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Old January 16, 2010, 08:55 PM   #1
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Join Date: February 19, 2005
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New Smokepole T/C Scout

I recently picked up a .54 caliber T/C Scout. It is in very good shape and I can't wait to get it out to the range. It seems as though the previous owner took very good care of it. It has been fired but very well cleaned and it was nicely oiled up for long term storage. After a very thorough cleaning (I'm leaving the patina on the brass) and inspection the rifle is in pristine condition from stem to stern save one very minor ding in the butt stock. I downloaded and printed out the manual but it says nothing about barrel twist, my best guess from using the rod and a patched jag is that it is about a 1 in 24ish.

Does anyone here shoot one of these and could you direct me to a good starting load. Once I get an accurate load I plan on removing the scope and mount and just use the sights.

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Old January 19, 2010, 03:27 AM   #2
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IIRC the rate of twist for the .50 Scout is 1 in 38".
That means that it should be slow enough to shoot a patched round ball.
The general rule for a starting powder charge is to load about the same number of grains of powder [by volume] as the caliber of the bore to work up a load to begin sighting in with at 50 yards.
Then gradually increase the powder charge in 5-10 grain increments until you're satisfied with the accuracy and performance. Try to note the size of the groups with each loading while different patch thicknesses, diameter balls and types of projectiles are tried.
The 1 in 38" twist offers a lot of options for shooting different projectiles from it. What type did you have in mind to start with?

If you choose to shoot patched round balls then a .530 ball and a lubed .015 patch is a basic starting point. Then next would be a lubed .018 pillow ticking patch with the same ball before moving up to a .535 ball and a .010 patch, and successively thicker patches from there. Sometimes the very first combination will work adequately with the right amount of powder.

Bore size lead conicals and sabots can be fired from it too with slightly larger powder charges than determined to be the most favorable for shooting the patched round balls. More powder is required for stabilizing bullets because they have a longer length than patched round balls do.

The various .54 sabots available are designed to shoot a wide range of bullet calibers and include .429 - .430, .451-.452 & .50. Medium length and weight bullets for these calibers can be bought in bulk along with bulk sabots for experimentation at the longer distances of 75-100 yards and beyond.
Sabots and bore size conical bullets have the potential to provide slightly better long range accuracy and performance because of the length of the Scout barrel and its twist rate.
Good luck with your new rifle and please let us know how it shoots.

Last edited by arcticap; January 19, 2010 at 03:33 AM.
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Old January 19, 2010, 07:03 PM   #3
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Join Date: January 18, 2010
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i have 2

i have a pistol, an a rifle, and the 50 calibre. ive shot patch round balls with 80 gr pyrodex rs and 80 gr black powder 3 fffg i think the 3fg shoot cleaner, in both mine will shoot round ball, maxi,and sabots pretty much to same point of aim pistol shoot these all also with 70 gr. your 54 should use 90gr to 110 of rs or 2fg powder. also go on line to tcusa and download a book on loads and cleaning, there there everthing they made so far
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Old January 19, 2010, 08:47 PM   #4
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Location: Albuquerque, NM, USA
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I just got a Scout pistol in .54 last month - downloading the manual from T/C was a great first step on finding good loads. Sam Fadala's book is another. Enjoy it!
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Old January 20, 2010, 07:53 PM   #5
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Join Date: February 19, 2005
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Ive been gathering my BP gear that over the last 20 years has spred to the far corners of my garage and so far have found my capper, powder measure, and nipple prick. I have plenty of Trip7 and some Goex that I use in my .45-70.

So, today I went a looked for some lead to throw downrange. I found T/C Maxi balls/hunters very expensive, and me being a tightwad opted for a more economical solution. I found some Buffalo Bullet Company conicals and sabots along with Hornady round balls in the right caliber at the right price. I also got a tin of fresh CCI caps.

All I really need now is a powder horn and the weather to break.

It's less than a year until deer season, and I need to find a load and get familiar with the rifle and its ballistics.

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