Author Topic: Starting load for a 54 caliber flintlock  (Read 490 times)

Offline Glenn Hurley Jr.

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Starting load for a 54 caliber flintlock
« on: May 19, 2020, 09:28:07 PM »
In a little while, I will be starting to work up 2 loads- one for target shooting and one for hunting deer.  The rifle is a 54 caliber “memory” gun, (no photos only what my cousin and I can remember) .  It has an Ed Rayl  42” round bottom grooved barrel, and single trigger.  I plan on shooting patched round balls with 2F powder, a first for me.  I have used 3f powder exclusively in my 50 caliber rifle with really good results.  But I don’t know exactly what grain of 2f I should start with.  I appreciate your starting me on the right foot with this new rifle.  Forgot to mentionI will be using Goex powder.
Best regards,
Glenn Hurley Jr.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2020, 09:33:14 PM by Glenn Hurley Jr. »

Offline flintlock hunter

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Re: Starting load for a 54 caliber flintlock
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2020, 10:57:19 PM »
I pretty much shoot 54 cal. for everything, target, hunting and plinking. Mine all seem to like around 60 grs. for target and anywhere from 90 to 120 for deer hunting. And I have guns with Getz, green mountain and colerain barrels. I use 530 balls for hunting and 535 for target. In my opinion 54s seem very forgiving. Hope this helps a little.
Barry

Online smylee grouch

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Re: Starting load for a 54 caliber flintlock
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2020, 11:14:30 PM »
Your best load for any type of shooting will be found in load development and keeping track of results. Starting loads with any gun can be  one grain of powder per cal. and Shoot it and record it. Then increase 5 gr. and shoot and record, etc. etc. Only change one variable at a time. Also try different lubes and patching, shooting and recording one variable at a time.

Offline Daryl

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Re: Starting load for a 54 caliber flintlock
« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2020, 01:55:07 AM »
Because our target shooting involves a lot of shooting at 75 to 110 yards, I'd start at 80/85gr. 2F and that would likely do the trick to the 110yard range
if using a .005" undersized ball and a 10oz. (.0225") denim patch.
Right off the bat, I started with 85gr. 2F in my 'newer' .50 and it shoots very well with that load (.495" ball and 10oz. denim).
If I were to hunt with that .50 rifle, I'd likely experiment all the way up to about 110gr. to 120gr. 2F with an oil or greased patch, going up in 10gr. increments.
It would not take long to find out what shoots best.
If it was a .54. I'd likely be using 85gr. to 95gr. 2F for target shooting on the trail and 120 to 125gr. for hunting moose/elk, etc.
Daryl

"a gun without hammers is like a spaniel without ears" King George V

Offline Keith Zimmerman

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Re: Starting load for a 54 caliber flintlock
« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2020, 03:24:33 AM »
I shoot 55gr 2F with a .530 ball and .010th patch with a felt wad between patch and powder for target.  I bump it up to 80 gr for deer.

Offline Glenn Hurley Jr.

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Re: Starting load for a 54 caliber flintlock
« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2020, 04:20:26 AM »
Thanks to all for your input.

Best regards,
Glenn

Offline Daniel Coats

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Re: Starting load for a 54 caliber flintlock
« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2020, 04:23:35 AM »
One load of 80 grains for everything including a one shot moose kill.
Dan

"Ain't no nipples on a man's rifle"

Offline MuskratMike

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Re: Starting load for a 54 caliber flintlock
« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2020, 04:31:39 AM »
Well the 'ol "Muskrat" has just got to go against the flow on this post.
 Before you go out and buy that 2F why not use 3F? Like many I believe the .54 is one of the finest hunting calibers going. My favorite .54 is my Lowell Haarer custom made hunting rifle. I went with a 37-inch swamped Rice barrel (for ease on carrying on a horse), Jim Chambers late Ketland lock and custom double set triggers. Normally I do not have a separate "paper" load and hunting load but for this one I do. For paper I use 60 grains of Goex 3F, a .530 round ball with a .018 ticking patch either spit lube or pure Neatsfoot oil. For hunting I use 75 grains of Goex 3F with the same patch and again Neatsfoot oiled patches (never use spit on actual hunting loads). I get 1685 f.p.s. which is the same as 92 grains of Goex 2F. I have tried every combination of loads, patches, and lubes. This has always been a winner for me.
Feel free to message me if you have any further questions or just reply on this thread.
"Muskrat" Mike McGuire
Keep your eyes on the skyline, your flint sharp and powder dry.

Offline Not English

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Re: Starting load for a 54 caliber flintlock
« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2020, 05:16:03 AM »
Like Muskrat Mike, i shoot 3F. I think it fouls less. I agree that it is one of the best hunting and shooting calibers, good ballistics per weight. I started with 80 gr. at 50 yds and the rifle was dead on first time shot. I saw no reason to experiment further. I do have a small jaeger style folding leaf rear sight that i filed to shoot dead on at 100 yds. I'm happy with it and have been shooting it pretty regularly since the early '90's.

Offline Not English

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Re: Starting load for a 54 caliber flintlock
« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2020, 05:21:50 AM »
I forgot to mention that I shoot .535 round balls with .010 cotton cloth (not pillow ticking). I don't believe in different loads for paper and hunting, it just complicates things.

Offline walks with gun

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Re: Starting load for a 54 caliber flintlock
« Reply #10 on: May 20, 2020, 05:46:18 AM »
   50 grains is usually a great place to start, you can work up from there.  40gr.s makes a decent small game load.

Offline Daryl

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Re: Starting load for a 54 caliber flintlock
« Reply #11 on: May 22, 2020, 08:32:21 PM »
Like Muskrat Mike, i shoot 3F. I think it fouls less. I agree that it is one of the best hunting and shooting calibers, good ballistics per weight. I started with 80 gr. at 50 yds and the rifle was dead on first time shot. I saw no reason to experiment further. I do have a small jaeger style folding leaf rear sight that i filed to shoot dead on at 100 yds. I'm happy with it and have been shooting it pretty regularly since the early '90's.

I have heard often, here and elsewhere, where guys say this or that powder fouls less.  I've never experienced this myself, since switching (back in the mid 1970's) to the load combinations
we still use to this day. That generic combination is a ball that is .005" smaller than the bore and a .020" to .0225" patch, usually denim = easy loading.
There is no fouling buildup, no noticeable fouling at any time, whether using 3F or 2F or even 1F. The gun loads the same, shot to shot, no wiping, no matter what powder granulation is used
thus there is no 'fouling' noticed.
Daryl

"a gun without hammers is like a spaniel without ears" King George V

Offline lou helsel

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Re: Starting load for a 54 caliber flintlock
« Reply #12 on: May 23, 2020, 02:35:32 AM »
 By the book----diameter cubed times 1502.6 equals bullet weight in grains===bullet weight divided by 7 times 3 equals starting charge for rifle.                            Example--.530 RB is 95.87 gr.powder however nothing is said about granulation.   My deer gun is 54 flint, i started with 90 grains and settled on 95.            Lou Helsel

Offline elk killer

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Re: Starting load for a 54 caliber flintlock
« Reply #13 on: May 23, 2020, 12:41:51 PM »
Just shoot 80 grs of fff for everything, killed lots of elk with that load, even prime with 3 fff simple and effective
only flintlocks remain interesting..