Bullet size for 50 cal

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tomme boy

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My T/C 50 cal has a 0.4995"x0.5095" bore and groove. I want to order a mold from accurate and need to know what size to get the mold made to. Regular cast bullets in centerfire you try for 0.001" over size. But I don't know what the rule is for black powder so I will not have to beat the bullet down the barrel.
 

tomme boy

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Conical. Accurate molds is who is going to make the mold. I have a TC 370gr maxi ball and the Lee 250gr and 320gr molds. These shoot ok at best. I don't want a tapered bullet like these are. I feel that is why they don't shoot well at all.

I have tried several types of black. Swiss, Diamondback, Wano, Goex. Plus some of the fake powder. I have tried a 50 cal and a 54cal felt wad lubed and unlubed. Have used TC bore butter. Made my own with beeswax, olive oil and lanolin. Beeswax and crisco. None of the lubes have made a difference one bit. Groups never got larger or smaller. But the wads made the biggest difference. Cut the groups in half. But 4" at 100yds is too big. It shoots a unmentionable bullet at a 1.25" at the same distance. Tapered bullets just are not accurate in any type of firearm. Gas getting past the base is a disaster and leads to poor accuracy and unstable bullets. And I think that is why the wads made such a big difference.

I have been a very successful pistol and rifle bullet designer. I know what it takes to make them shoot. But black powder bullets are new to me and I want to figure out what it takes to make them shoot. but custom molds are expensive. I don't want to have to get several molds made to fit this gun. I want the first mold to have the best design so I will not have to get another one made for it at a different size.

I guess I can just order it oversized and size it to what I need. But that introduces its own set of problems. Sizing dies are easy. I have a lathe and can make whatever size I need. But I would rather not have to go that route. I was hoping someone could say "this is what most ML need as to size." Regular cast bullets need 0.001"-0.002" oversize at the most.

I don't know what ML need. Hence asking here. I am guessing at least 0.001"-0.002" under bore and groove? That way they can still be pushed down the barrel?
 

User_Dan

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As said before a .490, .495 max and some pillow ticking patch.

Trying to push a projectile down the bore that is too tight will never work well once there is a bit of fouling.
 

stikshooter

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As said before a .490, .495 max and some pillow ticking patch.

Trying to push a projectile down the bore that is too tight will never work well once there is a bit of fouling.
Proper sizing and wiping between shots keeps you shooting all (DAY) no matter what your loading !!! Powder /0ver powder wad /lube /projectile ball/conical and seat with a lightly moist patch over jag .Easy and I get it done several times a week (20-50 )times a day at our short/long range 200/800 yd Further instruction PM me /Ed
 

Loyalist Dave

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Conical. Accurate molds is who is going to make the mold. I have a TC 370gr maxi ball and the Lee 250gr and 320gr molds. These shoot ok at best. I don't want a tapered bullet like these are. I feel that is why they don't shoot well at all.

I have tried several types of black. Swiss, Diamondback, Wano, Goex. Plus some of the fake powder. I have tried a 50 cal and a 54cal felt wad lubed and unlubed. Have used TC bore butter. Made my own with beeswax, olive oil and lanolin. Beeswax and crisco. None of the lubes have made a difference one bit. Groups never got larger or smaller. But the wads made the biggest difference. Cut the groups in half. But 4" at 100yds is too big. It shoots a unmentionable bullet at a 1.25" at the same distance. Tapered bullets just are not accurate in any type of firearm. Gas getting past the base is a disaster and leads to poor accuracy and unstable bullets. And I think that is why the wads made such a big difference.

I have been a very successful pistol and rifle bullet designer. I know what it takes to make them shoot. But black powder bullets are new to me and I want to figure out what it takes to make them shoot. but custom molds are expensive. I don't want to have to get several molds made to fit this gun. I want the first mold to have the best design so I will not have to get another one made for it at a different size.

I guess I can just order it oversized and size it to what I need. But that introduces its own set of problems. Sizing dies are easy. I have a lathe and can make whatever size I need. But I would rather not have to go that route. I was hoping someone could say "this is what most ML need as to size." Regular cast bullets need 0.001"-0.002" oversize at the most.

I don't know what ML need. Hence asking here. I am guessing at least 0.001"-0.002" under bore and groove? That way they can still be pushed down the barrel?

