1st blackpowder firearm


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10-Ring
July 8, 2003, 12:32 AM
A buddy has talked me into possibly getting a black powder rifle. What should I look for in a first gun?

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4v50 Gary
July 8, 2003, 01:23 PM
Consider buying a used low end gun. Find out whether you really enjoy the sport before you drop a wad of cash. A used CVA or T/C will be good enough to get you going. Attend a blackpowder shoot. Lemme know what area you're in and I'll what I can find in the NMLRA Muzzle Blasts magazine for you. The blackpowder crowd is about the friendliest of all shooters and I'm sure you'll fit right in.

10-Ring
July 8, 2003, 02:53 PM
Thanks, I'm in the LA/ OC/ SB county area of Southern California.

4v50 Gary
July 8, 2003, 03:49 PM
Better yet, private message me your snail mail addy and I'll snail mail the shoots in Southern Calif. to you. There are quite a # of active clubs and if you want to go to Lake Havesu (near Bakersfield), there's suppose to be quite a large shoot there.

Sir Galahad
July 9, 2003, 11:27 AM
Lake Havasu is actually closer to Laughlin, NV and Bullhead City, AZ. Bakersfield is a long ways off from there. Needles, CA and even Baker, CA are actually a lot closer than Bakersfield. (If you thought Bakersfield was hot, wait til you stop in Baker! BAKE-r, I'll say!) By the way, speaking of that region, Chloride, AZ (an old mining town) has regular blackpowder shoots. Check the Chloride town website. Chloride is not far from Oatman, which is on Old Route 66 not far from Kingman which is on I-40 not far over the border from California. Bring and drink lots of water. Like gallons.

A good, no, a GREAT muzzleloader is the Lyman Great Plains rifle.

Dr.Rob
July 9, 2003, 01:22 PM
I know its not er.. "period" to have a a rubber butt pad.. but if you get into shooting heavy loads the typical curved brass butt plate will leave you bruised and confused.

If you are just target shooting, a 45 or 50 cal rifle is just fine, though around here it seems 45 is harder to find bullets for. 50 and 54 are all the rage here but that's because we have been known to hunt with the old smoke stuffers.

My first rifle was a Thompson/Center kit gun I picked up at a gunshop used for around $200.. probably paid too much butthe stock was pretty and it had a browed instead of blued barrel.. which i thought was nifty.

Anyway, after the rifle there comes buying all the accessories that go with it. Power, bullets, caps, cleaning jags, bullet pullers, barrel lighrts, solvents, ball butter, lubed patches, a box to store all the stuff in, a possibles bag for hunting, 3 speed loaders, more bullets etc.


And that's not even counting the burning desire to purchase buckskins and a tomahawk.
:scrutiny:

Seriously, you can spend almost as much on needed accessories for a muzzle loader as you can on a first rifle.

If I had it to do over again I had passed on a TC "patriot", a 54 cal half round/half octagon 54 with a nice pistol-gripped stock and sling swivels that I thought cost too much at $275.. after bruising the crap out of my shoulder I wished I had got the patriot.

Another rifle I looked at closely was a 58 cal Enfield Musketoon, a shorter, lighter carbine version of a CSA rifle. Pedersoli makes the one I was interested in and I let the sales guy talk me out of it.. mainly I wanted a hunting rifle, not a reinactor's prop.. and to be fair, the sights were a bit crude. Still after lugging a 12 pound hawken all day I wished like hell I had bought the Musketoon.

I still have the hawken, but I still have my eyes peeled for a TC patriot, or a musketoon with blackened furniture.

4v50 Gary
July 9, 2003, 02:29 PM
On the Enfields, the British made Parker Hales were among the best (good barrels, good metallurgy and workmanship. Navy Arms or the Gibbs Rifle Company imports the newer Parker Hales, but they're made in Italy by Euroarms. Euroarms also markets their own line of Enfields and the quality is a bit less than their Parker Hales.

