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Just read an article in a magazine, backwoodsman I believe, where the author talks about downloading muzzleloaders. This is pure genius, and so simple, why did I not think of it ?! He takes a cheap, used side hammer, .50 cal and loads smaller balls, say 36 cal, and just uses thicker patches, or more patches, to get the ball to fit the barrel tight, reducing the powder load to say 30 grains, and voila, hunting small game with a .50 ! Now I own a .50 and a .36, so I have nop need to do this, but for those that dont want to purchase 2 guns, this is a viable, practical, and cheap option. If you have to cut patches out of used jeans, or whatever, the simple percussion cap ML i a greta alternative. Forget the ammo shortages now, theres still plenty of black powder, and percussion caps. buy some ball molds, and scrounge some lead, lifetime supply of ammo. Great article, great magazine !
 

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Yes indeed. If the twist rate on your .50 is applicable to shooting patched balls this is most definitely an economical option. The 36 cal muzzle loader would make a nice small game getter for sure. The current shortage on ammo has made me look once again very hard at adding another muzzle loader to the stable. But your definitely right on the fact that there hasnt been much of a shortage on black powder or caps for ignition.

I would really like to find a economically priced .36 cal since my in line 50 is only suitable to sabot projectiles. There just doesnt seem to be a lot of .36 cal muzzle loaders out there and most are on the pricey side when you find them. Heck there doesnt seem to be that many 45 cal guns out there for that matter that would allow for using a thicker patch and a smaller ball for a projectile. Being a Squirrel hunter and the population of Rabbits being what it is here, it could be very useful and a lot of fun to boot too!
 

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The 36cal ball weighs about 40 grains and launches at a velocity of 1200 fps. The 22 RF has bullets that weigh 40 grains and they launch at 1200 + a tad fps. The 22s are less expensive and more accurate but if you like the black powder version then you should use it.
 

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Yeah thats a good point and one reason I have been so reluctent to get a .36 cal gun although I have no shortage of Black Powder. It would mean yet another gun and now I would have to maintain a supply of caps or if a flint lock, flints which aint all that cheap and dont last all that long to be all that economical in addition to another type of powder to prime the pan with. When you consider how cheap 22 rim fire is, how much of it I have on hand and the fact I dont need another gun for it, its kind of hard to justify a .36 cal muzzle loader. I could do the .36 cal thing with a thicker patch in my 50 if the rifling was 1-48 instead of 1 in 28. Unfortunately in Black Powder, the in line guns in 50 cal dominate the market place and the twist rate in the guns are only suitable for sabot rounds. It be nice is someone out there made a sabot that would allow for bullets as small as 36 cal to be used in a 50 cal gun! That would make my current set up a lot more feasable. Guess I could always go down to a 44 cal ball, but even at 1300 or so fps that would make a pretty serious mess of a squirrel or rabbit.

I still think though that in a long term SHTF of more than about 5 years that Black Powder Rifles would definitely be an asset to possibly have on hand, especially a flint lock version.
 

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Faster twist is always better than not enough. I own a custom 358 winchester that was made for me and it has a 1: 10 twist but I shoot groups of .33" that is 1/3 of an inch at 100 yards using the Sierra 158 grain pistol bullets. The rifle fires them at 2508 fps and they stay together just fine for paper. I haven't had the time to try them in my Fackler box yet so I have no idea of their penetration or expansion. I am going to be using a 180 grain bullet in it because that is the best power/velocity range for any bullet out of it. IT should be good for anything except armor... and I wouldn't use it to hunt grizzly bear but not much chance of that happening here anyway.

Your 1:28" rifling should fire a round ball just fine as long as the ranges are not too long and the side winds stay under 15 mph. You might be able to launch a 40 grain round ball at nearly 2500 fps with a big charge of FF. I don't know how accurate it would be but there is only one way to find out.
 

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I'd like to take this moment to thank all of you that bought the BWM and read my humble attempt at writing. For those who may have missed it and would like a copy drop me a PM and will e-mail you the electrons
 

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Just read an article in a magazine, backwoodsman I believe, where the author talks about downloading muzzleloaders. This is pure genius, and so simple, why did I not think of it ?! He takes a cheap, used side hammer, .50 cal and loads smaller balls, say 36 cal, and just uses thicker patches, or more patches, to get the ball to fit the barrel tight, reducing the powder load to say 30 grains, and voila, hunting small game with a .50 ! Now I own a .50 and a .36, so I have nop need to do this, but for those that dont want to purchase 2 guns, this is a viable, practical, and cheap option. If you have to cut patches out of used jeans, or whatever, the simple percussion cap ML i a greta alternative. Forget the ammo shortages now, theres still plenty of black powder, and percussion caps. buy some ball molds, and scrounge some lead, lifetime supply of ammo. Great article, great magazine !
I love the Backwoodsman magazine! I tried the same thing with my .54 to a .50 ball because .54 can be hard to find.
 
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