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Login Name Post: round ball vs bullet        (Topic#246615)
eod4647 
32 Cal.
Posts: 16
05-11-10 12:44 PM - Post#856164    


Just a simple question, hopefully a simple answer. I'm planning to buy a flintlock this summer and use it for punching holes in paper and deer hunting. I'd like to build my own but will probably go with Lyman Great Plains Rifle or the Great Plains Hunter.
The GPH has 1 in 32 rifling for a bullet and the GPR has 1 in 60 rifling for a round ball. The question is, can a round ball be fired in a GPH or a bullet fired from a GPR?
Thanks.

 
Swampy 
Cannon
Posts: 15602
Swampy
05-11-10 12:52 PM - Post#856168    

    In response to eod4647

Well yes, even though one is really made for a conical and the other a ball, you can find some large conicals will work in the 1-60 and balls will shoot out of the 1-32. You just have to work out a load trying different combination's.

And welcome to the forum.


Edited by Swampy on 05-11-10 12:53 PM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
Ghettogun 
62 Cal.
Posts: 2932
05-11-10 12:55 PM - Post#856169    

    In response to eod4647

  • Quote:
can a round ball be fired in a GPH or a bullet fired from a GPR?



Yes, it's just that each barrel shoots one better than the other. Most of us here will say the roundball is all you need and cheaper to shoot also.

 
Wattsy 
69 Cal.
Posts: 3631
Wattsy
05-11-10 01:12 PM - Post#856183    

    In response to Ghettogun

  • Ghettogun Said:
  • Quote:
can a round ball be fired in a GPH or a bullet fired from a GPR?



Yes, it's just that each barrel shoots one better than the other. Most of us here will say the roundball is all you need and cheaper to shoot also.



I would suggest that you are pretty sure what you want to primarily shoot before you buy. Note: You CAN buy multiple replacement barrels to fit a single gun. Connicals DO have their place but round balls ARE cheaper and easier (my opinion) and in a .54 cal the RB is a very lethal round out 100 yards or so.
Good luck and let us know what and why you decided.

 
eod4647 
32 Cal.
Posts: 16
05-11-10 01:24 PM - Post#856190    

    In response to Wattsy

I've been lurking on the forum for a few weeks, picking up lots of great information. Chances are I'll go with the GPR but I was just curious. Most of my shooting will probably be just for fun. I had fun shooting caplocks back in high school and have always wanted to try a flintlock.

I appreciate the responses, I wasn't sure if it could be done. I'll probably keep things as simple as possible. Whenever I get my rifle I will probably have more questions. In the meantime I'll keep learning from others.

 
Swampy 
Cannon
Posts: 15602
Swampy
05-11-10 01:36 PM - Post#856197    

    In response to eod4647

Forget about everything you may have been told by the modern gun guys, a .54 roundball will put a hurting on a deer real quick if you do your job and put it where it needs to be.


 
paulvallandigham 
Passed On
Posts: 17538
paulvallandigham
05-11-10 01:38 PM - Post#856200    

    In response to eod4647

If you want to shoot flintlocks, then buy a RB barrel with the slower ROT( ie., 1:66"). You won't seen flintlock half stock guns shooting conicals very often- they were not traditional. In .54 caliber, you don't need a conical unless you are hunting Wild Boar, Black Bear, or larger game. The heavy 230 grain RBs used in most .54s will penetrate any deer that walks the earth. Moose have been killed with the .54 RB. Do some penetration testing with the new gun, so that you get away from the idea, learned from shooting modern guns, that you need a bullet to take game. The RB has been doing it for more than 300 years Before we began having bullets to shoot in MLers.

If you want to hunt game bigger than Bears, then get a larger caliber gun- .58, .62, .66, .69, .72, etc. and you can still shoot RBs.

 
BrownBear 
Cannon
Posts: 13739
BrownBear
05-11-10 02:03 PM - Post#856209    

    In response to eod4647

In my first hand experience with both GPR 54's, yeah, you can shoot RBs in the Hunter barrel, but they're at their best with smaller charges on the order of 60 grains of 3f or lighter. As you go up past 60 grains, your group size will start to grow. If you contemplate shooting as far as 100 yards with RB's, that could be a disadvantage due to trajectory.

Conicals are kinda fun to shoot, provided you learn how to hold that hooked butt correctly, because they sure come back a lot harder than even max charge RBs. Just has to happen that way because they are so much heavier. If I was inclined (or required by terrain) to set up for shots on game much past 100 yards, I'd go with the Hunter barrel in a heartbeat. I don't know it firsthand, but isn't there a special season in Pennsylvania that requires flint, but I also recall something about conicals for use there too.

