Favorite Load for your TC Hawken .50 Cal

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Center_shot

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Been working to find the most accurate load in my TC Haken. Have always shot decent groups ~2"-3" @ 50 yards but lately have been on a mission to shrink that down. My rifle has always shot better 'dirty' with TC pre lubed patches and .490 RB's. I remember Dutch saying that my patches were too slick so I finally got around to working on that. Anyway here's my best load so far........60gr Pyrodex RS, TC pre cut patches (.015 on package, .008 smashed) with 4:1 Balistol lube. Saturated then allowed to dry. Home made No. 11 Caps, wiping w/ TC #13 between shots. Have made up some more to confirm results next trip out but looks promising. Could actually be better than I think with a good shooter with good eyes.
IHkN7CO.jpg


Curious what others have found to be their most accurate load.
 

bubba.50

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A 70 grain measure of pyrodex behind a roundball patched with Wally-World pre-lubed patches and a 90 grain measure of pyrodex behind a Wonder-lubed maxi-ball would both print 3-shot cloverleafs at 75 yards in my Renegade and shot to the same point of impact.

YMMV
 
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.490 roundball, .015 red stripe cotton ticking, spit lube and 80 grains FFG.

The photo is 50 yards, load as above except 70 grains FFFG. I bought this gun around 1976. I shot it exclusively for years, pulled it from the safe after a few years storage and shot this within the last month.
 

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Tasbay

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90 grains of homemade powder, ticking patch lubed with olive oil, .495 soft lead ball and usually set off with a plastic toy cap unless I`m hunting then it`s a percussion cap. all up probably about 3 cents a shot.
 

Center_shot

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Would love to find a more powerful load but as I increase the powder over 60-65gr, I can just watch the groups open up. My rifle has the 1:48 barrel. Makes me wonder if a round ball has an optimal RPM?
 
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For my 50 caliber T.C. Hawken I use a .495 ball .010 patch lubed with beeswax/lard ,over powder wad and 45 grain FFF.
Probably the best advice yet. But I'm surprised at the low charge. But, he was asking about accuracy and maybe that is what the 50 TC 'hawken' likes best with real bp. But, still the old rule applies that each to his own. Rifles, even though seemingly identical can often want different loadings for top performance. That is just part of this crazy game.
 

Tasbay

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Would love to find a more powerful load but as I increase the powder over 60-65gr, I can just watch the groups open up. My rifle has the 1:48 barrel. Makes me wonder if a round ball has an optimal RPM?
I`m thinking you may want to try a tighter ball/patch combination. I have 5 - 50 cals all with 1-48 twist and all like 90 grains of powder a .495 ball and a ticking patch except my Lyman GPR, that likes the same but with a extra layer of old cotton bed sheet on top of the patch to tighten things up more.
 
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Hunting
PRB: 80 grains of fffg (Goex), .490 ball with a .010 patch, wonderlube because I have a bunch of it
that is my load to go hunting, if I miss my first shot my subsequent shots will be with a conical if the deer are still there. If they have scattered and I have time to load I will swab the barrel 1 time then reload with the above .490 and .010 patch combo. If I miss a second time (haven't to date) then the third load will be the conical load regardless of if the deer stay or not.

Conical Field load: 100 grains of fffg (Goex), a 275 grain .50 TC Hunter, over powder card, and an over the bullet card. (I ringed a nice barrel a few years back because my bullet traveled north of my powder while hunting. Not doing it again)

These two loads give me very good hunting accuracy. I have not had a wounded deer yet. (knocks on wood)

Now if I want to be as accurate as possible....

Targets
PRB: 80 grains of 3f, .485 RB with a .015 patch and a trace of moose snot on the patch. This load is a little hard for me to put down the barrel so I don't tend to use it on the hunt.

