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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have found a 36 cal Thompson center percussion cap rifle.
I would like to use it squirrel hunting.
I am an avid black power deer hunter and have Pyrodex select power in the house and would like to try to stay with that power.
The gun came with a box 0f .350 round balls and wonder lube patches.
Does anyone have a starting point for a load?
What bullet would you use?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 

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36 cal t/c percussion rifle loads

Black powder loads

40 grains FFFG .350 R/B 1767 fps
50 grains FFFG .350 R/B 1972 fps
60 grains FFFG .350 R/B 2089 fps

This data came from Speer Reloading Manual Number Ten. NOTE: BLACK POWDER LOADS
Hope this is a start , Brass Rat

That was page 412, On page 417:

32 grains RS .350 R/B 1794 fps
40 grains RS .350 R/B 2041 fps
48 grains RS .350 R/B 2129 fps

PYRODEX !!!!! THIS MANUAL IS DATED 1986 GOOD LUCK!!!
 

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Pluto, I just recently found a load for my .32 Squirrel rifle, that I built from a kit. I started with 10 grains and worked my way up in 5 grain increments. With the .36 I'd probably start with 15 grains and work your way up until you find a load your rifle likes. Once you think you've got a great load, then pick some of these folks brains for a super accurate load. You'll here of "pillow ticking, denim patch material, Swiss BP, the real stuff, natural lube that you can make, with every day ingredients, as well as cleaning solvent, that will beat the pants off the commercial stuff, and is really cheap to boot". It don't take much to kill a squirrel, or rabbit, but to harvest the maximum meat from those critters, head shots, are a must. What ya got will get ya started, but you'll find there's lots of better ways of doing it. RR :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the info. The speer info is great. As with all smokepoles i guess i should do it the old fashion way and start with 15 or 20 grains of power. But it is sure goog to know that loads of up to 50gr are acceptable.

and as for them small critters well I must shoot well or waste alot of game and thats not why I hunt.

Thanks again and if anyone has anything to add please feel free.
 

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Squirrel Loads

Don't think I'd go much more than 20 grains behind a .350 ball. The squirrels I've shot with this load have very dramatic damage to the head/shoulder region. I shot my first squirrel with 30 grains and you have to see it to believe it. There is no reason with squirrel to go more than 20 grains fffg.

Regards;

Dan C
 

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Dan is right! I have been using 35 and 40 grains in mine because it is more accurate with these loads and are the ones I use for turkey. Needless to say, I have to be very particular with my shots. With 35 grains of fff, a .350 round ball will completely remove a squirrels head.
 

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I load 25 gr fff in my .32 cherokee with a .310rb and get 1700 fps. don't under estimate the power. A .22 hyper velocity is about 1600fps. And they are the same weight. 38 gr. Who says that we're behind the times? Have fun.
c mac
 

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Pluto I have in front of me a Thompson/Center owner's manual. Since you own a .36 it's either a Seneca or a Cherokee. Both of these rifles are discontinued and hard to find now. Take care of it.

Loads for .36 roundball.

40 gr. 3fg yield a muzzle velocity of 1,894 f.p.s. and 518 ft. lbs muzzle energy.

50 gr. 3fg yield a muzzle velocity of 2,034 f.p.s. and 597 ft. lbs muzzle energy.

60 gr. 3fg yield a muzzle velocity of 2,150 f.p.s. and 667 ft. lbs muzzle energy.

Of these 3 loads that T/C mentions the 40 gr. load is the one they claim is most accurate.

If you don't have an owner's manual, you can contact Thompson/Center and get one. Their address is

Thompson/Center Arms Co. Inc.
P.O. Box 5002
Rochester, HN 03867

They'll send you one out.

Now with all that said, for squirrels no matter what you use you will have quite a bit of damage unless you take only head shots. Even with drastically reduced loads of 20 gr. you'll still have to if you intend on eating them.
 

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You lucky dog! I know...I got one like it!

My .36 is a T/C Seneca and I shoot 25 to 30 grains of Pyrodex P behind the patched roundball. When my gun was new it shot and loaded best with .010 lubed patches. Broke the ramrod trying to load the recommended .015 patch. Now that there's some miles on it, the .015 patch goes down easier. If a friend hadn't encouraged me to try the .010 patch starting out, I probably would've gotten frustrated and given up on the gun. I've had best luck with patches pre-lubed with Wonder lube or Bore Butter.

If I stick with Pyrodex P and the relatively light load listed above, it will shoot accurately all afternoon without cleaning. Shooting offhand at 50 yds, the gun just chews the center out of the target...and keeps doing it until I get bored! Loads as light as 15 grains worked reasonably well, but accuracy seemed best around 30 grains. The 40 & 50 grain loads in the T/C manual just fouled the barrel, made loading tougher and accuracy worse.

Even though this load is light, it's almost too powerful for squirrels. My favorite for squirrel is a T/C System 1 with .32 cal barrel loaded with 10 Gr. Pyrodex P. Out to 50 Yds. performance is about the same as a .22 long rifle. In your gun, 20 to 25 Grains of Pyro-P would be plenty. You'll use so little of it, a pound will last a long time.

Pyrodex RS and Select, being slower burning, would probably foul more than Pyrodex P; not recommended.

Take good care of that baby. Not everyone is lucky enough to own one.
Bob
 
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