If you're never going to be shooting game past 100 yards, I sincerely doubt you need to use conicals in a 54. As others have noted, the round balls pack plenty of geewhizz. If you're going to be target shooting at 100 yards, the ability to use heavier charges with RBs will let you shoot flatter than with RBs in a GPH barrel.

No skin off my non-PC nose which you choose, but hopefully you have enough info to make logical choices based on your needs. There can be compelling reasons to choose one over the other.

 
Dan Phariss 
70 Cal.
Posts: 4622
Dan Phariss
05-11-10 02:04 PM - Post#856212    

    In response to eod4647

The round ball is actually a very good hunting projectile so long as sized reasonably for the game and used right.
Something that applies to all projectiles.
Bullets have a number of advantages and all claims by the various bullet makers and their shills not withstanding there was little use of bullets by civilians for hunting prior to the coming of the breech loader. The disadvantages out weighed any advantage the bullet might have had, real or supposed.

A 50 or 54 caliber round ball is a very effective deer killer and will work well on most other American game though I would prefer something larger for Elk both these have a long history or working well for this.
Remember if a company makes bullets for MLs then the bullet MUST be better than the RB no matter to actual effect on game the RB was fine until the bullets were marketed then the RB suddenly became useless. Kinda like the 30-06 being made obsolete by the magnums. If the gun writers tell you the 7mm mag will do nothing a 30-06 can't you don't see a reason to by "new and improved.
With the RB you simply increase the diameter/weight as the game gets larger.
If you search google books you will find a downloadable copy of "The Sporting Rifle and Its Projectiles" by James Forsythe.
I suggest you read it. It should be required reading for all people who want to hunt with a traditional ML.
It has a lot of 19th century "science" included about pressure etc but his comments on trajectory, pressure, killing power and effect in game are exactly right and are as true today as they were in the 1850s.
If you like to read about hunting Africa "Pondoro" by John Taylor has a short section on hunting Elephant with a 10 bore ML in the 1930s that is interesting.
Given the things we find on the various "Modern ML" forums and magazine ads one would think it would be impossible to kill African Elephant or Rhino with a 73-75 caliber round ball but Taylor did very well. So if a 75 caliber RB will kill a 8000-10000 pound animal reliably thinking a 54 caliber RB will not work for a 300 pound animal is a little silly.
A 50 caliber round ball will shoot through a mule deer's chest side to side at 150 yards. Deer will go about as far on average as when shot with a 45-70 or a 30-06.
If I could find the magazine there was a guy who killed an African Rhino back about 1968 with a 58 caliber flint with a heavy charge of powder and a double ball. Its in a 68-69 Muzzle Blasts.

Dan

 
zimmerstutzen 
70 Cal.
Posts: 4674
05-11-10 02:06 PM - Post#856213    

    In response to paulvallandigham

Yep, round balls kill, leave nice big holes for lots of blood loss. velocity and foot pounds of energy are one thing, the size of the hole and shock value are another. Long John Silver handed a pistol to young Hawkens and said a wee bit of powder and a big ball is the way. Rob't Stevenson was pretty much on when he wrote that.

The larger the ball the better it bucks wind and the more efficiantly it carries it['s energy down range. For sub sonic speeds, you can pretty much figure that a 50 caliber ball will retain 50% of it's initial muzzle energy at 100 yds, a 54 cal ball will retain about 54% of it's muzzle energy at 100 yds. A 75 cal ball will retain about 75% of it's initial energy at 100 yds. So as the ladies say, bigger really is better.

The british found that if you want to increase range, increase the weight of the ball. increasing the powder isn't as effective. For bullet guns, use the same powder and increase the weight/length of the bullet.

Go for the GPR with the round ball twist, in 54 cal. If you are half of any kind of a shot, a deer within 100 yds is dead.

 
marmotslayer 
70 Cal.
Posts: 4463
05-11-10 08:52 PM - Post#856375    

    In response to eod4647

If you don't mind jumping in with two barrels right off the bat, then I'd suggest the GPH and at the same time order an IBS drop in (1:70) twist and you will have the best of both worlds right off.

Will wager right up front that after the fun of the recoil of the conicals and the economy of the round ball barrel you will be mainly leaving your slug barrel at home.

Pay heed to what Dan Phariss has to say about round balls and hunting. He's been there and done it just as I and many other hunters on this forum have.

 
Walks with fire 
54 Cal.
Posts: 1842
05-11-10 11:44 PM - Post#856417    

    In response to eod4647

Since your looking at the Lyman rifle you can have both barrels for the same stock. Bullets have many advantages over the round ball but round ball still gets it done quite nicely. I would go .54 for the slow twist barrel and .50 for the fast twist.

For deer hunting either will get it done and I use both bullets and ball. There is nothing like shooting round ball but bullets seem to work better for me but most of my shoots are over 75 yards and that is about where I draw the line for round ball deer shooting.

