Anyone know about a T/C New Englander?


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Moptop
July 20, 2012, 10:19 PM
I recently picked up a Thompson Center New Englander .50 cal front stuffer and I was hoping there was someone here who could tell me a little about them. This poor thing is rusted and pitted all over the barrel, lock, and hardware with very little bluing left. Looks as though it was shot a few times the stuck in a closet without being properly cleaned up. Bore looks amazing good considering it's outward appearance. This one appears to have been a kit. The stock, although in good shape, looks somewhat unfinished as far as shaping goes. Any place where it's inletted, like where the lock and trigger guard fit in, they set in way below the edge of the stock. So does the tang receiver where the barrel hooks in, very deeply recessed. I plan on doing the necessary shaping to level things out and put a few coats of Linspeed or Tru-oil on it to gloss it up.

My main question is, I know it's a 1:48 RH twist, will this thing shoot saboted bullets or is the twist too slow? I know that the 1:48'ers are a "combination" twist able to shoot both patched ball and conical's but I didn't know about sabots.

I assume FFG would be the best powder since it's larger than .45cal. Can FFFG be used? I have several revolvers and a .45cal rifle and have plenty of that. What would be a safe starting and max load using patched ball? I'm thinking 50grns start and 90-100grns max?

I'll try to post some pictures when I start working on it.
Any info is appreciated.

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arcticap
July 21, 2012, 12:08 AM
My main question is, I know it's a 1:48 RH twist, will this thing shoot saboted bullets or is the twist too slow? I know that the 1:48'ers are a "combination" twist able to shoot both patched ball and conical's but I didn't know about sabots.

It sounds like you've found a fixer upper with a lot of potential.
These guns were made over such a long period of time that they all seem to have different shooting characteristics.
Some folks can obtain good accuracy at moderate range with some saboted bullets while others don't. You never know what could work because there's many different sabots, bullet weights and loads to experiment with.
They're even making .40/50 caliber sabots to shoot 10mm bullets with, and also .458/50 caliber sabots for .458 bullets.
The MMP 3Petal-EZ sabots for .451-.452 bullets are just about the easiest loading sabot on the market along with the TC EZGlide sabots.
You don't want to buy a sabot that's too large and hard to load in your bore.

http://www.mmpsabots.com/

http://www.harvesterbullets.com/

In some barrels all but the EZ sabots fit pretty tight and are hard to load.
There's another popular bullet that comes with a plastic skirt attached that are the easiest to load which are called PowerBelt bullets. These also come in a lot of different weights. Some folks will start off trying these with about 80 grains of powder. But they can be more expensive per shot.

I assume FFG would be the best powder since it's larger than .45cal. Can FFFG be used? I have several revolvers and a .45cal rifle and have plenty of that. What would be a safe starting and max load using patched ball? I'm thinking 50grns start and 90-100grns max?

Yes, you have everything right. 3f can be used for everything just back down on the powder load by about 10%. And if loading with 777 powder then back down by 15%.
Here's a PDF of the TC sidelock manual that will give you some more information about loads:

http://www.tcarms.com/assets/manuals/noncurrent/Shooting_TC_Side_Lock_Black_Powder_Guns.pdf

Good luck and let us how it shoots after you get it all cleaned up. :)

bigdogpete
July 21, 2012, 12:25 AM
I have a 50. cal New Englander and it performs well. I shoot a TC Maxi ball bullet with 85 grains of Pyrodex and is quite accurate for me.

loose noose
July 21, 2012, 02:57 PM
MopTop, I was unaware of a TC in the rifle version of the New Englander, I have a New Englander in the 12 Ga. percussion shotgun. Used it a few years ago to shoot some Dove, my dog about went nuts trying to see where the bird went down, using Goex FF powder. Perhaps they make a barrel to exchange in the shotgun, that might be interesting.:scrutiny:

mykeal
July 21, 2012, 05:52 PM
T/C made 3 barrels for the New Englander, a .50, a .54 and a 12 gauge. The two rifled barrels have a twist rate of 1:48". They are interchangeable.

loose noose
July 21, 2012, 09:52 PM
Thanks mykeal, now I know, just maybe I'll be able to find one for my New Englander. It sure has a nice looking walnut stock, and the percussion is really fast.

Moptop
July 22, 2012, 01:10 AM
Arcticap, thanks for the manual PDF, very, very helpful! Also thanks for links on the sabots and bullets. So please tell me if I'm correct here, I can use a sabot and shoot the same 230 grn .452 LRN I cast for my 1911? Now that would be great...provided the rifle liked it I guess.

I'm going to try her out tomorrow afternoon. I bought some .490" RB's and will start with 50grns of FFFG Trip7. I like the easy cleanup of the Trip7. We'll see how she does and go from there.

Thanks to everybody for you help and suggestions.

arcticap
July 22, 2012, 06:02 AM
So please tell me if I'm correct here, I can use a sabot and shoot the same 230 grn .452 LRN I cast for my 1911?

