Hey y'all, new to the black powder thing, picked up a Traditions Hawken in .50 cal last fall. I have been shooting 40, 50 & 70 grns of Pyrodex RS with great results, projectile is a Hornady roundball (176 grns I think). So I was considering a possible black powder deer hunt this fall. My 2 part question would be; what is generally considered a max load for this rifle( so I don't go there!), and what would y'all recommend for a bullet on deer (Blacktail). Maxiball, roundball, sabot's? I am not allowed to use jacketed bullets, lead only in Washington. Shots at 100 or less.
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April 22, 2012, 04:05 AM
My guess would be a max load to be 110 gr of powder. That is what it is with my Thompson Center .50 cal Hawken.:cool:
April 22, 2012, 05:45 AM
Tahoe2, I couldn't find any info for you on the Traditions website, but according to the Gander Mountain site the max load for your rifle is 110 grains of 2fg, or 105 grains of 3fg. With that short 28" barrel however, your most efficient load will probably fall in the area of 60 to 65 grains of either granulation, which should be sufficient to harvest a deer out to 80 yards or so.
At any rate, good luck and have fun!:D
April 22, 2012, 09:10 AM
I agree with the max loadings & that a good loading would be around 60-80gr.
As far as projectiles go, it really depends on your abilities & knowing the limitations of what you are shooting.
Patched Round Ball have been a reliable projectile for well over 200 years & with some practice to find what you accurcy level is it can be effective out to 75 - 100 yards.
Maxiball is a good projectile as well & can be effective out to about 125 or so yards but just like the PRB you have to practice with it to find the charge that it likes the best & your accuracy level with it.
April 22, 2012, 04:52 PM
The Traditions manuals and schematics can be found on their website by clicking on the "support" tab located at the top of every page. Here's their sidelock manual that has load info: