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Old 01-12-2011, 11:36 AM   #1
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Muzzleloader Round Ball Terminal Ballistics Tests?

Hello,



I'm wondering if anyone has done any gelatin testing using round lead balls, or knows of anyone who has.



I usually use water and math just because it's easier, but usually have something with which to correlate the results.



Also, the water does not show wound channels. That is what I'm most interested in seeing.



If need be, I'll conduct some tests this spring or summer with Knox Gelatin, but I'd really rather get more controlled results from a laboratory.



Thanks!



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Old 01-12-2011, 04:47 PM   #2
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Muzzleloader Round Ball Terminal Ballistics Tests?

Sounds interesting Josh. I hope you get time to do it.

There are formulae to suggest what pistol calibers the foot pounds of energy are comparable to...



My sense, based on complete hearsay, from folks who hunt often find the ball passed through the game animal and the critters shot with 'em bled out. I haven't hunted, much less with my muzzle-loader, so I can't say...



I do think the round lead ball will do different things, yaw, etc. than a more conventional modern bullet. Probably a good deal of deformation. On the other hand, unlike a buckshot pellet, it is spinning due to the rifling.
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Old 01-12-2011, 08:14 PM   #3
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Muzzleloader Round Ball Terminal Ballistics Tests?

Hello,



It's usually found completely flattened on the far side of the critter, having shored up under the skin.



This indicates a complete energy dump into the animal, and we're talking about 1700fps to 2000fps, projectile size being .45" to .50" and weight between 130grn and 180grn.



I am betting the wound channel is something else... even if it's just a temporary cavity, man, lots of power.



On the other hand, a Minie ball will go through three people before stopping. This is .58" backed with only 60gns gunpowder -- not a heavy load in a caliber that usually sees 80+gns of powder. Much over 60gns though risk blowing the skirt.



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Old 02-21-2011, 03:50 PM   #4
 
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Muzzleloader Round Ball Terminal Ballistics Tests?

The round ball is hard hitting and transfers its energy very effective and flattens and holds together. While not having a high ballistic coefficient,(air drag) it sheds energy fast. So keep it at 100yds for deer. I have hunted and made my own custom flintlock for many,many decades. The round ball had killed off most game east of the Big Muddy by the 1850,s. and alot west of the muddy.I use a .40 ball in Ohio in a 42" long rifle for deer. The ball is 95gr. and is about 2300fps. In Ohio .38 is the smallest for deer with blk.powder. My friend has shot 12 deer with .38 out to 100yds and lost one to a gut shot. And gunshot with a 12ga.slug can be lost to. Gut shot is gut shot no matter what you use. In the early 1800,s there was a market hunter named Nathan who sold meat in Pa. he shot up to 800 deer a year with his .40 long rifle. The 40-45cal were the preferred deer round ball in the eastern half of the USA. Going west upped the ball size to 50-62.cal. Major Ferguson of the British army was killed at Kings Mountain by a 40 ball . My forty ball shooter has taken many deer with 65grs. of fffg and patched ball. They are pheasant to shoot and very accurate. Back in the day they were used all over the eastern board and hill ,mountain country . Which is the trademark of the American long rifle ,smaller bore,rifled accurate barrels ,long site radius, less powder than the 58-72 cal. smooth bore muskets and Fowler's that were brought to this country. There is nothing wrong with a 20ga-62 cal smooth bore it will kill anything in North America. I make and shoot those to.
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Old 02-21-2011, 08:18 PM   #5
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Muzzleloader Round Ball Terminal Ballistics Tests?

Hello, jeep. I have no experience with muzzleloading rifles. With a well-made muzzleloading rifle in say 50-caliber, what size groups might one expect on average at 50 to around 100 yards?



Thank you in advance.



Best to you and yours.
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Old 02-22-2011, 04:45 AM   #6
 
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Muzzleloader Round Ball Terminal Ballistics Tests?

With a well made old school side hammer longrifle you can figure less than 2" at 50yds and less than 4" at a 100yds.There are bench guns that will do half that. Mine are hunting and offhand match guns. My .40 will ring a 10"steel plate at at a 100yds off hand. Which is the minute of a kill lung shot on a deer. A good smoothbore can do 6" at 50yds. Check out www.muzzleloadermag,best Dave
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Old 02-22-2011, 07:33 AM   #7
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Muzzleloader Round Ball Terminal Ballistics Tests?

Hello and thanks very much for the insight.



Best to you and yours.
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Old 02-22-2011, 08:07 AM   #8
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Muzzleloader Round Ball Terminal Ballistics Tests?

If you're not limiting it to round ball (which, don't get me wrong, I love to shoot), the muzzleloading guns can be pretty impressive with a load they like.



Open sights, 50 yards, benched - Precision Rifle 360-gr .45/.54 from a T/C Scout carbine 20" over 110-gr RS with a CCI #11 standard cap





I am really beginning to love the frontstuffers!



Jeep, your .40 would be lovely to shoot - I've only shot one (a flinter) rifle that was that long, and the barrel just hung there. Bet it drops those whitetails like a hammer. Do you have any thoughts about those Pacific Rifle Co. underhammers in .69? The whole underhammer thing looks so weird to me, yet . . . appealing, too. And the guns look so graceful. (I still haven't gotten my head wrapped around the mule ear hammers, though. )
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Old 02-22-2011, 09:23 AM   #9
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Muzzleloader Round Ball Terminal Ballistics Tests?

Thank you very much for the interesting thread.



Some target shooters I've met in Central Texas prefer the .40.



So far, the only flintlock rifle my wife and I have fired at targets was a really nice Kentucky in .40 cal. It was a lot of fun! We usually are shooting .490" PRB in caplocks. My understanding is that West Virginia allows .36 and up for deer, which seems too small and light to me [uninformed], but placement is always key as noted here and elsewhere on the forum.



Erich: Love the underhammer! An old cowboy I've talked to about muzzle-loaders has a "mule ear" action percussion cap rifle with a peep sight on a screw-type arrangement. Beautiful muzzleloader that's for sure!
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Old 02-22-2011, 02:55 PM   #10
 
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Muzzleloader Round Ball Terminal Ballistics Tests?

Go over to www.muzzleloadermag and surf there site. My forty will cloverleaf at 50 yds over the log. But offhand not to many people can do that. I have split a ball on a axe and broke two balloons offhand at 10yards at a fun shoot,but asked to do twice I quit while I was ahead. The underhammers are neat and they are fast being almost like a inline. .69 is big for Africa or coastal brown bears. As a rule of thumb east of the muddy .38-50 ball and west 54-62 ball. 54 ball is plenty for elk,moose,most bear. I shoot ball only with real blk.powder and don,t like modern inlines and scopes or fake blk. powder.
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