Yes, just make sure that the sabots are made for .451 - .452 bullets.
Swab the barrel clean every 1 - 3 shots with a wet patch & dry patch so that loading doesn't become too difficult. Sabots usually shoot best with a clean barrel.
Although every gun is different, they tend to shoot better with heavier powder charges, especially with the moderate 1 in 48" twist. Start with about 65-70 grains of powder and increase in 5 -10 grain increments to gauge their accuracy at different velocities.

Gobblerizer
July 23, 2012, 06:05 PM
Mine is A TREEHAWK 12 Gauge BP Shotgun,Basically a NE in Camo! :cool:

I bought it to use for Hunting Turkeys ! I patterned it with 100 Gr. RS Select (Pyrodex) and 1 - 3/8 Oz. of #4 X #6 Magnum shot @ 30 Yds.,
never got to try it in the woods as I got it just as the Turkey season closed.

My Wad/Shotcup was a BP12(which I slit 1/4 way down cup!) I also Used Cornmeal(Wholegrain) as a Buffer. I may use it this fall BTW I am Using a Hastings .660(exit Dia.)
choke tube,which I put in after I load it (using an IC choke) Follow up shots are used with same recipe,except I dont use


Mario

Pancho
July 24, 2012, 10:16 AM
Arcticap has offered good advice about loading sabots especially in sidelocks.
At a prehunt shooting session at deer camp twenty years ago a friend got a sabot stuck in his TC sidelock after his 3rd. round. We fussed with it for a couple of hours before we gave up and took it to the nearest service station with an aircompressor (20 miles away) and we were able to blow it out.
Lessons learned:
When in a primitive area be prepared for anything.
Bought a compressed air unloader.
Here's the paranoid part, I don't shoot sabots in sidelocks. If it had been an inline we would have been able to pull the breechplug and had the round cleared in 10 minutes.
Sidelocks+Roundball, Maxiball, minieball=No Problem

Moptop
July 29, 2012, 12:42 AM
Well I finally had the chance to shoot my New Englander yesterday. I was only able to try it a 25yds but it was right on using patched ball over 50grns of FFFg 777 powder. I could not ask for better results! I also tried it with 60grns and 70grns to see how it reacted. There was a little change with 60grns only raising the POI about 2" at 25 yards but when increased to 70grns the POI raised just over 12" at 25 yards with windage staying the same. Very impressive for a $50 rifle that look like **** when I got it. The barrel was blued at one time but had almost nothing left of it so I opted to just polish it up and leave it in the white for now. It was full of pits and had to draw file it to clean it up enough for polishing. I draw filed and polished the lock plate and hammer as well. I think it came out ok. I plan on refinishing or I should say finishing the stock. This one musy have been a kit and the stock was never finish shaped or sanded. Now that I know it's a shooter it will be a little more fun in doing that.

Sometime this week I'll try it a 50 & 75 yards and see how it does. I'd also like to try it with either some conicals or sabotted bullets. If I can get it zoomed in with them I'll definitly have a reason to use it this next deer season.

Thanks all for the info on this thing. Dominick

Dellbert
July 29, 2012, 12:38 PM
Nice looking rifle Moptop. I have one just like it. I had to replace the bbl on mine. You can get almost anything you need for them from ebay. After putting a new .50 cal bbl on mine I had a new gun. They shoot as good as any bp rifle on the market. I been shooting 85grs of pyrodex with a round ball. That load will drop a deer all day long. .50 cal Rd ball will go through deer and make a pretty big hole and a clean kill. I like the rifle cause it's light wt and handles good. What more could a fella ask for. :)

mykeal
July 29, 2012, 02:39 PM
I also tried it with 60grns and 70grns to see how it reacted. There was a little change with 60grns only raising the POI about 2" at 25 yards but when increased to 70grns the POI raised just over 12" at 25 yards with windage staying the same.
??
Raising and lowering the POI are interesting effects but in the end that's dealt with by adjusting the sights. What's important is group size - what happened to your group sizes as you varied the load?

Moptop
July 29, 2012, 10:59 PM
I took it out this evening and shot it at 50 yrds using .429" 240grn lead hollow points in sabots over 80grns FFFG 777. It shot as well as I could see at that distance as you can see. I did have to adjust the windage by one click and the elevation down two clicks. It even did well shooting PB's at that distance.

I have to say, this one sure turned out to be a great shooter inspite of its appearence when It got it. Like I said, I did have to adjust the elevation DOWN which kinda surpirsed me. I thought I was going to run out of down adjustment before I got it adjusted. I tried reducing the powder charge to 70 then 60gnrs but it didn't make much of a difference. T/C suggested a starting load of 80grn so I didn't want to go too far down with the saboted boolets with not knowing if it would cause any goofy pressure problems.

I hope I don't have to try all of those "million possible combinations" before I find a good one ,but your right, it will be be fun for sure.
I didn't use a rest when shooting this time so I've still got some work (FUN) to do.

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