Conical: Depends on the size of the conical. Typically it will be the 320 grain conical my Lee double cavity mold makes. This gets 100 grains of fffg goex or 120 grains of ffg goex, over powder card, I don't worry about my bullet traveling as they don't stay i the barrel long after loading when shooting targets, lube is Dixie Mini-Maxi Grease. (do they even make it anymore?) I have had a container of the stuff for a long time. A little goes a long way and I do not tend to shoot many conicals before I tap out. Stuff is gross, but it does a good job.

I don't like to shoot my 225 grain TC Hunters a lot. A little spendy and I have nailed down my *right load*
 

tc45dave

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60 grs of Olde Eynsford 3f at 50 yds. 70 grs at 100 yds. .018 pillow ticking, Hornady round ball. Precision Lube 2000 on each patch. Accurate enough.
 
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Months ago there was a fella on site here that was shooting a .50 TC Renegade at really very long distances with some kind of elongated bullets (I'm thinking they were hollow bases) with extremely good accuracy for hunting loads.
TC rifling is TC rifling.
If it worked in the .50 Renegade would it work in the .50 Hawken? Well, except for what the shooter felt?
 
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Oh I'm gonna get raked over the coals here but so be it.

With the shallow groove nominal .50 cal T/C and Spanish (CVA/Traditions) barrels, I Iike a .010" patch, spit or TOTW milk tallow lubed cut at muzzle patch, .490" ball, .90 to 110 grains FFG real black powder (or 80-90 Pyrodex RS assuming a caplock).

I feel as though too many folks try to force a .490" ball with a .018" patch into the shallow grooves of a T/C or CVA/Tradtions and distort the ball leading to bad accuracy.
 

GeronPG

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My T-C Hawken .50 likes .490 PRB's with about 55 gr. of Goex ffg. I've shot several 3 shot groups at 50 yds. with 2 touching and the 3rd within an inch. I tried Pyrodex RS and it wasn't nearly as consistent in my gun. American Pioneer shoots almost as well. I've seen people talk bad about it, but it works well for me.
 
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Been working to find the most accurate load in my TC Haken. Have always shot decent groups ~2"-3" @ 50 yards but lately have been on a mission to shrink that down. My rifle has always shot better 'dirty' with TC pre lubed patches and .490 RB's. I remember Dutch saying that my patches were too slick so I finally got around to working on that. Anyway here's my best load so far........60gr Pyrodex RS, TC pre cut patches (.015 on package, .008 smashed) with 4:1 Balistol lube. Saturated then allowed to dry. Home made No. 11 Caps, wiping w/ TC #13 between shots. Have made up some more to confirm results next trip out but looks promising. Could actually be better than I think with a good shooter with good eyes.
IHkN7CO.jpg


Curious what others have found to be their most accurate load.
I am curious to learn what you mean by a smashed patch. I've got a boatload of .015 patches that I prefer not to use with my metric ton of .495 round balls. My rifle just doesn't like that combo. TIA.
 
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I am curious to learn what you mean by a smashed patch. I've got a boatload of .015 patches that I prefer not to use with my metric ton of .495 round balls. My rifle just doesn't like that combo. TIA.
He means compressed. He likely measured them with calipers or a c-mic and found that they were .015" without compressing the patch material, but squeezing (smashing) the calipers or c-mic together with a lot of pressure showed the patch material would compress down to .008" thickness...like they'll do when drove into the bore wrapped around a ball.
 
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He means compressed. He likely measured them with calipers or a c-mic and found that they were .015" without compressing the patch material, but squeezing (smashing) the calipers or c-mic together with a lot of pressure showed the patch material would compress down to .008" thickness...like they'll do when drove into the bore wrapped around a ball.
Ah, got it. I was thinking missed a trick over the years. Thank you.
 

