Pioneer arrived


October 24, 2006, 03:33 PM
Hi Y'All...

This Traditions "Pioneer" .45 cal. arrived today and I have to decide about keeping it.

"Fit & Finish" is good-to-nice for that price range, trigger pull is approximately 312 lbs., sights are drift-adjustable-only, not too muzzle-heavy, grip feels decent.
Curious thing about it... though it is billed as a .45 caliber, the booklet recommends .440 lead balls with a patch thickness of .015 and says the most accurate load is likely 15-20 grs. and the max. load is 35 grs. Had sure hoped it could use the .451 and .457 balls I've got for my .44s. :( so there was no worry about confusing them back and forth BUT...
...I put a .451 ball to the muzzle and, though it could probably have been pushed in, it would have certainly taken some pushing (and I didn't "push the envelope", so to speak:rolleyes: ). Is this common for a frontloader, Lads?
What say, Ye, Lads? Worth $175 ? : :confused:

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October 24, 2006, 03:42 PM
Revolvers require the oversized bullet to form a gas seal, since you don't use a patch, IIRC. I would guess the traditional is still meant to use a PRB, so you have to downsize.

No idea as to whether it's worth that or not. If you're happy, then I guess it is.

October 24, 2006, 04:27 PM
They are right about the balls ..use a patch and the ball size it recomends .. those are good starting loads they gave ya too .. you can work up to something heavyer ..ya drift the rear sight for windage and file the front for elevation if its shooting low ... if it shoots high another taller front sight would be needed . ( most shoot low out of the box ) I think its made by CVA they`ve been around forever .. not a bad price in now days money ... it`s not the best but by far not the worst eaither .. you should enjoy it . This type pistol uasually produces good groups after its seasoned and broke in ( about 10 to 20 shots from a new barrel .

October 24, 2006, 04:28 PM
Hi Eastwood 44...

That makes sense to me, and thank you, Eastwood!

The booklet says it can use conical bullets but they have to be lubed and fit tight. And it says to "see Recommended Loads" - but - the "Recommended Loads" section doesn't say a thing about sizes for conical bullets. :confused:
It also says the gun can use sabots but, again, doesn't identify or recommend a specific size. :banghead:

I should have told 'em to include the "BP for Dummies" manual! :(

October 24, 2006, 04:48 PM
It`ll shoot the same sabots and conical bullets as the 45 cal inline rifles ..
It won`t shoot anything made for revolver pistols . It`s made as a rifle caliber pistol .

October 24, 2006, 04:54 PM
Thanks Sundance !!!

Definitely going to have to chew on this one a bit. :uhoh:

October 24, 2006, 06:57 PM
Just about every .45 single shot pistol has a bore that measures .45 land to land, then there is room in the ~.006 -.008 grooves for any extra patch thickness as the ball is rammed and slightly engraved by the rifling (if the PRB is very tight fitting).
Here are some of the common patch ball combinations for a .45 SS pistol:

.433 ball and .018 patch (looser fit)
.440 ball and .010 patch (moderate fit)
.440 ball and .015 patch (moderately tight fit)
.445 ball and .010 patch (tighter fit)

Any commercial .45 conical will usually measure about .451 and will need to be very firmly short started, usually a loading stand and possibly even with the aid of a small mallet will help so you won't need to hit your hand too hard to start it.

.45 sabots usually use a .357 magnum bullet and can also present some loading difficulties in a fouled barrel, plus they leave some plastic residue that may require swabbing every few shots or so, also depending on how much powder is used.
You should be able to load a bare .451 ball into the bore without too much of a problem at all, again a mallet would help you there at least for the first few inches or even the 1st 1/3 or 1/2 of the bore.
If you only shoot balls with well lubed patches, you may not even need to swab the barrel during a shooting session. And, you can always bare ball a .440 or .445 ball if you don't tip the muzzle forward at all before firing , since the ball may roll out.
It looks like a nice pistol with a nice, light trigger pull weight. ;)

October 24, 2006, 07:13 PM
Thanks Arctic !

