Hawken Rifle


July 27, 2008, 07:35 AM
I am new to BP, but the more I look into it.. the more I look into it. It's facinating. Anyway I am thinking about pulling the trigger (no pun intended) on one of Cabela's Traditional Hawken Rifles. The first question I have, is this a good first BP rifle. The price looks right at $369.00 with free shipping. But I have no idea if it is a good hunting and target rifle to start with. My second question is .50 or .54 cal? I don't completely understand the difference. I would be buying the left-handed version and this is one of the few that has a left-handed version. Also is caplock or flintlock a better choice? Although I don't see a left-handed flintlock. Maybe because it doesn't matter with flintlock? Please excuse my ignorance and all the questions.. Thanks in advance for any information.

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July 27, 2008, 07:59 AM
...one of Cabela's Traditional Hawken Rifles...is this a good first BP rifle.

One word answer: yes.

In my opinion, for a few dollars more, you can do better: the Lyman Great Plains Rifle (GPR) comes in a left hand model and is a more (but still not totally) authentic Hawken replica. I think it's an excellent rifle and highly recommend it. Check out Midsouth Shooter's Supply for good prices on GPR's.

However, Cabela's Hawken is a fine gun in it's own right, so you won't go wrong with it.

.50 or .54? Both have their advocates. The .54 is a better hunting round as your choice of game is larger. The .50 has a wider range of specialty projectiles available. However, you can always get a spare barrel (esp. if you get a GPR) in the other caliber and have both.

July 27, 2008, 09:33 AM
Another vote for the Lyman GPR. The poor man's custom Hawken. If you have any interest in authenticity and the buckskinning experience, the Lyman in closer to the orginal.

If you want something for just casual shooting, the Cabela's gun will do admirably.

I would also vote for the .54 if you are going to use it for hunting. For someone starting out, I would stick to percussion. Flints are more challenging to learn with, but are sure fun if you find you really enjoy BP shooting.

Beware, BP is very addicting. IF you start, you will not be able to proceed with caution.;)

Grey Wolf
July 27, 2008, 06:17 PM
The Lyman Great Plains is the closest mass produced rifle to the original plains rifles of all mfrs, not just Hawken.

I will be stepping on toes, but most "Hawken" rifle copies are much smaller than the originals.

It's no big deal if you don't get into historical events.

Rifles in the West were usually at least .54 caliber. Elk, buffalo, grizzly and Blackfoot were tough.

July 27, 2008, 06:23 PM
I had a .54 flinter GPR that was great, but i traded that off and bought a .54cal CVA Bigbore Mountain rifle with curley maple stock. Deer Creek still produces these.

July 27, 2008, 06:36 PM
The same people that make the Cabelas Hawken make the Lymans. You just pay more for nicer wood. As far as barrels and such they are the same. I have a Cabelas lefty 50. It is a good gun I had to adjust the trigger down when I first got it but it is a good production gun. I would buy a 50 just beacuse the better selection of bullets. The 54 has less selection. As far as hunting a 50 will drop just about anything in the states if you use the right bullet. As far as cap locks and flintlocks. The reason they don't offer left handed flints is because they wouldn't sell enough of them to justify the cost. I have a lefthanded flinter but it is a custom made gun. For starting out a cap lock will be easier to mess with.

Coyote Hunter
July 27, 2008, 06:38 PM
I ordered one a few years ago from Cabella's. It is marked Traditions on the barrel and is a percussion in .50 cal. Although not historically correct, mine is very accurate out to 100 yards with the round ball twist. (1 in 48). I hunt deer here in Kentucky during BP season with it because it is so accurate. Although when I bought mine, they were much cheaper, you can't go wrong with it for the price.


July 27, 2008, 09:46 PM
The reason they don't offer left handed flints is because they wouldn't sell enough of them to justify the cost.

The Lyman GPR is available in BOTH left and right hand models in both flint AND percussion.

July 27, 2008, 10:01 PM
I was talking about the Cabelas models. For the price of a Lymans you can get what you want. Your looking at about 100 more for a great plains depending on where you get it. Or you can really score like I did on my Cabelas Hawken and find a mess of them in the bargain cave for 150 each. I bought three and sold two and got the third for free. To the OP you can also look at used ones resale is crap on BP guns.

July 27, 2008, 10:24 PM
cabelas are made by the same company that takes lyman muzzle loaders. My ol pappy has a cabelas sporterized hawken.

July 27, 2008, 10:41 PM
I recently got into ML shooting. My first choice was the Lyman GPR but I ran across a Cabelas Hawken 50 cal caplock at a firearms store. It was available for a good price, had not been fired and was in great shape.

Although it's not as historically accurate, it's a good shooter and well made (as mentioned previously, the barrel is the same as found on the lyman (made in Italy by Investarm)). Since I'm not in to re enactment, historic accuracy took a back seat to cost.

I've had it to the range several times now and am very pleased with the rifle. The range I go to is public and I get to meet and talk with a lot of people when shooting the ML as it seems everyone thinks they're interesting.

Good luck and good shooting.


July 28, 2008, 05:24 PM
Since I am not really into any sort of reenactment or historically accurate scenario at the moment. I will probably go for the Cabela's Hawken or even the Stainless Steel version of CVA'S Kodiak 209 Magnum which is only $249.00 with free shipping in the Bargain Cave. Muzzleloading is the only way you can harvest deer here in Iowa, other than Bow. So I wanted to get something before the season starts in October. I like the shorter barrel on the Hawken. And I like the stainless on the CVA. Thanks for all your advice.

July 28, 2008, 06:22 PM
Coyote; The 48" twist is an all-around, or compromise, twist designed to handle medium weight conicals and round ball. An actual ball twist is around 60 to 70 inches, but the 48 seems to do a pretty nice job.

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