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Colonial load

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Mike in FL

45 Cal.
Joined
Jul 2, 2022
Messages
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Location
Ormond Beach FL
I became insanely obsessed with finding a really accurate load for my Kibler .54. I don't even know how many trips to the range I made trying to develop the perfect load. Varying only one component at a time I finally settled for a fairly tight grouping, a consistent tight grouping, as in 70 grains of 3F under a lubed felt wad and .018 patch and .535 ball. I wanted to find my load at short distance (40 yards) before moving over to the big boy, supervised, 50 and 100 yard rifle range. I wanted a group comparable to the "same hole" accuracy of my .50 Pedersoli flint GPR. Everyone I spoke to who has a Colonial .54 recommended 80 grains, .530 ball, .018 patch. In my gun it simply does not work. The only variable is I only used 3F. Don't have any 2F. My groups with the 70 grains are about 1.5 inches at 40 yds, way bigger than the GPR.
Do you Colonial owners get really tight groups, or is mine about the same? I would thing a .54 would accept a heavier charge, but no.
 
Fhugheddaboutit being a Kibler Colonial, give this an HONEST try! I would start out at 50g and is best to make the charges up ahead of time at home (I use plastic capped test tubes, or simple paper carrridges).

Never shoot all 3 or 5 of the same charge at the same time, vary which shot you shoot next. All on a separate bullseye - per charge weight - of course!

One skeptic here recently tried it and lo’ & behold … 1-hole groups!

And yes, before the ‘nay-sayers’ chime in, once I believe I have targeted the most accurate charge, I will spend more time trying a few grains below that number in a few grains above, using larger five and 10-shot groups, and at a distance.

https://www.muzzleloadingforum.com/threads/importance-of-‘load-development’-to-find-the-best-group.169960/
 
Fhugheddaboutit being a Kibler Colonial, give this an HONEST try! I would start out at 50g and is best to make the charges up ahead of time at home (I use plastic capped test tubes, or simple paper carrridges).

Never shoot all 3 or 5 of the same charge at the same time, vary which shot you shoot next. All on a separate bullseye - per charge weight - of course!

One skeptic here recently tried it and lo’ & behold … 1-hole groups!

And yes, before the ‘nay-sayers’ chime in, once I believe I have targeted the most accurate charge, I will spend more time trying a few grains below that number in a few grains above, using larger five and 10-shot groups, and at a distance.

https://www.muzzleloadingforum.com/threads/importance-of-‘load-development’-to-find-the-best-group.169960/
Great advice and thank you. I will try it
for sure.
 
i believe the 54cal shoots best with 2f powder. around 75gr.
The benefit of using the load development technique that I recommend is that one can determine both a good target and a good hunting load for either powder used.

Many times 3 ‘nodes’ can be identified for the powder used, low power, high power and even higher power!

But you must do the test with each powder separately.
 
here is a 54 i had for years and sold recently. a TVM SMR. this was 3 shots off hand at 50yds. 75gr. of 2F OE goex,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
54 GROUP 3.jpg
 
Everyone I spoke to who has a Colonial .54 recommended 80 grains, .530 ball, .018 patch. In my gun it simply does not work.

Maybe take the hint from your own experience and use the. 018 patch and .535 ball. They are essentially the same barrel. As also noted above, my 54 GM barrel is very happy to be fed 90 gr 3f wrapped in a .018 #40 drill patch.

And, as you well know, read your patches.
 
Smaller ball with a thicker patch will probably help you.
At short 50yard ranges my 58cal likes any load I use. From 45gr 2ff, all the way through 120 grains of 3fffg Swiss, the balls hit the same spot.
 
Maybe take the hint from your own experience and use the. 018 patch and .535 ball. They are essentially the same barrel. As also noted above, my 54 GM barrel is very happy to be fed 90 gr 3f wrapped in a .018 #40 drill patch.

And, as you well know, read your patches.
This is my opinion. I ordered two Investarms .54 rifles for me and Pop with consecutive serai numbers. They both had remarkably different likes for a load. Must assume they came off the production line pretty close to each other and thus "were the same barrel". Other factors may be at play such as the tightness of the wedges etc. but I am a believer that EVERY rifle has its own favorite food and ya gotta play with yer gun to get the results you want!
 
The only thing I can suggest is perseverance in load development. I have a halfstock .45 with a Douglas barrel. I spent days at the range trying to get a decent group. It turns out this one will shoot a one hole group at 50y off sandbags, but only with one load and a clean barrel. Load is 60g Goex, .440 rb, 0.016 ticking and pure bear grease lube. Go to 55 or 65 grains, everything else the same, and the group opens to 3" or more. I tried a half dozen lubes, multiple patch material and thickness and .445 roundball.

Two pictures. First is a one hole group at 8 o'clock. That is 3, probably 4, shots (did not write it down, but usually shoot 4 for group) at 50y loaded as above and well cleaned between shots. To the right is a string of shots fired immediately after that group. First hole at 6 o'clock is one shot dirty, next higher is two shots dirty, highest is third shot without cleaning. I then cleaned the barrel and shot the group in the second picture, cleaning after each shot. The black is 6-3/8" diameter.

No other muzzleloader I've owned is this persnickety. Keep at it. You will find that one load. Good luck!

1706549339847.jpeg


4 shots, 65g, Goex, 0.016, well cleaned between shots. Shot immediately after the previous target

1706549619826.jpeg
 
Last edited:
I became insanely obsessed with finding a really accurate load for my Kibler .54. I don't even know how many trips to the range I made trying to develop the perfect load. Varying only one component at a time I finally settled for a fairly tight grouping, a consistent tight grouping, as in 70 grains of 3F under a lubed felt wad and .018 patch and .535 ball. I wanted to find my load at short distance (40 yards) before moving over to the big boy, supervised, 50 and 100 yard rifle range. I wanted a group comparable to the "same hole" accuracy of my .50 Pedersoli flint GPR. Everyone I spoke to who has a Colonial .54 recommended 80 grains, .530 ball, .018 patch. In my gun it simply does not work. The only variable is I only used 3F. Don't have any 2F. My groups with the 70 grains are about 1.5 inches at 40 yds, way bigger than the GPR.
Do you Colonial owners get really tight groups, or is mine about the same? I would thing a .54 would accept a heavier charge, but no.
My .54 cal Douglas barreled Hawken ( yes its 12L14, 1 inch across the flats) likes 90 grains of 2F, .535 ball and .018 shirt felt patch. I have used up to 110 grains of 2F Goex to knock over steel silhouetts at 200 yards and haven't split it yet but am careful not to short start the load.
 
My .54 cal Douglas barreled Hawken ( yes its 12L14, 1 inch across the flats) likes 90 grains of 2F, .535 ball and .018 shirt felt patch. I have used up to 110 grains of 2F Goex to knock over steel silhouetts at 200 yards and haven't split it yet but am careful not to short start the load.
M Dr Land, sounds like we share the exact obsession. I WILL find the right load, hopefully close to what you achieved. I thought I had gone too far using .535 AND an .018 patch, but I see I have not. Your perseverance paid off. You now have a forever rifle and need no other, but who can stop with just one flintlock?
 
try a thicker patch 10oz denim and a good lube I'm betting 70-80- grains of3 f swiss ( or 80-90 goex) will group
DSC03411.JPG
use a good bench and rest to work up the load then try off hand
top is 1st clean barrel then three touching ,then moved sights to hit aim point
 
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