Right ! I'm pretty sure the trigger pull is a direct copy from one of the cannons at Shiloh! :uhoh:

October 24, 2006, 07:27 PM
If the Pioneer shoots as well as the other Traditions guns I've fired, I think you'll be quite pleased at the performance, especially for $175. .440 on a .015 patch is the correct setup for it. I wish the muzzleloader pistols were compatible with revolver balls too. Keeping track of different ball sizes can get to be a pain.

As for conicals, that means lead bullets, not sabots. The rifling twist isn't fast enough to stabilize sabot loads or long conicals. If you decide to shoot conicals, you'll need to stick with short ones, like the ball-et. PRB is plenty accurate, a lot cheaper, and doesn't foul the bore with lead like a conical. I have always liked conicals but have pretty much given up shooting them in muzzleloaders because of the leading issue.

That's a sweet looking gun though. If you keep it, I hope you enjoy shooting it! Let us know how it performs. I'm still interested in making a cased set of those.

October 24, 2006, 08:55 PM
I understand now! I thought that the "312 lbs." trigger pull was a typo where you meant to type 3 1/2 lbs! :what:
I didn't really think that you meant 312 lbs! :eek:
Please send it back promptly! :uhoh:

October 24, 2006, 09:04 PM
Hi Arctic...


Nope - I meant to type 312 lbs - because it is probably the heaviest trigger pull I've ever seen on anything... by a goodly margin. :(

October 25, 2006, 10:35 AM
That looks like a sweet pistol and the price is not way out of range. The trigger pull is likely due to ill fitting mechanism in the trigger group. Some small piece of wood that has to be trimmed to get the hammer to disengage from the sear. But if it is "new" send it back and get one with a better trigger. Would be different if it was used or a kit. Up to you. I've had my eye on a similar rock lock pistol. Something special about CLick, fssssstttt, BOOM. (and don't shoot into the wind) If you must shoot into the wind, take a deep breath before the shot. You don't want to be suck'n in a big lung full of smoke just after the shot is fired.

Lots of fun no matter.

October 26, 2006, 01:20 AM
I read your forum and am curious on how well the pioneer pistol shot. Was it worth the bucks.

October 26, 2006, 06:58 PM
I've had my eye on a similar rock lock pistol. Something special about CLick, fssssstttt, BOOM.

If your rock lock is "fuse burning" something isn't right. Properly tuned and primed, a flintlock goes off nearly as fast as a percussion gun, and some experts claim it can even be faster. Try using less priming powder. About 1/3 pan full, and keep it at the far end of the pan, away from the vent hole. This way it flashes into the hole rather than fuse burning into it. The priming charge should always be below the level of the vent, so it doesn't fuse burn into it.

When you load, tap the gun on the lock side to get some powder into the flash channel and as close to the pan as possible. Push a vent pick into your charge after you load and before you prime. This opens the powder near the vent to allow more flash to get in and light more power quicker.

There's a lot of lock tuning that you can do also, such as drilling the vent hole out a bit, coning the liner, polishing the pan, tuning cock and frizzen springs, etc. I'm still relatively new to flintlocks and haven't done all of the tuning yet, by mine goes off instantly just by loading and priming right.

October 26, 2006, 07:28 PM
Hi Y'All...

Just couldn't talk myself into liking it enough to keep it so I sent it back via UPS today. Just couldn't convince myself its' quality was up to the price. Will say this for it though - its' "fit & finish" was as good, or slightly better than, the Pedersoli Kentucky Pistol I sent back last week!
An Thass a Fac, Jac !
Thanks everyone for all the info/opinion though. Will file it away for future reference, fersure. :)

October 27, 2006, 11:57 AM
Well as of this morn'n, I'm the proud owner of a Gunbroker rock lock pistol.

I'll post how it shoots when I get a chance to push some lead downrange.

If I was looking to purchase a nice new pistol, the Traditions Trapper flint lock has always looked good.

