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 What bullet works best in 1-48" twist muzzleloaders?
arowneragain  [Team Member]
12/26/2011 6:27:35 PM
I got another muzzleloader for Christmas; it's an old Hawken in .54 caliber.

From what I understand, all the old T/Cs had 1-48" twist which is too fast for a round ball unless it's loaded pretty slow, and it's too slow for most sabots or longer conicals, so what bullet DOES work in these?

I thought about getting some Buffalo Ball-ets. Any experience with them?

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pepperbelly  [Team Member]
12/26/2011 9:23:01 PM
The 1 in 48" twist rate is a compromise rate. It will shoot roundballs and ballets. It won't shoot roundballs as accurately as a slower twist rate, or a ballet as well as a faster rate.
jrn156  [Member]
12/28/2011 8:02:57 AM
I have an old Ultra-hi .50 Hawken rifle with a 1:48 twist, and recently bought a mould for Lee .50 cal Minie Balls. With 80 grains of Pyrodex it will clover leaf them at 25 yards. The mould was only around $20 and the lead was free as oppossed to $20 a box for pre cast bullets.
1badf350  [Member]
12/28/2011 8:12:25 AM
Originally Posted By arowneragain:
I got another muzzleloader for Christmas; it's an old Hawken in .54 caliber.

From what I understand, all the old T/Cs had 1-48" twist which is too fast for a round ball unless it's loaded pretty slow, and it's too slow for most sabots or longer conicals, so what bullet DOES work in these?

I thought about getting some Buffalo Ball-ets. Any experience with them?


I have the exact same gun. It will shoot everything from buffalo bullets to power belts. Its an unbelievably accurate gun. You will be amazed.
With the heavy buffalo bullets I use 110-120gr powder depending on bullet weight. With the Powerbelts I use 100gr. The Powerbelts are fuckin sweet. I killed alot of deer with it.
I will say that mine likes a clean bore.

1badf350  [Member]
12/28/2011 8:15:14 AM
If you want to sell it let me know.
Rocklock31  [Member]
1/21/2012 10:42:58 PM
My .54 TC Renegade (same as the Hawken, but shorter barrel) would print cloverleafs with home cast Maxi-balls (from a Lyman mould) at 50 yards when it was new -about 30 years ago. That was using a hunting load, 110 grs. of Pyrodex RS. Bullet weight was 440 grains, not a short bullet. The store bought Maxi-balls back then varied quite a bit in weight and diameter and would print 6" at best for me at the same range. I found that if I weighed and checked diameters of bullets from several boxes and grouped similar ones together, I could get better results, but nothing that approached the results that I got when I cast my own - better quality control. Round ball results with a hot load were not as good as with a bullet. I do not think the rifling is cut deep enough like on a round ball barrel to grab the patch better, and the combination of the faster spin probably doesn't help. However, the round ball load is certainly minute of elk and deer, as I have successfully hunted both with them, in addition to Maxis. I have also had good results with Powerbelts, even the heavier ones. Haven't tried the Ball-ets as I found the heavier bullets worked just fine. I would be curious to see if they would stabilize in some of my roundball barrels.
VaFish  [Member]
2/4/2012 9:10:18 AM
I have a two TC's in .54 cal, both with 1/48 twist barrels. Both shoot round balls and buffalo bullets just fine.

Lately I've been using a Lee Modern Minnie mold and making my own.
Burley  [Team Member]
2/5/2012 9:00:28 PM
My old White Mtn. Carbine was rifled at 1-48" and shot the 385 gr. Great Plains Bullet quite well.
Powderfinger  [Team Member]
2/5/2012 9:05:35 PM
TC Maxi-Balls will kill any critter within 200 yds. No need to get technical.
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