First BP Firearm On The Way - Help!


April 5, 2003, 09:55 AM
Just ordered a Lyman Deerstalker cap lock. My goal is to use this Summer and Fall to familiarize myself and get proficient - or at least, get a real good idea what kind of shot I can take and what kind I don't want to take - before deer season in Indiana.

I am looking for the benefit of y'all's experience with BP, to save me as many mis-steps as possible.

Lyman says the rifle is best suited for round balls and maxi balls. It is 50 cal, 24" with 1:48 twist.

Given I am working up for hunting, what are your suggestions for bullets?

For that matter, how about powder, caps, break-in, cleaning, range routine..?

Any help advice or suggestions welcome.

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Gerald McDonald
April 5, 2003, 08:10 PM
90 to 100 grains of ff behind a 470 grain mini will get the attention of what your shooting. But I have buddys who swear by the 240 grain 44 cal HP sabots behind 125 or so grains of ff. Your best bet is to buy an assortment of what you think will work and head to the range for a little shooting. If your main aim is to make meat the mini's and sabot hollow points will probably do better than round ball but I would guess round balls have done the job very well in the past. I never worried about break in. Clean every 2 or 3 shots and use what powder you can get (ff or fff) and youll probably do fine.

April 8, 2003, 12:12 PM
I have a .50 cal 24" barrell Thompson New Englander w/1 in 48" twist. Just recently tried patched round balls and seem to be getting much better accuracy with them than I did with the Minnie's. Don't doubt that the Minnie is a better killer than the ball, but I'll probably stick with the patched round ball if accuracy holds. My shooting range will probably be limited to about 75-80 yds. I'm using 80-90 grns. of Goex FFF. FF is usually recommended in rifles, but FFF can be used at about 75-80% of recommended FF loads, rule of thumb. Strongly recommend black powder over the Pyrodex substitutes, particularly in a Lyman, as they design specifically for black powder, something to do with nipple design I read somewhere.
Tried Pyrodex once in Lyman Plains Pistol and it took 7 caps before it fired off. The idea of having to screw the ball out is not a pleasant one!
Good shooting!
Oh, for cleaning, boiling water and a .50 cal mop that screws into your rod is handy. Dry it with clean patch on a cleaning jag.

4v50 Gary
April 8, 2003, 07:58 PM
You have to develop your load for your gun. It's much like handloading, only slower. Weigh all your bullets and separate them by weight. Next, try varying powder charges and shoot 3-5 shots per charge/weight. Keep notes. It's a lot of work, and after you find the most accurate load, then you begin to figure the drop on that particular load. Try to sight in at 75 yards and figure the hold for longer/shorter ranges.

April 8, 2003, 08:06 PM
I'll just add this .... courtesy of ''Cornbread2'' from another board a while back ..... cleaning is never the best aspect of BP but ... this formula is cheap and simple and works like a dream (also for corrosive primer rifle ammo) ......

He called it ''Panther Piss'' but it does I believe enjoy other names also ...

3 pts Isopropyl (''rubbing'') alcohol

3 pts peroxide . std 3%

2 pts Murphy's oil soap

Mix it all up and store the bulk amount in a colored jug (such as anti-freeze, yellow) and store outa daylight. keep a pint ready for use in one of the peroxide bottles.

Use this and you'll dissolve all them nasty salts quickly ... and then dry off and finally oil.

I find it real good. Cleaning to me is biggest downside of muzzle load shooting.

4v50 Gary
April 9, 2003, 11:50 AM
Speaking of home brews, use 25% water soluable oil to 75% water. The concoction is called "Moose Milk." Makes a good patch lube (if you use roundball) and keeps the fouling down.

April 9, 2003, 08:13 PM
Just one question, though: what is water soluble oil? Isn't that a bit of an oxymoron?

April 9, 2003, 09:13 PM
what is water soluble oil? Isn't that a bit of an oxymoron Nope!! It is what is commonly used for machining .. the lubricant content forms an emulsion with water .. and is delivered thru a ''suds'' system .. circulated thru a pumped system and played on the workpiece.

Never tried that for bore cleaning myself ... but the ''Panther Piss'' does well too in that regard ..... :)

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