Is 70 grains 3f enough umph

Discussion in 'Traditional Muzzleloader Hunting' started by Tannehill, Jan 6, 2020.

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  1. Jan 6, 2020 #1

    Tannehill

    Tannehill

    Tannehill

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    I have been hunting with my two 50 cal, TC Hawken and Traditions Kentucky, using 70 grains 3 f for some time. Always seemed right, the rifles like it. However, most of my shots have been under 50 yards. I now hunt where a 75-100 yard shot is not out of the question. Wandering if I need to go back to the range and try a heavier charge for the longer ranges? Shooting PRB, both rifles are 1 in 60, the TC has a Green Mountain replacement barrel.

    thanks
     
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  2. Jan 6, 2020 #2

    Juice Jaws

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    I have kill a lot of hogs from 35 lbs to 150 lbs and my load in my 50 cal. CVA mountain rifle was 60 grs. of 3 F with a round ball. Killed them all dead.
     
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  3. Jan 6, 2020 #3

    Ames

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    The horned toad says we should go to Mexico.
    Never shot one. However, I have a friend that routinely shoots 100 grains with his at paper.
    I'd go back to the range and creep up 5 grains at a time to find out where on the charts your groups open up too much. Then keep your shots below that point.
     
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  4. Jan 6, 2020 #4

    hanshi

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    My load in the .50 and .54 is 70 grains; haven't had a deer complain yet.
     
  5. Jan 6, 2020 #5

    Christophero

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    Plenty enough. I shot a large doe a few years back at 100 yards with a PRB and 65 grains of fffg. It performed as it was supposed to. Remember, 65 gr is equivalent to 80 grains of ffg, a standard loading for 50 caliber rifles.
     
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  6. Jan 6, 2020 #6

    Frontier's

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    I shoot elk with 70gr 3fg and a .490 ball.
     
  7. Jan 6, 2020 #7

    Zonie

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    IMO, your 70 grain powder load will be fine.
    Below is a chart that shows the effects of increasing the powder load in a .50 caliber rifle and what happens to the balls velocity as it travels downrange.
    At the left the graphs show the muzzle velocity. Each dot to the right represents 20 yards, starting with 20 and going out to 120 yards.

    50-VELOCITY-WEB.jpg

    Notice that going from a 80 grain powder load to 100 grains there is a pretty good increase in velocity at the muzzle but by the time the ball has reached 100 yards (next to the last dot at the right) there isn't a lot of difference.
    Yes, the larger powder load velocity's higher with the 100 grain load but I'm sure the deer won't notice the difference.
     
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  8. Jan 7, 2020 #8

    Tom A Hawk

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    Here is a link to .50 RB Ballistics using different powders. Personally, I shoot 100 grains Swiss in .50 caliber. Not so much for the gain in velocity as for the flat trajectory. It shoots extremely flat out to about 120 yards.

    http://www.namlhunt.com/traditionalmldata1.html

    Last fall, I visited the local range for some target work. Upon arrival I was surprised to find the Cowboy shooters were setting up for a weekend event. All sorts of steel targets set at various distances including a small buffalo silhouette at 120 yards. I was showing off my Lancaster and preparing to leave when they suggested that it would not hurt anything if I shot the muzzle loader. ( I think they were curious to see it shoot ) So, I asked if I could try the buffalo. They said, "Sure, you can "try". "If you manage to hit it, we'll just paint over the bullet strike".

    Well, the left hand strike is from the .50 Lancaster. The right hand strike is from my unmentionable hand gun in 10mm.
    upload_2020-1-6_19-29-28.png
     
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  9. Jan 7, 2020 #9

    Stony Broke

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    About half an hr. ago I just loaded up a .58 cal. with a prb and 70 gr. of fff. Our muzzleloading deer season just started yesterday and goes for a couple of weeks. I'll haul the rifle around with me and I'm confident the 70 gr. load will suffice.
     
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  10. Jan 7, 2020 #10

    Sparkitoff

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    I always look at the nearest comparison. Texas did a two year study where they shot whitetail deer on a managed property with assorted projectiles at different weights and velocities (air powered only). The deer where shot at a known distance of 100-yards. Factors considered where how far the animal travelled after being hit, where it was hit, the terminal ballistics. What they determined really correlates directly to our muzzleloaders when considering "minimums":

    "... guns must fire a projectile of at least 30 caliber in diameter and at least 150 grains in weight with a minimum muzzle velocity of 800 feet per second or any combination of bullet weight and muzzle velocity that produces muzzle energy of at least 215 foot pounds of energy".

    I think your .50 with PRB and FFFg is doing at least 1600 FPS with 70 grains of powder. That's twice the velocity and 20% more projectile weight than the "minimum".