So does the TC barrel have a 1:48 twist rate?
Have you tried TC Maxi-Hunter projectiles, instead of Maxi-Balls? I ask as I have a .54 TC New Englander that didn't do well with Maxi-Balls but did very well with Maxi-Hunter bullets.
IF you get that custom mold made, I'd suggest that you get it .010 undersized, and then experiment with paper patched bullets. You may find success with a wrapped patch or with a cross patch. I confess, however, that from what I've read the rifles that do well with paper patched bullets seem to have a rather fast twist rate, much faster than 1:48

LD
 

hanshi

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I'm not familiar with "bullets" used in muzzleloaders as I only have ever used prb, so I can't help you with those particulars. But in my .50 I load a .490" ball and .024" patch. Any patch for ball shooting should have at least some compression in the rifling grooves.
 

SDSmlf

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My T/C 50 cal has a 0.4995"x0.5095" bore and groove. I want to order a mold from accurate and need to know what size to get the mold made to. Regular cast bullets in centerfire you try for 0.001" over size. But I don't know what the rule is for black powder so I will not have to beat the bullet down the barrel.
I don’t know of anything I would call a hard rule for blackpowder muzzleloader conical shooting, but there are guidelines. With straight conicals, not Maxi Balls, Maxi Hunters, REAL bullets or Minies, I size them to fit my bore with an adjustable sizing die, and I have the best accuracy paperpatched. I use an oversized hard felt or veggie wad over the powder. I want the sized bullets to load in a clean bore with little more that the weight of my range rod. With the paperpatch bullets they are snug enough in the bore so they don’t move off the powder (the bane of straight conicals) when hunting, but as a belt and suspenders type thing I add and an extra layer of paper when I load a clean bore for hunting. I use 9# 100% cotton onion skin paper.

I suggest you have your custom mold sized a few thousands over what you think you’ll want when casting with pure lead, then size to what want. Different alloys may come out a bit larger diameter, but as long as your sizing them, no issue. A 1:40 alloy seems to work about the best for me in most cases, though I have used some 1:20. At the other end of spectrum, you can knurl undersized conicals up in diameter and then size them, but with a custom mold that step won’t be necessary.

And just as a reference, I find a conical that drops from the mold at .446” with two wraps of onion skin sizes nicely through a sizing die set at about .446” depending on the particular bullet and alloy, for a bore that sizes at .450” with a minus gauge pin
 
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tomme boy

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Tom at accurate molds has a section on the ordering form to input your lead alloy. Plus you can specify the tolerance range for the mold to cast. I usually go for a +- or neutral tolerance. Or you can have it so the mold cast from a 0.001"+ or 0.001-" to the size you want. I like the +- as the size comes out exactly like I want. Reason is, just temp or how hot you are running the mold temp can effect the size of the bullet. Also the size of the sprue that is poured can effect it also.

I have looked at paper patching. But that is confusing to me on how it actually works. I guess the bullet is bumping up on ignition? And the hard card is sealing off the gas?
 
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Have you been using pure lead, no alloys? The T/C Maxi-Balls work best when cast in pure lead. Any alloy is too hard for the bullet to expand into the grooves. Most muzzle loading rifles need a conical bullet cast from pure lead to a Brinell hardness of 5 to 6. If you design your conical to be the groove diameter and you use a hard alloy based on @tomme boy's experience with other bullet designs, it will be nearly impossible to load. If the bullet is of hard cast alloy and sized to be easy to load, then there will be significant gas cutting and loss of on target accuracy.
 

flntlokr

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My T/C 50 cal has a 0.4995"x0.5095" bore and groove. I want to order a mold from accurate and need to know what size to get the mold made to. Regular cast bullets in centerfire you try for 0.001" over size. But I don't know what the rule is for black powder so I will not have to beat the bullet down the barrel.
I tried some .457 405gr. 45-70 bullets out of my .50 TC. put them down with a patch, just like loading rb. 60grFF sent them downrange; hit 100 yd. 12'' gong repeatedly. My intention was to use them bear hunting, but never got the chance. The TC MAXI bullets should work well for you; that's what those rifles were made to handle.
 
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Idaho Ron or Idaho Lewis are both members here and the sister site (Modern Muzzleloader, of which they are more active) and I suspect their posts are exactly what you are seeking. They use what they call “Hot Rod Hawkens” in both fast twist and 1:48 factory with paper patch to 600 yds and beyond. Very nice guys who will be happy to help ya out.
Walk
 

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