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Discussion Starter #1
I am looking for some general information on muzzle loader ballistics (velocity and energy at 50 yds out). Currently I shoot 100 grains of powder (2-50 tablets), old style percussion cap(not a shotgun primer)and a 240 grain Sierra Pistol Bullet tucked inside a plastic sabot! I suspect it is about 1800 fps and 1400 ft-lbs of energy. Any ideas or point me in the right direction!
 

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probably not far off, maybe a little fast. it is tough to find info and i am guessing liability fears..
 

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This might help.

Hodgdon Powders Velocity Comparisons:
.45 Caliber Muzzle-loading Rifle:
Powder Grains Volume Power Belt Bullet Velocity
Pyrodex RS 100 gr. 45 caliber = 225 grain 1741 fps.
Pyrodex P 100 gr. 45 caliber = 225 grain 1756 fps.
Pyrodex Pellet 2-50 gr. 45 caliber = 225 grain 1795 fps.
Triple Seven FF 100 gr. 45 caliber = 225 grain 1905 fps.
Triple Seven FFF 100 gr. 45 caliber = 225 grain 1925 fps.
.50 Caliber Muzzle-loading Rifle:
Powder Grains Volume Power Belt Bullet Velocity
Pyrodex RS 100 gr. 50 caliber = 348 grain 1509 fps.
Pyrodex P 100 gr. 50 caliber = 348 grain 1560 fps.
Pyrodex Pellet 2-50 gr. 50 caliber = 348 grain 1469 fps.
Triple Seven FF 100 gr. 50 caliber = 348 grain 1664 fps.
Triple Seven FFF 100 gr. 50 caliber = 348 grain 1623 fps.




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Loading Essentials
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Sabots & Bullets



Amazon.com
Rifles
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I don't know the numbers but I used to shoot 90 grains of Pyrodex RS measured by weight, a 240 grain 45 cal Hornady XTP in a sabot, in a .50 cal Tompson Center Hawken replica with the percussion cap and a 24" barrel. I took several medium sized Whitetails that dressed out in the 125# - 150# range with all but one one shot kills. One kill was at about 75 yards but most were 50 yards or less.

The 240 grain XTP simply drops them in their tracks. One deer at about 25 yards was knocked sideways off his feet. Shot broadside into the lung area, the meat damage is not too bad. I have seen much worse meat damage from similar shots with a 7mm Rem Mag.

My TC Hawken had a 1:48" twist and I could shoot either .490 round ball, .50 conical or a .45 sabot. The sabot with 90 grains of Pyrodex RS was the most accurate. The patched .490 round ball had to be kept at 80 grains or less of Pyrodex RS for good accuracy.

Know the twist rate of your rifle. Modern In-Lines have a 1:28" or similar twist and will accurately shoot at higher velocities. Slower twist rates, like the 1:67 of the old traditional round ball guns required lower velocities.

Ed Ward
 

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Used to shoot a .54 Cal. 230 grain round ball over 125 grains of FFFg out of a 34 inch 1 1/8 Octagonal bbl with a 1 in 92 twist. It would put 3 balls in a triangle, touching each other, at 175 yards. The move to fast twists, sabots, peletized powder, and shotgun primers ruined the sport for me.

Anybody want to but a good primitive target rifle? J & S Hawkin replica, Green River Rifleworks barrel, L&R Lock and double set triggers, Half stock 'Plains' rifle? Custom made. Deer killer. Elk killer. Black Bear killer. Card splitter. Rubber band breaker. Match lighter. Feather trimmer. Ball splitter. You supply the talent.

Don T
 

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I know from reading here that Yak is really into the muzzys so his info is probably pretty darn good.


I have a favorite load I always used but quite honestly never knew its true ballistics.

My muzzy is a modern break open style with a carbine length 24" barrel. It is .50cal and I use 230 grain jacketed HP in a sabot. I use Winchester Triple Seven primers and (2) 50 grain Triple Seven Pyrodex pellets. It really puts a thump on Whitetail and will shoot flat out farther than I care to shoot. My rifle will take magnum charges but after experimenting with 150 grains instead of 100 grains I didn't notice a huge advantage to make the added recoil worth it.
 