    If that is what a "experts" determined is the formula for effective deer hunting you are well in the "good to go" zone. Keep in mind that Texas whitetail deer vary in size quite a bit but average much less than Northern and Midwestern US and Canadian deer.
     
  11. Jan 7, 2020 #11

    Ben Meyer

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    Yes. In my .50cal flintlock, 80 gr of 2f and 70 gr of 3f hit the same spot. I hunt with 80 gr of 2f and it kills deer dead, though I wouldn't take a longer shot than 75yds with a PRB and iron sights.
     
  12. Jan 7, 2020 #12

    Loyalist Dave

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    My longest shot was 110 yards at a very fat doe (she's the largest I've ever shot - I thought she was at 80 yards). I hit her broadside about 2" lower than where I aimed (distance you know). 70 grains of 3Fg and a 224 grain .530 round ball. Had I been using a 175 grain .490 ball the only difference would likely have been a bit less bullet drop because the .490 ball would've been moving faster than my bullet.

    OH the ball went through her, broadside, taking both lungs out, and she went 20 feet and fell over. ;)

    I shot a large buck a few years back at about 55 yards...zipped right through him broadside, and he went for about 80 yards. He was, however, all hopped up on adrenaline as he'd been harassed by some foxhounds from the adjacent property, and wasn't running when I shot, but had just slowed down, and then stopped for a moment to look over his shoulder to see if the dogs were coming over the fence in the distance to his rear (his mistake was halting). My point is even when you have enough umph, the deer might not know it's "done" and might make for an interesting day, finding it. ;)

    This year's deer was at 62 yards, went through her too....,

    So the ONLY thing you need to do, since your hunting situation now has increased range, is to a) shoot some targets at 70 or 80, and 100 yards, to see how the impact from your rifles changes at those distances, and b) figure out some known landmarks or make some, from where you're located to various points so you know the distances to the deer when you see them (imho). :thumb:

    LD
     
  13. Jan 7, 2020 #13

    Loyalist Dave

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    I've wondered what that figure was..., but the above is not taking into account range to the target, and pounds per square inch from the surface area of the projectile vs. the target at impact.

    I know that a 40 grain projectile at 800 fps from the muzzle can be lethal at 5 yards, and that's only 57 ft.lbs….and a 90-grain .389 ball at 800 fps muzzle velocity can be quite lethal much farther, and that's only 127 ft.lbs.

    LD
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2020
  14. Jan 7, 2020 #14

    bang

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    The question really is does 70gs provide accuracy.
     
  15. Jan 8, 2020 #15

    Logcutter

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    That right there. If it throws the round ball straight with 70grains then your all set. i have killed many many deer with 65 grains of 3F in my 50cals. Never had a ball not pass through. Never had a deer travel far at all.
    Good luck. Good hunting.
     
  16. Jan 8, 2020 #16

    Tom A Hawk

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    Just an interesting observation - I've noted several comments regarding pass through RB penetration and a short post-impact travel distance using lower/medium powder charges. The .54 Hawken balls below were recovered from Whitetail bucks, shot broadside at about 50 - 60 yards. Both balls were found just under the hide on the off side, indicating complete energy transfer to the target. The bucks either dropped instantly or within a few steps. These balls were seated over 125 grains FF.
    Based on the severe flattening of the balls I am assuming that perhaps at higher velocity, increased ball deformation may act to reduce penetration due to increased frontal surface area and resistance. The elastic hide then acts as sort of a catchers mitt.
    upload_2020-1-8_9-49-18.png
    upload_2020-1-8_9-49-37.png
     
  17. Jan 8, 2020 #17

    Walkingeagle

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    From my understanding this was proven to be fact many, many years ago.
    Walk
     
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  18. Jan 8, 2020 #18

    Ben Meyer

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    I never thought of that, but it makes sense. I hunted with 80gr 2f this season, killed a big doe shot broadside at 42 yds and got a complete pass thru with a .490 PRB. At 125gr, I would have expected another pass thru. I'm no expert in traditional black powder ballistics but it did confuse me originally that, when I was looking at the Investarms manual for my Hawken, it called for max load of 90gr 2f for a .490 round ball but 80gr for a 370gr Maxi ball. Youd think MORE powder would be needed for a heavier projectile. Then the Civil War load was 60gr for a 530gr ball!

     
  19. Jan 8, 2020 #19

    longcruise

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    @Tom A Hawk

    That has been my actual observation spanning a number of mule deer and elk kills by myself and others.
     
  20. Jan 9, 2020 #20

    Spikebuck

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    Ben, I'm guessing that the lower suggested load for the large Maxi is more due to Investarms wanting to reduce the pressures that a larger projectile will create than anything to help your hunting. This is probably a legal protective measure, not a helpful tip. Other barrel makers may simply state that only round balls can be used...no conicals. Protects them.
     

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