I have wanted a muzzleloader for some time now....I have saved enough to buy an entry level rifle. I am going to get a Traditions Hawken in 50 cal. The question I have is this......How do I know what size round ball to use? I ordered some Traditions pre lubed patches as well, they are a .15" thick......50 cal round balls come in .490 and also .495 diameters, which one of these would work best with the 0.15" thick patch Can somebody explain why....Thanks in advance for all the help!!
"Said I never had much use for one,...never said I didn't know how to use it..." ~ Matthew Quigley
~Team 45/70 #645
Try'em both if you have them. Let the rifle tell you. I suggest that you start with the .490, that is pretty standard. What you want to achieve is a balance between loadability and accuracy. A tight fit in the bore is ideal, but not TOO tight. Accuracy degrades quickly when you have to pound the ball home. You want to be able to push the ball down with some force but not have it almost fall down with little resistance. That will give you the proper fit for a good shooting load. If you need to use a hammer to get it down, the ball will be deformed. Does that make sense?
"You can't miss fast enough to win a gunfight", Bill Jordan
Also, you do not need to start out with a shoulder busting load either. I would start out with around 60 grains of powder, and work up until accuracy starts to fall off. Then, drop back to were accuracy and power get along. Remember to measure your powder by volume with a powder measure. Be safe and have a great time!
Nothing expresses Liberty more than, the report of a rifle shot fired in the defense of Freedom.
I am interested in getting into black powder shooting. A coworker has a flintlock he is looking to sell. It is in excellent condition. It says Cabelas 54 CAL on the barrel. Also on barrel is made in Italy. As I know nothing about flintlocks, my question is, would I be paying too much for it at $200.00 and, if it turns out I don't like black powder, can I recoup my investment?