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Patch Thickness needed with .50 cal (.490 Round Ball) Projectile?

I inherited my Dad's .50 cal CVA frontier rifle, he never got a chance to fire it before his passing. It's been sitting in my safe since 2000. I'm at a point where I need to "thin" things out and keep what I really want. AND this rifle is looking really good to me, although I never fired a black powder weapon. I just purchased a bullet mold, round ball 176 gr., and I want to look at want else I'll need, and the oil patches have come up and I'm looking at what thickness I'll need? Shooting a 0.490 ball I had assumed it would be 0.005 thick patches (0.490 ball + 0.005 patch folded in two = 0.50), but looking on You Tube I saw a guy shoot .50 ball that was the same size projectile as mine (0.490 dia. ball) and he said he used 0.015 thick patches! So obviously there's more to this then what I'm guessing? Can anybody set me straight??


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    navc130navc130 Member Posts: 1,209 ✭✭✭
    edited April 8

    Your mathematical calculation is only an approximation of the thickness you need. Unfortunately, it is a matter of trial-and-error to get to the accuracy and ease-of-loading level that you are satisfied with. There is lots of info out there. Good luck.

    I would recommend any Blackpowder Book written by Sam Fadala.

    Also, don't forget that the patch has to fill the rifling grooves which are probably .005 deep or more.

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    yonsonyonson Member Posts: 907 ✭✭✭

    I inherited a .50 cal. T/C Hawken many years ago & haven't fired it in some time. I dug out the accoutrement bag & mic'd several patches (original T/C). All were in the .018-.019 range. A friend of mine has done quite a bit of experimenting with propellants and settled on Hodgdon Blackhorn 209 as it is non-corrosive, shoots consistently and fouling is minimal. If you choose traditional black powder you will have to deal with timely cleanup or corrosion will be an issue. As navc130 recommended, check the info that is out there before jumping in.

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    Okie743Okie743 Member Posts: 2,601 ✭✭✭✭
    edited May 7

    Is your BP CVA a percussion (caps) or flintlock?

    Assuming it's a percussion and uses #11 caps you will be better off just leaving it in the safe.

    Several reasons why.

    The Goex 2FF black powder which has a lower ignition temperature for 50 cal is NLA.

    The current Pyrodex powders and Blackhorn 209 have higher ignition rates and require a hotter spark for RELIABLE ignition. The current available powders are mainly for in-line ignition BP rifles using 209 primers.

    You have the optional of going to 209 primers if you use a MAG spark adapter.

    I've shot several CVA and others's and got good reliable accuracy using saboted bullets and triple seven 2f powder about 70-80 grains IN ROUND BALL TWIST rate BARRELS. Sabots are more user friendly than fooling around with round balls and more consistently accurate when you find the correct recipe which is usually what I listed. When using saboted bullets in a BP rifle keep the caliber of bullet as large as possible so as to keep the plastic as thin as possible. (Use a 45 cal bullet and a sabot for such instead of using a 44 cal bullet which requires a thicker plastic sabot) Also the plastic sabots must be tested when they are not warm or hot. example: sabots inside a plastic bag laying in the sun will become warm and soft or when shooting through a warm or hot barrel and will usually produce erratic accuracy. Also too much powder charge will produce erratic accuracy.

    Blackhorn 209 powder is recommended for use with 209 shotgun primers and a sealed ignition system. (read the instructions for it's use)

    I hunt Deer with BP rifles using the Mag spark 209 ignition, Triple 7 2FF powder and shooting saboted bullets 250-300gr from a round ball twist barrel.

    You can find lots of info on-line about testing a CVA Frontier rifle.

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