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Anyone know? I'm not familiar with the flash hole geometry of flinters or cap locks and am puzzling about what might be possible for low powered loads. Anyone have experience with, say, a .32 or .36 cal rifle?


I am..........disturbed.

Concerning the difference between man and the jackass: some observers hold that there isn't any. But this wrongs the jackass. -Twain


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Per T/C manual, suggested starting loads:

.32 cal 47-gr, .317 RB 30-gr FFFg BP (max 50-gr)
.36 cal 65-gr .350 RB 40-gr FFFg BP (max 60-gr)

Send me a cell # and I will text an excerpt of the manual if you'd like.
Be well. DJB

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Funny you might ask that. I fired a 32 caliber muzzleloader for the first time today.
According to my meager research, with 32’s you can start at 20 and most said stop at 40 grains.
From what I found, 1 grain per caliber is somewhat of a rule of thumb.
This particular long rifle was given to me by a co-worker of my father’s last summer. He built it sometime in the 70’s. It’s a percussion.
The last few weeks I have been getting stuff together to shoot it like balls, patches, cleaning jag, a powder measure and some FFFg.
I finally got around to shooting it today.
I started at 20 grains shooting off the bench at 25 yards then after three shots I moved it up to twenty-five grains and fired four more. It is very accurate. I will continue to experiment with heavier charges as time permits.
My youngest boy shot it at one of our steel targets that is around 75 yards from the bench. That little ball didn’t waste any time getting there. It was an instant “clang” a millisecond after the ol’ gal went off.
I have deer hunted with old Hawken 50’s since I was a boy but this is my first experience with a smallbore.
I’m hooked!
Good luck!

Last edited by JTrapper73; 02/08/24.
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Reach out to BlackPowderManiacShooter on the YouTube. He can also be found on the muzzleloadingforum.com. I followed him when I was on the book of face too. I skimmed over his videos looking for one he did testing light charges, didn't see it. If I recall correctly he took a 50 cal flinter all the way down to 5 grains of main charge.


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One way to find out, Dan. Lower the bar until you can't limbo under it, or you stick a ball in the barrel, whichever comes first. Not a big deal to pull it if it happens. I shot .32's with as little as 15gr. FFFg, 20gr. FFFg in a .36, and felt I could've gone lower (.32 cap lock New York style gun with an E.Remington barrel, 1840-50-ish, .36 flintlock long rifle). Best accuracy was around 10gr. heavier in each though.


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Thanks for the feedback fellas, appreciate it.

I was pondering the thought of making a flinter of caplock a pop gun with round balls. Did a crude measure today on my .45 flinter and found the flashole to be about 1/16” in front of the breech plug. Guessing that 5 gr of 3f would get the ball out of the barrel…maybe. 🤪

If it fails I have the stuff to get it out. Maybe a .32 is in my future?


I am..........disturbed.

Concerning the difference between man and the jackass: some observers hold that there isn't any. But this wrongs the jackass. -Twain


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The lightest load I've ever shot was 10grs. FFg in a .50 caliber percussion. That was for roundball when my boys were little just to see how they liked shooting black powder. Never risked sticking anything in the barrel - but we were shooting at bowling pins and the roundball would just bounce off.


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👍


I am..........disturbed.

Concerning the difference between man and the jackass: some observers hold that there isn't any. But this wrongs the jackass. -Twain


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Curious thing that prompted the inquiry was my lack of knowledge regarding the geometry of breech block/flash hole on one part, and the experience with the .30 Sneezer when I loaded it with a .310 round ball w/ 14 grains 3FG. 1440 fps! Had been looking for a little less, like subsonic.


I am..........disturbed.

Concerning the difference between man and the jackass: some observers hold that there isn't any. But this wrongs the jackass. -Twain


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All good advice above.

I looked at my T/C factory data book for their Cherokee rifle. 50grs. of FFg in a .45 gets you 1584fps with a round ball.

In a .32, 30grs. of FFFg goes 1714fps.

Black powder is so cool. Little light loads still come out screaming supersonic speeds. And cheap too, if you stocked up on powder years ago.

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Thanks for the info JD45. The .32 data makes me smile a bit. I got kinda close to the same velocity with the same ball size and a little less that half the powder with the Sneezer. grin I was thinking maybe 5-7 grains would keep it subsonic. Question that was bugging me was if that quantity of powder in a ML would keep the patch from blocking the flash hole. Guessin' there's one way to find out, hey?


I am..........disturbed.

Concerning the difference between man and the jackass: some observers hold that there isn't any. But this wrongs the jackass. -Twain


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I'm new to firing muzzleloaders, which is quite different than repairing the occasional few that walk through the door.

I built a Traditions Kentucky pistol a few years ago and never tried to fire it. Started out with 15 grains of ffg (percussion gun) and it wouldn't even ignite the charge. Went to 30 grains and I got about 500fps 😅.

Just bought a 1858 Remington Army in 44, steel frame. It'll be fun to mess with.

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In a percussion with a patent breech, at least fill the chamber in the breech. Flintlock with a flat breech plug will depend on the location of the vent to the face of the breech. Vent too far forward and a light charge may let the ball block the vent. I have a Derringer that will not fire with less than 30 grains.


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Originally Posted by prairie dog shooter
In a percussion with a patent breech, at least fill the chamber in the breech. Flintlock with a flat breech plug will depend on the location of the vent to the face of the breech. Vent too far forward, and a light charge may let the ball block the vent. I have a Derringer that will not fire with less than 30 grains.

Good points. Easy enough to figure out a minimum charge that doesn't block the flame path with the projectile. Knowing how much length a certain grain weight of powder column occupies in the bore, then, ramrod, math, and a tape measure.


I prefer peace. But if trouble must come, let it come in my time, so that my children may live in peace. ~~ Thomas Paine
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Usually the caliber in grains of powder. I.e., 50 cal, 50 grains

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20 years or so back I used a couple of inline 50 loads in a neighborhood. I ran the loads down until they were pretty quiet and I was down in the 800-900 FPS range. If it was quiet indoors you could still hear them in the house sometimes at 100-200 yards. 250 grain bullets still shot completely through deer and expanded well from the looks of the wound channels. I shot 8-10 deer with them and they all dropped in their tracks. Pretty sure Most of them were loaded with BH209.

Last edited by MILES58; 02/16/24.
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Miles, thanks! Smilin' here I am!

I've done the analytics for my .45 flinter and figure somewhere in the 5-10 grain realm will work. Also arguing with myself about pickin' up a .32 ML somewhere for the adventure. Good thing about that is that I have a LOT of squills hangin' out around the homestead. Not any more than 300-400 is my guess. Worst case with the .32 and 5 grains would be a quarter to half pound of black before I started killin' the neighbors squills. And they will work on turkeys as well. My back yard might be the best grocery store in town?

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]


I am..........disturbed.

Concerning the difference between man and the jackass: some observers hold that there isn't any. But this wrongs the jackass. -Twain



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