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Building a 500 yards muzzleloader?

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Unread 03-19-2004, 09:10 AM
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Re: Building a 500 yards muzzleloader?

Quaken, I am in a similar situation as you. I hunt in a "shotgun only" area of NY. So I use the ML during regular season when I hunt the areas where longer shots are needed. I go out to about 300 yards. The problem I found going past that is not the drops but the wind. I shoot a knight disc extreme 45 cal with the barnes 195 sabot and 100 grains of pyrodex. I'm going to try 777 this year since they now make 777 pellets in 45 cal. I don't use 150 grains because it doesn't give me enough increase over 100 to justify it and the accuracy suffers. I sight in at 150 and I don't go past 200 yards. The wind drift with a 10 mph wind is 13.56" @ 200.
The wind gets even worse after that:
21.92" @ 250
32.32" @ 300
44.50" @ 350
53.19" @ 400
73.31" @ 450
89.64" @ 500

I velocity is increased it helps but then accuracy is all over the place.
Also, at 500 yards the energy in 372lbs.

If you find a good combo to shoot 500 yards let men know, I'm all ears! Maybe the smokeless powder, different bullets, I just don't know??

Good luck,
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Unread 03-19-2004, 10:24 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Stamford NY
Posts: 160
Re: Building a 500 yards muzzleloader?

Take a look at this site lots of good info,
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Unread 04-10-2004, 12:47 AM
Junior Member
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 9
Re: Building a 500 yards muzzleloader?

Here's the ultimate muzzleloader
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Unread 04-11-2004, 12:40 PM
MAX MAX is offline
Silver Member
Join Date: Sep 2001
Posts: 263
Re: Building a 500 yards muzzleloader?

Quaken, this question was batted around awhile back and perhaps you can find it in the archives, I'm unsure about the title.

I'm guessin your "ultimate" BP rifle in the link above would do the job, and I'm certain it would recoil like a mule with a toothache. That's one helluva lot of powder weight to add to the recoil calculation.

I'm kinda the square peg in the neighborhood on this subject so I won't spend a lot of time here except to say I see little value in today's conventional wisdom about pellets, sabots, and pistol bullets. You might want to check around regarding historical facts about muzzleloader capabilities before all the high-tech crap descended upon us. Try Whitworth Rifle in a search for starters. A .45-50 cal muzzle loader with proper twist will deliver a 450-550 gr. lead conical bullet to 1000 yards or better with substantial leathal force using 90-110 grains of black powder. These ranges are obtainable in these arms because of high BC's and/or low drag coefficients at subsonic velocities. For a given form, BC is proportional to weight, and the form of most ML bullets is essentially the same, excluding HP pistol bullets and their ilk. Accuracy is up to the gun builder and/or your skills and false muzzles aren't a bad way to go but they probably aren't necessary for hunting.

While you're searching cyberspace look up the paper patch link below if you care, also find discussion on Schutzen rifles. There was a fellow some years back riding for the Pony Express that took an Indian Chief at a distance of just less than a mile(surveyed later) with a Sharps Bufflo gun, I'm unable to recall his name at the moment but guess somebody else here will know it.

Lastly, you may recall the devastation inflicted on the buffalo by BP rifles, many if not most of which were Sharps breechloaders. The salient difference between the Sharps and muzzle loaders is which end of the barrel receives bullet and charge first when loading, the charge and bullet weights being essentially the same. None of the shooters of the past used sabots. Good luck regardless of your choice.
paper jacket

[ 04-11-2004: Message edited by: MAX ]
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Unread 04-11-2004, 02:15 PM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Posts: 37
Re: Building a 500 yards muzzleloader?

The British Whitworth Rifle of American Civil War era, is/was one of the most accurate paper cartridge (front loading) rifles of all time. Elite Confederate Snipers used these rifles to good effect with iron sights to distances of over 1,000 yards with fatal results.

The long 45 caliber projectiles were supersonic to significant distances and the Union troops could hear the supersonic "crack" from shots fired several hundred yards distant, as written by veterans of many Civil War Battles. These same Union Army veterans would know that a sniper with a Whitworth Rifle was "working" their area and call for artillary, cavalry or another sniper to deal with the long range threat.

You can obtain a recently-made copy of that early Whitworth Rifle, if that is the way you want to go. These newly made rifles have close tolerances and are very, very good shooters and would make an excellent game rifle, if you are interested in the "traditional"-type of BP rifle for your personal game.

Best of luck,
Former Special Operations Sniper. Rangers, Lead The Way!
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Unread 04-11-2004, 02:22 PM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Posts: 37
Re: Building a 500 yards muzzleloader?

Oh, yes, I almost forgot to mention: accurate range and wind estimation.

If you intend to do any long range hunting, even with a 50 BMG, you must, must, accurately identify the range of the target or you will miss (not too bad to do) or misplace your shot in an animal (not acceptable to do). Wind estimation at a distance is also a crucial skill to master when firing bullets in long arcs and mucho "hang time". Know your time of flight and the effects of the atmosphere upon the missile of choice.

Again, Cheers,
Former Special Operations Sniper. Rangers, Lead The Way!
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Unread 04-11-2004, 03:15 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: WV
Posts: 276
Re: Building a 500 yards muzzleloader?

Hi Quaken,

My ML mentor is a master gunsmith. I've got a couple beautiful flintlocks he made.

He recently made a Shutzen type flintlock he used a Green Mountain barrel with a slow twist for 45/70 type rifles. Basically it's a 45/70 flintlock. or 45/80, 45/90, 45/100 whatever powder you wish within reason of course.

He cut a two inch section of barrel off before he breeched it to use for putting rifleing on a hard cast bullet. He chucks it up in his drill press and swages the bullet thru the short section of barrel pre rifleing it.

He puts his powder in then thumb starts his bullet and has a short starter that is made to fit in the hollow point bullet.

He has two rear blade sites the second one folds down for the 100 yard sight when the taller 200 site is up it obliturates the shorter 100 site.

It's an awsome piece one could easly fix a peep site on it and have a Quigley Down Under type of weapon. As BP doesn't build pressure the same way smokeless does it doesn't kick bad at all even with a 405 bullet!

I was with him when he killed a buck with it. It perform great the deer ran about 30 yards and Ray Charles could have followed the blood trail!

Good Huntin'
"The Chuckster" [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

[ 04-11-2004: Message edited by: Huntinfool ]

"Why, they couldn't hit an elephant at this dist...".

Romans 8:28
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