Author Topic: Chunk Gun Caliber's - Revisited  (Read 20891 times)

Offline Candle Snuffer

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Chunk Gun Caliber's - Revisited
« on: December 11, 2013, 07:35:25 PM »
I got my .40 caliber (Large Siler cap lock) chunk gun out this morning.  Haven't shot it in at least 4 to 5 years, we just haven't held any "over the log" matches for awhile.  Anyway, it has a .40 caliber 1"x42" - 1 in 48 twist Green Mountain Barrel.

I ran across this link in a search, here on ALR;

 http://americanlongrifles.org/forum/index.php?topic=11289.0

I'm debating whether or not to re-barrel to a larger caliber?  Say .45 or .50 caliber.

The rifle (a curly maple half-stock) weighs 12-5/8 pounds, and I like the idea of getting 2000 fps (in that neighborhood with a 65 grain charge of 3fg in this .40, though I normally have just shot 55 grain charges when I used it during our matches.  Now it's not a "true" chunk gun as we know today, as it does have a ramrod, and I made a strap on wood block for it (which I can't find at the moment), but it does shoot well off the blocks/log...

I guess what I'm throwing out here is,,, are the larger caliber chunk guns the way to go?  Say .50 caliber and on up?  After all, we're only talking 50 to 60 yards off the ground, and at my local Range where I've only shot it, the wind really doesn't seem to bother the flight of the ball much, shooting from the ground?  Could be our high berms?

Any thoughts on the caliber's you chunk gunner's like best?
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Offline Ezra

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Re: Chunk Gun Caliber's - Revisited
« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2013, 07:41:50 PM »
Can't say why, but I have seen a number of .47 calibers.

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Offline smylee grouch

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Re: Chunk Gun Caliber's - Revisited
« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2013, 08:54:03 PM »
I have three that I use for chunk. #1 1&1/8 x 42 GM barrel flint 40. # 2 1&1/8 x 42 Rice 50 Perc. # 3 1" x 42 GM 40 Perc.   They all shot clover leaf groups at 60 yds if the sun,wind and shooter have it together.

Offline Candle Snuffer

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Re: Chunk Gun Caliber's - Revisited
« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2013, 09:11:34 PM »
Smylee,

What load's are you using in those Green Mountain .40 cal barrels?
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Offline smylee grouch

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Re: Chunk Gun Caliber's - Revisited
« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2013, 10:24:12 PM »
I use 65 gr. 3f swiss-395 or 400 ball-18/1000 patch

Offline Candle Snuffer

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Re: Chunk Gun Caliber's - Revisited
« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2013, 11:35:49 PM »
I use 65 gr. 3f swiss-395 or 400 ball-18/1000 patch

Thank you.  I'm going to kick my charge up 10 grains to the 65 grains and see what kind of results I get.  I've been using a .395 Hornady ball with an .018 patch with that 55 grain 3fg Goex load.  I didn't  test any higher for fear of blowing the patch.  I'll try some .400 balls as well.  Thanks for the information.

Here I am with a foot of snow on the ground and I'm thinking over the log shooting...  Well, at least I'll have a plan when I can get on the ground. :)
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Offline Kermit

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Re: Chunk Gun Caliber's - Revisited
« Reply #6 on: December 11, 2013, 11:55:30 PM »
Candle, your rifle sounds about ideal for this new game, table shooting.
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mmprwarner

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Re: Chunk Gun Caliber's - Revisited
« Reply #7 on: December 12, 2013, 01:24:19 AM »
I started over the log shooting with a borrowed 40 caliber bill large barrel. I really liked it. After a time I had a fine Michigan barrel maker build up a 50 caliber under hammer using a Spidermatic barrel and a Bowers action. The 50 caliber cuts the wind much better than the 40. After all, it only makes sense since, it helps to whop up the 40 by 5 to 10 grains in a wind but it just wont stay with the 50 over all.
My son has taken up the sport, which of course means dad is probably going to build a new chunkgun . I have toyed with the idea of a smaller barrel on a smaller caliber trying to lose a little weight in the rifle as lugging the 30 pound gun back and forth to the line seemed a little less fun. Every year I just haven't made up my mind yet. I probably if I go smaller will go with a 45. I know there are some 48's out there, but you will find yourself molding all your balls. At any rate,  that's my throw on the situation.
And Kermit might be correct weigh that chunk gun you've got and see how close to 13 pounds. I am just curious, if you could post an answer with a picture of the of the firearm. I'd like to see it.

