Traditional or modern?


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tgfang
August 24, 2008, 01:04 PM
I may buy a muzzle loading rifle for plinking and/or target shooting; round balls should be fine for me unless I start casting. Probably I will want to mount an aperture sight. IIRC I have seen a post on this forum stating that traditional style rifles are easier to clean. The traditional style rifles are better looking to my eye. I have been looking at rifles in the $300 to $400 price range.

Please help my decision with information regarding ease of maintenance of the various styles and ease of mounting better sights.

Tom

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Fisherman_48768
August 24, 2008, 02:01 PM
I know this is a biased opinion but I'll offer it anyway. GO Traditional. I've been shooting ML'ers for about 40 yrs and never ever saw a need for a new fangled thing that gets passed as a muzzle loader. Within the price range you stated take a look at the Lyman Great Plains in 54 Cal, flint or percussion their about as traditional as you will get short of a custom built one. Get the 1:66 twist rifling for shooting patched round balls. I've taken black bear, elk, lots of deer white tail and muley and never recovered a single ball with the 54 cal, you can't get much better penetration than that.http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a149/Fisherman_48768/BUCKSCO.jpg
As for accuracy, you can't beat this: 50 cal Flinter, open irons, X-sticks 50 yds with a patched round ball, 50-4X.
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a149/Fisherman_48768/STANDINGWITHLESBAUSKAANDTARGETISHOT.jpg

Drgong
August 24, 2008, 02:10 PM
I may buy a muzzle loading rifle for plinking and/or target shooting; round balls should be fine for me unless I start casting. Probably I will want to mount an aperture sight. IIRC I have seen a post on this forum stating that traditional style rifles are easier to clean. The traditional style rifles are better looking to my eye. I have been looking at rifles in the $300 to $400 price range.

Please help my decision with information regarding ease of maintenance of the various styles and ease of mounting better sights.

Tom

I am in the same boat, and look for a percussion cap rifle that has the proper rifling for the round balls.

arcticap
August 24, 2008, 02:53 PM
Percussion sidelocks shooting patched round balls are easiest to load, but I can't say that they are easier to clean. Having a removable breechplug like the inlines do makes cleaning more thorough and somewhat easier though, especially when you can see clear down the barrel like with a bolt action rifle. Otherwise the rifle breech never really gets cleaned to be shiney & bright like new ever again.

As for the 1 in 66" twist rate. While it is the proper twist for shooting .50 caliber patched round balls, that twist often requires heavier powder charges to obtain the velocity and RPM's needed for best round ball accuracy. That twist is usually more accurate at longer range and with hunting loads, but the 1 in 48" twist is also very accurate and doesn't require as much powder for shorter range shooting at say 50 - 60 yards. Plus it accomodates shooting conicals and some medium length & weight saboted bullets better, all while having a shorter barrel length in the 24 -28 inch range (instead of the 28 - 32 + inch barrel length of the 1 in 66" GPR and Green Mountain barrels).
For example, the Lyman Trade Gun and DeerSlayer have shorter barrels and 1 in 48 inch twists and shoot patched round balls very well along with the other projectiles. So do many Thompson Center sidelocks.
So every gun model and barrel twist has it's advantages and disadvantages.
If you don't want to mostly shoot stout loads, like for plinking at 50 yards or would like to shoot some conicals, then the 1 in 48" is a great twist to choose.
Then there's single and double triggers, barrel length, and whether you would prefer to choose a nipple/drum ignition or a patent breech. Again, every design has something good to offer.
For instance, the Lyman lock doesn't have a half cock notch with adequate room underneath for capping the nipple, requiring it to be manually lowered from full cock after capping to return it to safe. It's not a big deal but it's still a factor to consider when choosing it since most other guns don't usually have that problem. :)

scrat
August 24, 2008, 03:15 PM
i have some thing better to say. i say go all the way.

Though i have an inline currently and am looking to purchase another inline. i am not byas to inlines or traditional. I want the whole pie. I purchase inlines right now as they are very very affordable. However i will be getting both a percussion and a flintlock. Way i see it you need to not only have a variety but when it comes to shooting you need to be able to not only have the experience but welcome other types of firearms. Most people who wil answer this will bias towards one type of rifle. Same time thre experience will be with that one type of rifle. or They will have limited use on another to not really be qualified to give a unbiased answer. REad more post and you will see what i mean.

.38 Special
August 24, 2008, 03:42 PM
Well, I am biased against inlines, primarily because of all the BS surrounding them.

