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newbbe question- flintlock 150 yards + ?

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by tracker-trapper, Jul 10, 2008.

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  1. tracker-trapper

    tracker-trapper Member

    Jul 10, 2008
    near Halifax ,Nova Scotia, Canada.
    hey folks,
    just a blerb about myself. 38 male, nova scotia , canada eh. been shooting arguns, shotguns, centerfire, and rimfire for a while now (5 years) and compound bow too!!! do some trapping but work/city life gets in the way. try and go to the range every saterday for as long as i can. i shoot on my property everyday with air guns and bow for fun/practice.

    just getting into flintlocks. you'll probable hate me for this but i'm goning to get the combo deerhunter pack from traditions.:eek: i have read you slags of this product but- very cheap way to get into the sport. here are some questions (ps i plan to get a lyman in a year or so)

    while shooting flintlock with powder .50 24 inch barrel 48 twist:

    ~what would avg/ballpark muz. velocity be with hunting load (say 110 grains?) and ball/patch, sabot, avg bullet?
    ~can i shoot 200/300 yards and still hit a 12 target? (bench or prone)
    ~if i buy a magnum pelet flinter, can i still load powder in it???
    ~with a 48 twist and ball what type of moa can i expect??

    maney thanks.i know how adictive this is!!!! i just love shooting!!!! yes, i plan to put a scope on my flinter (200 yards???) fur shure.take it to the limit.

    thanks again guys, this fourm makes the sport that much more fun!!!! and i will be reading alot of the past post here too to get up to speed!!! i have found gun forms to be awsome and change you from a newbe to sort of suito expert in no time flat.
    ~togther we can!!!
    and happy shooting!!!:p
  2. shevrock

    shevrock Member

    Jul 5, 2008
  3. frontiergander

    frontiergander Member

    May 27, 2008
    No, with a 177g ball, the energy would greatly fall off and you'd more than likely just end up wounding it and never seeing the animal again.

    You'll need a conical or sabot to do that kind of range and a whole lot of luck.

    Yes if you buy a magnum pellet rifle you can use powder but you have to follow the loose powder recommended loads. 150 grains of pellets is NOT the same as 150 grains loose powder.
  4. arcticap

    arcticap Member

    Mar 20, 2005
    Central Connecticut
    The Traditions DeerHunter is a very underated rifle.
    A German fellow bought one and is always posting pictures
    about how many small to medium Roe deer and other game
    animals that he harvests with it.
    Plus he's posted about his 100 meter accuracy with his round
    ball hunting loads with a scope mounted to it. He claimed to
    have shot groups into just several inches at that range. I have
    the same percussion rifle and I doubt that I could shoot it as accurately,
    but some folks can. If I could hit a paper plate at 75
    yards with a hunting round I'd be one happy camper.
    I was also impressed by a story about someone who won
    a big shooting competition with his factory Deerhunter,
    so accurate shooting with them is not by accident.

    The fellow's original hunting load was 90 grains of Wano powder,
    a .490 ball and 0.20 patch which is a tight loading and he shot
    2 deer with that load last year. But after that he decided to lower
    his powder charge to 75 grains of Wano because the deer aren't
    too big and the distance was only 60 meters. He ended up shooting
    6 Roe deer in all.

    I wouldn't expect deer hunting accuracy beyond 100 yards.
    The trick is to find the most accurate load with enough
    power to still do the job.
    Too much powder and accuracy suffers. Too little powder
    and there may not be enough penetration.

    The 1 in 48 inch twist can shoot sabots and conicals too.
    But again, anything beyond 75 to 100 yards off-hand with a
    26 inch barrel & a BP hunting load starts to become wishful
    thinking. If you want to do better you'll most likely need an
    inline muzzle loader with a fast twist barrel shooting
    expensive modern saboted bullets.
    BTW, the Deerhunter percussion only has a 24 inch barrel vs.
    the 26" of the PA Hunter. Even many longer barreled muzzle
    loaders won't reliably kill much beyond 75 - 100 yards without
    a custom barrel or heavier bullets. The scope is a 4X32.

    Enjoy the German harvest pix by a Traditions .50 Deerhunter!




    The round ball did not exit on the next deer but it was effective
    enough at 60 meters, so shot placement is important.

    Last edited: Jul 10, 2008
  5. tracker-trapper

    tracker-trapper Member

    Jul 10, 2008
    near Halifax ,Nova Scotia, Canada.
    thanks you for the answers so far. i am looking at target shooting at 150+
    are you saying you luck if you can hit a dinner plate while staning or bench resting. i talikng bench rest shooting capability not just standing there. i friend say "oh- you mean shooting like a man!!!"

    i do that too. i would like to know a ball park of moa, and at 200 for round ball. i read somewhere about 2200fps??? sound in the ballpark?

    thanks for your answers so far.
    a friend has a traditions and he likes his!!!
  6. Omnivore

    Omnivore Member

    May 30, 2006
    North Idaho/Eastern Washington
    My 50 cal Lyman with a 24 inch barrel throws a round ball at just over 1900 (1929) fps, clocked at about 15 feet from the muzzle, using 110 grains by volume of pyrodex RS. That's considered a pretty hot load for PRB and some people report getting better accuracy from much lighter charges. From the bench at 100 yards using the factory iron hunting sights I can hit a pie plate vritually every shot. Three-shot groups on a good day run 3 to 5 inches. Better sights would likely improve that as I have a hard time with that front bead sight. Off-hand is another matter entirely. I figure 100 yards to be my limit on deer. Closer is better.

