Kentucky rifle


August 11, 2008, 10:55 AM
Hi fellas
I just bought a traditions Kentucky rifle at a price i couldnt pass up.
so my question is thie. what do i do now? I have no knowledge of shooting bp rifles.:uhoh: any help would be appreciated. its a Traditions , percussion lock , made in spain and its new. oh yea its a .50 cal Thanks

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August 11, 2008, 11:01 AM
Start out by looking for supplies. Powder first. Goex 2f, your going to have to do some phone calls. Now if its not available then try for triple 777 2f. or pyrodex 2f. This is the powder you will need. Thats your first step. now if you have not go to the first post and take a look through black powder essentials. Oh almost forgot if you can get some 4f powder get some too. You will learn why on that later on. Also now is the time to get your accessories. Get everything now before you go out to shoot your muzzle loader. Another good link in black powder essentials is black powder 101 videos.

August 11, 2008, 11:04 AM
accessories needed
powder flask
powder measure
a seperate ram rod. a brass one is best if you can find at a good price
bullet starter
accessory tips for ram rod.
cleaning jags
cleaning patches
bore butter
a bullet puller (hopefully you will never have to use)
round balls
patches in various sizes

August 11, 2008, 11:09 AM
Ok Scrat GReat info Thanks, But Im a little confused on the powder the DGW catalog says FFFG powder:confused: But to tell the truth I would trust you guys first. So where can I get a ramrod?

August 11, 2008, 11:27 AM
You can use FFFG Goex black powder or Pyrodex P in your rifle just keep the loads under 100gr., it shoots cleaner & with a little more punch than FFG Goex or Pyrodex RS, 777 in either FFFG or FFG size but you shouldn't go above 90gr. with either of those because it is a bit hotter that Pyrodex or real Black Powder.

With the rifling twist of 1:66 you are limited to shooting Patched Round Ball which is a fine bullet "I shoot that 98% of the time & taken plenty of deer with it"

Try this guy ( for .490 Ball & .015 patches, he's the cheapest around especially if you buy 300 rounds or more of each being his shipping is fixed rate.

Track of the Wolf ( is where I get a lot of the stuff I need for my muzzleloading supplies.

August 11, 2008, 12:30 PM
I just went to the traditions site and they reccomended ffg,also what about charges, how much? and is pyrodex rs any good? I cant get the real stuff here.

August 11, 2008, 12:47 PM
another question ,what diameter ram rod 5/16 or 3/8 ?

August 11, 2008, 01:22 PM
I usually just go to the hardware store and buy just under the thickest wooden dowel that will fit into the bore. Thin wooden factory ramrods are notoriously weak and can impale a hand if they break. If you can find one long enough, a dowel only costs $1 and a wood ball or commercial handle can be installed on one end to use as a range rod. But since they aren't tapped, they can't be used with theaded accessories, jags and such.

I wouldn't recommend buying 4f powder for a percussion rifle. I've never used it in any percussion rifle, not even to put under the nipple to expel dryballs (loaded without powder).
What's up with recommending that?
Pyrodex P (pistol) works decently too, just use ~10% less than the ffg or RS granulation.
Oh yes, and you must have a nipple wrench and a cleaning rod or ramrod long enough to reach down to the bottom of the barrel.
I use the Hoppes Black Powder Kit with a 4 section aluminum rod. It fits their accessories and Kleenbore cleaning jags. But a composite ramrod will work, or a brass or aluminum one can be ordered from them too. They know your size. Go to '"ramrods & accessories", they have an unbreakbreakable one ready made that's tapped on both ends for adding a handle.

Rugged Ramrods
A great ramrod made of space-age plastic. Guaranteed unbreakable ramrod is as rugged as its name. These ramrods are tapped 10-32 on both ends. This great hunting ramrod is available in lengths and diameters as listed below. Custom rod lengths available. Most custom lengths are $30.99. Call or email for custom length price and availability. Sorry, custom rods cannot be returned.

ML1653258 32 5/8 inch for Trad Shenandoah, Kentucky, CVA Kentucky $25.99

August 11, 2008, 01:38 PM
Traditions kentucky maximum loads,

105gr FFFg


Accurate rifles indeed! My Kentucky prefers a max load.

August 11, 2008, 01:53 PM
What's up with recommending that?

Woops yep i hadnt finished my coffee yet i was thinking flintlock

August 11, 2008, 01:54 PM
i bought a 30 inch fiber glass ram rod. its actually pretty good. flexes a little but its ok for now. i like the wooden dowl part. only thing is the ram rod i have has screw on ends on both sides.

August 11, 2008, 02:45 PM
I think ill make my own out of solid 3/8 brass rod and tap both end 10-32

DoubleDeuce 1
August 11, 2008, 02:46 PM
I would not recommend the hardware store type dowels for a ramrod. They are usually made of birch or something similar. The grain and growth of the hardware store dowels are different from the hickory rods used for muzzleloading. The hickory rod is stronger and more flexible than the birch dowel. I have seen people use those dowels and break them by accident, ending up with a good long wound to the hand and the broken dowel being the cause. The hickory does break, but it will last longer than the birch dowel. The hickory won't break in the same manner as the birch either
You might look at a delrin rod or another type of flex rod for the every day loading and cleaning. They might cost you a few bucks, but it is far cheaper and less painful than a trip to the emergency room.
Just my thoughts...

