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Anyone Have or Seen a Lyman Trade Rifle?

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by Kestrel, Oct 2, 2006.

  1. Kestrel

    Kestrel Well-Known Member

    I like the looks of the Trade rifle on Lyman's site. Does anyone have one or has anyone seen one? Are these good rifles?


  2. MikeJackmin

    MikeJackmin Well-Known Member

    I looked one over once. Like most of the Lymans I've seen, it was a handsome, well-put-together rifle.

    My only complaint is that the reciever sight looks out of place when viewed from the left-hand side of the gun. As I recall, it's mounted on the side, not the top, and is rather bulky.
  3. Dave Markowitz

    Dave Markowitz Well-Known Member

    My brother has had one in .54 for at least 10 years. They are made in Italy by Investarms. They are quite well made and finished. The barrels have a 1/48" twist, so if you want to shoot patched round balls you may need to do some experimenting for best accuracy. They'll shoot conicals like Maxi-Balls or REAL bullets well, though.

    The Cabela's Hawken rifles are almost the same gun, except that they have a brass patch box on the stock, and are available in left-handed format as well.
  4. Kestrel

    Kestrel Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the info. I think the receiver sight is an option, so I could just get it with the standard sights. Glad to know that. I actually like the way it looks in this picture, but I found a picture of one from the other side. I agree - it didn't look right to me mounted from the side.

    Dave - is this Lyman's version of a Hawken? I was also toying with the idea of looking for a TC Hawken - would that be a better choice?

    Thanks for indulging all the questions. As I said in an earlier post, I'm new to BP.

    Thanks again.
  5. Plink

    Plink Well-Known Member

    Lyman and T/C are both good guns. I don't know if I'd put one above the other. Pick which fits you best, because they're both going to shoot fine. Personally, I like receiver sights, but that might just be my old eyes talking. I shoot better with them.
  6. Dave Markowitz

    Dave Markowitz Well-Known Member

    The Trade Rifle is Lyman's version of a 20th Century "Hawken." Neither it nor the T/C Hawken are authentic replicas of 19th Century guns. For a more realistic mid-19th Century replica, take a look at the Lyman Great Plains Rifle. IMHO, the GPR is the best mass production caplock available.

    Lyman frizzens spark better than T/Cs, but overall the Lyman flinters are very particular about loading and cleaning for reliable ignition of the main charge, in my experience. I love the GPR and TR but only in percussion format. YMMV.
  7. Kestrel

    Kestrel Well-Known Member

    I was planning to go for the percussion, anyway, so that sounds like a winner.

    I know this sounds crazy, but I've been thinking about getting several BP percussion rifles. I'm considering getting these:

    - TC Renegade
    - TC Hawken
    - Lyman Deerstalker
    - Lyman Trade Rifle
    - Lyman Great Plains Rifle

    Is that crazy, or what? I have the Renegade on order, so it would probably make more sense to try it out first and make sure I even enjoy shooting BP.

    Are any of these rifles a better candidate for .58 caliber? Is this a good caliber for shooting PRB?

    By the way, what are "REAL" bullets?
  8. arcticap

    arcticap Well-Known Member

    TC has a no nonsense lifetime warranty, and even honors it on their used guns. Their service dept. is unrivaled, really.
    Fox Ridge Outfitters out of Rochester, New Hampshire is the TC authorized "Custom Shop". They offer original equipment .58 barrels for the Renegade and Hawken, and Green Mountain replacement barrels are another option.


    One thing that I have heard about the GPR is that the half cock notch doesn't go back far enough to allow for capping the nipple, so the hammer needs to be brought back to full cock in order to cap the gun, then brought down to half cock to be on "safe". Despite being a suberb gun, this is considered by many to be a design flaw. Also, more than a few folks have complained about rough barrels in some of the Lyman guns which has caused accuracy and blown patch problems. However, that definitely seems to be a minority of owners.

