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TC Hawken, a muzzleloaders only uses FF

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by Thomasss, Aug 25, 2021.

  1. woodnbow
    • Contributing Member

    woodnbow Contributing Member

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    I’m not. The gun will take a hell of a lot more than your buddies cheekbone will.

    BTW, the Renegade and Hawken rifles are well known for delivering a knot to the cheek bone and often a black eye as well. Years ago a friend was working on an elk load for his .54 Renegade. He wasn’t sure such a primitive arm could kill a bull elk (White River Apache res. So yeah, they’re big bulls.) anyway, he worked up a load with 120 Grains of Goex behind a 460 grain bullet. We both shot it enough to verify zero and accuracy. Maybe ten rounds for me twenty five or so for him. Now Pat can handle recoil, being a certified magnum nut, so he didn’t notice the knot on his cheekbone until we were almost done. They just aren’t a great stock design for heavy loads. I restrict mine to 70-90 grains 3f or 2f under bullets not to exceed 600 grains and the .45 wears a cheek pad.

    Pat got a 340 class bull that dropped after one solid hit from his .54. Worked like a charm.
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2021
  2. paul harm

    paul harm Member

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    Dave and Mike summed it up pretty good. I believe T/C was just legally covering their a$$ with those guide lines. There's no way in he!! anyone with a normal load is gonna blow up a well made BP gun by going from 2F to 3F, just saying.
     
  3. paul harm

    paul harm Member

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    Woodnbow got me to thinking about why some people think they need so much powder to hunt with. A 45/70 has what, 70grs of powder ? Then why in Gods name is a 120grs needed ? Ya, I know, it will shoot flatter. I've hunted with my own 54, 62 rifles, and 12ga PRB smooth bores and never used over 90 grs of powder. And yes, back when I first started before I made my own guns I shot a 50cal T/C. I tried the bullet and boy did it ever kick compared to a RB. Took only one session and back to the RB. I don't know how you guys shot so much with 120/460gr bullet.
     
  4. Jackrabbit1957

    Jackrabbit1957 Member

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    I agree with paul harm, I stick with around 65 grains of powder in my 50 s and have no complaints as to knock down power or performance.
     
  5. Blackpowderwarrior

    Blackpowderwarrior Member

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    In my .54 go with 60 of 3f with RB or conical. I have no complaints!
     
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  6. woodnbow
    • Contributing Member

    woodnbow Contributing Member

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    I’ll plead equal parts youth and ignorance... as for Pat? Who knows. Incomplete understanding of blackpowder internal and external ballistics no doubt. The bull he killed would have fallen as easily to a similarly placed .40 caliber 300 grain bullet over 60 grains of 3f. Which was a popular round both before and in well into the smokeless era. And for good reason. It works, and it doesn’t beat the snot out of the shooter.

    I don’t believe I had read the Ned Roberts book at that time, nor was I very familiar with many of the smaller bore rifles available to us. t/c was the big player of the day and if you wanted to hunt larger game it was suggested by many that the conical was nearly a necessity. And of course if 80 grains is good, then 120 ought to be great! In retrospect, my grandfather had a really sweet model 94 chambered in 38-55 with which he’d killed many elk and deer. Somehow the light never came on at the time. I used the .54 maxi balls for elk but stuck with 90 grains of 2f, it’s most accurate load.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2021
  7. Thomasss

    Thomasss Member

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    "Well, Surprise, Surprise" says Gomer. Another shooter at my range admitted at my inquiry that he often shoots 3F Goex and 777 out of his Custom TC Hawkins. Says he's not concerned about the Goex, but loads down 15 to 20% when shooting 3F 777.
     
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  8. grter

    grter Member

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    Maybe so however the max TC rifle loads with 2f are very powerful and offer a vey wide range of options depending on how you load with less pressure in the bore.

    I don't think 3f is needed.

    The TC manual stated that they actually ran their own tests and found that any velocity improvements with 3f were marginal but the pressure increases inside the bore using the finer granulation 3f were significant. They make it point to note this in their manual. This suggests that it was not a simple lawyer CYA move but that they actually looked into it and determined that the rifles they designed and manufactured were best suited for 2f powder.

    Now I know people have been using 3f for years probably decades by now in rifles but I doubt it produces significantly better results. I do believe TC when they say it increases pressures significantly and that they actually studied it.. So I see no need to deviate from the suggested loads.

    This is coming from a person who hates anemic loads in firearms. I am all for practical power and strong loads when needed. As I am concerned TC suggested 2f loads cover everything from mild to super stomping hot.

    Also worth noting is that sleek slim wooden stocks on some long arms may break under heavy recoil while thicker more robust wood stocks or synthetic stocks will probably have no problem withstanding the forces of heavy recoil.
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2021
  9. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Member

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    I have always used volume measures with muzzleloading rifles whether I use BP or a BP substitute powder.

