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#553562 - 08/29/19 07:21 AM Re: Gain Twist...does it work [Re: pamtnman]
Stan Offline
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When determining what rate of twist you need for a particular usage you need to determine, within a small range, what the powder charge will be. Stability is ultimately determined by rpms, not twist rate alone. The heavier the powder charge the higher the velocity, and the higher the velocity the lower twist rate that seems to be needed to stabilize the projectile.
It is tough to find a twist rate that is fast enough for a bullet but slow enough for round balls. Thompson Center tried this decades ago, and sold many thousands of rifles with a 44" twist, AIR. They never won many serious round ball matches, but would shoot decently enough to keep some people happy, with the right charge. They also shot a bullet to minute of lung. Good enough for many deer hunters, but not for serious competition.

IDK how well gain twist would work for a bullet/ball rifle, but it's an interesting concept, and one I've never heard of being tested. My guess would be the shorter the bullet the better it would stabilize it, as with most mid-range twist barrels. Back when I competed with round ball rifles Douglas XX was the barrel to beat, with custom barrels by Ken Bresein and Jim Goodein leading the pack of custom makers.

My best ever barrel is a .45 Douglas XX with a 66" twist, 42" long and 1 1/8" across the flats. I have shot 5/8", 5 shot, 100 yard groups with it with a tight fitting ball/patch combination.

Good luck ...... SRH
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#553584 - 08/29/19 11:44 AM Re: Gain Twist...does it work [Re: Stan]
pamtnman Offline
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Originally Posted By: Stan
When determining what rate of twist you need for a particular usage you need to determine, within a small range, what the powder charge will be. Stability is ultimately determined by rpms, not twist rate alone. The heavier the powder charge the higher the velocity, and the higher the velocity the lower twist rate that seems to be needed to stabilize the projectile.
It is tough to find a twist rate that is fast enough for a bullet but slow enough for round balls. Thompson Center tried this decades ago, and sold many thousands of rifles with a 44" twist, AIR. They never won many serious round ball matches, but would shoot decently enough to keep some people happy, with the right charge. They also shot a bullet to minute of lung. Good enough for many deer hunters, but not for serious competition.

IDK how well gain twist would work for a bullet/ball rifle, but it's an interesting concept, and one I've never heard of being tested. My guess would be the shorter the bullet the better it would stabilize it, as with most mid-range twist barrels. Back when I competed with round ball rifles Douglas XX was the barrel to beat, with custom barrels by Ken Bresein and Jim Goodein leading the pack of custom makers.

My best ever barrel is a .45 Douglas XX with a 66" twist, 42" long and 1 1/8" across the flats. I have shot 5/8", 5 shot, 100 yard groups with it with a tight fitting ball/patch combination.

Good luck ...... SRH

Exactly the input I am looking for, THANK YOU Stan.
It stands to reason that a middlin' ground meant to accommodate both round ball and bullets is not real attainable. I do not trust myself enough to arrive at this kind of conclusion on my own. After second-guessing myself into a circle, I really required outside intervention...so I think I will go with bullets and ask the barrel maker to make the twist appropriately tight. This is a .62 percussion rifle, so the bullets will be big and the powder charges really big. What twist rate would you suggest for a bullet-shaped projectile (Minie or Buffalo Bullet style) in a 34 inch barrel?
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#553589 - 08/29/19 01:34 PM Re: Gain Twist...does it work [Re: pamtnman]
Stan Offline
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I'm afraid I can't be of much help there, regrettably. I have never spent much time with bullet, or slug, m/l rifleguns ............ preferring to specialize in getting the most accuracy out of soft lead round balls. Anything I posted that was helpful I gleaned from others along the journey, watching them and asking questions. I'm glad it was of some help.

I would suggest that you speak at length with the barrel maker, providing him with as much detailed info on the bullet type you want to use as possible. They garner much priceless data on such things over the years. Colerain is a well respected name, tho' I've never dealt with them.

Another suggestion would be to go to one of the major m/l websites and do some searches, or ask the question there. It's been my experience that, in most any field you wish to learn more detailed information about, there are those out there that have been there and done that. Their experiences are, again, priceless.

I would note that a long bullet (Buffalo?) in a .62 cal. is going to weigh a good bit, and might require a hefty charge to keep it rocking along stable. Even a .62 cal. roundball will weigh 340+ grs. No big deal if you need that much weight for bigger game, but shooting it a lot off the bench will produce some notable accumulated recoil.

