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Thread: 54 cal with 1-63 twist

  1. #1
    Boolit Master lead chucker's Avatar
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    54 cal with 1-63 twist

    Got my rifle barrel back from Hoyt, had it made into a 54 with 1-63 twist. It seems you have to load it pretty hot to get it to shoot good. 70-90 gr of black with tight patched ball accuracy wasnt what i expected. I get up to 100 gr and every thing tightened up. That long twist you must have to load hot to get it to shoot good. It was a little hard on the shoulder. I have only tried 3f. I was using a mag spark with 209 primer. Going to try 2f next trip out. This is a TC Hawkin with 28 inch barrel. I was shooting three shot strings and then cleaning. That mag spark is pretty slick. Shot it 32 times and not one failure to fire. Any one here have the same results with a long twist?
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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by lead chucker View Post
    Got my rifle barrel back from Hoyt, had it made into a 54 with 1-63 twist. It seems you have to load it pretty hot to get it to shoot good. 70-90 gr of black with tight patched ball accuracy wasnt what i expected. I get up to 100 gr and every thing tightened up. That long twist you must have to load hot to get it to shoot good. It was a little hard on the shoulder. I have only tried 3f. I was using a mag spark with 209 primer. Going to try 2f next trip out. This is a TC Hawkin with 28 inch barrel. I was shooting three shot strings and then cleaning. That mag spark is pretty slick. Shot it 32 times and not one failure to fire. Any one here have the same results with a long twist?
    I have a 87 vintage CVA 28"with a 66 twist - bought new about 1993 - I started out with 120 grains of FF - used a 1"backer patch on the powder then a calico patch on the 530 ball - that was a slick load but the thing was insanely accurate so I kept doing it - poorly shaped stock - 7pound gun - it belted my cheek something awful - and eventually I backed it off - made a new stock for it - better shape and a bit heavier, shooting 100grains FF now and a cotton drill patch - its still accurate .
    FWIW - I reckon CVA got the dimensions and twist of those earlier barrels as near to perfect as could be - the rifling appears to be a bit shallower than most - I have a couple of Green mountain barrels - they are as accurate but not near as versatile as the CVA's I have had - seems to take a stiffer load to get the GM to shoot where the CVA will digest anything you feed it from light plinker to full house - others will argue this but I have had a dozen of those early CVA's and they were all top notch accurate and versatile (easy to get shooting) If your Hoyt barrel has deeper rifling that could be the difference - also it will be a different gun after you get a couple hundred down it .
    * Dont be too fussed with a tight patch as long as it is not burning up (no holes in the shot patch)
    * Use wet moose milk patches for your practice and shoot the heck out of it till you get that 200 done. Should be able to shoot till you get sick of it on the range or at practice without fouling out.

    That wet patch idea is not gonna work for you for a hunting load though
    Last edited by indian joe; 05-16-2019 at 10:33 AM.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master lead chucker's Avatar
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    What is Moose Milk i heard of it but not sure whats in it.
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    Boolit Master Nobade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lead chucker View Post
    What is Moose Milk i heard of it but not sure whats in it.
    Water soluble cutting oil or ballistol in water. Looks like milk but tastes awful.

    I have a Hoyt rebored 58 Cal renegade. Same deal, it doesn't shoot well with light charges but get it up to 110 grains or so and it's a tack driver. I figure it's just right for a hunting rifle. That's with PRB.
    "Quemadmoeum gladis nemeinum occidit, occidentis telum est."

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    Boolit Buddy
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    A 1-63 twist is not an excessively slow roundball twist for a .54, UNLESS you have a short barrel as in TC Hawken or Renegade. Then, you need more powder to get enough spin on the ball.

