Conical vs balls


PDA






ChasMack
March 24, 2013, 09:59 AM
I have been reading as of late that conical bullets are much more accurate than lead balls. That makes sense. I was wondering, can you buy conical bullets already made up or can you only get them by casting them yourself? I have not casted bullets before, so if that's the case I need to start another hobby :( Thanks for any info!

If you enjoyed reading about "Conical vs balls" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
Kayaker 1960
March 24, 2013, 10:07 AM
Here ya go

http://www.cabelas.com/catalog/search.cmd?form_state=searchForm&N=0&fsch=true&Ntk=AllProducts&Ntt=black+powder+bullets&WTz_l=Header%3BSearch-All+Products&x=0&y=0

mykeal
March 24, 2013, 10:08 AM
conical bullets are much more accurate than lead balls
That's a very inaccurate generalization. There's more to it than projectile shape. It is possible to match the right combination of many variables so that a given conical shape is more accurate than a round ball; it's also just as possible to assemble another combination that makes the round ball more accurate. And the use of 'much' is hyperbole in either case.

if you simply start substituting conical bullets for round balls you're bound to be disappointed.

AbitNutz
March 24, 2013, 10:10 AM
They're readily available though you have to mail order them.

If you buy 500 for a revolver they last a very, very long time.

Lunie
March 24, 2013, 10:42 AM
If you buy 500 for a revolver they last a very, very long time.

If only... :cuss: My experience is that revolvers are hungry critters. ;)

(At least when it comes to roundball. I'm assuming they would eat up conicals with similar enthusiasm. I haven't found any particular advantages to conicals for most of my uses, except that they offer less room for powder.)

ChasMack
March 24, 2013, 10:44 AM
It was a generalization for sure. I read a couple subject lines in different forums that stated conicals were more accurate. I don't know anything about them and so posted as to just where to get them or if they had to be made. I am sure there is more to loading conicals than just putting a bullet in the cylinder. I thought if they could be purchased I could try them, after researching them more. Depending on how it goes, I might cast them. I'll need to research casting, balls or otherwise. Might be a good thing to take up. Thanks for the replies!

rodwha
March 24, 2013, 10:57 AM
Kaido had Lee make custom molds from their 255 grn 45 Colt bullet. He sells them for $40/100 + shipping. They weigh 240 or 255 grns depending. They work well, but are fairly expensive.
You can order them here: kaido93@hotmail.com

Masscaster (another forum) has begun resizing 45-70 230 grn FP bullets to work in the Old Army. He'll even give them a rebated base to seat easily in the chamber for loading. He sells those for ~$11/100 + shipping depending on what you want him to do.
You'll have to become a member of the forum: http://castboolits.gunloads.com/showthread.php?87136-Forefather-s-Casting-Shop

I've also read of many people successfully loading lead bullets for the 45 ACP/Colt in their guns. A fellow has given me some .452" bullets he uses to try out. It seems they would easily back out of the chamber, but he claims they hold well.

I've heard that Buffalo Bullets are back in production too... Maybe Dixie Gun Works has them again.

Oh, I've also heard of people using REAL's. I believe Masscasters sells those as well...

kituwa
March 24, 2013, 11:29 AM
I agree with Mykeal,there is more to it than just bullet shape.A conical needs to start straight and not be too long to stabilize for the riffling twist in your gun.Another thing with both conicals and round balls both that you dont hear much said about is that on many cap and ball revolvers the loading ram deforms the top of the bullet and usually not in the center but off to one side or the other and that can not be good for accuracy.I know that in some of my guns a round ball after it is seated is far from a round ball anymore.In my walker they look like wad cutters even and that would be ok if the ram was nicely centered on every ball. That is one thing i want to do yet is try and regrind the end of the ram to better fit a ball. I would think that shaping the ram end would be even more important if you were trying to use a kieth style semi wadcutter.

Fingers McGee
March 24, 2013, 11:52 AM
If you buy 500 for a revolver they last a very, very long time.

While that may be true for an occasional recreational plinker. Used in CAS competition, they wouldn't last 3 months for an experienced shooter. I go through around 2000 round balls a year between March and November.

AbitNutz
March 24, 2013, 01:39 PM
To get consistent groups out of conical bullets you need to use a loader. Loading the bullets with the on board ram is painful, slow, sloppy and results in tipped bullets. It's an overwhelmingly frustrating experience. RB's are a no brainer with the ram. They self center, load fast and seat easily.

If you intend to shoot conical bullets seriously...you need to use a loader. Your mileage may vary but that's my experience. If I had to use the on board ram, I wouldn't shoot conicals.

AbitNutz
March 24, 2013, 01:43 PM
I don't believe that the OP is a CAS shooter. I too burn through a couple of thousand bullets a year in my ROA. It doesn't read like he would need to start with a big pile of bullets.

kwhi43@kc.rr.com
March 24, 2013, 03:19 PM
At the National Revolver Championships at Friendship Indiana we are allowed
To use either bullets or balls. All National records and championships are won
With round balls. I know of no one who uses bullets. I've been going over 20 yrs
I did try them once. Didn't take over 5 shots to see why nobody uses them.

Dframe
March 24, 2013, 03:41 PM
If you want to try conicals I'd pick up a few from some local caster. But any thought that they are better than round balls is a mistake. As noted above there are a myriad of problems with them, in Loading, rifling twist rates, length, deformation of bullet tips, tipping, and length causing problems with loading depth in the cylinder. Most people try them at one time or another, but almost always go back to the round balls the revolver was designed to use.

AbitNutz
March 24, 2013, 05:14 PM
Bullets are ballistically superior to round balls. They are more difficult to shoot accurately because of the greater possible variations, dozens of different styles and weights. There is only one style and weight of RB.

Especially at distances greater than 20 yards, a well developed bullet load out performs my RB loads in my ROA. They always outperform them in regards to power. At 25 yards or so and under, RB shoot with my best bullet loads. Maybe a little better due to much lower recoil.

I always shoot bullets. I use a loader, lubricated bullets, no wad, no grease. It shoots as clean as I could ever expect, no leading and cleans up in the dishwasher.

Again, your mileage may vary.....

mykeal
March 24, 2013, 06:48 PM
You do understand that round balls shot out of your ROA are not round balls at all?

What is the parameter you use to determine power output and how are you measuring it?

robhof
March 24, 2013, 06:59 PM
There was a discussion awhile back about conicals and Round balls and revolvers. I and many others have found that at the 25yd range that better groups can be obtained with the RB's. I've found this to be true with all my b/p revolvers, with the exception of my Walker; for some reason it seems to group better with the Lee REAL bullet for revolvers.

AbitNutz
March 24, 2013, 07:03 PM
The only one I know of, energy. E=1/2M*V(2)

E=1/2 Mass*Velocity squared. A 250 grain bullet can be driven at a velocity that will always have considerably more energy than a 155gr RB. The sectional density of a bullet is always superior to a RB of the same diameter and gives greater penetration.

The ballistic coefficient is also much greater on a bullet than a RB and keeps a much larger portion of that energy at longer ranges.

A 255 gr bullet driven at 800 FPS delivers 355 ft/lbs of energy. A 155 gr RB at 800 FPS delivers 220 ft/lbs.

A .457 155gr RB squeezed into .456 chamber will always be the same

AbitNutz
March 24, 2013, 07:09 PM
The problem is that you can compare any RB load to any other RB load because the RB is a constant. It's always the same.

You can't say that RB's are superior to all conicals because there are too many conicals. My ROA doesn't like the Lee 220gr .456 conical that much. It shoots OK but it will shoot RB's more accurately. It does like the BigLube 220gr a great deal and will out shoot my RB loads.

kwhi43@kc.rr.com
March 24, 2013, 07:59 PM
Energy is a myth. Energy never killed anything. It's the big hole that does it.

Patocazador
March 24, 2013, 09:29 PM
Energy is a myth. Energy never killed anything. It's the big hole that does it.
The big hole leaves a longer (deeper) wound channel if there is more energy behind the hole maker (bullet). That increases lethality.

mykeal
March 24, 2013, 09:45 PM
You said
They always outperform them in regards to power.
not energy. That's why I asked. Energy and power are not the same thing.

The big hole leaves a longer (deeper) wound channel if there is more energy behind the hole maker (bullet). That increases lethality.
Not necessarily. Dissipating energy also results in increasing heat; that extra energy may well just result in heating the soft tissues, turning them to jelly.

AbitNutz
March 25, 2013, 05:49 AM
Well if energy is a myth it's a good one. Given no alternative, just looking at the data, I think that most would choose to get shot by a 155gr .45 at 850fps rather than a 68gr 5.56. at 3300fps.

5.56=1643 ft/lbs
.45=248 ft/lbs

I don't want to be argumentative. All I'm saying is that in my ROA, I get better results in accuracy and observed pumpkin exploding, with my particular recipe of bullets vs round balls. Your mileage may vary.

mykeal
March 25, 2013, 07:01 AM
I certainly don't intend to disparage the use of energy as a meaningful parameter in comparing projectiles. This is a very complicated science, however, so often what may seem obvious is really very difficult to fully understand.