    REAL (Rifling Engraved At Loading) Bullets are conicals cast from a mold made by Lee. There are various sizes and weights for any given caliber and are considered an option for the medium 1 in 48 inch twist barrels much like the TC MaxiHunter or MaxiBall.
    Here's an example of the "heavy" .50 caliber REAL Bullet:

  9. Kestrel

    Kestrel Well-Known Member

    Are there any drawbacks to the REAL bullets?
  10. arcticap

    arcticap Well-Known Member

    I've heard that they shoot fairly accurately in some guns and can be effective for hunting. But when loading and shooting conicals in general (especially for hunting) one always has to be aware of the possibility that the bullet can possibily slip forward off the powder in the barrel breech and possibly "ring" or cause a slight bulge in a barrel. Sabots hold very tight in that respect, but once a conical is rammed halfway down the barrel and gets engraved, it can loosen up a bit and not grip the inside of the barrel as tight.
    Then when hunting, a person has to be more aware of how they hold their gun to not cause the bullet to slip forward, or the gun should be uncapped and the bullet position checked with a ramrod periodically if in doubt.
    Some conicals are harder to start than others, depending on the diameter and amount of bearing surface, and you don't want to deform them too much with the starter, and maybe a mallet and longer starter would help make loading & ramming easier much like with some sabots.
    Also, some conicals shoot better with a bore button (wool wad) between it and the powder to act as a gas check, an added expense.
    Some heavier bullets do produce more felt recoil.
  11. Kestrel

    Kestrel Well-Known Member

    Good info - thanks. I didn't know they could creep. I suppose PRBs don't have that problem? Is it because of the patch?

    Are there any drawbacks to shooting sabots in these guns?

    Thanks again.
  12. MinScout

    MinScout Well-Known Member

    Had a Lyman Trade Rifle in 50 cal. Good sights and very accurate with round balls or CVA Deerslayer bullets. Unfortunately, it was stolen. Now I have a Lyman Deerslayer which I like pretty well. Thinking of getting the Lyman aperture sight for it and having the stock shortened for cold-weather hunting. The Minnesota ML season starts in early December, iirc.
  13. arcticap

    arcticap Well-Known Member

    No, PRB's really aren't known to have that problem unless the PRB was loaded way too loosely I guess.
    Sabots don't usually have that problem either, but maybe some of the newer Powerbelts might since they have easier loading and expanding bases just like some Mini designs which are noted for slippage issues too.
    The drawbacks to shooting sabots is that they can be harder to load (use a mallet!); they can leave a thin film of plastic residue that can build up on the inside of the barrel after a small number of shots; and bullets are often more expensive for plinking and "fun" shooting (buy them in bulk!). Also, some brands sabots/bullet combo's don't achieve as good accuracy as others, and you never know if it's the bullet or brand of the sabot (consistency issues at times).
    If your only shooting a small number of shots while hunting, this really isn't an issue. You just need to test for that first accurate shot out of a cold, clean barrel, as if it was your first shot while hunting. Sabots can provide very good first shot reliability, repeatability and accuracy, once you find the right combo. The more shots you take without swabbing, the more accuracy tends to lessen. But it's usually still acceptable for maybe 5 shots or so, depending on the brand and amount of powder used, gun etc...
    You do need a gun with a medium or faster twist barrel for decent accuracy though.
  14. Tom Bri

    Tom Bri Well-Known Member

    I have a Lyman Trade Rifle and I love it. It shoots patched balls and heavy conicals with good accuracy. I recently tried a hollow base lighter slug and it was OK too, but I only shot a few so not much experience with that. Never use saboted.

    Any ball or conical could creep forward over time if it is left loaded and carried, jounced around. Before shooting you should always reseat the bullet if possible. Obviously you might not be able to do that when hunting! In general try to hold the gun muzzle up so gravity is working for you, not against in keeping the load seated.

    The half-cock position is just big enough to use when capping, and is plenty if you use a capping tool. I don't bother though, I just use the full-cock position, cap it, and then gently lower the hammer. The half-cock is not supposed to be a safety anyway, so I don't bother with it much.

    I think this is a great gun, it looks good and shoots good.
  15. mec

    mec Well-Known Member

    I've shot them in this plains pistol and they work well with the 1/30 twist. Some of the literature warns against using bullets as they might creep forward and become a barrel obstruction. I've bump checked this pistol with them and don't detect a problem though it might be a good idea to do a press check with the ram rod ever now and then just to make sure.
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2010

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