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    Boolit Master lead chucker's Avatar
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    Are most guys using 2 f with the 54 hot loads. I have cutting oil do you mix it with water or how. The stuff i have is water soluble. I have been using a bees wax olive oil mix for my patch lube. With 90 gr 3f i can get 3 shots before it starts to get real hard to get a ball down the barrel. I hope to get out and try the 2f this weekend.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by lead chucker View Post
    Are most guys using 2 f with the 54 hot loads. I have cutting oil do you mix it with water or how. The stuff i have is water soluble. I have been using a bees wax olive oil mix for my patch lube. With 90 gr 3f i can get 3 shots before it starts to get real hard to get a ball down the barrel. I hope to get out and try the 2f this weekend.
    yeah I use FF in the 54
    I use 5 parts water to 1 part oil -- a lot of guys use it more watery - soak the patches in a screw top jar and then I squeeze em out till they not drippy but still wet just as I load.
    your beeswax and oil lube will do better for hunting - a wet moose milk patch will migrate water into the powder over time

  8. #8
    Boolit Master lead chucker's Avatar
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    Thanks for the reply's it helps a lot.
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    Quote Originally Posted by lead chucker View Post
    Are most guys using 2 f with the 54 hot loads. I have cutting oil do you mix it with water or how. The stuff i have is water soluble. I have been using a bees wax olive oil mix for my patch lube. With 90 gr 3f i can get 3 shots before it starts to get real hard to get a ball down the barrel. I hope to get out and try the 2f this weekend.
    Get rid of that lube, and use Moose Milk.Shoot all day with the same bore condition every time. The beeswax WILL build up in the bore.
    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.
    John Taylor - "African Rifles and Cartridges"

    Forget everything you know about loading jacketed bullets. This is a whole new ball game!


  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by waksupi View Post
    Get rid of that lube, and use Moose Milk.Shoot all day with the same bore condition every time. The beeswax WILL build up in the bore.
    told him that right at the start been tellin my guys at home too - but they keep buyin fancy label horse liniment stuff and they keep fouling out after six or seven shots ---and keep tellin em --- and ...........
    I think the whole moose milk thing is just too simple or too cheap or it works too good or somethin.....?

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    Boolit Master FrontierMuzzleloading's Avatar
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    One thing about the hoyt barrels is that you should spend some timing polishing them smooth. If it wants a heavy powder charge, feed the beast as long as it is accurate.

    Moose milk is fine, but the olive oil/beeswax is just as good when it comes to accuracy and especially the winner when it comes to hunting.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master lead chucker's Avatar
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    Indian joe i took your advice with the moose milk and it worked great better than expected.The patches were soaked in it. I squeezed the excess off between my fingers and loaded. I found a couple of my patches and it looked like i could reuse them. I will save my other patches for hunting. I'm going to try the moose milk in my little 32 rifle. It sure is a lot easier to get the ball down the barrel.
    Dont pee down my back and tell me its raining.

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    Quote Originally Posted by indian joe View Post
    told him that right at the start been tellin my guys at home too - but they keep buyin fancy label horse liniment stuff and they keep fouling out after six or seven shots ---and keep tellin em --- and ...........
    I think the whole moose milk thing is just too simple or too cheap or it works too good or somethin.....?
    That must be it. In cold weather shooting like we do in the winter, the beeswax lube will put you totally out of business after a couple shots, until you can warm the barrel enough to get the ball down. Good reason to not use it for hunting, either. A moose milk patch left to dry out works just fine for the purpose. For winter blend moose milk, I use winter windshield washer fluid instead of water. A gallon of water soluble oil makes anywhere from 7-12 gallons of patch lube, for around $15. I'm still on my first gallon I bought years ago, and still have a lot left.
    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.
    John Taylor - "African Rifles and Cartridges"

    Forget everything you know about loading jacketed bullets. This is a whole new ball game!


  14. #14
    Boolit Master Nobade's Avatar
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    That's a good tip. I knew some guys wipe their cartridge rifles with RV antifreeze so making moose milk out of it makes sense.
    "Quemadmoeum gladis nemeinum occidit, occidentis telum est."

