Everything .40 Cal. Muzzleloader

Muzzleloading Forum

Help Support Muzzleloading Forum:

Rock Home Isle

58 Cal.
Joined
Feb 13, 2021
Messages
2,003
Reaction score
3,071
Location
Johnstown Colorado
How was it finished?
In the Flintlock section is a thread…where people are posting about their Kibler kits, and finishing.


I tried to post as much detail as possible.
 
Joined
Dec 30, 2004
Messages
2,574
Reaction score
1,575
Location
New England
Bringing it back to the 40-cal discussion ...

Here's my baby (on bottom), a custom 38" swamped barrel by the late/great Tip Curtis. Double-trigger and THE MOST AWESOME nose cap :ghostly:I've ever seen on a longrifle! That's one of my other lefties, a 50-cal above it ... and there's a 54 on the way, to be delivered today actually, so another :ghostly:!

Need to work up a 100-yard target load for the 40!

5680DBE8-08BA-46B6-86D4-927A892F8492.jpeg


3A447BB6-1B7A-4671-BAA3-C6063FD006A7.jpeg


8FFECD52-B490-4CA9-A8C2-5D70DBD2222F.jpeg
 

Ninering62

40 Cal
Joined
May 17, 2021
Messages
345
Reaction score
457
Location
From southern Md/now in N Fl.
I’ve finished my Kibler SMR…so here is my current stable of .40 calibres. This post might sound disconnected at times, I spent the day taking a dead Locust tree out of the front yard…and I’m a bit woosie from it…still. So please accept my apologies for anything that might be worded in a unique fashion…I’ll edit this probably a couple times.

8F138587-2659-4454-824F-D822BF3F1E2D.jpeg


Yesterday was a very busy day, working on my Kibler Kit. I had problems with the ramrod not aligning into the stock, at the entry thimble; it was binding up. It took awhile, but in the end, I was able to get the ramrod functioning smoothly, and the sights are now installed, as well.

Above are my current .40 calibres, the bottom rifle is a TVM Natchez PoorBoy, the upper is my Kibler Southern Mountain Rifle.

7B720C6B-1558-496D-A9E5-E25E19CC770B.jpeg


My .54 calibre hunting rifles seem to be all sighted in and ready to go hunting…so now I can begin to shift my attentions to my chosen guns that only sip powder and shoot nice little pills of lead (my little .32 calibre Pedersoli is among these as well, but hey, this is a .40 calibre thread). These .40 calibre rifles will be the firearms that I’ll be shooting, and will have my attention for the coming weeks, as we end summer, and dip into fall. I love the .40 calibre, I love that these guns have the reputation for accuracy, while using very little lead, with only a dash of powder.

My TVM Natchez is essentially sighted in and shooting fine, with .390 RB, Pillow Ticking Patch, Moise Milk Lube, & 40 grains of fffg.

The Kibler is only just completed, and needs to be sighted in and its accuracy potential uncovered. If you’ve ever picked up a Kibler SMR, I t’s such a light gun, I have my concerns, but we’ll just have to wait and see what develops.

For these .40’s, I’m looking to develop 3 types of loads: standard target load, undersized RB squirrel loads, and conical bullet loads.

The target loads loads for .390 or .395 RoundBalls, whichever projectile is most accurate for each gun. The .390 and .395 RBs will be my standard loads for the guns. My day to day…”let’s go shooting“ loads.

I also want to be shooting undersized RBs, squirrel rifle loads using .380 or .375 RBs…again whichever is more accurate. These loads are usually 25 to 30 grain charge, and the undersized balls are wrapped in heavy patching of denim or canvas. One of the virtues of this calibre is the versatility of the .40 calibre. The .40 is perfectly positioned to take advantage of shooting undersized balls, while using low to medium powder charges; taking my .40 down to say a fat .36 calibre…

And finally, I’m going to see if I can develop a good solidly accurate conical bullet load for each of these guns…opening the door to using them as light big game here in Colorado…Conicals for the .40 calibre are not easy to come by, usually you need to go the custom route. I’m going to try some .40 S&W bullets…see how they fair out of these guns…My thinking is that I order to get the conical to upset into the rifling, I might need a powder charge around 50 grains or even 60 grains of fffg. The .40 is a squirrel rifle that can be used to harvest deer sized big game, and conicals really make that happen.

