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Fixed Inaccuracy...why didn't I think of it before?

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pamtnman

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Last year I struggled with a .54 flintlock that had been very accurate, and which suddenly became very inaccurate. I solicited ideas here, and folks were helpful. I tried all kinds of solutions, including tearing the gun apart and smoothing out the barrel channel, lapping the bore, etc. And then today it started again. 100 grains of Swiss FFg had the patched round balls dead on at first and then increasingly hitting apart. Loaded 80 grains and bang, a dead center bullseye at 75 yards. 85 grains, ball landed right next to the other one. 90 grains and the ball was centered by two inches high above the bullseye, and that is where I left it. The deer antler powder measure has been re-marked and I am feeling a lot more confident about my shooting. The barrel is a Colerain gain twist, so that may have something to do with the lower powder charge. Most .54s need a good 100 grains to get them shooting right.
Anyhow, why didn't I think of this before?
 

longcruise

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Mine like 80 to 100 3f. They both shoot too poorly with 60 or 70 so I don't shoot matches with them.
 

Many Klatch

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My .54 likes 55 grains of 3F at 25 yards and 75 grains of 3F beyond that. I shoot 90 to 110 grains of 2F in my Brown Bess. I think you were loading with too much powder.
 

Cowboy

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Of course all muzzleloader’s are like individual’s. Even the same model with same components. Thus different load work up to achieve same results.

With that being said, the majority of my .54’s are in the 70 to 80 grain range for competitive shooting using Goex 3f.

I pretty much stick to .018 pillow ticking patch and .530 ball.

Produces a hard hitting flat trajectory ball that’s constantly accurate my friend.

Have a Stith Hawken in .54 with a deHaas gain twist barrel that’ll clover leaf consistently with 70 gr. of 3f.

Also have a J. Garner trade rifle in flintlock that likes the same load combo. Use it regularly for off hand competitive shooting. Wether on the line or woods walk competition my combo of. 70 gr. Goex 3f, .530 ball, and .018 spit patch has served me well for that rifle.

Lastly, my favorite caliber is .54 so I do have a number of them. I always tend to grab the .54’s over the others.

Respectfully, Cowboy
 

McClura

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90 to100 grains of 2F is not too much powder for hunting if your rifle shoots that load accurately. All of my flintlocks in .50, .54 & 62 cal. I shoot 90 or 100 of 3F in the .50 & 54 and 100 of 2F in my .62 with patched roundball and it is good holding dead on to 100 yards. On flintlocks, especially one that have a little wear on the touch hole you loose a little pressure unlike the cap locks which can shoot a little less powder and get some results.
On the gain twist barrel, that might be part of it. I would stick with what it shoots best and go hunt. Good luck
Mike
 

YJake

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My 44” .54 Rice swamped barrel with a 1-66” twist shoots well starting at 80gr FFg. However, it shoots to point of aim at 85 yards with a 100gr charge of FFg and is very accurate, so that’s what I use since it’s primarily used as a hunting rifle.

Oh, it has radius groove rifling so it prefers a thick .020 lubed patch and a .530 ball.

-Jake
 

GANGGREEN

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Yep, agree with most of the others. I know that the standard rule is that a .54 needs a stout load and that a slow twist needs one even more so, but I almost never go above 85 grains of FFFg with mine (slow twist, round bottom rifling Rice barrel) and don't have any need as it's highly accurate with that load. I'm not recoil sensitive at all, but I'd think too much more than that (say 100-110 of FFFg) would rattle your fillings.

I'm heading out shortly to hunt black bear with the rifle and I'll be using the 85 grain FFFg load and I'm supremely confident that it's a stout enough load to anchor a bear.
 

Loyalist Dave

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The barrel is a Colerain gain twist, ..... Most .54s need a good 100 grains to get them shooting right.
While I'm in the "mine doesn't need 100 grains to shoot well" category, using between 70-80 grains of 3Fg in my Colerain, swamped, 38" barrel...,

BUT...,

Mine isn't "gain twist" either, and I'd venture to guess that most of the folks that replied are not shooting a gain twist as well.
So your results are bound to be a wee bit different than what we have experienced. ;)

LD
 

pamtnman

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Yep, agree with most of the others. I know that the standard rule is that a .54 needs a stout load and that a slow twist needs one even more so, but I almost never go above 85 grains of FFFg with mine (slow twist, round bottom rifling Rice barrel) and don't have any need as it's highly accurate with that load. I'm not recoil sensitive at all, but I'd think too much more than that (say 100-110 of FFFg) would rattle your fillings.

I'm heading out shortly to hunt black bear with the rifle and I'll be using the 85 grain FFFg load and I'm supremely confident that it's a stout enough load to anchor a bear.
So how’d you guys do? See any bears? They have been scarce in NW Lycoming County. Thank you for the loading advice.
 

GANGGREEN

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I killed a nice doe but didn't see any bear. My brother didn't have a bear tag and also didn't see a bear. I went out Tuesday evening for bear again and saw several buck and more doe, but still no bear. From what I'm told, the harvest of bear in our area was relatively good though.
 
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