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I use to shoot 370g maxiball and 100gr. pistol pyrodex in my Hawkin....would go through a deer at 100 yds.




tony
 

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In Idaho the regulations for muzzleloader seasons keep things semi-primitive - iron sights only, loose powder (no pellets), no sabots, no shotgun primers, exposed ignition. I like it that way. My rig is very similar to flashmax's. I have a TC Hawken percussion rifle I built from a kit years ago. It was in .45 caliber, but I bought a replacement Green River barrel in .54 caliber with a slow twist and use a patched round ball in it, 230 grains. I use 110 grains of FFFg. I use a Williams peep sight on it. It groups at about 3" at 100 yards, but I try to keep shots at 75 yards or less. I shot a cow elk with it last year, and a buck antelope about three years ago, both one-shot kills.
 

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Don T, you said "The move to fast twists, sabots, peletized powder, and shotgun primers ruined the sport for me"

What part of the sport was ruined? Was somebody forcing you to use those items?
 

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Ahben Zeik here. Went to our annual Club board election Tuesday night thinking the lung infection that kept me out of ATA competition last week was in retreat. It came back on me with a vengeance and I've been on my back shivering and hacking. I promised Yak a few pictures by today thinking the worse was over but I'm still creaking and coughing so it will be another day or two. Meanwhile another poster PM'd me with interest so, to Jack and Tony: Please bear with me, I will get the rifles out and photographs taken in a few days and will post them to you both.

Don T.
 

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9 . 3

Maybe it is a simple matter of philosophy. Maybe it is ethics. Maybe I went to Black Powder for the challenge put on MYSELF to do each thing a step at a time that it took to shoot a winning score or to make a one shot kill. Maybe I got sick and tired of the animal not having even a SLIGHT chance at escape when I held a cartrige rifle in my hands and that animal was inside 500 yards....

Maybe someone like you will never be able to understand why someone like me doesn't see the sport in turning Black Powder into a joke by turning front stuffers into bolt guns with fully assembled cartrige sections for loading and putting Glass on top. Maybe by your very question you make me wonder if it is even worth my time trying to explain the difference between us.

Don T
 

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It's called technology, Don. Each to their own...

I have a stainless steel 50-caliber Thompson/Center Omega with a 28-inch fluted barrel, 1:28 twist. A 250-grain Hornady SST/ML bullet in Hornady's Lock-N-Load Speed Sabot over three 50 grain-equivalent pellets of Triple Se7en chronographs at 2,130fps and shoots into 1.372" three-shot groups at 100 yards. Using an exterior ballistics chart and a 100-yard zero for its Leupold UltimateSlam scope, the bullet is 0.4" high at 50 yards, 1.2" low at 125 yards, 3.2" low at 150 and 9.7" low at 200 yards.

That chart is on Hornady's website and works for any firearm. If you know your bullet's BC and TRUE muzzle velocity, it will do the calculations for you.

Ed
 

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Don, I use all types of MLs but non of my new fangled ones have taken a thing away from you and your guns.

Enjoy what you enjoy and don't worry about what others are shooting.

Life is way too short to let little things like what kind of rifle the neighbor kid shoots ruin my fun.
 

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I like guns of all shapes, sizes and calibers. I have old rifles, pistols and shotguns as well as new rifles, pistols and shotguns. I even have quite a few of these evil black guns that will kill you just looking at 'em. I also have a modern muszzleloader as well as an older musket my dad built that shoots the .45 caliber round balls. All this said, I really don't see the need to bad mouth any of the guns someone else chooses to LEGALLY hunt with or plink with for that matter. I fail to see how it hurts my hunting experience in any way and I don't see how my choice harms others.

As far as making it fair for the animal, then put your gun down and chase 'em around with a stick and stones like the early early inhabitants of the Earth did. I am not sure they would view these newer rifles(muzzys) as taboo and would probably give their arm and leg to own one had they been given the chance.

Now this started as a thread asking about muzzleloader ballistics and then became a place to voice ones discontent of a certain type of muzzleloader. How about we leave that aspect out of it? There is enough pissing match threads on here already.

