New to Muzzleloaders


July 29, 2008, 11:18 AM
I am looking to buy my first flintlock muzzleloader within the next few months. I am looking at the TCA Hawken. Is this a good muzzleloader? Also, what all do I need in order to shoot a muzzleloader and where can I find the supplies? Please provide links if possible. Thanks.

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July 29, 2008, 11:53 AM
First off, it's been recommended by some that you start out with a percussion system rather than a flint system if you're starting on muzzleloaders as they're easier to work with.

I have no experience with the muzzleloaders of Thompson Center or any other company, but I've heard good thing about Hawken rifles in general so I don't think you can go wrong with them.

As for what you'll need, you'll need a powder measurer, nipple wrench, ball starter, lubed patches for shooting round balls, and black powder solvent. These can be obtained at MidwayUSA, Cabela's, and several other sites that deal in black powder.

July 29, 2008, 12:51 PM
A lot of the Hawken style rifles that Cabela's sells can also be purchased with a starter kit that has everything but caps and powder with it. Traditions makes a good starter rifle as does TC and Lyman.

July 29, 2008, 01:54 PM
Great. I want a flintlock because I can hunt more in my state with a flintlock whereas percussion cap seasons are more limited. Thanks.

July 29, 2008, 03:16 PM
> where can I find the supplies?

If you get interested in blackpowder target pistols, checkout the forum....

July 29, 2008, 06:32 PM
Flinters are the way to go but you need patience to shoot a flintlock....getting the flint just right, getting the pan charge just right, think everything is just right, pullup and shoulder it and then......pooof!!
All flash and no boom......but I wouldn't trade mine for three cappers!

July 29, 2008, 07:06 PM
Ok, if you're going to shoot a flinter - be sure to purchase real black powder and not one of the substitutes. Flintlocks are notorious for not liking substitute powder.

You will also need a pan charger and priming powder. And a flint. Actually, several flints. And a powder flask, in fact two, one for your main charge powder and one for the priming powder. And cleaning patches.

Forget the nipple wrench - it won't have anything to wrench on with a flinter.

Size and type of projectile and size of shooting patches will depend on what caliber rifle you buy.

You'll need a cleaning jag and a brass, steel, aluminum or synthetic range rod (do NOT use the wood rod that comes with the gun for anything other than show). You should also get a ball puller and a patch puller for the rod.

And a bag to carry all this stuff in - it's called a possibles bag.

Life gets simpler if you start with a percussion rifle, but we'll respect your wishes on that score.

Thompson Center is a well known and respected company that produces excellent products and stands by them. Their Hawken is a fine choice - it has a very good reputation. However, it is not by any means a true Hawken design. The name is a marketing choice.

Good luck, and we hope you enjoy it.

July 29, 2008, 08:21 PM
Good info on this thread - also, buy the best that your budget will allow. Caplocks are more forgiving than flintlocks. Buy a cheap firelock and you can easily get discouraged. Quality flintlocks are reliable when correctly primed and you should get several dozen shots off of a flint. I have seen cheap locks shatter a flint after a couple of shots. Don't scrimp on your flints. The English flints are top grade but cost a little more. If your frizzen is tempered right, an English flint will give you a reliable shower of sparks. Dixie Gun Works keeps these in stock.

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