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Discussion Starter #1
Ok, I finaly got around to doing some serious tesing with my Lyman Deerstalker Friday. I was trying the new .018" Ox yoke patches (lubed with Ballistol) and Goex 2f powder. Now Im not counting my chickens before they hatch, but I was testing at 25 yards, and this advice I seek is knowing that I still need to try out to 50, and from there maybe further, but......
The .018" Patches produced very nice patterns. I also tried some .015" patches lubed with Ballistol. They were not as good as the .018" patches, but they were still VERY close to the same preformance. But the problem is this......The .018" were a REAL pain to load. The first wasnt too bad, but the second and third took me bearing my full weight to get them short started. I could have swabbed every shot, but since Im doing this with full intentions of hunting I decided that realism was more important than match preformance shooting techniques. The .015 patches, though, went down fine no matter how many shots (I was at least doing a quickie clean between every three shot groups at least.)

So

Assuming the .015 patches still preform close to the .018 patches at 50 yards do I really bother using the .018 patches for hunting just for maybe a 1/4" of gained accuracy? Should I just stick to the .015s (again assuming they still produce at 50 yards)? Im kinda torn.
Brian
 

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On large game,1/4" isn't going to make any difference.
I would go with the easier to load patch if the thicker
ones are that hard to load.Just my opinion.
Gary
 

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Not to burst your bubble, but I've had some great performing loads at 40 yds that wouldn't group worth spit at 80 yds. So be sure to test your loads at the max range you will take a shot at game.

My Renegade 50 cal shoots FFFG loads great at 40 yds but only likes FFG at longer ranges.
 

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Go with the .015". In the heat of the moment when you're reloading (and trying to keep an eye on the game that you hopefully hit with your first shot) speed of reloading is key over 1/4" difference in accuracy.

Just my thoughts.

-Turtle -
 

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New Hampshire said:
I could have swabbed every shot, but since Im doing this with full intentions of hunting I decided that realism was more important than match preformance shooting techniques.]]

The part about hunting, realism, and match performance, being all mixed and carelessly matched in one sentance kinda lends a concern to me. We all really shoot,(right?) so we can toss that one out as common,(k?).

Shooting matches came to be,,as a compitition of prowess to the accomplished hunters amongst their peers.
Where abouts I live and how I was raised,, good "hunters" don't need a second shot! It's good too load again too wile away tyme and be prepared. yet full preparedness and accuracy is required for the "First" shot. That's the end of the "hunt".
Being prepared with the greatest amount of accuracy and confidence in your firearm is "sportsmenship", so,,,,

I shoot a .530 ball with a .022 patch that I have to "slap" too short start, an cut at muzzle. That's a ballistol patch, cut 1-7 and dried,and then short stroke pack that sucker over 80grns of good hot swiss 2f, an I'm a "swabber" ta boot!

Well long story short,,learn to shoot your first shot good, then learn how to make each shot after as good as the first! :wink: It's not easy! Ya gotta work it and learn, it takes a whole summer,,it takes study and notes and stuff,300 ball and 2 pounds of powder. if you can do that. you'll never buy a pre-cut pre lubed patch again in your life and trust it.

"HUNT" is not shooting.
"SHOOTING" is not hunting. are they mixed/matched term's? oh ya, they are ,,,
 

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Discussion Starter #6
lostid I totaly agree that first shots should always count PERIOD. Ive taken to single shot hunting (to which I include muzzleloading) as well as a new found love of archery. These are sports that dont lend themselves to "spray and pray." Be that as it may, I dont know of many, if any, unters (single shot, muzzleloading or archery) who dont have some spare projectile on hand. Unfortunately shooting deer aint like shooting paper (as you know.) Controlled enviromants on the range means you get to concentrate on putting ball on paper. But in the woods it dont take much for something unseen to ruin a perfect shot. A twig has been the downfall of many a good riflemans shot. Or, god forbidding, you do make a poor shot, now you have to act quick to hopefluy save face and still recover your game. I understand what competition does and means to folks. I agree it lends very well to sharpening skills. My comment about "realism" was meant to imply that, since if Im out in the woods and reloading on the fly is indeed necessary, one of the things I wouldnt be doing was swabbing a barrel before charging the gun again. Thats it plain and simple. And I agree as well that getting the best out of your equipment is always top priority. But, and this is the reason for my coming here to ask this question, was the "negatives" cancelled out by the "positives" of the other set-up. Sorry if I unintentionaly gave you the idea I was being careless about my equipment and shooting style. My bad.
Brian
 

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Why not try swabbing between the shots ? When I shoot a deer I swab between reloading as I watch the deer. (It don't take much effort to put a tee-shirt patch in my mouth & wet it & swab down & back one time) I am very picky & careful about my shots & I know where I hit & etc., but I still swab as I watch the deer and reload as doing so. Also we are allowed 2 a day & if I have a good clean shot at another deer I am ready & if not I have one a shot to practice with later on.

