2 replies [Last post]
Offline
Joined: 08/22/2006
Posts: 1
bullets - caliber for hunting

Hi,

I’m from Hungary (country located in central Europe). Muzzleloading is a pretty new thing here so we do not have sufficent experience. One of my friends told me that if I needed some professional muzzleloading hunting advice then I should ask this forum.
I’d like to have a Kodiak Express from David Pedersoli. I can’t decide whether I should get a .54 or .58 caliber.
• the gun would be used for a distance not more than 100-120 yards
• it would be used for big games (eg.: elk, bear, etc)

I’d like to have some information on:
• What kind of bullet should I use (RB or slug/Minié)?
• What would be the preferred weight of the bullet?
• What could be the suggested black powder load?
• Which caliber should I try (.54 or .58)?

Please provide me some information relating to these questions. I really don’t have other sources with such (and so much) experience as you have in the US.

Thanks for your answers in advance.

Levente

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Location: Colorado
Joined: 11/09/2005
Posts: 164
bullets - caliber for hunting

I hunt elk in the USA (Colorado) with a muzzleloader. I don't know what size animals you have over there, but I'm sure that .54 caliber would be plenty. Of course, .58 would work too, and if that's what you want, or what is available, it would not hurt, but .54 should be enough.

I have a .54 caliber Lyman rifle and normally load it with 90 grains of Ffg Goex black powder and a Thompson-Center, 430 grain, Maxi-Ball bullet.

Whether or not you should use a round ball instead of a conical minie/bullet depends on the rifling twist of your gun. Round balls need a relatively slow twist--typically at least 48:1, but even more, up to 72:1, is not uncommon. With a faster twist (my rifle has a 32:1 twist) you want a longer, conical bullet of some sort. 48:1 is often considered a "compromise" twist that can work with either round balls or conicals. Most often, though, I find that this twist works best with short conicals, like the Hornady Pennsylvania conical or the Buffalo Ball-ett.

As for the load, the gun should come with some recommendations. Start at considerably less than the maximum load and work up. Most guns shoot best at less than a maximum load. With a muzzleloader, trying to get the maximum load (and hence the maximum velocity) is kind of a waste of time. These are inherently short-range rifles so trying to get a couple of extra yards of range from them is sort of pointless. It makes more sense to me to find a load that is as accurate as possible, and comfortable to shoot, and then work in close enough so you're not worrying about the range of your shot. (As an example, the farthest shot I've ever taken at an elk was just short of 80 paces.)

Good luck!

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Location: Levack, Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12/26/2006
Posts: 24
bullets - caliber for hunting

Agree that both the .54 cal and the .58cal would be suitable

I hunt moose in Canada with my .54 cal trade rifle loaded with 230gr rb over 110gr of 2ff Goex blackpowder. I also have a kuntucky flintlock in .50 cal in which I have yet to work up a hunting load for yet. That said, it shoots paper targets really nice with 177gr rb over 85gr 3fff Goex, primed with 5gr of 4ffff Goex.

p.s. I think the Pedersoli rifles are really nice!

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