Author Topic: Maximum kill range for round ball  (Read 6049 times)

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Offline 357 Herrrett

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Maximum kill range for round ball
« on: October 12, 2008, 06:36:28 pm »
I know this may be a silly question but what is the maximum point blank range for a round ball?  With todays modern in-lines deer are shot out to 200 plus yards. 

Is there a minimum foot pounds of energy for killing a deer?


Offline bigblock455

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Re: Maximum kill range for round ball
« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2008, 06:58:10 pm »
i dont buy in to that Ft lb energy modern day BS. You poke a hole into anything body cavity and puncture a lung,heart or liver, its dead.

For round ball, its not so much the engery but the ball it self which is prone to being blown off course by wind.

I like the .54cal and bigger ball for 100-130 yard shooting.

Offline sabotloader

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Re: Maximum kill range for round ball
« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2008, 10:08:56 am »
7-30 Waters

might this article help you answer your question... although if i remember right it is not to well recieved by the traditional shooter.

http://www.hpmuzzleloading.com/TraditionalHPML2.html

Keep shooting muzzleloaders - they are a blast....

Offline kevthebassman

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Re: Maximum kill range for round ball
« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2008, 10:56:02 am »
Toby Bridges is a clown of the first order.  He's bought and paid for, and cannot speak kindly of the roundball because he's a salesman for sabot companies.  It's all about the money, and last I checked, nobody in the roundball business was handing out sponsorships.

There is no minimum ft/lbs for killing a deer.  Ft/lbs of energy is a miserable way to compare lethality in the first place.  An arrow traveling along at 200 fps doesn't carry much energy, and it doesn't need to.  All an arrow (or any projectile) needs to do is penetrate and cause tissue damage.   Small caliber bullets need great ft/lbs to drive their expansion to create that tissue damage.  A roundball is already punching a big hole, so there is no need to expand to deliver a quick kill (although a roundball will indeed expand if the target is hit at close range).   All the roundball needs to do to achieve a quick kill is be able to penetrate through to the vitals.  The large diameter of the ball will do all the damage that is required. 

To answer your question; simply put I do not know what the maximum range of a roundball is.  The maximum range that it will penetrate through the vitals is the maximum range, and I have no clue what that is.  I shoot a .54, and 125 yards is my personal limit.  Beyond that range the drop is too great and in any kind of stiff breeze I limit myself even further.  If I had telescopic sights where I could see my target better and compensate for drop, I have no doubt that the roundball could kill at longer ranges, but a scope would look rather odd on a flintlock and pretty well defeats the purpose of hunting with a flintlock.

Offline Davemuzz

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Re: Maximum kill range for round ball
« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2008, 11:24:02 am »
I've killed a lot of deer over the years with a 50 caliber PRB using a T\C barrel and 60 grains of FF Goex. Some were close and the longest shot was probably 90 yards. 100 yards was and is still my maximum range. Most died within a 100 yard run. A few got away as the blood trail just wasn't there. I'm sure some lived and some didn't.

Today, I shoot a Green Mt. 1-70 twist barrel. Last year I went from 50 cal PRB to Hornady Conical's. These are 240 grain instead of the 180 grain of the PRB. I load 'em over 90 gr. of FF goex with a TC bore button in between. IMHO I think these Conical's hit harder than the PRB. Of the 2 deer I hit with 'em last year, both dropped like they were hit with a sledge hammer. One got back up....one didn't. The one that got back up, didn't go far. I've not seen that kind of knock down with the PRB. But then, I don't claim to have seen everything in this world.

The Conical's are all lead, easy to load. No plastic sabots to fool with and are as accurate in the RB twist barrels as a RB.

Dave

Offline flintlock

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Re: Maximum kill range for round ball
« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2008, 12:20:41 pm »
I've killed them out to 125 yards with my .54 and round balls, over 80grs of FFF Goex...

Back when I used a .45, I had several kills out to 75 yards...The load was a .440 ball and 75grs of Goex FFF...That load would shoot through a 2x4 at 75 yards, so I figured it would kill a deer...Most of the time the ball would be found under the hide on the off side...

Of course, you have heard that General Simon Fraser was killed at about 300 yards... :)

Offline quickdtoo

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Re: Maximum kill range for round ball
« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2008, 01:34:36 pm »
I've only killed 3 blacktails with PRB from a .50 cal Lancaster flinter using .498" balls over 95gr 3F Goex, first one was a 4-pt(8-pt eastern)at about 50-60yds standing quartering away looking back at me after I jumped him from his bed and he ran 30yds or so and stopped to see what went baah as him, the ball went thru and thru the upper shoulder nicking the spine, he piled up right there.

The next one was a forky standing broadside at 75-80yds, shot him thru the lungs just behind the shoulder, he turned an ran down hill about 60yds thru brush and was dead before I got to him, the ball passed thru and thru leaving an 1" exit wound, and lots of blood on the latter 2/3rds of the  trail to him.

The third one was a 3-pt bringing up the rear of line of does running past me, he was running broadside at about 30yds, I poked him thru the brisket,  he stumbled and made a circle around me and headed back the way he come leaving a blood trail a blind man could follow. The ball went thru and thru and lodged in the off side knee, when he stumbled I thought maybe I hadn't hit him good specially when he kept going, but he was dead on his feet, just didn't know it. The ball was flattened out about 1" in diameter.

Tim
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Offline SHOOTALL

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Re: Maximum kill range for round ball
« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2008, 01:57:57 pm »
point blank range would mean hitting a 6-8 inch circle with out any over or under hold . a round ball sheads energy as fast as any projectile can . so a point blank range for a 50 cal. round ball would most likely be 75 yards or less . Will they kill farther yep on a good day with a good shot in a gun made to shoot them say with a 1 in 66 twist or there about . If you want distance there are better bullets and guns . If you are restricted to there use , its for a reason .
If ya can see it ya can hit it !

Offline captchee

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Re: Maximum kill range for round ball
« Reply #8 on: October 13, 2008, 05:35:26 pm »
Well , there is a lot of Bla bla out there concerning the RB .
Tony B is one of the biggest instigators of this .
 However if you read his old writings you will find he  touts the use of the RB . Well up untell he started to get paid by the inline folks anyway .

As to drop ? This depends on a lot of factors .   The RB can drop a lot less then folks  think even when dealing with  medium loads , . Ask sabot loader what he  is seeing and finding  as he begins  his learning about the Patched RB .
Folks thought I was nuts with what I was telling them . I thik sabot shooter did as well . But this year he has started to shoot the RB  and I think maybe just alittle more then surprised .

 Myself  I hold to the 100 yrd range , regardless  .
 But understand that the RB will have the energy to kill a human  well beyond what we shoot .
 Historically there are accounts of horses being shot  out from under  folks at and beyond 200 yards ,
 The key however is shot placement.
 Through the years I have taken  just about every NA big game animal  with  PRB .
Well I have not taken a bighorn nor a grizzly bear  .
 Do your part and the RB will do its . Fail in your   duties and   it wont be as forgiving .

Offline 357 Herrrett

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Re: Maximum kill range for round ball
« Reply #9 on: October 13, 2008, 07:42:02 pm »
I appreciate the sound advice.  I believe any deer out to 125 yards is fair game given a good broadside shot through the vitals with a 54 caliber round ball.

thanks,

Offline kevthebassman

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Re: Maximum kill range for round ball
« Reply #10 on: October 14, 2008, 05:06:13 am »
I appreciate the sound advice.  I believe any deer out to 125 yards is fair game given a good broadside shot through the vitals with a 54 caliber round ball.

thanks,
My thoughts exactly.

I think that the key to successful use of the round ball is to hunt like an archery hunter.  Get that broadside shot, and everything else will fall into place.

Offline SHOOTALL

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Re: Maximum kill range for round ball
« Reply #11 on: October 14, 2008, 05:20:01 am »
the ? was point blank range , no Kentucky windage .
If ya can see it ya can hit it !

Offline coyotejoe

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Re: Maximum kill range for round ball
« Reply #12 on: October 14, 2008, 08:46:37 am »
One can't give a flat answer to this because there are too many variables but here is an example. A .535" ball leaving the muzzle at 1700 fps, which is typical of a "hunting load", can be zeroed 2" high at 50 yards and will be about center at 100 and 4-5" low at 125. A far worse problem is the wind, a 10 mph cross wind will drift that ball about 16" at 125 yards. I like to zero in as above but limit my shots to 100 yards, reserving that extra 25 yards as a margin for error in range estimation and be wary of the wind.
  Certainly a scope sighted inline with the latest hi-tech sabot slugs and a laser range finder can double the effective range of a traditional muzzleloader. But the whole point of hunting with a muzzleloader is NOT to make things EASY, but to accept the challenge of working within the limitations of the equipment, is it not?
If one wishes to hunt with a muzzleloading rifle producing modern centerfire ballistics I have no problem with that, let him hunt in the modern centerfire season. ;D
The story of David & Goliath only demonstrates the superiority of ballistic projectiles over hand weapons, poor old Goliath never had a chance.

