My dad just gave me an old Thompson center 50 caliber Hawkins. My question for you guys is what powder and bullets can I use to make her a shooter. This is my first black powder rifle and could use any help I can get.
Your T/C was built with the proper rifling for either patched balls or Maxi ball. Either will kill big game used with proper application. The Maxi ball basically duplicates with more accuracy a 20 ga slug. 370 grs of lead going 1400 to 1500 fps has a habit of cutting very deep holes through most anything it happens to hit. To save you some problems run a damp patch down your barrel between shots to clean out the fouling especially when using a patched ball. If you don't there is a great possibility of sticking a ball in the bore before you can push it down to the powder. MAKE SURE THAT THE BALL IS DOWN ON THE POWDER. You will blow up your barrel if it is not.