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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I had an old H&R Huntsman in .58 and could never find a factory recommended max load for it. Lyman's BP handbook quotes H&R as recommending 100 grains FF as a max for a 505 grain minie, but that's it... nothing on any other projectile. I worked up to 140 FF with a patched round ball and it never came apart... Elsewhere in the handbook, Lyman specifies up to 180 FF with a patched round ball in their Universal receiver.
 

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I'm not sure why you want a max load unless your going after the big E. With the modern steel they use one could fill it up to the brim, but leave room for the ball. I have hunted Black powder for 20 years now and I still use the same load in my 54 cal, and that's 80 gr of fffg. I've gotten 19 dear and that little 220 gr lead ball has gone through all but one and that one went in at the anus, took a left turn at the heart, went through the left shoulder bone and lodged just under the skin
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yep, the heavy loads are for the wily wapiti or an occasional moose when I'm lucky enough to draw a permit. 110 fff/.54 patched ball (TC Hawken), 140 ff/.58 patched ball (H&R Huntsman). When this fun & entertaining probation thing is over, I want to experiment with REAL's/maxi's, & minie's too.

I, too, have shot BP for a few decades, but I've never used anything but a patched ball in rifles, I was always much more of a handgunner.
 

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I had a T/C Big Boar .58 once and its max was 120gr ffg!
Never did that nore than once.....was happy to have the feeling back in my shoulder. Some where between 90-120 gr Id think you would hit the point of dispensation. What particular powder are you using anyways?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I tried both Pyrodex RS and 2F black... Goex I think it was. It had a pretty good whallop with 140 grains alright! :D
 

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Ive been messing around with some of the Triple 7 but it cost twice as much as Goex does here.I dont see any real advantage in paying twice as much.Probally quit using it once these 2 lbs are gone.
 

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Jbar4Ranch said:
I had an old H&R Huntsman in .58 and could never find a factory recommended max load for it. Lyman's BP handbook quotes H&R as recommending 100 grains FF as a max for a 505 grain minie, but that's it... nothing on any other projectile. I worked up to 140 FF with a patched round ball and it never came apart... Elsewhere in the handbook, Lyman specifies up to 180 FF with a patched round ball in their Universal receiver.
Maybe we can just work at this empirically, and compile a list of "recommended maximums" & keep staring at it until some pattern emerges? [Gotta love the human brain, the integrating engine...]

So lessee, you've got 100gr BP behind a 505gr bobo, and I just came across a statement from an old manual that came w/ a BP pistol to the effect that "It has also been proved that maximum loadspeed perf. for a caliber .45-.50 with an approximate 28" barrel length is about 70gr of FFFg powder." [1] I think it is probably safe to assume that this is for firing a round ball [nowhere in the manual are conicals or Minies mentioned], so let's go w/ an approximation of 175gr for the bobo in this example.

In addition to this example, I've heard that the old approach to figuring your load was to hold the projectile in the palm of your hand and pour powder over it until the bobo was juuuust covered/hidden. This of course assumes that BP has a consistent density, which might be not absolutely true, but thanks to BP's general forgiveness in this realm, seems to work.

So to recap, thus far we have:

70/175 3f

100/505 2f

Anyone else care to contribute? :)

[1]To give you an idea of the age of the manual, they list 5Fg powder as being the stuff that passes thru the 60 mesh that is the bottom "do not pass" level for 4F powder. Hmmm, seems like times have changed! ;-)
 

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Well,I have been shooting black powder for around 40 years but all my experience has been with patched round balls. The old rule of "1 grain per caliber will usually produce good accuracy "is pretty reliable. I have always treated 1 1\2 grains per caliber as a maximum. I.E 50gr in a .50 for plinking and general hunting use and 75 gr as about max.I reckon the modern "muzzle loaders"that look like bolt actions are strong enough to take whatever you give them but that rule has gotten me through with all my fingers and eyes shooting original and replica guns for a long time.
 

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I've got both inline and traditional side locks.Thompson Centers.The inline is scoped and str ictley for hunting.The Recomended max load is 150gr of pyro or black. I only use 120gr because thats all my speed loaders will hold!...Side locks are older T.C.'s and not good candidates for "magnum"loads.. At one time I did load my .45 cal Cherokee with some 240gr connicals and a stiff load of black.The darn thing about tore my shoulder off(it only weighs 6lbs)...Won't do that again.....Keep your powder dry.....
 

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Thompson Centers are pretty safe,they use 1137 "gunbarrel"steel for their bbls.A lot of replica guns use 12L14 or other free machining steels for bbls.That combined with a thin wall bbl and a hot load can spell BIG trouble.A 1" across the flats 50 cal. bbl has a wall thickness of 1\4 inch,now lets allow for a nice,deep sight dovetail-see what I mean? Be careful out there! :)
 

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I use 95 grains of 2f in my .54 longrifle and 120 grains in my .62 Jager rifle. Both with a patched round ball. I think 120 grains in a .58 should be plenty.
 

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From my reading of the accounts of the old timers, the hunting load of powder for round ball was 1/2 the weight of the ball. The target/utility load was 1/4 the weight of the ball. You can play with the loads for best accuracy, but those loads are a good place to start.

The numbers come from the weight of the powder and lead bought, and carried into the woods by the old Long Hunters, which were consistently 2:1 lead to powder. For what it's worth; Kit Carson's .54 rifle and pouch were examined, and his powder measure was for 52 gr, which would be one scoop for general use, and two scoops for serious shooting, again these same proportions.

Since the rifle barrels of the old-timers were by no means as strongly made, or of as good steel as the Barrels today, I don't believe you could over-charge a roundball load with those proportions.
 
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