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  #1  
Old 05-14-2017, 07:16 PM
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Lyman Great Plains Hunter Load Suggestions


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Hello Everyone,

I have a Lyman Great Plains Hunter .54 percussion and I have 100 No Excuses conicals (535 gr)

I am vastly more experienced in PRBs and this is my first time shooting bullets. I was looking for a big hefty conical to throw at Oryx I'll be hunting in 3 months.

I have been unable to get reliable groups out of this weapon at a variety of charges ranging from 70 g 2f to 110 g 2f swabbed after every shot. (I'm no rookie to black powder in the slightest, only bullets) so I'm asking any experienced bullet shooters some ideas about a load that would be excellent for such a colossal bullet. I have read some data saying that you don't need a lot of powder (which makes sense) But then I read on some inline forums that you need these monstrous 100+ grain charges to throw these big bullets.

What would you guys suggest? IF the No Excuses bullet is not ideal for this gun and something else is better I am absolutely willing to buy those instead. I am not interested in sabots only solid bullets.

Thanks for all the help guys!
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  #2  
Old 05-15-2017, 10:34 AM
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I have the same rifle in .50 caliber and a flintlock. The 1-32 twist mine and your rifle have is a strange twist.



This is a bullet I cast at home here. Its a 450 grain called the UC Short Mag (after the man that designed the mold) and then a bunch of us bought the molds. One reason I went with the .50 caliber was it was easier to get and I have a lot of different molds for it.

Correct me if I am wrong. An Oryx is a large animal, correct? I thought they said up to 600 pounds. Or am I thinking of a different animal? Also what ranges do you believe you will encounter? The reason is, one conical that I might suggest if the No Excuses are not working out is a Maxi Ball in .54 caliber. T/C makes them (if you can find they in that caliber) and Lyman I think makes a mold for the Maxi Ball. Not the Maxi Hunter. I have terrible luck with that Maxi Hunter.

If the range you will encounter is not too far, I might even suggest a .54 caliber 380 grain REAL conical. They shoot well in my .54 with a 1-48 but their accuracy drops off after 75 yards for some reason. And again, I push them very easy. No more then 70 grains of powder.



I know your against shooting a sabot. But I do have (somewhere in my mess) a huge supply of .54 caliber sabots for I believe a .452 bullet. I was dealing with a friend who knew a friend that has a huge batch of sabots for a .54 rifle that he could not use. And so they sent me a bag full. If you want I can look for them.

I basically purchased some orange Knight .458 sabots and then loaded the LEE .457 423 grain bullets I cast into them and was shooting them out of my GPH. They did pretty good out to 50 yards (as I remember) with 70 grains of powder.

And before you get all excited about large powder charges. Remember the 45/70 government rifle cartridge. The one that all but devastated bison herds at some very respectable ranges. Well that was a 405 grain .458 bullet with 70 grains of black powder under them. And they did fine on large game animals. So I think you are headed in the right direction with low powder charges. But then, I never hunted an Oryx. Sounds exciting.

If you want, I can look through my closet and see if I have some of those .54 caliber sabots. And then see what bullet they might like. I could send you some. Or look for maxi ball. See if they work.

Also your GPG is an awesome round ball shooter.
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  #3  
Old 05-15-2017, 01:28 PM
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Thank you for the thorough reply! I see that you have a history of very helpful replies!

"Correct me if I am wrong. An Oryx is a large animal, correct? I thought they said up to 600 pounds. Or am I thinking of a different animal?"

Yes the Oryx (also called Gemsbok) is a very large animal. Here in NM a large bull can top over 700 pounds. The young bull I killed last year weighed 490 lbs and had 30" horns

"Also what ranges do you believe you will encounter?"
As a seasoned muzzeloader hunter I'm not expecting to push my weapon past 75 yards. I stalked and killed my Oryx last year at 38 yards. Stalking these desert denizens is tough but with practice is not to bad. I also hear that these big 500+ grain bullets arent going to be to accurate at long range anyways. I'm used to a PRB so range is not even remotely entering my head haha.

