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Muzzleloader Powder Charge Questions

reload999reload999 Member Posts: 3,079 ✭✭✭
I just received a CVA "PR423 Hawken Rifle - Premier Grade" .50 Cal (.490) from my dad, who no longer used it. I've been shooting and reloading metallic cartridges for decades, but have never owned a muzzle loader before. I won't be shooting it much, but do want to try it. The manual calls for 50-90 gr of 2f or 45-85 of 3f black powder, but I had planned on using Pyrodex. I know pyrodex and black powder charges compare by volume not weight, so how do I determine the correct pyrodex load without having black powder to compare volumes? Or, should I just use black powder? For projectiles, I have 170 gr balls and 275 gr TC "maxi-hunter" bullets. Do powder charges need to be adjusted for different bullet weights as with metallic cartridges? Thanks for any info.


  • bambambambambambam Member Posts: 4,812 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I have 3 smokepoles. In my T/C Hawkin I shoot 60-80grs of Pyrodex RS(FFG) for plinking(mostly 60gr). For deerhunting I use 90gr. Both loads with .490 ball&.010 patch with borebutter. My owners manual says 110gr is max load.All guns diffrent in max, but close to 90-100(cap locks, not inlines & I have no clue on flintlock.)

    As for measuring powder charge ALL muzzleloaders that I'm familar with use volume to charge gun with. You will need to buy a powder measure. Most are similar in apperance to a syringe. The polycarbinit ones are around $10 and brass ones higher.

    I don't recommend real blackpowder because it a pain to clean up and is very corosive on the gun.

    As far as the weight on the maxi's you don't have the same rule as smokeless reloading just make sure you don't exceed the guns max charge. I load my gun to be comfortable to shoot with all the bullet weights. I've always thought I'm enjoying shooting my gun, not trying to shoot the most powder I can. The 60gr charge to me feels like a 20ga low brass.

    Enjoy, be safe loading the gun, were eye protection, and never blow into the muzzle like some people do after shots. I've been at a range were a person got a flash burn from unburned powder.
  • reload999reload999 Member Posts: 3,079 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Thanks for the information. The idea of blowing into the muzzle never occurred to me [:0]
  • hillbillehillbille Member Posts: 14,085 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    black powder is no more corrosive than pyrodex, if you fail to clean your rifle after shooting either powder will rust and pit it. the secret is cleaning, black powder may be more dirty,but will clean up easy enough with soap and water. any muzzleloader should be cleaned after shooting, I would personally never leave one sit dirty for more than a day, I have been shooting black powder exlusivley for over 30 years and this habit has served me and my rifles just fine.
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