My rifles are half stock flinters which have drop-in switch barrels for both fast and slow twist barrels. I prefer to shoot ball but bullets drop deer much quicker in my opinion. If you push a 210/240 grain high bc .44 hollow point at .44 mag. rifle speeds things tend to go down quite quickly at close range. If you shoot heavy 400 grain .50/.54 conicals at reasonable velocity things tend to go down quite quickly as well.

The difference between .50 and .54 round ball gets talked about quite a bit but in my opinion the .54 is the best weight and barrel lengths of 32-36" will burn 100 grains of powder very well were a bit longer barrel is required to burn that much with the .50

Edited by Walks with fire on 05-11-10 11:57 PM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
ebiggs 
69 Cal.
Posts: 3893
ebiggs
05-12-10 08:32 AM - Post#856467    

    In response to eod4647

All that logical stuff aside, get the GPR flintlock in 54 because they are fun. They are grest rifles too!

 
Zoar 
50 Cal.
Posts: 1143
05-12-10 09:20 AM - Post#856489    

    In response to eod4647

Lymans Great Plains rifle is much more fun and aesthetically pleasing than the Lyman Hunter. Why hunt or shoot with an ugly gun? Makes no sense to me.

Seriously the 54 caliber Great Plains will do everything you want to do and do it well. You want to punch holes in paper. You want to hunt. It does both exceptionally well with Round Ball out to 100 yards plus.

Have fun!

 
eod4647 
32 Cal.
Posts: 16
05-12-10 09:36 AM - Post#856496    

    In response to ebiggs

Thanks for all the great input and advice. I think I will probably just shoot round ball for the simplicity of it all. Most of my shooting will be for fun, and flintlocks look to be a lot of fun to shoot. Someday I hope to build a flintlock from a kit. I have ancestors that were here pre-Revolution, so I'm thinking of building something they might have had or used way back then. I'm a real fan of the Sharpe series of books by Bernard Cornwell featuringthe Baker rifle and I'd really like to build one of them. But more important than any of that, I want to get a flintlock and start shooting. Hence my interest in the GPR. It probably won't be a father's day gift but hopefully by the end of summer. Thanks again. I look forward to sharing my experiences and I currently have to live vicariously through the posts on this forum.

Chris

 
BrownBear 
Cannon
Posts: 13739
BrownBear
05-12-10 10:10 AM - Post#856502    

    In response to eod4647

Ah, man.....

Another one bites the dust.

What's this world going to come to if more people take an interest in guns that aren't black plastic?

Seriously, great motives and choices. I think you'll be happy in the short term with a GPR and in the long term with the quest for your roots. You've come to the right place for both!

 
Dan Phariss 
70 Cal.
Posts: 4622
Dan Phariss
05-12-10 10:47 AM - Post#856515    

    In response to Walks with fire

  • Walks with fire Said:
Since your looking at the Lyman rifle you can have both barrels for the same stock. Bullets have many advantages over the round ball but round ball still gets it done quite nicely. I would go .54 for the slow twist barrel and .50 for the fast twist.

For deer hunting either will get it done and I use both bullets and ball. There is nothing like shooting round ball but bullets seem to work better for me but most of my shoots are over 75 yards and that is about where I draw the line for round ball deer shooting.

My rifles are half stock flinters which have drop-in switch barrels for both fast and slow twist barrels. I prefer to shoot ball but bullets drop deer much quicker in my opinion. If you push a 210/240 grain high bc .44 hollow point at .44 mag. rifle speeds things tend to go down quite quickly at close range. If you shoot heavy 400 grain .50/.54 conicals at reasonable velocity things tend to go down quite quickly as well.

The difference between .50 and .54 round ball gets talked about quite a bit but in my opinion the .54 is the best weight and barrel lengths of 32-36" will burn 100 grains of powder very well were a bit longer barrel is required to burn that much with the .50



This is not intended to insult anyone it is simply my opinion on "stopping/dropping" animals with ANY projectile.
First remember that Louis Lagarde (or Thompson or both, see Thompson Lagarde tests) stated that no projectile smaller than a 3" solid shot would reliably stop a man.
And that I have always taken an interest in bullet performance and wound channels.
With this in mind....

