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  #1  
Old 12-09-2012, 01:15 PM
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50 cal flintlock


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I acquired a custom made 50 cal flintlock years ago but I never shot it. What is a good load for this gun. It is a J Garner built gun and is sturdy and strong. I assume I will be shooting a round ball.
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Old 12-09-2012, 01:53 PM
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50 cal RB are usually about .490 and weigh about 175 grains;Barrels vary in diameter and the patch material you use will make a difference. about 100-130 grains of FF or FFFG black powder is a good starting load. Personally I like Pyrodex which loads the same volume as Black Powder. When I load anything except black powder, I use a small 5gr charge of FFFFg down the barrel first as 'starter' charge then the full charge. I like .015 thick cotton patch material and lube it with Crisco (I like the smell).

You will need FFFG as your pan powder.
Lyman makes a nice Black Powder Handbook... lots of info.

Lots of new pellets of black powder substitutes are readily available...but I've been shooting black powder and Pyrodex so long, olde F***s don't change. But, again, you will need a 'starter' charge of FFFFG if you use anything but BP.



I quit doing the rendezvous thing about 10 years ago, so I just shoot and hunt with my flintlocks (squirrels, deer, ducks). I've probably killed over 15 whitetails with my flintlock; three while on snow shoes.

Enjoy, flints are great fun to hunt, shoot, and play with.
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  #3  
Old 12-09-2012, 04:25 PM
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GlenS,

Welcome to the Forum. I have several flintlocks in calibers .45, .50 and .54. I agree that you should buy and read the Lyman Black Powder Handbook. Lyman lists lots of loading data and I believe a better starting load would be 50 grains of 2F or 3F Blackpowder. I think the Lyman book will round out your understanding of flintlocks and will focus future questions.

I would not consider 100-130 grains of 2F a good starting; rather, be guided by the Lyman data. Again, welcome to the Forum.

Webley
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  #4  
Old 12-09-2012, 04:56 PM
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Welcome to the forum and the fellowship of flintlock shooters. I would second the Lyman black powder manual suggestion. You will find the answers to most of your questions in it. I shoot a 62 cal smoothbore flintlock. I normally use 2f for loading and 4f for priming. I have never had a lot of luck with replica black powder in flintlocks. Have fun and keep your powder dry.
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Old 12-10-2012, 03:07 AM
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Quote:
about 100-130 grains of FF or FFFG black powder is a good starting load. Personally I like Pyrodex which loads the same volume as Black Powder.
Start loads??? Where do you go from there?
Two things...100 to 130 grains of BP is most definitely not a starting load, especially not FFFg.
For the Lyman GPR Flintlock the recommended maximum load is 90 grains of FFFg. 110 grains of FFg is max for that granulation. Info is from the Lyman Users Guide, p.14.
Looking through load data for a variety of .50 cal smoke poles, I can find none that go beyond 120 grains of FFg as a maximum load.
My own standard load in my GPR flinter is 90 grs. of FFg, a .490 RB, a 0.010" patch. Want a start load? Try 70 grains of FFg or 65 of FFFg.
About using the duplex load of FFFFg and Pyrodex ......yes, that is how it is done, how I used to do it. It struck me one day, however, that since I had to have BP to ignite the Pyrodex.....I might as well just shoot straight BP...cheaper and simpler to load.
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Last edited by Pete D.; 12-10-2012 at 03:16 AM.
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  #6  
Old 12-10-2012, 04:24 AM
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I agree with those who suggested getting the Lyman blackpowder book. A wealth of information there for shooters old and new. No way start at 100 grains of FFFG maybe more like 60 and work up. FFG is generally a better choice for the .50s, just have to see what your rifle likes. I'm learning little changes in a smokepole makes big differences. Be sure to clean right after shooting, whether one shot or several.
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  #7  
Old 12-10-2012, 05:33 AM
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Pete, the advantage of using Pyrodex is that it absorbs water/moisture less. If you hunt, as I do, in snow/rain BP will let you down. Nothing worse than carrying around a heavy rifle all day, then at the end of the day finding it wouldn't fire anyway.

The 100-130 grain loads are below the max for strong American steel flintlock guns. Op said his gun was sturdy. Italian, Brazil, Spanish made BP guns should stay low because of weakness. 130 grs is only 16,000 CUP.

Welcome Glen, get the Handbook recommended and check things for yourself. I think you will find the Flintlock shooting/hunting one of the most enjoyable forms of the sport.
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  #8  
Old 12-10-2012, 01:45 PM
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It depends

Webley gave good advice. In my .50 flintlocks I shoot between 70 and 90 grains of FFG. I probably could not handle 100 to 130 grains. All the best...
Gil
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  #9  
Old 12-12-2012, 02:27 AM
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Gun

Quote:
I acquired a custom made 50 cal flintlock years ago...........It is a J Garner built gun and is sturdy and strong.
Is that a Tennessee Valley Manufacturing gun? I believe that was/is Jack Garner's company.