Best wishes, SRH
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#553640 - 08/29/19 11:36 PM Re: Gain Twist...does it work [Re: Stan]
pamtnman Offline
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Stan - all good points, all useful, and all much appreciated. Gain twist is one of those things a gun guy might hear about occasionally, but not really encounter without purposefully looking for it. I did post a query about it on the muzzleloading forum. The responses were pretty helpful, some amazingly so (a barrel maker, a competitive BP shooter, a book worm), but nothing definitive. Like a lot of people who use this site here, I own British double rifles. Those guns are incredibly accurate. The BPE ones all have both gain twist and a tapered bore. We all know that the British sporting rifle makers were tops. They knew what they were doing. It seems like we have to rebuild the British wheel to find out how it turns.
Colerain made the barrels on our other muzzleloading guns, and they are very accurate. I think my son's child-size .45 flintlock has gain twist. It is a tack driver. Gun builder Bill Slusser swears by the gain twist in Colerain barrels, and he says he has been able to get both round balls and bullets/sabots to shoot very well from them.
Your point about the .62 cal round ball is a good point, one I need to remember again and again. I am so searching for raw knockdown power that I am just about to overdo it with this project. The gun is supposed to be for our early season bear and deer season, for bear, elk and deer in places where flintlocks are not required. A round ball is probably enough for all that...


Edited by pamtnman (08/29/19 11:38 PM)
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#553650 - 08/30/19 07:40 AM Re: Gain Twist...does it work [Re: pamtnman]
Stan Offline
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A big round ball can have unbelievable penetration. My biggest is a .54 Leman half-stock. With it's 34" X 1 1/16" Sharon barrel I can utilize some stout charges. I once shot a 200+ lb. buck with it at the lower edge of his white throat patch, facing me. I was in an elevated position at 80 yds. The ball penetrated him ................... lengthwise, and exited under his right hind leg.

Best wishes on your quest, SRH
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#553693 - 08/30/19 01:51 PM Re: Gain Twist...does it work [Re: pamtnman]
keith Offline
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I had a couple of Thompson Center .50 cal. Hawkins rifles that shot well with both conicals or patched round balls. In fact, the first shot better with swaged patched balls than any conical bullet I tried. I could usually have 5 shots touching at 50-60 yds. Beyond that, the limiting factor was the open sights with a front bead that covered most of a deer's chest at 100 yds. But even at that, I could easily stay well inside 3 inches at 100 yds which is much better than minute of lung. Peep sights were not legal for our flintlock deer hunting, so I made some modifications to make more precise shooting possible, and still remain legal. For some reason, we had to use round balls too, and I remain very impressed with the performance of them on deer. As Stan said, penetration could be very good due to the momentum of a blob of lead. Of course, hitting bone flattened them out nearly like a half dollar, and they would often be found under the hide on the off side of a deer. Actually, penetration will often be better at lower velocity because the soft lead ball doesn't expand as much in flesh.

I had a .69 cal.percussion musket for a time. It was a blast to shoot with round balls and 160 gr. FFG powder. I was probably using much more powder than necessary, but I was young and using the load the guy I bought it from used. The accuracy was not very good, so it went down the road. Recoil was impressive, but it was more of a long shove than a sharp jolt.
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#553955 - 09/02/19 03:21 AM Re: Gain Twist...does it work [Re: pamtnman]
pamtnman Offline
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Ok..Iím thinking a slow turn for round balls. Keep it simple. Thanks, guys, you have been helpful.
Btw in my .54 flintlock, the standard hunting load is 100 grains FFG. Think thatís too much? The gun prints well with it at distance. I have yet to take an animal with this particular gun. Iíve missed plenty
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#554033 - 09/03/19 07:46 AM Re: Gain Twist...does it work [Re: pamtnman]
Stan Offline
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100 gr. FFg is a good charge for deer, in a .54 ............. I use 120 in mine, but I like complete penetration and exit, if possible. If I ever got the chance to use it for bigger game - elk, moose, grizzly - I'd go to 160. My rifle handles that heavy a charge very well. I use a very tight ball patch combination on the initial load, then slightly looser for reloads, to make reloading quicker.

Best, SRH
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#554046 - 09/03/19 10:00 AM Re: Gain Twist...does it work [Re: Stan]
pamtnman Offline
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Originally Posted By: Stan
100 gr. FFg is a good charge for deer, in a .54 ............. I use 120 in mine, but I like complete penetration and exit, if possible. If I ever got the chance to use it for bigger game - elk, moose, grizzly - I'd go to 160. My rifle handles that heavy a charge very well. I use a very tight ball patch combination on the initial load, then slightly looser for reloads, to make reloading quicker.

Best, SRH

All good advice, Stan, thank you. In that vein, it would stand to reason that the hunting charge on the .62 rifle will be around 140-160 grains of FFG. Do you agree? In one of Sam Fadala's 1990s books he had a .62 rifle that he shot, and while I do not now recall the powder charge, in my memory that figure has been stashed away for future reference. Seems logical to me.
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#554053 - 09/03/19 10:58 AM Re: Gain Twist...does it work [Re: pamtnman]
Stan Offline
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That should be close to right, but only testing will prove what it likes best.

Testing is fun. My crossticks gun was tested for load using a 25X Lyman LWBR scope, which was then removed and the sight bar for the Redfield aperture sight was mounted using the same holes the scope bases utilized, leaving no unsightly holes in the top barrel flat.

Brings back memories.

SRH
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