Round ball and 50 grains in a 50 cal. for whitetail ?

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Greenjoytj

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I thought that the open vent of a flintlock reduced the overall pressure generated by approximately 5 grains of powder compared to a sealed vent cap lock.
Exactly how much pressure is lost through the vent would depend the size of the vent.
So the OP is really shooting with the equivalent of a 45 grain load.

I would be testing larger powder charges to see if groups tighten up at faster MV.
I would be looking for a flatter trajectory with adequate group size to make a good hit on the lung area of the deer.
 

Sidney Smith

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50 grain loads will kill deer at 50 yards. I wouldn't try beyond that distance however. I shoot 80 grains ffg out of my .54 caliber guns. I'm confident I can take deer at 100 yards if the shot presented itself.
 

Loyalist Dave

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No, just not sure if the difference between 70grs. and 50 grs. will make the difference between a clean kills or not. I can confirm the 70 grs. will produce a clean kill but can not confirm that 50 grs. will because I've never shot a deer with that load. I can only speculate that dropping to 50 gr. may not make much of a difference , but on the other hand maybe it does, I don't know. I'm asking people who have real world experiences shooting deer with a 50 gr. load to confirm this either way.

I hope this clears up any confusion.

So is there a large difference in accuracy with a 60 grain load vs. 50? Is there such a difference with a 70 grain load vs. 50 grains... in your rifle? I'm curious why you are asking about that particular load, is all.

In my state, the minimum charge is 60 grains, .40 caliber rifle up to .72 caliber rifle...., makes no difference. So..., I used 70 grains in my .50, and currently use 70 grains of 3Fg in my .54. The .530 round ball will pass through a deer broadside, striking ribs on both sides before exiting, at 110 yards, my farthest shot on a deer ever.

Why 70 for me? Well IF I ran into a DNR officer while hunting, and he questioned my load, I have a fixed amount measure, and I will gladly pour out an amount of powder and he can use his measure and test it. No worries. Now..., I knew when I made my measure that some of the commercially sold adjustable measures can be "off" a few grains, and there can be a problem with the accuracy of a measure if you don't tap the side when done measuring out a powder charge..., so I didn't want to make my measure for 60 grains, and find out that OOOPS what I was using to check my quantity was off by three or four grains.... using a 56 grain load was likely a DNR citation and a court date, But a 70 grain measure that was off, was still likely to be above the 60 grain minimum.....OH and my rifles so far have all shot very well with 70 grains of 3Fg GOEX.

So will 50 grains launching a 177 grains of lead, patched .490 round ball do the trick? It should, all other factors being correct for the shot. At 75 yards, there should still be enough power behind that ball to make a humane, quick kill.

I remember when Mark Baker, author of Sons of a Trackless Forest wrote about using 50 grains of 3Fg in his 50 caliber rifle for deer. Mr. Baker also wrote at that time, a column in Muzzleloader magazine. OH the hue and cry of unethicalness that went up when he wrote such! Dozens of guys busted Baker's chops about it...and none of the negative pundits asked at what range was Baker normally taking his deer. NONE. Mark was taking his deer at 50 yards and often even closer. He hunted a rather dense area of woods, and that was really his max line-of-sight. Folks backed off, but frankly, they really over reacted.

Further on a historic note, there was a time when flintlock hunters actually used rather light loads on deer. They didn't want a pass-through, they wanted to recover the ball, and add it to melted lead, and recast it. Lead was expensive, and sometimes hard to find. In fact I read an account where the guy was way out from settled areas, ended up with only one ball, and to keep from starving to death as he walked back as he was without horse, he used light loads, recovered the ball, and then used his teeth to reform the ball as close as he could into the shape of a sphere, so he could reuse it.

So anyway, if it hits where you point it and it knocks down the deer, you're fine.

OH my software says that at 75 yards your round ball should be going at just about 900 fps with that load, and my farthest shot on a deer mentioned above, my 70 grain load was doing just over that mark, too.

LD
 
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smo

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I’ve killed several whitetail with 60 grn fffg loads in a .50 cal rifle with both neck and lung shots..

Shot placement is key…

My hunting/ all around shooting load is 70 grns fffg in my .54.

