T/C PA hunter vs. Lyman GPR vs Lyman Deerstalker


August 12, 2003, 11:06 PM
Or any T/C flintlock?
How well do they stand up to use?
Are they as good as a Lyman?
I have narrowed the choices down to either a T/C PA hunter for around $359, or a Lyman Deerstalker for around $229, or a Lyman Great Plains Rifle for around $330.
The T/C has a longer barrel and is rifled 1:66, so it would probably be more accurate than the Lyman's 1:48 twist. The GPR is about the same as the T/C in this regard given that it has a similar twist and barrel length. I have had it pointed out to me that this is really just a game of probabilities, and that it could very well be anyone's guess as to what will work out best.
What I really want is a long lasting gun that is accurate enough to knock a whitetail deer off at about 50 yards or so. Nothing spectacular, just a good working shooter.
I am planning on buying as soon as a friend of mine pays me back, which is supposed to be this week.
These are my choices.
I hate to keep hitting the same questions, but I really want to make a good choice for my first muzzleloader.
I appreciate your patience.

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August 13, 2003, 04:01 AM
I can't tell you much as I just ordered my first BP rifle tonight.The Great Plains Hunter. Check out Midsouth shooters Supply,they have the GP models for around $310 including shipping,
One of the things that sold me on the GPRs is the fact that say you have the one with the 1 in 60 twist bbl you can buy a 1 in 32 twist bbl that interchanges to shoot conicals.Or if you have a 50 cal you can buy a 54 cal bbl. Or vice versa .The bbls are $125. It works for me!

August 13, 2003, 10:32 AM
The slow twist is only suposed to be good for patch and ball. Some folks say thats all you need for deer, others insist on sabots. So thats something you'll have to think about. I don't have any experience to give you an opinion on which is better.
I can tell you that my buddies that black powder hunt all use sabots or conicals. They prefer the sabots because they aren't as much of a hassle to load.

I just built a GPR (hoping to shoot it first time monday). The Lyman catalog/booklet that came with it lists the other barrels at $169.95 . I was under the impression that they were unfinished when I read the flyer at the shop, but the picture shows one that appears blued.
There is a great plains hunter model that appears to be a GPR with the fast twist barrel from the factory.
(barrel swapping is easy, it has a hooked breech. You just pull two keys out and lift the barrel out of the stock)
The GPR comes with pretty nice sights, and they use a dovetail mount so they're pretty easy to adjust or change. Lyman has some pretty nice looking replacements in the catalog also.

For what its worth. From reading here, I've pretty much been given the hunch that pretty much any decent quality muzzle loader will be accurate enough to hunt if you take the time to work up a load for it.

August 13, 2003, 05:18 PM
PA has two muzzleloader seasons.
One is in early fall. You can use any muzzleloader larger than .44 caliber for that one. You can also use conicals, sabots and optic sights.
The winter season requires that you use a flintlock long gun with notch sights only and that you use a patched round ball. Still .44 or bigger.
Since I can only afford one gun, I think I will just get a flintlock and use it for both.
All I really need is a comparison of the quality between the two.
I don't want a gun that has to be fixed every other week. I am sure that either would do just as well with all things being equal, I just need to know if all things are equal.
Price is a consideration, but I am willing to go another $100 to get a gun that will serve me better and longer.
Thanks for the advice.
Keep it coming.

August 13, 2003, 11:13 PM
All I can tell you in that respect, is that when I bought my GPR it was because the folks here (or maybe it was back at TFL:confused: ) told me it was the best buy in muzzle loaders. I did get a caplock rather than a flintlock, but there didn't seem to be any distinction between the two. The GPR was supposed to be great. I originally was going to get a kit through Cabelas that was cheaper, but so many people posted in the Lymans favor that I decided to go to the shop and check one out.
I built mine from a kit, and I'm really happy with it. Its a hefty, solid gun, thats very easy to take down for maintenance. The verdict is still out on how it shoots, cause I haven't had a chance to take it to the range yet :banghead: I'm hoping to remedy that very soon.

August 14, 2003, 03:13 AM
I'v posted elsewhere also re. muzzle loaders,and the GPR is the one that keeps coming up.Had a change of heart and called Midsouth and changed my order to the GPR rather than Hunter model. I won't hunt with it till next year,I can use any bullet other tahn sabots. I'll learn the patch and ball game and buy another bbl for conicals.

Tommy Gunn
August 14, 2003, 04:28 AM
Well please give us the range reports :)

August 14, 2003, 06:45 AM
:banghead: I'm hoping to remedy that very soon.

I know where you are coming from.
I have been wanting to zero my .22 for different bullets for a long time, and I need to load up some 165 grain loads for my .308 to try out as well.
Thanks for the advice. The GPR is looking pretty good, but I still like the deerstalker as well. Guess it is gonna come down to trying to figure out which will serve my needs better.

August 14, 2003, 12:12 PM
I've been shooting TC New Englander caplock w/1 in 48 twist. Gun has worked fine, but accuracy with conicals was bad. Switched to patched round balls last time and got so much improvement that I may actually consider deer hunting with it in a year or so. The action and trigger pull has been very good.
I did a .50 cal pistol kit from Lyman last fall. Accuracy from that really surprised me. My next rifle purchase may be the Lyman GPR. They seem to set the standard.

Mike Irwin
August 14, 2003, 12:52 PM
The PA Hunter was Thompson's response to Pennsylvania outlawing anything other than roundballs during primitive season back in the 1980s. They've since changed again, as Goon notes. The 1 in 66 twist will very nicely stabilize a round ball, but accuracy is HORRIBLE with conicals.