Round balls are well known to be ballistically better, sometimes much better, than their calculated ballistic coefficient would suggest. It's also well known that taken to their limits they don't measure up to a well designed bullet shape. In the end projectile shape is just one of many parameters one must consider in choosing the right load for a given use.

Sharing what we've individually learned helps everyone else come to a better end result eventually, but it's important when reading what someone else has done that we don't oversimplify. I appreciate knowing that one person has developed an effective load for an ROA using a conical shape; knowing it can be done and how it was done will make my task easier. But I don't take those results to mean all (or any) conicals are always better. Generalizations such as the one which started this thread are not useful.

twice barrel
March 25, 2013, 08:34 AM
ChasMack,

I suppose it depends a great deal upon just what you are shooting. Back when I was into muzzleloading rifles the rate of twist on my hawken barrels dictated whether or not round balls or conicals were best suited. With a slow round ball twist and tightly patched round balls my 54 cal would cluster one hole at 100 yards. My quicker twist rifled barrels designed for conicals would not equal the accuracy but would deliver a much heavier projectile to the target. They'd still shoot a nice group but no where near that of my round ball set up.

Regards,

TB

Patocazador
March 25, 2013, 02:52 PM
Not necessarily. Dissipating energy also results in increasing heat; that extra energy may well just result in heating the soft tissues, turning them to jelly.
Turning tissue to jelly also increases lethality. :)

EljaySL
March 25, 2013, 06:33 PM
There's something to be said for momentum as a proxy for lethality rather than energy. (Which tends to lead one to the big and slow rounds instead of the small and zippy rounds). This definitely seems to be superior to energy in the "handgun" power ranges where the temporary cavity is just that - there's no real tissue damage except for the permanent cavity (aka "the big hole"). With more power (rifles) the temporary cavity expands so violently that tissues are destroyed and then maybe energy's the better proxy.

All that being said being hit by a big ol' chunk of lead is no fun, whatever its shape.

Lunie
March 26, 2013, 11:18 AM
You folks have wandered into the weeds a bit...

I would say this... In Physics and Thermodynamics, there are relationships between "Work" and "Energy". A simple explanation would be that energy is the *ability* to do work. And work could be described as "how hard you have to push, multiplied by how far you pushed it".

Pushing projectiles through animals or targets is work, no two ways about it. And energy is required to make that happen. (Keep in mind that Kinetic Energy is only part of Total Mechanical Energy, and certainly not the only form of energy.) Also keep in mind that work is done on all sorts of things when a round is fired. Pushing a bullet through the air is work. Pushing air out of the way is work. Heating the air is work. Deforming the bullet is work. "Making big holes" is work. We don't necessarily find all of the work done "useful".

Unfortunately for us and gun magazine writers everywhere, the effectiveness of a round can't simply be reduced to a single value of kinetic energy. (Nor momentum. One quick example: Glaciers have INCREDIBLE amounts of mass, but only the tiniest amounts of velocity. And unless you happen to get pinned against something, getting struck by one moving at a few inches per month isn't going to be all that noticeable... Example 2 for momentum: A 150 gr bullet traveling at 3000 ft/s = ~2 slug*ft/s. A 5000lb truck moving at 1 mph (~1.47 ft/s) = ~228 slug*ft/s. Which would be more deadly, the *impact* of the truck, or the *impact* of the bullet? The truck would certainly do more to *move* your body, but it isn't remotely as likely to be lethal unless you happen to get run over, which is another problem entirely.)

Bottom line: Energy and momentum can be somewhat useful for comparing different projectiles, but they are not THE final answer in comparing effectiveness.

AbitNutz
March 26, 2013, 07:10 PM
Watch this video....It's an emergency room DR. discussing real world GSW's. He also has a German accent which makes it a bit surreal. At any rate, at one point he states that handgun bullets are just not that lethal but rifle rounds are very likely to end up being deadly.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tku8YI68-JA

Bluehawk
March 29, 2013, 12:06 AM
Turning tissue to jelly also increases lethality.


And heat sure makes it taste better!!!!! :neener:

MCgunner
March 29, 2013, 09:04 PM
There's something to be said for momentum as a proxy for lethality rather than energy. (Which tends to lead one to the big and slow rounds instead of the small and zippy rounds).

You got anything against big and fast? :D My ROA rivals magnum revolvers with a 220 conical and 777.

T.R.
March 30, 2013, 09:22 AM
A properly loaded rifle with patched round ball can be amazingly accurate.

TR

http://i26.photobucket.com/albums/c146/rushmoreman/range2_zps7a6ee804.jpg

http://i26.photobucket.com/albums/c146/rushmoreman/range1_zpsfebc327e.jpg

RCL
March 30, 2013, 11:01 AM
A properly loaded rifle with patched round ball can be amazingly accurate.
TR

What T.R. said........I have a T/C PA Hunter that will touch 3 balls at 50 yards off a bench with the right round ball load.....in this case a Buffalo Bullet .490 ball, a tight pillow ticking patch, and a 90 grain charge of Goex 3F.
At least the gun will still do it.....my eyes won't shoot to that level any more....:banghead:

Rattus58
March 30, 2013, 04:27 PM
I have been reading as of late that conical bullets are much more accurate than lead balls. That makes sense. I was wondering, can you buy conical bullets already made up or can you only get them by casting them yourself? I have not casted bullets before, so if that's the case I need to start another hobby :( Thanks for any info!
Actually nothing could be further from the truth. It's you that matters.. your loading skills and patience are all of it. If anything, overall, conical bore sized bullets are more of a problem to "get right". With a long twist firearem, roundballs are supreme. With a 1-40 to 1-50 twist, you have a range of bullets that "could" be used, and when you get into the faster twists, 1-18 to say 1-32, you're going to be hard pressed to get a good roundball result with hunting loads.

As for purchase, the good old american way of life prevails and you can get just about anything you want, from boresized bullets to sabots. You can always learn casting and enjoy the experience much more and in the long run, when the fan starts running... casting might be the only option

Aloha...

MCgunner
March 30, 2013, 04:45 PM
My 1:24 twist Hawken Hunter Carbine shoots MUCH more accurately with a 385 grain Hornady Great Plains Minie than with patched round ball, which won't hit paper at 100 yards. Rifling twist rate is a factor in which is more accurate. My inline, a CVA Wolf, likes those Minies, too.

I bought a 1:48 CVA Plainsman off gunbroker.com just so I'd have something that shot RV okay. It's just kinda OK with ball or light conical. The stock doesn't fit well, it's light, so felt recoil is pretty excessive. I load it light, it still hurts. But, it shoots and for 80 bucks, it makes a pretty good gun to hang over the hearth. :D I really wanted a 1:66 for that gun, but they're hard to find in a cheap caplock. Someday, I'll have a flinter, I reckon, and of COURSE it'll have a 1:66 twist. I'd like to try a .31, though, squirrel rifle. :D I'll have to spend some money when that time comes as I'll not want a low end plinker.

Both my fast twist guns will put that Great Plains Minie into about 2" at 100 yards. They shoot sabots well, too, but I kinda prefer the full bore heavy chunka lead. :D If I wanted to shoot 240 grain .429" bullets, I'd get a .44 magnum lever carbine. I like the WHOP that big pill makes when it hits the back stop...or a deer. :D I don't know how effective a RB is, suspect it'll kill anything that needs killin'. I mean, Jim Bridger didn't have qualms about it. But, I KNOW that big Minie is deadly. I'd have no problem hunting deer and hogs with a .490" ball, though, from a rifle.

Patocazador
March 30, 2013, 09:27 PM
My 1:24 twist Hawken Hunter Carbine shoots MUCH more accurately with a 385 grain Hornady Great Plains Minie than with patched round ball, which won't hit paper at 100 yards. Rifling twist rate is a factor in which is more accurate. My inline, a CVA Wolf, likes those Minies, too.

I've got a Hawken Hunter Carbine (SILE) that shoots 365 gr. maxi-balls very accurately and also shoots a cast .452 bullet/sabot in 1" groups at 100 yards.

I bought it in the 1980s and love it.

scotjute
March 31, 2013, 10:21 AM
I typically shoot round balls out of revolver. They seem to load easier than conical and give a decent accuracy, at least out to 50 yds.
I had a rifle with 1:48 twist which was supposed to shoot conicals and roundballs equally well. Perhaps a better description was it was equally inaccurate with both of them. Bought a follow-on rifle with twist set slow for patched round ball. Accuracy was much improved and fairly impressive, at least out to 100 yds. (never shot beyond that) Recommend getting a rifle with rate of twist specifically designed for either conical or designed for round ball to get the best accuracy out of whatever you choose. Avoid those rifles with an in-between twist.
The professional buffalo hunters ended shooting mostly .50 to .45 caliber rifles that shot long heavy conical bullets, weighing 400-600 grains. They were shooting at ranges of around 200+ yds typically. The rifles they used were probably the pinnacle of accuracy and power for black powder rifles. Their choices would swing the argument to the conical bullet.

woodnbow
March 31, 2013, 10:57 AM
Yet in Africa there were others using huge 2-8 bore slow twist ball shooters to good affect on large dangerous game. I think Samuel Baker was said to regularly shoot big game at over 400 yards with a 4 bore rifle, rate of twist measured in feet.. Most of us mortals would probably be a lot more comfortable with a 50 shooting 500 grain bullets but still round ball shooters can equal the accuracy, even over extreme ranges, of conical shooters.

