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Posted: 9/1/2018 3:19:42 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/1/2018 3:21:12 PM EDT by TheMax]
In the near future I`m planning to buy a Hawken style rifle, in percussion, and learn about shooting patched round balls. (I`ve been shooting cap and ball revolvers for a year or so and would like to expand my black powder shooting)

I`ve always wanted a Lyman Great Plains rifle since I was a kid so that`s the brand and model I`ve decided on.

Lyman offers their rifles in .50 and .54 caliber.

I`m not planning on hunting, just paper and steel targets.

Does one caliber, for my purposes, have an advantage over the other?
Link Posted: 9/1/2018 3:41:08 PM EDT
“.50 caliber or better.” -Jeremiah Johnson

That being said, I have a .54.
Link Posted: 9/1/2018 4:16:57 PM EDT
.50", will stop any thing you come across.
Link Posted: 9/1/2018 4:35:46 PM EDT
I used a 54 for utah mule deer after hitting and losing a couple with a 50. Both were the T/C renegade model with a patched roundball over pyrodex P.

50 Cal roundball weighs around 177 grains

54 Cal roundball weights around 230 grains.

Neither one was all that great with a chest or shoulder shot, so my final few years I went head shot only. I quit muzzleloading when Utah changed their laws about muzzleoading hunting and eliminated the late season hunt. Killed my first buck back in 1979 with a CVA mountain rifle in 50 Cal.

Attachment Attached File
Link Posted: 9/1/2018 4:49:04 PM EDT
.50 for versatility and ease of finding projectiles.
Link Posted: 9/1/2018 5:14:37 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/1/2018 5:24:19 PM EDT by Stiles1410]

Just paper punching? .40 / .45 /.50 take your pick
Link Posted: 9/1/2018 5:23:09 PM EDT
For general plinking and target work .45 to .50 cal.

.50 and up for hunting.
Link Posted: 9/1/2018 6:09:45 PM EDT
The Lyman Great Plains Rifles are a terrific choice. I have shot the 1-60 round ball twist with patched ball, and the Hunter model with the 1-32 twist which works great with conicals like the Lee REAL, T/C Maxi-Ball ammo. Killed a lot of deer with the 50 caliber round ball and 90 grains of FFg powder in Florida and on the farm in Georgia. Hogs as well. Generally shot from 30-90 yards as that was what the terrain allowed. Only had to track a few animals as most of the time they dropped within a few yards, if they ran at all. I liked the round ball barrel the best as it was more traditional and more challenging. And it was VERY accurate. If I were in your shoes, I would go with the faster 1-32 twist Great Plains Hunter as you will be able to shoot both round ball and conical bullets. In my 1-60 twist barreled gun the few times I tried a maxi-ball, it shot consistently at 3 o'clock on the target. Adding /reducing the powder simply moved the POI further out or closer in from the center of the target. OTOH the 1-32 barrel ate the conical bullets like a kid in a candy store.

Get the Lyman GP Hunter, you will not be disappointed.
Link Posted: 9/3/2018 6:18:37 PM EDT
Well, I certainly appreciate all the information.

I made the decision today to go with .54 caliber.
I think it`ll give a bit more energy to topple steel and I don`t see a big cost difference between .50 and .54 caliber balls.

I had the chance this weekend to take a close look at and handle a couple of newer production Great Plains Rifles.

They were nice and I`ve been told they`re quite accurate but there were some things I noted that lead me to conclude that I wouldn`t be completely happy with one.

I`ve ordered a Pedersoli Rocky Mountain Hawken from Dixie Gun Works.

From reviews and information I`ve found, I believe that I`ll be very satisfied with the quality and accuracy of the Pedersoli rifle.
Link Posted: 9/10/2018 1:41:15 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/10/2018 1:42:49 PM EDT by MikeJGA]
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Originally Posted By NoImpactNoIdea:
“.50 caliber or better.” -Jeremiah Johnson

That being said, I have a .54.
View Quote
Beat like an ornery mule! I have a .54 also.
You will be happy with a Pedersoli from DGW.
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