Offline captchee

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Re: Maximum kill range for round ball
« Reply #13 on: October 14, 2008, 08:52:37 am »
depends on which definition of point blank your looking at . bolistics wise or ferisics wise .
 i sight my rifles in at 100 yards .
at 50 yards i find little deviance . in fact  my Point of aim is no diffent  at 15 yards then it is at 100  and very little  diffrence " inches "  when shooting at 150 .
 now the bolistics charts will tell you that  say 200 the RB has alot of drop ? well maybe mathmaticaly it does , but through my rifle i dont find it to be anywhere near as drimatic .
but again this depends on alot of things , your rifling , patch , lube and powder charge .
 i have taken off hand shoots at over 300  with my rifle , shooting  a 530 RB  and 80 grains of powder .
 recently i took 2nd at  325  yards "lazered"  shooting only RB
 how much enegergy does the ball have when reaching that far ? well frankly not alot , but still enough to  kill a person reasonably well  or at least  make one wish they were .
Is the RB a 300 H&H at that distance ? no  not anywhere near .
I think folks though would do well if they treated there muzzleloader no diffrent then they would a bow  and only exstend the range by 2X  exspecialy concerning the RB .

 but at  100 yards .  a 45, 50 , 54  or better will do the job on deer , if the shooter does his part .
 for elk  50 , 54 or better   i would recommend  . but a 45 will do the jogb as well  at around 50 .

 learn to  desren range , place your shot and have confidance in your rifle . the RB WILL do its job  if you do yours

Offline yooper77

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Re: Maximum kill range for round ball
« Reply #14 on: October 14, 2008, 09:11:52 am »
100 yards is my limit.

In my 45 caliber CVA Kenntucky rifle with 33" 1:66" twist barrel and 60 grains of 3F powder behind a 128 gr .440 patched round ball gave excellent accuracy.

I now use a 50 caliber T/C Pennsylvania Hunter with 32" 1:66" twist barrel and 90 grains of 2F powder behind a 176 gr .490 patched round ball, also gives me excellent accuracy.

I also shoot a 50 caliber T/C Hawken rifle with 28" 1:48" twist barrel and 90 grains of 2F powder behind a 370 grain Maxi-Balls for my sledgehammer load.  This same load in my T/C Treehawk rifle with 21" 1:20" twist barrel is a deadly short, fits nicely in a tree stand.

yooper77

Offline mcwoodduck

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Re: Maximum kill range for round ball
« Reply #15 on: October 14, 2008, 09:34:07 am »
You have two different questions in your one.
First is what is the max effective range of a round ball?
That would depend on the calier of the round ball.  A 490 round ball with a charge behind it will carry enough energy X far.  A .577 round ball with the same charge will carry more energy out to the same mark.
I guess a better question for you is what Caliber do you have?

Your second part of the question is about a modern in line front loader.
Why not use either a sabot with a pistol bullet in it or one of the super mini balls that are out on the market with 100 to 150 grains of pyrodex (depending on what the max load your inline can take) and extend your max effective range out to 200 to 300 yards?

Personally with the 50 and the 58 I own my max for deer is 125 and 175 respectivly.
When I was working up a load for my 50 I use 64 grains of Pyrodex and a round ball.  It is about equal to 44 mag with a 180 grain bullet and I know it will carry enough energy to down a deer at 125 yards.  As for the 58 I use a 525 grain mini ball with 56 grains of pyrodex.  It's a zuave and with that charge and projectile the sights are there.

Offline 357 Herrrett

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Re: Maximum kill range for round ball
« Reply #16 on: October 14, 2008, 11:46:03 am »
You have two different questions in your one.
First is what is the max effective range of a round ball?
That would depend on the calier of the round ball.  A 490 round ball with a charge behind it will carry enough energy X far.  A .577 round ball with the same charge will carry more energy out to the same mark.
I guess a better question for you is what Caliber do you have?

Your second part of the question is about a modern in line front loader.
Why not use either a sabot with a pistol bullet in it or one of the super mini balls that are out on the market with 100 to 150 grains of pyrodex (depending on what the max load your inline can take) and extend your max effective range out to 200 to 300 yards?

Personally with the 50 and the 58 I own my max for deer is 125 and 175 respectivly.
When I was working up a load for my 50 I use 64 grains of Pyrodex and a round ball.  It is about equal to 44 mag with a 180 grain bullet and I know it will carry enough energy to down a deer at 125 yards.  As for the 58 I use a 525 grain mini ball with 56 grains of pyrodex.  It's a zuave and with that charge and projectile the sights are there.



Sorry, my bad.  I forgot to mention my gun is a 54 caliber T/C Hawken which will soon be sporting a Green Mountain 54 caliber 1:70 twist barrel.  I have never cared for the original T/C 1:48 twist barrel and getting thumped by heavy conicals.  I might even start using this gun in chunk shoots.