Essentially, there are folks who claim that traditional rifles are inaccurate, unreliable, and generally impossible to manage, and that inlines solve all those problems. This, in my experience, is a big steaming crapload. Most of the BP difficulties I've seen in the field have been with inlines. I believe this is partly due to the fact that the inline crowd has been sold on the ease and simplicity of inline use -- it's still a blackpowder gun and still requires knowledgeable management -- and partly due to the fact that the workings of the inline are actually more complex and less visible than those of a traditional rifle.

Then, of course, we get into the popular lies regarding pelletized powder, long range capabilities, and the effectiveness of pistol bullets in sabots, but that's grist for another thread...

scrat
August 24, 2008, 03:50 PM
I never knew why people say you can only shoot sabots out of an inline. I find this BS. as i shoot cast .50 R.E.A.L bullets from mine. That with 90 grains of goex. equals SWEEEEET.

grimjaw
August 24, 2008, 04:59 PM
Drgong, Lyman's Great Plains rifles can be had in barrel combinations optimized for round ball.

jm

scrat
August 24, 2008, 05:32 PM
i think i like the great plains hunter

wvmountaineer
August 24, 2008, 05:41 PM
I feel the same about the old smoke poles, this is my poor mans 50 cal flintlock, not the easiest thing to clean but worht the fun you get out of shooting it. At 50yds it shoots just as good as a inline with open sites.

scrat
August 24, 2008, 05:44 PM
Wow thats nice. what is the range on that smoke pole.

Drgong
August 24, 2008, 06:24 PM
Lyman's Great Plains rifles -thanks, they sound just what I was looking for, a nice looking rifle that one can fire Cap and balls. Will look at them strongly come January when I start looking for a BP gun. (Also looking at the BP revolvers.) A great mantelpiece gun that can take a deer or two a year.

theotherwaldo
August 24, 2008, 06:55 PM
I suggest that beginners should start with a simple - and expendable - ML rifle. Something that won't make 'em cry at the first rust spots. Something to learn on before moving on to whatever they consider to be the "good guns".

I favor basic in-lines or percussion side-locks. They're even better if they're used-but-serviceable. Good enough to learn on, to have a good experience with, to get black powder into their blood and onto their things-to-do-whenever-possible lists.
Where they go from there is up to them.

gizamo
August 24, 2008, 07:03 PM
I've got a few BP rifles;)

If I had to do it all over again, I'd like to have started with a Flintlock. Easier to clean, and for me, easier to shoot and reload with some practice....Besides, take a Flintlock out at most ranges and everybody stops what their doing and wants to take a peek.....

Giz

wvmountaineer
August 24, 2008, 07:41 PM
I was shooting my poor man rifle at 100yds about two weeks ago and I was hitting a 64oz. pop bottle just about evey time I shot, and as Giz said, flintlocks turns a few heads at the range, and exciting to hunt with.

mykeal
August 24, 2008, 07:54 PM
Gee guys, the man asked for:
information regarding ease of maintenance of the various styles and ease of mounting better sights.
He only got one of his two questions answered by one person.

Ease of maintenance: Not a great deal of difference between inlines and sidelocks, but there are things to watch for. Inlines have a removable breech plug which means you can both see end to end and run a cleaning patch or jag completely through, as articap said. However, on some inlines (perhaps all - I haven't tried them all so I don't now) the receiver cannot be removed from the barrel, so although the bore is easy to clean, you have to deal with getting water and other solvents in the trigger mechanism. On my Traditions Lightning it's a real PITA. On balance my Lyman GPR is easier to clean even with the patent breech, and verifying cleanliness is no more difficult by using a bore light. Finally, the lock on my Lyman is removable, adjustable and repairable with little difficulty; the receiver/trigger assembly on my Lightning inline contains many more small parts and springs and takes substantially longer to clean and oil properly.

Sights: the Lyman GPR comes with both front and rear sight dovetails and the tang drilled for installation of a tang aperture sight. Lyman sells optional aperture rear and front sights for the GPR and other sidelock guns as well. A scope mount can be added to many different sidelock guns with little difficulty, including the Lyman GPR, although the GPR really doesn't set up as well as, say, a Thompson Center New Englander. On the other hand, most inlines come drilled for scope mounts and have provisions for modern fiber optic irons sights as well. I think the two styles are equal regarding ease of optional sight setups.

I don't understand the comment about flintlocks being easier to clean; I have both a percussion and flintlock GPR and cleaning is the same for both.

You didn't ask about twist and projectile options for the two styles, although several people provided answers to that question. I'll just say that the sidelocks have more caliber, twist and projectile options than the inlines do, in general.

scrat
August 24, 2008, 08:05 PM
I was shooting my poor man rifle at 100yds about two weeks ago and I was hitting a 64oz. pop bottle just about evey time I shot, and as Giz said, flintlocks turns a few heads at the range, and exciting to hunt with

good info. good to hear

tgfang
August 24, 2008, 09:14 PM
Thanks to all for the information.

