Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 61

Since the early days of this special
season, a lot has changed. One can
no longer rely on a "one load fits all"
solution to muzzleloading accuracy.
While most big stores have trouble
explaining to their customers why
there are so many different choices of
bullets: roundballs, slugs, sabots, gas
checks and Minié balls; we need to take
a look at the history of muzzleloading
rifle evolution.
Eighteenth and early 19th century
flintlock rifles had deeper, cut rifling.
The grooves were cut into the barrel
in depths from 7,000ths to 14,000ths
of an inch deep. To properly seal the
bore's rifling grooves so burning gases
wouldn't bypass the bullet as it shot
down the barrel, heavy cotton patches
from 15,000ths to 20,000ths of an inch
were wrapped around roundballs of
soft lead.
As muzzleloading rifle frolics and
local shooting contests pushed riflemen to experiment with accuracy
tweaks, they began to experiment
with oversized roundballs in very thin
patches. Like the reader above, a 50caliber Hawken will often shoot better
with a 0.495-inch diameter roundball,
wrapped in a 0.010-inch thick cotton

patch. Although this may provide
greater accuracy, it does slow down the
loading process, and it is the reason
why most manufacturers recommend
a 0.490 ball in a 0.020-inch cotton
patch.
With the resurgence of interest in
flintlock deer hunting in Pennsylvania,
some two centuries later, the shelves
were alive with misinformation. Buy
this, load that; no don't buy that, load
this, became the mantra for many
companies that started up and disappeared within short periods of time.
The reason: You can't change the laws
of physics.
If you have a deep-cut rifling (as described above) in a slowly rotated barrel
(such as 1:66, 1:60, 1:56, 1:48), then
a greased (your choice), moderately
thick (0.015 to 0.020) cotton patched,
lead roundball is a good starting load
for hunting accuracy and ease of loading. The patch will provide a good gas
seal and carry the necessary lubricant
for reducing friction, as well as soften
fouling from black powder.
But, could this hunter stuff a plasticsabotted bullet down his T/C? The
answer may surprise you: Sure. Anything will shoot accurately up to about

Cover Painting by PatriCk Sharbaugh
THIS MONTH'S COVER, "Deep Woods Warblers," is the
2014 Working Together for Wildlife fine art print. As in past
years, a limited edition of 600 prints is available. Image is
15 x 22 ½ inches and printed on acid-free paper. Cost is
$125, plus $10.95 s&h (for framing add $110, plus $15
s&h). Embroidered 4-inch patches also are available for
$5.66, plus s&h. PA residents add 6% state sales tax. All sales
benefit Pennsylvania's nongame management and research.
Order online at The Outdoor Shop, www.pgc.state.pa.us or
call 1-888-888-3459.

JANUARY 2014

61


http://www.pgc.state.pa.us

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014

Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - Cover1
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - Cover2
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 2
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 3
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 4
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 5
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 6
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 7
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 8
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 9
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 10
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 11
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 12
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 13
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 14
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 15
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 16
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 17
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 18
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 19
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 20
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 21
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 22
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 23
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 24
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 25
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 26
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 27
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 28
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 29
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 30
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 31
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 32
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 33
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 34
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 35
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 36
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 37
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 38
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 39
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 40
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 41
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 42
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 43
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 44
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 45
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 46
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 47
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 48
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 49
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 50
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 51
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 52
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 53
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 54
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 55
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 56
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 57
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 58
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 59
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 60
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 61
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 62
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 63
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - 64
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - A
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - B
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - Cover3
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2014 - Cover4
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