Overpowder wads for 54-cal

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bigbadben

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I didn't want to hijack Kirrmeister's thread, so thought I would start a new one here.

I'm interested in playing with overpowder wads for my 54-cal percussion to see if I can tighten groups up a bit. I'm curious to hear more about what others are using.

I looked at Track's site and found where they have the kinds of wads others have told me to look for. But they only go up to 50-cal. I assume 28-ga. wads would work for me since that's .55" (pretty close to .54"). But they don't list the thin (.062") vegetable fiber wads. They only list the thicker .5" fiber wads.

Is it ok to use a wad that thick in a rifle? Is that the sort of thing that I should be looking at using?

For those who use overpowder wads is there a thickness that seems to work best?

Thanks,

Ben
 

roundball

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As one reference, I've used Oxyoke prelubed wool wads over max/near-max hunting load powder charges for a good 15 years as they always help my group sizes. I believe in them so much that I actually use the next larger caliber size wad...ie: a .58cal wad in a .54cal...for an even tighter seal in the bore...you have to position them 'flat' into the muzzle of course, then seat them on down.
http://www.possibleshop.com/wads.htm
 
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bigbadben

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Thanks Roundball. I'll order some up in both sizes and see how I do. I ordered some others that PaulV . . . recommended too. I figure I'll try 'em all and see what my guns like.

I have to be careful. Along with muzzleloading I'm also bit with the f-class/long-range prone rifle shooting bug. The problem there is that I get used to my tactical/competition .308 printing one-hole groups at 100 yards. People tell me that a PRB with open sights is doing well if it shoots 5-inch groups at that range. But I have a hard time seeing it when I'm used to those little .308 bugholes.

So any increase in accuracy that the OP wads can help me eek out will help settle me down a bit. I'm a confirmed accuracy nut. But these traditional muzzleloaders do intrigue me.

Ben
 

jtmattison

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BigBadBen said:
People tell me that a PRB with open sights is doing well if it shoots 5-inch groups at that range.
There are guys shooting roundball offhand at 100 yards or more that punch one-hole groups. It's all a matter of putting everything together right.

HD
 

roundball

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They'll do much better than 5" at 100yds...my own TC .54cal 28" x 1:48" Flint barrel shoots 100yd groups from the bench measuring 1+7/8" to 2+3/4" and I'm just a weekend plinker.
My .54cal deer hunting load:
90grns Goex 3F
Oxyoke .58cal wad
.018" precut/prelubed TC pillow ticking patches
Hornady .530s

The bigger problem at 100yds is not the muzzleloader PRB limitations as much as it is iron sights that are often not very precise for pinpoint aiming at long distances, poor aim-points on the target at 100yds, eyesight issues, etc.

To aid in repeatable precise sight pictures at 100 yards, use the tip that Stumpkiller gave me...get a few 8x11 sheets of gaudy floursecent paper like hot pink...fold the sheet so you end up with a large triangle, post your target on the cardboard, then affix the triangle paper point-down on the target so the point is dead center in the bull.

Back at the bench, simply touch that sharp point right on top of your bead every time...don't even care where the group prints...just want group size to know what your various loads are capable of.
 

roundball

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Huntin Dawg said:
"...There are guys shooting roundball offhand at 100 yards or more that punch one-hole groups..."
:hmm: HD, somebody may have given you some exaggerated info...I'd have to see somebody consistently shoot one hole groups offhand at 100yds with a muzzleloader to believe it, wouldn't you?
 

Oldnamvet

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Haven't you ever heard of 1-shot groups? Or heard of getting one-in-a-row? Hmmmm??
:rotf: :rotf:
 
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I would appreciate you posting your results, as mine were inconclusive and I have as yet been back out to try another run at.