Someone mentioned how to shoot a flint lock to with a quick lock speed. Yes I managed to get mine to shoot properly. My TC Hawken flint was never a problem, It has a large flash pan and works well. My Pedersoli is another story. Lots of issues. It works now but took some custom tuning by the smithy at the log cabin shop. Link from very happy customer:
Let me warn you about such a nice pioneer shop but they are sneaky. They can easily spot a city boy with a little room left on a credit card. Don't ask.

Think I'll bug outta work early and go see 'em. Traveling all weekend so I can justify it. Dixie is out of C&B loading stands, (dangit) they might have some and some mutton tallow as well.

Completely yechy day outside for shoot'n so might as well spend time in a gun shop.

October 27, 2006, 12:09 PM
Hi Dan and Boom-Boom (et al)...

Have pretty much decided if I get a front-stuffer it will be the T/C Patriot. The 4 or 5 I've seen "in person" have all looked to be good quality. :)

October 27, 2006, 07:43 PM
Shawnee, with a trigger that heavy, I don't blame you for sending it back! I haven't encountered that on a Traditions gun yet. They're usually very good triggers. I'd have sent it back too.

Dan, you can do most of the lock tuning yourself. The rest is just finding the priming method that works best. Usually a smaller amount of prime than seems logical, placed away from the vent. Odd, but it works. Let us know how your new gun performs. Pics too, if possible! :)

October 27, 2006, 09:34 PM
Hi Plink...

Yep... a disappointment. I'll have to settle for messing with this one...


October 28, 2006, 12:27 AM
Hey Shawnee, where are you at in Buckeye land? I assume you are talking about Ohio. If you are close to Athens, you should join us for a shoot sometime. BTW Nice Ruger.

October 28, 2006, 03:04 AM
Hi DWave...

Gracias for the invitation, DWave !! Would be great to rub elbows with some Folks who know what they are doing!

Athens is about 85 miles from my home here in little ol' Hillsboro so that's workable for me - probably not going to be there at Daylight though. :D .

Many thanks !!

October 28, 2006, 03:42 PM
No problem, we like to do alot of shooting out here (my family) next one we have I'll send you a PM, might be a few weeks from now.

October 28, 2006, 05:39 PM
Shawnee, I wish you the best of luck in finding a Patriot. They're a very well built gun alright. The problem is it will need some stoning to get the trigger crisp and creep free. If you ever run into any Traditions pistols with the double set trigger, I suggest trying one. They're easily adjusted to be very light and crisp. Even firing unset, it's a sweet trigger.

October 29, 2006, 04:06 AM
Hey, I'm from Ohio too. Mount Vernon, bout an hour NE of Columbus.
Been down Athens way many times. Like to ride dual sport bikes in WNF. Wooo hooo.

I'm a member at a really nice range in Centerburg Ohio. Even has camping and fishing. They have a couple of BP meets there each year.

Les see, if I can find a link......
Ah nope.
Several hits from other sites trapshooting, youth shooting sports, Skirmish schedule and results. Nothing for the club itself.
Google "centerburg community conservation club"
Range is 140 yard plus several trap ranges, primitive camping and a lake with fairly good fishing. Supposed to start an archery range sometime????

Nice place.
If someone want to schedule a time to go shooting in Ohio, I might be interested. (if I'm in town) Currently in the UK.

October 29, 2006, 07:54 AM
Sounds good to me. Where are you at in the UK? I was born over there.

October 29, 2006, 07:57 AM

October 29, 2006, 08:03 AM

October 29, 2006, 08:46 AM

October 29, 2006, 08:49 AM
Hi MDan...

Been to Mt. Vernon several times and could easily come up to pop some caps or flail a flyrod whenever you're ready. :) Having just moved to Highland County I'm uneducated about local blackpowdering clubs/places.

Pic is of my Pietta 1851 Navy "Civilian" 44. Pic doesn't do it justice, esp. the silver grip frame.

October 29, 2006, 09:43 AM

October 29, 2006, 11:09 AM
I'm in Coventry now. A training conference for work. Here for the week then off to Brazil to teach. Lucky the second week in Brazil, I am joined by my sweetie. Much more fun with her. I could almost forget I can't do any shooting. <G>

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