Quantcast
  1. Sign up now and join over 35,000 northwest gun owners. It's quick, easy, and 100% free!

black powder rifle accuracy?

Discussion in 'Rifle Discussion' started by speelyei, Jun 22, 2010.

  1. speelyei

    speelyei Willamette Valley Active Member

    Messages:
    498
    Likes Received:
    29
    I recently purchased a used T/C Renegade. I haven't gotten a chance to really work up a load/bullet combo, but it seems to be capable of x10 MOA...

    I've just been using patched round balls, and havent tried a maxi-ball yet, nor have I tried incrementally adjusting the powder volume. Any other BP shooters? What kind of groups are you getting at 100 yds?
     
  2. OFADAN

    OFADAN Brownsville, OR Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,099
    Likes Received:
    286
    You didn't mention caliber but I'll surmise it is .50. The 50 Renegade is a mighty fine rifle indeed! If you don't want it, I'll gladly take it off your hands!

    Using Muzzleloaders and Black Powder Cartridge rifles (Sharps), I can attest their accuracy can be quite excellent.

    The early Creedmore matches shot out to 1000 yards were all shot with black powder. The worlds record long distance shooting was BP until the turn of the early 1900's. So don't under-estimate this older technology. While it may not have the MOA of modern scoped, bedded, & blueprinted guns of today, they can still get the job done. Much, if not nearly all, of the west was tamed with Black Powder.

    Find out what twist the barrel is and then you'll know if it will shoot a patched ball or conical (Maxi-Ball) best. Find someone who has a good working understanding of the black powder technology as working with smokeless propellant is considerably different than black powder.

    Please feel free to give me a shout if you need some help along the way. I'm certainly no expert, but I've made just about every mistake you can make with black powder a couple times. Please keep us posted on your progress!
     
  3. madcratebuilder

    madcratebuilder Ardenwald, OR Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,278
    Likes Received:
    175
    Do you know what twist the barrel is? This well make a difference with RB's or maxi's. You well need to work up a load trying different powder charges and different RB size and patch thickness. The TC should shoot very close to MOA with the optimum load.
     
  4. speelyei

    speelyei Willamette Valley Active Member

    Messages:
    498
    Likes Received:
    29
    I'll check it tonight and see what the twist is. From the way the patch and jagger behave while I have been cleaning it, I think it's a very slow twist indeed... Yes, it's a
    .50 cal, I have been shooting a .495 round ball with a patch lubed with bore-butter. I am convinced the bore-butter is just crisco, but I like the peppermint smell...

    I don't think I'll be in the market to sell it, in fact, I am trying to decide what to buy next. I really enjoy shooting BP, and from an standpoint of economy, it can't be beat. I cast my own bullets and shoot Pyrodex, so it's mere cents to pull the trigger.
     
  5. ogre

    ogre Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,754
    Likes Received:
    1,291
    Dollars to donuts your rate of twist for the Renegade will be 1:48 inches. I used to shoot mine with a patched .490 ball. I could never get the accuracy to suit me until I cut way back on the powder charges. I now shoot a 62 caliber with a 1:114 inch twist barrel.
     
  6. speelyei

    speelyei Willamette Valley Active Member

    Messages:
    498
    Likes Received:
    29
    one turn in 114"! Man, I had no idea they made a rifling so slow...

    What kind of reduced charges did you wind up with? I am using 80 gr pyrodex, but I thought I would start down at 70 and work my way to 90 shooting three shot groups at 50 yards. If I found a stand out group, I'd see what that charge does at 100 yards.
     
  7. OFADAN

    OFADAN Brownsville, OR Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,099
    Likes Received:
    286
    Suggestion, pick up some Goex FF and really enjoy the rifle the way it was meant to be shot! It will perk up and thank ye for doing so.
     
  8. ogre

    ogre Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,754
    Likes Received:
    1,291
    The original spec. called for a 30" rifle barrel with a 1:140 inch twist but the only blank available in a 36" length (which I wanted) was 1:114 inch. It seems to work fine.

    As far as the Renegade went my particular rifle shot a .490 PRB best with 50gr of 2f or 40gr of 3f. Ofadan made an excellent suggestion when he advised you to use genuine blackpowder.
     
  9. speelyei

    speelyei Willamette Valley Active Member

    Messages:
    498
    Likes Received:
    29
    As predicted 1:48... I bought some maxi-hunter bullets at Bi-Mart today, tonight I'll do a some charge and bullet comparisons and see what's what.
    I've got about a half can of pyrodex left. I'll probably shoot that till it's gone, and then give the good stuff a whirl.
     
  10. Spitpatch

    Spitpatch Forest Grove, Oregon Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,801
    Likes Received:
    836
    My Thompson Hawken .45 really likes the Hornady Great Plains bullets, and I think my hunting load is about 90g (equivalent) of Pyrodex Select. My buddy in Montana shoots a .50, and his gun likes the Hornady bullets too.

    During 3 years of testing nearly every bullet on the market, I settled on the Hornady for my .45.