Offline Candle Snuffer

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Re: Chunk Gun Caliber's - Revisited
« Reply #8 on: December 12, 2013, 02:42:36 AM »



Here is the rifle.  I intentionally left it bulky for weight.  After getting the barrel, I used what parts I had laying around in my workshop to build this.  I've always understood bulky was the way of the "chunk gunner's" rifle.  The front sight under the hood is a brass blade.  Dimensions are; .40cal x 1" x 42" GMB, Large Siler Cap Lock, 12-5/8 pounds...  I can't find my wooden barrel block I made for it years ago.  I would remove the ramrod and strap the block to the front of the barrel - just behind the front sight - using black Velcro.  It'll show up somewhere - someday...

I've thought about our club doing a table shoot in 2014.  It looks like a lot of fun.  Most our guys (and we're thinning out) really don't care to get on the ground to chunk shoot anymore.  I'll admit, I'm mighty sore the next day after a chunk match and even a cross stick match.  still, I do enjoy them both.  Just wish more then myself and one other guy (Jim Potter) enjoyed these matches. :)

Here are two of the first 5 "shingle targets" I shot with this rifle many years ago.  The shingle on the left netted me a fancy bottle of old time Maple Syrup, and the shingle on the right netted me $2.00...  The rifle hasn't quite paid for itself just yet... ;D

« Last Edit: December 12, 2013, 03:22:29 AM by Candle Snuffer »
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Old Bob

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Re: Chunk Gun Caliber's - Revisited
« Reply #9 on: December 12, 2013, 04:55:05 AM »
I started out with a .40 cal flint long rifle I built and it did a fair job but got bit by the bug and built a halfstock with a .50 cal  1- 1/4" Bob Hoyt barrel and a homemade mule ear lock. Pretty massive and bulky gun, but lays still pretty good. It hits where you aim it, but for some reason with the exception of a couple of matches I never have been able to be as consistent with it as I would like. Maybe it's because I don't get to practice with it as much as I need to. So I've gone back to using my flint .40 and getting shorter strings. Everybody says that a bigger ball bucks the wind better, but I'm starting to wonder. We were shooting in a pretty good crosswind last month and I didn't see any more drift with the .40 than I do with my .50. My .40 is a GM 13/16 X42 with 1 in 48 twist. I shoot a .395 cast ball over 60 grs. fffg and a .018 ticking patch. My Hoyt barrel is taper bored .504 to .500 at the muzzle, 1 in63 twist. It is an excellent barrel but I need to spend way more time on the mat than I have been.

BTW, I'm shooting 80 grs. of ffg under a .500 cast ball and .018 patch in the .50.

TC, I'm not 100% sure about the bigger calibers being better or worse, someone who knows more than me will have to answer that. I've always been told that they are better for bucking wind. I do know that my shortest strings have been shot with a .40, some with the above mentioned flintlock and my best string was with a percussion with another .40 GM barrel. As for barrel length I agree that the longer the better at least as long as the load matches the length and the powder is being properly burned and the velocity is not being compromised by drag on the ball in a long barrel. A longer sight radius is good and if the barrel is supported as near the muzzle as possible any movement by the nut behind the butt will be minimal compared to a shorter gun or any length gun with the support nearer the breech. My own opinion is that a 4 foot barrel would be about ideal, but I don't have any real proof to back it up. I think the sight radius would be very workable, especially for older eyes where the rear sight would have to be farther forward and a moderate to slightly heavy powder charge would be fully consumed to get the best velocity for a midrange or large caliber. But that's my opinion and free, so you get what you pay for.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2013, 05:20:55 AM by Old Bob »

Offline T.C.Albert

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Re: Chunk Gun Caliber's - Revisited
« Reply #10 on: December 12, 2013, 04:56:44 AM »
For what its worth I had chunk gun stocked up by Karl Fisher around a Bowers under hammer action on a 48" DeHaas, .50 cal barrel. I was of the opinion that chunkers ought to traditionally be extra long and generally large calibered. But that idea could be all wrong too.
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Militant_Hillbilly

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Re: Chunk Gun Caliber's - Revisited
« Reply #11 on: December 12, 2013, 05:39:37 AM »
I've shot a .40 at the York for several years. I've debated moving up in caliber as well, but it seems like every time I think that, I'll shoot really good with the .40.