You may want to work on your load developement at 50yds to start as any group variations will show at 50 and be easier to see from the bench.
 

bigbadben

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Thanks Roundball, I'll try the triangle paper trick. I've been taking 100-yard scope sight-in targets and then pasting a 10-inch round black target so that the bottom is right at the central aiming point. That way I can do a 6 o'clock hold on the black round target and still see where my shots are hitting on the bigger scope target. I don't think I explained that well, but it's a similar concept to what you are saying. I would have to agree that my middle-aged eyes are letting me down a bit with 100-yard shots on paper.

I'll post what I find. So far I'm going to try shooting with an unlubed patch as a quasi overpowder wad and then try the other wads I have on order. If I don't find something there I really like I may try molding wads out of old newspaper. But I'll let you know.

BTW -my 5" groups may have been partially a factor of wind. It was pretty windy last time I was there and shooting at 100 yards. And my shots were stringing more horizontally than vertically. Groups at 100 yards seem more than double what they are at 50. That could either be my eyes or wind, or both.

Ben
 

PreglerD

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Hi Ben,

I use the .54 bore buttons from Oxyoke as a overpowder wad in my .54 er smoothie flinter. works well and brings at 50 meters 3 shots within 3''.
I ordered them from the Log Cabin Shop.

Regards

Kirrmeister
 

Ken Rummer

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I have tried the 58 wads in my 54. When I start them into the muzzle they tilt a little.

Can you get them to start without the tilt?
If they are tilted at the start, will they flatten out when pressed onto the powder charge?

When I used bore sized wads I found the wad and patch together on the range. When I use over size wads I find the patches but not the wads which may mean they are coming out slightly on edge and sailing off to the side somewhere.
 

roundball

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I lay the .58cal wad on the muzzle and then using the thumb and forefinger on each hand just gently compress the wad temporarily and set it down into the muzzle...no indication of ever having a problem with them not staying flat
 
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I do know that with the correct components and powder charge that 1" groups are achievable @ 50yds without overpowder wads, just takes alot of testing with the powder charge, patch thickness, and round ball diameter.

I am about caught up with my obligations and can get back out to the range and do some more work.
 

BrownBear

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Lubed wads have made a huge difference for me in conical accuracy (Oxyoke prelubes). I simply wouldn't shoot a conical without them. But for my hunting and plinking uses, I've never felt the need for them with PRB. If I was a range rat and shooting competitively though, a felt wad would be the first thing I'd try for shrinking groups with PRB. It's just not necessary for my needs right now, even as much as I shoot. Call me lazy, but I like eliminating any unnecessary steps and components.
 

roundball

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I only use them with my full power hunting loads, not on the weekends shooting target loads...which is a good thing because they'd add a lot of expense if I used large volumes of them
 

tg

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If you can find a gasket punch the right size you can try a lot of different material for wads/cards
 

Little Wattsy

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roundball said:
As one reference, I've used Oxyoke prelubed wool wads over max/near-max hunting load powder charges for a good 15 years as they always help my group sizes. I believe in them so much that I actually use the next larger caliber size wad...ie: a .58cal wad in a .54cal...for an even tighter seal in the bore...you have to position them 'flat' into the muzzle of course, then seat them on down.
http://www.possibleshop.com/wads.htm[/quote]


Taking RB's advice earlier on, I cut my collective groups in HALF by useing "one size larger" OP wads in ALL my BP rifles!! You can NOT go wrong in my opinion.
 
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jtmattison

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roundball said:
Huntin Dawg said:
"...There are guys shooting roundball offhand at 100 yards or more that punch one-hole groups..."
:hmm: HD, somebody may have given you some exaggerated info...I'd have to see somebody consistently shoot one hole groups offhand at 100yds with a muzzleloader to believe it, wouldn't you?
You may have a good point. I've heard of it but never seen it. I've never been to any shooting competitions. Maybe it's just a BP urban legend.

HD
 

paulvallandigham

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I'd like to see ONE target where someone fired a PRB out of a Muzzleloader, using open sights, at 100 yards, off-hand, into a one-hole group. I will even accept a three shot group, instead of 5 shots. I have seen this done with Bench rest guns, but not off-hand. I came close to doing it once at 50 yards, but 100 yards is a whole other matter. :hmm:
 

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