Muzzle Velocities out of long barreled muzzleloaders. Help.

Muzzle Velocities out of long barreled muzzleloaders. Help.

This is a discussion on Muzzle Velocities out of long barreled muzzleloaders. Help. within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I'm having a hard time Googling what I'm looking for, so would appreciate a little help. Today was beautiful and I got the flinters out ...

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Thread: Muzzle Velocities out of long barreled muzzleloaders. Help.

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    VIP Member Array PAcanis's Avatar
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    Muzzle Velocities out of long barreled muzzleloaders. Help.

    I'm having a hard time Googling what I'm looking for, so would appreciate a little help.

    Today was beautiful and I got the flinters out again, along with the chrono. As expected, now that my powder measure is working correctly, velocities were way off. An actual 80grs of 3F in my 45cal is producing 1865fps. And I am hitting 1" lower than I want to be at 50yds and lower yet at 100.

    So... two options; Add more powder and/or file the front sight down.
    I'm not sure if I can simply add more powder to get my 1980fps that was very accurate and hit where I wanted or not. I can't find a "max velocity". Probably because there are too many variables. And I don't want to beat my gun up either.

    How much (powder) is too much? Or how much velocity is too much?

    Same thing for my smoothbore 62cal. I never checked the velocity in this one, but the grains I thought I was pouring is hitting way lower than when I was pouring more than I thought I was. So do I simply increase the charge until it hits back where it was? 100grs of 3F is still 5-1/2" low at 50yds. And being that it's a teardrop/half heart shaped front sight, it's going to look pretty dumb filed down. Not like a ramped blade.

    I did put a 1/8" magnet on the breach and that helped a lot. I would still need to increase my powder to hit higher. Right now 100grs is giving me 1493fps with a .600 patched ball. I have no idea if that is hi, lo, or right where I want to be. Whether, again, I should add more powder or file the sight.

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    Member Array Buggsy's Avatar
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    My only muzzleloader rifle experience is from a .54 Hawken percussion styles that Iíve built several of. I always adjusted the loads for maximum accuracy not max velocity or perceived point of aim. Experiment & get your tightest groups, then adjust your sights to 100 yards. I found the most accurate loads were not the highest velocity ones. Heavy loads just have more flame & unburned gunpowder chasing the bullet out the barrel, Iím not sure if you can overload one.
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    VIP Member Array PAcanis's Avatar
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    That's what I had heard or read, too. As long as the ball or shot is tight to the powder, you can't overload one. Too much powder will simply burn on it's way out the muzzle.
    I don't want to simply keep adding powder without a ceiling. Or what most consider a ceiling anyway. Be it the charge or the velocity.

    From what I've seen other guys shooting, 80grs is getting up there for a .45. But another couple hundred fps and I'll be back to where it was shooting good. That might take to into the 100gr plus territory. And that seems really high for a 45.

    But I don't know.
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    VIP Member Array OldVet's Avatar
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    You'll know when how much is too much.
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    VIP Member Array PAcanis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldVet View Post
    You'll know when how much is too much.
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    Well I'm hoping it doesn't come to that
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    VIP Member Array hogdaddy's Avatar
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    I'm use a T/C 50 cal. round balls .490 & a.010 patch with 80 gr of 2f powder. 100 yards it's dead on though I have adjustable
    sights. I don't have a crony , so no telling how many FPS I'm getting.

    I would try less powder first, then more. If you are swabbing between shots, how's the patch looking if fairly clean I'd up the powder OMO. I only shot 50 & 54 cal with 100 grain of 2f rifle & shotgun and never felt it was too much.

    Good Luck PAcanis. Keep us updated on your progress ; )
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    Distinguished Member Array viney266's Avatar
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    I have chronographed a bunch of BP loads over the years. Maybe I have more info than I thought.

    I have seen up to 2400 out of a percussion patched roundball (. 440 ball). I find the flints run about 150-200 FPS slower ( I think it's the touch hole bleeding off pressure). So, in the 1800's isn't bad. Good lube on the patch?


    I did my .58 cal. Zouave when I competed starting at 20 grains of FFg and FFFg going up in 10 grain increments. I wanted to see if the FFF was faster ( it was, about 80 FPS to 110 FPS) on all loads. The FFFg stopped getting any faster at 130 grains (that was getting tough) and the FFg topped out at 120 grains.
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    Distinguished Member Array viney266's Avatar
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    When it quits getting faster you have reached max velocity. It won't blow up; it will just light it at the end of the barrel (and get REALLY loud)
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    VIP Member Array PAcanis's Avatar
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    Thanks, @viney266 . That's what I wanted, some comparable data.
    I'll run my 45 back up to 1980fps, where it was shooting well. That's well below 2400, so that makes me feel better. Like I have some breathing room.
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    VIP Member Array flintlock62's Avatar
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    In all my muzzle loading experience, I've never cared much about velocity. I load the powder up to the point where accuracy starts to wane. Then I back off until I get the tightest groups. One thing that will make a difference is how tight (or loose) the ball/patch combination is in the barrel. You have to experiment a bit to find out what does best in your particular barrel.