On you grouping, I would try some different loads & different lubes. Tho the Ballistol is a great product (I love the stuff) it has not done well for me as a patch lube, even tho it is real convenient.

As for an accurate load, you need 3 shots in 1 ragged hole at 25 yards. If you have not obtained 3 shots touching at 25 yards on a 50/54/58 cal you don't have the ball/patch/lube/charge combo yet & there is no sense pursuing further out in yardage til you get it close. If you can't group close you are Not going to group further out.

Also, IMHO all of this should be done on a solid Bench with Sand Bags..... Get the gun to shoot first, then work on your shooting. If the gun will not perform neither will you. Working loads & offhand shooting at the same time is a joke, as you have no idea if the load is not performing or you are not performing or both....... Eliminate human error first, then work on you after you establish what the gun likes best. Yesm it is time consuming & to some a PITA, to me it is fun & all just part of doing it right & being successful at doing it.

After you acquire this close group at 25 yards, then go to 50 yards & 3 shots in a 1 to 1/2" group (measureing bullet Center to center) and when you obtain this you have found a pretty darn good load & getting good grouping.

Learn your limitations offhand. Learn what you can Accurately shoot (distance) off hand. If it is 50 yards for now, then 50 yards is it for now. Practice will bring you to 75 yards & then 100 yards.

I been shooting ML's for well over 30 years & my distances are going the opposite now of what they did 20 years ago. Eyesight & not enough time to practice = less comfortable safe kill range distance, so my limit for a sure kill on a deer is now 75 yards. If I can't get a safe sure shot in that range, it will just have to wait on another day ..... simple as that... Ya have to learn you limitations, even tho you may not like them sometimes.... :roll:

Birddog6

www.custommuzzleloaders.com
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hey Birddog6,

First off I was indeed shooting rested (I know what a joke load development and off hand means no matter WHAT firearm your shooting :grin: .) Well, so far the Ballistol is working better for mr than when I switched from .015" Bore butter lubed patches. Before (with the bore butter) I was getting, at 25 yards, maybe 1 1/2" groupings, but at 50 yards the groups were rediculous, somewheres around 4 inches or more! The last group I fired with the .015" Ballistol patches was a bit under 1". The .018" Ballistol patches were running a hair under 3/4". Now these two groupings were with 80 gr of 2f Goex. I didnt go any higher (and Im not really sure why I didnt) so Im thinking of kicking it up to 90 grains (and maybe 100 just to see what happens) but I doubt there will be a big change from the 90 gr. I suppose I should dig out the Pyrodex and try the .018" patches with that. Cant hurt, and making smoke sure is fun! Ill strive for that ragged hole. Who knows where it will take me.......
Brian
 

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I do like BD,,swab afer each shot,even after shooting the Deer, (gotta lettm' bleed-out anyway's right?)

It could very likley be using 100% ballistal is too much lube for your patches. Your prb is skipping the rifling and shooting like a smooth bore.
Ballistal is water soluble. I mix 1 part Ballistal to 7 parts water for my best lube combo, 1 to 4 won't work,,
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Actually I am using a 50/50% solution (50 water and 50 Ballistol.) I let the patches air dry than repackage. Ill try downing the percentage on the next batch of patches and see if that improves things. Also, I dont know if it makes a HUGE difference, but this is a Lyman deerstalker with the 1:48 twist. Im thinking of also trying some power belt bullets. They are now making some all lead with a hollowpoint. They make em in 405 and 444 grain weights I believe (there is probably a lighter one Im missing as well.) But Im not giving up on the PRB. Although the gun itself isnt exactly "traditional" in the truest sense I do want to keep with the old reliable patch and ball.
Thanks for the tips.
Brian
 

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Tell ya what, spend $15 and save yourself ALOT of time and money.