BTW, if you go Enfield musketoon, you're going to have to get into lead casting and cast your own minie balls. I have a RCBS made mould that was sold with the Parker Hale. It casts a .577 530 gr minie and darn if I can't get pretty close (60 grs Goex FF & CCI musket cap) shooting offhand at 350 yds. :D

farscott
July 13, 2003, 04:58 PM
I have also decided to try a muzzleloading blackpowder rifle. In my case, I have decided to get a new barrel for one of my T/C Contender carbine actions. While it may be a bit more expensive than a new muzzleloading rifle, my comfort level with the Contender is quite high. I figure my comfort with the action will allow me to focus on the characteristics and requirements of muzzleloading without having to also learn to handle a new action.

While I am an experienced smokeless powder shooter, I have very little blackpowder experience and no muzzleloading experience. Are there any good books or on-line resources devoted to the novice shooter? Any recommendations on what to do and what not to do?

blue86buick
July 15, 2003, 04:30 AM
got my first muzzleloader this weekend...a .50 cal "straight through". Not sure of the name (forgot to look before putting it in the safe), but it takes the 209 shotshell primers. gawd that thing is fun...it doesn't kick very hard, there's a big BOOM, and a big puff o' smoke. man, why didn't I get into these earlier? :D if it weren't for the fact that cleaning it is a PITA, I'd shoot it as often as possible. As it is, I'll see what happens.

Where can I get information on what powders to use, different loads, etc? I'm completely new to this, so I'm clueless.

BTW, the best part? I got it for $50. Total price OTD ready to shoot (bullets, primers, powder)? $70. :neener:

CasualShooter
July 15, 2003, 05:29 AM
My first was a Thompson/Center .54 Cal Hawkin Kit with percussion lock. It was fun to build and is a Blast to shoot! :D Barrel was already blued.

I normally load it with .54 cal patched round ball (about 220 grains) and 100 grains of GOEX FFg. It's amazing how accurate it is at 100 yards.

The manual says maximum load is 120 grains of black powder. I think I tried that once and it had a pretty good kick - curved brass butt plate is not very soft on the shoulder when shot from a bench. Offhand = more fun. :)

If you want a companion pistol in same Cal., Lyman offers the only one I am aware of in .54 cal., with a percussion lock, and it can be had finished or in a kit. They call it the Plains Pistol.

The barrel for this pistol comes in the white; but, the instructions in the kit tell how to properly brown it. You'll need to heat it first; but, the oven in the kitchen stove on low temperature setting (we have electric) worked just fine for me.

Lyman Manual says maximum load for their pistol is 50 gr of FFg behind a patched round ball. -- That's enough; but, it is fun to shoot! :D

CasualShooter
July 15, 2003, 05:36 AM
BTW The first book I picked up on the subject was by Sam Fadalla (not sure on spelling). It got me off to a good start. Should be in any good gun shop. Not sure of exact title and it's late - I'll check this thread tomorrow and provide the title if someone else hasn't already nailed it for you.

You'll enjoy black powder. It's Fun! :D

Snowdog
July 15, 2003, 09:18 AM
My very first BP rifle was a .50 caliber Hawkins purchased from Cabela's.
With the set trigger and the proper loads, it's as accurate as you could possibly ask.
It's a rifle you'll never outgrow.

4v50 Gary
July 15, 2003, 05:38 PM
OTD $70? You did well.

blue86buick
July 15, 2003, 07:09 PM
I found my rifle on the web...Traditions Lightning Fire Magnum, stainless and synthetic. Found a picture too.
http://gideongunsales.com/TradLBAssBlk.jpg

At the price I saw on that page ($263), I'd say I did reaaaal good. :D

farscott
July 15, 2003, 07:27 PM
I have a book by Sam Fadala about all of the .22 rounds, so I know his stuff. He writes simply, but covers lots of material very thoroughly. I will look for the blackpowder book. Thanks for the tip.

CasualShooter
July 15, 2003, 08:35 PM
That's The Complete Black Powder Handbook, by Sam Fadala.

My copy cost me $17.95 about 10-12 years ago. It was well worth the money! :D

BTW, This may help, too! :)

www.nmlra.org/ (http://www.nmlra.org/)

CasualShooter
July 15, 2003, 08:48 PM
Farscott...

Any recommendations on what to do and what not to do?

You're on the right track.