    Haven't tried it at 200, but the 50 cal round ball looses energy (and drops) very fast. Definitely you'd want to try various loads using conicals, but the heavier loads are going to hammer you much harder, and some people get flinchy and cannot shoot as accurate with a hard-kicking rifle. Hornady makes two all-lead conicals that will stabilize with a 48" twist barrel, as does Thompson Center. There are a bunch of other projectile choices, especially if you go to using sabots. Sabots let you use smaller diameter bullets, which for the same weight will have a much better ballistic coeficient (they retain velocity much better and will give a better chance at longer distance shooting). Each has its own loading quirks, so experimentation is a must. I cannot for example, load sabots unless I clean between each shot, or the projectile sticks in the bore. I don't use sabots as they are illegal for hunting in my area-- it's all-lead, no metal jackets, no gas checks, no pellets, and no 209 primers, sidelock only and no glass, so that's how I practice.

    Personally, if I were going for longer distance, I'd either use a large bore round ball barrel (slow, 60 to 70 inch twist) or I'd get a fast, 24" twist .45 or .50 bore and use long heavy bullets. I'd also want a long barrel for more velocity.

    There are reports of good marksmen of the American Revolutionary period being able to "easily" hit a man-sized target at 300 yards. These were large bore rifles (over .60) using a lubed, patched ball with a long, ~40" barrel.

    Google for long range black powder and you will find a lot of information. There are people using muzzleloaders in shooting matches at well beyond 300 yards.

    I really need to get out to 150 and 200 with my current setup and report back, as I am very curious.
  7. arcticap

    arcticap Member

    Mar 20, 2005
    Central Connecticut
    For hunting with a .50 caliber round ball, you won't be able to shoot a deer past 125 yards at the most, and probably not even a paper plate size target with a short Traditions barrel with a 1 in 48 inch rate of twist at that range.
    There's target barrels that will shoot round balls farther, but that means a longer specialty barrel.
    A short barrel can only burn so much powder accurately, and there's different kinds of rifling, types of guns, very precisely measured & weighed round balls, special patch materials and higher quality powders.
    Plus the caliber and shape of the round ball will determine just how far & well it can travel through the air, all while being affected by wind, and traveling at supersonic speed, and then coming down in velocity through the turbulant subsonic barrier. It's only a "small" patched round ball and not a guided missile, or even a bullet.
    And the twist rate and barrel bedding aren't ideal for the long range shooting that you are hoping for.
    You might be able to hit a really big target at 150 or 200 yards...sometimes or maybe even more often than I think. But the chances are that you will be measuring you groups in feet rather than in inches.
    The best shooters in the world spend lots of money and time practicing long range shooting techniques. They develop skills and have some secret and not so secret ways to shoot the most accurately. If it was easy, they wouldn't be experts, champions or even in competitions.
    Maybe you should lower your expectations and do what I do.
    I shoot at small bullseyes at closer distances.
    If you can hit 1 inch everytime at 50 yards, then maybe you can shoot into 1 foot at 100 yards, or maybe 6 inches, who knows?
    What else do you expect for the amount of money spent?
    If you buy a better barrel, then you can shoot more accurately at 100 yards. But then don't buy a short Traditions barrel, go buy a custom chunk rifle that weighs 10 or 13 pounds and try your luck. You might be able to do it with a factory Lyman at 100 yards or maybe not. It would be fun trying to shoot into 1 inch at 50 yards too. Everyone needs to start somewhere and they don't call them flinchlocks for nothing. How much money do you want to spend on a flintlock rifle and all of the accessories including powder, ball etc...?
    Green Mountain makes pretty good factory production barrels, but from their barrel blanks you must build the rest of the barrel to fit your rifle unless it's a TC Renegade or Hawken, and even then many of their drop-in barrels aren't made in flint except for .50 caliber. Then you're going to complain about your trigger, your lock, stock, powder, flint or something else about your new rifle.
    So take a look at these barrels, they're better than most factory gun barrels.
    Then you can go and try to shoot for the moon! :D

    I really wish you good luck. When you get a rifle then come back and let us know how you do, and maybe post some pictures. :)

    1. http://www.gmriflebarrel.com/catalog.aspx?catid=1516inchblackpowdermuzzleloaderbarrels

    2. http://www.gmriflebarrel.com/catalog.aspx?catid=1inchblackpowdermuzzleloaderbarrels

    3. http://www.gmriflebarrel.com/catalog.aspx?catid=1inchinterchangeablebarrels

    4. http://www.gmriflebarrel.com/catalog.aspx?catid=HawkenRenegadeStyleRifles
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2008
  8. tracker-trapper

    tracker-trapper Member

    Jul 10, 2008
    near Halifax ,Nova Scotia, Canada.
    tahnsk you guys. artcicap and Omnivore especially. although all the info is great. more the better. ummm, i just really like shooting at 100 yards. it lets you know how your doing. i do undestand the remark about working on smaller groups at shorter distances. good point, but i guess i just really like walking!!!! ha! this gives me a better point or reference.
    the replacement barrel is what i'm planning on my next flinter. you see after the deer season, i can only be in the woods with a flinter of .32 or shotty load od #4 or less, so that extra .32 barrel is looking like something on santa's list! the idea of 1 gun 2 barrels soundss great to me!!!

    thanks again guys for the time and info!!!
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