Tumbling bullets

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Alange

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Shooting a Lyman trade rifle in 54 cal. Lyman 450 gr. Plains bullet and getting tumbling at 100 yards. Is the rifling to slow for this bullet? I am loading 80 gr. 2f and using a felt wad.
 

SDSmlf

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Shooting a Lyman trade rifle in 54 cal. Lyman 450 gr. Plains bullet and getting tumbling at 100 yards. Is the rifling to slow for this bullet? I am loading 80 gr. 2f and using a felt wad.
Believe the Lyman Trade Rifle has a 1-48 twist that should work with a 450 grain Plains Bullet, but for some reason it’s tumbling. What diameter is your felt wad? What powder are you using? Just for giggles and kicks, have you tried a patched roundball?
 

Alange

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Yea round balls shoot good. 54 cal felts.. Got drawn for elk so thinking a heavy bullet would be best. It shoots the hornady 425 gr. Buffalo bullets ok but they are a little shorter in length
 

SDSmlf

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Yea round balls shoot good. 54 cal felts.. Got drawn for elk so thinking a heavy bullet would be best. It shoots the hornady 425 gr. Buffalo bullets ok but they are a little shorter in length
Sounds like the Hornady 425 grain is the conical that your gun likes with your current setup. You may want to try larger diameter felt wads, 5/8” and 9/16” may seal the bore better. Personally have found larger than bore wads more effective than actual bore size wads, but that’s something you will have try for yourself in your gun.

You didn’t ask, but in my opinion, a heavier less accurate bullet becomes a handicap at some point. Would not consider hunting with any bullet that didn’t consistently group at 4” maximum or less at my absolute maximum hunting distance. Not fair to you, the animal you are hunting or the people you expect to help you track and retrieve your quarry.
 

LME

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Yea round balls shoot good. 54 cal felts.. Got drawn for elk so thinking a heavy bullet would be best. It shoots the hornady 425 gr. Buffalo bullets ok but they are a little shorter in length
A round ball in a .54 cal. rifle will put just about everything on the ground an Elk is a walk through the park!
 

Grenadier1758

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You would see more stable performance with a shorter conical bullet. Perhaps a Lee REAL 300 grain bullet. Longer bullets perform better with a faster twist. A 54 caliber round ball should be more than adequate for elk. What limits does your conservation department have on the bullet for muzzle loading rifle elk hunting?
 

Alange

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Really no limits ! I have a mould for the real bullet coming but it wont be here in time for my hunt . I will most Likely go with the prb
 

hanshi

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I've never hunted with any conical, only prb. A rifle with 1-48" twist and up will shoot just fine once you find your accurate load with a round ball. Round ball reliably drops game with astonishing efficiency.
 

M. De Land

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Yea round balls shoot good. 54 cal felts.. Got drawn for elk so thinking a heavy bullet would be best. It shoots the hornady 425 gr. Buffalo bullets ok but they are a little shorter in length
If the twist is 1 in 48 than your bullet must be to small of a diameter to catch the rifling. If your casting them yourself add some antimony from wheel weights and this will make them shrink less when casting and yield a larger cross section diameter. It will also strengthen the bullet alloy to resist stripping in the rifling.
 

roundballman

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My only ML elk was shot with a 54 round ball over 120 yrs 2Fg at approximately 100 yrs. Broke one front shoulder and elk went down. Ball was just under the hide on the far side of the chest cavity flattened out about like a quarter. Yes round balls kill with amazing efficiency.
 

BadDaditood

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Antimony has too high a melt point to be handcaster friendly, and lead wheelweights are very hard to come by.
BPCR guys harden lead with tin only, 20:1 mostly. Both tin and lead are easy to find. Some places like RotoMetals sell ingots of pert near any alloy a shooter would want, including Bismuth for lead-free hunting requirements.
 

Loyalist Dave

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Shooting a Lyman trade rifle in 54 cal. Lyman 450 gr. Plains bullet and getting tumbling at 100 yards. Is the rifling to slow for this bullet? I am loading 80 gr. 2f and using a felt wad.
The Lyman Trade Rifle is a 1:48 twist. So I suspect that there is a problem with the bullet itself. IF it does not obturate enough then it won't properly engage the rifling. You may want to switch to Lee REAL bullets that swage the ring on the bullet body closest to the bullet nose onto the rifling to ensure proper engagement.

LD
 

Grenadier1758

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It would be odd that a Lyman bullet wouldn't work in a Lyman muzzle loading rifle. Looking at the Plains bullet, it appears that the bullet does not have the enlarged bands that engage the rifling. The bullet should be cast from soft lead to allow for bullet obturation to expand the bullet into the grooves.

Time to get out the calipers and do some measuring. How soft is the lead that is used for the bullet? What bullet lubrication are you using? What is the largest diameter of the bullet? What is the land to land bore diameter? What is the groove to groove diameter? While doing all that measuring, investigate the crown and verify a smooth radius from the bore to the muzzle. I am suspecting that the bullet is more than 0.002" smaller in diameter than the land to land diameter or the crown has a nick or some form of irregularity.

Take a look at your bullets. Are the surfaces smooth with no wrinkles? Any mold lines? Is there any imperfection on the base of the bullet? Have you weighed the bullets? Could there be a casting void in the base of the bullet?

Perhaps using paper patching on the bullet would help to match the bullet to the bore?
 

tom_in_vt

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I’d try a lighter conical and also round balls. Try different charge weights as well.
 

Griz44Mag

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If that bullet is tumbling: It is because it is not spinning.
The lead is not soft enough, or
The bullet is too small,
In order to properly help you - we need more information.
What is the bullet made of? If it isn't dead soft or close to dead soft (BH 5-6 tops) then you have a hard bullet that will not shoot right.
Does the bullet fit the boar? Using the Great Plains bullet it needs to be at or + .001-2 of the bore.
If not - it needs to be paper patched.
 
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