid people
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Old March 23, 2014, 08:25 AM   #2
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I once had a Zouave .58 replica.
Never got it to shoot any where nearly as accurately as a round ball rifle.
Appropriately sized, the bullets seemed easier to load than round ball and patch, though.
The bullets are supposed to be soft enough to expand and engage the rifling.
Not sure if they are 100% lead, as I used store bought ones.
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Old March 23, 2014, 08:37 AM   #3
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That depends I think. A paper patched bullet doesn't need to be pure lead, but a REAL does as it's oversized, and a traditional Minie does as it's undersized and needs the skirt to expand to groove diameter.

I've only shot the Lee REAL, and it's about the same as loading a tight fitting PRB, but becomes very easy to fully seat compared to my .490" ball and .016" pillow ticking patch. But the few REALs I have seem to be slightly smaller than they are supposed to be, and don't seem to quite fill my ~.520" grooves, and require a felt wad to shoot well.
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Old March 23, 2014, 10:12 AM   #4
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Addressing pure-lead Concals

Never got it to shoot any where nearly as accurately as a round ball rifle.
This is often very true and another example of how a PRB, is very forgiving. However, you are still faced with your twist. For the performance you want, you pretty much have to look at Conicals or Sabots. Would add that I do not shoot sabots, out of a Traditional; Just me. You can still shoot PRBs with your twist on the range but you are going to have to work up a "fun" shot-string and this will take a little time and compromise. ....

I have run and shot Maxi-Ball balls, Maxi-hunters, Buffalo bore, REAL and Hornady Great-Plaines Hunters. Of these, the Hornadys and Buffalo-Bore, have provided very good performance. Long ago, I gave up on the REALs as they don't like working with me.

Congratulations on you Pedersoli and;
Be Safe !!!
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Old March 23, 2014, 11:06 AM   #5
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I had good luck with maxi balls and great plains but that was a 1:48 twist
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Old March 23, 2014, 05:30 PM   #6
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Same as hawg.

had better luck with TC maxi ball from my 1:48 Renegade than the great plains. Both were easier to load for me than a patched round ball, because I like a .490 ball with a .015 patch for an extra tight fit. I also bought some .50 caliber Mini style bullets from Track of the wolf, but they were terrible all around and are going to get melted and re-cast as something else.

I've never fired sabots from any of my traditional rifles.
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Last edited by BerdanSS; March 23, 2014 at 05:37 PM.
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