"And before you get all excited about large powder charges. Remember the 45/70 government rifle cartridge. The one that all but devastated bison herds at some very respectable ranges. Well that was a 405 grain .458 bullet with 70 grains of black powder under them. And they did fine on large game animals. So I think you are headed in the right direction with low powder charges."

The recoil is just bone rattling at 90 grains and up. I'm happy to tone it down. with such a large heavy bullet and the better retention of energy of bullets vs round balls I figured 70 grain would be plenty to drop even the largest and thickest skinned Oryx.

But then, I never hunted an Oryx. Sounds exciting."

They are excellent to eat and a very challenging animal to hunt on public land! I'm spoiled because I guide for them so I get lots of opportunities to pursue them!




I was grouping my gun yesterday and noticed to see what looked like lead slag coming up on my patches. I am assuming that lead fouling is getting in my barrel and most likely degrading my accuracy. I am going to get a solvent today and really get after it with a bronze brush to remove the lead. I find it hard to believe that after only 150 or so bullets its that fouled but the patches don't lie.

i've seemed to see that 75 grain is my most accurate group. honestly if I just could reliably hit a gallon jug at 75 yards with every shot I would be very very happy with this weapon and completely confident to kill an animal with it. Unbelievably this goal has eluded me. :/
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  #4  
Old 05-15-2017, 05:01 PM
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If you push large lead conicals too hard they will deposit lead in the bore. I am going to guess that is what happened. Good luck with your bullet search. And that hunt sure sounds exciting. Good luck with that.
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  #5  
Old 05-16-2017, 03:31 AM
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while in new Mex ,at white sands missile range we would see the oryx, on our journey to the job site, since the water was pumped in because of some atomic test every 5 miles would be a water pump ,every where there was a leak, would be wild horses and oryx,
was told hunting was by lottery, and animals would be selected ,by a biologist or ranger to be harvested,
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  #6  
Old 05-16-2017, 07:22 AM
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My TC New Englander has a 1.48 twist. I can get 2 inch 3 shot groups at 50 yards with 110gr Alliant Black MZ. The recoil really gets your attention. I do swab the barrel between shots, not because this powder leaves much residue, it doesn't, but there is lead build up in the bore. Another bullet that shoots good in my rifle is the 425 grain Hornady Great Plains with 90 grains of the same powder. Good luck!
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  #7  
Old 05-16-2017, 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted by gunpa View Post
My TC New Englander has a 1.48 twist. I can get 2 inch 3 shot groups at 50 yards with 110gr Alliant Black MZ. The recoil really gets your attention. I do swab the barrel between shots, not because this powder leaves much residue, it doesn't, but there is lead build up in the bore. Another bullet that shoots good in my rifle is the 425 grain Hornady Great Plains with 90 grains of the same powder. Good luck!
Where do you find the 425 grain Hornady Great Plains Bullets? All I seem to find are the 385 grain and they do not shoot worth as well.
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Old 05-16-2017, 01:23 PM
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Originally Posted by cayugad View Post
Where do you find the 425 grain Hornady Great Plains Bullets? All I seem to find are the 385 grain and they do not shoot worth as well.
Hey Cayugad, I've found the 425 GP' s at Sportsmans Warehouse, Cabelas and a little independent shop called the Gun Shop always has lots of them, and cheapest in town at $9.99 per 20. Pm me if you want me to hook you up. The only non sabot bullets in town for 54 is Hornady and power belt, and every shop seems to have one or the other or both.
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Old 05-16-2017, 01:34 PM
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I've shot the Hornady Great Plains Bullet in .54 and it did alright. 90 grain 2f gave decent groups but nothing to brag about
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  #10  
Old 05-16-2017, 01:46 PM
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Originally Posted by gunpa View Post
Hey Cayugad, I've found the 425 GP' s at Sportsmans Warehouse, Cabelas and a little independent shop called the Gun Shop always has lots of them, and cheapest in town at $9.99 per 20. Pm me if you want me to hook you up. The only non sabot bullets in town for 54 is Hornady and power belt, and every shop seems to have one or the other or both.
I have more bullets to shoot and test then I care to even thing about. But at least I know were they are. Thanks!
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  #11  
Old 05-17-2017, 06:44 AM
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You betcha !
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  #12  
Old 05-17-2017, 07:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gunpa View Post
My TC New Englander has a 1.48 twist. I can get 2 inch 3 shot groups at 50 yards with 110gr Alliant Black MZ. The recoil really gets your attention. I do swab the barrel between shots, not because this powder leaves much residue, it doesn't, but there is lead build up in the bore. Another bullet that shoots good in my rifle is the 425 grain Hornady Great Plains with 90 grains of the same powder. Good luck!
What solvent do you use to swab bore to remove the lead? How often or approximately how many shots would you swab the lead cleaner?
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  #13  
Old 05-17-2017, 10:05 AM
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A really good solvent is Birchwood Casey Bore Scrubber. Spray a liberal dose down the barrel then hit it with a good brush. And when you are swabbing, an extra squirt or two will help. Then patch the bore with solvent covered patches. Normally it takes a lot to lead up a barrel.

