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Help me choose a load for my muzzleloader.

Discussion in 'Hunting, Fishing & Camping' started by vart, Jul 31, 2004.

  1. vart

    vart

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    I was given a CVA Hawken in .54 cal years ago and actually took it hunting in `94 in Iowa.
    I used round balls and 100 gr. of black powder.
    I haven't shot it since;g .
    I was getting around 3" groups at 70 yds. with some upgraded adjustable sights.
    I also replaced the nipple with one that was supposed to be more reliable.
    I now live in Iowa, and have gotten permission to hunt some exclusive deer habitat, with one stipulation; I have to use either a bow or muzzleloader.
    The land owner doesn't like shotguns, and when I told him that I had a traditional muzzleloader, he agreed to let me try and get one of the "huge bucks" that he sees all the time on his 40 acres of timber, surrounded by corn and bean fields.
    I would really like to figure out the best combo of powder, bullet, and charge to get the most out of my cheap muzzleloader.
    I tried and failed to find any blackpowder or .54 cal. bullets within 20 miles of my home.
    So, it looks like I'll have to travel about 50 miles to find a place that sells blackpowder accesories.
    What should I use?
     
  2. vafish

    vafish

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    I use 385 gr Buffalo bullets with 100 grs of Hodgen 777 in my TC Thunderhawk.

    I've dropped 3 deer with it. None of them took a step after being shot.
     

  3. A_Swede_17_1911

    A_Swede_17_1911

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    I dont muzzle load, but check online you probably could by some by mail order from cabelas or another internet or mailorder outlet.
    I would think that .54 round balls would work fine. Another idea is to cast your own.
     
  4. vart

    vart

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    I posted this question in the non-glock firearms section and have been getting a bunch of great replies there, too.
     
  5. AR15'em

    AR15'em Roll Tide??

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    Try the RS powders, which are cleaner than the regular FFg and FFFg black powders. Also, you might want to look in to using sabots. I'm pretty sure you can get sabots to use .45 cal pistol bullets, and the 300gr XTP bullet would be great. I am using 90-100gr of RS behind a 240gr XTP in my .50 T/C Hawken, and it has worked well.

    Don't forget to clean the gun after each shooting session!
     
  6. vart

    vart

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    What is the best way to clean the barrel after each shooting session? I was told to clean it with this solution my uncle mixed up containing Dawn dish soap and penetrating oil, and then pur boiling water down the barrel to really get it clean. There has to be an easier way.
     
  7. Sixgun_Symphony

    Sixgun_Symphony NRA4EVR

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    Tools:
    - nipple wrench
    - wedge puller
    - range rod
    - cleaning jag

    It is also good to have an old toothbrush, some rags, and a small knife to cut the rags into cleaning patches. You will need a bucket and hot, soapy tap water. Use T/C's Borebutter or CVA's Patchlube for lubricant. Crisco is a cheap alternative.


    Instructions

    Fill a bucket with hot, soapy water.

    Get the nipple wrench and remove the nipple, then get the wedge puller and remove the wedge that holds the barrel to the stock. Your rifle is a hooked breech design, so the barrel will slip out of the stock.

    Place the breech end of the barrel into the bucket of hot, soapy water.

    Thread a cleaning jag onto a range rod. A range rod is longer than your ramrad and it gives you a handle on one end. Put a soaked cloth patch onto the cleaning jag and then ram it down the barrel. Once you are down at the bottom, pull it up. As you pull it up, you will draw hot, soapy water into the bore. Go up and down like a pump. Then get a clean patch and repeat as needed until the bore is clean.

    Then you remove the barrel from the bucket and dry the outside surfaces of the barrel. Then run clean, dry patches down the bore with the cleaning jag until everything inside is dry. Now you are ready to lubricate the barrel with a light coating of Borebutter.

    Get that nipple out from the bucket before you dump the water. Clean it, then dry and apply a light coating of borebutter to the threads. Then screw the nipple back onto the drum.

    You can use the rags to clean the lock and stock. Then attach the barrel and drive the wedge back in.
     
  8. Sixgun_Symphony

    Sixgun_Symphony NRA4EVR

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    I recommend .530 ball with patches cut from pillow ticking. Use the .535 ball if you are using a thinner cloth for your patch material.

    Look for Goex ffg black powder. Experiment with different loads.
     
  9. vart

    vart

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    You are the Black powder expert, SS;) , thanks!