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Discussion Starter #1
I have a single shot muzzleloader pistol (5") in .50 cal. I haven't shot it in about 15 years and forget what I loaded it with. It seems to me I should use FFF in such a short barrel, but I'm worried the weight of the ball might create a lot more pressure. Also, any suggestions on the volume of powder? I'm thinking 50 grains, but that's just a guess. I'd appreciate any advice.

BearBear
 

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According to my Lyman Book... 40 grains of FFFg is a max load with a .490 roundball. Now this is for a Lyman. If you have a different brand pistol, this might make a difference. As some of the new inline pistols can take a much stiffer charge. But consider this.. if your not hunting with it, there is no need to load the max load. I have a BP revolver that has a max charge of 35 grains. I commonly shoot it with 20 grains. The accuracy is great, the same smoke, and no recoil or hard pounding on the pistol.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Cayugad.

The pistol is not a Lyman. It was a kit gun and a side lock. As I recall, it is not the most accurate of firearms either. Just fun to shoot. I'll stick to the lower loads. I kind of doubt the 50 grains would have hurt the gun, but I might not have been able to hold onto it either. :)

BearBear
 

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Seeing that it's a .50 cal., you want to use ffg. :D
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Pustic,

That's the other question. In order to burn most of the powder in a short barrel, will the .49 ball be heavy enough to allow that to happen with FFg? And, if FFFg is used, will the powder burn too fast and create too much pressure? I probably need the 2 1/2 F. With a mild load of 30 grains maybe it won't matter. I suppose if I use FF all that will happen is more unburned powder will fly out the muzzle if it is too short for a complete burn.

BearBear
 

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Pistols shoot FFFG the best, You have a short barrel, and so that powder needs to burn as completely as possible to be effective with a small load. People really underestimate the killing powder of these pistols with small charges. Never doubt them, they were very lethal. I would not be concerned with barrel pressures using short loads. I used to own a JUKAR .45 caliber horse pistol. I would shoot 30 grains of FFFg Black Powder out of it and a patched ball. It too was not accurate, but as poorly made as that pistol was that was the max load and it never hurt the gun.

Actually, later I lowered the charge and we were shooting 20 grains of FFFg out of it, I have to admit, we were becoming pretty good with it. My buddy and I were shooting a white paper plate at 15 yards with it, and hitting it very consistently. I also at the time had a .44 caliber Navy Colt reproduction black powder revolver that I used to shoot 20 grains of powder and ball out of. And there was no comparison in accuracy between the two. The revolver was a very accurate revolver. Although being in law enforcement and shooting handguns all the time, at that time I was a relatively good shot with revolver or pistol.

In my .44 caliber New Army revolver I now own, I was shooting a .451 ball and 25 grains of FFFg, I was able to penetrate a 2 in piece of very old dried out Spruce plank. I was kind of surprised it penetrated that plank so easy. But that does demonstrate that even a small charge is a lethal charge.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I agree that the replica cap and ball revolvers can be very accurate. Part of it is, I think, that they are so well balanced and the barrel is so long, the aim is much more consistent. With the single shot, I'll load 25 gr of FFF to start and go from there. Or maybe find that good from the start. Thanks for the help.

BearBear
 

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In my traditions trapper 50 caliber flintlock I shoot 40 grains of 3f due to short 9" barrel. Noticeably slower velocities when I tried 2f.

They recommend 3f for this model.
 

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FFFg

I have three .50 caliber pistols. The point being that I shoot that caliber a lot. I use FFFg in all of them with a .490 LRB and a 0.010 patch. I rarely use more than twenty grains for target work out to 50 yards.
Pete
 
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