Shot my GPR for the first time!


September 27, 2003, 09:30 PM
Finally got to shoot my Lyman Great Plains Rifle (.54 caplock) that I built last winter. It was also my first time shooting black powder. IT RULES!
The gun seems to be very reliable although I had about 3 misfires in 20 shots. I was using FFg Goex which is cool to shoot but even dirtier than I was expecting. I was a little more careful running patches between shots and using a pick to clean the nipple out and that made a big difference. (luckily another guy at the range showed me how to safely handle the misfires, and mark the ramrod and all, shooters are good people :) )
I shot Hornady .530 balls with Ox Yoke Original Wonder patches (pre lubed) over 60 grains of powder. Kick was suprisingly calm, really just a slight shove at your shoulder and I see the potential for some pretty dang good accuracy with this thing :)
I spent the whole time getting a feel for the gun and getting it on target at 35 yards. Once I got used to the balance and the trigger I got pretty tight groups that were about 2" right and 8" low. Sights had to be moved a lot farther than I would have thought to make the change so it took a while. I ran out of time and quit when I put 2 in the black about an inch below and to the right of the X ring. It was a NMLRA 100 yard target, so its definitely nothing to brag about but I was surprised at the consistency of it. I think if I get the time to shoot it more I can do pretty respectable with it.

I might have to go make a dirt pile in the pasture now :D

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September 27, 2003, 09:50 PM
You will need to experiment with different size balls.. different thickness in patching, different lubes, and different powder loads... (all fun and educational)

Change one item at a time... try 535 balls.. Shoot five shot groups with 530's and 535's etc..

Then try a different thickness of patching... same thing.. Check to see if your patching is shredding,, fraying or blowing thru..

Patch should not fray and should show a little scorching in the center and rifling marks around the edges. If it's fraying it's too thin, or ball is to small and gas is blowing by.

Then start with 50 grains of powder.. shoot five shots.. then 55 grains.. then 60.

Somewhere groups will get smaller and then start getting larger.. go back to the smallest group..Anything beyond that is wasting powder and scattering balls.

It takes time to learn your gun but it's all fun...
That GPR should shoot some dang fine groups if you do your part..
When you gun has taught what it likes, then you have to do your part.

You can split balls at 25 yards on an axe blade and break a clay pigeon on either side with the two parts..

Raw eggs hanging on a string.. you miss you eat it..

Never under estimate a front stuffer.. They shoot..

Good luck.

4v50 Gary
September 27, 2003, 10:52 PM
Muzzle loaders are as much of a challenge as modern guns, only very much slower as you don't have cartridges. Like Iggy says, you have to experiment and if you want to be precise, measure the patches and weigh the balls (serious).

Me? I'm here to have fun. I don't have enough range time to be meticulous. :(

September 27, 2003, 11:42 PM
I'm in it for fun too :) I don't think I'll worry about all that precise stuff until I've got a feel for the gun. Maybe after I shoot up the can of powder and 100 balls I bought today. It will take me that long to get my accuracy with it good enough to worry about the gun's ;)

Dave Markowitz
September 28, 2003, 08:06 PM
What kind of caps were you using? Three misfires in 20 shots is high, if you're using good caps. I like CCI and RWS, although the latter tend to be expensive.

September 28, 2003, 08:35 PM
CCI No.11 caps. I think I just need time to get it all figured out, might have been using too wet of a patch between shots, might not have been cleaning the nipple right. I took the nipple off and scraped things out really good and didn't have anymore problems.

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