Sure could use some .36 schoolin'.


Jim, West PA
December 18, 2012, 07:45 PM
Jist got me a .36 Seneca and i have 0 experience shootin' a .36 rifle.
Now i can put a .45 or .50 patched ball right where i want it all day long but
don't know where to begin with the .36.
I 'spose right off that my ticking patches i use for the .45 and .50 are of no use in the .36 ?
Sure could use yer .36 rifle experience.
Oh, i'd also like to take these T/C factory sights off of this Seneca and chuck 'em.The rear sight is clearly an old style Contender sight and the front one is just a no good square thingy. Anyone got a source for say.....T/C Hawken style sights that will fit the Seneca ?

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December 19, 2012, 03:23 AM
Hi Jim
I have two Seneca's...a .45 and a .36...both are a great joy to shoot!
The .36 uses a .350 round ball and an .010 patch. If I remember correctly, I started at 30 grains of FFFg and worked my way up. They don't need a lot of powder for target shooting or for hunting small critters. One thing you need to be careful of is, since it's a relatively small bore, it will foul much faster than the .45's and larger, so when you start to feel any resistance when loading it's time to run a wet (plain water) nylon brush down the bore followed by wet patches then a few dry ones. If you fail to do this I guarantee you will end up with a broken ram rod and possibly a stuck ball...I learned this the hard way! :cuss:
As far as sights go...I use the ones that they came with...I'm not really clear on what your's has...a picture would help!

Jim, West PA
December 19, 2012, 12:03 PM
Thanx for the info Bluehawk.
It's good to hear of your experiene with this little gem. Especialy that it's a pleasure to shoot. I bot this rifle mainly for my wife Janet to shoot. She loves to shoot out T/C .45 Hawken but it's weight is a bit much for her.
Thanx for the tip on the fouling. Do you use bore butter in your Senecas ?
I use it exclusively in my .45 and .50 Hawkens and can easily get over a dozen shots before any signs of fouling.

Here are pics of the sights.They are the T/C factory sights.
Don't know if you're familiar with the T/C Hawken sights, they are a rear V-notch and a front bead.That is the style i would like to put on my Seneca if possible.

Here are the Seneca sights.
I know this rear sight is an older T/C Contender sight.
Are yours the same ?

December 19, 2012, 12:56 PM
I prefer to load 777 powder in a .36 rifle because its performance really shines.
It produces really good velocity with very little fouling over many more shots compared to other powders.
And the sound that the shots make is a nice sonic crack rather than the bellowing boom sound of the larger caliber bores.

Jim, West PA
December 19, 2012, 01:59 PM
I'll give the T7 a go Steve but the "bellowing boom" is jist one o' the romantic aspects of the world of soot makin'.
That "sonic crack" is for that 'other' stuff.

December 19, 2012, 02:05 PM
My seneca has a different rear sight, as well as the ones my friends have. Mine doesnt have the factory front sight, but yours looks like the ones on my friends guns.


Jim, West PA
December 19, 2012, 02:50 PM
Could you please post a pic of your sights ?

December 19, 2012, 03:16 PM
I can, I also have a spare set miunus the adjusting screw. Might be a day or two though.


Jim, West PA
December 19, 2012, 03:29 PM
Thanx d-a , 'preciate it.
And WELCOME to soot makers forum.

December 19, 2012, 03:38 PM
I'll give the T7 a go Steve but the "bellowing boom" is jist one o' the romantic aspects of the world of soot makin'.
That "sonic crack" is for that 'other' stuff.

You will? Sakes alive! That's more than I expected to hear from such a die hard sootmaker as yourself! ;)

Jim, West PA
December 19, 2012, 03:51 PM
Hello, my name is Jim and i have a bottle of 777 in my black powder drawer.:o

Look at it this way Steve.
My Seneca aint stone sparked like a real front loader so it aint really cheatin'.:neener:
Right ? :uhoh:

December 19, 2012, 04:58 PM
I like my Hawken's sight but I hunt with my Contender with the factory sights and it does just fine.

Jim, West PA
December 19, 2012, 05:09 PM
Yeah, the Contender sights are ok Bob.
I'm jist a rear v-notch front bead kind o' guy.:D

December 19, 2012, 11:56 PM
The last time I shot my Seneca .36 (using Goex FFFg) it was more of a "crack" then a boom! :neener:

December 20, 2012, 02:29 AM
Hello, Jim. I bought my Seneca back in 75'. This was my first real precision muzzleloader. I used .010" pillow ticking with a .350 round ball. Black powder was hard to find then due to plant explosion..Hodgdon started importing Curtis & Harvey scottish made black. Sure wish they still made that stuff! It burn't moist..I was using 25grs. for best accuracy at 50yds. it would put them into one ragged hole. And didn't need to swab bore for 4 or 5 shots. If you can find some Swiss 3Fg, I would try that.

