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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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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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