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  #1  
Old 01-05-2012, 09:34 AM
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Hornady Great Plains bullets


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Looking for some input from guys that shoot this bullet a lot. I have a T/C .54 cal Hawken and these things are all over the paper at 50 yards. I suspect that even though I have been cleaning between shots for fouling, that barrel leading might be a factor. Hornady has a load listed of 110 gr. of Pyrodex with the 390 gr GPB and I have tried everything from 80 grains all the way up and still not getting any accuracy. Do you think that it takes the heavier charge to flare out the base of the bullet and get a good seal? The patched RB loads weren't doing well either so I am going to try a good cleaning to see if leading is the problem as this gun shot well at one time with RB. Mainly a hog gun so I feel better shooting the conicals over the RB. Tried Pyrodex and 777 and neither did very well. Thanks for any advice you might have in advance.
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  #2  
Old 01-05-2012, 10:31 AM
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I dont know much about those bullets...however I will say from 90-100 grains of Pyrodex RS, my .54 renegade loves the big 430 grain maxiballs...and the round balls shoot great in that range as well...

I would start all the way down at 70 grains, shoot, swab barrel, shoot, swab, shoot, swab, and see where that puts you...and then work your way up...I believe Cayugad said he hunted with a guy that used 70 grains and a maxiball and it did wonders on deer...just a thought
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  #3  
Old 01-05-2012, 12:24 PM
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I have a .54 T/C Hawkens that shoots great with T/C maxie Balls and Lee REAL bullets. I cast my own, so the T/C Maxie is 400 grains and the Lee REAL is 380 grains. I use 90 grains of Pyrodex Rs or Goex FFg. Both will give me one inch groups at 50 yards, without swabbing between shots. I have heard good things about the Hornady 450 grain Great Plains Bullet, but nothing about a 390 grainer. Each rifle is different and likes different loads. May just want to try another conical.
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  #4  
Old 01-05-2012, 04:05 PM
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I've never shot the GP either, but I also cast my own 400 grn maxi's and they do real well. I would say under an 1 1/2inch at 100yds. I could do better with a scope. I use Pyrodex at 120grns.
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  #5  
Old 01-05-2012, 04:06 PM
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I forgot to add, the holes are nice and round too.
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  #6  
Old 01-05-2012, 07:55 PM
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My uncle had a .54 Investarms Hawken and shot the 425 gr. Great Plains with 110 gr. Pyrodex and it shot great.
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  #7  
Old 01-05-2012, 09:23 PM
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I tried to get my .54 [Lyman] to shoot conicals. It was O.K. but not as accurate as the Patched round ball.

One thing I did notice an over powder wad shrunk the groups. At first I was using 1/2 a square of ordinary toilet paper then later purchased a wad punch and punched wads out of gasket material and even cardboard cereal boxes. I tried R.E.A.L home cast slugs as well as Great Plains slugs. The Great Plains slugs were more accurate. The rifles I was testing were 1" twist in 48". Not the best conical twist.

Mind you the OP wad shrinks groups with the patched round ball as well. Might be worth a try.
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  #8  
Old 01-06-2012, 06:55 AM
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Just some thooughts. I have a lot of ML and have never had good luck with the sabot bullets, especially in T/C rifles. The Great Plains is like all the sabots, a pistol bullet inside a plastic wad; but it actually has tapered sides to the sabot. I've always had a difficult time getting the proper fit for my rifles, either to loose or two tight. Hornady like all manufacturer makes these as on size fits all...it doesn't work that way. For accuracy yoou need a good fit; and you must get that sabot all the way down on the powder or you have extra air/volume.

I got a set of inside gages and mic the bores on my rifle, then use a cloth patched RB for deer. For hogs or black bear, I use minnie balls that I cast and size if necessary to fit the particular rifle. The cast lead minnie are also heavier than most of the sabot/pistol bullets that are a smaller diameter than your bore.

Never had great accuracy with the T/C Maxi or the REAL; that are oversized and engrave in the rifling on loading.

Just my experience.
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  #9  
Old 03-02-2012, 12:38 AM
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Had a T/C hawken in 54. It loved the big Maxi's and the 425 GPS too!
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  #10  
Old 03-02-2012, 06:50 AM
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The one thing I discovered about muzzle loaders is, what shoots well in one rifle is not a guarantee it will shoot well in a similar rifle. Most of the TC rifles in traditional I own, shoot the maxi ball very well. The maxi hunter not so well. And I hunt with a 300 grain real conical. Never underestimate a round ball. While not heavy, why I have no idea, but they kill things.
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  #11  
Old 03-07-2012, 07:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pistolpete View Post
Looking for some input from guys that shoot this bullet a lot. I have a T/C .54 cal Hawken and these things are all over the paper at 50 yards. I suspect that even though I have been cleaning between shots for fouling, that barrel leading might be a factor. Hornady has a load listed of 110 gr. of Pyrodex with the 390 gr GPB and I have tried everything from 80 grains all the way up and still not getting any accuracy. Do you think that it takes the heavier charge to flare out the base of the bullet and get a good seal? The patched RB loads weren't doing well either so I am going to try a good cleaning to see if leading is the problem as this gun shot well at one time with RB. Mainly a hog gun so I feel better shooting the conicals over the RB. Tried Pyrodex and 777 and neither did very well. Thanks for any advice you might have in advance.
I have always observed that when using conicals in any of my muzzle loaders that the addition of a lubed, caliber sized Wonder Wad improved accuacy. IIRC, the T/C Hawken has a 1:48 rate of twist, which should shoot both PRB and conicals well. Every rifle is an individual though, and some just seem to like one or the other and not both, but that's usually the exception. If I am wrong and your rifle has a slow twist, like 1:60 then it might not ever group conicals very well. However, a .54 sized PRB is plenty for even large hogs as well as the biggest whitetail deer so I would suggest that you try working up the most accurate load using traditional black powder such as Goex. My .54 has a 1:48 ROT and is very accurate using 85 grains of 2f Goex pushing a .530 RB patched with .018 pillow ticking lubed with a mix of olive oil and beeswax. Start with some pre-cut & lubed .015 patches, .530 RB and 60 grains of 2f (Goex if you can get it). Shoot three times, aiming at the same point on the target set at 50 yards. Increase by 5 grains, shoot three times, repeat until your groups get nice and tight, then you've found the best powder charge for your rifle. Do not adjust, file or change your sights, lube or patch thickness until you have found the best powder charge. It is only after you find how much powder it likes do you want to start fine tuning things. Thicker/thinner patches, different lube, ball diameter and filing your sights come later., have confidence in the RB as a game getter. For lead removal and general bore polishing I highly recommend JB's bore paste.
Good luck and have fun, I hope this helps.
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