KENTUCKY RIFLES AND PLAINS RIFLES

Discussion in 'Black Powder Shooting / Muzzleloaders / Handguns' started by astute observer, Mar 26, 2003.

  1. astute observer

    astute observer New Member

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    Wow! I leave for a few days and it's a whole new world! Well, anyway I'm still with you and still more than willing to discuss or help identify KENTUCKY RIFLES; PLAINS RIFLES; AMERICAN MADE FLINTLOCK AND PERCUSSION SPORTING ARMS of all kinds.

    I am a published author in the field of American Longrifles and am always willing to help others pursue this interest.
    CLJ
  2. WyomingSwede

    WyomingSwede Guest

    Astute here is the real deal...he has forgotten more than most of us can remember about smokepoles.

    Swing away...its your forum.


    swede
  3. bigboom338

    bigboom338 New Member

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    projectiles

    Astute, would like to pick your brain a little if I could. Need some advice on projectiles for deer hunting.I shoot a Lyman .50 with 1in66 twist.Had a problem with range and energy this winter (not enuf of either) with my round balls, do you have any suggestions on a new projectile.Do not want to shoot sabbots or anything too modern,but am open to suggestions thanks in advance
  4. astute observer

    astute observer New Member

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    Thanks Swede....for the kind words! I may know a good deal about the old ones, but don't claim to be the last word on modern muzzleloaders and new innovations.

    Bigboom...you don't say what ranges you are shooting. I do realize that in your part of the world, long shots are much more the norm than here in Illinois. Most of our shots on deer here are at under 100 yards. I have found a round ball quite adequate for deer under our conditions here, but you may have different requirements. How much powder are you using in that .50? Also, what kind of powder? A twist as slow as one turn in 66" is pretty limited as far as projectiles. This really is a "round ball twist". You might get reasonable accuracy out of a short bullet of some sort, but it will not necessarily maintain that accuracy with a heavy powder charge. In general the longer the bullet, the faster the twist required to stabilze it. I used to own a Lyman myself, in .50 caliber. I never really tried any long range shots with it, but will say that power....at least in the "under 100 yd" category, was way more than adequate! I killed a 130 lb. (field dressed) doe in December using a .45 cal roundball with 80 grains of FFFG Goex at about 40 yards. She ran about 30 yards and dropped like a rock. In fact I have never used anything but roundball for deer, although in the past I have used a .54.

    If your requirements for deer hunting dictate long range shots, perhaps you have the wrong rifle. What it comes down to is, if you need 200 yard accuracy while maintaining power, a longer bullet is a must. This would also dictate a fast twist to stabilize that bullet. If you like this gun in all other respects, a replacement barrel with appropiate twist might be an option to consider.

    Old original rifles came in all flavors too. Many were intended to use either a picket bullet or a cylindro-conoidal bullet of some type, and were rifled accordingly.
  5. bigboom338

    bigboom338 New Member

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    Ok here are the facts. 85 gr pyrodex under a .015 patch,.490 hornady round ball. I have Black powder (Real Stuff) but do not really care for the fouling that comes with it. But once again am willing to try just about anything. The range was 153 paces with that load,the deer was hit square in the shoulder went down like a rock then recovered and got away.This was a first for me and I did not like it at all. As for a different rifle,I would not part with this one. The different barrel option is one that i am looking at,a new 1in 48 twist is around $160 from Lyman. A friend of mine has suggested using these ballettes,I would like to talk to someone who has used them in a hunting situation. My immediate solution to my range/energy problem is to cut down on the range part,but I would like to be able to shoot out past 150yrds when the need arrises. Thanks for the feedback
  6. astute observer

    astute observer New Member

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    It sounds like you are indeed needing to take longer range shots than we usually require in these parts, so a bullet would be very advantageous. A 1 in 48" twist would give you more options and should still shoot well with a round ball. For a really long bullet though, you would need something like a 1 in 22" twist. Of course, that would not shoot a round ball worth a darn.

    About powder......I personally much prefer black over pyrodex. I could not see that much difference in fouling over good black powder. I also prefer FFFG rather than FFG in a .50 cal. gun. I'm sure some would argue about FFFG creating excessive pressure, but in a good heavy barreled rifle with a good breech, it should not be an issue. Also, if you want a really clean burning, consistant and hot powder, try the Swiss powder....good stuff, but expensive.
  7. bigboom338

    bigboom338 New Member

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    Powders

    Ok lets talk a little about powder.1st what is the name of the Swiss powder? 2nd what is a good brand of blackpowder? The brand I currently have is Elephant,a man by the name of Doc Carlson from Crofton Nebraska he owns The Upper Missouri Trading Post and is a custom rifle builder (Black powder) told us that for the money Elephant Powder is the best buy for your dollar,however that is some nasty,fouling ,stuff.I am also aware that it is the cheapest stuff on the market.I have just over one year exp.with smoke poles and am learning as I go,so if I seem like I am being argumentive I am not. Just throwing ideas that I have heard in to the wind and seeing what makes the most sense. By the way that is one beautiful collection you have going on there,your display is 1st class. Some day I hope to have a smaller but similar collection of long rifles. Dont tell my wife I said that though.LOL . Thanks for the feedback
  8. astute observer

