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Old Yesterday, 10:56 PM   #1
midland man
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Join Date: June 8, 2014
Location: coalgate oklahoma
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question about loads for 54cal bp rifle

today I took out the 54cal bp rifle and it has a 1in48 twist I used .530 round balls, and 15 thousandths patch. so I loaded it up with 60gr powder and it shot very well! so my question is I hunt in Oklahoma with brush and wooded area, so would this be enough to penetrate deer at 50-70yrds? or do I need to increase the powder charge more but when I do the groups start to open up, the more I increase powder charge. so how do ya'll do it??
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Old Yesterday, 11:10 PM   #2
J-Bar
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Join Date: November 24, 2010
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The Sharps rifle was chambered for a .52 caliber bullet over 50 grains of powder, and it killed more than one buffalo. The .44/40 cartridge has probably killed more deer than any other. I suspect your .54 with 60 grains of powder will completely skewer a deer. There is such a thing as overkill. Use what your gun shoots most accurately.
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Old Today, 06:33 AM   #3
Stony
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Join Date: February 11, 2014
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Just shooting round balls, at 50 yds you should be fine. If you have to stretch it out to 100 though, you might find it's running out of gas. I personally would try to work up something in the 90 gr. range if the possibility of a longer shot is there. Round balls kill deer just fine but can do some strange things as compared to modern bullets. I once took a front quartering shot at a whitetail as that was all that was available. I hit it perfectly where I intended between the front leg and the center of the chest, thinking it would take out the vitals just fine. After an extensive search, I finally found the deer still alive and discovered the ball had taken a strange turn inside the deer and exited the ribcage on the same side from which it entered. A modern cartridge would have gone through the deer and exited the ribcage on the other side.
A little more speed with a round ball can be a good thing I think if less than ideal circumstances are presented. I killed a buck once with a .62 round ball and 60 gr. from a smoothbore flinter at about 40 yds, but it was a straight shot through the lungs. It did an amaziing job with even a little piece of lung hanging out the hole on the other side. Not much there to deflect the ball though.
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Old Today, 08:03 AM   #4
fineredmist
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Join Date: May 3, 2006
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You need to experiment with 70 and 80 gr charges to see if there is any loss of accuracy. If you loose it at 80 gr then go down to 75 and test again until you get the optimum load for you and the rifle. Round balls are light in comparison to conical bullets so you need to shoot them as fast as possible to get reliable results.
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Old Today, 10:10 AM   #5
the Black Spot
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Join Date: July 10, 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by midland man View Post
today I took out the 54cal bp rifle and it has a 1in48 twist I used .530 round balls, and 15 thousandths patch. so I loaded it up with 60gr powder and it shot very well! so my question is I hunt in Oklahoma with brush and wooded area, so would this be enough to penetrate deer at 50-70yrds? or do I need to increase the powder charge more but when I do the groups start to open up, the more I increase powder charge. so how do ya'll do it??
Yes
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