Pete
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  #10  
Old 12-12-2012, 05:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Pete D. View Post
Is that a Tennessee Valley Manufacturing gun? I believe that was/is Jack Garner's company.

Pete
I have no idea. I'm new to the BP shooting. The rifle has J Garner engraved on the barrel.
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  #11  
Old 12-12-2012, 07:14 AM
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That sure sounds like a TVM and that is a great rifle. I shoot a lot of flintlocks. Get some Thomas Fuller Black English Flints. I am unsure of the width of your frizzen but it might be 5/8 to 3/4 somewhere in there. Get a good sharp flint. 4f powder goes in the pan of course.

Since it is a 50 caliber I personally would start my load development at 60 grains and a .490 roundball and work up from there. 5 grains at a time is what I normally work up. And of course only Black Powder for the main charge. You just have a lot less problems shooting pure black powder then the monkey business of duplex a black powder and then a sub powder. And since you are new to this.. under no circumstance ever put modern smokeless powder in that rifle. But I am sure you know that. Its just good to repeat it every so often.

Some of the custom rifles can take a rather strong charge of powder. But that does not mean you need to shoot a strong charge for hunting or target shooting. If you can work up a load, anywhere around 100 grains and that round ball there is no deer on earth could take a hit from that in the right spot.

If you could post picture of that rifle I would love to see it. I talked to TVM about an Early Lancaster in .54 caliber build. Just have not set the deal is all.
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  #12  
Old 12-13-2012, 02:21 AM
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Cayugadad: Not to hijack......the Early Lancaster that I know of is a Matt Avance gun from Tennessee Valley Muzzleloading. Jack Garner's company was (is?) Tennessee Valley Manufacturing. Perhaps, they offer an Early Lancaster also ????
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  #13  
Old 12-13-2012, 06:23 AM
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Nope... I stand corrected. You are right.
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  #14  
Old 12-13-2012, 06:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryS View Post
Pete, the advantage of using Pyrodex is that it absorbs water/moisture less. If you hunt, as I do, in snow/rain BP will let you down. Nothing worse than carrying around a heavy rifle all day, then at the end of the day finding it wouldn't fire anyway.

The 100-130 grain loads are below the max for strong American steel flintlock guns. Op said his gun was sturdy. Italian, Brazil, Spanish made BP guns should stay low because of weakness. 130 grs is only 16,000 CUP.

Welcome Glen, get the Handbook recommended and check things for yourself. I think you will find the Flintlock shooting/hunting one of the most enjoyable forms of the sport.
Still not a starting load , by any stretch of the imagination though !
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  #15  
Old 12-13-2012, 09:26 AM
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As a general rule for starting loads is one grain per caliber, .50 caliber would be 50 grains. Then increase five grains ay a time as cayugad mentioned. Be sure to use ONLY real black powder in a flint lock. Try FFg and FFFg. One plus for FFFg is you can use it for your main charge and for prime. Just some general information about barrels. Spanish and Italian barrels are not wealer. They are proof tested by law. American muxxle loading barrels are not. For some straight scoop, try this forum Forums - Traditional Muzzleloading Forum - Muzzleloader Flintlock Black Powder . Enjoy.
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  #16  
Old 12-13-2012, 12:09 PM
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Sam Fadala is the Dean of blackpowder shooting. He authored a number of books on the subject which are helpful. Check amazon.com or eBay for listings.

TR
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  #17  
Old 12-14-2012, 10:07 AM
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Try 50 grains of real black powder, a .490 round ball & cotton patch lubed with spit. Fill the pan with priming powder to about th bottom of the touch hole.
This is supposed to be fun!
..
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  #18  
Old 02-09-2013, 11:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete D. View Post
Is that a Tennessee Valley Manufacturing gun? I believe that was/is Jack Garner's company.

Pete
All it says on the gun is J Garner. I got the gun from a dealer in Tennessee about 15 years ago. It has been stored in gun safe all this time. Came across it the other day and thought it would be fun to shoot it. I had heard a starting load was always the number of grains = the caliber. 50 caliber = 50 grains. 45 caliber = 45 grains.
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  #19  
Old 02-09-2013, 01:14 PM
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Jack built/builds good rifles. I'm not certain of his status right now. Given the approximate age of the rifle you got a good one.
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  #20  
Old 02-27-2013, 05:46 PM
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I have a 50 cal flinter made by J. Davidson outside of Lexington Ky. His advice was to start with a main charge of 60 grains of FF using FFF for priming. I subsequently worked up to 100 gr then back down and settled on 80 grains of FF black powder. Mine will shoot dead on at 50 yards and POI will sink about 4 inches at 75 yards which represents the practical max visual shooting range in norther MN and WI where I hunt. I shoot 50 cal round ball with one dry patch over the powder charge and one lubed patch over the ball. None of 4 whitetails I have shot at ran more than 50 yards except the ones I missed and they are still running.
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