Sight help on Kentucky rifle

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Hey all,
So I finally finished my Traditions Kentucky Kit! Took it out to the range today. It was shooting okay but high. It was also giving my check a beating!
So several years ago I found a post about sighting in a 50cal. It state that with a around 80 grains of powder you should be dead on at 13 yards, 1” height at 50y and 1” low at 100y. With my New Englander I found this to hold true. So this is what I tried for with the Kentucky rifle.
I was shooting a .490 round ball with a .018 patch lubed with bore butter over 80g of Tripple 7 FFFG. I spit on the bottom side of the patch to losen it up a little in the cool weather. Also I worked the bore over a little with OOOO steel wool before the range trip.
So the first pic is at 13 yards.
The second is at 25y. The three top shots on the second were aimed at bullseye. The lower shot was aimed center of target but at the very bottom of the square target.
At 50y I was off the square target by about 7”.
So…… what all do you guys do in this case? I have never had completely fixed sights before. My first thought is I need a taller front sight or a shorter rear sight. But with how it’s smacking me I don’t want a lower rear sight!!!!
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Take a couple strokes off the top of that that rear sight with a course or medium file and fire another group...repeat until its hitting the bull. Just go slow and don't take off too much. You can't put metal back after its gone! If you can catch it right while its still a hair high, switch to a fine file and clean it up to lower it the rest of the way, and it should be ready for a touch of bluing as soon as it hits the bull.

I would suggest working up your ideal load and patch thickness before filing, however, because if in the future you discover it likes a lighter load, you'll find yourself repeating the whole process again on front sight. Better to just do it the right way in the beginning...
What do your patches look like, and what is your rifle's rate of twist? To be honest, 80 grains of triple 7 seems kind of high... your groups may get better with a lighter load, and it would also do a lot to correct your elevation problem.

That 80 grains estimation you read about will vary by length of the barrel, by the way...the longer barrelled rifles are more economical on powder, and require less to acheive the same results...so if the estimation was accurate, that longer barreled kentucky should be shooting a little higher than the new englander.
 
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JB67

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Front blade in the rear notch, flush with the top of the notch, target just on top of the blade. 50gn black powder, maybe a bit more depending on distance. Works for me.
 
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Let me say that I do plink but this is primarily a deer gun. So I want to work up a hunting load that gives me kill under a 100 yards. I see that many load anywhere from 55g to 100g for hunting…. but I see a lot of these are at 70 g.
So rare of twist is 1/66. See pics of patches.
So I forgot to tone my load down for Tripple 7….I knew that at some piont. I’ve been reading on this form as well as other forms. So much information out there!!! In the picture from Hodgkins you can see that with Tripple 7 FFG at 80 grains is 1842fps.(I don’t see a barrel length noted.) Most info I see says to cut load by 10% or even 15% when going from FFG to FFFG. So cutting back to 65makes sense.
Than I have also seen that Tripple 7 needs to be cut 15% for black powder equivalent. So do I need to take 15% for synthetic vers black as well as 10% for FFFG instead of FFG?
Any more info would be helpful!! I am going back out this afternoon to shoot it. I will start at 60 and go from thier…..
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Crow-Feather

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Are you going to keep your rifle in the safe and only take it hunting? Or are you going to also shoot targets with it? If so, sight in at 100 yards with your hunting load. Then drop the load to 45 grains and shoot at 40 yards. It will hit high or low. Place a target either above or below the distance that your rifle shoots over or under and practice shooting without beating yourself up.
 
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L-man, thanks for the chart. That has some good info. Idaho Lewis, a forum member, has a video showing that putting a wadded up patch down bore first will keep the PRB patch from shredding. Thanks for keeping us posted. Have fun
 
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Are you going to keep your rifle in the safe and only take it hunting? Or are you going to also shoot targets with it? If so, sight in at 100 yards with your hunting load. Then drop the load to 45 grains and shoot at 40 yards. It will hit high or low. Place a target either above or below the distance that your rifle shoots over or under and practice shooting without beating yourself up.
I hope to have it out shooting targets as well.
“Place a target either above or below the distance that your rifle shoots over or under and practice shooting without beating yourself up.” Not 100% sure what you mean?
 
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When you first sight in a rifle the starting load is about the same as the caliber. AKA 50cal use 50 grains. After that change in five grain increments. 80 grains is to me the high side of a 50 caliber rifle. Start of by using 50 grains and see where your sight is on the target and see where the ball went thru the paper and adjust from there. Yes a few of the guys that started this forum told some of us rookies that a few years ago.
 
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So back from the pit! Much happier!! I started at 60 grains and it was high and spread. Top three in photo one. Dropped it down to 50 grains. All the shots in the black are from 13 yards out to 75 yards with the 50 grains! Patches look great! Second photo are all at 50 grains from 50y out to 75y! Tapped my rear sight over to bring things back to center. My 10 year old even shot it with the 50 grains! He was about 1” off bullseye at 25y!! My face is much happier to!!!!
Still curious what my velocity actually is with this load?
Thank you all for the encouragement and good advice. Yesterday I had 80 grains stuck in my head and all it was doing was kicking me!
 

