50 calibre Muzzle loader


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What is the least amount of powder you would shoot a deer with in .50 calibre muzzle loader with a 200 grain Bullet ? I am trying to decrease the amount of recoil as much as possible in hopes of getting my 8 year old a shot at a deer next weekend ( 50 yards and under). I am going to shoot it this week but have never used less than 100 grains of powder. I am making a target to shoot at that should help measure the penetration of the bullet. Any one have any experience with this ?


I shoot traditional, and use patched round ball and true black powder in 50 caliber rifles. one of the .490 lead balls weighs in the neighborhood of 168 grains and I load with 70 grains of FFFg DuPont Goex. I`ve only recoverd one ball from a deer, the rest have all been pass thrus. My rifles don`t kick, they "push" a little.
Ok good thing to use for penetration tests is wet newsprint.

Most BP rifles the preferred load or suggested load is around 80 grains. In fact if you test to see how the powder is burning the old fashioned way you'll most likely find that unless you have a 32" or longer barrel you are just wasting powder at anything over 100 grains.

My son and I are intending to use 80 grains of FFFg and Patched round ball this season and I see no reason we can't kill anything we shoot at up to 80 yards. We are heading out sometime this week to make sure we can hit what we aim at with that load.
LL shot mine with 60 grains of loose powder, BH209, a few days back and it was patterning GREAT at 100 yards.

also saw the drury brothers let one of their kids use one 50 grain pellet of 777 to kill a deer. key as always is placement and limitations on range


TV, with the loads that I use, I would take on anything that walks in North America. And with a good rest, shoot out to 125 yards.

You`ll do well with your loads.


I`ve had TV reporters, some quite small, shoot Gabriel (my flintlock), with no trouble. One of our esteemed Lady members here on the Forums, shot it, and hit what she was aimin` at too!
Nic if you're using 70 grains I'll be lookin at that load myself. Both of our rifles are rather short barreled and I know anything over 80 grains is just wastin powder unless we use some sort of mini ball type projectile.
Hunter922 A .498 180gr. patched round ball shot from a 50cal. with a 28in. barrel with 50grs. of powder is shooting 1333 fps at the muzzle, muzzle energy is 709, energy at 100yds. is 300ft\lbs. With 60grs. 1460fps.,70grs.1587fps. I think I would start him off with 60grs. to see how he could handle it. The 200gr. bullet should do good at 50yds. If he has no problem with the 60gr. load move on to 70grs. Make some smoke and have fun.


Gone But Not Forgotten
A good recoil pad will help to build a kids confidence also. Another thing is,, don't let them see you shoot it first,,the smoke and loud bang tends to scare them before they even try to shoot the rifle.
My son killed his first buck at 7 yrs old with 45 grains.Witha 138 grain patched round ball.The bullet did not pass through.I limited his shot to 30 yrds
Back in the late sixtys my father killed one using 38 grains of fff.Using a 45 cal patched round ball. The bullet did pass through
I killed many using only 50 grains but it does not allways pass through. I now shoot 80 grains of fff.


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My daughter killed her 1st deer with my Optima 50cal. I used a 80grs load of Triple 7 and a 200gr Shockwave, did just fine! I think less powder would even work as well! Mark