Well, the BP bug has bit me hard. In the last several months I've collected several cap'n ball revolvers, and added a 209x50 barrel to my Encore rifle. Now I'm looking for a functional flintlock for PA's late muzzleloader season. (I thought about posting this in the Hunting forum, but figured there'd be more BP afcionados here).
I'd love a T/C Hawken, but they seem to be running about $800 new ... and I don't want to spend that on my first flintlock. So I'm looking for recommendations for a dependable, hunting-accurate flintlock in .50 caliber under $500. I'd like to be able to shoot conicals and the occasional sabot (like I'm using in the Encore), so probably need something with faster than a 1:60 twist rate. I'd prefer traditional or at most adjustable iron sights--no fiber optics on this one. And wood (not composite) stock is a must. So what are the best-bang-for-the-buck options? Any I should steer clear of?
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June 14, 2011, 11:18 PM
If you like the TC Hawken styling but want to spend less, look around for an old Renegade. It's basically the same rifle with blued furniture instead of brass.
I also like Lyman guns. The Deerstalker and Trade rifle are both available for less than $500 usually. I think they are rifled in a 1:48 twist, which is sort of a compromise.
I'd hit the classifieds on here, on the muzzleloading forum, and on pennswoods.net to see what you can find. Some guy lucked out and got my Renegade for $200 a few months ago, which was twice what I paid for it. It was well worth it. ;)
I only sold it because I'm much more into finding an 18th century flintlock.
June 15, 2011, 12:11 AM
i got this rifle a few days ago as a kit, it is the Traditions Frontier. here's a link! http://www.dixiegunworks.com/product_info.php?cPath=22_162_193&products_id=14314
i took her out on Sunday after church... she shoots like a dream, and will ignite Jim Shockey's powder substitute just fine if real black is unavailable. with a 50 grain charge the recoil is nothing, perfect for practice. but if you are hunting you can obviously load more. take down is very simple, and loading is easy. double set triggers make for a very accurate rifle as well. you squeeze the back trigger and the front trigger becomes very sensitive. this is a very nice rifle for the money, and i can tell this one will last me my entire lifetime! this rifle is really accurate, on my first shot that i aimed (i was still getting accustomed to the flintlock) i nailed what i was aiming at dead center. just my $0.02
June 15, 2011, 09:51 AM
In your price range, look for a Lyman Trade Rifle or a Cabela's Traditional Hawken. They are made by the same company, Investarms. The Lyman has a single trigger while the Cabela's rifle has double set triggers and a cap box on the stock.
If you're willing to spend a bit more than get a Lyman Great Plains Rifle.
A used T/C Renegade or Hawken would also be a good choice.
June 15, 2011, 12:01 PM
The Lyman Deerstalker is hard to beat. It is short, light, accurate and with the built in recoil pad even heavy conicals don't generate that much recoil. It comes with QD sling swivel studs as well.
I get the best accuracy with the patched roundball.
June 15, 2011, 03:05 PM
The Lyman Great Plains Rifle has a slow twist (round ball) barrel; the OP wants a conical barrel.
June 15, 2011, 03:19 PM
Great post, Legionnaire, and you echo my circumstances exactly. I've been a-eyeballin' the Cabelas Tradition Hawken for quite a spell now, mainly because I've come to appreciate the double set triggers on my percussion T/C Hawken. My only reluctance has been that I'd prefer to broaden my horizons a bit and not own 2 Hawkens. But there's a flintlock in my future fo' sure.
June 15, 2011, 08:18 PM
You only think two aren't in your future. :-)
June 16, 2011, 01:53 AM
i would recommend the lyman great plains hunter flint lock with the 1:32" twist rate for conicals. www.thirdgenerationshootingsupply.com has them on special for $389.00 and only $4.95 shipping on all items. i just recieved my first rifle from them the other day. fast shipping and good service. i am going out tomarrow to fire the first balls out of the great plains i ordered. sleep is going to be hard to come by tonight lol.
June 16, 2011, 08:32 AM
I thought the Pennsylvania primative weapons seasons required a flintlock and round ball? When did they include conicals?