So yeah, lots of Range Time coming…I’m very stoked to have these load development projects to look forward too. And the high point is that they are .40 calibre.
Thanks for the beautiful rifle pics & the awesome write up.
That’s exactly the type of in-depth post I was hoping this thread would get.
 
Joined
Dec 30, 2004
Messages
2,574
Reaction score
1,575
Location
New England
Conicals for the .40 calibre are not easy to come by …
I’m going to try some .40 S&W bullets…see how they fair … My thinking is that I order to get the conical to upset into the rifling, I might need a powder charge around 50 grains or even 60 grains of fffg.
You might be surprised using ‘regular’ lead or cast pistol bullets. I use them in an old black powder Italian Vetterli-Vitaly model 1870/87, that was originally designed around a 350-grain heeled-bullet black powder cartridge.

My bore measures 0.429”, but since I cannot get a healed bullet that I need, I take standard ‘magnum alloy’ 44 magnum bullets weighing 240-grains and size them down to 0.426”. Although only a few thousands less, this allows the bullet seated in the case to be fully seated into the chamber.

Using 50-grns FFg or reduced loads of … ahem, smoke-not-as-much 2400 powdah, she shoots great! The bullets obturate, or at least they must, as using the 2400 load I once shot a 3” group for 10-shots offhand at 100-yards in a military milsurp rifle competition, Winter 2021; one where they would not let me use BP loads.

But be aware your barrel twist will be THE biggest factor or obstacle! Now using the old Buffalo Bullet company’s ‘Ballet’ short conicals as an example, they intentionally made them ‘short’. If a conical projectile is too long for the caliber and for the rifle twist - it will not stabilize. There is a engineering name or term for it, to determine the maximum length, … something factor, but I forget it offhand.

As a rough guess from recollection, I would guesstimate that the Ballets were roughly 1-1/2 times the bore caliber in overall length. I used to shoot them with great success in a 50-caliber Mowrey rifle of slow 1-in-66” twist!
 
Last edited:

Rock Home Isle

58 Cal.
Joined
Feb 13, 2021
Messages
2,003
Reaction score
3,071
Location
Johnstown Colorado
You might be surprised using ‘regular’ lead or cast pistol bullets. I use them in an old black powder Italian Vetterli-Vitaly model 1870/87, that was originally designed around a 350-grain heeled-bullet black powder cartridge.

My bore measures 0.429”, but since I cannot get a healed bullet that I need, I take standard ‘magnum alloy’ 44 magnum bullets weighing 240-grains and size them down to 0.426”. Although only a few thousands less, this allows the bullet seated in the case to be fully seated into the chamber.

Using 50-grns FFg or reduced loads of … ahem, smoke-not-as-much 2400 powdah, she shoots great! The bullets obturate, or at least they must, as using the 2400 load I once shot a 3” group for 10-shots offhand at 100-yards in a military milsurp rifle competition, Winter 2021; one where they would not let me use BP loads.

But be aware your barrel twist will be THE biggest factor or obstacle! Now using the old Buffalo Bullet company’s ‘Ballet’ short conicals as an example, they intentionally made them ‘short’. If a conical projectile is too long for the caliber and for the rifle twist - it will not stabilize. There is a engineering name or term for it, to determine the maximum length, … something factor, but I forget it offhand.

As a rough guess from recollection, I would guesstimate that the Ballets were roughly 1-1/2 times the bore caliber in overall length. I used to shoot them with great success in a 50-caliber Mowrey rifle of slow 1-in-66” twist!
Thank you for the information.

I have a LEE Mold, that casts (I believe a 147 grain) conical for the .40 S&W. That is where I’m going to start.

The Kibler gun is 1:48 twist.
BE7A915A-48A3-43AC-A58E-C9DC2AD2584A.jpeg


The TVM…I do not know the twist. So I’m going to see if I can figure that out
 
Joined
Dec 30, 2004
Messages
2,574
Reaction score
1,575
Location
New England
The TVM…I do not know the twist. So I’m going to see if I can figure that out
You know how to do that, right?

