Suggestions for ball and patch size

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Monsai52

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I just picked up a NOS T/C .50 Cal Hawken. I've shot percussion revolvers since I was a kid, but I'm new to muzzle loading rifles. I was thinking .490 round ball and .015 wonder lube patches to start. Does this sound reasonable or are there better suggestions.

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Grenadier1758

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0.490 round ball's for sure. Pre-lubed patches are prone to deteriorate in storage. Get unlubricated 0.015 and 0.010 patches. Use olive oil (or most any high temperature cooking oil) as a patch lubricant.
 

Juice Jaws

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I have a couple of CVA 50's and use .490 ball, .10 patch with spit or mink lube and 60grs. of goex 3F.
 

DaveC

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I've tried .495s with thin patches in my .50, and I definitely have gone back to .490s with cut-at-the-muzzle pillow ticking.

I mostly use Blue Thunder as a patch lube, but a mixture of Ballistol to water can be done too. Some guns like a greasy patch, others a very lightly damp patch, others a dry patch with a bit of lube in the fibre. The key is to only ever vary one variable at a time while you work up a load. If you get pillow ticking material to cut your own patching, wash it thoroughly a couple of times to remove the "sizing" and starch from the fabric before you cut out your patches.
 

Monsai52

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Thanks everyone for the information and advice. It probably won't be until next weekend before I can get my supplies and get out to the range, but I'll post how it goes.

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Don Steele

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That's a good place to start. Since you've had some experience with BP already, you know about fouling buildup. When loading a rifle...use "Short-strokes" with the ramrod. Don't grab it at the upper end and shove it down all at once until you know a LOT more about how your combination is going to work, how much effort is required to load, and also...after you decide to be one of us who wipes between shots, or one of those who never wipes. There are a LOT of variables to work out if you want to optimize your load but what you have will certainly get you started. do a lot of reading, it's all here but most importantly...
Be safe and ENJOY.
 

hanshi

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All good advice to follow. When seating the prb I grab about 4" above the muzzle and push down repeating it over and over until the prb is on the powder.
 

tenngun

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If you can buy a box of .490 and .495, and .010, .015, .020 patches. Don’t try the .020 until you make sure the .015 loads well, you probably will never load the .020.
Swab between shots, a ball stuck halfway way down is a pia.
A 7/16 rod is handy.
 

curator

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tenngun gives good advice. My .50 caliber T/C rifles shoot most accurately with 50-60 grains of FFFg Goex black powder, a .495 home cast ball and .015" pre-washed pillow ticking patch dry-lubed with 1 in 7 Ballistol as advised by Dutch Schultz. Yes, these do take a hard whack with the short starter to get them seated into the barrel but slide smoothly down the bore afterward. Accuracy is five shots i a ragged hole at 50 yards. Wipe the bore between shots with damp patch to control fouling and you can shoot all day.
 

Monsai52

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"I've tried .495s with thin patches in my .50, and I definitely have gone back to .490s with cut-at-the-muzzle pillow ticking.

I mostly use Blue Thunder as a patch lube, but a mixture of Ballistol to water can be done too. Some guns like a greasy patch, others a very lightly damp patch, others a dry patch with a bit of lube in the fibre. The key is to only ever vary one variable at a time while you work up a load. If you get pillow ticking material to cut your own patching, wash it thoroughly a couple of times to remove the "sizing" and starch from the fabric before you cut out your patches."


I had a chance to get out to the range last weekend, it was a lot of fun, and everything went pretty well. I was using pre-lubed patches, but I'd like to try cut-at-the-muzzle patching this weekend. I bought some pillow ticking, and I've used Ballistol for years, both straight and in a "moose milk" mixture. How is the lube applied? Pre-soaked in strips?, while loading? sprayed on or dipped?

Thanks everyone for the help.

Best regards,
 

Oregononeshot

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Take the mixture of water and ballistol, shake well. Plane precut strips and completely submerge in the mixture, while moving the strips around to ensure the oil doesn't start to separate from the water. I soak each one about 30 seconds, then pull the strip through my index and middle finger to get the excess off. I lay it flat on a cookie drying rack to dry. Works great. I tried every ratio from 1:5-:18, and 1:7 is what was most accurate for me
 

WRustyLane

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You will find that yer load workup fer yer rifle may NOT be what others' loads will be. Fer my Pedersoli .50 flintlock my best load is 90 grains of FFg over a pillow tickin' patched .490 ball lubed with mink tallow from TOTW (Track of the Wolf). If using FFFg I only use 60 grains of BP. Both shoot accurately in MY rifle.
 

Penny B

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I am relatively new to the forum but my wife and I did spend a lot of time shooting offhand in a past life. 1988-1995. Right after I started shooting some competition I was directed to Teflon dipped pillow ticking. I just now dug into the deep freeze and found a few sq yards down at the bottom. The thickness label is unreadable. This I do know. .50 TC Hawkin, 70 gr 3F this pillow ticking and a light smear of MAP worked just fine. For hunting I used .490 and for the competition .495. Does anyone still use Teflon dipped pillow ticking?
 

Zonie

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Actually, although we do sometimes let people mention the patching your talking about, we frown on discussing Teflon on the forum.

The forum is basically for the things that were used up to the year 1865 at the end of the Civil War. We do allow talking about the new synthetic black powders like Pyrodex but posting things about slugs with plastic in them or modern plastic sabots is against the forum rules.

Teflon was unheard of prior to 1938.
 

Penny B

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Thank you for the courteous correction. I will take it to heart.
 

FishDFly

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"Teflon was unheard of prior to 1938."

Out of curiosity, WD-40, Ballistol, Barricade are okay, but they are 20th century inventions are they not?

Was wondering.
 

Griz44Mag

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"Teflon was unheard of prior to 1938."

Out of curiosity, WD-40, Ballistol, Barricade are okay, but they are 20th century inventions are they not?

Was wondering.
I guess that's OK because they do not have any Polytetrafluoroethylene in them, Products with aliphatic hydrocarbons, Benzyl Acetate or Nuetralized Barium in them are all traditional?
Now, do not misunderstand me, these are excellent products that help us take good care of our guns, and at the risk of being chastised, I will also add that we live in a modern world, with modern chemicals, modern transportation, modern medicine, which we ALL use even when we go primitive trekking or camping or hunting.
 
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