Having shot deer or seen them shot with a wide range of calibers and loads probably 50+ (maybe 80 never kept track) with round balls alone, I think the "dropping deer quicker" is silly.
Lung shot a Mule deer or Whitetail will *usually* run about 40 yards. Don't matter if its a 45 RB with 45 grains of powder or a 7mm mag all the same. Some will drop at the shot, some will run 200 yards and pile up in a flurry of flailing hooves, stand for awhile and fall over, or die mid-leap and slide to a stop on the snow. I have seen it all occur, round ball, lead bullet, modern magnum, no difference some times with the same rifle at different times/circumstances. *Usually* the only way to stop/drop them is to strike or heavily shock the brain or spine. But some just fall over?? Can't tell before the shot.
This is the heart and lungs of a Mule Deer doe. She was facing me at about 40 yards. Rifle was a 16 bore (437 gr ball) flintlock with 140 gr of FF Swiss. MV 1600. Ball weighs within 3 grains what a 54 Maxi does.



The ball struck just to one side of the windpipe, penetrated the heavy brisket and destroyed the heart. It penetrated about 30" in total.
The recovered ball before and after. The unfired ball is .662"


At the shot a considerable amount of blood and tissue was ejected from the hole back toward the gun, enough it was easily seen as a line in the ground. Blood trail was the best I have ever seen.



The circumstances, the deer saw me but was not sure what I was, I was in plain view seated in open prairie. Seeing me may have given her a small shot of adrenaline, blood tests were not performed
On average had I shot her with a 50 caliber RB, a favorite deer load BTW, a 45-70 with a 300-400 gr bullet black or smokeless, a 30-06 etc etc the results would have been "ball park" based on experience. Even the pipsqueak 38-40-180 BP (used on one deer as an experiment) will drop a deer in 40-50 yards with a shot hitting nothing but lungs. VERY poor wound channels, very. The "standard" Lyman 38-40 bullet soft cast 37 gr of FFF. Deer still was dead in 50 yards or so.
My Grandfather, as a child, killed a WT buck with a BP 22 short. Shot it in the garden. His father told him he thought it was hard hit, so the kid followed it up and found it dead. No info on shot placement. He was simply trying to get it out of the garden (anecdotal family history). A friend you used to shoot deer in MT with a 22 related similar effect with modern LR ammo.

This buck shot with the identical load dropped at the shot at 90 yards (laser).
But the ball passed close to the spine and the deer I subsequently found out had lost a fight with another buck very recently and probably did not feel so good having a puncture wound that penetrated 4-5 inches into one ham and a few other minor injuries. He was moving pretty slow. In retrospect I figure he was exhausted.


This buck dropped at the shot but was quartering toward me was well below and ball passed close to the spine. 54 RB. 40 yards or so.

My son did an identical shot with a more powerful 45-70 smokeless HV load at maybe 75 yards. Deer dropped at the shot. Which is better? I get a lot more satisfaction from hunting with my traditional rifles.
I shot two deer 3-4 years ago with the hottest commercial 45-70 load. 325 grain at 2000+ from my rebarreled Marlin and neither dropped at the shot, one required a followup. But bullet performance sucked too, failed to track straight. Something the RB does not suffer from in my experience. But some modern ML bullet DO have issues.

Ball struck center of the shoulder passing just under the bone, look close you can see the ruffled spot in the hair above the rifle.
Now one can take a modern like a 25-06 or 7mm mag and shoot light bullets and they will drop deer like you would not believe you will also not believe the meat loss. My brother in law talked my mom into shooting a deer with a 25-06 and light bullet and she was really pissed at the meat lost that resulted. She usually used a .375 Win Big Bore lever action. It killed deer with no meat loss.

I have shot or seen shot hundreds of deer and some elk. Why is "drop them quicker" silly? Because they (deer especially) cannot be relied upon to die of schedule. In 2007 I shot a whitetail doe at 300 yards, simply could not get closer and had to crawl 50 yards to get this close. 6.5x55 140 gr Speer SP. about 2650 at the muzzle, long heavy bullet (identical cartridges have been used on African Elephant with solids. Bullet struck the humerus, shattering the bone, passed just over the top of the heart through pericardial sac bruising the heart, messing up the lungs. Deer took off like a scalded rat and when butt over tea kettle after about 75-100 yards just as teh terrain made it impossible to see her on the ground. I waited a few minutes since there was a buck who did not want to leave her when he got some distance away I walked to the deer. She was behind a sage with her head up. So I head shot her.
So not only did this very effective deer cartridge not stop the deer, the deer shot in nearly the perfect place did not die in several minutes.
People that claim that one cartridge/caliber/projectile is far superior to another are dreaming. Except the 25-06 ect as noted above.
Now what did the 6.5 accomplish that my RB rifle would not. It has a MUCH flatter trajectory (300 yard point blank range on deer over double my RB guns) that allows me to fill tags late in the season at distances impossible with a RB rifle. Thats it, period. It does not kill better, it does not stop better, it simply increases the range and sometimes makes a bigger mess if the range is short.
Now lets go to increasing the range of the BP firearm. Shoot a bullet is the answer, yeppers. The problem is trajectory. A 45-100-500 Sharps will kill buffalo at 500 yards or more. But hitting something the first shot is impossible. To get close to the kill zone (pretty big on a buffalo) one would need a range finder, a vernier sight and a book with sight setting from other shooting sessions. A wind meter would help too. OR be pre-sighted on the spot
In the old days people gave it their best guess and fired for effect. Even the very experienced hunters would miss deer sized animals the first shot at 200-300 yards, correct then kill the animal. Its documented.
Trying to take advantage of the increased range with a ML rifle with barrel sights is just a dream. This is why people need to read Forsythe's book. The ridiculous trajectory of the Minie ball was why it was not used to any great extent by civilians. Its point blank in a deer sized animal is likely under 50 yards with the service load which cannot be increased BTW with the service bullet. A 50 caliber RB has a 125-130 yard point blank for deer. So does my 16 bore. Hold in the middle from 0 to 130 and the deer is dead. The ball will strike within 3" or so of the aim point.

