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.54 1/60" ball only??

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.54 1/60" ball only??

Old 03-07-2007, 08:19 AM
  #1  
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Location: Loveland CO.
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Default .54 1/60" ball only??

Well as you all may recall I did finally go out and buy the Lyman GP kitin a .54. Had to return the first one after 3 hours of shaping before I noticed a crack behind the hammer assy. Second one is coming along photos to follow.

The question is having a 1/60 twist does this mean I will just make myself nuts if I try and get tight groups using anything other than a ball? Any chance of good results with a short conicle?

Already looking at spending another $170 for the .54 Hunter barrel 1/32 but sure would be nice to spend that money on something else.
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Old 03-07-2007, 08:31 AM
  #2  
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Default RE: .54 1/60" ball only??

If it has button rifling (.006 deep) it might shoot some conicals...Frankly the .54 ball will take down about anything you will encounter...
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Old 03-07-2007, 10:27 AM
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Default RE: .54 1/60" ball only??

nchawkeye has some good points (as usual). With the 1-60 twist it was basically designed for roundball. The .54 caliber roundball is about all the THUMP you will probably need when hunting. Also with the slow twist you can normally push the ball to the limit of the barrel and still get good accuracy. With just 100 grains of Pyrodex RS the ball will be 1729 fps which for a ball that size is moving.

I have a 1-66 .50 caliber I can shoot 100 grains of Goex 3f and the accuracy is excellent. I'd hate to guess how fast that ball is moving. It would have to be well over 1800 fps.

You might try some ball-ets, PA Conicals, and even some of the 300 grain REAL conicals and see how your rifle likes them. There is no guarantee that the rifle will shoot them fine, but it might as they are made somewhat like a ball design. The 310 ballet might shoot well out of there and give you almost 80 grains in weight.
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Old 03-07-2007, 12:01 PM
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Default RE: .54 1/60" ball only??

Gents. . .thanks as always. . .you guys pretty much confirmed what I thought was the case. . .Sounds like I am hearing that this setup is definately for Balls, which is fine. . .Now all I have to do is finish the kit, buy some balls, patches and powder and see what works best for me. . . I do need to figure out the hotest possible loads so that this fall I don't wastea shoton elk or even a cow moose should I be so lucky and draw a tag. Not even gonna try for a bull moose until I have more points in the bank.

so one more question then. . . once I start to work up loads and get this sighted in. . . is zero on at 75yards sound about right.
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Old 03-07-2007, 12:33 PM
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Default RE: .54 1/60" ball only??

75 yards should be about right...I'm 1 1/2 or so high at 50 and about 1 inch low at 100....

I shoot 80grs Goex FFF in my .54, but I'm hunting whitetails...When I go over that I start to burn patches unless I use an over the powder wad or wasps nesting....I have shot 120grs in mine but the barrel is 1 1/16 thick at the breach tapered to 15/16th at the muzzle...So its built pretty stout....

btw...When I made this gun (finished in 1990) I did a ton of research as I had an experience with a bear on one of our farms with my .45 flinter that I had used for years on deer....I ordered the Longhunters Society record book from NMLRA...At that time the record grizzly was killed with a .54, using 120grs (I believe it was FF)...The bear was shot at 100 yards and tbe ball went through the lungs and was found flattened on the off side just under the hide....
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Old 03-07-2007, 01:09 PM
  #6  
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Default RE: .54 1/60" ball only??

I like to sight my rifles in for 70 yards. Where I hunt it puts me in the kill zone, no matter what distance I have to shoot.
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Old 03-07-2007, 03:02 PM
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Default RE: .54 1/60" ball only??

You must remember that the rifling twist of the Civil War Springfield .58 was 1/72", cut thast way specifically to shoot Minie balls. part of the reason why that twist worked was that the Minie ball is heavy on the front end, like a Foster shotgun slug. However, a 1/60" twist does NOT limit you to round balls only, although the ball is plenty for MOST hunting uses.

I use a Lyman 570-frain Minie bullet in a 1/60" twist RB barrel made by Green River. In addition, I have two 1/72" twist barrels that are excellent with Maxi Balls-one is a .45, the other a .50 - and the 50 will shoot into 1" or less at 100 yards on a calm day with round balls as well....


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Old 03-07-2007, 03:53 PM
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Default RE: .54 1/60" ball only??

I had a 1-60 twist barrel on a Hawken till I wore it out. I found it to be more versital than I expected it shot Real bullets and ballets quite well and it even shot 270gr 50 caliber bullets in a purple sabot to a 3 inch group 2 100yds but I took some big bear with PRB @ over 100yds with it so it really depends on what you want to shoot.[It was a 54 cal. 35 inch long barrelhawken]Lee
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