June 16, 2011, 09:28 AM
Not sure when the change was made, but here's the regulation from the 2011-12 bulletin:
Late Flintlock Season - Flintlock ignition, single-barrel long guns manufactured prior to 1800, or a similar reproduction of an original muzzleloading single-barrel long gun 44 caliber or larger, or 50 caliber or larger handgun, using a single projectile. It is unlawful to use telescopic sights. Late season flintlock hunters are permitted to take an antlered deer or an antlerless deer anywhere in the state with their unused antlered deer tag.
As worded, the regs permit flintlocks firing any single projectile, and fiber optic sights. Owner of my LGS says the change was made some time ago.
June 16, 2011, 11:58 AM
sdhunter, thanks for the tip. I went to the Third Generation website and found that they also had the flintlock Trade Rifle for $300. While the Great Plains Hunter looks like a really good deal, I'm thinking the Trade Rifle will be handier in the PA woods. With the low-cost shipping charge, couldn't pass it up.
Thanks, all, for the input. This is why I like this community so much: good, helpful advice, and pointers to good deals. Pics to come ...
June 16, 2011, 03:46 PM
always happy to help a fellow black powder enthusiest. hope all goes well with the new rifle.;)
June 16, 2011, 11:36 PM
Legionnaire - glad to hear you got one on the way. I wish the flintlocks I'm into could be had for that price, but I'm easily looking at $1500 to get what I need for reenacting.
June 16, 2011, 11:44 PM
Well, this is my first flintlock, and my primary motivation is hunting. But it wouldn't surprise me if I developed a fancy for them. Just figured an inexpensive specimen was the best way to "test the waters" if you will.
June 17, 2011, 04:49 PM
Makes sense. My first flintlock was a Lyman Deerstalker. It would have been a great hunting gun - short and handy, but like I said, I'm more into the history of them. My second was a T/C Renegade that I fixed up and played around with a little last year before selling it. Third was a Pedersoli Second Model Bess. It felt like it had been on a few campaigns and sending .715 round balls downrange was most satisfying, but it wasn't right for the period I want to reenact so I sold it to start over. My next will be a custom job, maybe built from one of Jim Chambers' kits.
My experience is that the black English flints from somewhere like Track of the Wolf spark the best and hold up pretty well. The saw cut flints have never worked well for me with any gun.
You might also want to check out the Traditional Muzzleloading forum at www.muzzleloadingforum.com . Lots of BP shooters there who are into both hunting and historical muzzleloaders. I've learned a lot hanging around on there.
June 19, 2011, 10:23 AM
My first (and so far only) flintlock is the Pedersoli Jaeger in .54.
I love it, when it shoots. (When it doesn't, it is usually my fault somehow) I have gotten it to the point where it generally shoots first time, every time.
When you do get a flintlock, I suggest going to the muzzleloadingforum.com because of the information that you can get there. Shooting a flintlock is nothing like shooting a percussion cap gun. There are tricks to it that you should know and you can get those tricks at that forum (more so than here, although some of the ones here are pretty good).
Also, you will find that if you get a flintlock, you will need to use real black powder as opposed to a substitute. So if this is a little out of the line of what you were thinking, you will need to re-evaluate your thoughts on this.
The Doc is out now. :cool:
June 19, 2011, 02:28 PM
Thanks, Doc. FYI, thus far the only thing my cap'n ball revolvers and T/C Encore 209x50 rifle have seen is Goex black. Maybe some day I'll get around to trying one of the substitutes, but so far (and I admit to being a relative newbie) basic black has worked for me.
I have shot a flintlock only once; it belonged to an elderly friend, and he let me "unload" it at the end of a day hunting. I'm looking forward to climbing the learning curve.
June 19, 2011, 04:49 PM
Here is my rifle, a Traditions, Tennesse Mountain Carbine 50 Cal Double Trigger Flinter. It is short, sweet, light and accurate. The craftsmanship is supurb, the Flint Mechanism came stock out of the box, properly tempered, properly alligned, it throws a good strong shower of sparks every time, and fires reliably and accurately. It is a shorter rifle, good for the bush and brush, only 37 3/4" overall length, with a 24-1/2" barrel and a 1:66 twist. I am so pleased with this rifle, especially the price, which at $465.25 at Dixie, is a bit more than some of the other guns being tossed around here, but still, nowhere near as pricey as a $900 Uberti or Pedersoli. I swear to you, not only is this a beautiful rifle to hold and admire, it's a PERFORMER as well !!!