The conical does a number of things. It gives a false sense of increased power to the shooter, it increases the recoil, pressure and gas leakage (and erosion. It usually increases the trajectory. It will penetrate better, some of them, but a 50 caliber RB will shoot through deer to at least 150 yards.
If some one MUST shoot a 270-350-480 grain bullet for hunting with a ML then they should order a rifle in 58-62-69 caliber. The 69 (14 bore)is a MARVELOUS killer based on my experience with the 16 bore (harder bore size to get) and comments by friends who own 69s. It is actually BETTER than a 12 gauge shotgun and slug since hard lead can be used. With hard lead it is adequate for Indian Elephant (documented).
I have never shot game with a 62 (20 bore) but reading reports indicates its a very nice compromise. The 66-69 calinbers do kick at 1500-1700 FPS in 10 pound rifles and are really over kill for most American hunting. Best use is big bears, moose etc.

The 62-69 round ball guns actually operate at LOWER pressure than the 50-54 with a RB. Properly designed rifles have good recoil characteristics. They have no disadvantages compared to the bullet in 45-55 caliber and several advantages. Bigger holes, better blood trail and a flatter trajectory at *typical hunting ranges*.

Finally what is the point? I hunt with a ML because it puts me in contact with my history. It gives me insight into the past. I prefer to hunt with a traditional ML.
Loading a ML with a bullet, maybe with plastic patch, shooting some gray powder etc etc. Is silly. If I want to pretend at this level I simply take one of the breechloaders and be done with with it.

AND
I REALLY believe the shooting public has been sold a "bill of goods" concerning the effectiveness of the hunting projectiles. ESPECIALLY in the field of MLs. Few handgun hunters will use modern jacketed handgun bullets on anything larger than deer because they are DISMAL FAILURES, sometime penetration on bears has been inches, never getting through the fat. The 240 gr JSP/JHP from 44 mag for example. They use hard cast blunt bullets that PENETRATE. My 44 mag bear load is a heat treated Keith SWC hard as heck. Hopefully I will never use it.
Yet ML hunters will refuse to use a RB since it "won't penetrate" but will use saboted jacketed pistol bullets. Wake up folks.

The 50 caliber round ball will probably not do well with a "Texas Heart Shot" though I did do one that missed the heart with a Sharps Percussion carbine years ago 75 gr of fff and a "Christmas Tree" bullet of pure lead. Still had to follow the deer and shoot it again even though it fell and bled a large puddle of blood from a cut FEMORAL ARTERY before getting to its feet and running off as I reloaded. Bullet exited the at the front of the offside shoulder. Have done the same with a 50-70 from the front. Both killed the deer, eventally. Shooting a much lighter bulelt from a 40-70 kills better than the 50 with similar placement but experience is limited to too few deer (one each) to make a real statement.
Now if you place a shot poorly a 7mm mag will disable a deer faster than a poor shot with a 50-54 rb (though I once tracked one a long time after a client shot a buck with a 308 with a quartering shot at about 100 yards and only got one lung). Had he waited for a broadside shot it would have saved me and another guide time and ammo.
People, ESPECIALLY GUNWRITERS, love to shoot one animal (they gotta get that story in print to make the car payment) or less then pontificate on how wonderful (or bad in the case of the round ball). ITS ALL ADVERTISING PEOPLE. The real truth is pushed aside to make sure the advertisers product is "good" and YOU the reader should buy it in preference to all others.
THIS in what magazines are about: KEEPING THE ADVERTISER HAPPY. SO get out there and buy "new and improved" The latest has been the "short magnum craze". Shooters running to gun stores to by a "short magnum" they had just read about. Never mind it produces the same or less velocity, never mind it will shoot no better, don't matter that the critters they hunt can tell no difference, some gunwriter wrote a glowing report (he had no other option) and they grab a rifle that they have had for 6 months or 10 years and run to trade it in for new and improved.