    Double checking my Lee Powder Measure Kit,
    Lee lists charge weights from its volumetric 1,0cc measure (cubic centimeter) as:
    15.9 gr BLACK FFFG
    12.1 gr PYRODEX P.
    14.7 gr BLACK FFG
    12.3 gr PYRODEX R.S.
     
  10. grter

    grter Member

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    This is an interesting youtube video

    Does 3f produce a significant increase in performance. The answer seems to be both yes and no. 3f does increase pressure.

    Round balls exhibited increased ballistics while heavier conicals did not when using equal amounts 3f compared to equal amounts of 2f.
     
    windini likes this.
  11. ThomasT

    ThomasT Member

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    Remember Val Forgett of Navy Arms and George C. Nonte took a couple of 58 caliber guns to Africa and used up to 200grs of 3F powder in their hunting loads with no damage to the guns and only slight damage to the shooters from the recoil. 3F will work just fine in any gun you want to use it in. If I use 80grs of 2F then I will normally stop around 70-75grs of 3f. And not because I am afraid of the pressure or recoil but because in most guns you only gain a few percentage points more speed or power with more powder.

    My first elk was killed with a 54 caliber Cabela's Hawken shooting a Lee 405gr Minnie and 90grs of 2f. It blew right through a broadside shot just behind the front leg and made an exit hole I could stick 3 fingers in. I didn't need that much power to kill a 450 pound animal. Less would have been plenty. I am sure 75grs of 3f would have been just as deadly.
     
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  12. dave951

    dave951 Member

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    Ok, I'll play lawyer now. Let's define "significant" for the record. No definition? Then the point is irrelevant.

    The real truth is that 3f v 2f can produce equivalent velocity with less powder, especially in a shorter barrel. Fouling can be cut down with 3f v 2f. Will velocity improve? Maybe, maybe not. There are limits when shooting cast lead bullets. The magnum craze is incomprehensible when hunting fairly sedate critters. If it has teeth and claws, then I want an artillery piece.


    Another can of worms. Some will insist on using volumetric only, but those folks are almost never, ever competition shooters and if they are, odds on, they're near the bottom of the list in score. I use weight to do load development with 3f in my competition muskets as do nearly all of my fellow competitors. With the powder measure set, I weigh every 10th charge to check consistency. But hey, what do I know? I just pull triggers on antique rifles that make dense clouds of stinky smoke..........

    1862 Colt Contract Rifle musket, 58cal, Rapine Trashcan minie, 44g 3f Old E, RWS caps
    20170904_082823.jpg
     
  13. dave951

    dave951 Member

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    The 45/70 also has a 500gr bullet. What modern folks don't understand in the velocity craze is KE (Kinetic Energy) is a paper measure. It's little known evil step brother, Momentum, is what does the dirty work. The penetration of a 500gr bullet poking along at 1300fps is nothing to sneeze at. The only thing faster velocity does is to allow to compensate for poor marksmanship. And yeah, I have a 45/70 and it's predecessor, the 50/70. My 45/70 is a Siamese Mauser and I can load it up to an honest 500gr FMJ at 2k fps, and it'll kill on one end and maim on the other. In short, it's very unpleasant to shoot. I stick with 400-500gr bullets at a modest velocity and it gets the job done every time.

    This is a 350gr cast in a Sharps
     
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  14. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

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    BTW, you can use 3F but just reduce the charge.
     
  15. grter

    grter Member

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    In this one Mike Beliveau gives his opinion on powder granulations.

    I would like to give the heads up on ram rods noting how Mr Beliveau just pulled his out of the rife and used it with no problem.

    The Pedersoli ram rod that came on a Pennsylvania rife (a rather pricey rifle) was an impalement waiting to happen. That was my first introduction to factory wood ram rods on replicas.

    It just snapped with the smallest amount of flex. I mean a really small amount of flex and VERY easily at that. To top it off it snapped in such a way that it left a needle sharp point positioned in just to right place to go through your hand. It was pure useless dangerous garbage.

    I am glad no one used it to load. This happened during a test to see if all those youtube videos were right about the huge amount of dangerous wooden ram rods included on production muzzle loaders.

    I know there are good custom made wood ram rods but quality wood workers that know how to make rods with proper wood type with the grains aligned right are far and few in my neck of the woods. I could have found one but I was so spooked that I just brought a brown colored synthetic rod. Otherwise I liked the video.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2021
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  16. woodnbow
    • Contributing Member

    woodnbow Contributing Member

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    The best would be split, not sawn, from a hickory (or similar, osage orange, pecan, Douglas fir, etc.) billet. The process is time consuming and thus too expensive for mass production. But if you look carefully for any indication of grain runout you can find a wooden rod that will last as long as the rifle. I bought several rod blanks from track of the wolf and only 2 of 6 were suitable for use as a ramrod.
     
