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Thread: Patched Round Ball in a T/C Hawken

  1. #1
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    Patched Round Ball in a T/C Hawken

    Never had so much trouble sighting in for a new bullet/load combo, but it looks like my T/C hawken (had it sincve 79) has to have the rear sight all the way down, and the powder load (w/ RS Pyrodex) reduced down from my usual 95gr with maxis to 70gr just to get the bullet to hit consistently 4 inches high at 50 yds. With a 6 O'clock hold no less.

    Is this unusual for the T/C Hawken?
    Last edited by Ray P; November 27th, 2010 at 08:38 PM. Reason: Edited for spelling
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    Maybe...

    I have a TC New Englander (round barrel version of the Hawken), and it prints 1 hole groups with a linen patched round ball and 70 grains of FFF.

    I don't know if that is the standard, but at least your rifle and mine are similar in that respect.

    D
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  3. #3
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    My experience with the T/C Hawkin (built from a kit in the 1977 time frame)is that it is not a great round ball rifle. Rifling twist at 1:48 is a bit fast to get a good shooting round ball hunting load. With 60-70 grains of powder it took an evilly tight patch and ball combo that was heck to load to get reasonable accuracy. I generally save the patched balls for new shooters not hunting loads. I have found that with 70 ish grains of powder and a 180 ish round ball and a lubricated pillow ticking patch I shoot considerably lower than I do with a 370 gr Maxi with 90 grs (by volume) of 777. I believe this relates to the fact that a fast RB load is out of the barrell sooner so the muzzle has not risen as much as with the heavier bullet hence it impact lower. I frequently have the same problem with pistols and revolvers when I make a significant bullet weight change
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    Ray, have you read your patches? HRT is right, widen your horizons and try minnie balls or maxie balls. A medium rate twist like your TC doesn't mean it will shoot everything well but it does give you a wider choice of projectiles and there is a combination of projectile and powder charge to suit your gun.
    Just a reminder, you must "work up" a load start small and work up to the charge that your gun and you like best.
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    Pancho: I am not new to the T/C or maxis/minies, just patched round ball (prb). Like HRT, my Hawken is a kit gun. I got it from my wife for our first Xmas; so end of 1979. Early on, I never had much luck with plastic-patched round ball which my Kentucky shooting friends were using, so I went exclusively to maxis since '81. Ideal for this rifle is a 355 gr T/C maxi over 95gr RS. This has dropped Whitetail in IL & ME.

    Now I'm in WA for a little while, and I'll be after Blacktail out near NAVYLT's neck of the woods. These guys are tiny, the cover can be heavy, and the distances are much closer in than I'm used to. So, per insistence of the guy that invited me to hunt, I'm trying prb again after 30 years.

    Once I lost my maxi zero (nope, never marked the sight), I figured I may as well follow through. I will, of course, have to re-zero the Hawken with Maxis after Dec 15th :-)

    I'm just reporting the quirks I'm discovering with PRB in this rifle. I'm just shocked that my sight is bottomed out, and I'm still a half-foot high at 50 yds.
    Last century over 170 million people were murdered by their own governments, and your government doesn't want you to have a gun. Doesn't that bother you just a little?
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  6. #6
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    Oh, reading the patches: (0.495 rb w/ thin linen lubed patches) good even ring around the patch after firing, but no burn-through.
    Last century over 170 million people were murdered by their own governments, and your government doesn't want you to have a gun. Doesn't that bother you just a little?
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    I've got a T/C Renegade .54 cal with the medium twist barrel. After much experimentation I went with two loads. For the TC Maxiball, I shoot 90 grains of FFG or substitute.

    For round ball, I use a 0.530 ball with a 0.010 patch lubed with Crisco, but step the powder down to 60 grains. Very accurate from my rifle. You might try using a smaller ball and a larger patch.

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    My Renegade does OK with patched round balls. It's got the same 1:48 barrel your Hawken uses.

    As mentioned above, it's gotta be a tight fit.

    I use the Speer .495 round ball, number 5140.

    I have some patches I think came from Thompson Center that measure .018". They are mattress ticking, blue stipes, and lubed with bore butter.

    I use 70 grains of Triple Seven, and slightly compress the load.(Not enough to hear it "Crunch", but I can feel it compress maybe 1/8") when I drop the powder down the barrel, I hold the rifle by the muzzle and smack the stock on the right side near the lock to get the powder settled and move some of it out closer to the nipple.

