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Help getting started. Molds and loads. TC 50cal.

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No, you were right. There are different sizes of Maxi-ball, and there is even a maxi-hunter in a couple sizes. The 370 grain has always been kind of the standard maxi-ball, the one sold prelubed in stores. Don't waste your money on the Lyman junk. Find a used TC mold. They are better made, and often cheaper. I have one in 50 and one in 54 caliber, and I think I paid $40 each.
 

Rich Wormington

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I have a T/C Renegade that shoots the Lee R.E.A.L bullet very well. 320 grain bullet, felt wad and 70grains of 3F Goex. I do lube the bullets too. First two shots very close together third shot opens the group a little, but still close enough for hunting. After three shots I need to wipe the bore to maintain accuracy. This is a very good hunting load.
 
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longcruise

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No, you were right. There are different sizes of Maxi-ball, and there is even a maxi-hunter in a couple sizes. The 370 grain has always been kind of the standard maxi-ball, the one sold prelubed in stores. Don't waste your money on the Lyman junk. Find a used TC mold. They are better made, and often cheaper. I have one in 50 and one in 54 caliber, and I think I paid $40 each.
If it's a steel mold labeled TC it was made by Lyman. If it's aluminum labeled TC it was made by some other supplier to TC. Nothing wrong with aluminum molds when properly cared for but I've never encountered a Lyman mold that was "junk".
 

renegadehunter

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Yea don't run a dry cleaning/swabbing patch down a fouled bore.
You want the first swab patch just damp, can't wring anything out of it, and then follow with a dry if you want. If I'm shooting again right away I don't bother with the second drying patch. Not using a drying patch is really dependent on your damp patch only being damp. The best way to swab is to run the damp patch down the bore in one stroke, let it set for about 8-10 seconds so the fouling softens, and then pull it back out.
Sometimes a cleaning patch will push fouling down the bore ahead of it and block the flame channel, so after you load back up the cap goes off but can't ignite the main charge. If that happens just take the nipple out and work some powder into the flame channel, then put the nipple back in and attempt to shoot it again. I've never had that fail yet.
A good way to avoid this happening is to "pop a cap" after you swab the barrel. Point the barrel at a blade of grass or something and set off just a cap. A lot of times you'll see some crud come out of the barrel and you always want to make sure the blade of grass moves. If it doesn't try popping another one. Load as normal once the grass moves.
Another conical you could try, store bought, is the Hornady Great Plains Bullet. They still make them in .50 cal and 99% of TC's shoot them real well. They are a hollow base and come pre-lubed, no wad is needed. I like to swab the bore between every shot with them. They put the hurtin's on a deer too.
 

[GF]Burke

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Awesome Thanks. How do you know when you need a wad or not? I now have the TC maxi mold and an improved mini mold. Do I not put a wad between the powder and bullet?
 

renegadehunter

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Generally most like to run a wad between the powder and bullet with any conical that isn't a hollow based bullet. The wad helps to seal against gas leakage. Many report improved accuracy with a wad. Idaholewis, who shoots a ton of conicals, says they are more accurate because they protect the base of the bullet (the base is what "steers" a bullet) and they help to prevent leading of the bore as well. I believe he actually shot several flat based conicals into some kind of trap, some with wads and some without, and found that the recovered bullets without a wad showed the base somewhat melted/damaged.

A hollow based conical is made so that the explosion/pressure of the BP igniting makes the base of the bullet flare out, sealing the bore so gas leakage doesn't occur. Most don't use a wad with these for fear of interference of the base flaring out.

Be aware that conicals with bands require some caution. The bands are slightly oversized and when you load them down the bore the rifling engraves the bands. You can notice this happening, as many require a pretty firm smack on a short starter to start and then some pretty good pressure on a ram rod to get them down the first few inches, but then they feel like the "give up" and go down the rest of the way with little resistance. If hunting with these you have to be careful, as bumping the rifle around can result in the conical migrating off the powder charge. Due to the rifling engraving into the bands the conical is sitting fairly loosely in the bore. This is like creating a blocked bore condition if it has moved off the powder very much. You can "ring" the barrel or worse.

The Hornady Great Plains Bullets are hollow based and the above applies to them. When I use them I don't use a wad, and like to coat the bore with an olive oil / bees wax mix to help make the bore a bit "sticky" so the conical can't migrate as easily. I started doing this after I went on a hunt and then after the hunt I checked to verify the conical was still on the charge and found that it had moved off by about 3/4 of an inch. I have not caught it off the powder since I started putting a coating in the bore first. Bore Butter or similar would do the same thing, but do check that the bullet has remained seated on the powder on occasion. Of course remove the cap and make the rifle safe first.
Since you will be casting bullets, you could harden the soft lead a bit to help against the above "migrating off the powder". That's what Idaholewis does, but I can't remember what percentage of an alloy he does. He is on youtube and I'm sure you could find an answer to that in one of his videos, or one of the knowledgeable conical shooters here may have a recommendation. I've been shooting all patched RB's for a couple years now and just don't pay a lot of attention to the conical stuff much anymore.
I would give you load data for what mine likes, but mine is a .54.
 