JRs12Valve
March 31, 2013, 12:34 PM
Roundballs are more accurate than conicals in my Walker and Remington.

Rattus58
March 31, 2013, 07:40 PM
Yet in Africa there were others using huge 2-8 bore slow twist ball shooters to good affect on large dangerous game. I think Samuel Baker was said to regularly shoot big game at over 400 yards with a 4 bore rifle, rate of twist measured in feet.. Most of us mortals would probably be a lot more comfortable with a 50 shooting 500 grain bullets but still round ball shooters can equal the accuracy, even over extreme ranges, of conical shooters.
Actually aint it all in feet... I mean... 1:48 = 1 in 4 feet... my 1-70 is almost 1-6 feet...

I know... the missuse already done tol me... who needs a smart ass.... :D

I do get the point though nothin stops a good sized lead ball...

Aloha....

Mike OTDP
March 31, 2013, 08:31 PM
I've never seen any top-flight shooter using anything other than round balls.

MCgunner
March 31, 2013, 09:07 PM
Well, I'm not a top flight shooter, so i guess I don't have to shoot RB...:D

Patocazador
March 31, 2013, 09:53 PM
In Samuel Baker's book "The Nile Tributaries of Abyssinia" he describes an incident where a native wanted to try to shoot his 4 bore named "Baby." After seeing Baker shoot the half-pound ball, the native backed up against a tree to brace himself. Result = a broken shoulder and a cuss-out from Baker.

woodnbow
March 31, 2013, 10:41 PM
Actually aint it all in feet... I mean... 1:48 = 1 in 4 feet... my 1-70 is almost 1-6 feet...

I know... the missuse already done tol me... who needs a smart ass.... :D

I do get the point though nothin stops a good sized lead ball...

Aloha....
Now I know why they call you Rattus... :scrutiny:

One of the 8 bore rifles had one turn in 10 feet of bullet travel... I guess those big balls don' need much twist to stabilize... :)

Pato... OUCH!

Pancho
April 1, 2013, 12:23 AM
As I see it the only reason they went to conicals was to deliver more lead to the target. A round ball can practically be only one weight but a conical can, with in reason be as heavy as you want. The conicals are harder to load due to possible canting or of deformation while loading, on the other hand you can't cant a round ball.

hang fire
April 1, 2013, 01:56 AM
I know on my Pietta 58 Remmy .44, heavy conicals proved disappointing. Unlike the Uberti, the Pietta rifling twist was too slow to stabilize them, also the Uberti rifling grooves are 0.010 deep, while the Pietta are only 0.005. A 185 grain semi-wadcutter has proved the most accurate conical yet, but still not satisfied and will be trying some 165 grainers.

MCgunner
April 1, 2013, 08:32 AM
Just came to me recollections of the old Schutzen rifles and their false muzzles for long range BP match competition back in the day. Were those fellows not "top flight" shooters? They were shooting conicals. Conicals have an advantage in ballistic coefficient for long range shooting. Perhaps that's why they used 'em in those fancy dan Schutzen guns? The false muzzle insured they loaded straight.

rifle
April 1, 2013, 09:45 AM
A Pietta Remington will prove very accurate with it's 1-32 twist rate with both ball and conical. Loading conicals in the chambers with the ram on the gun isn't loading straight and true. Try a conversion cylinder by R&D or Kirst Konverter and those 45 conicals loaded straight and true will be very accurate from the Pietta Rem barrel with the 1-32 twist rate.
Using a good bullet designed to load true into the percussion cylinder can be as accurate as the conical from the cartridge conversion cylinder. The percussion conical needs a heel to the bullet that fits into the chamber snug enough to set it in straight. The heel needs to be snug but loose enough to go in. A heel the same size as the chamber will be too tight to go in. A slightly smaller heel to the bullet lets it in but can cant a small amount.
Thing is......the slight cant to a slightly loose conical bullets heel is minimized a great deal by.....the chamber swagging the front of the heel bullet to the chambers size.......then the rams plunger swagges lead from the front of the bullet against the chamber walls and shapes the nose in the process. In essence the bullet going in at a slight cant straightens itself out as it conforms to the chamber walls with the help of the plunger on the gun. The slight loose to the heel of the bullet is closed against the chamber walls when the soft lead swags from the wack the powder blast gives the rear of the bullets.
Therefore if a shooter uses the right sized heeled bullet of pure lead it will load straight and true enough to shoot as accurate as the 45 bullet from a cartridge loaded in a conversion cylinder if......the chambers diameter matches the barrels rifling groove diameter or is a couple of .001's in. larger. The chambers of the percussion revolvers are usually sized smaller in diameter compared to the chambers and......undersized chambers in a percussion cylinder size the bullets small and if the soft lead doesn't obtruate there will be erratic gas blow-by at the muzzle to disrupt the accuacy. Chambers have to be close enough in diameter compared to the rifling groove diameter. That gives better accuracy to balls or conical bullets. Measuring the percussion revolvers chambers can show that a lot of them are actually slightly funnel shaped. That mis-shapes balls or conicals. Reaming gets the walls of the chambers parallel.
Then of course the balls can fire accurate enough from the percussion cylinder as well.
Any rifle or handgun loaded well with a projectile that suits the rifling twist will be able to find a powder load to shoot well if the bullet loads straight and true.
The rifling twist of .010 inch deep isma little too deep and the .004-5 deeprifling twist is about prime as can be seen in so many guns with that shallow grooves. The shallow grooves gripthe right size bullet and deform it less entering the lead-in tothe rifling. The less the good bullet is deformed entering the rifling the better. Getting a bullet to fill the deeper grooves of .010 in. is more difficult to get a good seal from the bullet. Gas escaping eratically at the muzzle from a bullet not sealing the bore well is like shooting a gun with a bad crown to the muzzle.
Anywhoooo.....loading the bullets on the market straight into the muzzles of muzzleloading rifles is more difficult when they aren't sized the right diameter to suit the bore. The idea of the muzzles of so many commercially made ML rifles having the "QLA" reamed muzzles that give a support to the bullets to set them straight in the muzzle before they are punched into the rifling is a "Godsent" to the rifle shooters. Wonder whobrought that idea to the fore front of the commercially produced ML rifles?
Example.....size a bullet of pure lead a couple of .001's over bore diameter(land to land diameter) and load that straight and true with the help of the over bored reamed muzzles so many guns have now ,or even into a rifle without the reamed muzzle(that emmulates the false muzzles of yesteryear), and it'll shoot well from the right twist and depth of grooves to the rifling.
The use of a thick skirted hollow base can help too.
Anywhoooooo......I'm just going over what's already been mentioned about loading the proper way to get balls or bullets to shoot well. Start with the revelation of what rifling twist there is to begin with because without the right rifling twist and groove depth the projectiles won't shoot well.
I'd say when a proper sized projectile doesn't shoot well from a rifling twist and groove depth that suits it ....the person loading is doing something wrong. Loading the conicals straight in a muzzle loader rifle barrel is importent and is possible but the barrel needs the right twist and groove depth to the rifling.
Making a sizer to size conicals is a good thing too. Get a thick piece of metal and get the right size hole in it to tap the bullets thru to size the conicals if need be. A slight funnel or parallel sided reaming to the beginning of the hole to start the bullets straight into the sizer helps alot as does the right lubrication to the bullets going thru the sizer.
Of course it was E.Kieth that related......there's no better killer of man or beast than the lead round ball. The wound channel the balls make are different than other projctiles and are very leathal. In the book by Kieth it's related that the Civil War veterans said the balls took the fight out of the enemy better than the conicals from the Colt Navy revolvers they used.

