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 INSIGHTS ON SIGHTING IN!

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flashpoint



Number of posts : 48
Age : 74
Location : New Jersey
Registration date : 2019-01-12

INSIGHTS ON SIGHTING IN! Empty
PostSubject: INSIGHTS ON SIGHTING IN!   INSIGHTS ON SIGHTING IN! EmptyApril 12th 2019, 3:46 pm

OK, I have hunted with modern rifles for ages and have no problem sighting them in for 100 yards.
However, being new to BP I now have to sight in my .45 Seneca.  I know the basic concepts of moving the sights to get the best accuracy, but am a little unsure as to working up the best load for maximum knock- down power and accuracy.

My T/C manual states that for a PRB (127 grain lead ball) that I should start out with the lightest load and gradually increase the charge until I get my best performing load (the most accurate).  They recommend the following:
50 grs. FFG
60 grs. FFG
70 grs. FFG
80 grs. FFG (maximum load)

I plan on initially shooting at 13 yards. 

So my question is:
If I am at 13 yards and shooting 50 grains of BP and I am able to adjust my sights so I can hit in the bull, do I just keep upping the charge at that same range and just keep adjusting the sights till I get to a point where I can't adjust the sights any more or can't go beyond my maximum load?

As  I mentioned above, I want the best knock-down power with the best accuracy.

Once I get that, I will shoot at 100 yards expecting the ball to be a bit high at 50 and on at 100 (God willing).

Am I on the right track or totally off base? I appreciate any help or comments.  Thank you.
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FrontierGander
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FrontierGander

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

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PostSubject: Re: INSIGHTS ON SIGHTING IN!   INSIGHTS ON SIGHTING IN! EmptyApril 12th 2019, 5:05 pm

With that .45cal I'd start with 60gr 2fg, possibly 3fg depending what you have on hand.

I think the 13 yard theory is dead on? and then back it out to 100 yards? Not sure, but I never did it as it never seemed accurate with I tried it.

My advise, start at 25 yards, put it 1" high, back off to 50 yards and put it dead on, then shoot for the best group. Start with 60gr and work up from there. Don't worry about where it impacts, as long as its on paper, shoot for group until you find that tightest combo possible at 50 yards.

Round balls and best knock down power do not go well together. By modern terms, the round ball compared to conicals or modern projectiles, sucks for knock down energy. Round balls can kill big game all day long despite what the modern technology says about it.

A .440 round ball IMO would be perfect out to around 75 yards on deer size game.

I think you will find accuracy in the 60 to 80gr range.
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Firestick

Firestick

Male Number of posts : 104
Age : 61
Location : Wyoming
Registration date : 2019-02-18

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PostSubject: Re: INSIGHTS ON SIGHTING IN!   INSIGHTS ON SIGHTING IN! EmptyApril 13th 2019, 2:30 am

With my 45 cap lock I started out at 40 grains and PRB. Got it hitting center at about 15 yds. Worked up the load to 70 grains and zeroed it at 50 yds. worked the load down to 60 for far better accuracy and zeroed the rifle for that load and distance with a .440 ball and pillow ticking patch. Hunted cottontail with it for quite some time taking their heads off up to 40 yds. When i went deer hunting i was totally confident I could make any shot a kill shot out to 70-yds. 1st deer I killed was a running shot at about 60 yds. right through the lungs. Exit hole you could almost put a golf ball through. Mine was hand built from mostly used parts. For yours I'd start at 50 grains BP or 50 grains by volume equivalent BP substitute. Oh and I used 3F GEOX Remington #11 caps. A tight fitting .445 ball would blow patches and was not accurate yet a thicker patch and .440 ball it shot lights out.
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Sparkitoff



Number of posts : 203
Age : 72
Location : NC
Registration date : 2018-06-08

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PostSubject: Re: INSIGHTS ON SIGHTING IN!   INSIGHTS ON SIGHTING IN! EmptyApril 13th 2019, 6:38 am

Depending on the ball, the "most powerful" ballistics may be counter-productive. The harder and faster the soft lead ball hits the quicker it deforms and looses momentum. I have no experience with .45 caliber rifles but I do shoot .454 balls out of my cap revolver. Even at the slower speeds of the 5 1/2" barrel the velocity vs. penetration and deformation is evident. I thought the max powder charge would mean the "Maximum knock-down" power like you put it. With 32 grains FFFg I got a pretty fast 890 fps in media at 7-yards the balls went half way though and looked like nickels. At 28 grains the velocity dropped to 876  but the penetration increased to 2/3 of the media and the ball was sort of oval. Down to 25 grains the velocity was 844 and the penetration was about the same as the 28 grain load, but the ball was mostly round. 22 grains did 801 fps and the penetration was half, but the ball was perfectly round. In analysis, the 28 grain load had the most penetration with the greatest upset to the ball (which made a bigger permanent wound channel).  So the fastest velocity was not the one with the "maximum knockdown power".  You will probably be using a slightly smaller and lighter ball than I was and you will be starting it quite a bit faster. Your 100-yard velocity might be around where I was at 7-yards. With that in mind, it would be hard to figure out exactly what load is providing "maximum knock-down" power unless you could use media at 50 and 100 yards and hit it dead center each shot to compare. Without that exact information it becomes more important to consider another big factor - shot placement. This means first getting the most accurate load regardless of muzzle velocity. Once that is established it then requires deciding where you will aim on an animal to get the best penetration (and maybe some ball upset). Fortunately, round balls are pretty repetitive in performance on game. What I mean is what you see on one deer is very likely to be the same thing you will see on the next deer that was around the same range and hit is approximately the same place. Here I only have experience with .54 balls. On elk-sized animals out to 100-yards I often find the ball on the off side with some deformation. On deer-sized animals I usually get a pass-through out to 100-yards. So, after you second or third deer if you don't have the penetration you want or the ball upset you want you can change something. Hardness of the ball, velocity, ball size are the three areas to change at the rifle and where you aim is what you can change at the animal. In most cases SLOWER velocity will increase penetration (up to a point) a harder ball will and a larger ball will (for instance .445 compared to .440). Best of luck with your sight-in. I dial in at 25 yards, shoot 50 yards and adjust 2" high and then check it at 100 yards. 

BTW, I have 2 percussion and 1 flintlock .54 ball shooters. They could use up to 120-grains of powder but I found I get the most penetration at just 80-grains.  One of them uses 100-grain because it is noticeably more accurate at that powder charge. Same balls, same patches and same sight-in point of impact with all of them (but the velocity varies somewhat due to barrel length and type).
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flashpoint



Number of posts : 48
Age : 74
Location : New Jersey
Registration date : 2019-01-12

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PostSubject: Re: INSIGHTS ON SIGHTING IN!   INSIGHTS ON SIGHTING IN! EmptyApril 13th 2019, 11:59 am

Thanks so much everyone for taking the time to provide me with such good info.  I guess when I said "maximum knock down power" my old center fire experience was coming into play.  Things are much clearer now so I will let you know how it goes.  Thanks again.
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