  15. #15
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    ? 100 grs. of FFFg in a .54 ? Ouch ! I tend to use FFg in .54's and up. YMMV.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by waksupi View Post
    That must be it. In cold weather shooting like we do in the winter, the beeswax lube will put you totally out of business after a couple shots, until you can warm the barrel enough to get the ball down. Good reason to not use it for hunting, either. A moose milk patch left to dry out works just fine for the purpose. For winter blend moose milk, I use winter windshield washer fluid instead of water. A gallon of water soluble oil makes anywhere from 7-12 gallons of patch lube, for around $15. I'm still on my first gallon I bought years ago, and still have a lot left.
    We dont have the cold weather problem -- we might shoot in 36 - 40 degree F once a year - that would be it.
    I wuz gunna suggest the dried out moose milk patch for hunting but have not done it myself for ages - its what I do for walkthrough shoots tho and if the loading gets a bit tight all ya gotta do is a little bit of spit on the thing just to dampen it a bit.

  17. #17
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    I've been using Ballistol and water for years on the whole gun, bore, all metal and wood and it works good for me. Try using 2F. That 3F load sounds a bit too hot. You should break in the barrel with about 200 shots. You could use JB Bore Paste on a patch and polish the bore a bit too. If you use JB Bore Paste, be sure to clean the bore first before shooting.
    Last edited by Buzzard II; 05-21-2019 at 09:13 AM.
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    Boolit Master northmn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FrontierMuzzleloading View Post
    One thing about the hoyt barrels is that you should spend some timing polishing them smooth. If it wants a heavy powder charge, feed the beast as long as it is accurate.

    Moose milk is fine, but the olive oil/beeswax is just as good when it comes to accuracy and especially the winner when it comes to hunting.
    Back when, when I used to build muzzle loaders many spent time lapping barrels before shooting them. Numrich made a cheaper barrel and there was kind of a saying around that the only difference between the Douglas and the Numrich was a couple of hundred rounds. I had noticed that after shooting a few rifles for a season that it helped to change the patch/ball combination. Usually to a tighter one.

    Got involved in quite a discussion on the Longrifles site on twist rate. Some very experienced shooters and one barrel maker felt that it was an overrated issue. Getz was the barrel maker at the time and felt that most barrels could be made 1-48. The advantages of slower twist were not all that much and often did not show by using heavier powder charges. The TC Hawken barrels of the time were "compromise" barrels that were 1-48 twist but a bit shallower than typical round ball barrels to accommodate the slugs getting popular at the time. I think there is something to it, but roundball's are not all that fussy.
    Tried to load the picture of the 25 squirrel rifle I built but it is giving problems. That barrel has a 1-48 inch twist which has the same angle of rifling as a 1-96 in a 50. It takes a powder charge of 18 grains of 3f which is very close to the weight of the ball at about 23 grains (#3 buckshot) I would prefer 4f but even with its small touchhole 4f is self priming. I mention this because that is common with squirrel rifle barrels, a very slow twist for the bore and a heavy charge requirement. I had a couple of 32's that when using accurate loads hot about like a 22mag hollow point. Also, as others have discussed, fouling control is a primary issue in muzzle loaders where one does a lot of continuous shooting. The alchemy behind lubes has been discussed for years with Moose Milk a top contender. Spit is also very popular. When hunting with the little 25 I just take along some cleaning supplies an clean it between shots. It also does very well with Graf's Schuetzen powder. GOEX gives a hotter load but all I am shooting at is squirrels. I still get 1680 ave. on the chronograph. Powders play a part as well as lube. When I started building we had mostly GOEX. Now there are more types and variety. Swiss is a popular cleaner burning powder also.

    DEP

  19. #19
    Boolit Master Bad Ass Wallace's Avatar
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    A friend has just bought a 54cal Hawken and knows nothing about the black arts. Today I cast some Lyman 425gn Minnies and made a short starter in the workshop! I'm informed the only powder he has is 4F, this is going to be interesting.

    Hold Still Varmint; while I plugs Yer!

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bad *** Wallace View Post
    A friend has just bought a 54cal Hawken and knows nothing about the black arts. Today I cast some Lyman 425gn Minnies and made a short starter in the workshop! I'm informed the only powder he has is 4F, this is going to be interesting.

    Wallace--- that is a bad idea from any angle you look
    Minies over FFFFg in a 54 - could be the only blackpowder shot he ever fires !!!!

    Give the guy some FFF powder and start him with a slack fitting round ball - we need more happy blackpowder shooters in this country - do not need anymore headlines in the paper about blown up guns.

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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