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  17. candymancan

    candymancan member

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    I just put 90grains of 3f in my pedersoli hawkens 54 cal today... The boom is less on 3f than 2f i noticed... recoil isnt that much on either powder... Going by the barrel thickness AND octagonal barrels.. i highely doubt these guns would blow up lol.

    Just saying these barrels are stronger than an AR rifle.. look how thick they are.. octagonal also increases strength.. not sure on metallurgy. But still. Remember.. the pedersoli sharps is 45 cal. But cab use 120 grains of smokeless powder.. i bet these guns could do 150 grains of powder all day

    90 grains of 3f and 150 on 2f today nothing happend to my hawkens.. i did 40 rounds with 120 on 2f. The wood Stock.. gun itself is fine.

    90 at 2f seems to be the sweet spot though for accuracy on mine
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2021
  18. paul harm

    paul harm Member

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    As Dave said, significant don't mean squat without some numbers. Ya pressure will go up, but enough to blow a barrel, I don't think so. I've been shooting both 2f and 3f since around 1972. The 3f is cleaner burning and it takes less powder for the same velocity. I don't agree with weighing the powder drops . I shot pistol and some rifle on the nation rage for 15 years and the only guys I say weighing drops were slug gun shooters. All the offhand rifle, shotgun, and pistol shooters just measured their drops. Maybe I missed a couple of shooters, but I'd have to say a large majority of shooters just measured their drops.

    Wood ram rods - never broke one in 50 years of shooting. It does take a little common sense when using one.
     
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  19. Jack Ryan

    Jack Ryan Member

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    I shoot only BP in my T/C Hawken rifles. I prefer FFF but I'll shoot what ever I've got and never make any kind of adjustment in the charge because of it.

    But then I didn't read about it on the internet or hear about it from a buddy or a buddy's buddy. I just did it about 50 or so years.
     
  20. earlthegoat2

    earlthegoat2 Member

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    Here is my 58 cal Hawken and here is a target I shot at 60 yds using 90 gr of FFFg and a .570 PRB and updated Marbles open sights.

    The rifle had stouter than expected recoil but not bad. I would probably only ever go up to 100 gr with 3F though.

    9F86986A-E616-4960-AEE2-07C3C47E482D.jpeg
    19746DBD-A869-4908-89EC-9A12329477B2.jpeg
     
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  21. PapaG

    PapaG Member

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    2f, 3f or equivalent subs. Heck, I shot 3f in my 58 musket as well as my 12 ga ml trap gun.
     
  22. MEHavey

    MEHavey Member

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    Here's my BP skeet gun....

    Brown-Bess-sm.jpg

    Doubles are a challenge, but otherwise......


    Brown-Bess-Shot-Pattern.jpg
     
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  23. candymancan

    candymancan member

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    Ill be honest here.. i had more recoil and more boom with 2f than 3f. Bith Scheutzen powders. Not sure why but 2f felt better.

    But 2f got DIRTY fast... bigger chunks of fouling in the barrel. And i had to clean the barrel after every 2 shots. Othwrwise the ball would get stuck half way and id have to spend 5 min trying to ram it down until it finally would go down.

    Using 530 balls and .15 lubbed patchs. I think i need to get thinner patchs. .15 might be one problem as well
     
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  24. earlthegoat2

    earlthegoat2 Member

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    I have problems with .570 balls and .015 pillow ticking patching and I actually use 100% linen from Joann’s that come to about .011. Still hard to start but pretty easy to ram after that. I spit swab between shots.
     
  25. candymancan

    candymancan member

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    Im not sure why but my barrel seems narrower in the middle too, when the balls get stuck they always get stuck mid way, once i get them past that they slide down easy even with the fouling, but the fouling always causes em to get stuck mid way, maybe its where the fouling gets deposited most ?

    I managed to "hit" the target at 100 yards using the iron sights, but that was 1 hit out of 4 attempted. and it it didnt hit the center mass. At 50 yards though i was within 3 inches of the 4 shots in the 8 line on my target. At 25 yards i was bulls eye dead center, all 4 shots tore a giant hole in the center the paper was gone they almost flew into the same hole each time. Surprised myself and a bunch of a people at the range lol

    Interestingly enough this gun is more accurate than my Henry 44 magnum big boy. That gun seems to throw rounds all over. I just wish i could get hits at 100 with iron sights. But most of it is inexperience, and my vision is terrible, at 15 yards out my vision starts to get very blurry and i havent gone to the eye doctor lol. Have a hard time even reading fast food menus at a drive through. My dads old army glasses work perfectly for me, but i dont bring them in fear of losing them as he died when i was 12 over 23 years ago. Although my 1874 sharps using 45-70 regular ammo, i can hit 100 yards with iron sights within the black 7-8 lines..

    I just need to stop putting it off and get some glass's lol
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2021
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