I'm new to muzzleloading. My wife bought me a .50 cal. Traditions Pennsylvania rifle (round ball). Can anyone who hunts with primitive muzzleloaders give me some tips on working up a good hunting load.
That is a really nice looking gun. Congrats!
The first thing you want to do is get real familiar with the owners manual cover to cover. I would start out shooting 60 grains of 2F with a .490 ball and a greased patch. From a stable rest take three shots at a 40 yard target or closer if the sites are way off. Step up 10 grains to 70 and three more shots and so on up to 80 or 90. You could probably go up to 100gr but I wouldn't you don't really gain anything after a certain point, although with that long barrel you may get the extra burn time on the powder. My bet is you will hunt with 90gr or less. It will take a lot of shooting and cleaning to find that just right load you want to hunt with but that's half the fun.
If you use Black powder be ready to clean the rifle after every set even if it is just a spit patch. There are several good propelent choices out there which are a whole lot easier to clean up. You may want to keep it old time and use a ball and black powder. If not I would check out 80 to 90gr of Pyrodex powder and a prelubed conical like the buffalo balls for hunting, no patch required.
Last edited by Buckshot; 07-28-2008 at 03:35 PM.