If not, or for others reading this, you need to use a rod that has a handle that rotates. I put a piece of blue painters tape on the rod at the handle, as a ‘flag’ and I orient it to be straight up at 12 o’clock with a patched jag just started in the muzzle.

Assuming that could be a 1-in-60 to 1-in-66” slow roundball twist, I would push the rod in an additional 30 or 33” and if the flag makes it 1/2-way around, then yes indeedy it is a slow twist barrel.

Or, see how much it rotates in X distance and do the calculation. Example, a 1/4-turn in 12” would be a 1-in-48” twist, like your Kibler is.
 

Ninering62

40 Cal
Joined
May 17, 2021
Messages
345
Reaction score
457
Location
From southern Md/now in N Fl.
You might be surprised using ‘regular’ lead or cast pistol bullets. I use them in an old black powder Italian Vetterli-Vitaly model 1870/87, that was originally designed around a 350-grain heeled-bullet black powder cartridge.

My bore measures 0.429”, but since I cannot get a healed bullet that I need, I take standard ‘magnum alloy’ 44 magnum bullets weighing 240-grains and size them down to 0.426”. Although only a few thousands less, this allows the bullet seated in the case to be fully seated into the chamber.

Using 50-grns FFg or reduced loads of … ahem, smoke-not-as-much 2400 powdah, she shoots great! The bullets obturate, or at least they must, as using the 2400 load I once shot a 3” group for 10-shots offhand at 100-yards in a military milsurp rifle competition, Winter 2021; one where they would not let me use BP loads.

But be aware your barrel twist will be THE biggest factor or obstacle! Now using the old Buffalo Bullet company’s ‘Ballet’ short conicals as an example, they intentionally made them ‘short’. If a conical projectile is too long for the caliber and for the rifle twist - it will not stabilize. There is a engineering name or term for it, to determine the maximum length, … something factor, but I forget it offhand.

As a rough guess from recollection, I would guesstimate that the Ballets were roughly 1-1/2 times the bore caliber in overall length. I used to shoot them with great success in a 50-caliber Mowrey rifle of slow 1-in-66” twist!
I've shot lots of 10mm pistol bullets in my .40 sidelock from 140, 150, 160, 180, 200, 220gr cast pure lead. They are a great option, I shot plenty of jacketed 10mm's too, they just needed to be sized to .397 instead of the cast bullets at .40. I had a 1:37 twist, this next one will be 1:32 or faster.
 

Rock Home Isle

58 Cal.
Joined
Feb 13, 2021
Messages
2,003
Reaction score
3,071
Location
Johnstown Colorado
I've shot lots of 10mm pistol bullets in my .40 sidelock from 140, 150, 160, 180, 200, 220gr cast pure lead. They are a great option, I shot plenty of jacketed 10mm's too, they just needed to be sized to .397 instead of the cast bullets at .40. I had a 1:37 twist, this next one will be 1:32 or faster.
I’ll be picking your brain as I develop loads for my .40 calibre rifles. I think you would have great insight, and experience.
 

hanshi

Cannon
Joined
May 7, 2009
Messages
12,931
Reaction score
6,360
Location
New England
I found the .40 to be easy to get fine accuracy from. I fired a .389" ball with heavy patching and got really great accuracy with several loads. There was an excellent squirrel load, a all around load and a load that shined at 100 yards. The small game load would make one (1) hole with 5 shots at 25 yards. The all around load would do that at 50 yards.
 
Joined
Oct 28, 2020
Messages
214
Reaction score
216
Location
rural San Diego County, California
I found the .40 to be easy to get fine accuracy from. I fired a .389" ball with heavy patching and got really great accuracy with several loads. There was an excellent squirrel load, a all around load and a load that shined at 100 yards. The small game load would make one (1) hole with 5 shots at 25 yards. The all around load would do that at 50 yards.
Would you mind sharing your .40 loads? I’m just getting things together to begin working with my first .40 cal rifle. Very excited about this one so any suggestions would be appreciated. I’ll be working with PRB’s for coyote sized critters and smaller.
 