    What brand powder are you using? Some powders are better than others. I like Swiss powder as it burns cleaner and I can use a bit less than Goex. How tight is your ball/patch combo? The patch must be thick enough to fill the lands. If it isn't, you will have blow-by and accuracy will diminish. Do you collect and read your fired patches? You should see clear black marks on the patch where the land area is, and it must not have holes blown in them or black all the way around. Do you use pre-cut patches, or do you cut them at the muzzle? I find cutting at the muzzle to be more consistent. What lube do you use? I use Ballistol. (I wish Falkenberry Juice was still available)!



    I prefer a 6 to 1 mixture, but that's my choice.

    Another thing to consider is very heavy charges are rarely accurate. Using Kentucky windage is the best bet. For longer distances, simply aim higher.
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    VIP Member Array Chuck R.'s Avatar
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    What powder??

    Although expensive, you might want to loo at Swiss. When I was competing with BPCRs (Silhouette and LR) it was rare to see someone winning that wasn't using Swiss. It was by far more consistent lot to lot and produced higher MVs.
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    VIP Member Array hardluk1's Avatar
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    I just sold an older nickel finished CVA wolf 24" barrel 50cal to a friend but with 300gr SST sabot and a 110gr of triple seven powder right at 1900fps , 125gr will bump that to 2106fps . Ether load make for a strong 225yards BP.

    Dumped the old school BP firearms 30 years ago .
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    VIP Member Array dangerranger's Avatar
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    My own experience is limited, But 3f powder is a pistol powder? and 2F a rifle powder? Maybe the slower [ Slightly] burn time will build both pressure and velocity. Good Luck DR
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    VIP Member Array flintlock62's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dangerranger View Post
    My own experience is limited, But 3f powder is a pistol powder? and 2F a rifle powder? Maybe the slower [ Slightly] burn time will build both pressure and velocity. Good Luck DR
    3fg is quite okay in rifles. I use 3fg in my 62 caliber flintlock, as the main charge, and in the pan. Drop the charge by 10% under 2fg.
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    VIP Member Array PAcanis's Avatar
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    Maybe it's the reloader in me, but I like to look at data as a starting point and a "don't exceed" point. Maybe that isn't consistent with old school ML shooting, but it just feels safer to me.
    I know when I posted my velocity in another thread someone said "wow" or something like that, but when I questioned if that velocity seemed too high they did not answer.
    But like I said above and was mentioned, you can't really overdo it as the excess powder will just blow out and burn on exit. But that doesn't mean I don't like to know what others are shooting so I know I'm within normal parameters. Be it knowing the velocity or the powder charge and powder.

    Anyway, much screwing around at 100yds and I was hitting too low, even when I reached 1960-1980 fps, which is what shot accurately for me before. I moved the target in to 50 yds and that is when I noticed my front sight was moving. That explained the shots all going left and working thier way off the target.

    After a little drifting I shot this three shot cloverleaf next to the bull at 50yds. I think I'll dimple that sight, as it moves much to easily.
    Muzzle Velocities out of long barreled muzzleloaders. Help.-3-50-90gr-3f.jpg

    But a few weeks ago that would have been an inch high. So I'm definitely shooting lower at both 100 and 50.
    I don't get why my shots aren't hitting the same elevation they were a few weeks ago. Nothing else has changed; Spit patch/cut at muzzle/.440 Hornady ball/90gr Goex 3F (to give me the velocity I had a few weeks ago with the messed up powder measure)/same ticking... the only change is it's 30 degrees warmer outside. Weird.

    I just placed an order with Grafs and since the Goex was working for me, ordered more. But I did buy some of their house brand seeing as how it's cheaper. I think some guys on a forum said it's the same as Schuetzen powder, just a different label.

    So anyway, I'm taking a break right now. I've got my powder charge. I think. At least it's accurate at 50yds. I want to see if the elevation change is me. Maybe the lack of sun today has me holding the silver front sight a bit different in the V notch. And I want to get that front sight dimpled. I'll go out again and start playing around with that smoothie.
    If you are going to ask for help, be prepared to receive it.

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