Jim, West PA
December 20, 2012, 08:52 AM
Thanx for the info .22-5-40.
That sounds like a great load for Janet to target shoot with.

December 20, 2012, 10:05 PM
Here you go as promised, quick Phone pics.


Jim, West PA
December 20, 2012, 10:27 PM
Thanx d-a.

I like that one you have in pieces.
What is it from ?

December 21, 2012, 07:10 AM
Its another Seneca rear sight, My .45 cal seneca shoots high so you can see both rear sights have been cut down to some extent. In your front sight pic, it actually looks taller than normal but I dont have a seneca front sight to compare with. I've added a .400 tall .08 thick silver sight on my seneca to try and get POA to the same as POI.


Jim, West PA
December 21, 2012, 08:02 AM
Must be a different 'era' sight huh? I'm gonna take the sights off o' one o' Hawkens' and see if they fit my Seneca.
If the screw holes line up for the rear and the dovetail fits the front i'll keep 'em on there for now. I 'spect i'll hafta file the front one a bit narrower to match the narrower flat width.

Thanx for takin the time to share yer info with me d-a.

December 21, 2012, 09:05 AM
The rear sight on my Old TC hawken looks similar to the Seneca rear sight except its overall length is longer, probably close to an inch longer. Ill try and get you a comparison pic of the two.

Oh and your welcome, between me and 2 friends we bought four senecas for $80 each this past spring.


December 21, 2012, 11:06 AM
Eighty bucks for a Seneca?? Were the sellers on crack??? :what:
Normally they sell for $300 on up depending on condition!!! (especially the later ones that you could only get from the T/C Custom Shop near the end of their manufacturing life)

December 21, 2012, 01:07 PM
There were DNR trade in's/sell back we all got one each and bought one as a parts gun. Its has since became a pistol. Thats why I have the spare sight.

as a side note I tried selling mine after i got it cleaned up and operational and no one was interested(asked $300). Kinda glad now its slowly becoming my favorite front stuffer. Just wish it was lefthanded like my larger hawken


December 21, 2012, 10:32 PM
I'm unfamiliar with the term DNR.
You turned a Seneca rifle into a pistol?? I would love to see a pic of that! :what:
In my humble opinion you were very smart to hang onto the Seneca rifle...I got rid of my original .36 and kicked myself for many years for doing so. :banghead:
I now have another one...along with the .45 caliber model...and they are not going to be sold!!!!!!
By the way...the .36 shoots .357" hollow-base wadcutters quite patches required...just put a little bit of lube around them and in the hollow base and stuff them down the barrel!

December 21, 2012, 11:31 PM
DNR is short for Dept of Natural Resources. They used them for various training classes.

I didn't make the pistol, i just gathered up the unused parts. My friend built it, dont know if hes shot it yet.

Im going to keep the gun, Im almost to the point of getting a green mountain barrel and put on it due to it shooting high. Im going to the range tomorrow to shoot the Seneca and my left hand hawken (broke tumbler in it 3 weeks ago). It they both shoot well Im gonna try and shot a little Hog on sunday or monday with them.


Jim, West PA
December 21, 2012, 11:39 PM
If i'm not mistaken Bluehawk, the Seneca parts, lock, triggers and rear sight, are the same size as the T/C Patriot pistol.
For all intent and purpouse. You could cut down a Seneca Bbl to pistol length,add sights, dovetail under fer wedge, make ya a pistol stock, drill out for ramrod, install the Seneca fore end tip, install the Seneca lock and triggers and have a real sweet .36 cap lock pistol. that right there sounds real cool.
A .36 front stuffer pistol with a hooked breech.

That's all iffin ya was so inclined to canibalize a Seneca.
'spect it'd be more cost effective to make up a .36 Bbl fer a T/C Patriot.;)

EDIT: jist read on another forum that the Patriot once came in .36 configuration.

Great, and jist when i thot i was done buyin soot makers fer a spell.

December 31, 2012, 02:00 PM
Hi Jim,
Been awhile since I've shot my Seneca, but I remember that it liked a .350 roundball with a .010" lubed patch and about 20 grains of Pyrodex P. In fact it shot fine with anywhere from 15 to 25 grains of P, often shooting all afternoon without needing a swabbing. More than that and it fouled quickly, became hard to load and delivered poor accuracy.

