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Old 10-06-2014, 08:59 AM
Nickathome Nickathome is offline
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Default Max powder charge in a flintlock muzzleloader, you

Some guy showed up while I was firing my Lancaster style .54 caliber flintlock yesterday. While there he asked me some questions, one of which was how much powder I was using. When I said 80 grains of FFg Goex, he almost laughed. When I asked how much he used, he said "110 in a .50 caliber flintlock". He scoffed when I mentioned that max powder charges are A. not the most accurate, and B. only waste powder because in a lot of cases not all of it gets burned. So I left the conversation as a "lets agree to disagree" type of thing.

I have never been a big fan of using maxed out black powder charges due to the above plus, people have the false belief that you need to load to the max in order to kill a deer. Simply not true.

What are your thoughts?

I guess I should mention I shoot a . 530 round ball with .015(thereabouts) pillow ticking patch.

Last edited by Nickathome; 10-06-2014 at 09:54 AM.
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Old 10-06-2014, 10:39 AM
hunter88 hunter88 is offline
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I guess I've always used around 100. I know a guy that used 80 or 85, but he is shooting a .50 not a .54. Can't say I've thought much about is one more accurate then the other.

But then be it black power for regular rifle I've never been one to get too technical or into target shooting for accuracy. I've always been more of the I let them get in close, and all I care about is they're dead after I shoot so there's meat on the table.
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Old 10-06-2014, 12:14 PM
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The maximum SAFE load of real BP is 120 gr in most modern guns.

I like to use 80 gr with a 300 gr 44 cal bullet in a sabot, in a 50 cal gun

That load gets about 1600 fps and will penetrate over 3 ft (nearly end to end) on a deer at 50 yds

Deer really aren't hard animals to kill if you just hit the right places
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Old 10-06-2014, 01:02 PM
Nickathome Nickathome is offline
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Yes, my . 530 round balls come in around 226 grains, and per the Goex load table 80 grains of 2fg will throw the ball at around 1570 fps, which I'm sure means muzzle velocity. At 100 yards, that ball is still probably moving above the sound barrier. Plenty of speed and energy to down a whitetail even out to 125 -130 yards IMO. That's all I need.
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Old 10-06-2014, 01:09 PM
TickFarmer TickFarmer is offline
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I guess each person has to develop his/her own opinion on the subject. If acceptable accuracy is to hit a paper plate at 50 yards, any charge should work.
I have a .45 cal rocklock that likes 40 gr fffg for squirrels and 70 gr ffg for varmints, but the .50 likes 70 gr ffg and the .54 prefers 85 gr of ffg out to 75 yards. Those are their sweet spots – and shrink groups almost 3 inches. That’s the difference of a hit or a miss on a squirrel.
I have heard that unburnt black powder will be fired out the barrel before it can burn on a seriously overloaded barrel, but I have also seen burst barrels and the drum blown out of a caplock. There are other reasons that would happen, but why take a chance?
I think I would stand well back and to the left side of the guy you were talking to.
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Old 10-06-2014, 02:24 PM
Nickathome Nickathome is offline
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Originally Posted by TickFarmer View Post
I think I would stand well back and to the left side of the guy you were talking to.
Yeah good advice there.

Funny thing was, this guy and his three buddies (and one kid) were all there shooting inlines. I wonder if this guy simply uses something like a T/C firestorm and just dumps those powder pellets down the hole?

All I know is when those kinds of people show up, I normally pack up and leave. Fortunately for my son and I, we were almost finished anyway. Had I not taken a phone call from my friend who burned up a half hour, we'd have been outta there long before those clods showed up. We were alone there until then. But it goes to show, there's always somebody around who seems to think they know it all. Some day when this dude'es barrel explodes into that classic pealed bannana shape, maybe he'll consider lowering his powder charge. All it will take is one double charge of that high load or an unseated ball and BOOM........

Last edited by Nickathome; 10-06-2014 at 03:59 PM.
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Old 10-06-2014, 03:30 PM
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I used to shoot in BP contests, sometimes as much as a pound of powder a day. That said, generally speaking, the more powder used, the less accurate the round is. I use 90 gr. in a Thompson renegade 50 cal. round ball. have used it for years and I know how it shoots and that's the key. Get used to a load that works for you and stay with it. FWIW
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Old 10-07-2014, 07:35 PM
Mad_Professor Mad_Professor is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nickathome View Post
Some guy showed up while I was firing my Lancaster style .54 caliber flintlock yesterday. While there he asked me some questions, one of which was how much powder I was using. When I said 80 grains of FFg Goex, he almost laughed. When I asked how much he used, he said "110 in a .50 caliber flintlock". He scoffed when I mentioned that max powder charges are A. not the most accurate, and B. only waste powder because in a lot of cases not all of it gets burned. So I left the conversation as a "lets agree to disagree" type of thing.

I have never been a big fan of using maxed out black powder charges due to the above plus, people have the false belief that you need to load to the max in order to kill a deer. Simply not true.

What are your thoughts?

I guess I should mention I shoot a . 530 round ball with .015(thereabouts) pillow ticking patch.
80 grs is fine for deer with a 54. Some slow twist barrels will shoot better with faster charges and I know people who use 110 gr FFg in a 54 and 120 gr in a 58. Go up and down, try different patches, and ball dia combos (1 at a time). Some also like to use FFFg with slightly less powder for PRB. Every load is a hand load! Experiment! Also what lube you use will also have a great effect.

Fast twist barrels just the opposite for accuracy with a PRB, but I doubt your Lancaster is fast twist.

Shot placement is much more important than a few feet per second of projectile speed. Maybe you two can shoot together sometime and compare targets?

I know I get laughed at with my traditional ML until the cartridge guys do worse offhand at 100yds than me.
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Old 10-07-2014, 09:08 PM
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I've been hunting with BP for about 50 years now and have tried a number of different loads. 80 grains of fffg gives me the most accurate shooting in my lyman 54. all but one dear the ball has gone clear through and the one almost did but lodged just under the skin after going through both front shoulder blades of a muley. I won't take a shot over 100 yds. and most have been well within 50 yards. The only year I have not got a deer was the year some friends talked me into going modern rifle.
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Old 03-20-2015, 04:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nickathome View Post
Some guy showed up while I was firing my Lancaster style .54 caliber flintlock yesterday. While there he asked me some questions, one of which was how much powder I was using. When I said 80 grains of FFg Goex, he almost laughed. When I asked how much he used, he said "110 in a .50 caliber flintlock". He scoffed when I mentioned that max powder charges are A. not the most accurate, and B. only waste powder because in a lot of cases not all of it gets burned. So I left the conversation as a "lets agree to disagree" type of thing.

I have never been a big fan of using maxed out black powder charges due to the above plus, people have the false belief that you need to load to the max in order to kill a deer. Simply not true.

What are your thoughts?
I never have either, or for that matter in modern metallic cartridges also.

People are the same the world over, some people are always willing to report having the fastest shot, car, dog or what ever. Maybe he actually uses such a charge and then on the other hand maybe you were being baited. You just didn't bite.

Some people will tell you something hoping you will try out their suggestion, "Like 110 grain, let me see how my gun will perform with that load." If nothing serious happens they can are fine, but if your gun blows up in your face, they simply say, "I use that charge all the time and haven't ever had a problem, and walk away."

It takes all kinds, and some are always looking for one foolish or gullible enough to manipulate for their own pleasure or distorted amusement.
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