TC Pennsylvania Hunter giving FITS

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Muddly

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Love the rifles! I have 2, but can't get them to shoot well or consistently.
Tried .490 and .495 ball. Swaged and cast. Patches from .015 to .018, pre and home lubed ( mink oil). Swab between shots with spit, moose milk and rubbing alcohol. With and without over powder wad. Recovered patches are almost reuseable.
Been using 70 grains of 3f Swiss.
I'm struggling to even get 3 inch 3 shot 50 yard groups.
The locks are both fast and the bores are pit free and very smooth. Cut rifled 1-66 twist btw.
I thought it was me, but I can shoot my flint Renegade, load unmentionable, quite well. Inch to inch and a half 3 rounders at 50.
I bought the 2nd Hunter thinking, maybe, the first's barrel was wonky.
Nope. Both shoot pretty much the same. Very frustrating.
I think the Pennsylvania Hunter is a good looking, easy carrying and fine handling rifle. I don't want to give up on them.
I've been snake bit with ball and I want that to end.
So. Pennsylvania Hunter shooters out there, what works for you? If I can't get ball to work, I might get one barrel lined to .50 with a 1-38 twist. That twist is SUPERB with conicals...
Thanks in advance.
 

BruceHH

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I am betting that it is your powder choice and maybe for a reason that will surprise you. I once was a Swiss 3F super user, until I found out it was causing me to have certain accuracy issues. Not because it would not work, but because when it did not work - it was hard to determine the problem. If your touch hole is 1/16" or possibly slightly larger and you are loading a tight combination ball/patch - you are forcing powder out through the touch hole when you load . Enough powder loss to cause a variation in accuracy.

I went to only using 2F in all my calibers and solved that problem. You can use 3F, but you are going to have to use a looser patch/ball combination. Try 55-60 grains of 2F and those rifles will shoot very well.
 

Muddly

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Thanks all.
Like I said in my o.p., I can shoot groups less than half the size of my Pa Hunter with my flintlock Renegade. I don't do my best work with flintlocks, but I'm trying. Good groups with one rifle, but not others, would seem to indicate a load issue.
Assuming no rifle issues. Both of my Pennsylvania Hunters are in excellent condition.
 

deermanok

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I have a Traditions Deerhunter rifle 45 caliber, 1/66 twist barrel that shot passable with 70 grains of 3f Swiss and a 445 ball.
Last time at the range, I happened to have a bottle of Triple 7 2f in my box so I decided to try a 70 grain charge of that, just to see.
I was amazed at how much better the rifle shot with it.
Now I'm not saying to run out and buy some Triple 7 but rather to keep trying different things. Maybe 2f black powder could just be the ticket for your TC's.
 
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Hard to say, these can be maddening at times. I have only had my Penn. Hunter out a couple of times but used 60 grains Goex 2f, .490 and a thin .010 patch. Only shot off-hand at gongs but accuracy seemed fine.
 

Muddly

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I thought about 2f, and fiddling with charge weights too. Always wondered if slow twists were powder piggies compared to a good 1-48. In the past, I tried T7 in a flintlock. No ignition issues, but did lose a disturbing amount of powder through the vent. Its a fine grained powder. Swiss 3f is a spunky powder! That charge with a .490 ball out of an old Renegade chrono'd 1750 fps. The Pennsylvania Hunter has 6 more inches of barrel, so I expect it'll be a wee bit faster.
The triggers on both of my rifles are really excellent. Best TC sidelocks I've ever had.
 

The Appalachian

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Bag them up on a bench and dry fire the lock while you're aiming at your target. Do this carefully and slowly and try to observe where your sights are located on the target when the lock has fired.

I'm betting heavy odds that the heavy single trigger is pulling you off your point of aim.
 

hanshi

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I've never owned that particular rifle but do have a .50 from a different maker. There's excellent advice already posted so I'll just mention a thing or two. First, when loading the two rifles put a feather/pick/twig or whatever does the trick in the vent hole so powder isn't blown out. That alone can cause the problem you're experiencing. Also make sure the prb is nice and snug as you seat it. A different powder or grade of powder might make a difference. The rifles twist is a good one for prb and your velocity is up there enough to stabilize it. In my .50 70 grains of Goex gives 1700 fps and great accuracy with admittedly a bit faster twist.
 

Muddly

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The 70 grain charge has given my best results in a number of different rifles with conicals. And unmentionables.
Plus, I like getting 100 shots per pound! Also like being able to use a little less powder for similar velocities compared to other powders/ granulations.
So. I take her to the range with 70 grains of 2F Swiss. No other load changes. Change one thing at a time.
The .492 ball/.018 patch was too tight. The first couple shots had me wanting to pull out what's left of my hair...
But I did bring some mink oiled .015s...
Loading was easier and my first 3 were 1 & 7/16th and a nice triangle!
ON to something?
Next shot, the patch apparently wasn't as well lubed as the first 3. Needed to short stroke the rammer a couple times to seat it. That one hit right. The last shot went down smoothly and cut between 2 shots of that nice group.
What I take from this is she likes lots of evenly applied lube.
On range trip does not a trend make. But those 4 rounds, and possibly going to 2F, were very encouraging!
 
