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Hello,

I was out looking to do some trading today.

I had in mind a .410 double shotty, but anything that caught my eye would work.

Wound up with this:




I've never owned a muzzleloader before. This one was used, but aside from a bit of rust, looked good.

I would have liked to have had a wooden stock and a lefty action, but for the deal I couldn't pass it up. Besides the rifle, I got 200 percussion caps, an unopened container of Shockey's Gold Sticks (the man said they wouldn't work in a sidelock, but they seem to function just fine), and 60 saboted 99% pure lead bullets.

I took it out and shoved one of the powder sticks down the tube after verifying there wasn't a charge in it already. Then I put a wad in it.

Checking for function before live ammo is used is a priority for me.

The cap went "pop" and the main charge didn't light. At this point I was thinking "crap, the guy was right." I tried a few more primers to to avail.

Decided to take a pick to the nipple again, and I paid closer attention. It didn't seem to go all the way through. Hmmm...

So the nipple came off. It was clogged with rust. I mean, it looked like somebody had poured iodine in there.

I had to use a drill and actual bit to get it out.

So I went back out, put the nipple back on, primed it, and the charge went "POOF!"

Awesomeness.

So this time I tried an actual bullet.

"BOOM!" Nice kick, about like a light 20 gauge, if that.

It's a 1:48" twist, so I'll probably just end up making some cotton patches and using .452" bullets I cast for my 1911 in this thing. They should work just fine on deer if I go this season.

I'd like to shoot balls, and though I know it won't be as accurate as a slower twist, I figure I'll experiment.

Should be fun!

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Later.....

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I got some round balls today.

Played around with my new balls, and found they like light to medium weight cotton T-shirt material with a bit of spit on the patches. Odd I guess, but it works.

I found after five shots with a non-lubed patch, accuracy went to ****. If I spit on each patch, it stayed clean enough for 10 consecutive shots.

Here is what I did:



Sitting, 50yds.

I think this is good for a muzzleloader with open sights from a sitting position. I do not honestly know. Thoughts?

What kind of speed do you suppose I'm producing with 50gns of Shockey Gold under a 177gn LRB? The Shockey's in stick form, but I crush it up a bit with the ramrod, so it has complete combustion.

My final comment is that I'm just really glad this is performing with round balls. I tend to be a bit of a traditionalist (thus the sidelock, and only using the Shockey sticks because that's what was included; I will be switching to Pyrodex or 777 when they're gone - can't find real BP around here). I was hoping I could use these and not have to go to Minie Ball. This just seems, well, more fun. Also, a very kind gent is sending me a mold for this ball, so I'll not often be out of ammunition!

Any thoughts or help?

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Even later...

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Is a .490" PRB over 50gn BP or equivalent humane for deer? These sights were never regulated, and I'd like to go ahead and get them done.

However, once they're regulated, they're regulated. I'll be taking material from the front sight, and there's no putting it back, although I guess I could always take more off for a heavier powder charge.

Where would I be at 25, 75, and 100yds with a PRB over 50gns BP or equivalent with a 50 yard sight in?? Rise and drop?

How about the same distances, but with a 70gn charge? 100gn (max) charge?

I have no illusions about the limitations of this rifle. Though I know it would probably be effective to 150 to 200yds, I'm not ever going to try that. I figure the ball would be losing velocity too quickly by then and where I hunt, most shots are inside 60yds.

Thanks folks!

Josh
 

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That looks like a CVA Bobcat or Mountain Stalker. Same rifle mind you, just sold at different stores. They are good shooters. Pellets and sticks are not recommended for that rifle because of the design of the drum and fire channel. With the JSG sticks, after dumping them down the bore, I would take my ramrod and break them up as much as possible. Actually I would run out and get a jug of loose Pyrodex RS. My mountain stalker that I sold was a .54 caliber. It loved 85 grains and a patched roundball. Was very accurate.
 

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Congrats and nice shooting. Out to 50 yards that load should be fine, but I like to shoot 90gr. Pyrodex or 70 gr. 777. I use Hornady Great Plains bullets in my modern for hunting and my side lock uses .490 RB as it's a slower twist also. It is very accurate out to 50, ok at 70 but at 100 yards I get some issues. Might be the sights, though as mine has a 3/32" front fiberoptic, which is too big IMO. I am going to get a 1/16" fiber or gold bead from Marbles/Williams and try those. 8)
 

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Your .50 cal. Bobcat is very capable fo taking deer. I would say 75 to 100 yards max for a clean kill. At 150 and 200 yards you will be lobing those balls like a howitzer. Save those tee shirts for cleaning patches. Their weave is too loose for shooting patches. Go to Wal-Mart and get some blue and white striped pillow ticking for shooting patches. Pick up a small can of Crisco. It works great as a lube. As mentioned, sticks and pellets are not made to use in traditional style rifles. Get some Pyrodex RS or real black powder along with an adjustable powder measurer: http://www.dixiegunworks.com/product_info.php?cPath=22_99_318&products_id=3719 . 50 grains is a good starting point. Fire a group of 5 to 10 balls. Increase 5 grains and shoot again. Keep doing that until you find the load with the tightest group. Then adjust your sights. A lot of my friends with .50 calibers have settled around 70 grains. Each rifle is different, so you just have to find the right combo for your's. You mentioned your nipple was clogged with rust. You may have some inside your bore. Be sure to remove all the rust and scrub your rifle clean each time you shoot it. Muzzle loading is a different world, but can be enjoyable and rewarding.
 

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I don't know what the velocity would be with 50 gr. powder. But you might try 60-70 gr. and it might bring your group up to dead on. I used to shoot 90 gr. in my New Englander with a round ball.
 
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