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I'm new to muzzleloading. I bought a TC Hawken .50 cap rifle for whitetail hunting. I just got the thing, but I spent 12 hours at the range over 4 days. A couple experienced guys helped me sort things out.

I'm getting better and better with ball and 100gr of FFG. Getting some nice grouping. But I can't hit squat with maxi-balls. With 275gr I'm all over the map. With 350gr somewhat better, but still a good 8 inches of drift in all directions. Not acceptable for hunting.

Is there anything obvious that sticks out? Why would I be so much better with ball and patch?

I'm all ears.
 

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I've never had any luck, in terms of accuracy, using "Maxi-Balls" or "Maxi-Hunters". In my T/C Black Diamond rifle; I use 90.0 gr. (Volume) of FFG Triple "7" and a High pressure Sabot using a .45 Cal. Hornady XTP .452" bullet. All fired by a 209 shotgun primer.
 

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What is your twist? I have a CVA and I suspect that the twist is much the same as mine will also shoot round balls.

Keep shooting your gun w/the rbs as you bore may be a tad rough and they tend to smooth the bore out.

My gun likes the bullets of 385 grains, or more. When you get up around 425 grains, they really, really group....and, they also kick.
 

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Possibly the rifle has a slow twist barrel, maybe 1-60 or slower. That would cause you to have exactly the problems that you have described OR
That being said, most T/C HaWkens have a compromise shallow grove 1-48" twist. The problems that you have described can also be caused by using too much powder in a shallow grooved barrel. 100 grains is probably the fault. Back off to 80 grains and see what happens with both types of projectile. I'll bet that they shoot better.
Then work on coming up slowly to 90 grains - look for a fall off in accuracy.
Check your twist rate first.
Pete
 

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I've had great success w/ the Lee REAL bullets...(mine's in .58)...they're a 3 band flat base conical, but unlike the Maxi, only the top band engraves the rifling, the 1st 2 bands are the diam. of the bore (helps scrape out the bore for a follow up shot, esp nice in hunting situations). 1:48 is kind of slow, so I suspect you will get the best accuracy w/ a good RB/linen tight patch.
 

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I'm new to muzzleloading. I bought a TC Hawken .50 cap rifle for whitetail hunting. I just got the thing, but I spent 12 hours at the range over 4 days. A couple experienced guys helped me sort things out.

I'm getting better and better with ball and 100gr of FFG. Getting some nice grouping. But I can't hit squat with maxi-balls. With 275gr I'm all over the map. With 350gr somewhat better, but still a good 8 inches of drift in all directions. Not acceptable for hunting.

Is there anything obvious that sticks out? Why would I be so much better with ball and patch?

I'm all ears.
I know this is an old post, but the problem is the lube on the Maxi-Ball bullets, it is old, and you have to replace it with new lube. If the lube is at all light in color replace it and you will be amazed at the groups you will get. I have a T/C New Englander and a T/C Hawkens .50 cal. I hunt deer and use 370 grains Maxi-Ball bullets on top of 100 grains of Pyrodex RS powder.
 

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I shoot a T/C Hawken 50, in the factory bbl(1:48) I use Maxi-balls, not Maxi Hunters with 90 gr Pyrodex and it cuts shots at 50 yds. For roundball I got a Green Mt bbl, (1:60) and shoot only black powder in it with patched balls.
100 gr with a Maxi is probably a little hot and in that compromise bbl with the shallow grooves it may not group, good advice to back off to 80 gr and work up 5 gr at a time and see if it improves. Black powder or Pyro in the sidelock, haven't had any luck with ignition consistency with any of the other substitutes. Good luck with it.
 

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Possibly the rifle has a slow twist barrel, maybe 1-60 or slower. That would cause you to have exactly the problems that you have described OR
That being said, most T/C HaWkens have a compromise shallow grove 1-48" twist. The problems that you have described can also be caused by using too much powder in a shallow grooved barrel. 100 grains is probably the fault. Back off to 80 grains and see what happens with both types of projectile. I'll bet that they shoot better.
Then work on coming up slowly to 90 grains - look for a fall off in accuracy.
Check your twist rate first.
Pete
X1

1 other solution place a felt wad over the powder
 
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