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 Testing Pyrodex P - St.Louis Hawken

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Male Number of posts : 16283
Age : 35
Location : Boncarbo,Colorado
Registration date : 2008-05-19

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PostSubject: Testing Pyrodex P - St.Louis Hawken   Testing Pyrodex P - St.Louis Hawken EmptyMon 20 Feb - 15:13

Now that we are getting some warm weather, I decided to start with my new Traditions St.Louis Hawken kit gun that I put together. All testing will be from 50 yards to help eliminate shooter error ( poor eye sight to some )

One thing that I have learned from in the past, just because one load shoots tight at 50 yards, does not mean it will shoot the same at 100 yards. This rifle for example with its normal load of 80gr Olde Enysford 2fg, shoots looser groups at 50 yards than when I back it down to 70 grains. Once I work out to 100 yards with a 70gr charge, it opens up to where I feel uncomfortable shooting at game. Up to to 80 and we are back in business with scoped inline accuracy.

Play around with charges, ball size and patch thickness. They all make a difference.

Today, I am going to start off the test by using Pyrodex P. I know, traditionalists don't like it, but its widely available to city slickers that don't know any better, but most importantly, it is a good consistent shooting powder that does well with patched round balls.

This rifle has a max load of 105gr 3f black powder ( Pyrodex P is a 3f grade )

The load data that will be updated as it comes in, will also work for all Traditions sidelock muzzleloaders with a 28" barrel with 1:48 twist. The Hawken, Hawken Woodsman and St.Louis Hawken are pretty much identical rifles with minor changes here and there.

Testing Pyrodex P - St.Louis Hawken IMG_8716
Testing Pyrodex P - St.Louis Hawken IMG_8717
Same load as above but only one thing changed.. Letting the barrel cool down for a few minutes between shots!
Testing Pyrodex P - St.Louis Hawken IMG_8719

Next I went to 80 grains and the group shrunk even better. Does this mean this is the most accurate load so far? Perhaps at 50 yards, but at 100, the 70 grain charge might be shoot better. I however, have fooled my self in the past with that kind of thinking.
Testing Pyrodex P - St.Louis Hawken IMG_8720

No swabbing was ever done with all the shots on target. Zero hang fires with factory nipple.

Next time out I am going to switch to a .018" pillow tick patch and the next time, a thinner .015" so I have data for all patch thicknesses with powders ranging from Olde Eynsford, Pyrodex RS, Pyrodex P, Jim Shockeys Gold Super Powder.


I went back out with a few shots of the following. I feel I limited myself by using this target. Its actually made for up close shooting, but I could still see it fine at 50 yards even though its 1 1/2" High by 3/4" Wide. Not a bad group, but always room for improvement.

This would be the #1 starting load for a new shooter with a new gun listed above, using Pyrodex P. Loads very easy and accuracy is more than enough to go out hunting with.
Testing Pyrodex P - St.Louis Hawken IMG_8722

Tomorrow if weather is good, 80gr Pyrodex P will be tested.
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Number of posts : 127
Age : 73
Location : Arlington, TX
Registration date : 2017-05-27

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PostSubject: Re: Testing Pyrodex P - St.Louis Hawken   Testing Pyrodex P - St.Louis Hawken EmptySun 28 May - 21:09

Very impressive.  If those rifles you list will shoot that well at 50yds, and do almost as well at 100, I'm really looking forward to owning one and working up a load.  I like my equipment to be better than I can shoot.  At my age, my groups are starting to spread some but, I want the confidence that my rifle will do it if I can.  It keeps me on my toes and working hard to not embarrass my gun.  Smile

Thanks for posting your results.
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