Black Powder:
Make - Substitute - Measure - Ballistics.
Muzzleloader - Rifle - Loading - Accuracy.
Lead Ball - .45" - Sharps - .45-70 - Reload.
Traditional Side-Lock:
Longrifle - Hawken - Loading - Cleaning.
Modern In-Line:
Magnum - CVA Accura - Loading.
Traditional Side-Lock Muzzle-Loaded Hawken Rifles:

Muzzleloaders:
 The United States of America was settled and occupied traveling from east to west, as this expansion took place, the animals settlers and trailblazers encountered grew in size from common White-Tailed Deer and Black Bears of the east side of the Missouri river to Bison, Elk and Grizzly Bears on the west side of the Missouri river. The .45" caliber longrifle which worked well for Deer and the occasional Black Bear was simply not powerful enough to deal with very large beasts such as Bison. The Eastern Longrifle did migrate in large numbers to the west but was not suitable for use against large bears and Bison.

 Samuel and Jacob Hawken were trained by their father as rifle smiths on the east coast building longrifles. They moved west and opened a business in St. Louis at the beginning of the Rocky Mountain fur trade. The brothers' produced what their customers needed, a muzzle-loading rifle capable of knocking down big animals. They called their muzzle-loading rifles "Rocky Mountain Rifles".

 Jake and Sam Hawken in St. Louis saw the need for a different muzzleloading rifle and their rifles typically would have 36" to 38" octagon barrels featuring a slow rifling twist and typically .50" caliber or .54" caliber, but ranged as high as .68" caliber, ammunition would typically be the lead roundball bullet. The rifles action would be a side-lock, early production would be flintlock, late production would be caplock.

 I think its important to understand the ballistics of muzzle-loaded rifles in the Hawken rifle era, because this is a transition period for muzzle-loaded rifles, shooting lighter roundball bullets, clearly the .45" caliber does not have enough bullet momentum to down Bison even with a long barrel and slow twist. I also believe the Hawken brothers began by building slow twist long barreled rifles and transitioned to shorter faster twist rifle barrels, shooting heavier elongated bullets.

Black Powder Ballistics, Hawken Rifle:
.45" Caliber Rifle, Magnum Rated, Barrel Length 28", Twist Rate 1 in 48":
Powder
And Size
Powder Charge
Volume
Bullet Weight
And Type
Muzzle
Velocity
Muzzle
Energy
Breech
Pressure
Goex
FFFg
120
Grains
128 Grain
Roundball
2,124
FPS.
1,283
FT.LBS.
18,700
PSI.
Goex
FFFg
110
Grains
128 Grain
Roundball
2,043
FPS.
1,187
FT.LBS.
18,000
PSI.
.50" Caliber Rifle, Magnum Rated, Barrel Length 28", Twist Rate 1 in 48":
Powder
And Size
Powder Charge
Volume
Bullet Weight
And Type
Muzzle
Velocity
Muzzle
Energy
Breech
Pressure
Goex
FFFg
120
Grains
177 Grain
Roundball
2,015
FPS.
1,596
FT.LBS.
10,800
PSI.
Goex
FFFg
110
Grains
177 Grain
Roundball
1,963
FPS.
1,515
FT.LBS.
10,300
PSI.
.54" Caliber Rifle, Magnum Rated, Barrel Length 28", Twist Rate 1 in 48":
Powder
And Size
Powder Charge
Volume
Bullet Weight
And Type
Muzzle
Velocity
Muzzle
Energy
Breech
Pressure
Goex
FFFg
120
Grains
230 Grain
Roundball
1,773
FPS.
1,606
FT.LBS.
11,100
PSI.
Goex
FFFg
110
Grains
230 Grain
Roundball
1,728
FPS.
1,525
FT.LBS.
11,000
PSI.

