Renegade for elk hunting

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ElkStalker

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I bought a 70’s TC Kit Renegade and built it with the hopes of using conicals for elk. After getting it recrowned, it’s showing promise. Patched round ball will shoot into one ragged hole at 50yrds. Connicals aren’t doing so great. I really wanted to shoot the Hornady GP 385 conicals but they are way too tight. I have to really smack them with my short starter to get them engraved. Leading is a big problem, even with an OP wad. Also, I have to seat them with so much force, the hollow point nose sometimes gets real boogered up, which I know wil affect accuracy. Probably 1 in 4 gets damaged and it’s usually one that fits a little tighter than others. Groups are around 5” at 100 but every once and a while I get a flyer. I was working on groups at 100yds and 1 shot from 5 didn’t even hit paper and I know I didn’t flinch or mess up the powder charge. 375gr maxi-balls with an OP wad will shoot a 2” group at 100. The issue with these is that they are REALLY loose- dang near slip fit, no short starter needed. If I pull a bullet, I can not make out where the lands engraved, it’s that loose. This makes me really nervous hiking around the mountains and I’m constantly checking to make sure the bullet is seated on the powder. So far, one time it has slipped off and I carry it muzzle up. Just hike, a lot. I’m going to try the Lee REAL bullet this winter. If that doesn’t work, I’ll be looking for a new rifle. I have 3 TC 50cals and a Lyman GPR 50. The Renegade outshoots the Lyman GPR with PRB - I was shocked, but so far it’s groups are 50% tighter.
For those who hunt elk on the regular with your sidelocks, what rifle would you recomend? Would it be 54 or 58 PRB?, faster twist 50?, fast twist 54?,
I think there are a lot of options that would be better than the 50prb. What I like about the patched round ball in my Renegade 50 is that I know without a doubt where that ball is going within 100yds and I do t have to worry about bullet slip. I’m about fed up trying to make my rifles do what they don’t want to do. I’ve never shot an elk with a muzzleloader, but having shot deer with 50prb, and elk with 30-06, I’d like a little more oomph than a 50 round ball. I talked with somebody the other day who owns a reputable muzzleloader business and has taken a lot of elk. He said “don’t buy into the conical bullet craze. 50prb will get it done”. I think he hunts with a .58 or .62 and double balls. I’m not positive but that’s what I’ve been told.
Anyhow, at the end of the day, I think id rather be shooting an adequately sized PRB that I know where it’s going, vs a conical that gives what I think is marginal accuracy. My self imposed absolute maximum range is 100yards on elk/moose sized critters - closer if I’m able to sneak in and take my time.
I’ve seen Idaho Ron’s paper patched bullets but I’m not set up to cast yet and I think learning to paper patch will take some time, however that may be what this renegade wants.

Here’s a couple pictures I took while leaving my hunting spot yesterday.
 

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TDM

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I bought a 70’s TC Kit Renegade and built it with the hopes of using conicals for elk. After getting it recrowned, it’s showing promise. Patched round ball will shoot into one ragged hole at 50yrds. Connicals aren’t doing so great. I really wanted to shoot the Hornady GP 385 conicals but they are way too tight. I have to really smack them with my short starter to get them engraved. Leading is a big problem, even with an OP wad. Also, I have to seat them with so much force, the hollow point nose sometimes gets real boogered up, which I know wil affect accuracy. Probably 1 in 4 gets damaged and it’s usually one that fits a little tighter than others. Groups are around 5” at 100 but every once and a while I get a flyer. I was working on groups at 100yds and 1 shot from 5 didn’t even hit paper and I know I didn’t flinch or mess up the powder charge. 375gr maxi-balls with an OP wad will shoot a 2” group at 100. The issue with these is that they are REALLY loose- dang near slip fit, no short starter needed. If I pull a bullet, I can not make out where the lands engraved, it’s that loose. This makes me really nervous hiking around the mountains and I’m constantly checking to make sure the bullet is seated on the powder. So far, one time it has slipped off and I carry it muzzle up. Just hike, a lot. I’m going to try the Lee REAL bullet this winter. If that doesn’t work, I’ll be looking for a new rifle. I have 3 TC 50cals and a Lyman GPR 50. The Renegade outshoots the Lyman GPR with PRB - I was shocked, but so far it’s groups are 50% tighter.
For those who hunt elk on the regular with your sidelocks, what rifle would you recomend? Would it be 54 or 58 PRB?, faster twist 50?, fast twist 54?,
I think there are a lot of options that would be better than the 50prb. What I like about the patched round ball in my Renegade 50 is that I know without a doubt where that ball is going within 100yds and I do t have to worry about bullet slip. I’m about fed up trying to make my rifles do what they don’t want to do. I’ve never shot an elk with a muzzleloader, but having shot deer with 50prb, and elk with 30-06, I’d like a little more oomph than a 50 round ball. I talked with somebody the other day who owns a reputable muzzleloader business and has taken a lot of elk. He said “don’t buy into the conical bullet craze. 50prb will get it done”. I think he hunts with a .58 or .62 and double balls. I’m not positive but that’s what I’ve been told.
Anyhow, at the end of the day, I think id rather be shooting an adequately sized PRB that I know where it’s going, vs a conical that gives what I think is marginal accuracy. My self imposed absolute maximum range is 100yards on elk/moose sized critters - closer if I’m able to sneak in and take my time.
I’ve seen Idaho Ron’s paper patched bullets but I’m not set up to cast yet and I think learning to paper patch will take some time, however that may be what this renegade wants.

