View Full Version : Roundball vs conical

05-12-2003, 03:39 AM
I am going after elk in Colorado this September and in the past have had great luck with conicals on them. I recently picked up a beautiful handmade 54 caliber Hawken that really shoots patched roundballs well with 100 grains of powder. Has anyone had any experience with the 54 roundball on elk? Thanks, Kurt

05-12-2003, 07:11 AM
Yep, they work just fine. You will read all kinds of balderdash in the press. They will tell you that you need an inline with pistol bullets to kill something. My hunting partner uses round balls exclusively here in Alaska. He has killed moose, caribou, deer, and black bear with it. His hawken has two barrels, one for conical and one for round balls. He never uses the conical barrel because he has had such good luck with the round ball barrel. The animals he shoots don't go any farther than those shot with a 338. Have fun and go ahead and use the round ball.

05-12-2003, 08:02 AM

My 54 has the "compromise" rifling for both conicals and round balls. Unfortunately, in a way, I found a conical big game load first and have been shooting that. Several local elk hunters of my acquaintance swear by round balls, however. Next time I hunt elk with the old smokepole I'm gonna use rounds. When you think about it, that's what the Mountain Men used and they literally lived off their rifles...right here in elk country. So did the men on the Lewis and Clark Expedition. I'd say round balls in a big caliber front loader have proved themselves, yes Sir. Shoot straight!

05-12-2003, 07:28 PM
Thanks for giving me the reinforcement I was looking for. I agree with you guys that they worked fine in the 1800s and should continue to do so. The rifle shoots so well and the tiger striped maple is so nice to rub around on that I was pretty sure it needed to go. I need to get a real pack while I am out there as the freighter frame I have been using is killing me on long packouts. I'll be in 39 so maybe I can stop by the shop. Thanks again, now its time to make some smoke this weekend.

05-13-2003, 06:35 PM
Now you got my attention. RB they are a wonderful projectile and like naything put i the gith place form reasonable distances will drop em just as dead. I now own and shoot only rguns specifically designed for RB. The rifling is very slow twist and very shallow rifling with groove to land ratio of 4:1. This allows many shots without cleaning between shots. The man credited with this rifling principle is Lut. James Forsythe a market hunter professional Hunter he believed that you want more ower shoot bigger orund balls ad he also beleived that heavy doses of black powder to drive those balls to the maximum velocity. I have rifles in 2-58,2-62,69 & 72 caliber. The 58 shoots flats to 150 yards with 145 grains of FFG velocity of that Round ball approaches velocites of 2000 FPS. Now you talk about knock down power? The game I have dropped with all these rifles have all been one shot drop en dead in there tracks shots one deer took two steps and dropped of the Elk I have shot they went down like the hammer of Thor hit em in the head. Round Balls yeah 54 will take em out use it and do not let nayone tell you that hey aren't accurate or terminal cause I have reams of data to prove otherwise. I have one Remington Inline that I rebarrled for 62 caliber round ball Forsythe barrle and it will print 10 shots in less than 2 inches at 100 yards and i did nto clean in between the shots. OK I guess I am showing my fondness for round ball guns so I will shut up now. If I draw I will be hunting the Gunnison area in September Bringing my 69 caliber carbine "Stump Thumper" made by me and my 58 Zypher for my second gun.

05-14-2003, 07:02 AM
It will also help if you use Vaseline Intensive Care hand cream for your lube. It works really well and you can shoot all day without cleaning the barrel. I learned this years ago. A polimer chemist tried all kinds of lubes and figured this was the best. You can also take care of your hands with it! Jim

05-14-2003, 04:18 PM
Rocket, Those calibers and the Forsyth rifling are available from October Country Muzzleloaders up to at least 72 caliber. I think the rate of twist is 1 in 104. As far as accuracy, one of my first groups with the 54 was under 1.5" at 100 yards. I will always remember it because the guy next to me was shooting a 300 Weatherby with a Zeiss scope and I out shot him with the Hawken. It was hard to suppress a grin while sitting there. Someday I might get one of the true big bores, .69 or .72. I imagine getting hit with a golf ball size projectile ought to put an elk down pretty quick! Best of luck in the mountains this fall.

05-14-2003, 05:13 PM
Thanks Kurt hbope t do well wish you the same. Yes OC is one of the suppliers for the guns on this platform. You can shoot groups like that any elk with in 100 yards is meat in the freezer. I am of the opinion that the 58 is THE ideal dee rifle up to and including Elk. My Zypher weighs in at 7.75 lbs. Puts a ball into tight groups. <My experience with round balls is like this; they harvest game with an effeceincy that is almost mystical or far better than they should based on math.