hang fire
April 2, 2013, 12:52 PM
A Pietta Remington will prove very accurate with it's 1-32 twist rate with both ball and conical. Loading conicals in the chambers with the ram on the gun isn't loading straight and true. Try a conversion cylinder by R&D or Kirst Konverter and those 45 conicals loaded straight and true will be very accurate from the Pietta Rem barrel with the 1-32 twist rate.
Using a good bullet designed to load true into the percussion cylinder can be as accurate as the conical from the cartridge conversion cylinder. The percussion conical needs a heel to the bullet that fits into the chamber snug enough to set it in straight. The heel needs to be snug but loose enough to go in. A heel the same size as the chamber will be too tight to go in. A slightly smaller heel to the bullet lets it in but can cant a small amount.
Thing is......the slight cant to a slightly loose conical bullets heel is minimized a great deal by.....the chamber swagging the front of the heel bullet to the chambers size.......then the rams plunger swagges lead from the front of the bullet against the chamber walls and shapes the nose in the process. In essence the bullet going in at a slight cant straightens itself out as it conforms to the chamber walls with the help of the plunger on the gun. The slight loose to the heel of the bullet is closed against the chamber walls when the soft lead swags from the wack the powder blast gives the rear of the bullets.
Therefore if a shooter uses the right sized heeled bullet of pure lead it will load straight and true enough to shoot as accurate as the 45 bullet from a cartridge loaded in a conversion cylinder if......the chambers diameter matches the barrels rifling groove diameter or is a couple of .001's in. larger. The chambers of the percussion revolvers are usually sized smaller in diameter compared to the chambers and......undersized chambers in a percussion cylinder size the bullets small and if the soft lead doesn't obtruate there will be erratic gas blow-by at the muzzle to disrupt the accuacy. Chambers have to be close enough in diameter compared to the rifling groove diameter. That gives better accuracy to balls or conical bullets. Measuring the percussion revolvers chambers can show that a lot of them are actually slightly funnel shaped. That mis-shapes balls or conicals. Reaming gets the walls of the chambers parallel.
Then of course the balls can fire accurate enough from the percussion cylinder as well.
Any rifle or handgun loaded well with a projectile that suits the rifling twist will be able to find a powder load to shoot well if the bullet loads straight and true.
The rifling twist of .010 inch deep isma little too deep and the .004-5 deeprifling twist is about prime as can be seen in so many guns with that shallow grooves. The shallow grooves gripthe right size bullet and deform it less entering the lead-in tothe rifling. The less the good bullet is deformed entering the rifling the better. Getting a bullet to fill the deeper grooves of .010 in. is more difficult to get a good seal from the bullet. Gas escaping eratically at the muzzle from a bullet not sealing the bore well is like shooting a gun with a bad crown to the muzzle.
Anywhoooo.....loading the bullets on the market straight into the muzzles of muzzleloading rifles is more difficult when they aren't sized the right diameter to suit the bore. The idea of the muzzles of so many commercially made ML rifles having the "QLA" reamed muzzles that give a support to the bullets to set them straight in the muzzle before they are punched into the rifling is a "Godsent" to the rifle shooters. Wonder whobrought that idea to the fore front of the commercially produced ML rifles?
Example.....size a bullet of pure lead a couple of .001's over bore diameter(land to land diameter) and load that straight and true with the help of the over bored reamed muzzles so many guns have now ,or even into a rifle without the reamed muzzle(that emmulates the false muzzles of yesteryear), and it'll shoot well from the right twist and depth of grooves to the rifling.
The use of a thick skirted hollow base can help too.
Anywhoooooo......I'm just going over what's already been mentioned about loading the proper way to get balls or bullets to shoot well. Start with the revelation of what rifling twist there is to begin with because without the right rifling twist and groove depth the projectiles won't shoot well.
I'd say when a proper sized projectile doesn't shoot well from a rifling twist and groove depth that suits it ....the person loading is doing something wrong. Loading the conicals straight in a muzzle loader rifle barrel is importent and is possible but the barrel needs the right twist and groove depth to the rifling.
Making a sizer to size conicals is a good thing too. Get a thick piece of metal and get the right size hole in it to tap the bullets thru to size the conicals if need be. A slight funnel or parallel sided reaming to the beginning of the hole to start the bullets straight into the sizer helps alot as does the right lubrication to the bullets going thru the sizer.
Of course it was E.Kieth that related......there's no better killer of man or beast than the lead round ball. The wound channel the balls make are different than other projctiles and are very leathal. In the book by Kieth it's related that the Civil War veterans said the balls took the fight out of the enemy better than the conicals from the Colt Navy revolvers they used.
Long read, but it does not change my OP statement.

I have the Kirst .45 Colt CC, it is actualy worse than the percussion as to being inaccurate with heavy conicals.

http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y92/TANSTAAFL-2/P1010001-17.jpg

http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y92/TANSTAAFL-2/P1010004-8.jpg

And I do have a few years of experience with black powder arms.

http://hstrial-rchambers.homestead.com/Index.html

Zeke/PA
April 2, 2013, 05:38 PM
My 40 year old "built from kit" , .50 cal. T.C. Hawkin is very accurate with both patched round balls,(target) and Conicals (Hunting).
For patched .490 balls I shoot a .013" patch and .45 Grains of FFFg!
My hunting load is a Home Cast 375 Grain Maxi- Ball over 90 Grains of FFG.
A little experienting is both fun and helpful.

hang fire
April 2, 2013, 06:00 PM
My 40 year old "built from kit" , .50 cal. T.C. Hawkin is very accurate with both patched round balls,(target) and Conicals (Hunting).
For patched .490 balls I shoot a .013" patch and .45 Grains of FFFg!
My hunting load is a Home Cast 375 Grain Maxi- Ball over 90 Grains of FFG.
A little experienting is both fun and helpful.
TC Hawken has a 1:48 twist, not the best for ball, or conical, but does a fair job with either.

This is my old style stocked .45 TC with new style lock, but it has a 32" Orion Barrel, and it is my most accurate rocklock.

http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y92/TANSTAAFL-2/TCOrion2.jpg

kwhi43@kc.rr.com
April 2, 2013, 06:21 PM
I built mine from a kit in 1975. It has a H&H 45 barrel 32 1-60 twist. Very
accurate. .454 round ball, .020 Teflon Patching, 90 gr Goex FF. Shot a 50XXX
at Friendship in 50 yd match in 1992.

http://i119.photobucket.com/albums/o127/prizzel/FlintRifle.jpg

hang fire
April 3, 2013, 01:04 AM
I built mine from a kit in 1975. It has a H&H 45 barrel 32 1-60 twist. Very
accurate. .454 round ball, .020 Teflon Patching, 90 gr Goex FF. Shot a 50XXX
at Friendship in 50 yd match in 1992.

http://i119.photobucket.com/albums/o127/prizzel/FlintRifle.jpg
I see you like the front globe sight also.

Rattus58
April 3, 2013, 04:57 AM
There's something to be said for momentum as a proxy for lethality rather than energy. (Which tends to lead one to the big and slow rounds instead of the small and zippy rounds). This definitely seems to be superior to energy in the "handgun" power ranges where the temporary cavity is just that - there's no real tissue damage except for the permanent cavity (aka "the big hole"). With more power (rifles) the temporary cavity expands so violently that tissues are destroyed and then maybe energy's the better proxy.

All that being said being hit by a big ol' chunk of lead is no fun, whatever its shape.
grains 130
speed 2000
Bullet Diameter 0.44
KE 1154.401154
Momentum 1.154401154
momentum_1 11.54401154
Taylor 16.34285714

grains 280
speed 1200
Bullet Diameter 0.57
KE 895.1048951
Momentum 1.491841492
momentum_1 14.91841492
Taylor 27.36

and by contrast

grains 165
speed 2800
Bullet Diameter 0.308
KE 2871.794872
Momentum 2.051282051
momentum_1 20.51282051
Taylor 20.328

When you look at this comparison it is easy to see that it leaves many impressions. The .450 has Kinetic Energy of 1100 foot pounds. The .58 has sadly only 895 pounds of KE... The .308 wins in all categories except one obscure rating value.... The Taylor Knock Out value... developed by a Dark Continet Elephant Chaser figgered that big bullets do better... and please bear in mind my pet admonition that shot placement reigns supreme to any KE, Momentum, Taylor, or anyone elses theory, value or whatever, but I like Taylor because I like big bullets... :D

