Choosing a caliber/barrel for a flintlock

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Kilo Charlie

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I'm considering having a flint Longrifle built; likely a Tennessee style, 42" barrel. Ideally, I'd like to divest myself of my current rifles and have just the one rifle for plinking, small game, and the possibility of a deer hunt.
I'm thinking a .45 cal will fit the bill; I can hunt rabbits and grouse with light charges and roundballs, and stoke it up with heavier charges and Lee REAL 200-grain bullets for deer.
I see that the Colerain barrels have a 1:56 twist compared to the 1:66 offered by Green Mountain. Should there be any practical difference in performance between these two barrels, given my intended use?
All opinions welcome; thanks in advance!
 

Art Caputo

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IMO, both are excellent barrels that perform well in my rifles. I don’t think you would see an accuracy difference between the two using LRB’s, but your desire to double up using the heavier/longer 200gr bullets for deer would tip me towards the faster twist Coleraiin barrel.
 

Loyalist Dave

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There is actually no real need to up your bullet choice from a 128 grain .440 round ball to a 200 grain Lee REAL bullet, simply because you're going after deer. The .440 patched round ball is a well proven deer harvester. You might like the advantage of the conical bullet vs. a wild boar. The Tennessee rifle is a pretty specific style, and a .45 barrel from either company should do well.

LD
 

Robby

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.45 is an excellent caliber choice and will serve your purpose, large and small, using a patched round ball for both. I would go with the Green Mountain barrel.
Robin
 

Grenadier1758

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The 1 in 56 barrel will provide good accuracy at a lower powder charge than the 1 in 66 barrel. I have (a different maker of barrels) 45 caliber rifle with a 1 in 56 that provides excellent accuracy at modest charges (50 grains 3fg) and good accuracy using higher charges up to 90 grains 3fg. The 45 round ball will provide all the accuracy you may want on a target or performance on game. Depending on the depths of the grooves, the Lee 200 grain REAL may not fill the grooves and with gas cutting may not have the accuracy on target or on game.
 

martin9

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I know for a fact the colerain can shoot great with small charges...20 grains of 3f and shoots the 200 grain real fantastically well. An A weight colerain .45 is my favorite barrel for an "all around" kinda rifle
 

mooman76

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Might check your hunting regs. Like stated 45 RB will do the job on deer but some states require a conical in the cal. for deer. In that case I would go with the 1-56 for conical option. With 1-56 you may be able to shoot other conicals too and maybe even the heavier 250 REAL.
 

Kilo Charlie

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Might check your hunting regs. Like stated 45 RB will do the job on deer but some states require a conical in the cal. for deer. In that case I would go with the 1-56 for conical option. With 1-56 you may be able to shoot other conicals too and maybe even the heavier 250 REAL.
Thanks, Mooman.
As far as I know the .45 PRB is legal in all Canadian provinces and territories, and definitely in the ones I would hunt.
I do have a .45 that shoots conicals well, a Spanish "Hawken-style" I built from a CVA kit about 1988. However I misss the aesthetic of a longrifle and I want a flintlock. My last one was a rifle Jack Garner built for me in 1990, and which I sold in a fit of madness about ten years ago.
 

lonedave

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Have you considered a smoothbore fowler? For a more dual purpose use, being able to use shot or ball might be a better option for you rather than having to head shoot small game or birds.
 
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Kilo Charlie

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Have you considered a smoothbore fowler? For a more dual purpose use, being able to use shot or ball might be a better option for you rather than having to head shoot small game or birds.
I just really love accurate rifles too much to take that very practical suggestion. And I grew up head-shooting small game with a rim fire, so I’ll enjoy the challenge.
 

hanshi

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The .45 is a great deer rifle with patched round ball. That's all I've ever fired in mine and I've taken a lot of deer with it. I've never needed but the one shot to drop a deer with a .45. I prefer a 1-56" twist and use the slower twist in larger calibers only. Excellent accuracy from mild to wild.
 

Kilo Charlie

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The .45 is a great deer rifle with patched round ball. That's all I've ever fired in mine and I've taken a lot of deer with it. I've never needed but the one shot to drop a deer with a .45. I prefer a 1-56" twist and use the slower twist in larger calibers only. Excellent accuracy from mild to wild.
That sounds good; I'm leaning towards a Southern Rifle from Tennessee Valley Muzzleloaders and they use Colerain barrels.
I'm thinking with a PRB, it would be best to keep shots under about 75 yards?
That shouldn't be an issue; in 45 years afield I've only ever shot two deer at beyond a hundred yards. Everything else has been between 15 feet and 70 yards.
 

hanshi

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My farthest deer kill with a .45 was 75 yards. Now I do have a SMR from TVM but is a .36 and strictly a squirrel rifle. You will not regret your choice. I recommend spending a little more and getting a swamped barrel on it. Good luck.
 

Kilo Charlie

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Thanks! I have a .36 as well, a TC Seneca that I still haven’t fired. Also a little .40 cal that has a Dixie lock and Tennessee styling, but a carbine-length 30-inch barrel. Both cap locks.
 

Critter Getter

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Beautiful deer and rifle both!
I'd love to hear a few details about the rifle.
It is a Virginia from Pecatonica assembled by Mike Brooks. 42” swamped Green Mountain barrel. Sweet shooting and holds solid. I had shot many bucks here in Iowa with my percussion rifles over the years but this was my first flintlock buck. Greg 😀
 
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