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Thompson .54 Renegade hunting load/experience

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by El Chivato, Jul 28, 2011.

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  1. El Chivato

    El Chivato Member

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    I drew for deer in New Mexico this year and it's a blackpowder hunt. I've got a .54 Thompson Renegade and I have some experience shooting blackpowder rifles, but not in hunting with them. I'm looking for load suggestions and reasonable range to target distances. 1:48 twist.

    Thanks,
    David
     
  2. Yarddog

    Yarddog Member

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    100grof pyrodex R/S behind a prelubed 370gr buffallo bullet, Shoots great to 125 Yrds ; )
    Y/D
     
  3. MutinousDoug

    MutinousDoug Member

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    100gr of Goex is plenty for deer. I've shot over the back of at least 2 elk at 20 yds to know to zero my .54 Renegade at 50 yds rather than 100 yds.
    That, and a .54 cal maxi over 100 grs of ff BP will shoot through a small muley from front to back breaking the shoulder, all the ribs on one side and the hip before denting the bark of a ponderosa pine behind same before it was done.
    Not very much meat harvested from that shot.
    My renegade shoots about a 6" group at 100 yds, either patched ball or conical so I try to keep my shots inside that.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2011
  4. El Chivato

    El Chivato Member

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    My rifle obliterates the patch on a round ball if I have over 60 grains of powder. (.010) Any suggestions on fixing this?
     
  5. kwhi43@kc.rr.com

    kwhi43@kc.rr.com Member

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    Go to a bigger ball.
     
  6. Prairie Dawg

    Prairie Dawg Member

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    Last edited: Jul 28, 2011
  7. sdhunter

    sdhunter Member

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    what kind of powder are you using? Are you using pre-lubed shooting patches? What size ball and patch are you using? How much lube is on the patches? What kind of lube is on the patches? It might seem like i am pressing but in order to help with a load it helps to know and think about every detail. Although i have never shot 1-48 twist barrels i have talked to guys who get excellent accuracy with them and round balls, it is just a matter of trying different angles and systems.
     
  8. Jaymo

    Jaymo Member

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    I just wish I could find a left handed Green Mountain barrel for my Renegade, and one for my New Englander.
     
  9. El Chivato

    El Chivato Member

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    I'm using RS, a .530 ball, T/C Wonderlube. And it is a left handed rifle. (I'm proud of that)

    Thinking about using cornmeal on top of the powder...
     
  10. J-Bar

    J-Bar Member

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    Experiment. Your 1/48 barrel may like saboted slugs better than round balls or conicals.

    A 250 to 300 grain jacketed hollow point .45 bullet in a snug sabot is plenty for deer. I have a 9 point whitetail on the wall that was taken with a TC Renegade, 54 caliber, using that load.

    Also experiment with powder charges from 80 to 120 grains to get the most accurate first shot. 80 grains in a muzzle loader will be like .45/70 when using a saboted slug...the deer won't care.

    Clean the plastic sabot residue with one part Ballistol in 10 parts water. Take your time, let it soak a few minutes between shots, and mop out the crud. This will also let your barrel cool so each shot will be a "first" shot from a cold clean barrel.
     
  11. sdhunter

    sdhunter Member

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    o dont worry, you are with a fellow lefty here. I shoot a lyman great plains in 54 in left hand. Anyway, If you are buying pre-lubed patches that are old the fabric can actually deteriorate and shred very easily or you may have a very bad burr in the barrel that is shredding the patch, if neither of those are the problem you could also try a Over powder wad. a good shooting patch should look reusable after it is shot. For me six inch groups at 100 are ablsolutely not acceptable! a good load and rest should break 3 in groups fairly easy. I am no expert but just giving you a few things to look at. It might also help to try different patch material and thickness. My gpr likes .018 pillow ticking patch and plain olive oil lube with a .530 round ball, off sand bags it will stack em. I hope this helps and keep us posted on your progress.:)
     
  12. arcticap

    arcticap Member

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    The patch is probably too thin. Use at least a .015 patch and if that shreds then try loading a wool wad underneath it.

    A Renegade should shoot a round ball accurately out to at least 75 yards with a heavy deer hunting load. You'll need to experiment with the powder charge.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2011
  13. AJumbo

    AJumbo Member

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    Maybe I've been lucky, but I've never had a TC 1:48 barrel that wouldn't give me at least 3" at 100 yards. My best results seem to come with 2F black, .530 swaged balls, thick ticking patches (at least .018), and a decent grease patch lube.

    You might want to invest in a can of Kroil and clean the heck out of the bore. Kroil will creep under any kind of fouling and allow it to be scrubbed out.
     
  14. Kaeto

    Kaeto Member

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    How do you lube Maxi-Balls?
     
  15. arcticap

    arcticap Member

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  16. Kaeto

    Kaeto Member

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    Thanks! Previously I've only used round ball with patch.
     
  17. El Chivato

    El Chivato Member

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    The patches I've been using are only .010. I do have some .015 and .018s. If the weather is good next weekend, I will be trying them. I'm fairly sure my problem is in patch thickness as has been mentioned. I'll let you all know, and I will keep reading this thread...!
     
  18. alsask

    alsask Member

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    If you are still shredding patches with the heavier fabric you can try 1/2 a square of toilet paper as an over powder wad. It protects your powder from being contaminated by your patch lube as well.
     
  19. El Chivato

    El Chivato Member

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    I like the idea of protecting the powder charge from patch lube. I have used the felt/wool wads in the past on some other situations (revolvers/ my .45 rifle) and they work great, if you shoot it right away. Think I'm gonna try a .018 patch, some cornmeal and the ball/patch combo. Like I said though, its gonna be next weekend... I'll just keep reading!
     
  20. kwhi43@kc.rr.com

    kwhi43@kc.rr.com Member

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    .018 thick Teflon coated patching will solve all your problems. You load it dry.
    Everything will stay dry. Load it and in 10 years your rifle will still fire.
     
  21. El Chivato

    El Chivato Member

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    Where do you get that?
     
  22. arcticap

    arcticap Member

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    Last edited: Aug 2, 2011
  23. George Mabry

    George Mabry Member

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    A .010 patch is definitely too small for a .530 ball. I tried a .010 with a .535 ball and got excellent groups but the patches were still being shredded and burned. I tried pillow ticking but found that #40 cotton drill worked the best in my Renegade. You can find cotton drill at JoAnns under the utility cloth rack. I can't remember exactly what it miked out at but it was at least .015
     
  24. RWMC

    RWMC Member

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    I have sucessfully harvested 2 large whitetail doe deer ( both over 200 lbs. ) here in Iowa with my late 1970's era .54 Renegade using a .010 lubed patch around a Lee cast .530 round ball, on a charge of 80 grains of Pyrodex RS, and using cci musket caps for the musket nipple I replaced the original nipple with. Both deer were taken under 100 yards. Both required only 1 shot.
     
  25. El Chivato

    El Chivato Member

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    Test Results
    .015 Patch
    .530 Hornady Round ball
    R/S Powder.

    The patch/ball combo loaded really easy, once it was started. With 80 grains of powder, the patches have a nice round black mark and it shot pretty well at 50 yds. (1.5" group)

    Went to 90 then 100 grains, and the group still wasn't bad. But at 100 yds I had some nasty vertical stringing. The patches were being blown apart again with 90 grains +.

    Gonna get some Cotton Drill, and try that. I think the Patch/ball combo. is still a little too easy to load so some improvement can be made there. If I am having trouble with blown patches (escaping gas) than I can imagine a problem with vertical stringing. Agreed? Any more ideas? Different powder?

    The ramrod is marked at 100 grains of powder by the original owner and the rifle was well taken care of. I believe he knew what he was doing. I would like to get it to work at 100 grains myself, but if I can't get good groups with it then what is my effective range on a deer with 80 grains? 100 yrds, or is that pushing it?
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2011
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