Here’s a couple pictures I took while leaving my hunting spot yesterday.
First off, I’ve never had the privilege of hunting Elk. But I do have a .50 Renegade, I’d advise trying the TC .370 gr Maxi-Ball conical or the TC 275 gr Maxihunter. The Maxihunter has deeper grooves to accept more lube. These work good in mine. I love my .50’s but if I were going after Elk I’d opt for larger.
 

ElkStalker

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First off, I’ve never had the privilege of hunting Elk. But I do have a .50 Renegade, I’d advise trying the TC .370 gr Maxi-Ball conical or the TC 275 gr Maxihunter. The Maxihunter has deeper grooves to accept more lube. These work good in mine. I love my .50’s but if I were going after Elk I’d opt for larger.
I haven’t tried the maxi-hunters since having the barrel recrowned. When reading about that bullet, there was a lot of comments saying it was not good for elk, great for deer, but performance on elk was poor. But you know how the internet is.
I really love this 50cal, but it may be better suited kept for deer and smaller critters.
 
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Please find out these facts ..find out the caliber minimums in the state in which you hope to hunt ..it's been awhile since I looked but several western states minimum was .54 ..so if you really are working toward an elk hunt gun might as well do the work on a front suffer that is legal

Good luck

Bear
 

ElkStalker

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Please find out these facts ..find out the caliber minimums in the state in which you hope to hunt ..it's been awhile since I looked but several western states minimum was .54 ..so if you really are working toward an elk hunt gun might as well do the work on a front suffer that is legal

Good luck

Bear
I live and hunt in Idaho. Minimum for elk here is 50.
 

harleysboss

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Do you cast bullets yourself? I can recommend a mold if you do. I'm assuming your rifle is a 1-48 twist? If you really want a tack driving conical elk shooter, I would keep an eye out for a replacement barrel for your Renegade. 1-28 twist Green Mountain LRH (long range hunter) will drop right in. They shoot full bore conicals with amazing accuracy. People right now think that they are made out of gold so expect to pay an inflated prices. Your barrel will shoot conicals though. You have to size them correctly (probably in the neighborhood of .501-.502) 80 grains of your preferred FFG powder and the use of an over bore sized wool wad think 54 cal or 58 cal in your 50 (seals the bore and protects your bullet base, reducing leading).
 

harleysboss

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Here’s a group that I shot last week with a GM LRH 50. It’s a new barrel and I was checking the front sight height for 100 yards. I just need to drift if so we shoot center. That bullet came from an Accurate Molds 50-415i mold. Pours at 420 grains with 1-40 lead. I’ve had similar results using a bullet from a company in Montana called “Bullshop” that particular one was 450 grains. You can also get a 1-48 friendly bullet from a company called No Excuses. I’ve used them with success as well.
 

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TDM

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I haven’t tried the maxi-hunters since having the barrel recrowned. When reading about that bullet, there was a lot of comments saying it was not good for elk, great for deer, but performance on elk was poor. But you know how the internet is.
I really love this 50cal, but it may be better suited kept for deer and smaller critters.
Absolutely, the Maxihunter is way too light for Elk, it just shoots well in mine. And, of course, great for whitetail. We know many, many Elk have been taken with a .50 for a long time. Just comes down to how good you, your load, and your gun are and how you choose your shots.
 