rifle
April 3, 2013, 10:15 AM
I may as well address the reply by HangFire. The cap&ball revolver being one of my specialties. Fixed a lot of them starting back in the mid eighties. I had a muzzleloading rifleshop and ended up getting known for being a good gunsmith with the cap&baller revolvers.
I'm not propping myself up with my experience. Experience doesn't mean I know anything really. I know some about the cap&baller revolvers so I'll try to share.
What I've seen with the cap&baller revolvers and their shooting cartridges is that every one with a good barrel could shoot good. Referring to the Remingtons but the Colts are the same. Good barrel...they can shoot good.
There was a time that I'd shoot on the farm with customers that had bought rifles....factory made or I made.....and every time I took one of the Pietta Remingtons out and shot one and let a customer shoot it they wanted to buy the gun. They shot that good. There would be an R&D or a Kirst Konverter in the guns and be firing 45 Colt cartridges loaded by me.
They could shoot those relatively heavy conicals well enough to kick up dust from one of those mounds of dirt a ground hog piles up when they clean their holes. Not a big pile of dirt really but after a little elevation experimenting the Remingtons could hit those mounds of dirt out to 300 and even 400 yards on a relatively consistant basis. Cool the way the lead slugs kicked that dry dirt up like a little artillary shell. The guns could shoot well at normal pistol ranges too naturally.
If one did shoot kirpy there was something wrong with the gun and it would usually go back to the supplier for an exchange. The barrels could be a problem at times.
Rifling grooves deeper on one side of the barrel compared to the other couldbe a problem. Looking at the barrel it can be seen with a keen eye but a lead slug bumped up in the barrel and measured is abig help checking things out.
A barrel with inconsistant rifling depth in the grooves can shoot good if....the bullet gets to the bottom of all the grooves and the muzzle is faced off flat with no crown. That lets the gases escape at the grooves simaltaneously and not first from the deep ones on one side of the barrel.
If the gas escapes first from some grooves then the gun shoots like a gun does when the crown is bad. The gases at the muzzle coming out the grooves not simaltaneously lets the gas on one side act like a jetison(spell) from the steering of a missle. Know what I mean?
Also....a tight spot in the barrel can swag the bullet smaller than it need be and shoot like a gun does with an undersized bullet. The threads at the breech end of the Remington type barrel can be screwed tight and cause a choke at that area and swag a lead bullet small fer the barrel.
Spots in a barrel that are "loose" fer the bullet can let gases past inconsistantly and make it seem like a person is shooting multiple different loads and bullet weights. Makes inconsistant groups.
Then there's the forcing cone that may not be cut concentric to the centerline of the bore or be too narrow or too wide. That affects the groups as well as the crown cut "not concentric" to the centerline of the bore.The Italian cap&ballers can be nortorious for that being mass produced and sold relatively cheap. The same rules don't apply to the cap&ballers as to the cartridges guns that come from Italy.
I'd always checkout my guns and if need be change out a barrel or use piloted reamers to re-do the crown or the forcing cone or both. If that didn't set things right I'd start looking at the interior of the barrel for tight or loose spots or kirps in the rifling.
One big thing to check with the cap&ballers is the alignment of the chambers to the bore. That can be off and cause poor shooting of ther gun. The alignment of the chambers to the bore being proper is really important.
Bullet size can affect the guns performance naturally. The lead bullets should be right at the groove diameter of the barrel grooves or better yet....the lead bullet shoots best when it's .001-.002 more in diameter than the barrels grooves.
The crowns to the muzzles on the cap&ballers aren't done really precise all the time and a crown off concentric with the bore even a little can make the gun shoot poorly. That's one thing to always check whether it's going to be a conical or ball shooter.
One thing.....about Uberti Remingtons...."they have slightly oversize barrel groove diameter for their percussion cylinders and especially for the conversion cylinders". Conversion cylinders having a chamber throat at close to .452 so a bullet larger can get swagged smaller.
"The Uberti Remingtons have grooves close to .460" and that can make a .452 size bullet small and shoot kirpy and inconsistant. If a lead bullet was to fit the Uberti barrel the throats of the chambers of conversion cylinder may need opened up to be what the barrel groove diameter is or .001-.002 more and have a bullet the right size for the barrel.
About the muzzleloader rifles with the 1-48 twist to the barrels....that's not a prime twist and it's always been with them that they may shoot balls well and not conicals or visa versa or shoot both the ball and the conical well or shoot nothing well. It seems to border on the paranormal but that's how it's been. No one I know has an answer to why some of the rifles ,all with the same rifling twist, shoot so different from one another.
That's one thing that gave muzzleloader rifles sidelocks a bad rap back in the day of sidelocks before the inline came along with a good twist to the rifling. Bad rifling twist (1-48)meant to be a compromise to be able shoot both ball and conical from the same rifling twist. Didn't work as well as people would like.
They seem to be able to shoot balls better more of the time though. I have an old(I'm old too) Italian Hawken I will go to the grave with even if I have hand made Hawkens to my name. It'll shoot both the balls and the conicals(any conical loaded straight that fits the barrel and is actually round will shoot even longer range from that gun) and shoot balls with precision at ball distances.
Mentioning the false muzzles brought up earlier.......I talked to a company once a long time ago and suggested the rifle barrel muzzles have an integral false muzzle reamed to support the conical bullets so to be loaded straight and true into the rifling. I explained they would load faster and load and shoot more accurately. They did it back in the day with false muzzles and funneled muzzles for loading conicals and even fer loading patched balls.
Thompson Center got the same idea and started doing it in modern times commercially first with their rifles and then the other rifle companies took up the cry and have the reamed cavity at the muzzles.
They don't make them(the reamed false muzzles) exactly proper but good enough. Helps with all those saboted loads but especially with the conical slugs to be loaded straight. I have a set of reamers for 50 and 54cal. that supposedly are the same TC uses made by the same reamer maker makes them fer TC.
There are plastic ball and conical guides that help hold the bullets straight at the muzzles. They are sold at most of the places muzzleloader stuff is sold. Like Dixie Gun Works and Mountain State Muzzleloade supply. I used to sell them in my shop with all the muzzleloader stuff.
I have a hand made original type muzzleloader Hawken with a 4140 steel 45-70 barrel with the 1-22 twist to the rifling. The barrel maker took the end of the barrel before he but the octagon to it and made me a bullet swag that goes in a vise. Lube the bullets....tap them thru the swag....the rifling is put to the bullet so they can be loaded straight and actually get them(fit the barrel perfectly) in the barrel. Loads easy and shoots as accurate as any 45-70 cartridge gun I have ever shot.....one reason.....the bullets load straight and true. I use the Lyman Govt. 500gr. bullet. That Hawken can put them in the bread basket WAY out there.
A person can take the end of their barrel (about 2.5 inches) and make a swag with a slight taper to the hole so the bullets can start into the swag and shoot the right size conicals real accurately. Tap the bullets thru base first and get the rifling lands engraved into the bullet that matches what's in the barrel.
Hope this ain't too long a read. Just tryin to be helpful with the little bit I know.

