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Which one, .54, .50, or .45 caliber?

Discussion in 'Hunting, Fishing & Camping' started by Tommy Gun, Sep 9, 2004.

  1. Tommy Gun

    Tommy Gun CLM

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    I posted this on caliber corner but am interested on what you guys may think.

    A muzzle loader question. Which one, .54, .50, or .45 caliber?

    Since muzzle loader type weapons are mostly used for hunting, I would like some feedback on what caliber of muzzle loader to use in any given hunting situation. The major caliber options available seem to be the 45, 50 & the 54 calibers. What size is best for bringing down what type of game? Is a .54 cal. too much gun for deer? Is the 50 cal. a one size fits all caliber? Are there any web sites or printed materials that offer muzzle loader-load data? Thanks for any thoughts or information?

    Tommy
     
  2. vafish

    vafish

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    I'd think the same thing over here that I did over there.

    :)
     

  3. Dogbite

    Dogbite DNT TREAD ON ME

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    I have a 50.Its great for all around big game hunting.The reason some people go to 45 is for the ballistic advantage--being able to shoot flatter,and hit further out.Muzzle loaders keep getting more and more advanced.Im not sure i like that,i want to keep it "primitive".If they get any more advanced,there wont be much difference between a muzzle loader and a modern centerfire rifle.
     
  4. AR15'em

    AR15'em Roll Tide??

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    Depends on if you are going to only use round balls or actually shoot sabots or other modern bullets. With the round ball, the .54 will give you a slight advantage over the .50 and a big advantage over the .45. With modern bullets and sabots, the .50 is just as effective. Plus, there are a lot more options with bullets for the .50 cal muzzle loaders.
     
  5. Hunterjbb

    Hunterjbb

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    have to say the .50..

    I have a Lyman great plains and shoot ball.. very accurate out to 100 yds or if in the hands of someone who can really shoot, like my older brother 200 is do able.. i'd not shoot past 100 myself.

    My brother who is an avide black powder shooter recommended the .50 as a great all around black powder weapon, he's more into the traditional shooting and only uses patch and ball.. He did also say if your a bigger fellow that shooting the .54 would not be a detrement at all..

    my brother has a .62 cal, man it's like shooting marbles. fun but i'd not want to do it to often.

    good luck. There are TONS of choices out there for good weapons.
     
  6. muddydog

    muddydog

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    i love BP shooting and hunting..

    here is my take..

    unless your elk hunting..i would go .50
    a .50 caliber round ball, sabot or minnie is a wicked beast.
    choose your poison and gun.

    if you think you want to go after elk and pigs..(big pigs), bison and such. for gods sake get a .54

    for sidelocks..T/C or lyman are handsdown the best factory made rifles. if you want real primitive..get a 60-72 twist gun for round balls.

    good luck
     
  7. noway

    noway

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    I have 50cal and that's all that I use. I feel so comfortable that with the right charge and bullet, my encore can take pigs both small and big within a set distance. I can easily place fist size groups at 80-100yrds (2-3") and a .452 projectile weighin at 260gr is alot of bullet for most animals.

    A few storys have past thru the camp of people taking Grizzlys with 50cal mzl with no problems, so I think an Elk & Big pig should subcome to any that a 50cal with the right load/charge.

    50cal ( like I stated in the caliber forum ) has alot more readily componnents available then the 54 or 45cal mzl.
     
  8. Fox

    Fox Varmit Control

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    I would go with .54 caliber if shooting patched ball. The smaller .50 and .45 are best with conical bullets.
     
  9. Tommy Gun

    Tommy Gun CLM

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    Good feedback, Thanks.

    Just went out yesterday and shot. I have been trying to use 435 grn. TC maxihunters with 100 grns. of powder. I think that load is just too much for deer size game. More of a large game load. It is hard for me to shoot well. Sabots, here I come!

    I do have a 54. cal. TC Thunder Hawk. I will experiment with the various projectile options for improved preformance and shootability. "Load" recomendations are welcome! Thanks again.....
     
  10. Sixgun_Symphony

    Sixgun_Symphony NRA4EVR

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    What is the twist rate in your rifle barrel?
     
  11. TScottW99

    TScottW99 NRA Life Member

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    I have used .54 sidelock, .50 sidelock and .45 sidelock in my hunting life. For patched balls I have always liked the .54 for deer and for an inline I like my .50 caliber with .45 saboted bullets.
     
  12. noway

    noway

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    {What is the twist rate in your rifle barrel?}

    My (IIRC) is 1 in 28 which is too fast for patch balls. Most mzl geared for patch balls, run 1 in 43 or slower.

    btw, I don't shot balls, since sabot/bullet are more superior in accuracte and flatter trajectory than lead balls.
     
  13. Tommy Gun

    Tommy Gun CLM

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    My TC, 54 cal., Thunder Hawk has a 1 in 38" twist and can handle 150 gr of pyrodex.
     
  14. vafish

    vafish

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    Tommygun,

    Better check that manual again.

    I have a .54 cal TC Thunderhawk (Stainless) and it's only rated for 120 gr of Black Powder by volume.
     
  15. Tommy Gun

    Tommy Gun CLM

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    Thanks for the heads up vafish, My 54 cal Thunder Hawk is also a stainless model so I will double check my information. I called TC this morning to request a new owners manual. While I was at it I asked questions of their "sales people". The gentleman I spoke with told me it would take 3 pellets or 150 grs. of powder. I don't think he looked anything up but said what the said off the top of his head. We all know that sales people can be wrong so I will hold off on big powder charges until I get the manual.
     
  16. vafish

    vafish

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    My Thunderhawk is an older one. It came with the #11 percussion cap. I bought the 209 shotshell conversion kit for it.

    Maybe TC considers them a 150 gr now with the 209 kit.

    I shoot mine with 100 grs of 777 and it kicks like a mule, I tried one load at 120 and that was enough for me.
     
  17. 8-Ball

    8-Ball Old Soul

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    i have a 50 cal connecticut valley sharpshooter i got it when i was 11. first time i shot it i was stunned;P . I never hunted with but i like to shoot pumpkins and stuff with it, theres something about a gun with alot of kick;)
     
  18. vafish

    vafish

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    Tommygun,

    I forgot to add to this thread a while back.

    I tried various sabot loads. I ordered Sabots from MMC in .44, .45, and .50 cal. Best sabot accuracy was with the .50 cal bullets, but it still wasn't as good as the 425 gr Buffalo bullets and 100-110 grs of 777. I don't think the Thunderhawk has a fast enough twist rate to stabilize the lighter saboted bullets very well.

    I've shot a couple of deer with the Buffalo bullets, they dropped in place. No doubt that it's a lot of gun, but I don't think you can have too much gun (within reason of course) for deer.
     
  19. jgun

    jgun

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    We've killed 6 elk with a 54 cal mzl shooting exclusively BARNES MZ bullets. These are hands down the best KILLING bullets around. They shoot flat and make a great slow speed expanding round.

    Just my experience.

    Good luck.
     
  20. lethal tupperwa

    lethal tupperwa

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