ElkStalker

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Been working to find the most accurate load in my TC Haken. Have always shot decent groups ~2"-3" @ 50 yards but lately have been on a mission to shrink that down. My rifle has always shot better 'dirty' with TC pre lubed patches and .490 RB's. I remember Dutch saying that my patches were too slick so I finally got around to working on that. Anyway here's my best load so far........60gr Pyrodex RS, TC pre cut patches (.015 on package, .008 smashed) with 4:1 Balistol lube. Saturated then allowed to dry. Home made No. 11 Caps, wiping w/ TC #13 between shots. Have made up some more to confirm results next trip out but looks promising. Could actually be better than I think with a good shooter with
Been working to find the most accurate load in my TC Haken. Have always shot decent groups ~2"-3" @ 50 yards but lately have been on a mission to shrink that down. My rifle has always shot better 'dirty' with TC pre lubed patches and .490 RB's. I remember Dutch saying that my patches were too slick so I finally got around to working on that. Anyway here's my best load so far........60gr Pyrodex RS, TC pre cut patches (.015 on package, .008 smashed) with 4:1 Balistol lube. Saturated then allowed to dry. Home made No. 11 Caps, wiping w/ TC #13 between shots. Have made up some more to confirm results next trip out but looks promising. Could actually be better than I think with a good shooter with good eyes.
IHkN7CO.jpg


Curious what others have found to be their most accurate load.

After having some issues and needing to have the crown addressed, I spent some time at the range this week. I found that my Renegade 50 likes a .490 Hornady swaged ball, .018” pillow ticking patch, lightly lubed on one side with Track if the wolf’s Mink Oil. I wipe the smooth side on the lube a couple times and load the textured side against the ball. 80gr of Goex FFFg. I run a spit patch and a dry patch between shots. If I cleaned it with TC’s T-17, groups opened up. If I used too much lube, or if I lubed both sides of the patch, groups opened up. I tried FFg and groups again opened up a lot. I’ve known for a while though that this rifle prefers 3F powder. And if I did not seat the ball very firmly over the powder, my groups opened up. It’s a definite shooter, but is certainly fussy if I don’t do my part. The following group is 4 shots at 50yrds using the factory Renegade square notch sight. The first shot was a flyer and the reason was I did not seat the ball firm enough. It was on the powder, but was not compressed. It’s interesting how such a little change can have such an effect. You really have to be willing to spend some time figuring out your rifle, only changing one thing at a time and watching the result in your groups. For me, 70gr aims of 3F was terrible. At 80 grains I watched the group go from 5” to 1.5”. Then I started watching the other details I talked about, changing only one aspect at a time Hope this helps!
I would also suggest recovering and inspecting your patches after you shoot. Are they burned up, show signs that powder is getting past the ball in the bore, tattered or burned at the edges, cut or torn, overall condition….
I would get rid of those pre-lubed TC patches. I personally have found them to be terrible. If they have been on the shelf for any time, they become weakened and brittle, the lube is t that great and I had nothing but problems with them in both this rifle, my Hawken and my Lyman GPR. TOW sells a big ol can of the mink oil for about $8 and they have good pillow ticking wads - try some .018 also. My rifle won’t perform with the .015 from a swabbed barrel. If I get some fouling in there from a few shots they work better, but not as good as the below group. The downside to the .018” in my rifle is that a 2nd shot is difficult to load, not impossible, but is a struggle if I don’t run a spit patch. For hunting, my 2nd shot will be a .015 patch if a follow up is needed, just because I can easily and quickly get it rammed home.
 

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ElkStalker

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I will add that my Renegade was a rifle that I put together last fall from an untouched kit from the 70’s. I bought my Hawken used. The Hawken bore is several thousandths larger than the Renegade. The load that works best in the Hawken didn’t do so hot in the Hawken. I’m still working on the Hawken and will likely go to a .495 ball and start with a .010 patch and go from there. Every rifle really is different but if you get the proper seal via ball patch combo, start at 60-70gr and work up, you should find what works for you. The Hawken and Renegade are advertised as being .500 bore with .006” grooves. This gives you a total space of .512” that you need to work off of. Subtract the .490 ball and this means you need to make up .022” of space. Divide that in half and you find that you need a minimum of .011” patching for a loose fit. With the shallow grooves of these rifles, they need to be really really tight in order for the ball and patch to engage the rifling properly. You could be tight enough to have a good seal, but may not be engaging the rifling as adequately as it would by going up another .003” in your patch material.
 
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