You do a 'search' for, "Dutch Shoultz", not the gangster guy(different spelling) and get the "system". Do exactly what he say's. Not just part of it!! ALL of it! And you'll be a top shooter in competition and/or a confident hunter and sportsmen. Truth man,,that's the 'secret papers'. I'm # 534.
Your almost there. You have bit's and pieces. If you do what brother Dutch say's!?, it'll change your bp shooting world. I've been there! Make the jump! you'll not regret it.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Well I printed up the paper off his website. To be honest Id been meaning to order it months ago, but when your mind works 60 miles a minute you tend to foget things......which I did. Ill send out the order Monday.
But in the mean time, I was thinking that trying some .490 balls might be worth trying as well. Who knows, Ill probably get the "Dutch" papers before I get around to needing more lead pills, and from there who knows WHAT will happen :) .
Brian
 

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Don't bother doing "load development" at 25 yards! As stated above, a good 40 yard load is sometimes a stinker further out. When prb loads spread radically at longer ranges it's nearly always about the patch quality. It's probably not surviving. Put up a BIG target with about a 6 inch black bull only at 100 yards and shoot for groups. Then you know your hunting load is good all the way out to the max range you will shoot.

Pick up your fired patches and study them. If they are frayed or cutting on the lands you either have too thin a patch, not a tough enough patch or a rough bore (being a Lyman, I guarantee you have a rough bore and are probably cutting patches) :eek:

And take lostid's advice. Swab after every shot. If you don't beleive lostid, the order Dutches system and take his word for it! :)

There are no shortcuts to good results with a ml gun and round balls. First, smooth your barrel out. Use as tight a patch as you can load in the field when wiping after every shot

Sorry to sound grumpy, I get worse all the time :grin:
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Recovered .018 patches (and the .495 roundball) are coming out perfectly, no cutting fraying or ripping. And I have recovered half a dozen or so.

Im shooting at 25 right now, but by no means, should I find that magic combo, will I take to the field at that point. I fully intended to go to 50 yards afterwards to see how performance is there. If its bad then its back to the drawing board. If it is good then I will push it to 100 yards and repeat. Only THEN will I go afield, and not a moment sooner. Last season I was only getting good groups at 25 yards with the combo I had cobbled together. While it didnt actually cost me a deer I did realize that this was a handicap and this is why Im doing what I am now.

I have some .020 patches as well, but Im working up the nerve to use them (read that to mean my poor aching hand is working up to POUNDING them in there!!! :eek: :) )

Brian
 

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but by no means, should I find that magic combo, will I take to the field at that point
Good plan.

I probably should have made myself a bit clearer. I didn't mean to suggest anything about going afield with a load that was not fully tested. I was more addressing practicality. In other words, cut out the middlemen (25 and 50 yards) and go straight to the 100 rather than find a good 25 yard load only to discover it's no good at 100. Just a time and powder saver. If it works at 100 it works at 25! :)

Use a large target with a 6 inch black spot for a clear sight picture. The reason for large is to make sure that you hit the paper. Sight in is unimporant at this point. Just have a big enough sheet of backer so you can put your groups on it without messing with the sights. Just another practical time saver. Once you settle on your combo, sight it to hit dead on at 100 and you'll only be a few inches high at 50.

Recovered .018 patches (and the .495 roundball) are coming out perfectly, no cutting fraying or ripping. And I have recovered half a dozen or so.
I'd stick with that then. A good patch material is worth tracking down and hoarding :)

I have some .020 patches as well, but Im working up the nerve to use them (read that to mean my poor aching hand is working up to POUNDING them in there!!! )
They might be more accurate as long as your starter fits the ball well enough to avoid turning it into an egg or some other strange non aerodynamic shape! :shock: :) I had a load that was extremely accurate and I used it for match shooting with great success. It required a rubber mallet on the short starter to get it going.

Such a great load, I just hadda use if for the elk season :grin: I made a good hit on an elk which bolted all out in the dark timber. I didn't know yet that it was a good hit so I wanted to reload as quickly as possible. You guessed it, no rubber mallet in the possibles bag!! :eek: Well, by pounding my short starter against a tree I got it started :) The elk had piled up stone dead with a double lung plus top of the heart hit so it was all unncessary but still taught me a lesson :)

Most of the advice I give is backed up by some stupid learning experience. :-D
 
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