kwhi43@kc.rr.com
April 3, 2013, 03:21 PM
I agree with you 100%

hang fire
April 3, 2013, 07:58 PM
I may as well address the reply by HangFire. The cap&ball revolver being one of my specialties. Fixed a lot of them starting back in the mid eighties. I had a muzzleloading rifleshop and ended up getting known for being a good gunsmith with the cap&baller revolvers. I'm not propping myself up with my experience. Experience doesn't mean I know anything really. I know some about the cap&baller revolvers so I'll try to share.
What I've seen with the cap&baller revolvers and their shooting cartridges is that every one with a good barrel could shoot good. Referring to the Remingtons but the Colts are the same. Good barrel...they can shoot good.
There was a time that I'd shoot on the farm with customers that had bought rifles....factory made or I made.....and every time I took one of the Pietta Remingtons out and shot one and let a customer shoot it they wanted to buy the gun. They shot that good. There would be an R&D or a Kirst Konverter in the guns and be firing 45 Colt cartridges loaded by me.
They could shoot those relatively heavy conicals well enough to kick up dust from one of those mounds of dirt a ground hog piles up when they clean their holes. Not a big pile of dirt really but after a little elevation experimenting the Remingtons could hit those mounds of dirt out to 300 and even 400 yards on a relatively consistant basis. Cool the way the lead slugs kicked that dry dirt up like a little artillary shell. The guns could shoot well at normal pistol ranges too naturally.
If one did shoot kirpy there was something wrong with the gun and it would usually go back to the supplier for an exchange. The barrels could be a problem at times. Rifling grooves deeper on one side of the barrel compared to the other couldbe a problem. Looking at the barrel it can be seen with a keen eye but a lead slug bumped up in the barrel and measured is abig help checking things out. A barrel with inconsistant rifling depth in the grooves can shoot good if....the bullet gets to the bottom of all the grooves and the muzzle is faced off flat with no crown. That lets the gases escape at the grooves simaltaneously and not first from the deep ones on one side of the barrel. If the gas escapes first from some grooves then the gun shoots like a gun does when the crown is bad. The gases at the muzzle coming out the grooves not simaltaneously lets the gas on one side act like a jetison(spell) from the steering of a missle. Know what I mean?
Also....a tight spot in the barrel can swag the bullet smaller than it need be and shoot like a gun does with an undersized bullet. The threads at the breech end of the Remington type barrel can be screwed tight and cause a choke at that area and swag a lead bullet small fer the barrel.
Spots in a barrel that are "loose" fer the bullet can let gases past inconsistantly and make it seem like a person is shooting multiple different loads and bullet weights. Makes inconsistant groups.
Then there's the forcing cone that may not be cut concentric to the centerline of the bore or be too narrow or too wide. That affects the groups as well as the crown cut "not concentric" to the centerline of the bore.The Italian cap&ballers can be nortorious for that being mass produced and sold relatively cheap. The same rules don't apply to the cap&ballers as to the cartridges guns that come from Italy. I'd always checkout my guns and if need be change out a barrel or use piloted reamers to re-do the crown or the forcing cone or both. If that didn't set things right I'd start looking at the interior of the barrel for tight or loose spots or kirps in the rifling.
One big thing to check with the cap&ballers is the alignment of the chambers to the bore. That can be off and cause poor shooting of ther gun. The alignment of the chambers to the bore being proper is really important.
Bullet size can affect the guns performance naturally. The lead bullets should be right at the groove diameter of the barrel grooves or better yet....the lead bullet shoots best when it's .001-.002 more in diameter than the barrels grooves.
The crowns to the muzzles on the cap&ballers aren't done really precise all the time and a crown off concentric with the bore even a little can make the gun shoot poorly. That's one thing to always check whether it's going tobe a conicalor ball shooter.
One thing.....about Uberti Remingtons.....they have slightly oversize barrel groove diameter for their percussion cylinders and especially for the conversion cylinders. Conversion cylinders having a chamber throat at close to .452 so a bullet larger can get swagged smaller. "The Uberti Remingtons have grooves close to .460" and that can make a .452 size bullet small and shoot kirpy and inconsistant. If a lead bullet was to fit the Uberti barrel the throats of the chambers of conversion cylinder may need opened up to be what the barrel groove diameter is or .001-.002 more and have a bullet the right size for the barrel.
About the muzzleloader rifles with the 1-48 twist to the barrels....that's not a prime twist and it's always been with them that they may shoot balls well and not conicals or visa versa or shoot both the ball and the conical well or shoot nothing well. It seems to border on the paranormal but that's how it's been. No one I know has an answer to why some of the rifles ,all with the same rifling twist, shoot so different from one another.That's one thing that gave muzzleloader rifles sidelocks a bad rap back in the day of sidelocks before the inline came along with a good twist to the rifling. Bad rifling twist (1-48)meant to be a compromise to be able shoot both ball and conical from the same rifling twist. Didn't work as well as people would like. They seem to be able to shoot balls better more of the time though. I have an old(I'm old too) Italian Hawken I will go to the grave with even if I have hand made Hawkens to my name. It'll shoot both the balls and the conicals(any conical loaded straight that fits the barrel and is actually round will shoot even longer range from that gun) and shoot balls with precision at ball distances.
Mentioning the false muzzles brought up earlier.......I talked to a company once a long time ago and suggested the rifle barrel muzzles have an integral false muzzle reamed to support the conical bullets so to be loaded straight and true into the rifling. I explained they would load faster and load and shoot more accurately. They did it back in the day with false muzzles and funneled muzzles for loading conicals and even fer loading patched balls.
Thompson Center got the same idea and started doing it in modern times commercially first with their rifles and then the other rifle companies took up the cry and have the reamed cavity at the muzzles. They don'tmake them exactly proper but good enough. Helps with all those saboted loads but especially with the conical slugs to be loaded straight. I have a set of reamers for 50 and 54cal. that supposedly are the same TC uses made by the same reamer maker makes them fer TC.
I have a hand made original type muzzleloader Hawken with a 4140 steel 45-70 barrel with the 1-22 twist to the rifling. The barrel maker took the end of the barrel before he but the octagon to it and made me a bullet swag that goes in a vise. Lube the bullets....tap them thru the swag....the rifling is put to the bullet so they can be loaded straight and actually get them(fit the barrel perfectly) in the barrel. Loads easy and shoots as accurate as any 45-70 cartridge gun I have ever shot.....one reason.....the bullets load straight and true. I use the Lyman Govt. 500gr. bullet. That Hawken can put them in the bread basket WAY out there.
A person can take the end of their barrel (about 2.5 inches) and make a swag with a slight taper to the hole so the bullets can start into the swag and shoot the right size conicals real accurately. Tap the bullets thru base first and get the rifling lands engraved into the bullet that matches what's in the barrel.
Hope this ain't too long a read. Just tryin to be helpful with the little bit I know.
I have an eye ache, paragraphs are our friends.

Wylie1
April 3, 2013, 11:14 PM
The only one I know of, energy. E=1/2M*V(2)

E=1/2 Mass*Velocity squared. A 250 grain bullet can be driven at a velocity that will always have considerably more energy than a 155gr RB. The sectional density of a bullet is always superior to a RB of the same diameter and gives greater penetration.

The ballistic coefficient is also much greater on a bullet than a RB and keeps a much larger portion of that energy at longer ranges.

A 255 gr bullet driven at 800 FPS delivers 355 ft/lbs of energy. A 155 gr RB at 800 FPS delivers 220 ft/lbs.

A .457 155gr RB squeezed into .456 chamber will always be the same I jive with that train of thought as the conicals allow for greater mass than a round ball. I'm far from a ML master but do believe the right muzzle velocity with either a ball or conical can lead to equal accuracy with proper bullet seating.

Zeke/PA
April 4, 2013, 08:36 AM
TC Hawken has a 1:48 twist, not the best for ball, or conical, but does a fair job with either.

This is my old style stocked .45 TC with new style lock, but it has a 32" Orion Barrel, and it is my most accurate rocklock.

http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y92/TANSTAAFL-2/TCOrion2.jpg
When I first shot my Hawkin the 1 in 48 twist was discussed with some other shooters.
They suggested trying various patch thicknesses when shooting balls.
I finally settled on a .013" cotton patch measured with a Dial Thickness Gauge and bought several yards at the time.
As for Conicals, I shoot a home cast 375 grain Maxi-Ball over 90 grs of FFG, my hunting load.
I installed a vernier tang site and globe front once and my accuracy improved greatly.
However, this sight combo had severe limitations in poor light situations encountered in the woods.

rifle
April 4, 2013, 11:07 AM
Hang Fire, sorry bout the format and my lack of expertise with the composition of my reply. I went back and broke it up some fer yas.
If you can get thru reading it let me know if any of the lil tid-bits of info may be a help to you with that pistol that won't shoot conicals from a conversion cylinder.
My satisfaction from two-finger typing a reply is in knowing I may have been a help to someone. A "thanks" is like a gem of goodness. :D
I have to admit......I like the pics of the Thompson Center Hawkens and especially the one with the 32 inch Orion barrel installed. That would be a great gun to hunt deer in PA. A good example of what can be done to specialize and sweeten an already nice gun. Is the barrel with the specialized ball barrelor the conical barrel?
I have a few too many muzzleloader rifles but always wanted a Thompson Center Hawken fer my collection. The rifle that re-started the muzzleloader rifle craze backin the seventies and prompted into creation by the movie "Jerimiah Johnson"with Robert Redford. Good movie.
I do have that Italian Hawken by Investarms that mimicks the TC Hawken. The Italian gun is a little rougher but just as good....almost. I did a poured pewter nose cap and entry thimble for the ramrod and blacked the brass on my rifle. Put some original type Hawken sights on it too. It's put the venison in the freezer more than a few times. Using the lead ball too. I hunted deer with the lead ball for many years. Does a good job and I'd use a self imposed limit of 100 yards fer my shots with the ball and a little further with the conicals. I shot most of the deer closer than 100 yards. :D I thunk it's about 500 ft/lbs at 100 yards with the ball and 1,000 ft/lbs with a heavier conical. They say 500 ft/lbs is an ethical energy at 100yards. Shoots clean thru them even with the balls in 50-54-58 cal.
What's kinda refreshing in this thread is that there doesn't seem to be any wild misinformation about balls versa conicals. Kinda like the Hombres here replying know their S--- (stuff) about muzzle loadin rifles and sich.
I gotta say again.....those pics of the TC rifles are "Purty fer sure".

I forgot to add....with the Uberti Remingtons and the .460 groove depth to the barrels .......using pure lead bullets that can bump up can help accuracy when the bullets are a lil undersize for the barrels shooting the 45 Colt cartridge conversions. A hollow based bullet design could help the pure lead bullets be more accurate too.
If I had one of those nice Uberti Remingtons ,I'd imagine, I'd be reaming the chambers of the percussion cylinder to better match the barrel grooves.
Of course...since the barrels of the guns are a little oversize to accomodate the blackpowder fouling from subsequent shots(had one of the importers tell me that one) one may just leave things as they are and not do anything to reduce the fouling much.
I'd use a chucking reamer(come in sizes in .0005 or .001 inch increments) in the collet of my mill and set it true to the center of the chambers with a centering tool I had Starett make me from,of all things, an edge finder.
I had a half inch size ground to a cone instead of cylindrical on one end so I can set the cone in the chamber and fiddle around with the X and Y axis till it lines up and I know I got the center. The barrels being at about .460 I'd make a .462 chambers and use a .472 ball mould to make the balls fer it.
I made a deal with Lee Precision and paid the $100 fer the tungsten ball used to final size the cavities in the mould holes and.....then pay the $100 set up fee and get a few moulds made. The moulds are regular price after the set up fee. I get at least four at a time double cavities. I use .472 balls in my Walker as do people that had me help with "tuning" theirs which naturally includes sizing the chambers and subsequently having to use the .472 balls in "reamed fer the barrel grooves" chambers. A ball .010 over the chamber size workes good.
Anywhooooo....I'm rambling again so before I hurt HangFire's eyes and give him eye ache I'll hit the road.:D

kituwa
April 4, 2013, 12:24 PM
Rifle,I have a 1968 year walker that i bought used and it is set up the same way yours is. I am going to try and mod a mold to fit the chambers myself. I saw on another forum where someone used a round ball mold and drilled it out to use a plunger thing like a hollow base mini ball mold uses that is adjustable so he could make a round nose conical in any weight/length he wanted and that looked like it should work great and not be real hard to do.