Robin, I had Wayne build me a .48 barrel. I've molded .470s for it, but Hornady makes .480s as well. I'll buy a box and see which it likes better.

Offline smokinbuck

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Re: Chunk Gun Caliber's - Revisited
« Reply #12 on: December 12, 2013, 06:00:24 AM »
I've shot chunk for a number of years and and have been using a 1 1/8" X 42" 1-48 ROT Green mountain .50 caliber barrel on a H&A action. Shot .495 ball with .015 pre lubed patch over 90 grains of 3F and did pretty good, considering I was the driver. Shooting in wind, rain and some sunshine I didn't see any great deal of difference in POI. For table shooting I have gone to a .40 caliber but the range is only half that of a chunk match and I think the .40 will carry well with a little more velocity. I used a Green Mountain 15/16" X 32" 1-48 ROT with .395 ball, .015 pre lubed patch over 55 grains of 3F with a TC stock and lock. Come Spring I will be using a 1 1/8" X 34" 1-56 ROT Ed Rayl barrel on a H&A action. They say that success is measured by results so I will have to get back with the next chapter in the Spring.
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Offline dagner

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Re: Chunk Gun Caliber's - Revisited
« Reply #13 on: December 12, 2013, 12:36:50 PM »
  almost no one shoots under a 45  .the wind flat kills a 40 cal . a few shoot 45 the infamous bevel brothers and getzs pushed this caliber. their are a few shooting the 48 magnum .the favorite chunk gun is the 50 cal  around 48 inches to 54 inches long - 1 1/ 4  to 1 1/2 flats or round. most of top shpoters are shooting  110 to 130 grains of swiss with Teflon. the big 54s in 1 1/2 flats are winning with
140 to 170 grainss of swiss. look up and down the line and you will find probably 80%  or better  are shooting 50 cal.   top shooters shooting  20 plus lb 50 cal  guns    30 lbs  for the 54  
dag

Offline Candle Snuffer

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Re: Chunk Gun Caliber's - Revisited
« Reply #14 on: December 12, 2013, 03:07:38 PM »
 almost no one shoots under a 45  .the wind flat kills a 40 cal . a few shoot 45 the infamous bevel brothers and getzs pushed this caliber. their are a few shooting the 48 magnum .the favorite chunk gun is the 50 cal  around 48 inches to 54 inches long - 1 1/ 4  to 1 1/2 flats or round. most of top shooters are shooting  110 to 130 grains of Swiss with Teflon. the big 54s in 1 1/2 flats are winning with
140 to 170 grains of Swiss. look up and down the line and you will find probably 80%  or better  are shooting 50 cal.   top shooters shooting  20 plus lb 50 cal  guns    30 lbs  for the 54  
dag

Sounds almost like an arms race with those heavy loads.  There's no weight limits on chunk guns that I know of, and with that being said, I have no desire to lug anything beyond 12 to 14 pounds - back and forth from the loading bench to the firing line.  I may follow up on the .45 caliber, or I may leave things as they are, dress up the stock a bit, and use my .40 caliber for (like Kermit said) the Table Shoots.  Which does look to be lots of fun.  And you can wear bib coveralls at either shoot...:)

Table Shoot;
http://americanlongrifles.org/forum/index.php?topic=28255.0
« Last Edit: December 12, 2013, 03:17:13 PM by Candle Snuffer »
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Offline Standing Bear