    With the tang vernier peep, and globe front sight, I get 2" groups at 100 yards. That's pretty good for iron sights. A 14" Pronghorn buck at 175 yards did not argue the point.
     
  11. HeavyfootHick

    HeavyfootHick Milwaukie, OR Member

    Messages:
    93
    Likes Received:
    5
    My TC Hawkins .50 shot well with 90 gr pyrodex pushing a .490 patched round ball.
    I purchased a Green Mountain drop in barrel in .54 cal which performs very well although I dont remember the load I used.
    I need to shoot blackpowder rather than pyrodex to experience the difference.
     
  12. madcratebuilder

    madcratebuilder Ardenwald, OR Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,278
    Likes Received:
    175
    1-48 should shoot both round ball and conicals with reasonable accuracy. A 1-66 is round ball only and can make the round ball a tack driver.
    There are faster barrels available, 1-20, 1-24, 1-28 ans 1-38 are all being made by different companies. These fast twist barrels are for conicals or sabots only.
     
  13. speelyei

    speelyei Willamette Valley Active Member

    Messages:
    498
    Likes Received:
    29
    disappointing afternoon. Took the Renegade out and set a target at 50 yds. Started at 50gr Pyrodex P, shot a 4 shot group with patched .495 ball, and couldn't keep them all on the sheet of legal sized paper. 60 gr brought it into a 6.5" group, and 70 gr had it opened up to a 18" group again.
    I shot a group with the 300gr maxi-hunters, and it increased the recoil considerably (which I expected), but that grouping at 60 gr was 18"!
     
  14. ogre

    ogre Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,754
    Likes Received:
    1,291
    That is disappointing! I have never fired Pyrodex P through a rifle: always using RS when I used to use the stuff. Granual size can make a difference in some firearms.

    Did you collect and inspect your patches after firing? They can tell you much. I wonder if those comparatively large amounts of P are causing patch burnout. I am sure that you will like ff much more.

    If you are ever in the Vancouver neighborhood I'll be glad to treat you to some ff or some fff for that matter and maybe you'll have better luck.
     
  15. speelyei

    speelyei Willamette Valley Active Member

    Messages:
    498
    Likes Received:
    29
    I did collect up the patches. I usually find them 10 or 15 yards out from the muzzle, and they look black, and ragged, like little square donuts... the center is all burned or torn out. For patches, I am just using .22 cal cleaning patches made from cotton t-shirt material, soaked in Bore Butter. Thanks for the offer of some FF, i think I will just pick up a can next time I see it available.
     
  16. ogre

    ogre Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,754
    Likes Received:
    1,291
    I'm guessing at least one problem is with your patch. I think you should go to a fabric store and bring along a set of dial calipers or a micrometer. Measure the sizes of the pillow ticking and select a suitable thickness.

    Take it home and wash it in hot water to remove the sizing and to shrink it. Bear in mind that the washing will probably alter the thickness of the material as well as tighten up the weave. Use your patch lube and go for it.

    Since you are using Pyrodex P which is relatively zippy stuff and the rifling in that TC barrel is shallow I would also reduce the powder charges even more. You want that shallow rifling to grab the ball and it will be easier to do so with a little lower velocity.

    Good luck!
     
  17. speelyei

    speelyei Willamette Valley Active Member

    Messages:
    498
    Likes Received:
    29
    should I just buy some of the pre-fab patches they sell? what kind of thickness should I be looking for? thanks for all the advice, by the way!
     
  18. madcratebuilder

    madcratebuilder Ardenwald, OR Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,278
    Likes Received:
    175
    I think you are using to large of RB. For sure the wrong patches. For the TC .50 cal barrels most shooters well find a .490 rb with a .015 or .010 lubed patch gives the best accuracy. The TC's like real BP over subs.

    My TC .50 holds 2 moa with a .490rb wrapped in a .015 lubed patch on top of 80grs of FFg black powder.

    Take a road trip to Springfield and check out "The Gun Works" they well have everything you need plus a lot more.

    http://www.thegunworks.com/GunIndex.cfm
     
  19. ogre

    ogre Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,754
    Likes Received:
    1,291

    Madcratebuilder gave you some good advice. My particular Renegade also shot best with a .490 ball and .015" patch but every rifle is different. To use the .495 ball I would start with a .010" patch.

    By all means use store bought patches if you prefer or at least until you find a load that your rifle likes. Load developement can be lots of fun.

    Also switch to a propellent other then Pyrodex 'P' as soon as practicable. The 'P' is best suited to pistols so why not stack the deck in your favor a little?

    PM sent.
     
  20. pinecenega

    pinecenega oregon coast New Member

    Messages:
    138
    Likes Received:
    24
    I have been shooting a renegade 54 for probably 30 years. I do best with 72 grains of pyrodex-p with a maxi I consistently get 4 to 6 inch groups at 75 yards.
    I used to hunt mule deer with the renegade. Rarely shot past 80 yards. Never lost a deer I shot at.

    MSgtDon