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Old November 22, 2005, 12:20 PM   #1
Join Date: November 9, 2005
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Caliber question

An acquaintance of mine recently told me he shoots 45 cal. bullets in his 50 ca. muzzleloader. I know it is possible, but does any one know a reason that this would be beneficial? Thanks!
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Old November 22, 2005, 05:24 PM   #2
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If he's firing using sabots, a .45 in a .50-bore barrel would be about right. If he's firing using a traditional projectile- round ball or Minie ball- a .45 caliber projectile in a .50 is way small. It would have no advantage except fast loading-- kind of like dumping a palmfull of buckshot down your muzzleloader, and about that accurate.

In case you don't know, a sabot is a plastic sleeve used to hold a smaller caliber jacketed bullet inside a muzzleloader barrel. The sabot peels away once it leaves the barrel, leaving the bullet to travel to the target alone. It's another "rule beater" design of the kind common in muzzleloading hunting, designed as a modern gadget to provide modern ease of operation and modern performance, while still JUST BARELY meeting the legal definition of a muzzleloader.
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Old November 23, 2005, 12:59 AM   #3
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I've got sabots for my .58 that allow me to use 45 caliber bullets too. Nice to be able to use modern bullets when hunting - good bullet performance is something that I will let technology bring up when I go out with the smoke pole..

But I find I still use round balls just as often - there's something rather permanent about a .58 caliber hole in a deer!
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Old November 24, 2005, 12:39 PM   #4
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Not that I hunt much lately, but when I do, my muzzleloader is a reproduction of a .58 Enfield musketoon. I think the originals weren't rifled, but this one is. It's a short version of the Civil War era Enfield rifled musket, originally designed for cavalry use. It didn't work very well, so they never made many of them. However, for hunting, it makes a nice short handy package.

Anywho, the thing was designed for Minie bullets. I got a mold and cast .58 caliber, 610 grain flat nose Minies for it. Now, granted that rifled muskets have thin-walled barrels and can't handle overly powerful charges, but.. I gotta think that one of those Minies would anchor a whitetail pretty well.

The thing shot right to point of aim at 100 yards, at which range it was about six inch accurate. That's the best i could do with it anyway. It's good the sights were right on from the factory, because they were period military sights and weren't adjustable. Except that the rear is a ladder sight you can theoretically flip up for ranges out to 1000 yards or so. You try it first, I want to see how it's done before I try. With my eyes, I don't think I could see a man in a 19th century military uniform at that range, let alone a well-camouflaged whitetail buck! In fact, I doubt I ever could have.
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