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Optimal Rifling Twist for a .54 Cal Rifle?

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by Kestrel, Sep 10, 2008.

  1. Kestrel

    Kestrel Well-Known Member

    I'm thinking about a T/C rifle from their custom shop in .54 cal. What is the optimal rifling twist for using bullets in this caliber? I don't know if I will occasionally use PRBs, but maybe. I think I will primarily use bullets.

    By the way, are sabot bullets available in this caliber?

  2. Voodoochile

    Voodoochile Well-Known Member

    Sabots are available for a .54/.45 caliber combination.

    PRB's mostly like a slow twist of around 1:66 or slower but the 1:48 twist seems to be a fair compromise for the PRB's & conicals, & sometimes works well with the sabots.

    Now that is not to say that it'll be a tack driver with all 3 different types of bullets & you'll definitly need to taylor your loads for each for the best grouping but the 1:48 twist rifling tends to be a decent twist that'll make for good accuracy for all 3 types of bullets.
  3. arcticap

    arcticap Well-Known Member

    I can't tell you the optimal rifling twist for all .54 caliber bullets since that would depend on the weight and overall length of the actual bullets being fired.
    The faster the twist, then generally the longer and heavier the bullets that can be better stabilized during flight. After that it's the bullet velocity and RPM's (rotation) that stabilze the bullet once it leaves the barrel.
    I think that most fast twist .54's have a 1 in 28" twist, but maybe someone makes it in 1 in .24" twist too.
    Specific size sabots are available to shoot a variety of bullet calibers out of .54's including .429 -.430, .451 -.452, and .50:


    Unfortunately, not every make of rifle will shoot bore size lead conicals the same or as well as sabots.
    And shooting a heavy .50 or .52 caliber conical can have better or as good performance than a lighter .54 conical has. It's all relative to bullet length, weight and the range.
    Some guns really do shoot both well, but sometimes it requires custom made and properly sized conicals to obtain the best accuracy. Some of the .50 caliber conicals weigh around 400 grains, so the recoil is felt.


    TC has made or makes .54 rifles with 1 in 28", 1 in 38", 1 in 48" and 1 in 66" inch too. They all have a niche for shooting certain projectiles.

    For instance, Knight has a line of .52 caliber rifles that they claim has better performance and longer range than the .54's:


    Knight's short barreled Limited Edition .54 Brush Gun has a 1 in 28":

    Last edited: Sep 10, 2008
  4. Kestrel

    Kestrel Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the info. I forgot to mention, the default configuration on this one is 1:48 twist. I'm trying to determine if I should have them change that, but don't know.

    Thanks again.
  5. arcticap

    arcticap Well-Known Member

    I didn't realize that you were focusing on a traditional model.
    The .54 TC Black Mountain Magnum has a 1 in 38" twist to better shoot conicals with.


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