If you suspect it really bad, then get some JB Bore Paste and give it a treatment with that. That will remove everything. Oil included. So after its clean make sure you oil that bore good.
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Old 05-17-2017, 02:08 PM
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I've been using Hornady one shot Black powder solvent ( one of the few Hornady sprays that works as advertised. )It comes in a 22oz bottle, like Windex. I dampen a patch, run it down and turn it over for one more trip then dry patch. Most of the lead is on the first pass, never any lead on dry patch. This stuff claims it won't affect ignition if you forget to dry patch, I've forgotten and it still goes boom. You shake it good before use and it has a citrus smell. I really like it.
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Old 05-19-2017, 06:32 AM
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I've been using Hornady one shot Black powder solvent ( one of the few Hornady sprays that works as advertised. )It comes in a 22oz bottle, like Windex. I dampen a patch, run it down and turn it over for one more trip then dry patch. Most of the lead is on the first pass, never any lead on dry patch. This stuff claims it won't affect ignition if you forget to dry patch, I've forgotten and it still goes boom. You shake it good before use and it has a citrus smell. I really like it.
Agreed, this stuff is really great. I still had some pretty bad leading though over time despite using one shot. I would suggest using a lead remover if you are shooting a lot of lead conicals.
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  #16  
Old 05-20-2017, 02:29 AM
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Cayugad, your 450 UC short mag bullet looks like it performs very well. Can you share the overall length of this bullet.
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Old 05-20-2017, 06:59 AM
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Originally Posted by jeff simmons View Post
Cayugad, your 450 UC short mag bullet looks like it performs very well. Can you share the overall length of this bullet.
the UC Short Mag as we called the mold produces a .506 diameter conical bullet. I then size them down to .5045 for my White .504 caliber rifles. it makes them a slip fit. It also slightly reduces the weight and they come in a 450 grains. The length of the conical measures 0.9022 of an inch or 22.63 mm. The reason for that is in some states the bullet must be under an inch long to be a legal hunting round.

I believe the Bull Shop Conicals that I also like to shoot measure 0.937 which still makes them legal. They are a .5045 diameter and 460 grains in weight. I never measured the 495 grain conical or the 512 grains conical. But the 495 is a legal round. The 512 grain might be pushing the limit.

The deer I have shot with the conical using 65 grains of powder penetrated 8 inches into poplar firewood. And a doe I shot head on, passed completely through the entire deer.
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Old 05-21-2017, 12:52 AM
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Thank you for the info, the bullet molds I have been looking at from Accurate range from .91"to 1.005" long. I'm looking to shoot these from 50 caliber barrels with a 1-28" twist.

I have harvested several deer using a 45 caliber Omega with a 1-28" twist using slip fit bullets I casted that were 1.050" long but I was pushing them hard with 100 grains of 777. I would very much like to get back to some more modest loads as you have suggested with approximately 65 -70 grains of powder. After all you can only shoot something so dead and the rest is over kill .

Last edited by jeff simmons; 05-21-2017 at 01:05 AM.
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