Ordered a box of Hornady PA Conicals to try in a 1-66 Hawken.

Thread starter #1

GAHUNTER60

Senior Member
I bought a Traditions .50 Cal Hawken reproduction rifle for almost nothing from a friend about 20 years ago. The gun has never shot very well with round balls, even though it has a 1-66" round ball twist. ( probably used too heavy a load for the shallow rifling back then)

Today I ordered a box of the Hornady PA, 240-grain conical bullets, specifically made to shoot in slow twist barrels (they are very short). If I can get them to shoot Minute-of-Deer out to about 75 yards, I'll be satisfied and maybe try to hunt with it next season.

Anybody have any experience with these bullets?
 

Railroader

Senior Member
Shot one deer with a PA Conical some years ago.

Sitting on the ground in a dead fallen tree in a Creek bottom. Shot was about 40 yards, kinda uphill to me. Put the bullet into her ribcage toward the opposite shoulder. She jumped/tumbled down the hill to me, landing dead.

Gun was a Traditions Buckskinner, load would have been 70 gr of Pyrodex.

I remember this kill well, because it was one of those spots that was "just crazy enough to work"...

Wouldn't hesitate for a minute to use the PA Conical out to your 75 yards...

Just don't try to run it too fast. No need to.
 
Thread starter #3

GAHUNTER60

Senior Member
I used to think I needed a minimum of 100 grains of powder, regardless of bullet style or weight., to kill a deer. This is probably because the "go-to" load in my, and just about everybody else's TC Hawken rifle back in the day, was 100 grains of ffg under a Maxi Ball. I always thought that load would extrapolate to other rifles. I now know that no two muzzleloaders are alike, even identical rifles from the same manufacturer might like completely different loads.

I plan to start the PAs at 70 grains of Pyrodex RS, and work up from there.
 
I hope they work. I just got a box of them also. Going to try them in a tc Hawken and a tc white mountain. I’ve shot the ballets before which I see about the same bullet. The one that concerns me is the whit mountain. It has a fast twist and won’t shoot a roundball. I’m trying to get it going for my son and don’t want to whomp him with a Great Plains bullet.
 

Railroader

Senior Member
My Buckskinner has a 21" fast twist barrel. 1-20, I think....They shoot fine, but never shot em past 50 yards, and never tried to do any better than good enough.
 
Thread starter #7

GAHUNTER60

Senior Member
I hope they work. I just got a box of them also. Going to try them in a tc Hawken and a tc white mountain. I’ve shot the ballets before which I see about the same bullet. The one that concerns me is the whit mountain. It has a fast twist and won’t shoot a roundball. I’m trying to get it going for my son and don’t want to whomp him with a Great Plains bullet.
If you don't want to "whomp" him, try shooting the Thompson Center Cheap Shot sabots. At 240 grains (same weight as the Hornady PAs), they are very accurate in fast twist barrels, and are deadly on deer. I find them very easy on the shoulder.

They would work particularly well if your White Mountain is one of the 1-20" twist barrels in the early model White Mountains. If it is one of the 1-38" barrels, it may still shoot good, but you will have to experiment to find the "sweet" load.
 
I picked up 3 boxes of traditions sabots on clearance today to fool around with too. I think my rifle is the 1-20 twist.

Railroader, I bought this one mainly for the 62 smoothbore barrel that came with it. I like the short handy feel of the white mountain but I mainly use the Lyman plains rifle. It just hangs on the target for me
 

Railroader

Senior Member
My ideal Front Stuffer arsenal would be a TC lineup including the Omega which I have, and a Hawken, and White Mountain Carbine, which I don't have....

Maybe one day.
 
Thread starter #10
My PA Bullets arrived today. Very interesting looking conical. They look kinda like a sewing thimble. They are very short -- so short that I can't imagine that they won't tumble when they strike something. Supposedly, however, this is what makes them work in 1-66" twist barrels.

We'll see when I go to the range next week.
 
Thread starter #12
Here’s a photo of one sandwiched between a 385-grain Great Plains Bullet and a .490 round ball.

I’ll tell you one thing: Hornady didn’t waste any money on packaging these little guys! Looks (and feels) like they put 50 in a baggie, poured grease in the bag, sealed her up and shipped them out! Pull just one out, and you’ll have to scrub your hands with soap and hot water before you touch anything else!
F436858A-9424-404A-873A-B5EA1A76A833.jpeg
 
If it ever quits raining on my days off, I'm gonna get my smoke poles out and do a little shootin'...

Been a while, and my plan is to use em for turkey season, on WMA.

Lotta pigs on my WMA...

Also, my search has begun for a deal on a nice T/C Hawken, or Renegade...
 
Thread starter #16
The holes are a little more ragged than I’d like to see, but they are definitely “minute off deer,” which is all I asked it to do!
 
That with the conicals?? They ought to be moving pretty dang fast with 90gr.

That's some solid performance.

I hope the Hawken Woodsman I have coming will do as well.
 
Thread starter #18
Yes, those are with the PA "balletts." 75 yards is about the limit, though. At 100, I had a couple of shots that missed the target stand all together!
 
Finally got the Buckskinner out today, and while I was getting everything ready, I found a 444 case in my gear...took me a minute to remember that I had it in there for the Conicals...Holds my 70 gr charge just right. Here are my results, at 50, with 70 gr of loose Triple 7. Top hole is a torn out staple, not a bullet.

Screenshot_20200227-150553.png

Also took a Hail Mary on my tie plate gong at 100 ...Look close, I nicked it low-left.

Screenshot_20200227-150833.png

Plum happy. ...
 
Thread starter #20
That ain't bad at all! Did you try her at 75? That is my Maximum Effective Range with this bullet/rifle combo. Next time out, you might try bumping up the powder grains a bit. I l found that my groups tightened when I pushed them a little faster, probably because it takes a little more umph to expand the hollow base to fully engage the rifling.

I notice that your holes are nice and round. Mine are more keyhole-looking with the PAs in my 1-66 Traditions. I hope that doesn't make a difference if I hunt with them. After all, they are almost a round ball, and I suspect they would travel like a round ball inside a deer.
 
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