ITS SHOT PLACEMENT.
Place the shot the animal will die, round ball at 1000 fps, conical at 1000, modern jacketed at 2500. All the same outcome so long as the projectiles will produce adequate penetration, are sized for the game and TRACK straight through the animal.
Everything else is Madison Avenue hype. SELL SELL SELL. It makes the world go around.
The buyer just has less money to see it with.
Sorry but this subject is a pet peeve of mine.
Dan

 
Wattsy 
69 Cal.
Posts: 3631
Wattsy
05-12-10 11:54 AM - Post#856529    

    In response to Dan Phariss

Soooo Dan how do you REALLY feel about all of this?
Good post. Good read.

 
chopper 
40 Cal.
Posts: 290
chopper
05-12-10 12:03 PM - Post#856534    

    In response to Dan Phariss

great post Dan! really enjoyed it.

 
paulab 
40 Cal.
Posts: 337
05-12-10 12:29 PM - Post#856543    

    In response to Dan Phariss

Dan....VERY informative!!!! thanks Paul

 
Zoar 
50 Cal.
Posts: 1143
05-12-10 01:10 PM - Post#856557    

    In response to Dan Phariss

Dan---I think it is a pet peeve of many others here, as well. Why else would be hear and NOT on those modern ammo/gun forums where they laud the short magnums as the only thing to hunt with...

And thanks for your informative post. It was a good read.

I must add for our newcomer here that I find shooting a 54 cal GPR so much better than shooting a modern gun. The iron sights and the barrel length seem to make me shoot a patch round ball more accurately with this gun than ANY iron sighted modern gun.

Also I know you indicated you probably won't be getting the actual gun till end of summer but just to let you know you can get a GPR at a good price:

http://www.midsouthshooterssupply.com/item.asp?sku=000156031...

About $489

And you can buy the kit for only $401 (!!!)

It is indeed a great deal fun and reward to shoot the real black powder and a patched round ball with a flintlock!

 
cowpoke1955 
58 Cal.
Posts: 2090
cowpoke1955
05-12-10 01:54 PM - Post#856565    

    In response to eod4647

My first muzzle loader was a .54 GPR percussion. I've had that rifle for over 30 years. Used it for target shooting and hunting. Three years ago my wife bought me a .54 GPR flint kit. This flinter has become my favorite rifle. It will take any game in North America (as long as you do your part) and very accurate out to 100 yards. You won't be sorry with the .54 GPR

 
Idaho Ron 
58 Cal.
Posts: 2105
05-12-10 11:44 PM - Post#856735    

    In response to cowpoke1955

Well you hare heard form one side of the isle. Here is my side, I use conicals. One of my fast twist Renegade 50’s uses a Hornady 410 grain great plains bullet. This bullet is accurate to sub 1.5” groups at 100 yards in my rifle but is no longer made. I could see the hand writing on the wall and bought 25 boxes of bullets. Then I went to looking for a replacement. My other fast twist renegade 50 shoots a bullet I make my self. It is a Lee C-501-440-RF it comes out at 460 grains. I paper patch this bullet and size it to .501 with a Lee Sizer. This bullet is also VERY accurate sub 2” groups with MANY, and MANY groups under 1.5” but for the average it is sub 2” ALL the time.
Yes PRB will kill deer. Do I use them? NO I don’t care for them but I had a few bad experiences. These experiences lead me to a different way of thinking and now I use conicals. Most of my Hunting is open country Mule deer hunting. In a lot of the areas I hunt cover is less than a foot high but rocks and canyons are used to get closer to game at times. I use Lyman 57 SML peeps and Lyman 17 aml globe sights on all my rifles. While the Hornady was a pretty good bullet the Paper patched Lee bullet is a REAL game stopper. The wide meplat on the front of that bullet is a sniper quality sledgehammer. I have only been using this bullet for about 3 or 4 years and have only seen 3 Mule deer killed with them. I know that three is not a huge number but this bullet just has never been used like this. My son shot a doe with the bullet a couple of years ago. She was hit in the neck and dropped. Not a great test of a bullet, but the shot was at 117 yards. The accuracy was smack on with the load. Last year was my first time with the bullet for hunting.
I shot my buck from just over 100 yards. The bullet tore through the lungs and the buck was done before I could reload. Again a little over 100 yards, and full penetration, well that should be expected for a bullet that is kicking out just under 1400 foot pounds of energy at 100 yards. The next deer killed with this bullet was with a TC White mountain carbine. It is a short barrel fast twist rifle. This rifle also loved this load. My friend John shot his buck I think just over 115 yards. The deer was quartering to him. This was going to be the deer to test the bullet. The bullet hit the shoulder on the joint. It broke the shoulder and joint and exited out the back of the flank next to the hind quarter.
If a guy wants to use conicals use them. Experiment with them and have fun doing it. I know that I trust my load now and that trust makes me a better hunter. Ron