The 1 in 48 twist that is very common today is a compromise twist. It will adequately stabilize both roundballs and conicals, but like any compromise doesn't go a great job.

The faster twists are specifically for conicals or sabots. If you try shooting round balls out of them it's not unlike a shotgun.

August 14, 2003, 01:29 PM
I assume you are looking for a hunting only gun - that being said either the TC or Lyman are fine. Both good guns.

If you want a gun which closely resembles a historically available firearm from the 1840's then grab the GPR. It is modeled after a catalog gun made by the Bown factory in Pittsburgh and commonly available during the westward expansion of the time.

As I sit at my desk, I am looking at an official 50 yard ML target I shot with my GPR. I admit to "cheating" and using a sandbag as a rest. Score was 48, 3X. I shoot a 0.49 round ball over 75 grains of FFG Goex using a pillow ticking patch. Lube is 50/50 mix of Murphy's oil soap and water. When hunting I use TC bore butter as a lube to avoid freezing in the barrel.

At 100 yards my group opens to about 4".

You will find that if you shoot alot (once a week or so) that roundball or full size conical shooting makes for easier clean-up than Sabot shooting. Plastic fouling is a pain to clean.

Remember that half the fun of ML shooting is the process of shooting!

August 14, 2003, 11:50 PM
No, not really a hunting only gun.
I just figured that when I get one, I might as well get one that will also work for hunting.
Most of my hunting guns have killed alot more rocks, cans and clay pigeons than wild animals.
I am gonna see what kind of deal I can get on the GPR in town tomorrow.
I might also end up with a deerstalker. It is a Lyman after all, so it should be a pretty good gun as well.

August 15, 2003, 04:30 PM
GPR's best deal is from Midsouth Shooters Supply online. I've never seen one even close to their deal at a gunshop.
Mine had some trouble with the first barrel that necessitated a factory replacement (a search on this forum will reveal the problem), but accuracy with the second is phenomenal compared to my T/C Grey Hawk, and yields 3 shots into one hole at 25yds with the buckhorn sights. Out at 50yds my flinch starts to show, but they're still in about the 4" range,despite my bad shooting.
There are some finish issues that I don't care for: the barrel fit is extremely tight compared to my T/C, but I'm not sure if that's good or bad. Also the toe of the buttplate on mine doesn't quite fit to the stock (1/8" gap), and requires some bending to fit properly.

August 15, 2003, 10:09 PM
Well, I got one!:D
I narrowed it down to the Deerstalker and the GPR.
Upon handling a GPR at a local shop, I found that the toe of the buttstock jabbed me in the lower part of my shoulder.
I decided that shooting a big ball under a good charge of powder may result in said protrusion being driven into my shoulder at a high velocity, so I chose the Lyman Deerstalker instead.
It seems to have great balance, and it fits my shouder very well.
I took it out into the woods this evening just to shoot a few shots out of it and get a feel for the girl.
I had only one failure to fire and that was due to fouling and grease on the frizzen and flint. I wiped the fouling off and the gun went off with no problem.
I am quite certain that I missed with every single shot. With the theatrics going off in front of me, the sights being off a little (I think), and me not really knowing how much powder to use, I guess that was to be expected.
But it was still a blast to shoot.:D
The report was loud, but it didn't hurt my ears. This was fortunate, because in my excitement to get to shoot my new gun, I forgot to bring earplugs.
The muzzle blast knocked the hell out of small tree branches and saplings next to me.
It was just really cool.
All in all, I like it.
I need more practice before I can even think about using it to hunt with, but it still rocks.

A couple of questions.
The flint has some small chips out of it, but it is still giving pretty good spark. How do I know when to replace it?
Also, I have another flint that is a little too long. I tried it after I cleaned the gun, but it got stuck against the frizzen. How do I shorten it when I need to replace the current one?

August 17, 2003, 12:21 PM
DAMN'T Now I'm really stoked about shooting my GPR! I'm planning on taking it up to the log cabin shop and their range tommorrow, just as long as I don't get called today to bale hay tommorow.
If this goes on any longer, I'm going to forget letting someone experienced check it out and just go shoot it in the backyard. God's kept me alive through all my other stupidity......he wouldn't let me blow myself up would he ? :D

Congrats on the new gun, enjoy it.

August 17, 2003, 09:33 PM
I don't know what literature you got with your GPR, but according to the stuff I got with my Deerstalker, you can go 110 grains of FFG and be OK.
Right now, I am good with 75 in mine. I managed to hit an empty milk jug consistently today at about 40 yards.
I still need some practice though.
Depsite my best efforts, I seem to always end up squinting just as the gun fires. I am not flinching, but I just can't seem to keep my eyes open.
But on the bright side, I have not burned my eyebrows off yet.
I have had two misfires in the 25 shots that I have shot so far.
Both were my fault. The frizzen was slick with grease and fowling on one, and I didn't use enough powder in the pan with the other one.
Other than that, the gun goes off every time.
There is no delay between the spark and the bang.
The report is loud, but it doesn't have the same teeth-rattling effect that a high-power rifle has.
I like it.
Now I need a Brown Bess, a Charleville and a 50 Caliber PA rifle.

August 17, 2003, 10:09 PM
I built mine from a kit so the concern is that I put it together with no directions. I want someone that knows what they're doing to check it out and make sure everything is tight that needs to be an all that sort of stuff.
I'm not really that concerned about it, but its better to play it safe.

I did get a loading manual and that kind of stuff. Just no instructions in regards to the fact that it was a kit.

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