[GF]Burke

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Nice man, thanks. Yeah I've seen his vids for sure. He's up northern a bit.
This is good info. Sounds good, I'll have to do some testing and see what works. And I guess people are lubing the bands because that helps in mitigating fouling or leading. From the sound of it, I can use the same "wax/oil/grease" makeup that I'd use to fill the bands, as I would swab the barrel for this other issue.
 

mooman76

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Shoot it with the over powder wad and also without. If there is no improvement, then wad is not needed. Try without first and if you are satisfied with the group, you may not want to even bother with a wad.
 

SDSmlf

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A good way to avoid this happening is to "pop a cap" after you swab the barrel. Point the barrel at a blade of grass or something and set off just a cap. A lot of times you'll see some crud come out of the barrel and you always want to make sure the blade of grass moves.
Suggest popping that cap with a patch on your jag pushed to the breech. Hauls out any crap the cap loosens, at least in my experience.
 

griffiga

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Are you sure it's a Renegade? It sure looks like a New Englander. If the barrel is round, it is a New Englander, another fine rifle 1:48" twist. Be careful with the bore brush and bore mop. I only buy the style that loops the wire through the brass. If it is only twisted wire glued in, they have a bad tendency of falling off. I wouldn't worry too much about using either one anyway, you don't really need a bore brush. I use one once in a great while to get into the chamber of the patent breech. you can google pictures to see what that looks like. They used to make a scraper just for TC's, but the brush works just as well. I might do that once a year. Water and a patch is all that is needed to clean black powder. With pyrodex, a little soap wouldn't hurt.

Pyrodex works, but is not the best powder ever. Make sure you clean the rifle immediately after firing. I wouldn't let it sit more than a few hours, or whatever the drive is home. If you let Pyrodex sit overnight, you will find a rust bucket in the morning. A blackpowder like Goex or Swiss is ideal. You still need to clean it eventually, but a rifle left overnight as you gut and skin an animal is just fine. I've even hunted 2 days on a fouled bore with no rust with black powder.

I would not waste time with the Lee REAL bullet. I've had 5 TC guns, and the REAL is horrendous in all of them. The only guys who get them to work seem to have tight bores. TC is pretty consistent and true to size. A round ball is a great choice. A maxi ball is usually very good as well. The other two tools you will likely want is a patch worm, and for sure get a nipple wrench. A ball puller is not a bad idea either. You will dry ball eventually, it's just a matter of when. The easiest cure is to unscrew the nipple, trickle as much powder as you can through the hole, put the nipple back in, and fire. Boom, barrel cleared in 2 minutes.
My New Englander's hammer spur slopes further back.
 

[GF]Burke

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Well my lady just pulled out 2lbs of beeswax and gave it to me. So I'll go with a mix of that.
 

renegadehunter

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Nice man, thanks. Yeah I've seen his vids for sure. He's up northern a bit.
This is good info. Sounds good, I'll have to do some testing and see what works. And I guess people are lubing the bands because that helps in mitigating fouling or leading. From the sound of it, I can use the same "wax/oil/grease" makeup that I'd use to fill the bands, as I would swab the barrel for this other issue.
Ha, I didn't even notice you were down in Nampa.
Welcome to the addiction my fellow Idahoen.
Suggest popping that cap with a patch on your jag pushed to the breech. Hauls out any crap the cap loosens, at least in my experience.
I've actually turned my jag down so I've got that fit where the jag and swab patch go down smoothly and then the swab bunches up and pulls the fouling back out. I quit popping caps after swabbing since working the jag over. Apparently fouling in the flame channel doesn't get too bad, because since turning the jag down I just don't get F2F's unless its a very wet and rainy day when fouling turns to sludge from absorbing all the moisture. Then I do use an extra cap every shot.
 

[GF]Burke

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Yo! Thanks man. :D

Ok, leaving for the mountains this Fri evening. Be up there for a couple days. Here is what I'm taking with me to see what gets me the best accuracy. Take your best guess. ha.


TC Renegade Hunter 50cal single trigger.
Barrel: 26” , 1:48 twist
RS powder (it's just what I have a lot of) (amount- just have to play in the 70-100gr area)
Pre-lubed patches.
OX-yoke wonder wads (when needed. test)
Beeswax/olive oil mix (use to coat brl and to use on grooves of bullets when needed)
Cleaning between rounds

.490 RB (store bought)
.495 RB
T/C Maxi-ball
LEE improved mini-ball


Wager up. Projectile/load/setup. $$. Nothing will be the shooters fault, of course. 😍
 

Jäger

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Stepping up a caliber to the .54 T/C Hawken, and being a hunter of elk and moose with my rifle, Lyman's conical design (I don't have the mould in front of me as I write) from their combo mould that casts both a round ball and conical, that conical design is freakishly accurate with maximum charges.

Unlike most here, I just don't want to mess around with patches and balls, etc. They're not wrong; just not for me. And for elk and moose, I prefer the heavier conicals. again that's just me.

Anyways, if you don't prefer patch and ball, I'm guessing Lyman's .50 cal conical is exactly the same as their .54 in design, just scaled down in size. We've had very good accuracy and performance using Lyman's .54 version in our .54 T/C Hawkins.
 

Eric Krewson

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I have always had very consistent barrel size on my TC guns until I built an old hawken kit a couple of years ago. I tried a .495 ball in it with an .018 ticking patch and found I couldn't drive it down the barrel with a sledge hammer, it was much too tight. A .490 with the same patch is tight but doable and shoots well with 75 gr of 2F.
 
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