September 26, 2012, 09:59 PM
Picked up what appears to be an unfired TC New Englander .54 cal for $100 today. I want to get it hunting this weekend and have .530 balls, .015 patches, 3f 777 and 3f pyrodex p on hand. Is the 3f adequate in this? Just getting into muzzle loading so these supplies are from my cap and ball revolvers.
September 26, 2012, 10:37 PM
Adequate? Yes. It will do the job.
Optimum? No. Using a round ball in that 1:48 twist means you need to keep velocity down a bit so the ball will stabilize. 3f will cause slightly higher velocities than 2f in that shorter (25 1/2") barrel. I suggest you stay around 70-80 grains/vol of Pyrodex P or 60-70 grains/vol of 777 3f. Whatever groups best in those ranges.
September 27, 2012, 07:50 AM
Well from my perspective and experience with a .54 TC New Englander with 70 grains of 3Fg..., it's quite accurate with that load, and that load will go thru a 120 pound whitetail at 100 yards. broadside lung shot. Never went higher than 90 grains with it, so can't say if it has accuracy problems beyond 90 grains. I did notice a slight opening of the pattern above 80 grains, and since at the time I was working on a load for a match, I stuck with the most accurate, and a fixed powder measure. So that amount was used when hunting. Of couse your particular barrel may want a different powder load, different patch combination, so you should test fire it for accuracy.
September 27, 2012, 09:09 AM
Typically, FFg powder is used for large rifle bores such as yours.
September 27, 2012, 09:07 PM
70 to 80 grs. of Pyro P behind a PRB should work OK. Check out the patches after firing. If they're burning through, you might want to put a wad or wadded patch down on the powder ahead of the patched ball. This would serve to protect the patch holding the ball.
I'd resist the temptation to go to heavier loads. The NE should handle them safely, but the higher ball velocity might cause the patch to lose its grip on the rather shallow TC rifling.
You got a great deal! New Englanders are a hunter's rifle. Take good care of that baby.
September 27, 2012, 10:53 PM
I got my left handed, caplock .50 New Englander for 30 dollars.
Of course, mine has some pitting in the bore.
My LH Caplock Renegade cost me 100 dollars. It had been used a little, not much.
Congrats on getting a great rifle for a great price. You didn't get hurt.