Which as better accuracy?


April 23, 2010, 12:58 PM
I am thinking about a new flintlock. I forgot to say 50 cal only.

I want to use patched roundballs.

Should I get 1 in 48 twist?

Or 1 in 66 twist?

Which one will give me the best target shooting accuracy?

I have always liked the Pennsylvania long rifle. Just trying to get the tightest groups.

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April 23, 2010, 01:04 PM
It depends on the cal. If getting a .32 or .36 1-48 would be best. 45 and
larger the 1-66 would be best.

April 23, 2010, 05:59 PM
The best answer to the poll is: depends on the caliber and projectile. You don't provide enough information to pick one of the choices.

1:48 is a compromise twist, a good choice if you will be shooting both prb's and conicals/sabots. If you are going to shoot only prb's then 1:60 is the better choice. If, on the other hand, conicals with or without sabots, is your ammo of choice, a 1:20 twist would be the better choice.

Regarding caliber, choose the faster twist for lower caliber rounds, although caliber is really a second order item in importance.

April 23, 2010, 07:39 PM
I infer 1:20 is faster than 1:60 (the more inches to make one rev the slower the rate). Do I have that right. So we're all using the same terms.


PS: Does it vary with rifles and pistols?

April 23, 2010, 08:10 PM
Yes Gene, Pistols need a faster twist to stablize the ball. 32's use 1-14 to
1-16 36's use 1-16 40's use 1-20 and 45 & 50 use 1-22 That's one full
turn in 22 inches of barrel length. I know pistol barrels are not 22 inches long
but the ball still is making a full turn in 22 inches. That's why my .36 Remmy
is so accurate is because it has a barrel on it with a 1-16 twist. That little
.360 ball is really getting spun. Hope this helps.

April 23, 2010, 08:37 PM
I'm working on a 15" Traditions hunting pistol. I got it to go off last week and this week I am doing preliminary load testing. I did load testing on the barrel when it was a rifle barrel and it liked 35 gr of everything. When it went to a 9" shorter pistol barrel I started at 20 gr of Goex. The groups were way low so I went back to 35 gr Goex fff (We are dealing with a 1" .32 cal rifle barrel shortened to 15").

I also tried 35 gr of fff 777! With the 777 it is blowing out all of the patches.

I could not chronograph the PRBs but the 100 gr conicals were clocking 1475 fps for 483 fpe. My guess is that this will make an acceptable rabbit gun.


I plan a lot more work on load development. I may need to change the sights also.

April 23, 2010, 08:47 PM
If it were mine I would use 30 grs Goex FFF "0" Buck and a patch .010-.015
thick. This ought to shoot. I got a "Red Dot" you could mount on it!

April 24, 2010, 12:08 AM
Bellyup, I'm honestly only curious, If you're only going to be punching paper why would you be dead set on .50 cal? Smaller calibers are faster, flatter shooting and of course cheaper to shoot. Less powder, more rounds per pound of lead and you're not trying to kill the paper, just accurately punch a hole in it. I'm sure our forefathers would have loved it if they could bring down big/dangerous game with .36 cal.

April 24, 2010, 07:25 AM
For a .50 cal sparker and PRB's only get the 1-66.

April 24, 2010, 10:08 PM
I think that it depends on the gun and the size of the powder loads that are intended to be fired.
The 1 in 66" may need larger powder loads for best accuracy.
The 1 in 48" may get just as good accuracy with smaller powder charges.

Some Pedersoli's, the Lyman Trade Rifle, some of the Thompson Centers, Traditions, etc... shoot really well having the 1 in 48" twist.
The 1 in 66" is traditionally the favorite, but if it's not a long, premium barrel then the twist rate may not matter as much as who is behind the trigger.
There's also many different types of rifling and groove shapes that can affect accuracy along with the twist rate.
If I didn't intend to shoot maximum charges at maximum range then I wouldn't mind shooting PRB's with a 1 in 48".

April 24, 2010, 10:18 PM
bellyup, I use a T/C Renegade (older) w/ a 1:48 twist and consistantly place in the top 3-4 in shoots, (normal field is 17-24 shooters). I use a 490 patched rb and 55-60g fff. Seems that if you find out what your ML likes to eat and practice, you'll do well. I know several musket shooters that are hard to beat with any rifled long gun!!! Again, they practice, no substitue for that.

April 27, 2010, 09:51 AM
I have a Bill Large barrel on my Bicentennial Lancaster flintlock custom made for me in 1975. It has a 1 in 48" twist with a 6" choke. He choked his barrels. Many bench rest blackpowder rifles made with his barrels as well as long rifles are known for their accuracy. I also have a Tennesee poor boy made with a Douglas barrel 1 in 66" twist that I also shoot round balls in. This was made for me in 1967. I can not tell the difference when shot from the bench between them. I use less powder in the 1 in 48" twist than in the 1 in 66" twist for accuracy. For hunting I use my 45 caliber poor boy with more powder to take game with a .451 patched round ball.

April 27, 2010, 04:32 PM
Well, thanks for all the answers.

I already have a .50 Thompson Center Renegade and it has 1-48. I like the BOOM i get with it and figured, I might as well stick with the .50 Just so I dont mix up my supplies.

Not really worried about spending money on the powder. Just like the 50 that's all.

Years and years ago, i shot a friends, LONG LONG LONG flinter and fell in love with it. We had to stand on a picknic table to load it. :) ( I forget what it was.)

I have not tried the fff yet in my TC Renegade, I have only used FF. .490 patched with
.15 It's not bad, fun and that is what I am into this for.

But the wife said I can get a long one if I want one. And I do. Just for the fun of it.

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