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Thread: what size round ball for 54 cal

  1. #1
    Boolit Master


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    what size round ball for 54 cal

    I have a friend that has a 54 cal muzzle loader and is looking for a round ball mold for it..I think he needs a .530 right ?

  2. #2
    Boolit Master pietro's Avatar
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    Yes, .530" RB, but he will most likely need to play with patch thickness for optimum performance vs optimum loading effort.

    Loads start at 55gr FFg, and can run up to 120gr FFg - the lower loadings for range work, the heaviest loads for a T-Rex, and the in-between loads for most medium-to-large game.

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  3. #3
    Boolit Master scattershot's Avatar
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    Depends on the rifle. My T/C has shallow rifling, and likes a thin patch with a .535 ball. Bottom line, though, a .530 will work well in pretty much anything.
    Last edited by scattershot; 05-06-2018 at 11:26 PM.

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    My T/C Hawkins likes a 0.535 also with pillow ticking and bore butter.
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  5. #5
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    I'm running a .535, with a thin patch in my 2 TC Renegades. .530 would work with a thicker patch.

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    Boolit Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    In my T/C I get good results with a .535 ball cast 1:40 tin-lead, with 0.011" muslin pocket drill patching, dry lubed with 1:4 Lee case lube and water, soak, knead and then let dry, then store in your possibles bag. Good start charge is 80 grains of 2Fg, up to 120 grains max.
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  7. #7
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    Thanks! for all the info..You fellows really get into those muzzle loaders, it is very interesting. You guys make those rifles just sing and make it look easy.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master

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    535 is too tight for my T/C gun. I had to go with a .530. It would be better if he bought some RBs first to try. Better a little too small than too big.
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  9. #9
    Boolit Master


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    Very true, I'll do some checking on that

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    Befor buying a mold, buy a box of .530 and one of .535 and see which works best -or post a WTB here and see if someone could furnish you with 25 or so of each size to trY. I no longer have a .54 nor my mold -I used .530- or I would cast you some to try.

  11. #11
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    randy
    what no has mentioned is who made the muzzleloader you friend has, yes it might matter as over the years I have seen .54 caliber muzzleloaders that took a .520 to .535 diameter round ball. As to a good fit find a round ball that is slightly smaller than the bore and then play with what patching material is best, might be pillow ticking, might be regular bed sheet material or something totally different. Many say you can't shoot 3f in a .54 caliber but it works just remember to use 10-15% less powder. Try several different brands of powder no it is not all the same, even the new non black powder is not all the same. Cleaning is the easiest as all you need is hot water, some dish soap, a right size jag, a piece of cloth and your all set. Also make sure that rifle is not loaded before you do anything, many end up being loaded and put away and forgotten about. Caps are another thing to play with no they are not all the same either. In the past I have used CCI both regular and magnum, Remington, RWS and others and found for me I liked the CCI's the best if they fit on the nipple another thing to be aware of. All of this just makes it more fun to shoot muzzleloaders as there are so many things to be aware of. Also look at your patches after you fire the rifle. See if they are torn, nice cross patching of patch or if they are burnt.
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  12. #12
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    Don't forget to mark the ramrod so you know where it should be with powder and ball seated.If your buddy wants some .530 rb sent give me his address on PM.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master Texas by God's Avatar
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    I have a T/C Renegade and a Lyman Plains Pistol and use .530 with pillow ticking.

  14. #14
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    In my Browning Mountain Rifle I use a .520 ball with a .020 patch. Using a .530 ball and thinner patch always cuts the patch.

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    On custom barrels, I find that .526 has been the best for me.
    The solid soft lead bullet is undoubtably the best and most satisfactory expanding bullet that has ever been designed. It invariably mushrooms perfectly, and never breaks up. With the metal base that is essential for velocities of 2000 f.s. and upwards to protect the naked base, these metal-based soft lead bullets are splendid.
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    Forget everything you know about loading jacketed bullets. This is a whole new ball game!


  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    I have a 1841 rifle that is relined. it shoots .526 and .018 patch the best.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check