rifle
April 5, 2013, 10:59 AM
Howdy Kituwa,
That sounds good....on the surface but.....a "reamed cylinder chambers" would dictate the use of the good ole round ball mould since heavier bullets raise pressures. Anywhooo....the Walker has a barrel rifling twist of 1-48 probably due to the higher velocity and pressures. The 1-48 may make if more difficult to get the gun to shoot well to any distance with conical type bullets.
Shooting normal pistol range and just breaking engine blocks and knocking down cement block walls out to 25 yards would probably give good enough accuracy from a WALKER. :D
Plenty good enough fer home defense in case a home invader waddles in lookin fer trouble. If you missed him the flame would just sear him to death. :neener:
Dixie Gun Works makes these economical scissors type ball moulds in any size a person wants. No sprue cutter to them and a person cuts the sprues with wire cutters. I used one fer a good long while and I just put the sprue cut part face up in the chambers and the plunger mashed it down good enough. Got plenty good accuracy with the balls from the scissors moulds.
My old Walkers been thru the mill a coupla times. Never cracked a cylinder even with all the powder I could get in it's reamed chambers but......I most always just shoot a measely 45gr. FFFg Goex with the ball and a lube pill under it on top the powder.
I've wacked ground hogs(wood chucks) that dig holes in the farm fields with the Walker out to 80 yards and beyond more than a few times and.....it kills em.:evil:
You know....makin one of those moulds you mentioned with the plubger thing adjustable would be just right fer makin heeled bullet balls for 45 Colt cartridges.
Anywhooooo.....if a Walker did shoot well enough with conical bullet balls the extra weight would be helpful if an Hombre just had to use it fer deer at closer range.
I had a machinist buddy that took one of my "Lee ball moulds"(aluminum) to work to sand blast the inside with some kinda real small grit sand since there was a knick in it. He over did it and sorta had an under cut up near the spru plate. The balls would stick in there casting so I drilled the top of the hole some to get rid of the lip. It made a nice "big spru" on the balls comin out of the mould. Actually turned it into a .380 heeled ball that would fit in a Navy Colt well. After the chambers sized the ball part when the spru part slipped in the chamber it made a bullet ball that was like a heeled bullet.
I bet you could drill one a them Lee moulds with the "tangent cut off" with the lil flat on the balls and put a small heel to a ball and keep the heeled ball "not too heavy and long" and get it to shoot from the 1-48 twist of a Walker.
You know...drill the top of the hole in the mould to make a flat on a nice short heel. Probably work good in an Army 1860 Colt well too if the spru made on top the ball made a heel the right size to slip in the chambers.
That would be easier than makin a plunger type adjustable thing on the bottom of the mould wouldn't it?
I have a few old broke down Walkers with loose arbors and all that and I plan to build them back proper and have a .472 ball mould with each and.....you may have given me an idea bout makin a heeled ball mould from the round ball moulds. You know.....a short heel to keep the weight and length down.Thanks!
Take care Bud.

kituwa
April 5, 2013, 01:32 PM
Rifle, i think you are right,a round ball is ideal in a walker if you can get a mold the right size for it and it will take care of any pest that you come across.My idea of drilling a roundball mold out was not so much to make a conical is just a way to get the right size bullet without spending big bucks getting a custom mold made.Just a short skirt that would be the right dia. for the chambers and not long enough to affect it with the slow twist barrel. I too have settled on 45 grains of powder as being right though i use 777. I dont have a crono but suspect anything more just makes more noise and fire. I like the walker to hunt hogs with not so much because its more powerfull than my 1860 but because it is so easy for me to hit with free hand.I think its the weight and that long sight radius from the hammer across that long cylinder to the end of nine inches of barrel,lol.
Matt

Rattus58
April 5, 2013, 01:53 PM
Since we're talking about twists...

A 50 caliber with a .490 ball gets by with a 1 in 58" twist or slightly longer.
A 50 caliber with a bore sized conical of say .8" in length requires 1 in 38"
A 50 caliber with a bore sized conical of 1" requires a 1 in 30" to stabilize
and a 50 with a 1.25" conical requres about or at least 1 -24"

This is with a greenhill type formula and in my guns works out well. For example my volunteer shoots a 457121 conical from Lyman a bullet with a 1.155 bullet length and according to greenhill, my 1-20 twist (devised originally by the Whitworth's, Gibbs', and Henry's of old) is spot on.

Aloha... :cool:

kituwa
April 5, 2013, 02:29 PM
Ok, i just checked the twist in my walker barrel as best i could. A groove that starts at the top of the brrel ends at almost exactly the bottom of the barrel when looking down the bore with a light.Showed the same way with a marked cleaning rod.That would be one turn in 18 inches right? My gun is a 1968 ASM. The tip of the ball ram on my gun is obviously shaped for a very pointed bullet too, not a round ball.I am thinking my old gun was maybe made more to original spects than the newer walkers,looks like it is set up for those old pointy pickit conicals.

rodwha
April 5, 2013, 07:31 PM
Rattus: You mentioned "bore sized" conicals. Is it any different were you to use a bullet in a sabot or does the twist stay the same vs the length (of the bullet or does the sabot count?)?

xXxplosive
April 5, 2013, 08:47 PM
Accuracy = Roundball

Rattus58
April 5, 2013, 10:58 PM
Rattus: You mentioned "bore sized" conicals. Is it any different were you to use a bullet in a sabot or does the twist stay the same vs the length (of the bullet or does the sabot count?)?
I had a long and drawn out response to you and waited too long to post it... so since I suffer from the oldtimers, yer now gonna have take the condensed version of my opinions... :D

I personally believe that if a bullet will stabililze in a certain twist in its proper bore, nothing changes in a sabot. So if your bullet needs a 1:48 to stabilize it needs 1-48". If your bullet, like a .308 for example, needs 1-12 or thereabouts... it won't in my opinion, fly in my 1-70 no matter how fast I push it, and in my .41, with a 1-18 twist I might have a chance, but doubtful in my 1-24 or 1-48's.

These are my opinions and represent the extent of my upbringin.... :D

Aloha... :cool:

rifle
April 6, 2013, 11:05 AM
I was thunkin Uberti when I mentioned the 1-48 twist.
Kituwa, what do you think of the Dixie Gun Works scissors moulds? They could have a spru cut-off made fer one too if a person didn't want to clip with the wire cutters.
Ifin yer ASM Walker has the 1-18 twist I think it could have a real good chance of stabilizing a conical. A heavier bullet wouldn't be a bad thing shootin at those "hogs". They's tough critters.
I read an article on the subject of sing a Walker fer big hogs. Close range shootin once the dogs got it cornered and two shots that went thru to the off side under the hide shot from the side. The hog died. ha ha ha
I guess the subject of ball versa conicals would show they are both good and the scenario of what's to be done with them dictates what's the best to use.
I think ,if I were to hog hunt with my Uberti Walker, I'd use a conical if I could get enough powder in the chambers. The distance being short if usin dogs a Uberti that's not real accurate with the conicals would work. I'd be thunkin of usin 777 powder or Pyrodex Pistol or FFFFg Goex and hope it didn't hurt my gun. I'd probably want to harden the bullets some to the point I could still get them in the chambers.

kituwa
April 6, 2013, 12:38 PM
Rifle, the scissor mold sounds like a good start to me. A round ball works good on game,way better than it should givin their light weight. Soft lead just does not follow the same rules that people are used to in modern guns and loads.But if a soft lead round ball works like it does,,then if a gun will shoot a longer flat base or conical bullet accurate then they should work even better. I really dont think the point shape makes any diffrence with soft lead, they start to flatten almost right away.It would seem that a soft bullet will not penatrate well but my experiance has proved otherwise to me. Useing harder lead and Kieth style slugs and the gun will start to act more like a cartridge gun i think. Thats not all a bad thing but im thinking the soft lead slug may have some advantages that you cant take advantage of in a modern gun because of leading problems.The walker has the perfect cylinder for useing conicals because they really work better without the chamber filled to the brim.45 grains of T7 leaves plenty of room to still seat a slug and should still pack a wallop.Actually, im thinking that trying to reach too high of velocity may be working against you to some degree when useing soft lead bullets.

kituwa
April 6, 2013, 12:47 PM
Take the .410 shotgun with slugs,,on paper they come out to be worse than a .38 special. But that .410 slug kills a deer dead dead dead at close range. Soft lead light weight and moving rather slow but they almost always get complete pass thru's.

