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Long range with black powder

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Unread 01-09-2010, 08:48 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Libby, MT
Posts: 237
Re: Long range with black powder

billy dixon used a sharps rifle chambered in what they called the big fifty which was either the 50-70 or the 50-90. The link for the article on the billy dixon shot was writted by Mike Venturino and is really an interesting piece. Jeff

Last edited by bassin93; 01-09-2010 at 08:52 PM.
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Unread 01-09-2010, 10:54 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: corpus christi,tx
Posts: 881
Re: Long range with black powder

Yep i was talking about muzzleloaders any chance to reach out there with a muzzleloader???
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Unread 01-10-2010, 07:35 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Central Pennsylvania
Posts: 4,155
Re: Long range with black powder

Originally Posted by jeff 300 View Post
Yep i was talking about muzzleloaders any chance to reach out there with a muzzleloader???

You could really benefit from a Mini Ball, or Maxi Ball for long shots. They fly a lot straighter than the straight led ball will. This would be beneficial in a flint lock or percussion rifle. Now if you are talking about the inline, some of the new ones use smokeless powder. This will help you go a long way with the right bullet powder combination. Black powder can be just as effective, just getting your load right. 75 to 100grns is all that is really needed. There is so much mass in the projectile that it can be very effective to.... say 500yrds. Just practice and practice some more. I know from a competition I shoot every spring and fall, 80yrd steel plate (8" bullseye) off hand with a round ball, loose powder, and patch can be quite difficult to hit with any amount of accuracy off hand. Leaning on a tree is quite effective though. Remember, ram rods are not ammunition!!!!

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Unread 01-10-2010, 09:12 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Texas
Posts: 7,194
Re: Long range with black powder

Something else to try if a cartrige rifle is out of the question ,Is to have a custom barrel
screwed on and make it at least 34" long and with a false muzzle.

The advantage of a false muzzle is that it aligns the bullet before it is engraved
to prevent any cocking of the bullet during seating.

The sniper rifles of the day all used this system to go use.

The false muzzle is a piece of the barrel that is drilled 3 or 4 places along the center line
of the bore while the barrel is still one piece, these holes will later be pined so they
can place the false muzzle in perfect alignment for loading.

After the barrel has been drilled (About 2 1/2 to 3") the barrel is parted off as square as
possible at 2 to 2 1/2 " leaving some of the drilled holes in the barrel. The barrel is then
crowned .

The piece that was removed is now bored to a perfect fit to the bullet to be used and the allignment pins are installed to stay in the false muzzle and protrude at lease a 1/2 ".

When loading it is placed on the barrel and the bullet is placed in the false muzzle and
then pushed down the barrel .

This allows for near perfect alignment of the bullet in the rifling and also protects the
crown from damage by the ram rod.

As mentioned earlier hard cast bullets of heavy weights will work best.( I use 620grain
Spitzer flat base in my 50 cal with lots of powder for max velocity) .

This is the best way to get maximum accuracy that I know of from a muzzle loader.

Also fouling is the worst cause of inaccuracy and the use of BP substitutes can improve

Sounds like a neat project I hope this helped

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Unread 01-10-2010, 11:52 AM
ATH ATH is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Lizton, IN
Posts: 822
Re: Long range with black powder

Due to state restrictions all of my resident deer hunting is done with a ML. I have a T/C Omega which I accurized (pillars/bedding). Until this past year I shot 110gr 777 and a 200gr Shockwave (optimal accuracy) at 2050 fps and have taken 3 deer past 300 yds with a long shot of 338 yds. I regularly target shoot this load to 400 yds but 350 yds on deer is about where I'd limit it, just too slow past that.

This past year the FTX bullets were released so I switched to the .458 325gr FTX and a max load of 135gr 777 at 1950 fps. This load virtually duplicates the trajectory of my previous load to 300 yds then beats it after that, with twice the energy and half the wind drift. I have shot this load to 500 yds with good results but my only kills with it so far were a deer at under 20 yds (BRUTAL on it) and a coyote at 140 yds.

I am currently modifying a Savage Model 11 package gun I bought into a switch-barrel gun so I have a 243Win barrel for coyotes and a Pac-Nor .45cal smokeless ML barrel. People are pushing the 200 Shockwave to nearly 3000 fps with this setup, with 2700-2900 fps being easily acheivable. This would push the max range on game (extrapolating from my previous experience) to around 600 yds. I will also try the 275gr Parker Extreme .45cal bullet sabotless at 2400-2600 fps, which will not be quite as flat but will get another 100 yds or so due to increased energy delivery.

The real difference is that none of these bullets fare very well in the wind. Drift compensations compared to drop values get a bit ridiculous compared to shooting CF rifles. Therefore conditions really become a limiting factor, for all of my 300+ yd shots it was virtually dead calm.

500yd group with the ftx. It was a rotten 100F day and windy so I was happy with this group.

The accurized omega.

The smokeless ML.
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Unread 01-10-2010, 12:32 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 39
Re: Long range with black powder

In the civil war it was reported snipers made 1000 yd shots. One of the rifles used was the Whitworth. These rifles were specially made, heavy long barreled, fast twist rate ect. They also used extra long bullets for caliber.(any of this sound familiar? ) Check your regulations. In Oregon we cannot use a muzzloader bullet over twice as long as its width.

They still make replica Whitworth's. There is a long range black powder forum here is the link.

Long Range Muzzle Loader - Index
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Unread 01-10-2010, 04:08 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: corpus christi,tx
Posts: 881
Re: Long range with black powder

Thanks for all the help i'm sure i'll be reading it again when i get ready to start work. ATH thats some good shooting and good looking rigs.
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