Pedersoli Harpers Ferry load?

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Fly103

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I shot my Pedersoli Harpers Ferry yesterday using various charges behind a .570 round ball and .010 patch. I hang my targets on an old piece of 1/4" plywood, I found that when shooting from 25yds with anything less than 40gr of 3f goex the ball was unable to fully penetrate the plywood. I get the impression this pistol would really prefer 50-60gr of 3f especially at 25-50yd ranges but Pedersoli offers very little load data. Can this pistol safely handle 60gr 3f charges?

Chris
 

springfield art

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I shot my Pedersoli Harpers Ferry yesterday using various charges behind a .570 round ball and .010 patch. I hang my targets on an old piece of 1/4" plywood, I found that when shooting from 25yds with anything less than 40gr of 3f goex the ball was unable to fully penetrate the plywood. I get the impression this pistol would really prefer 50-60gr of 3f especially at 25-50yd ranges but Pedersoli offers very little load data. Can this pistol safely handle 60gr 3f charges?

Chris
I have the HF Pistol. I assume you're speaking of the Rifle? Wish I'd picked one up few years back two of the Rifle Pedersolis came thru an auction at diff. times, I passed on each, now have eyes open for another. The 60 sounds like a LOT for a pistol! I bet several guys will agree with me. Good luck!
 

Fly103

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I really considered 40gr 3f to be pretty mild compared to some of my big bore unmentionable pistols....... maybe im just asking to much trying to get knockdown power from a large bore pistol at longer ranges?

Chris
 

Musketeer

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Click Here, scroll down for handgun data. Pedersoli recommends 40 grains max for your pistol (no granulation mentioned). I shoot 35 grains under a .530 ball in my .54 smoothbore percussion model, which is Pedersoli's max recommended load, though I've seen one guy on youtube load his up to 45 grains with no apparent ill effects. On the other hand, he also didn't seem to gain appreciable velocity by doing so, probably due to the max recommended load being close to the max efficient load from this pistol's barrel length. :dunno:
 

leadhoarder

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I really considered 40gr 3f to be pretty mild compared to some of my big bore unmentionable pistols....... maybe im just asking to much trying to get knockdown power from a large bore pistol at longer ranges?

Chris
280gr propelled by 40gr of black will likely produce a level of power similar to the 45 colt BP load out of a peacemaker. Certainly nothing to sneeze at but certainly not a rifle load.
 

nkbj

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Well, such pistols were made for just out of sword reach so there's probably never been any intent for very much powder. If there had been then they'd have changed the grip.
Probably still take down the doe in your pea patch though.

waiting for the unethical hunting comments...
 

11th corps

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Wow, 60 grains sounds like a hefty load for a pistol.
I shot my T/c Patriot-.440 rb with 30 grains of FFF and thought it was stout.
 

Fly103

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I reckon I will just accept its limitations and keep it at 40gr as that seemed to yield pretty decent accuracy at 25yds. After all its designed as a close range point and shoot pistol anyway. It sure is great fun when used in that manner as well, no sense pushing its limits.

Chris
 

jcs266

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Just as a reference... My .54 Harpers Ferry (a smoothbore). At 10 yds with a .530" RB / .010" patch / 35gr FFFg Goex and a CCI #11 is hits dead-on point of aim. Grouping at 10 yds is about 2.5" with a two-hand hold. At 15 and 20 yards I hit the 8" dia steel plate 5/5 times.

Penetration on plywood no idea as I've just shot the steel plate or a paper target.
 

Eddie Southgate

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Your barrel should be thick enough to stand 50-60 grains with no problem . The cylinder walls on a Dragoon or Walker Colt are thinner and they stand 50 gr + loads . I shoot two .40 caliber target pistols and both shoot 45 g of FFFg . My starting point for any single shot muzzle loader is exactly what I was taught 50+ years ago and is the same as my pap was taught many years before that , 1 grain per caliber + 5 grains . That has always worked for me and so far I have not damaged any guns . I might bump 10-15 grains for a hunting load if what I'm using shoots well with the extra , otherwise I just use the 1per+5 .

If you try the 50-60 grains , make sure the barrel is secure to the wood . I have seen a few guns that split stocks due to looseness . I always check my screws and pins or wedges before I start loading anything but most do not which is one of the reasons you see stocks split at the breech end and around the lock .
 

JohnnieT

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The better bigger question, given current pandemic pricing, is WHY ARE YOU SHOOTING AT PLYWOOD?! That’s like shooting a platinum-plated gold target 😲
In all seriousness though, I’m sure the pistol will take it. The recoil management, however, is up to your tolerance.
 

Fly103

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JohnnieT,
Ive got alot of it from an old shed I tore down a decade ago......if I had to buy it now I wouldnt be! I understand the concerns of damaging the stock from the extra recoil so I think I will leave well enough alone and stick to 40gr since she is accurate with that. When it comes to paper punching at longer ranges I will just hang the targets on cardboard.

As a side note on heavy loads, they dont bother me anymore than the powder flash on my flintlocks. The flash, the boom, the recoil, the smoke, it's why I enjoy black powder, makes me giddy as a little kid every time I pull the trigger. I have yet to meet a handgun that I dont like and I have shot some rather ridiculous calibers.😂
 

JohnnieT

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Just a little ribbin’ lol! In unmentionable revolvers I’m a fan of the big boomers, too.

I’m guessing your Harper’s Ferry is a flintlock by the caliber. I just put the percussion version on layaway. It’s a .54 smoothbore. Why they did two different calibers is beyond me🤔.
 

Fly103

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Yep, she's a .58cal.
I took her out to the range today and got off 2 shots before the ramrod cracked and then a 3rd with just a bare .570 ball which missed the target by a good 12"!
Today I was loading 40gr of old eyensford 2f, she seemed to prefer this over the 3f I was using previously. Ignition was quick and my 2 patched ball shots impacted 3" apart at 25yds, both punching clean through my plywood target board.

Still need to work out the lock geometry somehow but she fired 3 shots without a klatch or flash in the pan, thats a first for this thing!

Chris
 

Stantheman86

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I believe they make them in rifled .58 because they use the breech and barrels (obviously shorter) of the .58 rifles.

I'd worry more about splitting the stock but the barrel on my .54 Harper's Ferry seems pretty secure and the wood is robust

People use 50-60gr charges and conicals in Lyman Plains Pistols and crack the wood, it seems .
 

Donny2guns

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He wrote this under the handgun Thread, so I'm guessing he got the pistol. I know for a FACT 50grs fffg is TOO MUCH for me in my Queen Ann 50 cal.
What size ball do you use in your Queen Anne?
 

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