Based on reading various posts on this forum I had decided on percussion and 1:48 twist before posting my inquiry. I wasn't sure whether or not traditional style rifles have a breech plug. Evidently swabbing a rifle from the muzzle can do an adequate job of cleaning. Few moving parts sounds good.

Midsouth has attractive prices on Lyman rifles; the rifle info conveniently links to Lyman receiver sights for the rifles. :)

Tom

Shultzhaus
August 25, 2008, 11:55 AM
In-line cleaning -
seems like some folks don't remove the barrel from the stock for cleaning, or do I read that wrong? CVA buckhorn barrel comes off the stock with removal of two screws, then the trigger mech can be removed with only one screw. What is left is only the barrel, easy to bath tub the thing, and not worry about messing up the trigger.

Omnivore
August 25, 2008, 05:08 PM
The Lyman barrels should come off easily-- just pop out the wedge(s) cock the hamemr and lift out the barrel. I rarely have to clean the lock internals on mine. I think I've done it once or twice in several years and that was probably more than it needed.

Cleaning your caplock from the muzzle involves removing the nipple and, using a jag and patch in the barrel, pumping hot water through the threaded nipple hole and cleanout hole (if it has the latter) alternately. I then run a pipe cleaner through the cleanout hole to remove traces of water. I don't know their reasoning for it, but my Lyman .50 has a 35 cal (IIRC) patend breech, so you also should use a 35 jag and patch for that. Otherwise you're never swabbing the breech end. Cleaning this rifle is much easier and faster than cleaning the BP revolvers, I can tell you.

wvmountaineer
August 25, 2008, 05:42 PM
I,ve pretty much given up modern firearms for hunting, to easy to kill something with a scope on it. I guess the choice of firearm is totally up to the shooter and what he or she thinks is best for him or her, and what the shooter will get the most injoyment out of. I injoy these two ole' girls. The top one is a Pedersoli poor mans frontier 50 cal flint, and the bottom is a CVA 45cal flint mountain rifle that I built from a kit when I was in high school, back in the 70's, and she still shoots true at 100yds. The 50cal gets the test this years deer season. But always remember, have fun, be safe, and most importantly, IT'S NOT THE THRILL OF THE KILL, IT'S THE CHASE.!!!!!:D

frontiergander
August 25, 2008, 05:45 PM
I shoot both, I only own one inline.

To be honest, a traditional rifle with a twist thats good for round balls and conicals is a great thing to have.
All of my .50cal sidelocks have a 1:48 twist, My other .50 has a 1:66 round ball twist,
My 54 cva mountain rifle also has a 1:66 twist.

My other rifles with the fast 1:48 twist mainly shoot conicals.

I prefer traditional but now and then, there pops up an inline that i like to buy and shoot for a little while.

scrat
August 25, 2008, 05:52 PM
I bath tub mine too. its so easy. i just fill it up with warm water. pour in some shampoo or what ever soap is around. then let it soak for a while. before i use patches i run a scrub brush down the barrel. a lot of black soot will come out. then after that i will run a few wet patches through it until they come out clean. then i will rines off the whole thing. then i will take it out and run some dry patches. its very very simple.

wvmountaineer
August 25, 2008, 05:54 PM
Nothing wrong with that, I didn't say I didn't like inlines, I own a CVA optima pro mag 45cal. It is very accurate and a heck of alot easier to clean than my other two, but I like shooting round balls. I get more out of the hunt with the traditional guns. I make all my own flints, possibles, bags, tomahawks, even make my round balls. etc. etc. etc.

wvmountaineer
August 25, 2008, 05:57 PM
I do mine in the tub too, but the wife doesn't care for it much, she says it stinks the house up.

arcticap
August 26, 2008, 06:32 AM
I bath tub mine too. its so easy. i just fill it up with warm water. pour in some shampoo or what ever soap is around. then let it soak for a while. before i use patches i run a scrub brush down the barrel. a lot of black soot will come out. then after that i will run a few wet patches through it until they come out clean. then i will rines off the whole thing. then i will take it out and run some dry patches. its very very simple.

Yeah but then you have to clean the tub or the wife will raise cane! :D

Coyote Rider
August 26, 2008, 12:33 PM
I have a Lyman Trade rifle and I've been very happy with it. I tend to get fairly tight groups shooting offhand at 100 yards with primitive sights, and it looks very close to a historic Hawken. And it's pretty easy to clean, with a hooked breech that lets you remove the entire barrel. And the price is outstanding.

Mr_Pale_Horse
August 26, 2008, 01:01 PM
+1 for the Trade Rifle

A real business rifle, ready right out of the box plus drilled and tapped for Lymans 57ML peep sight. Spartan but nice looking.

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