IMHO, the loads listed in the TC manual are way too heavy for the rifle as was the .018" patch they listed. Not because the rifle can't take it, but because it turns shooting into a ramrod breaking chore.

With 20 grains of P, the little rifle delivers better MV than a .22 rf which makes it about perfect for squirrels with all the accuracy you'd need. 25 grains of P brings MV up to .22rf magnum levels and is adequate for short range coyotes.

As my Seneca aged a bit, I found .015 patches started working better and better. Guess I needed to shoot the newness out of it.

Jim, West PA
December 31, 2012, 05:07 PM
'preciate the info OP9.
Fun easy comfortable shootin' is what i'm after with this little sweetie.
I'll give yer suggestions a try jist soon as i round me up some balls and patches.

January 3, 2013, 12:24 AM

Here is a link to the TC origional manual for traditional style muzzle loaders. It shows the sight on your Seneca in a picture so your sight might be correct on a later made model. Anyway page 72 has loads listed for the seneca's


Jim, West PA
January 4, 2013, 11:02 AM
That's a pretty cool read d-a. I did get the original owners manual with this Seneca but your link is a far more in depth read.
The rifle pictured on page 8, with the sights, is a Hawken.
I wasn't saying that the sights on my Seneca were 'wrong'. It is just clear to me that the rear sight is indeed a Contender pistol sight and i just don't like the way the rear or front sights are made.I like the rear 'V' of the Hawken and the front bead of the Hawken. Both a far more accurate designe.
Thanx for the link. I'm gonna probably print that one up.

loose noose
January 6, 2013, 04:17 PM
Now Jim, I've got a stone burner in .32, (Pedersoli) naturally all I use is the original BP Goex 3f, and bore Butter on the patches, followed by a patch saturated in #13 BP solvent. It shoots a 1" group at 50 yds. Fortunately for me I've got 2#s of 4f for the pans on my other flinters. BTW I did get some English flints, and it did quicken the ignition time. :D

Jim, West PA
January 6, 2013, 07:58 PM
Now ya done it Noose.
Got me on point fer a .32 :D
I used to use #13 also but have since changed to bore butter for both seasonin' and patch lube.I keep my bores liberaly coated in butter and dry swab before i shoot. I get very good accuracy, a lot o' shots twixt cleanin and very east clean up with soap and water. I still keep the #13 on hand for when i want a field or range cleanin'.

Just tonite i finaly found a source o' .350 rb's fer my Seneca.I'll be pickin those up tuesday evenin' along with some patches.
I spose i'll ask 'im fer some .32 rb's while i'm there. Once i get the rb's i'll have no choice but to git me a rifle to go with 'em :cool:
Glad ya like the difference o' the good 'stone'. If ya aint got one...git ya one them allen wrench type touch holes, use only a wee bit o' 4f next to the touch hole and you'll see another improvement in ignition time.
What i do when i priime is to put jiiist 'nough 4f in there to slightly cover the very bottom o' the pan. I then 'tip' the gun to the left and allow the prime to fall into the touch hole. When the rifle is held level, jist enough powder falls back out o' the touch hole to give ya a real quick ignition.
But, you probly knew this lol

BTW, i still aint got Janet her Kentucky kit. They're still not in stock.:(

January 7, 2013, 01:07 PM
You might want to try Deer Creek Products, Waldron, Indiana
(Tel: 765-525-6181).
They're a large Traditions dealer and if they don't have something in stock, they can have it drop shipped to you direct from Traditions, usually at a lower price than Traditions charges the general public.
They don't have a website but have all kinds of goodies and parts, even BP.

January 7, 2013, 02:19 PM
I got my Seneca about 20 years ago after some wheelin/dealin and the first thing that I did was to trash the "pistol sights" and make a set of my own.
Home cast patched round ball (.013" patch) over 40 grs.of 3f, the rifle shoots great and it is a lot of fun.
The rifle is a real hit at the off season stuff that goes on at our hunting camp.

Jim, West PA
January 7, 2013, 03:41 PM
Thanx Steve, i called 'em and unfortunately they too are out of stock.
However, thier price is much better than even the Possibles Shop.
I had them send me a catalog and perhaps Janet will see something else in thier that catches her interest.

Jim, West PA
January 7, 2013, 03:43 PM
Hi Zeke, thanx for the info.
Right now my plan is to can the pistol sights and hopefully find me a set o' haken sights for it. My wife and i are quite anxious to shoot this thing.
Everyone says the same thing....she's a real sweetheart to shoot.;)

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