    The whole secret to black powder accuracy is to do everything exactly the same every time. The way you handle the powder measure, the way you smack the stock, the way you compress the load... It has to be like a ritual and repeated perfectly EVERY TIME.

    I swab the bore with a moist patch between shots. Three drops of water on a clean white cotton patch.

    Any deviation in your technique will be a deviation you can see on the target.

    Experiment, and have fun! When you find your load, stick to it! I seriously enjoy shooting this rifle, and an afternoon at the range with it is always fun.



    It's not a target rifle, or a target load, but it will surely take a white tail if you put it in there where he lives.

    I fired a few of these over a chrono one time and they are about 1400 FPS.



    Those targets are 50 yards, off sandbags.

    As far as the difference between round balls and the maxi, Yes I have a different point of impact, but it's not anywhere near six inches. I only shoot the maxis on rare occasions, and I've never seen a need to change the sights. It's not that big of a difference at 50 yards.
    Last edited by Fast Frank; November 28th, 2010 at 02:11 PM.

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    Will pick up some FFFg or Pyrodex P and give that a try. Also have a few .490s & some of the C/C ticking; I'll see how they compare. Thanks!
    Last century over 170 million people were murdered by their own governments, and your government doesn't want you to have a gun. Doesn't that bother you just a little?
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    The question, so far as I understand it, is about required sight angle (P.O.A. vs. P.O.I), not group size. I have a hard time believing that a RB load would hit several inches higher at 50 yards, than a 355 gr Maxi. I too have a 48" twist 50 caliber barrel, probably from the same manufacturer (Investarms?) and I've used projectiles from 385 grains to the ~180 grain round ball.

    Currently I use 120 grains Goex 2F under a .495" ball with a .015" patch for a hunting load. It's a very tight fit, but it's consistent and I don't have any problems with it. My son and I have killed four deer with that load at ranges of from 20 to 85 yards, with good hits on all. The factory sights are regulated at 100 yards with that load, and the rear sight is about in the middle of its elevation adjustment range. I can also use lighter Maxi balls with the same powder charge, but they hit slightly lower at 100 yards. Can't say what the difference is at 50, but surely it can't be that much. My nephew recently used 250 grain REAL bullets over 110 grains FF at 50 yards with the same gun and the same sight setting and hit his gallon jug targets every time.

    So with the same sight adjustment and a charge of 110 grains 2F, the 250 REAL bullet hit to about the same point of impact, or one that's plenty good for hunting, compared to a patched ball over 120 grains 2F.

    I'd at least explore the idea that something else is going on there with your T/C besides a mere change in projectile. Go back and forth with your previous pet load and your RB load on paper targets and see if the POI changes back and forth from dead on to several inches off the mark, accordingly.

    Use 3F or P if you like, so long as you don't load a heavy charge, but the recommended granulation for that caliber is 2F or RS.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by omnivore
    I'd at least explore the idea that something else is going on there with your T/C besides a mere change in projectile.
    Tried that; and with the sights bottomed out so I could get prb on paper at 50 yds, I was plowing the dirt in front of the target with 355 gr T/C maxis over 95 gr RS.
    Last edited by Ray P; December 1st, 2010 at 02:31 AM. Reason: that's "prb"; not pbr. Though a PBR wouldn't be a bad thing
    Last century over 170 million people were murdered by their own governments, and your government doesn't want you to have a gun. Doesn't that bother you just a little?
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  12. #12
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    Patched round ball is a flat-out no-go for me at this point. Yesterday I had 2 ea 25yd shots at a standing Blacktail (broadside). Couldn't get more perfect setup, but both shots were over the back. Separate deer, about an hour apart.

    So today I've scapped the roundball effort & put the Hawken back to a 100 yd zero using 355 gr T/C maxis over 95 gr RS. Shoots fine; got a nice touching group once I got elevation re-established.

    If I go back to patched roundball with this rifle, it will be with a different barrel & sights.

    OMNIVORE is right; something more is going on. But I don't know what, and I don't feel like screwing with it.

    Back to what I know works.
    Last edited by Ray P; December 6th, 2010 at 02:17 AM. Reason: added more
    Last century over 170 million people were murdered by their own governments, and your government doesn't want you to have a gun. Doesn't that bother you just a little?
    - Unknown

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