I think I want a rifle


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napp
January 7, 2011, 06:01 PM
Naturally, I can't decide which one I want. It will be my first BP rifle; and I would like to keep the price under $500. I don't hunt; so the rifle will probably never be used except at the range. I have little interest in shooting anything but round balls. I have narrowed it down to three choices:

T/C Hawken (percussion), Lyman Great Plains (percussion), or T/C Fire Storm (flint lock) w/stainless barrel.

I have come up with a list of pros and cons for each choice; but rather than list them, I would like to solicit some thoughts from the forum on each choice. I do realize that the T/C Hawken would have to be a used gun in order to stay within my $500 budget.

I would appreciate any comments you might have.

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mykeal
January 7, 2011, 07:45 PM
Can't go wrong. All are excellent rifles. I would lean towards the percussion guns for a first rifle. The Firestorm will need some lock tweaking sooner or later, so it's best to have cut your teeth on a percussion gun that doesn't have the mysteries of the flint lock.

I own 2 GPR's and 4 T/C Hawkens. My go-to gun is a .54 flintlock GPR, but I have no problems with any of the others.

napp
January 7, 2011, 08:16 PM
Thanks for your reply. Your thoughts pretty much mirror some of the considerations I have already juggled in my mind. Common sense tells me that the first purchase should be a percussion rifle. The fact that I only want to use RB pushes me toward the GPR with it's 1:60 rifling and longer barrel. Another factor that makes me lean toward the GPR is that I can buy a new one for about the same money I would have to spend on a used T/C Hawken.

However.....(always a however). Each time I see a SS firestorm, with it's black synthetic stock, it brings to mind a phrase I first heard back in the fifties. The phrase was often uttered about the VW Beetle..."That thing is so ugly, it is almost cute." Knowing that "cute" is not a reason to buy a rifle, I keep trying to justify purchasing one for the ease of maintenance that stainless steel and a removable breech plug would provide.

J-Bar
January 7, 2011, 08:41 PM
I have a TC Hawken .54 that I use for deer hunting after the regular firearms season. It is a first class rifle with an excellent double set trigger.

But, if you are not going to hunt, and you only want to punch paper, there is no point in throwing large caliber balls downrange, or burning lots of powder.

I would consider getting either a percussion gun or flintlock, whichever makes your heart beat faster, in a smaller caliber. There are some beautiful custom made "squirrel" guns out there that are superbly accurate.

Maybe something like this:

http://www.auctionarms.com/closed/displayitem.cfm?itemnum=9589956.0

Use Google and have fun!

Or get a coach and make your own, if you are handy:

http://www.iowatelecom.net/~toadhall/index.htm

Snowdog
January 7, 2011, 10:44 PM
I recently purchased a Zoli Zouave rifle at an internet auction site that was far less expensive than I was expecting to spend. It's an absolutely solid .58 caliber percussion rifle that came with both a #11 nipple (which I plan to use) and a musket nipple in the patchbox (along with nipple wrench). I think I spent around $170 (!) and this solid rifle will easily last a lifetime or two.

I would strongly suggest (patiently) looking at new old stock or used-excellent/VG condition at auction sites for the type of BP rifle you're interested in if you don't want to spend a bundle and don't necessarily care about the fancy cardboard box they come in.

arcticap
January 7, 2011, 11:34 PM
.45 patched round balls sure are fun and accurate for target shooting, but for some reason shooting the .50's are even more enjoyable.
There are so many guns that shoot .45's available including all of the revolvers.
But if the average person doesn't buy one muzzle loader of at least .50 caliber, then what other .50 caliber guns will they ever get a chance to own and shoot in their lifetime?
Muzzle loading provides the unique opportunity to enjoy shooting a .50 caliber or larger gun.

DoubleDeuce 1
January 8, 2011, 07:36 PM
I have been shooting my .50 cal TC Hawken for over thirty years. I have never had a single problem with it. The lock is smooth, fast and reliable. The triggers are in my opinion the best to be had on a production gun.Thompson has a great warranty on their products.

My brother shoots a GPR .50 cal. He really likes it. But... he is on his second or maybe third barrel I think. He had to replace the original sewer pipe. He ended up with a Green Mountain barrel, extra cost, so it really isn't a GPR anymore.

Both rifles feel fine and fit me well. That is something you should consider. Get your hands on the Hawken and GPR to see which fits you better.

As for me, I would go with the Thompson Center (made in U.S.A.), first then the GPR (made in Italy).:cool:

napp
January 8, 2011, 08:23 PM
Good replies so far, guys. I'm not trying to respond to each one individually; but I am storing them away for reference.

Keep 'em coming.

TomADC
January 9, 2011, 12:17 AM
Check here great prices on the factory seconds.
http://www.traditionsfirearms.com/specials.php?osCsid=3ff34316ec7ed4929115086fcddcb726

RWMC
January 9, 2011, 12:28 AM
I have a nice older ( 1976-1978 ) Thompson Center Renegade .54 caliber percussion rifle. It shoots dead on to the point of aim at 100 yards with a patched round ball on top of 80 grains of Pyrodex ffg type powder. I could be conviced to part ways with it...

napp
January 9, 2011, 10:53 PM
I just won an auction for a Lyman Great Plains, .50 cal percussion cap rifle on Gunbroker. My winning bid was $317.70. If the "Great Georgia Ice Storm of 2011" permits, I will go to the post office tomorrow and get the payment in the mail.

Here's the link to the auction if anyone is interested.
http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.aspx?Item=209669292

I just want everyone to know that I appreciate all the help, comments, and suggestions you provided in this thread.

Snowdog
January 9, 2011, 11:38 PM
Congratulations! That's a nice looking rifle.
We're expecting some nasty weather here in NC as well over the next couple days. Good luck with all that.

david58
January 10, 2011, 01:44 AM
You did well to pick the GPR! It is a very authentically styled rifle, and is a good shooter. Some folks get bit in the cheek a bit by the stock, but that's nothing a little bit of filing couldn't cure.

Congrats!

Pancho
January 10, 2011, 10:41 AM
Congratulations and welcome to the world of front stuffers.
Two bits of advice come to mind for the first time muzzleloader.
First is to remove the nipple and drumport screw clean them and reassemble with a touch of anti-sieze. You will never know if the previous owners were savvy enough to do this unless you do it.
Secondly while you've got the nipple out determine the diameter and pitch of the threads so if you're tempted to convert the gun to musket caps it will be a simple matter. Over the years of being on this forum I've become a "One Trick Pony" where musket caps are concerned they are a lot easier to handle and provide a lot more ignition fire.

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