Offline coyotejoe

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Re: Maximum kill range for round ball
« Reply #17 on: October 14, 2008, 12:06:21 pm »
I think you'll be happy with the Green Mountain .54, they make a great round ball rifle.
The story of David & Goliath only demonstrates the superiority of ballistic projectiles over hand weapons, poor old Goliath never had a chance.

Offline Davemuzz

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Re: Maximum kill range for round ball
« Reply #18 on: October 14, 2008, 01:43:56 pm »
Once you begin shooting your GM barrel, your TC barrel will become a table leg in your shop somewhere. And it will be on the back of the table....you know.....against the wall. ;D

You'll like the GM that much.

Dave

Offline mcwoodduck

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Re: Maximum kill range for round ball
« Reply #19 on: October 14, 2008, 03:07:53 pm »
Hey will that 54 cal barrel fit my T/C greyhawk?
If so what do you want for it?  As it's going to be a table leg and all.... Should be cheap.

Offline yooper77

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Re: Maximum kill range for round ball
« Reply #20 on: October 14, 2008, 03:15:10 pm »
Its not my barrel, but no sir the 54 caliber 1" octagon T/C Hawken barrel will not fit your round barrel T/C Greyhawk.

It would fit a T/C Renegade, T/C Big Bore or another T/C 54 caliber Hawken.

The T/C Greyhawk will take barrels from the T/C New Englander, T/C Treehawk and I believe possibly the T/C Black Mountain Magnum, but please check with T/C on the later.

yooper77

Offline Davemuzz

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Re: Maximum kill range for round ball
« Reply #21 on: October 14, 2008, 03:28:43 pm »
Hey will that 54 cal barrel fit my T/C greyhawk?
If so what do you want for it?  As it's going to be a table leg and all.... Should be cheap.

Oh......now hold on just a second.....the table leg itself is cheap....but you can't just buy the leg. You gotta buy the whole table...and that's where the value is!!!  ;D 

Offline mcwoodduck

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Re: Maximum kill range for round ball
« Reply #22 on: October 14, 2008, 03:35:59 pm »
Thanks,
I didn't think about the 8 sided tube trying to fit my round plastic stock.

Offline kevthebassman

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Re: Maximum kill range for round ball
« Reply #23 on: October 14, 2008, 04:24:45 pm »
You'll like that GM barrel.  Mine likes 110 grains Goes FFFg, .530 ball and .020 patch.  I have to start the ball with a mallet, but it shoots like a dream.

Offline pab1

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Re: Maximum kill range for round ball
« Reply #24 on: October 15, 2008, 08:11:46 am »
I love my GM barrels, I just wish they would include a decent ramrod with them.
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Offline longcaribiner

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Re: Maximum kill range for round ball
« Reply #25 on: October 15, 2008, 09:18:18 am »
Obviously a heavier ball caries further than a light one.  But rifling and barrel length also play an important part.  a 24 to 28 inch barrel isn't long enough to burn over 90 grains of powder in a 50 cal. and still get maximum oomph from the powder, the powder burns slow and is still burning when the ball exits the muzzle so excess powder is just wasted in muzzle flash.  On the other hand, a 40 inch barrel can easily burn up to 120 or 130 and get the full energy out of the powder.  A fast "comprimise" twist like 1:48 can't handle the heavy charges without the PRB stripping through the rifling.   A slow 1:72 twist in a long barrel that allows the powder to be burned up will send the ball further.    I've seen bench rest guns and shooters with 62 and 68 caliber 5 ft long, 60 pound barrel, guns shoot cloverleafs at 300 yds   I have no doubt that they could easily take a deer at 400 yds with a PRB.  Just trying to point and aim that chunk o steel in the woods is another monumental undertaking in itself.  I have an old original  chunk gun, that still shoots a two inch 5 shot group at 100 yds.  It's 615 ball could reach out and touch at probably 250 yds easy.  But that gun weighs 35 pounds.

just as a rough rule of thumb for the air drag on bullets and caliber.  a 75 caliber ball retains approximately 75% of it's intitial muzzle energy at 100 yds.  a 535 caliber ball retains about 50% of its muzzle energy at 100 yards.  a 495 ball retains about 45% of it's energy at 100yds and 350 caliber ball retains about 30% of it's energy at 100yds.  See the pattern.  (figures are computed from the stats in the Lyman Black Powder Handbook.)   

At 300 yds, a 75 cal ball retains a third of its energy, a 535 ball retains only 15%% of its energy and a 495 ball retains only 12% of its energy.  a 350 ball retains only 6%.    Still a big drop, but none the less a pattern emerges.