Need muzzle loader help

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Need muzzle loader help

Post by Oldbloke » 05 May 2018, 7:40 pm

Well I took the plunge and I purchased a percussion muzzleloader in 50 calibre it is a CVA blazer, a cheap replica I'll be picking it up in about a week. So I need some help from you guys here as I know SFI about muzzle loaders.

What grade of black powder should I purchase?

Should I load it with balls on minis? This is a novelty item, I want to use it for light Target fun and just perhaps a little hunting.

How can I find out what size ball or mini I should use I believe there are two or three sizes available?

What are some typical loads?

And how can I tell if it will shoot Minnie's ok? I believe some will shoot them but some won't.

What do you use for wads, just old sheets etc?

And last of all what's a good cheap easy to make lube?
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Re: Need muzzle loader help

Post by bigpete » 05 May 2018, 8:15 pm

OK I can help a bit.
Powder. Rule of thumb is 3f for 50cal and below,2f for above 50cal. I use 2f in both my 50 cals but I also have a 12 bore so I just use 2f for everything.
Amount of powder. Another rule of thumb is use as many grains as your calibre as a starting point eg 50cal,50gn. A lot is said about using volumetric measures for black powder,but I was told by Allan Vaisham of Green River Rifle Works in person that weighing the powder as per usual is more than fine. He also told me to basically keep loading up in 5gn increments till the rifle groups opened up. I personally use 80gn in both my 50s but I only use 67gn/2¼ dram in my 12 bore
Patches. Ideally you want a patch that's tight enough to engage the rifling properly and seal the bore but loose enough to load easy. And it has to.be a natural material like cotton. Best accuracy will be from the tightest ball and patch combo,but not necessarily the easiest to.load.
Minies or ball ? Usually rifles for ball only are very slow twist ie 1/72. Minies like say a 1/28. A lot of rifles have a bastard twist of 1/48. I found that my hawken likes round ball,but I can get minies to shoot good if I use an over powder wad between the charge and the minie.
Now,what next lol
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Re: Need muzzle loader help

Post by bigpete » 05 May 2018, 8:17 pm

Oh,and lube. I actually just use spit lube these days,but I've also used beeswax mixed with olive oil,neatsfoot oil,and just olive oil. Whatever you use it must be a natural product
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Re: Need muzzle loader help

Post by bigrich » 05 May 2018, 8:54 pm

congrats on your purchase OB. i'm a bit of a history buff, and have read lots of history/adventure novels in the black powder era. will be following this post. throw some pics up from time to time OB and big pete , this is interesting :thumbsup:
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Re: Need muzzle loader help

Post by bigpete » 05 May 2018, 9:04 pm

Personally if I were you I'd stick with round balls. I use .495 in both mine. I also use a tight weave thin cotton sheet as patches. Its actually a whole lot less complicated making one go than you'd think. Making it shoot well can be another story.
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Re: Need muzzle loader help

Post by marksman » 05 May 2018, 9:50 pm

good onya Oldbloke :thumbsup:
I have always admired them from a distance, love that smoke
some piccys would be appreciated :thumbsup: :drinks:
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Re: Need muzzle loader help

Post by wrenchman » 06 May 2018, 10:15 am

cva are well made for the price and the older ones had a slow twist for the round balls
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Re: Need muzzle loader help

Post by Oldbloke » 06 May 2018, 6:55 pm

"Powder. Rule of thumb is 3f for 50cal and below,2f for above 50cal. I use 2f in both my 50 cals but I also have a 12 bore so I just use 2f for everything. " quoted from bigpete.

Ben, sounding like FF is OK for. 50
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Re: Need muzzle loader help

Post by bigpete » 06 May 2018, 6:58 pm

Yes. And I wouldn't bother with cushion wads,just buy a half inch hole punch and make wads/cards out of leather or cardboard. Definitely don't need cushion wads. Also you can buy plenty of stuff from Forbes in Australia
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Re: Need muzzle loader help

Post by bigpete » 06 May 2018, 7:01 pm

Also,don't expect anywhere near the patterns out of a muzzleloader as you would out of a normal shotgun Bentaz.
Best to use less powder/volume than shot/volume to get the best patterns. Too much powder and you'll get donuts.
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Re: Need muzzle loader help

Post by Noisydad » 06 May 2018, 7:05 pm

I’ll back all Bigpete said with a couple of additions- you can use 3 f in a .50 and even a .54 but you’ll use a smidge less. My 38 year old CVA .54 uses 55 gn of 3F for a very accurate target load. Use a rightish dense weave patch with a wet lube and you’ll shoot all day without cleaning.
Wet lube brew: 1 1/2 cups water, 60ml cutting oil, 30 ml dish washing liquid. Soak the patches, squeeze them out a little and use quite damp or almost wet. Every shot wipes out the barrel and the 60th shot is as easy to load as the first.
Don’t bother with anything other than round ball in a tradional style front stuffer. You probably won’t improve accuracy.
For field shooting use a beeswax, lard, veg oil lube. There’s a zillion of em.
Like all rifles front stuffers are all individuals andload development will be needed for best accuracy.
There's still a few of Wile. E Coyote's ideas that I haven't tried yet.
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Re: Need muzzle loader help

Post by Noisydad » 06 May 2018, 7:12 pm

39FE2FD4-4132-4C76-8F47-06DA5EAF0396.jpeg
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How accurate can a round ball muzzle loader be? This 1/8th target has ten shots in it! Shot off hand at 30 yards. The standard target is shot off had at 50 yards.
EFF6767C-6B74-4B3C-B2C7-4800147FD998.jpeg
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There's still a few of Wile. E Coyote's ideas that I haven't tried yet.
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Re: Need muzzle loader help

Post by TheDude » 06 May 2018, 7:16 pm

bentaz wrote:I have one question though.
If ffg is for bigger than .50 bore and fffg is for smaller, does that mean I can shoot either out of my .50?