Not a great pic but my cap and ball muzzleloader with octagon barrel. And those items with it are speedloaders. Yep, even with the old style they had speedloaders. The wooden pieces hold the ball and patch and the brass piece holds your caps for quick recapping. Probably not as nice as some of you fellas that really get into the traditional stuff.




 

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It is more than just a philosophical difference. Most game departments allowed longer primitive weapons seasons because the inherent difficulty made for lower success rates, allowing for more recreational activity without unduly harming the resource. Some individuals embrace technological advances in order to lower the difficulty factor and increase success rates. The manufacturers jump on the bandwagon and push for the changes because they see the opportunity to increase sales. What then is the justification for a special "primitive" weapons season when the weapons are essentially as effective as centerfires? I'm happy that Idaho has resisted these pressures so far.

Where the technology wave has really gone overboard is in bowhunting. Not even single cam compounds with archers attempting 100 yard shots are enough anymore. Now many states are allowing crossbows with scopes in bow seasons. Where will it end? Maybe with no primitive weapon seasons at all!
 

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Crossbows can't be too bad or stodgy old Pennsylvania would never have legalized them! Thanks to our Game Commission, I now can join my son in the woods during archery season because my arthritis prevents me from drawing a traditional bow.

Oh, the crossbow thing went down hard here, too. It took a couple of years and the "real" archers said it would clog the woods with us stupid gun hunters when they really objected to having to share the gravy with more people. During the firearms seasons for deer, I go hoping to see one. During archery season, I go hoping to see a NICE one. And hunting in a mesh camo long-sleeve shirt beats wearing multiple layers to stay somewhat warm.

But I haven't hunted during archery season in two years. When you can bag one three Thursday evenings in a row in less than one hour each time, that's just too easy.

That oughta stir the pot!

Ed
 

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Back ^ bump.

Just turned 64. I know, that isn't -old- yet but my experiences are much different than most but not all here. I grew up meat hunting. By that I mean that my father allowed my brother and myself 10 rounds of .22 ammo per week. We could divide them any way we wanted but if we didn't come back out of the pasture and tree claim with 10 animals, Rats - Cottontails - or Jack Rabbits, we were allowed only that smaller number of shells next week. As we got older we were allowed to stray down to the Arkansas River to hunt and the game was expanded in season to include Pheasants and Squirrels. As we got to be better shots the weekly alowance was expanded. The point is that we got to be excellent shots. I grew up in size and went to Asia, my little brother did the same a year later. He didn't quite make it back even though his body made it 'home'. After the war I shot a Deer when the fish and game people finally made a season. Deer was dead and field dressed before the sun was above the horizon on opening day. Bolt gun with glass on top. Couple of seasons and I went to a Trapdoor Springfield, no glass. No challenge either. The war took away my ability to draw a bow so that was out and I looked around for SOMETHING to put a challenge back in the taking of a game animal. Saw a Kentucky Long Rifle ( actually made in Pennsylvania ) and wondered about it. It was a Flint piece and lore was that Flint was trouble so I took up a Percussion rifle. Learned to shoot it. Learned the intracasies and the idiosyncracies of shooting Black Rifle Powder. How to keep a charge dry in drizzle, freezing rain, snow or thunderstorm. How to ensure that the charge would fire instantly, on time every time. How to make holes touch each other at ranges of 100 yards offhand and 200 yards off crossed sticks. Then I felt I was competent to take a Deer. So I did. Took several. Switched to Flint to increase the difficulty. It wasn't enough to allow me to feel 'good' about it though. That same war made it so that I would feel guilty and sick whenever I killed anything and I haven't hunted anything at all since '91. Trap shooting took the fun out of bird hunting. One shot 10 minute 'hunts' takes the fun out of big game. The 10 minutes is just to ensure the light is there. I -know- where the Deer will be. So when I have handicapped myself to the degree I have done, and follow all the rules established by governments at the same time, it takes a whole lot to stomach a modern rifle in every way but the requirement to load the pellets from the muzzle end as being in any way 'Primitive'.

These days I only hunt Pitch birds. I've gotten pretty darn decent at -that- too. My age is handicapping me quite well these days.

Still going to send pictures to Tony and Jack as soon as I take 20 + years of detritus off the storage place for my Smoke-Poles.

Don T
 
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