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Thread: New to muzzle loading have a few questions

  1. #1
    Boolit Mold
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    Cool New to muzzle loading have a few questions



    i have a 1980's cva hawken 54cal and i'm trying to find a good load for (triple 7 fffg & .530 round ball/pillow patch) (the guy i got it from said his load for this rifle was "60gr fffg and .530 rb") the only data i can find is for 2ff powder... Is there a chart for fffg with .530 ball? Any and all help is greatly appreciated...

    Thanks,

  2. #2
    Moderator Emeritus / Trusted loob groove dealer

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    If you are talking real black, anywhere from 65 to 130 3fff grains will make it perk to different strengths. Around 65-75 3f should fill your purposes. For 2FF, add 15-20 grains for equivalent velocity, and more fouling. Stick to 3FFF.
    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!


  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    My favorite load for 54 cal is 60gr FFF. It's acçurate and mild recoil. It also make a pound of powder last a little longer. 60gr will ring steel @50 yds with athourity.
    " If you cant do it with a 308 , you dont need to do it!

  4. #4
    Boolit Master

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    From the 1983 TC manual ...

    Click image for larger version. 

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    "Owning a handgun doesn't make you armed any more than owning a guitar makes you a musician." - Jeff Cooper

  5. #5
    Boolit Buddy
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    It's worth repeating.

    Triple 7 FFFg powder charges will be different than True Black Powder FFFg powder charges. They are not interchangeable.


    Also, keep in mind that black powder loads are by VOLUME, not by weight.

  6. #6
    Boolit Mold
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    Thank you all for chiming in... All noted...

  7. #7
    Boolit Bub
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    I will say, I just purchased my first muzzleloader in January (as an aside, now I have two.) Youtube, surprisingly, has been a wealth of good information. Of course, you still need to keep the BS meter close by, but overall it has been a good learning experience.

  8. #8
    Boolit Mold
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    Yes i had a inline black powder but used pyrodex pellets so it was easier to load... But yes i have the meter on hi...

  9. #9
    Boolit Bub
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    Kimbo, I’m old enough to remember when the prevailing wisdom was that fffg was for rifles under .45 caliber. Like 40 caliber and less. Sam Fadala preached this doctrine from all 25 or so editions of his Blackpowder loading manuals. He also warned that it could spike pressures into dangerous territory.
    Fast forward 60 years and every swingin Richard is convinced that ffg is only for hyper cautious sissy boys and then in truly large bores. Say, .62 on up. In truth, they both work well but your rifle should be the final judge. Generally, again, you could use 3f and gain a few fps over the same volume of 2f but if your rifle prefers 2f it would make sense to use it, assuming you’re satisfied with the velocity that it provides.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master

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    i use swiss 3f in the tube and pan for flintlock rifles and smoothbores with bores from .32 to .62 and they all shoot just fine with consistent accuracy. why 3f? only one horn needed.
    "Owning a handgun doesn't make you armed any more than owning a guitar makes you a musician." - Jeff Cooper

  11. #11
    Ditto, 3f in 45 to 58.

    I have the same CVA Hawken in 54 and it humms with 70 gr of Scheutzen 3f. Trip 7 is going to be a whole different set of rules. Fifty grains by volume would probably be a good place to start.

    T7 takes more heat to ignite than the black and some shooters experience hangfires and slower ignition.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    I'm a little older school. I use FFg for .50's & up, and FFFg for less than .50's. I'm happy with it that way. YMMV

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    We proly gonna see as much variation in pressure and velocity between (say) Swiss and Scheutzen (of same kernel size) .....as we will see between FFFg and FFg in any one brand ..its not that critical for normal loads in a modern gun.......however the reduced pressure from coarser powder in an antique is worth considering.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    Best advice I ever got was "let the rifle tell you". Be that smokeless handloads or muzzleloaders.
    "In general, the art of government is to take as much money as possible from one class of citizens and give it to another class of citizens" Voltaire'

    The common virtue of capitalism is the sharing of equal opportunity. The common vice of socialism is the equal sharing of misery

    NRA Benefactor 2008

  15. #15
    Boolit Grand Master

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    There is also the old adage that you have to shoot pure lead only. No hard lead. Pure is probably the best but If all you have is hard lead, it does fine too. Proper size fit, patch and ball combo is more important.
    Aim small, miss small!

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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