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Re: Chunk Gun Caliber's - Revisited
« Reply #15 on: December 12, 2013, 04:28:24 PM »
 almost no one shoots under a 45  .the wind flat kills a 40 cal . a few shoot 45 the infamous bevel brothers and getzs pushed this caliber. their are a few shooting the 48 magnum .the favorite chunk gun is the 50 cal  around 48 inches to 54 inches long - 1 1/ 4  to 1 1/2 flats or round. most of top shpoters are shooting  110 to 130 grains of swiss with Teflon. the big 54s in 1 1/2 flats are winning with
140 to 170 grainss of swiss. look up and down the line and you will find probably 80%  or better  are shooting 50 cal.   top shooters shooting  20 plus lb 50 cal  guns    30 lbs  for the 54  
dag

Sounds like those guys are getting into shooting log with bench rifles.  Pretty soon someone will show up with a 2" X 42" in 58 cal with a sealed ignition.  AND a false muzzle so they can swage a .600 ball into the .58 over 200 gr FFg.

Physics does indicate that a larger ball will resist wind better than a smaller one but that is if the two are the same MV.  A .40 doing 2,000+ fps MV  isn't in the wind for long at 100 yds or less.  But you still have to read wind, light and mirage with any of them.
Nothing is hard if you have the right equipment and know how to use it.  OR have friends who have both.

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Re: Chunk Gun Caliber's - Revisited
« Reply #16 on: December 12, 2013, 04:36:58 PM »
Hey Candle how have you been doing. I have a 50 cal underhammer I built for chunk shooting. And I have a 38 cal i am going to build for table shoots when I can get to it. Right now I am reqlly enjoying shooting the 50. I built my son in-law a 38 underhammer. I will have to say I am kinda jealous of the groups he is shooting? But I would say it is the young eyes making the difference not the calibre! LOL

Offline smokinbuck

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Re: Chunk Gun Caliber's - Revisited
« Reply #17 on: December 12, 2013, 04:53:33 PM »
Snuffer,
There's a lot of rifles on the chunk line that go in the 12-14# range and some f them do well. It depends on who's driving that bus. The table shoot rifles have an upper limit of 13# and you don't have to get up and down any farther  than a stool. Makes sense to a lot of us grey beards.
Mark
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Offline Candle Snuffer

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Re: Chunk Gun Caliber's - Revisited
« Reply #18 on: December 12, 2013, 04:59:32 PM »
Physics does indicate that a larger ball will resist wind better than a smaller one but that is if the two are the same MV.  A .40 doing 2,000+ fps MV  isn't in the wind for long at 100 yds or less.  But you still have to read wind, light and mirage with any of them.

I was thinking along these same lines, TC...  Low to the ground, maximum 60 yards,,, unless it's a hurricane wind - I can't see a drastic wind effect and even at that, you still play the wind with all shooting activities.

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Offline Candle Snuffer

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Re: Chunk Gun Caliber's - Revisited
« Reply #19 on: December 12, 2013, 05:02:07 PM »
Hey Candle how have you been doing. I have a 50 cal underhammer I built for chunk shooting. And I have a 38 cal i am going to build for table shoots when I can get to it. Right now I am reqlly enjoying shooting the 50. I built my son in-law a 38 underhammer. I will have to say I am kinda jealous of the groups he is shooting? But I would say it is the young eyes making the difference not the calibre! LOL

Hi Ken, I'm doing good my friend.  I'm itching to get back to some over the log shooting.  Its been awhile.  I'm going to visit with Jim Potter and see about us setting up both a "chunk match" and a "table shoot" in 2014.  As a side note, everyone seems to shoot my rifles better then me...lol,,, :)
« Last Edit: December 12, 2013, 05:10:49 PM by Candle Snuffer »
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Offline Candle Snuffer

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Re: Chunk Gun Caliber's - Revisited
« Reply #20 on: December 12, 2013, 05:09:51 PM »
Snuffer,
There's a lot of rifles on the chunk line that go in the 12-14# range and some f them do well. It depends on who's driving that bus. The table shoot rifles have an upper limit of 13# and you don't have to get up and down any farther  than a stool. Makes sense to a lot of us grey beards.
Mark

