TC .45 Hawken Load Recommendation

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I have an old TC Hawken .45 I bought for $50 at a yard sale years ago. I shot it a couple of times just messing around, cleaned it and stuck it in the closet.

I now have the opportunity to hunt somewhere that has an actual muzzleloader season and want to dust it off and start hunting with it. I won’t be buying a new one and don’t really need it for long range, I’ll basically be using it in bow sets. What’s a good powder/bullet combo for that rifle assuming my shots will be 50 yards and in?
 
Do you know what the twist is in the barrel ? Is it a long rifle or a shorter carbine ? Longer ones are usually 1:66, the shorter often are 1:48. The tighter twist will allow different bullet options. I have a longer Kentucky rifle (1:66) and was advised to keep the charge between 40-80 grains and use a patched round ball.
 
Agree no more than 100gr if that much.
And pretty much any .45 bullet will do ya a week.
100 grains would be way too much. I usually shoot 80-90 grains in my .50 Hawken with a 350 grain solid lead conical, and 75 grains in my .54 with a roundball. I'd probably start with 60 grains and a patched roundball.
 
The original .45-70 load was a .45 caliber bullet with 70 grains of blackpowder, for comparison.
 
Most of the commercial "Hawkens" usually have a 1 in 48" twist, which usually shoots decent with either a roundball or conical. If you want to try a conical, too, the T/C Maxi-hunter is accurate in most rifles, and hits deer like the hammer of Thor.
 

Tom W.

Senior Member
With a cast Maxi Ball I'll use 100 gr of 2x.

The cast round ball gets 70 grains.
I've been using pyrodex for a number of years, and as of late it's been the pydrodex p.
Works for me.
 
With a cast Maxi Ball I'll use 100 gr of 2x.

The cast round ball gets 70 grains.
I've been using pyrodex for a number of years, and as of late it's been the pydrodex p.
Works for me.
In a .45 caliber?
 
Here's some load data from an old Thompson Center manual for .45 loads. They recommend using either BLACK POWDER or Pyrodex only.
*****I WOULD HIGHLY RECOMMEND THAT YOU DO NOT SHOOT THE MAXIMUM LOADS****
There is just no need to shoot the maximum load. It's less accurate and a waste of powder. 70, 80, or 90 grains is more than sufficient to take deer. As a matter of fact, the Thompson Center Hawken in 50 caliber you see me holding in my picture has never fired a maximum load. I shoot 50 grains for practice and no more than 80 grains for hunting, and blackpowder is what I do 90% of my hunting with now. As far as what bullet to use, either a ball or a Maxi-ball will take deer just fine.

Hawken, 45 caliber
Round ball loads (.440", 127 grains):
50 grains FFg - 1605 FPS - 732 ft.lbs
60 grains FFg - 1720 FPS - 841 ft.lbs
70 grains FFg - 1825 FPS - 947 ft.lbs
80 grains FFg - 1929 FPS - 1054 ft.lbs
90 grains FFg - 2003 FPS - 1140 ft.lbs
100 grains FFg - 2081 FPS - 1231 ft.lbs
110 grains FFg - 2158 FPS - 1324 ft.lbs

For conical bullets like the 240 grain Maxi-ball, the highest load they recommend is 100 grains of FFg.

Note that these loads are for FFg black powder and Pyrodex RS powder only.

FFFg powder burns faster and will generate higher pressures because of that. If you only have FFFg powder, I would highly recommend you back off these loads by 10-15 grains. I would also recommend that you only shoot round balls with FFFg because the higher weight of conical projectiles combined with the faster burning powder causes an even higher pressure to be generated.

Many may call me overly cautious but there's no reason to push muzzleloaders to their limit. Especially when you are talking about a contained explosion of black powder happening mere inches from your face.
 

Roadking65

Senior Member
100 grains would be way too much. I usually shoot 80-90 grains in my .50 Hawken with a 350 grain solid lead conical, and 75 grains in my .54 with a roundball. I'd probably start with 60 grains and a patched roundball.
I agree with this, I shoot 80 grains in my .50 cal Hawkens as well its plenty nuff for any whitetail
 
I shot 70-75 grns of ffg in my .45 TC hawken. Fifty yards it was dead nuts on and killed several nice deer while I had it.
 
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