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@Muddly

I am going to share MY opinion with you. Most folks here will have an aneurysm over it. You do what you want.

I own a great number of factory production arms. Like T/C, Lyman, old CVA's, Traditions, and Pedersolis. Most of these factory brands use shallow rifling or at least shallower than a 'custom' barrel. I STRONGLY believe that the conventional wisdom of a tight fitting and thick patch that so many want to use is the wrong way to go with these factory arms.

I have found that using a .010" under nominal bore size ball, and a .010" patch with a stout powder charge is the best way to obtaining good to excellent accuracy. Sometimes I will use a .015" patch when necessary. For example, lets use my Lyman Trade Rifle in .50, I use a nominal .490" ball that mikes to .492" or sometimes .493" as cast. I use a .010" tight woven cotton patch lubed with spit for target/TOTW mink tallow for hunting. 100grs of ffg Goex. No need to swab between shots and the patched ball loads firmly but easily. Gives fine accuracy.

Try it. Heavier powder charge (DON'T exceed manufacturer specs), .010" undersized ball, and a thinner patch. Might just be an eye opener for you.

edit- I also cut patch at muzzle. I found that it does increase accuracy, at least for me.
 

Muddly

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Nothing in life is obligated to make sense. The bumblebee, by the laws of physics, is incapable of flight...
I'm looking for what works, not what conventional wisdom says should work.
3 inch groups will kill deer. But the rifle ought to be capable of better and that's what I'm after.
Good enough ISN'T when hunting. Targets will humble you, but they don't bleed...
Next time, I'll try today's load again. But will pay more attention to consistent patch lube. If still not there, I'll try thinner patches, then upping the charge. One change at a time.
Hope I don't run outta powder first...
 
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Drop your
Love the rifles! I have 2, but can't get them to shoot well or consistently.
Tried .490 and .495 ball. Swaged and cast. Patches from .015 to .018, pre and home lubed ( mink oil). Swab between shots with spit, moose milk and rubbing alcohol. With and without over powder wad. Recovered patches are almost reuseable.
Been using 70 grains of 3f Swiss.
I'm struggling to even get 3 inch 3 shot 50 yard groups.
The locks are both fast and the bores are pit free and very smooth. Cut rifled 1-66 twist btw.
I thought it was me, but I can shoot my flint Renegade, load unmentionable, quite well. Inch to inch and a half 3 rounders at 50.
I bought the 2nd Hunter thinking, maybe, the first's barrel was wonky.
Nope. Both shoot pretty much the same. Very frustrating.
I think the Pennsylvania Hunter is a good looking, easy carrying and fine handling rifle. I don't want to give up on them.
I've been snake bit with ball and I want that to end.
So. Pennsylvania Hunter shooters out there, what works for you? If I can't get ball to work, I might get one barrel lined to .50 with a 1-38 twist. That twist is SUPERB with conicals...
Thanks in advance.
What powder are u using? 2ff 3ff? Drop your load to 55 grains of 2ff or 3fg with a .018 patch i had same issues with my tc .50 hawken this combo tightened things up to a 1/2" grouping. Another thing is look at your patches after shooting they will tellcyou exactly whats going on with your rifle good luck amd keep.your powder dry!
 

Muddly

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Tried the .015s heavily lubed. Shot well YESTERDAY. All over the paper today...
Decided, what the heck? Tried heavily lubed .010s.
Patches shown heavy land fraying. One was blown. I could almost get them started by blowing on them.
At 50 yards, they CUT HOLES!?
Gentle folk, I present you...
The bumblebee...
 

pwbsmokey

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Love the rifles! I have 2, but can't get them to shoot well or consistently.
Tried .490 and .495 ball. Swaged and cast. Patches from .015 to .018, pre and home lubed ( mink oil). Swab between shots with spit, moose milk and rubbing alcohol. With and without over powder wad. Recovered patches are almost reuseable.
Been using 70 grains of 3f Swiss.
I'm struggling to even get 3 inch 3 shot 50 yard groups.
The locks are both fast and the bores are pit free and very smooth. Cut rifled 1-66 twist btw.
I thought it was me, but I can shoot my flint Renegade, load unmentionable, quite well. Inch to inch and a half 3 rounders at 50.
I bought the 2nd Hunter thinking, maybe, the first's barrel was wonky.
Nope. Both shoot pretty much the same. Very frustrating.
I think the Pennsylvania Hunter is a good looking, easy carrying and fine handling rifle. I don't want to give up on them.
I've been snake bit with ball and I want that to end.
So. Pennsylvania Hunter shooters out there, what works for you? If I can't get ball to work, I might get one barrel lined to .50 with a 1-38 twist. That twist is SUPERB with conicals...
Thanks in advance.
Are you shooting off of a bench?
 
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