August 11, 2008, 03:03 PM
any foreseeable problems with brass?

August 11, 2008, 03:46 PM
famiarize yourself with the safety rules (dixie gunworks catalog has these) and the loading process.

If you have not done so yet, clean the bore just in case there is something in there. measure the inside bore with your ramrod and compare the length alongside to make sure you are reaching the bottom of the barrel.
At the range:
pour powder from the flask into the measure then move the flask out of the way before pouring the powder down the barrel.
lay a patch on the muzzle centering it.
Put a ball on top of that.
Use a short starter to get the ball seated inside the barrel then push it all the way down with the ramrod. MAKE SURE IT GOES ALL THE WAY DOWN and rests on the powder.
Replace the ramrod.
Pull the hammer back to half cock position.
Put cap on nipple.
Raise gun to shoulder
Pull hammer back to full cock
sight and pull the trigger.

August 11, 2008, 03:58 PM
brass is the best. just a little costly. last thing you want to do is use the rod the gun came with. One it will start to look terrible then your will be kicking yourself in the rear. two those are made for the field. if your at the range use a good rod that you dont have to worry about. can you imagine if you broke the rod that came with your gun.

August 11, 2008, 04:42 PM
yes I would feel awful,I really like the looks of the gun. I would hang it on the wall but I have a wife and you know how that goes.

August 11, 2008, 04:49 PM
Brass can still bend and cause abrasion over time to the muzzle. That's why I use extra thick wooden dowels. They're not the same thin 3/8" diameter as standard ramrods, but just under bore size. I've never broken one while ramming either because I select very thick sizes in relation to the caliber...and they don't bend because they are so stiff.
I have some brass and composite ones and I still use thick wooden dowels to load with. I can easily cut them to size, and only use the factory rod for threaded accessories. Leave it off the gun while range shooting, who needs it to be there?
Brass adds weight to the gun if you insert it into the ferrules, so only do that if you don't mind the extra weight when you carry or shoot it.
A Delrin, plastic or some other kind of bore guide when using abrasive ramrods is recommended.

DoubleDeuce 1
August 11, 2008, 04:58 PM
Take a look at OCTOBER COUNTRY for a good selection of ramrods. They range from about $8.30 to maybe $15.00. They have a variety with attachments. It'll be well worth your time and money.

August 12, 2008, 02:06 PM
The Fiberglass ram rod will flex to some degree and will actually polish the crown of your rifle. I had this happen to me back in the early 70's when I was still a pilgrim with ML. Had to cut the barrel off and re crown before it would shoot accurately again. Just a thought.


August 12, 2008, 08:42 PM
Delrin rods are pretty much indestructable, if you can tolerate all the flex, and they won't mess with your muzzle crown-- they're not abrasive like fiberglass. Mine has a steel head on it though, which is stupid. I want a brass head so as to protect that crown and the bore.

**You'll also want a patch puller.**

It's rare, but I've had to use a patch puller (it's a little wire corkscrew thingy) whereas so far (knock on wood) I've never had to use a ball puller. Pyrodex RS is a fine alternative to 2F black if you can't get the real black. Use the equivalent volume.

It's in the sticky, but use plenty of lube, and when you clean, don't try to remove all traces of lube, i.e. don't over do it with the soap. Sometimes I use zero soap-- only hot water, and my BP guns all look like new after dozens of cleanings.

BP is a whole different ball game compared to smokeless, including the chemistry of cleaning, lubrication, and corrosion.

August 12, 2008, 09:40 PM
Jack I am assuming you have a shooting range close by, try to find some people that shoot blackpowder. Most people would be glad to help you with some hands on help.

August 12, 2008, 10:18 PM
I'm not sure anyone mentioned that it's recommended that you mark you ramrod after seating the patched ball. This will show you on subsequent loads that you have rammed the ball to the powder as you don't want to short start the load.

Good luck and have fun.


ps you may want to search and read threads on patch lube and cleaning procedures. Getting up to speed on these procedures will make it much more enjoyable.

August 13, 2008, 07:18 AM
Also mark the ramrod when the barrel is empty and clean to you can tell when the barrel is empty and clean. Good if you are talking and hafta think "Did I put powder in here already?"

August 13, 2008, 07:27 AM
Great info guys , many Thanks. But as usual I have another question,do I try to remove the barrel when cleaning?

August 13, 2008, 07:31 AM
Most people, I believe, do not remove the barrel of a Kentucky rifle for cleaning, but I do. It's certainly something you do by taking your time and with a good deal of care. If you have the time and don't mind the effort I'd recommend it; if not you're better off cleaning with the barrel in place.

August 13, 2008, 09:16 AM
I have a cleaning attachment I got from Dixie Gun Works which is just a plastic hose fixed onto a fitting which threads into the barrel after the drum and nipple is removed. With the hose end submerged in hot water, you can pump it in and out of the barrel with your patched cleaning rod.

I prefer to remove the barrels on my rifles for cleaning but my Kentucky style rifle doesn't lend itself easily to barrel removal, being attached with small pins, so the attachment allows cleaning without damaging the stock.

August 13, 2008, 09:44 AM
ok I will look for that attachment from DGW,also changed my mind about a brass ram rod I'm going with delrin, I found i can make one for less than ten bucks.

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