ElkStalker

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Here’s a group that I shot last week with a GM LRH 50. It’s a new barrel and I was checking the front sight height for 100 yards. I just need to drift if so we shoot center. That bullet came from an Accurate Molds 50-415i mold. Pours at 420 grains with 1-40 lead. I’ve had similar results using a bullet from a company in Montana called “Bullshop” that particular one was 450 grains. You can also get a 1-48 friendly bullet from a company called No Excuses. I’ve used them with success as well.
Thank you Harleyboss! At the moment, I do not cast my own. This may be what pushes me over the edge. I have not put calipers to the Maxi-balls that I have. I bought them from October country. Whatever they are, they are too loose. I do have the 1/48 twist renegade barrel. The bore is spot on at .500” and the grooves are .06”. I have read up on, but have not tried, the NoExcuses. They look really good. I was especially excited when I saw that they offer a sizing kit and various sizes to properly fit your bore. That may just be the ticket for this rifle. I have been using the .54cal Ox Yoke OP wads. They really shrunk the groups a lot, but it still isn't where I want it. Accuracy wise, the 2” groups I’m getting with the Maxi-balls is really good for elk sized lungs out to 100 yards and be confident with that. But being loose isn’t good for how active I am in the field.
I looked for the GM barrel you mentioned but so far haven’t found one. My other thought was to find a roaches out 50cal Thompson Center renegade barrel and have Bobby Hoyt bore it out to 54. A 50 fast twist would be great, but I’m not sure a 45cal barrel can be found in 1” ATF that would fit the Renegade stock.
Another option would be to find a Hunter barrel for my Lyman GPR. There are a lot of options here to solve my issue, I’m just not quite sure which is the best direction to go.
 

harleysboss

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More than one way to skin a cat for sure. I've used Bobby Hoyt a couple times and have been satisfied with the work. Having your 50 barrel bored to a 52 or 54 cal faster twist would be a good way to go. I had a New Englander 50 cal taken out to a 52 cal with a 1-32 twist. That shot pretty darn good. I just couldn't get used to the stock profile of the New Eng. The 52 would be a custom bullet mold for sure. The 54 in say a 1-38 twist would keep the weight reasonable in the bullet. I've got a Renegade 54 stock 1-48 barrel that I've been doing a little testing with some Bullshop conicals. It's showing some promise now that I have the bullet diameter sorted out. Mine were to large and needed sizing. I was having to really give them a big smack to get them started, not good. I feel that the bullet needs to be just slightly over bore ( just over slip fit) for hunting.
 

hanshi

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Just me but I'd lean toward a .54 and round balls. You could buy a .54 or as harleysboss and Nameless mentioned send the barrel to Bobby Hoyt and have him re-bore the barrel to .54 with a round ball twist. It's much cheaper than buying another rifle and the quality will be far above the factory barrel.
 

ElkStalker

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Just me but I'd lean toward a .54 and round balls. You could buy a .54 or as harleysboss and Nameless mentioned send the barrel to Bobby Hoyt and have him re-bore the barrel to .54 with a round ball twist. It's much cheaper than buying another rifle and the quality will be far above the factory barrel.
I’ve never owned a 54 or a 58. I would think that a 58cal round ball would be a significant improvement from the 50rb. I have read that the 1” Renegade barrels can be bored to 58. That me be the route I go, if I can find a Renegade barrel for the right price. Slow twist would allow for a higher powder charge as well. My current 1:48 twist 50cal shoots most accurately with an 80gr charge of 3f. My Lyman GPR groups best at 90gr 3f but if I increase the patch thickness, I could probably maintain good accuracy up to 100gr. I think I’m correct in expecting similar results from a slow twist 54 or 58cal.
I suppose I should do my homework and compare 54 to 58 round ball rifles and see where the sweet spot is as far as powder and lead consumption, max yardage, accuracy, and damage to vital areas on larger critters.
 