 
Dan Phariss 
70 Cal.
Posts: 4622
Dan Phariss
05-13-10 01:28 AM - Post#856753    

    In response to Idaho Ron

  • Idaho Ron Said:
Well you hare heard form one side of the isle. Here is my side, I use conicals. One of my fast twist Renegade 50’s uses a Hornady 410 grain great plains bullet. This bullet is accurate to sub 1.5” groups at 100 yards in my rifle but is no longer made. I could see the hand writing on the wall and bought 25 boxes of bullets. Then I went to looking for a replacement. My other fast twist renegade 50 shoots a bullet I make my self. It is a Lee C-501-440-RF it comes out at 460 grains. I paper patch this bullet and size it to .501 with a Lee Sizer. This bullet is also VERY accurate sub 2” groups with MANY, and MANY groups under 1.5” but for the average it is sub 2” ALL the time.
Yes PRB will kill deer. Do I use them? NO I don’t care for them but I had a few bad experiences. These experiences lead me to a different way of thinking and now I use conicals. Most of my Hunting is open country Mule deer hunting. In a lot of the areas I hunt cover is less than a foot high but rocks and canyons are used to get closer to game at times. I use Lyman 57 SML peeps and Lyman 17 aml globe sights on all my rifles. While the Hornady was a pretty good bullet the Paper patched Lee bullet is a REAL game stopper. The wide meplat on the front of that bullet is a sniper quality sledgehammer. I have only been using this bullet for about 3 or 4 years and have only seen 3 Mule deer killed with them. I know that three is not a huge number but this bullet just has never been used like this. My son shot a doe with the bullet a couple of years ago. She was hit in the neck and dropped. Not a great test of a bullet, but the shot was at 117 yards. The accuracy was smack on with the load. Last year was my first time with the bullet for hunting.
I shot my buck from just over 100 yards. The bullet tore through the lungs and the buck was done before I could reload. Again a little over 100 yards, and full penetration, well that should be expected for a bullet that is kicking out just under 1400 foot pounds of energy at 100 yards. The next deer killed with this bullet was with a TC White mountain carbine. It is a short barrel fast twist rifle. This rifle also loved this load. My friend John shot his buck I think just over 115 yards. The deer was quartering to him. This was going to be the deer to test the bullet. The bullet hit the shoulder on the joint. It broke the shoulder and joint and exited out the back of the flank next to the hind quarter.
If a guy wants to use conicals use them. Experiment with them and have fun doing it. I know that I trust my load now and that trust makes me a better hunter. Ron




I have seen "bad experiences" with just about anything you can name. 165 gr spire points from a 30-06 hitting a moose rib and turning 45 degrees, bullets turning without hitting a rib. Deer never found after being hit with a 500 gr case RN from HV Ruger #1 45-70. Poor shooting near as I could determine. Took the shot too late in the day. but I was younger and not quite as wise as now.
I shot a deer 2 years ago I never found and apparently the birds did not either, followed for about 300 yards before trail petered out completely. I have not hunted with the rifle since and need to have the scope tested or at least shoot it a bunch to see if I can recreate any problem of that sort. I think the bullet passed across the front of her chest making a flesh wound. I would have called it a perfect shot when the trigger broke. Rest, range was pretty short. Deer apparently did not die.
People I have guided shooting deer and my following them all over a mountain side. Following a deer for 2 miles after a neck shot with a bullet that did not expand properly and just nicked the bone. Wrong shape, alloy too hard
An acquaintance having to shoot a buffalo numerous times with a BP loaded Sharps, used the most accurate load rather than a good killer. Friend hunting the same place killing a cow in two shots with 30% lighter bullet and BP. She was dead on her feet but you shoot till they pile up. Shot a cow elk 4 times 175 yards with a 40-90 with a 385 gr PP FP. Elk just would not fall over. Chest cavity was a real mess. Shot about a 5" group on an elk though. Exit wounds in the meat and fat were 2" in diameter 1/2" plus in the hide. She stood up till she bled out. Swapping ends once but hurt too bad to run off. Would this count as a "problem" I thought it was till I looked at the effect on the elk.
If I quit using every bullet that produced "unfortunate results" at one time or another I would likely have to quit hunting all together. Sometimes things just don't go as planned.
There is no difference in shooting a soft lead bullet from a ML and shooting a similar bullet from a Sharps. Yeah they work and I have shot quite a few critters with them. But there is no magic involved at traditional ML ranges. As the range increases past about 120-150 the bullets really come into their own. If you have the means to used the extra range. I made a swage for a 400 gr PP bullet I used in a 44-90 and it was a real sledgehammer too. Big flatpoint. Shot a Mule Deer doe though the center of the lungs at about 50 yards and she ran about 150 before piling up. Would probably have run as far with a 50 RB. It happens. The only deer it dropped in their tracks were the 2 I neck shot with it. I rebarreled the Shiloh to 40-70 and it killed deer just as well with a lot less lead and powder. Less recoil too. The 44 was a tough one to do load development with with 92 gr of FFg. Now if shooting Buffalo the 44 will outperform the 40 in all probability.