If you read Sam's book and/or shoot with an experienced black powder shooter (both would be best) you should be OK. There are some do's and don'ts which are peculiar to black powder for safty. Chief among them, be sure to seat the projectile firmly upon the powder charge. Unlike smokeless powder, Black Powder DOES NOT like any unfilled space between powder and projectile - good way to ruin a gun or worse! There are other things to be aware of like it's sensitivity to shock. Read Sam's book and you'll be O.K. and set for a lot of fun.

Welcome to Black Powder -- Enjoy! :D :D

BTW, This should help, Too!

http://www.nmlra.org/

farscott
July 16, 2003, 08:01 AM
Thanks for the advice. I will start with the Fadala book, and I have been talking with a buddy who is an experienced black powder shooter.

CasualShooter
July 16, 2003, 10:08 PM
Dr.Rob....

Anyway, after the rifle there comes buying all the accessories that go with it. Power, bullets, caps, cleaning jags, bullet pullers, barrel lighrts, solvents, ball butter, lubed patches, a box to store all the stuff in, a possibles bag for hunting, 3 speed loaders, more bullets etc.

TIP...

Don't use one of those screw type "bullet pullers" that screws into the ram rod except as a last resort. Besides being a PITA, they can damage the rifleing in your barrel if they get off center. Instead, get one of those stuck ball removers available from Thompson Center or CVA. These use CO2 cartriges. They fit over the nipple and use the compressed CO2 to gently blow the ball or bullet, and any charge, gently and safely out of the barrel. One cartridge is good for several uses. These are reasonably priced and they really work slick. Try it and you'll never use a screw type again, if you can help it. Oh, by the way, sooner or later, you WILL get one stuck and having one of these jewels on hand makes it a quick and simple matter to fix. :D

blue86buick
July 17, 2003, 02:01 PM
Does that work, or is there a similar tool for In-Line BP rifles?

CasualShooter
July 17, 2003, 09:48 PM
blue86buick...
Does that work, or is there a similar tool for In-Line BP rifles?

I am not that familiar with the details of some of the newer ignition systems used in some of the "In-Line" BP Arms. I know some of these newer systems are designed to use standard shotshell primers; but, I haven't looked at any of these up close.

The CO2 type stuck ball remover that I have was made by Thompson Center and purchased about 10 years ago. It is designed to fit over the nipple where you would normally seat the percussion cap. It is fitted with an o-ring gasket to form a seal. Then you simply introduce compressed CO2 through the hole in the nipple where the "fire" from the percussion cap would otherwise normally find its way to the powder charge for ignition.

I would be surprised if these haven't been updated or additional models made available to work with the newer systems -- they are simply two useful for this not to have been done.

Suggest you check with Thompson Center or CVA and see what you can learn.

Let us know what you find out. I'll check into it when I get a chance. If I find out anything before you post results of your own searching, I'll share. :D

CasualShooter
July 17, 2003, 10:13 PM
blue86buick...
Where can I get information on what powders to use, different loads, etc? I'm completely new to this, so I'm clueless.

Check out the Black Powder Handbook , by LYMAN .

Includes Load Tables and Ballistic/Trajectory tables for Roundballs and Minies plus a number of useful articles. Bought mine about 10 years ago for $15.95 and continue to find it a useful reference for a number of arms including Black Powder Pistols, Revolvers, Rifles, Muskets and Shotguns. :)

blue86buick
July 18, 2003, 12:47 PM
aw shucks, ya mean I gotta spend more money? can't I read it online and save that money for balls, patches, and powder? :D

i'll check out the library...if I HAVE to buy it i will.

CasualShooter
July 19, 2003, 02:23 AM
Cabela's has one. They call it the CO2 Load Discharger. Check this out!

http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/templates/pod/standard-pod-wrapped.jhtml?id=0006480&navAction=push&navCount=3&indexId=cat20819&parentId=cat20819&parentType=index&rid=&cmCat=MainCatcat20712&_DARGS=%2Fcabelas%2Fen%2Fcommon%2Fcatalog%2Fpod-link.jhtml.4_A&_DAV=http%3A%2F%2Fa1460.g.akamai.net%2Ff%2F1460%2F1339%2F6h%2Fwww.cabelas.com%2Fcabelas%2Fen%2Fcontent%2FPod%2F00%2F64%2F80%2Fp006480ii01.jpg

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