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Author Topic: Load suggestions for my 54 caliber flintlock  (Read 2602 times)

Offline Rob DiStefano

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Re: Load suggestions for my 54 caliber flintlock
« Reply #15 on: November 02, 2018, 07:11:12 AM »
i agree with mike when it comes to Large critters - bigger is better ... maybe lots better.  in my comparing the flintlock muzzleloader patched ball effects between hefty loads of .50 (.490 ball) and .54 (.530 ball) rifles, and a .62 (.595 ball) smoothbore, at 40 yard distances on a hanging ar500 1/4"x10" steel plate the results are quite telling.  the .62 flat out murders the plate, knocking if off its shepherds hook half the time, whilst t'others sorta smack/kiss it.  if i were hunting elk or moose or bison, and i knew that the shot taken would be within 50 yards, i'd be smoothbore hunting, just like days of yore.  not saying that a .54 couldn't or wouldn't get the job done - if that's what i had, i'd make it work to my advantage, and that might mean compromising a bit on the shot distance and critter placement.  lotta big game killed with a .54 flintlock, and it pretty much was a mountain man staple firearm.  but ... big balls rule, IMHO.  8)
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Online dhaverstick

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Re: Load suggestions for my 54 caliber flintlock
« Reply #16 on: November 02, 2018, 07:25:13 AM »
Mike, that is a very kind offer and one I will definitely consider. I have a 12 gauge smoothbore that I could shoot a PRB out of, I just never considered taking it. However, no farther than I will probably be shooting, I might reconsider.

Take care, buddy!


Offline Huntschool

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Re: Load suggestions for my 54 caliber flintlock
« Reply #17 on: November 02, 2018, 01:03:05 PM »
I really do think muzzle loader performance on larger animals like elk or moose is dependent on hardness of projectile and then caliber.  As I said earlier, I have not shot a moose but have killed elk with my .54 cap gun.  It did its job very well.

Since you have some RB's mad from harder material and Scot has said go ahead then I would work out some loads using those balls.

Remember, in the old days of low pressure BP cartridge rounds....  Heavy bullet with very slow velocity and shooter shot through buffalo at distance....  Prior that many buffalo were killed with ML's with soft lead balls at slightly less range.... now, to that equation add the harder RB's, which will be lighter there fore slightly higher velocities and think about what you have.

A .54 has taken all kinds of game for a long time.  Sure conditions were different 150 or so years ago but the guns were also as was the quality of the powder....  Think about that.

To all this I would add:  Yea, and I am currently working on an early VA .62 smooth rifle.  Not that I will hunt with it..........

Just my thoughts.......
« Last Edit: November 02, 2018, 07:24:37 PM by Huntschool »
Bruce A. Hering; AMM 761
Southeastern Illinois College (retired)

Offline michaelschwister

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Re: Load suggestions for my 54 caliber flintlock
« Reply #18 on: December 19, 2018, 10:09:48 AM »
I have limited experience on game with PRB.  I have shot 7 WV whitetails with .610 ball and 110grain ffg from a 42" .62 custom.  All had the ball lodge under the skin on the far side. This past weekend I took out my .45 TOTW Classic Golden age kit gun with 42" green mountain barrel, .440 ball, .015 lubed patch and 70 grains fffg (my groundhog load) and blew a hole completely through a large doe so big I could stick my arm through.  I would have no problem shooting an elk or even moose with the .45 under 40 yards (I have shot a deer with a firearm further that 40 yards exactly once in my 43 years of deer hunting) given a top of the heart shot.  I spoke with a FB friend who prefers .50 over larger caliber for elk for the same reason-better penetration with a smaller ball. Having said that I recently acquired a TVM southern MT rifle with .54 42" Rice barrel for use west of the big muddy when I can no longer shoot a heavy longbow.