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Let me say that I do plink but this is primarily a deer gun. So I want to work up a hunting load that gives me kill under a 100 yards. I see that many load anywhere from 55g to 100g for hunting…. but I see a lot of these are at 70 g.
So rare of twist is 1/66. See pics of patches.
So I forgot to tone my load down for Tripple 7….I knew that at some piont. I’ve been reading on this form as well as other forms. So much information out there!!! In the picture from Hodgkins you can see that with Tripple 7 FFG at 80 grains is 1842fps.(I don’t see a barrel length noted.) Most info I see says to cut load by 10% or even 15% when going from FFG to FFFG. So cutting back to 65makes sense.
Than I have also seen that Tripple 7 needs to be cut 15% for black powder equivalent. So do I need to take 15% for synthetic vers black as well as 10% for FFFG instead of FFG?
Any more info would be helpful!! I am going back out this afternoon to shoot it. I will start at 60 and go from thier…..
View attachment 102069 View attachment 102070
The answer to your questions is basically yes. Key word there is basically. Your mileage will vary slightly, but those percentage guidelines run true. What i would do though, is forget about the numbers, and start backing off charges and shooting...look for what gives you the best group, and adjust your sights according to your best group and load. Once you have your best group, you can then start trying different ball and patch width combos. At this stage, i like to settle on a combo that throws out a patch that almost looks as if it can be used again. Notice how your patches appear to have been blown to smithereens with mild burning? To me, that screams out loud that there is excessive gas escape, which due to its random nature and having the effect of putting english on one side of a ball or another, will widen your groups.

My suggestion is to keep shooting for groups and backing off on powder charge 5 grains at a time...and maybe swabbing and brushing your barrel to ensure a fresh bore for each group. Your ideal load will be the charge that groups tightest...then you will be ready to look at patches again...and i expect they should look much better at that point.
 
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The answer to your questions is basically yes. Key word there is basically. Your mileage will vary slightly, but those percentage guidelines run true. What i would do though, is forget about the numbers, and start backing off charges and shooting...look for what gives you the best group, and adjust your sights according to your best group and load. Once you have your best group, you can then start trying different ball and patch width combos. At this stage, i like to settle on a combo that throws out a patch that almost looks as if it can be used again. Notice how your patches appear to have been blown to smithereens with mild burning? To me, that screams out loud that there is excessive gas escape, which due to its random nature and having the effect of putting english on one side of a ball or another, will widen your groups.

My suggestion is to keep shooting for groups and backing off on powder charge 5 grains at a time...and maybe swabbing and brushing your barrel to ensure a fresh bore for each group. Your ideal load will be the charge that groups tightest...then you will be ready to look at patches again...and i expect they should look much better at that point.

Seems as if you were already on the right path as i was typing this, from the looks of your last post that came in. Those groups and patches look great. Definite improvement. Not nearly as much fraying.
 
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Anyone have a educated guess as to what my velocity might be? .490 PRB over 50 g Tripple7 FFFG out of a 33.5” barrel with 1/66 twist?
 

Crow-Feather

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I hope to have it out shooting targets as well.
“Place a target either above or below the distance that your rifle shoots over or under and practice shooting without beating yourself up.” Not 100% sure what you mean?

If your target load hits 10 inches low at 50 yards. Place an aiming point 10 inches above the paper target you want to hit.
 

rafterob

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.36 Rooster and Brian Sweeny have good advice. It is not about picking a load that hits where your sights currently are. It is about adjusting your sights to match your best determined load. Typically you start at the grains=caliber point. 13 yards? not sure where that comes from but maybe it works as a starting point. I always start at 25 yards. Use a 6:00 hold on the bull. Shoot a group of 3, then up your charge by 5 grains and shoot 3 more. As you increase loads, you should see your groups start to rise (and maybe tighten up). Your best load should yield the highest point of impact with the tightest group. Most guys shooting that rifle seem to end up in the 65-75 grain range. That is plenty to take out a deer. Once you have determined your best load it is time to adjust the sights. Tap the rear sight as needed to get on center. You may also need to tap the front sight some. Usually these shoot low at first because the front blade sights are purposely tall so you can file them down to fine tune your POI. But if you are still shooting high you may consider filing the groove in the back sight deeper and taking some of the top if needed. This will let you get the front blade down deeper in the back sight which will bring the POI down also.
My experience with my 3 rifles is that they shoot the same at 25 and 50 yards and then drop at 100. The theory is that at 25 yards the shot is rising in the arc. At 50 yards it is falling in the arc and continues to drop below the line of sight after that. My Traditions hawken with a 28" barrel drops 6" at 100 yards using 70 grains 2f Goex. My CVA Mtn. Rifle with a 32" barrel has about a 4" drop at 100 yards with 65 grains 2f and my .45 flintlock with a 42" barrel drops 3.5 inches with 65 grains 3f. The Hawken and Mtn. Rifle both have adjustable rear sights so I change the back sight for 100 yard shooting. The Flintlock has set sights so I need to change the sight hold at 100 yards by elevating the front blade above the top plane of the rear sight.
 
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So I was back at it today! Make hay while the sun shines! It was a slower day working on bids at home so finished the day down at the pit.
So I shot a few at 55 grains again as well as 50 grains. The groups were equal. Took it back up to 60 grains. First pic is 60 groans at 25y. Then I filed the rear sight down since it was shooting a little highe even with 50 grains. Second pic is after filing the rear sight down. Pointe of impact and pattern is about the same at 50 yards. For now I’m calling it good. MY check needs a break!
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