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Got my load dialed in on my Traditions Kentucky rifle flintlock that I plan to use for deer hunting this season. A 50 grain charge of Goex FFG and a patched round ball shoots almost one hole groups at 25 and about 1 1/2" to 2" at 50. The groups begin to open up as I increase the charge. Is a 50 grain charge with a round ball enough for clean kills on a Midwestern whitetail given good shot placement ? Some guys in my circle keep telling me 70 grains is a minimum. Oh, shots will be no greater than 75 yards. -Thanks
Sight in your gun with paper target. Then shot at something that is hard like the body of a deer. A hard plastic jug filled with water would work. I did and still use 4 to 5 in. phone books, magazines, pice of 1/4 inch plywood behind that. If it went through that it would kill anything at that distance. My small charge of powder in a 50 cal. would always go through the phone books and plywood and beyond up to 75 yards. Last time it killed a deer past 80 yards. Stop asking others and try different things on your own. To many think more is better, when less is far,far best.
 
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I can't see how it wouldn't be fine to the ranges you'll hunt.

I push loads harder because I hunt out further, I don't mind recoil and its what shoots well. I don't do it because I think I won't kill deer with less powder.
Got my load dialed in on my Traditions Kentucky rifle flintlock that I plan to use for deer hunting this season. A 50 grain charge of Goex FFG and a patched round ball shoots almost one hole groups at 25 and about 1 1/2" to 2" at 50. The groups begin to open up as I increase the charge. Is a 50 grain charge with a round ball enough for clean kills on a Midwestern whitetail given good shot placement ? Some guys in my circle keep telling me 70 grains is a minimum. Oh, shots will be no greater than 75 yards. -Thanks
50 cal round ball with 50 grains goex in a 32 inch barrel with 1 in 60 twist (traditions kentuck) will give you 1433 fps muzzle velocity and 940 fps At 100 yds. Muzzle energy is 807 ft lbs , and 347 ft lbs at 100 yards. Compare those to a 30/30 whose energy is about 1600ft lbs at 50 yards and you have a good comparison.
info from Lyman black powder handbook and gun data.org.
 

house

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Got my load dialed in on my Traditions Kentucky rifle flintlock that I plan to use for deer hunting this season. A 50 grain charge of Goex FFG and a patched round ball shoots almost one hole groups at 25 and about 1 1/2" to 2" at 50. The groups begin to open up as I increase the charge. Is a 50 grain charge with a round ball enough for clean kills on a Midwestern whitetail given good shot placement ? Some guys in my circle keep telling me 70 grains is a minimum. Oh, shots will be no greater than 75 yards. -Thanks
You should be just fine. I shoot 60 grains of triple f through mine and it is a deer killing machine.
 
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Well yes and no, I assume (you know that saying) there would not be a big difference, but I'm being told 70 grs. is a minimum. I guess what I was looking for was some confirmation from people who have used a 50 gr load on deer and their real world results, good or bad. I would hate to lose or wound a deer based on my own assumption. Sorry for any confusion.
From 50 to 70 is a 40% difference. There should not have been any 'confusion' to a question of that magnitude. No apologies necessary! While 50 grains is probably plenty, as seen in the replies, we need to stop treating questions as a hat- in- hand, please Guru's,
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I always figure on the very real possibility of a less than perfect shot opportunity. The places I have to hunt do not offer 50 yard shots. My rifles shoot 90 too 110 grain loads well so I figure I owe it to the animal to use a flat shooting hard hitting load. Just my 2.
 
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Got my load dialed in on my Traditions Kentucky rifle flintlock that I plan to use for deer hunting this season. A 50 grain charge of Goex FFG and a patched round ball shoots almost one hole groups at 25 and about 1 1/2" to 2" at 50. The groups begin to open up as I increase the charge. Is a 50 grain charge with a round ball enough for clean kills on a Midwestern whitetail given good shot placement ? Some guys in my circle keep telling me 70 grains is a minimum. Oh, shots will be no greater than 75 yards. -Thanks
Test your load. I know when I was a youngster, the old man had us shoot at a couple of sheets of 3/4” plywood spaced about 1-1/2” apart (thickness of 2x4 framing). If whatever we were ‘testing’ at a specific distance didn’t blow through the first sheet and severely damaged or penetrate the second sheet, it was not acceptable for deer hunting. Simple test, but clear cut. You might be surprised. Biggest problem today is cost of plywood.
 
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Got my load dialed in on my Traditions Kentucky rifle flintlock that I plan to use for deer hunting this season. A 50 grain charge of Goex FFG and a patched round ball shoots almost one hole groups at 25 and about 1 1/2" to 2" at 50. The groups begin to open up as I increase the charge. Is a 50 grain charge with a round ball enough for clean kills on a Midwestern whitetail given good shot placement ? Some guys in my circle keep telling me 70 grains is a minimum. Oh, shots will be no greater than 75 yards. -Thanks
Your charge will punch a hole through any whitetail on the planet at reasonable distances.
 
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