 The Hawken rifles are slightly shorter and generally of a larger caliber than earlier “longrifles” but still are classed as longrifles just another variation that would get the monikor "Plains Rifle". They averaged 9 1/2 pounds in total weight, although there are examples of 15 pound guns that could be charged with large amounts of gunpowder, these heavier rifles gave the Hawken rifle a reputation as being very powerful and those ones were, they were very few but they could be safely charged with more than 200 grains of powder.

 The Hawken "plains rifle" was made by Jacob and Samuel Hawken in their St Louis, Missouri shop, which they ran from 1820 to 1858. Their shop continued to operate and sell rifles bearing the "Hawken" name under later owners William S. Hawken, William L. Watt, and J. P. Gemmer, until Gemmer closed down the business and retired in 1915. There were only about two hundred larger bored Hawken rifles ever built as opposed to the thousands of smaller caliber longrifles.

 Shooting heavier conical bullets, with a faster 1 in 48 inch twist in the barrel a rifle can be shortened because bullet energy goes up, clearly the .45" caliber does have enough bullet momentum to down Elk and other larger North American game animals.

Black Powder Ballistics, Hawken Rifle:
.45" Caliber Rifle, Magnum Rated, Barrel Length 28", Twist Rate 1 in 48":
Powder
And Size
Powder Charge
Volume
Bullet Weight
And Type
Muzzle
Velocity
Muzzle
Energy
Breech
Pressure
Goex
FFg
120
Grains
245 Grain
Maxi-Ball
1,894
FPS.
1,952
FT.LBS.
19,500
PSI.
Goex
FFg
110
Grains
245 Grain
Maxi-Ball
1,823
FPS.
1,808
FT.LBS.
18,900
PSI.
.50" Caliber Rifle, Magnum Rated, Barrel Length 28", Twist Rate 1 in 48":
Powder
And Size
Powder Charge
Volume
Bullet Weight
And Type
Muzzle
Velocity
Muzzle
Energy
Breech
Pressure
Goex
FFg
120
Grains
370 Grain
Maxi-Ball
1,520
FPS.
1,899
FT.LBS.
12,200
PSI.
Goex
FFg
110
Grains
370 Grain
Maxi-Ball
1,460
FPS.
1,752
FT.LBS.
11,100
PSI.
.54" Caliber Rifle, Magnum Rated, Barrel Length 28", Twist Rate 1 in 48":
Powder
And Size
Powder Charge
Volume
Bullet Weight
And Type
Muzzle
Velocity
Muzzle
Energy
Breech
Pressure
Goex
FFg
120
Grains
430 Grain
Maxi-Ball
1,440
FPS.
1,980
FT.LBS.
12,900
PSI.
Goex
FFg
110
Grains
430 Grain
Maxi-Ball
1,379
FPS.
1,816
FT.LBS.
12,000
PSI.

 I think its important to understand the ballistics of muzzle-loaded rifles in the Hawken rifle era, because this is a transition period for muzzle-loaded rifles to Sharps paper cartridge breech-loaded rifes, calibers, and now down range bullet performance, by the end of 1879 the .50" caliber will fade away as well as every caliber larger than .45". The .45" will live on strongly as America's new big bore caliber in new brass cased cartridge form to present day.

(1879 - .45-70 Government Long Range Tests)

Muzzleloaders And Shooting:

Brownells
Blackhorn 209 Current Price & Inventory
Muzzleloader Bullets & Sabots
Pyrodex P
Pyrodex RS
Pyrodex Select
Triple Seven FFFG
Triple Seven FFG

Cabela's
Blackhorn 209 Current Price & Inventory
Muzzleloader Bullets & Sabots
Flint / Percussion Rifles
CVA In-Line Rifles
Remington In-Line Rifles
T/C In-Line Rifles
Traditions In-Line Rifles
Rifle Resources And References:
Rifles:
Rifling Twist Rates
Rifling Twist Effects
Rifle Barrel Break-In
Rifle Barrel Cryogenics
Rifle Barrel Free-Bore
Rifles:
Rifle Scopes
Rifle Scope Mounts
Rifle Scope Mounting
Rifle Sight-In
Rifle Sight-In For Hunting
Long Range Muzzleloading: