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What is the recipe for conical accuracy from a 1:48 barrel?

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by Mr_Pale_Horse, Aug 21, 2008.

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  1. Mr_Pale_Horse

    Mr_Pale_Horse Member

    Nov 27, 2007
    I have a Lyman Trade Rifle in 54 caliber and a 28" barrel in the aforementioned twist.

    I have a Lee REAL single cavity mould (300 gr) thinking that the smaller (shorter) ball would be better stabilized from the bastard twist, but minute of deer accuracy is about as good as it gets. I never really liked the base is these bullets and wonder if a wad or buffer of oatmeal might better protect them, giving better results, not that I know the base is the problem.

    I have looked at the Lyman moulds, but they are pricey and also heavier bullets.

    I have the Lyman 454424 255 grain LSWC 2 cavity mould for 45 Colt that might make a decent sabot ball?

    I have yet to try Maxi's, ballets or other COTS conicals.

    Anyone with stellar results to report from a 1:48 gun and a conical, or should I stick with a PRB :confused:?
  2. sundance44s

    sundance44s Member

    Feb 6, 2006
    I wouldn`t take the time to cast maxies ..There are plenty of store bought kinds on the shelves ..These aren`t something ya would want to do alot of target shooting with ..They do stop whitetail deer well though ...I always used the 54 cal buffalo bullets pre lubed .shoot good groups with plenty of killing power out to 100 yards ..useing 65 grs of Goex 2F under them .
  3. Omnivore

    Omnivore Member

    May 30, 2006
    North Idaho/Eastern Washington
    I shoot mostly PRB, but the recipe for changing your load goes something like this:

    Get a supply of each of several different bullets.

    Try each bullet several times. Shoot one load for group, maybe several groups. Alter your powder charge and shoot another group or groups. Do this with each bullet type/weight. (gets complicated)

    Select the bullet/charge weight combination that shoots the best accuracy.

    I'd start by firing some groups with my familiar load (PRB) as a base-line for comparison.

    What works for you in your gun may be quite different from what works for someone else in their gun. If you have your sights set for PRB, you'll have to readjust them for the heavier bullet. In testing, you don't care about the position of your groups, you only care about group size. Once you pick a conical, you then adjust your sights for zero.

    Some bullet manufacturers post recommended starting loads, as do the gun makers.
  4. arcticap

    arcticap Member

    Mar 20, 2005
    Central Connecticut
    A Wonder Wad can sometimes help to improve the accuracy of both patched round balls and conicals. However, the amount of powder and weight of the conical can be just as important. You need to find the right velocity to produce the RPM's necessary to stabilze the bullets.
    I've gotten good accuracy shooting a TC Break-O-Way sabot and a 240 lead HP conocal with 90 grains of Pyrodex P out of a 1 in 48" Traditions Deerhunter. It shoots to the same point of aim as a patched round ball at 50 yards. The TC Break-O-Way also happens to have a Wonder Wad ring at the base of the 2 piece sabot which holds it all together until it exits the barrel. I've never tried this sabot with a heavier bullet, and it may not shoot any other bullet weight or sabot quite as good.
    The 255 grain .45 Maxi also used to shoot okay with a Knight/MMP sabot out of the 1 in 48". Saboted bullets often do perform fairly consistently out of a cold clean barrel with heavier hunting loads if you find the right combination.
    Some conicals shoot better than others. Find the sweet spot by increasing the powder charge in 10 grain increments or so. Then compare to see if it will shoot better with or without the wad.
    Hornady has this new conical linked below that's now sold at Walmart that has a hollow base and is designed to be fired out of a variety of twists. It might be worth a shot.

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