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Minimum powder charge... please help!

steeltoe1978steeltoe1978 Member Posts: 3,248
I'm going shooting tomorrow with my brother. He has a .54 cal Lyman Deerstalker rifle. According to the user's manual, the MAXIMUM powder charge is 90 grains of FFF powder (or Pyrodex) but I'd like to know what the MINIMUM is that we can use for a day of target shooting. There's no sense in wasting powder and blowing out our shoulders if we don't have to. I've been searching the internet for an answer, but haven't found one yet. What do you think would be OK for shooting at a paper plate target at 25-50 yards? Thanks!

Comments

  • CapnMidnightCapnMidnight Member Posts: 8,520
    edited November -1
  • allen griggsallen griggs Member Posts: 34,339 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Try 50 grains.
    Even 60 grains should be pretty effective, and not kick much.

    Cap and ball pistols use 30 grains of powder and get pretty good results, so, I imagine you could even drop it to 40 grains and still get good accuracy at 50 yards.
  • firstharmonicfirstharmonic Member Posts: 1,020 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Results will vary from rifle to rifle. And a lot depends on your projectile - the 1 in 48 twist is good for patched round ball or maxi hunting bullets (so claimed by the manufacturer).

    If using patched round balls, a rule of thumb has always been to start with one grain of powder per caliber. So a starting load would be 54 grains of black powder (should be FFg in a .54) or the measured, not weighed, equivalent of a black powder sub - such as Pyrodex. Then you can go up or down a few grains at a time, seeking that elusive "sweet spot".

    I hope that you and your brother have great weather for what should be a fun time at the range tomorrow.
  • slumlord44slumlord44 Member Posts: 3,702 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    5o to 60 grains should be a good place to start.
  • castalotcastalot Member Posts: 13
    edited November -1
    Never use pyrodex in flintlock, or percussion rifles, or fowlers. It is a metal eater, plain, and simple. In my 50 cal flinter I use 65 gr 3f, [goex} but in your lyman 70 to 75 2f would work fine.

    Clean up with hot soap, and water, and some organic lube, and enjoy.
  • steeltoe1978steeltoe1978 Member Posts: 3,248
    edited November -1
    Thanks for all the replies! We ended up using 75 grains of Goex FFFg which did the job very well. Talk about an impressive BOOM!
  • KX500KX500 Member Posts: 733 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I started my recoil sensitive 62 pound son out with 40 grains of 777 behind a .54 cal roundball. It went bang every time, was actually pretty accurate and recoil was minimal (as you can imagine). I snuck another 10 grains of powder in there for his 1st deer hunt, but that worked fine too on a doe. I figured that load would be similar to a 44 magnum.
  • ken44-40ken44-40 Member Posts: 201 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by firstharmonic
    Results will vary from rifle to rifle. And a lot depends on your projectile - the 1 in 48 twist is good for patched round ball or maxi hunting bullets (so claimed by the manufacturer).

    If using patched round balls, a rule of thumb has always been to start with one grain of powder per caliber. So a starting load would be 54 grains of black powder (should be FFg in a .54) or the measured, not weighed, equivalent of a black powder sub - such as Pyrodex. Then you can go up or down a few grains at a time, seeking that elusive "sweet spot".

    I hope that you and your brother have great weather for what should be a fun time at the range tomorrow.


    +1.

    For a tsrget load, my Pedersoli .54 Cal Tryon Rifle likes 60 gr ffg, .010 lubed patch and 535 roundball. Wins meat and matches everytime. Hunting load is 80 gr ffg. Anything larger and the groups turn into patterns.

    FM
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