Plastikosmd
April 6, 2013, 01:21 PM
So many variables to consider. I think as you do start to stretch the distance out my slug guns may start to have a leg up on my RB match guns. My RB 62 bench gun with redfield Olympic sites groups under an inch for 5 shots at 100 yards. Some scoped cf rifles dont do as well much less an iron sighted one
http://i76.photobucket.com/albums/j5/plastikosmd/788884e46fe53c0caac768c8bd524bd0.jpg

kituwa
April 6, 2013, 01:34 PM
Plastik,that is amazing!

Plastikosmd
April 6, 2013, 03:45 PM
Well at around 50lbs it doesn't move much so that helps! I don't think the cf guys recognize how hard it can be to shoot bp well. The flash of a flinter and delay or the physical activity required (esp for the big guns) coupled with a new site picture 5 min after your last shot, it is what makes it fun, RB or conical. Anyway, for fun here is a 2 part swaged conicals, on the right are 2 69 caliber slugs 1780 grains(2 different profiles i use). Then a smaller .485 680 grain round next to a 250g .45/148g .357/55g .22
http://i76.photobucket.com/albums/j5/plastikosmd/933f79d9.jpg
Here is a civil war era conical shooter

Still Shootin well, took 1 st at camp perry 600 yrd match and does quite well at 100
http://i76.photobucket.com/albums/j5/plastikosmd/c7823d41.jpg
10 shots at 100, some may recognize the shooter
http://i76.photobucket.com/albums/j5/plastikosmd/8b9dcfb5.jpg

kituwa
April 6, 2013, 04:48 PM
Do you paper patch those long bullets?

Rattus58
April 6, 2013, 07:54 PM
Well at around 50lbs it doesn't move much so that helps! I don't think the cf guys recognize how hard it can be to shoot bp well. The flash of a flinter and delay or the physical activity required (esp for the big guns) coupled with a new site picture 5 min after your last shot, it is what makes it fun, RB or conical. Anyway, for fun here is a 2 part swaged conicals, on the right are 2 69 caliber slugs 1780 grains(2 different profiles i use). Then a smaller .485 680 grain round next to a 250g .45/148g .357/55g .22
http://i76.photobucket.com/albums/j5/plastikosmd/933f79d9.jpg
Here is a civil war era conical shooter

Still Shootin well, took 1 st at camp perry 600 yrd match and does quite well at 100
http://i76.photobucket.com/albums/j5/plastikosmd/c7823d41.jpg
10 shots at 100, some may recognize the shooter
http://i76.photobucket.com/albums/j5/plastikosmd/8b9dcfb5.jpg
Lester Cox... wasn't that halfway through the last century? Edit... of course it was.... date is on the target... :cool:

I forget where I heard that name... wasn't he a gunsmith who liked to make slug guns?

That target you have posted 100 yards and yer natural eyesight is phenomenal...

You have to admire them that shoot for the business of shooting... I'm in awe actually!

Thanks for the post!

Plastikosmd
April 7, 2013, 08:23 AM
Yep, that is Lester. I am 40 so I have had to rely on the net to learn about the sport. Too far from friendship to make the trip. The shooting is more a credit to the gun. Some guns make consistency easier. My RB bench .52 flinter ( same maker r.l. Morris) can hang with the underhammer 62. RBs can be accurate with the right combo
http://i76.photobucket.com/albums/j5/plastikosmd/8fc2f3e3.jpg

Rattus58
April 7, 2013, 11:21 AM
Yep, that is Lester. I am 40 so I have had to rely on the net to learn about the sport. Too far from friendship to make the trip. The shooting is more a credit to the gun. Some guns make consistency easier. My RB bench .52 flinter ( same maker r.l. Morris) can hang with the underhammer 62. RBs can be accurate with the right combo
http://i76.photobucket.com/albums/j5/plastikosmd/8fc2f3e3.jpg
I don't get targets like that very often... and never at 100 yards.... :D

He mentioned a two piece swaged bullet. I forget the mold maker.. accuracy maybe... that makes a nose mold and a body mold together that is cast soft and blended with wheel weights or similar. I've shot a two piece soft/hard glued bullet that I'd not be bragging about too much, but for hunting might have done ok on game that you thought might need something like that.. but swaging I thought was pressure formed and I guess my question is, why a two piece for target?

Actually, how does swaging work with BN variances? It's only the limited capacity yer dealing wit here prompts the questions... you understand... :D

rifle
April 7, 2013, 11:43 AM
Kituwa, I've used the 500gr. Lyman Govt. bullet fer the Hawken with the bullet swag combo used fer deer and fun shootin and ground hogs.
Shootin at the ground hogs....the round nosed bullet can slip thru side to side and let the critters run into the holes. Twice fer deer a good side to side shot let the animals go a good distance and need tracked. I had used the round nose of pure lead prior on multiple deer and they went down well...on the spot pretty much. When I had what I knew was a good shot let deer travel so far I went to a different bullet profile. While swagging the bullets to get the rifling grooved into them I'd stop just short of pushing them all the way thru with a dowell.....at that point I'd take a small metalhammer and tap the round nose to a flat point. never had any problem with a goodshot on deer letting them travel.
Even for ground hogs...if the bullet has a flat nose they don't travel when hit.
The round nose isn't good fer hunting even with a pure lead bullet. Elmer Kieth makes note in his book.....round nosed bullets seem to just slip thru game.
if they hit something substantial like bone that's thick enough they must expand but the expansion isn't consistant as I found. The flat on the bullet....after many years of deer huntin with the Hawken and the same 500gr. round nosed bullet with a flat put to the nose.....no problems.
Soft lead must not be as soft as we imagine. When I had trouble a coupla times with deer the shots were not more than 30 yards on still deer....so I know I hit well and the distance didn't let the bullet slow down.

Plastikosmd
April 7, 2013, 01:35 PM
for target shooting, the 2 parts have a different lead content. For mine, the rear is pure lead to obturate well and the nose is 15% or so tin to keep the nose from upsetting on loading. These load quite tight and mine use a large mechanical starter that locks onto the false muzzle.
Mechanical starter is just behind the the short starters and the windex bottle in back
http://i76.photobucket.com/albums/j5/plastikosmd/379c7e24.jpg
Mould and swage blocks
http://i76.photobucket.com/albums/j5/plastikosmd/5d8c3ee2.jpg
2 piece prior to knurling the male end and swaging
http://i76.photobucket.com/albums/j5/plastikosmd/84b1fd80.jpg

Finally, sorry to OP, didn't mean to derail

kituwa
April 7, 2013, 03:04 PM
Rifle, i trust your judgement,though i still think even with a flat nose or a keith style bullet that it would work best in most cases,not all,if the lead was as soft as possible.Not nessesarily pure lead but still on the soft side anyway.And i am talking for deer and normal size hogs, most times 200lbs or less.So ideally if i can come up with some kind of custom mold for my walker with its 1 in 18 twist barrel, maybe something from 225 to 260grs. with a wide flat nose a cpl of grease grooves and a flat base with a rebated base so it starts straight and a cpl thousanths larger than my bore dia? With 45 grs of T7 behind a 250 or so grain bullet it should still be rather potent. I know a ROA is better set up for this from the get go but i no longer have one of those and i do like playing around with the walker anyway. I have slicked up the insides of my walker,done a trigger job on it to suit me,added a spring/plunger for the cylinder hand, made a new cylinder bolt out of 416 stainless that locks up way better and if i can come up with some great slugs for it that do like i want,this thing may even get drilled and taped for a mini pistol holo sight so i can see to shoot better when the lighting is not so good.I have the stock sights so they work very well in normal daylight,they work as well as sights on a ruger blackhawk, and i would not have a problem getting them to shoot point of aim with whatever ends up shooting well in it.

Rattus58
April 7, 2013, 05:21 PM
PLASTIKOSMND.... quite an interesting array of equipment you've got there. Accuracy isn't for the faint hearted is it... :D

Thank you for the tour!!

Much Aloha... Tom

Plastikosmd
April 8, 2013, 07:31 AM
Nope, or the faint of back, need a Sherpa for trips to the range

LawmanSteve
April 10, 2013, 07:13 PM
I dunno, but I just bought my first Walker and my first 1860 Army last week (which are both my first cap and ball pistols), and I just can't wait ta shoot sumpthin!!!!!! WITH ANYTHING!!!!

Cosmoline
April 10, 2013, 07:48 PM
Impressive stuff. Alvin York thought well of the old smoke poles:

That first Army rifle they issued me was all full of grease. Of course I didn't like that. The rifles we used in the mountains were always kept clean. They were muzzle-loading rifles, cap and ball. They make their own guns there in the mountains. They are the most accurate guns in the world, up to 100 or 150 yards. I would rather have had a clean army rifle than a muzzle loader for what we were going to use them for, on account of the repeating shots, but they are not any more accurate than the muzzle-loading rifles.

http://acacia.pair.com/Acacia.Vignettes/The.Diary.of.Alvin.York.html

If you enjoyed reading about "Conical vs balls" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!