Patched round balls in modern inline- Need help


Well-Known Member
Nov 19, 2013

I am hosting a fun match in a couple of weeks and one of my match stages is a representation of the different war era firearms. Shooters will be asked, under a certain time constraint, to load a muzzleloader with a patched round ball, and engage a single silhouette target with a single shot. I was originally going to use my T/C Hawken with regular black powder, but I realized that all of the competitors are going to have to use this one rifle. That said, it will probably get too dirty to shoot reliably, and will be hard to push a patched ball down the bore after a few shots. So, I was considering using my Thomson Center Encore inline muzzleloader with Black Horn 209 and a patched round ball. The Black Horn has always burned clean for me, and should get me through the 12-15 shooters that we are expecting. Here is my question.....Has anyone done this, and what size balls/patch did you use, and what sort of powder charge is safe for this. I am not trying to shoot very long, nor are we looking for extreme velocity. Thanks in advance for the help.


Well-Known Member
Jan 21, 2016
Colorado Springs, CO
i heard that bh209 is not good for light bullets -- lead balls (175gr for 50 cal) would be considered light as most bullets for modern inline's are 250+ grains --have you tried one of the black powder substitutes? (pyrodex, black mz, triple 7, etc) ---but I have never shot patch/ball with bh209 before so its just what ive heard

bp substitutes would be much cheaper than bh209 also and they can be cleaned with water rather than the petroleum based cleaners needed for bh209--also bh209 should have a special breach plug and you are supposed to use magnum 209 shotgun primers with it for reliable ignition --it doesnt work with flint lock or percussion caps.

as far as patch and ball-- you need to get the right size ball, and correct thickness patch for your bore diameter--sometimes they are hard to obtain locally as most people no longer shoot patch/ball so plan ahead

if you want to more correctly represent the "traditional feeling" of muzzle loader rifles--I would stick with BP or BP substitute as bh209 does not have the same "white smoke plume" that BP or substitutes have either --I found some black MZ powder for really cheap and it has a large white smoke plume that simulates real BP-- or pyrodex is usually readily available and cheap too.

part of shooting traditional BP is the cleaning too!!!

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