    astute observer New Member

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    Swiss Black Powder

    Sorry for the delay in getting back to you on this, bigboom. The name of the Swiss black powder is just that...."Swiss Black Powder". It is manufactured by Powdermill Aubonne, in Aubonne, Switzerland. It is distributed in the United States by the same distributors that handle Elephant Powder. It is clean, fast burning and somewhat expensive. Target shooters of both muzzle loaders and bp cartridge rifles have taken an instant liking to it. If you want to experience real black powder at it's best....this is the stuff! Take a look at www.elephantblackpowder.com for further details and a list of distributors. I am fortunate in having one of them just 23 miles from me.

    Yes, the Elephant powder is lower end stuff, although it has improved since the earliest batches hit the market.

    The Standard American made black powder is GOEX, which is descended from the old DuPont powder. It is fairly decent, I have used lots of it over the years. It's a little higher priced than Elephant, but still quite a bit cheaper than Swiss. See www.goexpowder.com

    As far as blackpowder substitutes, I have tried but never liked Pyrodex. It is just as dirty as blackpowder, MORE corrosive (yes, it is....you skeptics!) and smells worse, to me at least. There are now some others on the market, but I have not tried them. One is Renegade Black Powder which sounds promising and is supposed to be completely non-corrosive. For info on this one see www.renegadecorp.com/substitues.htm
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2003
  9. bigboom338

    bigboom338 New Member

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    Astute, thanks for the feedback.I went to the Elephant Powder site and guess what, Doc down in Crofton is a distributer of said powder. so I guess I will have to venture down to see him. Now for some other questions for you.Have you ever shot competitively? If so would be interested in learning more about that. Not much interested in going period (dress and all that) Just want to shoot.
  10. astute observer

    astute observer New Member

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    Competitive BP shooting

    Yes, as a matter of fact I used to shoot in competition on a regular basis....but that was over twenty years ago! Most of the competition shooting that I did was "on the firing line" paper punching and thus did not require "mountain man" garb. I did try that route for awhile, too. I still have the "garb" but seem to have slightly umm......."outgrown it"!

    One thing I can tell you....and I'm sure you already know it. The price of winning matches is constant practice, as it is with all competitive shooting. It is also very important to develop systematic loading procedures. Not that you need to do everything exactly the same way others do, just that you need to do things the same way every time. Consistancy in loading eliminates that particular set of variables from your scores.
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2003
  11. Smokin Guns

    Smokin Guns New Member

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    Be patient...

    AO, Weather will break here soon...and I know I'll have about a zillion ?'s for ya...;)
  12. bigboom338

    bigboom338 New Member

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    competition

    Lets just say a guy was shootin to win at one of these contests,what size of groups are we talkin about? Also from what position does a person shoot from? And lastly what kind of ranges? This BP bug has bitten me pretty hard and I cant seem to shake it. If you would have told me 18 months ago that these rifles were as accurate as they are I would of laughed at you. Hope I am not bombarding you with too many questions, and I do appriciate all of the feedback you have given me.:)
  13. astute observer

    astute observer New Member

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    Muzzle Loading Accuracy.

    Bigboom! Sorry once again for the delay in getting back to you. I have been kinda' overwhelmed with Tool & Die work the past few days and haven't had much time for anything else.

    As for your question about accuracy....well, there is no single answer to your question! Just like with cartridge guns, there are all flavors of competition shooting with all different types of guns. In general, with a round ball gun (a good one!), expect it to shoot as well as you can hold (with iron sights) out to at least 100 yards. I have seen plenty of 50-5X targets at 100 yards from a bench. This would be a group of less than one inch. Of course it always seemed that I personally only did that on practice targets...LOL!

    But there are all kinds of different matches. Besides offhand and benchrest, there are "over-the-log" (chunk gun) matches which are usually at sixty yards and fired from a prone position. Most groups that I have shot with held matches at 25, 50, and 100 yards. But you must realize that local clubs are not all the same, so who knows until you go there and get your feet wet? Rules on sights will vary, but in general...optics are not allowed. Some matches require open sights, others allow peep-sights.

    If you ever go to the NMLRA National Shoots at Friendship, IN, you will see just about every conceivable type of match. That would include long range benchrest "slug guns" that weigh forty pounds and compete at 300 to 500 yards. (Yes, they use scopes in some of these matches.) They also have "schuetzen" matches using the traditional Germanic style rifles (also using a conical bullet) at 200 yards. These are fired using the traditional schuetzen "stance" which would be illegal in any other type of offhand match.

    And what I've mentioned just scratches the surface!
  14. Eric Schallock

    Eric Schallock New Member

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    Hi
  15. gvw3

    gvw3 Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    It has been more than a few days. More like a few decades.
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