OldSmoky1967

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I bought a 70’s TC Kit Renegade and built it with the hopes of using conicals for elk. After getting it recrowned, it’s showing promise. Patched round ball will shoot into one ragged hole at 50yrds. Connicals aren’t doing so great. I really wanted to shoot the Hornady GP 385 conicals but they are way too tight. I have to really smack them with my short starter to get them engraved. Leading is a big problem, even with an OP wad. Also, I have to seat them with so much force, the hollow point nose sometimes gets real boogered up, which I know wil affect accuracy. Probably 1 in 4 gets damaged and it’s usually one that fits a little tighter than others. Groups are around 5” at 100 but every once and a while I get a flyer. I was working on groups at 100yds and 1 shot from 5 didn’t even hit paper and I know I didn’t flinch or mess up the powder charge. 375gr maxi-balls with an OP wad will shoot a 2” group at 100. The issue with these is that they are REALLY loose- dang near slip fit, no short starter needed. If I pull a bullet, I can not make out where the lands engraved, it’s that loose. This makes me really nervous hiking around the mountains and I’m constantly checking to make sure the bullet is seated on the powder. So far, one time it has slipped off and I carry it muzzle up. Just hike, a lot. I’m going to try the Lee REAL bullet this winter. If that doesn’t work, I’ll be looking for a new rifle. I have 3 TC 50cals and a Lyman GPR 50. The Renegade outshoots the Lyman GPR with PRB - I was shocked, but so far it’s groups are 50% tighter.
For those who hunt elk on the regular with your sidelocks, what rifle would you recomend? Would it be 54 or 58 PRB?, faster twist 50?, fast twist 54?,
I think there are a lot of options that would be better than the 50prb. What I like about the patched round ball in my Renegade 50 is that I know without a doubt where that ball is going within 100yds and I do t have to worry about bullet slip. I’m about fed up trying to make my rifles do what they don’t want to do. I’ve never shot an elk with a muzzleloader, but having shot deer with 50prb, and elk with 30-06, I’d like a little more oomph than a 50 round ball. I talked with somebody the other day who owns a reputable muzzleloader business and has taken a lot of elk. He said “don’t buy into the conical bullet craze. 50prb will get it done”. I think he hunts with a .58 or .62 and double balls. I’m not positive but that’s what I’ve been told.
Anyhow, at the end of the day, I think id rather be shooting an adequately sized PRB that I know where it’s going, vs a conical that gives what I think is marginal accuracy. My self imposed absolute maximum range is 100yards on elk/moose sized critters - closer if I’m able to sneak in and take my time.
I’ve seen Idaho Ron’s paper patched bullets but I’m not set up to cast yet and I think learning to paper patch will take some time, however that may be what this renegade wants.

Here’s a couple pictures I took while leaving my hunting spot yesterday.
Have you tried a sizing die to reduce the diameter of the bullet just a bit? You want to be about .001 smaller than the bore... This will help with the leading, as will a good lube applied directly to the bullet.
 
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If you want to shoot conicals I think you should at least try genuine T/C Maxi Balls. I shoot 80g 3f under the 370 gr maxi. Very accurate. I can't speak for elk hunting but I agree that they don't expand that well. Crushing on white tails. I've always thought that a 50 cal hole was plenty big without expansion. You're lucky to live in Idaho. It's mine and my wife's favorite state outside of PeeYaa. 🏔️🏔️
 

ElkStalker

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you want a t/c maxi ball for elk [ better penetration] not maxi hunter. try some if you can find them . i think they are being reproduced in .50 midway usa has them in stock.
I’ve been doing all of my testing with Maxi-ball, Hornady GP, and a very small sample of Lee REAL bullets
 

ElkStalker

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If you want to shoot conicals I think you should at least try genuine T/C Maxi Balls. I shoot 80g 3f under the 370 gr maxi. Very accurate. I can't speak for elk hunting but I agree that they don't expand that well. Crushing on white tails. I've always thought that a 50 cal hole was plenty big without expansion. You're lucky to live in Idaho. It's mine and my wife's favorite state outside of PeeYaa. 🏔️🏔️
I am seriously beginning to wonder if my accuracy problems are a result of poorly casted bullets. I purchased them from what I think is a reputable supplier, however upon inspection, half of them were absolute garbage just from visual inspection. I had the same luck with their cast balls. Just garbage.
If the good looking maxi-balls don’t weight the same, that would explain the erratic accuracy. I am also beginning to wonder if I am expecting too much from a 1:48 twist. I’ve seen people say they love the accuracy of their rifles and then post target photos that look exactly like mine. Having owned a fast twist 50 that stacked them into a ragged hole at 100yds, I just think a 6”-8”, or 8-10” group (my best so far) is not up to par. I may need to find some actual TC maxis to test.
 
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Try some of these. They weigh them, size them and lube them. They have various sizes within caliber to fit your gun exactly.


I believe they would be better for elk anyway as there is NO hollow point. The 50 cal GP HP-HB expands dramatically and I don't think it will give you the penetration on elk that you want. I would use this on deer, however. I shot this 50 cal GP HP-HB 385 gr into a very wet sand/silt bank at 50 yards then dug it out just to see. Not very scientific but indicative. right around 1600 fps mv

gphphb2.jpg
gphphb1.jpg
 
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