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can a .50cal muzzleloader fire a .44cal ball?

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ClausewitzVon

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I'm a new player for muzzleloader... I have some less-strength for my arm so very haaaaaaaard to push .50cal ball into .50cal muzzleloader barrel :(
Each time shooting my muzzleloader in range, when I go home I feel my arm sooooo sore...
So I have a question, can I shoot .44cal ball in my .50cal muzzleloader? Or even smaller, .36cal...? When shoot smaller ball, would it be dangerous to effect serious injury or XXX?
 

bubba.50

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You might double patch with thicker material and get it to somewhat work. Better option to me would be smallest ball for 50 cal you can ffind and use thin patch if you want to stay with roundballs.

But for me personally, l would use either Lee R.E.A.L. Bullets or maxi-balls as once you engrave the top band with your short starter they load easier.
 

zneufeld

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I'm a new player for muzzleloader... I have some less-strength for my arm so very haaaaaaaard to push .50cal ball into .50cal muzzleloader barrel :(
Each time shooting my muzzleloader in range, when I go home I feel my arm sooooo sore...
So I have a question, can I shoot .44cal ball in my .50cal muzzleloader? Or even smaller, .36cal...? When shoot smaller ball, would it be dangerous to effect serious injury or XXX?
Just to be sure: when you say .50 cal, do you mean .490 or .495 balls? .490 balls with a thin patch like .010 should load pretty easy.

Also, using a "range rod" will save your arm some work, rather than the wooden rod on the gun.
 
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Yes you can. When I was asked to work on a 50 caliber once, I did not have any larger balls. The closest I had was .457". I double patched with I think pillow ticking, and thick canvas. They still loaded quite easy. Accuracy was not horrible, but no surprise, was not that great.

In your case, I would choose a slightly smaller ball. They make .480" balls, and they should load super easy with most patches.
 

ClausewitzVon

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Just to be sure: when you say .50 cal, do you mean .490 or .495 balls? .490 balls with a thin patch like .010 should load pretty easy.

Also, using a "range rod" will save your arm some work, rather than the wooden rod on the gun.
thank you for your explanation. Using ramrod is ok for me. The hardest thing is using bullet starter to make the ball into barrel... soooo difficult to dip it in...
 

rafterob

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Yes, I would think a .490 ball with a thin patch, like bed sheet material would load easily. If not move down to the .480 ball. You may have a harder time finding a .480 ball over a .490 which is more standard.
With a loose loading ball and patch you may want to use an over powder wad to make sure you have a good gas seal in the bore.
 

Grenadier1758

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As @jdw276 suggests, a 0.480" ball or 0.485" ball would be much easier to load. The drawback to using a much smaller ball is the loss of accuracy. That size will be hard to find unless you are casting the balls. The optional over powder wad is a good suggestion.

By the way, if shooting and loading round ball makes your shoulder sore, then shooting your rifle with a Maxi-Ball or REAL conical bullet will send you to find the best best pain medication in your medicine cabinet.
 
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mooman76

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You could try flannel material. While not the best, I have used it and works fine with light loads. It's soft enough that it compresses allot so easier loading. Some people start their RBs with a wood mallet. Might help.
 

Captndan

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My 50 cal. .049 ball with lubed with Otleys cleaning patch. Strong and fits perfectly. Easy to start.
 

tenngun

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Think too about a short starter with a broad top, a little easier on your hand then the narrower ball on many short starters.
Also try a loading block. You can load the ball with out ever having to use the short end of the short starter. You can do it with a whack of your palm instead of a push.
a room temp grease on the patch vs an oil seems to me to make an easier load to start.
 

deermanct

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X2 with the mallet. I keep a small one in my range box. Comes in handy for starting a patched ball along with the short starter.
 

Eric Krewson

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I forget all of the things I have used to smack a tight ball in over the years, I think the last was a little rawhide hammer like the small one in the picture. You can put your ball starter over the ball and smack the back of the ball starter with a mallet to get the ball all the way in.

rawhide hammer.jpg
 

Newtire

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Yes you can. When I was asked to work on a 50 caliber once, I did not have any larger balls. The closest I had was .457". I double patched with I think pillow ticking, and thick canvas. They still loaded quite easy. Accuracy was not horrible, but no surprise, was not that great.

In your case, I would choose a slightly smaller ball. They make .480" balls, and they should load super easy with most patches.
The .480 balls work pretty good. One of the YouTubers -Black Powder Maniac, uses them so I tried it. Beats having to pound the ball down, deforming the crap out of it.
 

TrapperPete

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if a .490 ball rolls down the barrel just a thinner patch like flannel gun cleaning patches. and good lube like moose milk or speed juice.

with supplies as hard as they are to get a little thinner patch material will be easier to find than a custom size ball mold or other balls.

if you don't have a good range rod , everyone should have one , one of the main failures in proper cleaning I find is people trying to clean with the factory ram rod. that could be ok if they had an extended jag but most don't.
 
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.480" is not that hard to find.

Mold in stock.

Hornady swaged balls in stock.
 

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