If you had problems with the RB it was likely from using it improperly or just plain bad luck. Some critters just don't lay down and die when they are supposed to. Don't seem to matter what they are shot with.
A friend of mine witnessed a BC Canada moose shot with a 54 round ball at 175 yards. To his amazement the moose piled up in about 20 feet. Lung shot, passed through IIRC or to the far side hide. This well outside what I would consider the ideal use for the projectile but it still worked.

I sat here for several minutes trying to think of failures/problems with the RB and I can't think of one that can't be attributed to shot placement.

There is no magic bullet, all have problems at times. The RB is no different. The difference is that if the RB fails to work the way they want its common to assume it is the projectile since its got poor sectional density. If a 30-06 fails nobody says its deficient, or should not at any rate. Nobody would consider a 325 gr 45 bullet at 2000 fps to be inadequate for deer but 2 for 2 "disappointments" cured me and I would never shoot another animal with what is otherwise an excellent load, power, trajectory, but the bullet will deflect on soft tissue.
I have not the slightest doubt that a 300-400 grain bullet for a 50 caliber with a big flatpoint driven will be very impressive,I use FP bullets in BPCR if I hunt with them. I just don't shoot bullets in MLs, at least not for hunting. I have a rifle with a 48 twist I have been shooting cloth patched picket bullets from. But the nipple erosion is pretty severe, best load in a 40 caliber rifle is 80 gr of FF Swiss with a bullet about .800 long. Needs a platinum lined nipple. I have some platinum. But have not modified a nipple yet.
Recoil, nipple erosion, possible bore obstructions all keep me from using "expansive" bullets in MLs.
People are free to use what ever projectile they want. I started shooting MLs before the "modern conical" arrived on the scene and never saw a reason to use them aside from some testing a now long gone editor talked me into. The choices were more limited then than now only tested one. Still have some bullets on a shelf if I did not remelt them.
Oh yes I built an underhammer rifle once that used a 520 grain GG bullet and 70 gr of FF. But it was a LR target gun made for the "buffler runners" match at Virginia City. Worked fairly well but ate a nipple about every 10 shots. Would shoot fairly well to 1200 yards though, until the hole in the nipple got too big. Only used it one year.
You mean terrain like this


There is a dead mule deer buck at the base of the hill I am on here.


The doe I shot with the 16 bore was a about 800-1000 yards short of the trees in the distance (these are on private land) on what is apparently a very old wheat field that as reseeded to grass or simply went back to grass when the homesteader left. I understand having to use terrain and I watched a big buck run off about 4 years ago I could have killed with the Mauser. But its about more than killing stuff.
Shooting stuff with the Mauser or the Marlin is just freezer filling. Seldom even take a photo.
I like longrifles and I am fairly good at making them. Owning a short barreled modern ML does not appeal to me. One reason I never bothered with conicals I guess. Almost all I have made are flint. I have not hunted with a percussion rifle in decades. But I do need to put "lollipop" tang sights on a couple of rifles for hunting.
Shoulda went to bed before I started this.
Take Care.

Dan

 
GoodCheer 
75 Cal.
Posts: 5961
GoodCheer
05-13-10 06:22 AM - Post#856767    

    In response to Dan Phariss

In a black powder rifle nothing kills game as effectively as a soft lead bullet. The most effective weight for the bullet is a matter of several factors: the bore diameter, twist, charge of powder, the range and the intended recipient.
There's a huge middle ground where most any bullet works pretty well, from one bore diameter in length (spherical) to longer ones. Stretch any factor out beyond that middle ground and the choices on what works best starts to narrow down.
The choice of weaponry is best selected to fit your abilities and circumstance. Round balls as part of that weapon are very short lead bullet that work well within in a set of circumstances. Your choice in weaponry should be based upon what you intend to use it for.
The suggestion of getting a Lyman Great Plans Rifle with both fast twist (.50cal) and slow twist (.54cal) barrels is right on. My first choice of platform for a knock-about working gun is the TC Renegade. I have fast and slow twist GPR's as well and love them too.
But all that's really beside the point. The important thing is that you need to get a muzzleodor and start having fun.

 
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