I really was thinking back when I built this rifle that the .40 cal was (at that time) considered one of the preferred calibers.  After Kermit mentioned that what I have now would be ideal for the Table Shoot's, I really like the idea of a Table Shoot...  The reason we stopped the over the log shooting at our club was simply - age... 
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Old Bob

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Re: Chunk Gun Caliber's - Revisited
« Reply #21 on: December 12, 2013, 06:27:20 PM »

Sounds like those guys are getting into shooting log with bench rifles.  Pretty soon someone will show up with a 2" X 42" in 58 cal with a sealed ignition.  AND a false muzzle so they can swage a .600 ball into the .58 over 200 gr FFg.



False muzzles and inlines are not allowed. I think the sealed ignition system as used on some bench guns may be. At least I think I've seen a few. We're also supposed to use only open sights, the rear sight being at least 6" from the breech. Now as for the front sight, that's getting kinda hinky. I'm seeing a lot of what I would call globe sights being used.

Offline Daryl

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Re: Chunk Gun Caliber's - Revisited
« Reply #22 on: December 12, 2013, 07:23:19 PM »
Hey Snuffer - my Goodoien .40 barrel makes the same size groups at 50 yards as-does my .45 GM barrel - whether using an oil lube or water based.
I see no difference at that range.  As I haven't benched either at 100 meters I can't say whether the .45 trumps the .40 or not, but at the longer ranges, I suspect it will.
With LHValley lube, the .40 really liked 65gr. 3F GOEX with either the .398" or .400" ball & .019" (tightly woven pocket drill) patch, but shot just as well (and cleanly) with 75gr. 2f GOEX with exactly the same recorded velocity- between 2,240fps and 2,260fps.  I suspect the 'sliptivity' (Taylor's word) of the LHV is likely responsible for the speed with that load - and the 42"(at that time) barrel.

Water based lubes allow less powder, but the slippery lubes, both LHV and Hoppe's #9 Plus demanded more powder or they would simply not group well.

Patches retrieved for examination showed they were re-usable - if one wished. That's a lot of speed, a lot of torque in the rifling - yet due to the tight fit, they patches were unharmed. I do not wipe the bore at any time while shooting at the range.  If it sits for a long period of time between loadings due to palaver with other shooters, I'll dump in a 30 or 40gr. charge and a VERY Spit-wet patched ball, load and fire that - the barrel is then as easy to load as usual - 2 meaty fingers on the rod. ;)

My .45 GM, also 42" bl. liked that lube as well.  75gr. of 3f GOEX with .445" and 10 ounce denim (.0225") along with 85gr. 2FGOEX produced just over 2,200fps and also shot those "all-the-balls-touching groups" off the bags at 50 yards. That was on a 4" black bullseye. If I enlarged the aiming point, the groups then got larger - go figure.
Daryl

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mmprwarner

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Re: Chunk Gun Caliber's - Revisited
« Reply #23 on: December 12, 2013, 07:26:12 PM »
Thanks for the pictures that's a nice-looking piece at 12 5/8 pounds looks like it would make a wonderful table gun on still days. Could make a wonderful chunk gun looks like it be fun to play with anyway, having seen a lot of chunk gun score crossed the line. You see some 45s. Lots of 50s, and some 54, though seem to be the three calibers that are really hanging in there. You see if you 40s, very seldom if ever anything smaller than that. And I've seen some stuff up in the 58 range, but very seldom. Most of the time. It seems like the real serious log shooter stays with one of those three primary calibers. A few years back 48 caliber made a run at a at a row close friend who had one. Unfortunately, the ore was actually 48 so the 480 ball that Hornaday made with any kind of patch was like trying to put a peck and a half into a peck basket. At any rate, it looks like you have a nice rifle and now you have managed to get me in the mood, guess where my teeth will stop chattering outside. I'm probably going to have to head out set up the table and shoot something.

Offline smokinbuck

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Re: Chunk Gun Caliber's - Revisited
« Reply #24 on: December 12, 2013, 07:35:59 PM »
Robin,
If you get out to the range, make sure you kill a couple of spiders for me.
Mark
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