Can use either in 45-50cal. I use ffg in my 45cal muzzleloader and 45/70. Means just having to have one lot of powder for 45cal up to 577 snider.
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Re: Need muzzle loader help

Post by bigpete » 06 May 2018, 7:36 pm

They make absolutely no difference as far as I can tell,except they help to take up.room in my all brass cases
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Re: Need muzzle loader help

Post by Oldbloke » 06 May 2018, 7:37 pm

I assume loading a muzzle loader for shot would just be duplicating the way it was done for the early cardboard cartridges.

Powder
Card
Felt
Shot
Over card.?
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Re: Need muzzle loader help

Post by bigpete » 06 May 2018, 7:39 pm

I honestly just use a leather over powder wad and the same for the over shot wad. And just load a patched round ball as per normal
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Re: Need muzzle loader help

Post by Oldbloke » 06 May 2018, 9:20 pm

So both ff and fff are OK for a .50 cal?

And .495 balls?
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Re: Need muzzle loader help

Post by bigpete » 07 May 2018, 12:22 am

Yes mate,or .490,but you'll want a thicker patch. Its actually all a lot easier than it seems so don't be scared.
If you're only going to use it for mucking around I'd suggest 50gn of powder under a patched round ball of your choice and have at it ! Just remember to only use natural substances to clean and lube your gun and always seat the ball hard down on top of the powder.
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Re: Need muzzle loader help

Post by bigpete » 07 May 2018, 12:25 am

Oldbloke wrote:I assume loading a muzzle loader for shot would just be duplicating the way it was done for the early cardboard cartridges.

Powder
Card
Felt
Shot
Over card.?


Doesn't even need to be that technical. Loads of people used paper wasp nest. So powder,wasp nest,shot,wasp nest
All you need to do is form a seal between the powder and shot,and then do something to stop the shot falling out.
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Re: Need muzzle loader help

Post by bigpete » 07 May 2018, 12:33 am

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Here's some load data from the North American muzzle loading page just to give you an idea of velocities and stuff
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Re: Need muzzle loader help

Post by bigpete » 07 May 2018, 8:54 am

Yeah,they go through a bit lol.
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Re: Need muzzle loader help

Post by sungazer » 07 May 2018, 9:32 pm

I would hate to get hit with a 50 cal BP at 50 yrds. They have pretty good accuracy. It is interesting to compare them to a modern .22 at 50yrds though which could hit a 5 cent piece or less. Rifles have evolved and improved enormously. At not much less than 50 yrds you would get powder burns from some of the BP rifles I have seen go off. Ok maybe a slight exaggeration but they do make a serious spectacle. :D
Not sure if I want to own one but would like to have a day or two out with them every now and then. Seymour is just up the road I need to go have a look the last few times it has clashed with other shooting commitments.
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Re: Need muzzle loader help

Post by Oldbloke » 12 May 2018, 5:51 pm

Here it is.

CVA .50 cal BLAZER.jpg
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Re: Need muzzle loader help

Post by bigpete » 12 May 2018, 6:11 pm

Very nice old bloke
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Re: Need muzzle loader help

Post by Oldbloke » 12 May 2018, 6:17 pm

Yeah, it has a few dings but otherwise looks in good nick.
I just need to buy some fff powder and a few bits and bobs. Then I can give it a crack, time permitting.
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Re: Need muzzle loader help

Post by sungazer » 12 May 2018, 7:10 pm

Dont know about any dings taking away from it mate. a very nice looking rifle. The oct barrel really makes it in the looks, some real body to it. nice :thumbsup:
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Re: Need muzzle loader help

Post by bigpete » 12 May 2018, 7:17 pm

Apart from the rear sight and lack of a patch box that's a dead ringer for my hawken
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Re: Need muzzle loader help

Post by brett1868 » 12 May 2018, 9:10 pm

Oldbloke wrote:Yeah, it has a few dings but otherwise looks in good nick.
I just need to buy some fff powder and a few bits and bobs. Then I can give it a crack, time permitting.


Penrith gun is next weekend, usually a good range of BP bits and bobs. If you let me know what you're after I can keep an eye out for you :) I'm chasing a nipple wrench for the Whitworth...Half inch balls and nipple wrenches, who'd have though BP was so sexual :lol:
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Re: Need muzzle loader help

Post by bigpete » 12 May 2018, 9:17 pm

Ramrods and spit lube ;)
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Re: Need muzzle loader help

Post by Oldbloke » 13 May 2018, 8:52 pm

bigpete wrote:Ramrods and spit lube ;)


What's a spit tube?

I do need one of these, but I might just make one. Seem a bit hard to get, admittedly I've only looked on eBay . If you buy from the US the mailing costs go through the roof.

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