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Author Topic: Powder Charge for Pistol  (Read 476 times)

Offline Tin Type

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Powder Charge for Pistol
« on: February 20, 2009, 02:43:25 AM »
I have a new .54 cal flinter pistol coming soon.  It will be rifled.   I am planning on using PRB of .530... Estimates on powder charge... please...   Thank You.... Oh, and Puffer, great portrait of you as you Avatar...
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Offline Voyageur

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« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2009, 08:41:47 AM »
8)
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« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2009, 10:08:12 AM »
Good advice, Doc.  Except, I would not impose an upper limit on it.  Instead, increase until your group tightens up and then starts to open up again.  If that takes 26 grains or 43, that is what the pistol wants to shoot with.  Also, it has to be comfortable to use as well.  If it groups like a house afire but it takes 45 grains to do it, and your arm and wrist and hand feel like you were beat with a sledge hammer, that might not be the load you want to use.
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Offline mark davidson

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« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2009, 01:59:55 PM »
Recoil? I don't mean to hijack the thread here but here is a question. Just how bad can recoil be with under 50 grains of powder? My .54 rifle with 100 grains kicks like a little .410 or something and is more push than kick anyway. I am considering a .62 pistol and I wonder what recoil it might be compared to. I have shot lots of big bore handgun rounds over the years in centerfire ranging from puny .44magnum to .45 colt to .444 marlin to .45-70govt.  .454 Casull kicks worse than anything I ever shot. MLers in general are very mild to me. I never shot a single shot MLer pistol so I have to ask you all.  What would the above mentioned .54 cal. pistol with about 40gr. recoil like or be similar to?

Offline Three Hawks

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« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2009, 03:15:25 PM »
The recoil of a .54 pistol can be substantial.  If one considers the ball weighs 224 grains, add to that the powder at 50 for a total of 274, both exiting the muzzle at what, 850-900 fps?  This from a two and a half (maybe) pound pistol with a difficult to control grip shape.

Recoil can indeed be a problem.   I've got only moderate arthritis and I will testify in court that shooting my .50 Traditions Kentucky pistol can get difficult and painful in short order.  

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Offline Mitch

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« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2009, 03:17:08 PM »
lots of factors...weight of gun/length of barrel is the first that comes to my mind...my .62 smoothie pistol with 35gr 3f has less "apparent" recoil than a .38special...I've shot a Patterson Colt(loaded to maximum)and it rang my ears like a .38++P with similar recoil...to me, muzzleloaders don't "kick" like smokeless, I notice more "felt recoil" with heavy lead loads(like when I drop a ball on top of a shot load, or shooting 15 buckshot)...
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Offline Captchee

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« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2009, 08:15:01 PM »
i can tell you that i once shot 10 and 15 grains of powder out of a  CVA derringer  thinking just as your are asking mark . the little pisto about broke my nose . it did take most of the skin of my trigger finger.
 here is a 45 cal Jukar with only 15 grains of 3 F


Offline Tin Type

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« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2009, 02:23:14 PM »
Ok, as ordered the pistol will have a 12 inch barrel and as stated .54 cal. I am thinking of starting at 20 grains [maybe a bit low] and work up.  What think you??/
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Offline R.M.

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« Reply #8 on: February 25, 2009, 03:11:35 PM »
I think 20 gr would be a good place to start.
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« Reply #9 on: February 25, 2009, 04:06:43 PM »
Tin Type!!!!!!!! ya made here ol hoiss, good to see ya, looking forward to catchn up with ya at monroe, ill be in the second building. Welcome to the TMA forum bud!
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Offline Three Hawks

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« Reply #10 on: February 25, 2009, 09:13:45 PM »
Quote from: "Tin Type"
Ok, as ordered the pistol will have a 12 inch barrel and as stated .54 cal. I am thinking of starting at 20 grains [maybe a bit low] and work up.  What think you??/

20 sounds like an excellent start.   You're gonna be havin' some serious fun!

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Offline Tin Type

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« Reply #11 on: February 26, 2009, 02:37:27 AM »
To the guys who will be going to the Monroe thing, I too should be in the Second building a lot.  Might be at the Snohomish Valley club table for a while.
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Offline 1776Patriot

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.54 loads
« Reply #12 on: March 08, 2009, 04:58:39 AM »
Tin Type, I appreciate your post.  I built a .54 cal. Kentucky flintlock pistol over the winter, and haven't fired it yet.  Your questions concerning initial loads were ones I've been considering as well.

Everyones responses have been noted with interest.  Much obliged!

Offline northwoodsdave

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« Reply #13 on: March 08, 2009, 11:30:25 AM »
Tin Type

The quick rule of thumb I use is that a rifle charge (in grains) should be the same as the size of the bore, and a maximum charge is twice that.  

For a pistol, you halve those numbers.

So a fifty cal rifle would use a charge of fifty grains minimum, and a hundred max.  A fifty cal pistol, start with twenty five grains and work up.

This is not a law carved in stone;  just a handy rule to give you a starting point.  It's enought charge to make sure the bullet leaves the barrel, but not enough to give you a nasty surprise, hopefully.

Technically, a pistol barrel should handle the same maximum load as a rifle without damage, but the recoil (as has been pointed out) can get REAL interesting!  Remember, experience is what you get when you don't get what you expected!  So increase those pistol loads SLOWLY.   ;)

Hope that helps

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