Joined
Oct 28, 2020
Messages
214
Reaction score
216
Location
rural San Diego County, California
The Precious…

A .40 cal Dixie Cub by Pedersoli…
 

Attachments

  • 0C1609B5-747B-4A63-A5C8-A94F8072C18B.jpeg
    0C1609B5-747B-4A63-A5C8-A94F8072C18B.jpeg
    4.6 MB · Views: 0
  • 090E3766-108A-4B62-B813-AD234B93315E.jpeg
    090E3766-108A-4B62-B813-AD234B93315E.jpeg
    1.9 MB · Views: 0
  • 86DB4A19-5655-4B03-884F-FB50A9C5FE8F.jpeg
    86DB4A19-5655-4B03-884F-FB50A9C5FE8F.jpeg
    1.8 MB · Views: 0
  • EA9532E1-A880-4E91-940C-22E2FBC64441.jpeg
    EA9532E1-A880-4E91-940C-22E2FBC64441.jpeg
    3.4 MB · Views: 0

Rock Home Isle

58 Cal.
Joined
Feb 13, 2021
Messages
2,003
Reaction score
3,071
Location
Johnstown Colorado
Very nice day to be at the shooting range. I’m done for the day, sitting in the shade under a tree, cool breeze…and looking at my groups.

7BF5F969-E02E-4FB6-B46E-6E5BF8F22BCC.jpeg

I had some issues with the Kibler this morning. The set trigger quit working, so I had to do all shooting with a single trigger, and I suck at shooting blackpowder with a single trigger.

6E87C42D-085E-434B-845D-8C7716CF9617.jpeg

Range for today is 25 yrds, first time that I’ve shot the Kibler.

65CBA281-EF24-455D-8A7E-BA26CB82C645.jpeg

I’m shooting .390 RB, Red Pillow Ticking: First set of targets; left 35 gr fffg, center 40 gr fffg, right 45 gr fffg

I had a hard time holding center on such a huge black target, at such a close range. But I was fresh and it was nice and cool.


88FFD4A4-C647-4C95-B548-67F93E9E08FB.jpeg

So I reshot the group…and basically, I still suck at shooting black powder with a single trigger.

5105AA19-D83D-4C07-B7FE-FBD223BA82D1.jpeg

My last group of the day, everything the same, except blue pillow ticking.

So, I’ll need lots more range time with this gun. Nice to know that my sights were well centered, the gun shoots low. I won’t really start filing and adjusting sights until I have a good load that groups tight. At 25 yrds, the gun should be a single ragged hole, with the right load.

I’ll reach out to Kibler and see what can be done about the set triggers failing. I shoot so much better with a set trigger. So once I get the trigger situation remedied, I’ll have repeat today’s data.
 
Last edited:

Rock Home Isle

58 Cal.
Joined
Feb 13, 2021
Messages
2,003
Reaction score
3,071
Location
Johnstown Colorado
Load Development..Virginia Custom Rifle build

 

hanshi

Cannon
Joined
May 7, 2009
Messages
12,931
Reaction score
6,360
Location
New England
Would you mind sharing your .40 loads? I’m just getting things together to begin working with my first .40 cal rifle. Very excited about this one so any suggestions would be appreciated. I’ll be working with PRB’s for coyote sized critters and smaller.



The 25 yard squirrel load was a .389" ball, patched with the heaviest material that could seat with the wood rod, over 30 grains of 3F. The all around load used the same but was charged with 40 grains of 3F. The 100 yard deer level load used 60 grains of 3F for a blistering 2145 fps. The three loads were incredibly accurate at their intended range.
 
Joined
Nov 2, 2003
Messages
470
Reaction score
698
Location
Georgia
Been shooting the same .40 flintlock since 1981 - 42" Douglas barrel, 1:48 twist, Siler large flintlock tuned by Jerry Marsh up in Illinois (RIP). For 50 yds or closer I run 55 gr 3f, .400 cast ball, 0.015" pillow ticking and lube either spit or ballistol/water. Anything from 75 yds to 200 yds I shoot same load but bump powder to 65 grains 3f. It has won many matches for me over the years - I was the GA State Graybeard flintlock champ about 16 years ago using this rifle 😁
 
Top