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

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FishDFly

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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
Shoot what is accurate, makes sense.
 

OldSmoky1967

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I loaded a CVA Bobcat .50 cal. with 45 gr. of 3F BP with a PRB for my granddaughter when we hunted. It was very accurate @ 50 yards. However, we purposely hunted places where a longer shot than 50 yards was impossible.

She shot a spike with it @ 25 yds. and hit it in the neck so it was impossible to determine whether the load would have adequate penetration with a lung shot and still exit.

PS: My granddaughter was 9 yo at the time.
If unsure of stopping power, the neck shot will always put one down.
 
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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
Sounds reasonable to me. You've proved the accuracy and know your distance. Good work!
 

GeronPG

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I've shot several deer with PRB and 55 or 60 gr. of Goex ffg. All recovered. Most were pass-throughs, one I recovered under the back right hip after it went in the front left shoulder for a total of about 24" of penetration. I started with 44 mag bullets and a sabot, after several pass-throughs, I thought I'd try the prb. Was pleasantly surprised how effective it was. And 55 or 60 grains because that's where my gun was most accurate, too.
prb in the right place = dead deer.
 
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i would go with the most accurate load the rifle shoots at the range you anticipate. most muzzleloaders will shoot amazing groups if properly loaded. 50 grains sound a bit light, but i'd certainly not want to stand in front of one.

check out the late Dutch Schoultz method. here's a link:

hope this helps
 
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i would go with the most accurate load the rifle shoots at the range you anticipate. most muzzleloaders will shoot amazing groups if properly loaded. 50 grains sound a bit light, but i'd certainly not want to stand in front of one.

check out the late Dutch Schoultz method. here's a link:

hope this helps
Thanks for the recommendation ordered a hard copy from eBay. After this thread I’m a little confused on loads now for a .50 PRB. Is a load say 50 grains which the one gent works wonderfully for geared towards a Traditions rifle short barrel rifle? I only have traditional muzzleloaders and I would imagine the xtra length of mine requires somewhat more or at least that is what I mistakenly believe. While the weather is still nice I’ll try again. My barrel is 38” Rice swamp.50. I’m hoping I don’t have to get no where close to 80 my damn back suffers the higher I go. I’ve actually had good groups on paper at 50 yards using 60 grains of 2f Swiss . Not a big hunter but I am licensed and if the opportunity presents I may try but not until I repeatable on paper. Thanks for recommendation.
 

Snake Pleskin

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Thanks for the recommendation ordered a hard copy from eBay. After this thread I’m a little confused on loads now for a .50 PRB. Is a load say 50 grains which the one gent works wonderfully for geared towards a Traditions rifle short barrel rifle? I only have traditional muzzleloaders and I would imagine the xtra length of mine requires somewhat more or at least that is what I mistakenly believe. While the weather is still nice I’ll try again. My barrel is 38” Rice swamp.50. I’m hoping I don’t have to get no where close to 80 my damn back suffers the higher I go. I’ve actually had good groups on paper at 50 yards using 60 grains of 2f Swiss . Not a big hunter but I am licensed and if the opportunity presents I may try but not until I repeatable on paper. Thanks for recommendation.
I have used 60/65 grs. 3FFF in my .50 and I think it is more than enough!
 

LME

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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
I don't know for a fact but what I do know is I got my 50 yard load which was 60 grains of powder mixed up with my preloaded charges for hunting which was 80 grains of powder. I shot a deer head on and the ball went half way up into the deer. 60 grains was a plenty. I was using a .54 cal. rifle. I would hunt with your load as long as it is accurate.
 
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I recently became acquainted with a fellow that uses a percussion handgun for deer hunting. He has a single shot .45 caliber with a 9.5" barrel. Sighted in at 35-yards, he hunts like a bow-hunter, from tree stands and ground blinds. From here to 35-yards, he has been very successful with what I think is a 127 grain ball over 35 grains of powder. You're talking about 50 more grains ball weight, 15 grains more powder and probably like 21-inches of barrel. At a reasonable range it should be more than adequate.
 

Nuthatch

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50 is light. But probably doable. But I'm not speaking from experience.

As I understand it, roundball acts like a lot of HP pistol bullets. Drive it fast & you will get expansion but might not get as much penetration. Slow it down and it will penetrate deeper but with a smaller wound channel. If the shot is placed well, it won't matter which course you take. The faster ball might do more damage. But I'd rather have 2 holes than 1 when it comes to blood trailing. Hunting shots, as opposed to target shooting, require good shot placement, good terminal ballistics AND high likelihood of recovery.

Here in CA, we have to use bismuth or ITX roundball that are both so hard that they won't expand a bit. At 70 gr 2F, I was getting about 1600 fps at the muzzle. With water jugs placed at 50 yards, neither pure lead nor bismuth expanded at all. It's a 50-cal hole either way. I've heard some people hunt with harder lead alloys, like wheel weights, that wouldn't expand at modest velocities either. So if accuracy is good, penetration is good, then expansion is just a bonus you get from driving soft lead fast. Good but probably not necessary.

That being said, I had a gun that had accuracy drop with anything more than 50 grains of 2F. I hunted with a conical for a couple of years because I just couldn't get enough accuracy out of a "full" charge of 70-80 grains. After playing around with some patches, I've been able to shrink that group down considerably. Accuracy now drops off at around 90 grains but not too bad. So 70 grains is my standard load for hunting with roundball and I'm looking for shots in the 50-60 yard range. I'd keep my shots closer if I had to use 50 grains but it wouldn't keep me from going out. In the meantime, you might want to try playing around with patch thicknesses, ball sizes, lubes, etc. & see what you can do about getting your charges up a little.
 

Speedgoat44

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One of my big questions as a hunter is around what the ideal impact velocity for a pure lead ball would be on game or even ballistic media. I've watched a couple of youtube videos on terminal performance, but I don't know the impact velocity of any of the projectiles in those tests. Some of the projectiles looked really frangible, but i just wonder if the impact velocity in the test surpassed their ideal expansion/performance window. Every projectile has this. Cup and core centerfire bullets do well between 2000-2600 fps impact vleocity. Copper do well at even higher velocities.

Prbs are like roundnose bullets, which aren't known for their lethality in comparison with flat-nosed bullets. I agree with whoever it was that mentioned testing the bullet until they found the perfect expansion profile - not totally flattened out, but with some flattening for increased tissue displacement. Maybe that window is between 1000-1400 fps for optimum expansion? Not sure - would love to hear if anyone has done tests on this.
My only experiences with PRB are on 3 deer and an antelope out of a .54 at just under 1600 fps. My concerns after those experiences are not about lethality - they're about how humane those harvests are. I've mentioned this in a different thread, but in two instances with quartering hits (one lung, other organs involved) those critters lasted a good long while. They were doomed, no question, but they were suffering longer than what I consider acceptable. Go watch Randy Newberg's muzzleloader hunt for antelope on youtube - an antelope takes a .58 prb and lives for a long time. The video is even edited to further compress the timeframe between the first shot and the antelope dying. It ends up taking a follow-up hit. But it's several minutes. With a .58. All this to say, the margins are thin with these weapons. I'm sure a lightish load will kill, but if things go wrong even a little, that animal is going to suffer for a long time, so stay true to your range limitation and aim true and all will turn out ok. I'm impressed with the guys who've never lost a critter in many years of hunting with prbs. That must mean a high level of discipline and proficiency. Well done!
 
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