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Smoke pole homework?

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by Wylie1, Mar 18, 2011.

  1. Wylie1

    Wylie1 Well-Known Member

    I was just tinkering with my CVA Buckhorn Muzzle loader today and was wondering if any of you may have done some customizing of you smoke poles for greater accuracy?

    I can get some pictures of where I'm at and fill you in more on where I plan to go with this muzzle loader if you'd like?
  2. junkman_01

    junkman_01 member

    I'm sure you are proud of it, but it's a modern in-line, so don't bother.
  3. Wylie1

    Wylie1 Well-Known Member

    I understand where you're coming from but if I'm able to help someone make their muzzle loader more accurate I can't see the harm in posting a few pictures of work done to a modern muzzle loader. :neener:
  4. Yarddog

    Yarddog Well-Known Member

    Heck I still shoot my side lock & hunt with it, A TC New Englander iron site out to a 100yds 3" groups from bench ; ) PS Good luck on the MODS
  5. Jaymo

    Jaymo Well-Known Member

    I approve of making improvements. I like for anything of mine to be the best it can.
  6. Wylie1

    Wylie1 Well-Known Member

    Thanks! I may have even brought a second life back to my old Mosin today, got the stress off the receiver, found some points that were bound up. She gets some new scope rings tonight. This Barnes CR10 is some amazing stuff and I just don't mean the smell.:barf:

    I'm all about that myself!
  7. arcticap

    arcticap Well-Known Member

    I'd like to know more.
    What are the improvements, free float the barrel and/or bed the action?
  8. Wylie1

    Wylie1 Well-Known Member

    Yep, although I haven't done the bedding yet I am working on a way to stop the tamping rod from creating tension on the barrel. The stock didn't seem real stable for the floating of the barrel so I cleared out all of the support plastic and epoxy bedded an aluminum channel for the tamping rod to slide in and to create some strength in the stock so it wouldn't move soo much after the barrel was floated.

    I think I'll fill the plastic block full of epoxy, I was going to do it today but other projects came first.

    I'll try to remember to update this as I go along.
  9. scrat

    scrat Well-Known Member

    The CVA buckhorn is a very accurate rifle right out of the box. There really isnt anything that can be reasonably improved. Same time why. Your biggest challenge is just finding the right load the works well with your muzzle loader. For mine. Right out of the box i found using Sabots was very very accurate. i purchased several different types as well as blank sabots to use my own bullets. I found that using any type of hallow point bullet reduced accuracy to the point to where it was useless to use. Most spiere type bullets worked very very well. However sabots were also a pain to load and clean. So then i tried using the R.E.A.L mold by lee. i started casting my own then just tailored down the load until i found something that really works. right now using the REAL mold with some bore butter i use 95 grains Goex 2ff and it seems to really work. So as for the muzzle loader there is not much to do. its a muzzle loader not like you can cut the stock and put a folding stock with a fixed bayonet and a red dot laser with a flashlight on the left when you have 1 shot.

    I guess i can do all that, it may just scare the cardboard or steel that i shoot at to fall over on its own.
  10. Wylie1

    Wylie1 Well-Known Member

    There is always room for improvement. This muzzle loader had a slight push from the left side of the stock on the barrel.
    They are illegal for hunting here so I can't see using a different bullet at the range and than have a different POI in the field.
    The only bullets I have found that are legal are hollow points, 295 grain Powerbelt none coated are what we use for Elk here. If I am correct we can't customize our bullets here for hunting either.

    I use 95 grains but I use 777 and I had to change the breech block to a #11 cap because we can't use 209s. I've read that the 777 and the #11 caps are a bad mix because of ignition issues but as long as I keep the nipple clean it doesn't give me any issues.

    A laser would be illegal here as well as optics. I only shoot at paper with the muzzle loader for sighting in and then it's off to the field for freezer fillings.

    Rules are pretty strict here in Idaho compared to other states when it come to hunting.
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2011
  11. Loyalist Dave

    Loyalist Dave Well-Known Member

    While there may always be "room for improvement" not every improvement may be an advantage to the human operator. It's nice to bed the barrel, and worry about the stock rubbing, or pressure from the ramrod..., on a 1000 yard gun that would really be a factor. Are you shooting it that far?

    The only accuracy "advantage" in an inline is the ability to throw the projectile accurately over a longer distance than its traditional ancestors (imho). The best method for this is the sabot, but if you are limited to modernized conicals a-la the CVA powerbelt..., you are now closer to traditional range, OR you are mounting a tang peep sight or mounting a mil dot scope (or perhaps messing with scope adjustments when in the field).

    The Civil War rifles threw heavy conicals over long distances, with adjustable sights, at standing human targets. Before I'd worry about improving the barrel accuracy, I'd get a load that was accurate close, and a sight system to extend that accuracy beyond a football field. When I got it close to 250 yards and accurate enough to hunt, then I'd worry about bedding, and stock pressure and ramrod pressure. :D

    Otherwise it's an academic exercise, which can be lots of fun I admit :D, but are often not practically applicable. (OK I will also admit I have tinkered with many a long arm to see how accurate I could really get it to shoot, and I wasn't competing or anything..., I was just curious. :D) Meaning, I know a fellow who uses his own loads for his rifle, and at the range he can put bullet after bullet in the same hole at 200 yards..., but he can't get anywhere close to that shooting it without the bench and a stool. Put him in the field, and all that "accuracy" gives him fits (barrel heavy, stock doesn't fit him right when he's all that is supporting it, high magnification scope "dances" all over the place, and he's not used to a tight shooting position in the field). ;) In fact he doesn't use his bench rifle for hunting.

    Another person at the local club has a Remington bolt action carbine in .308. Pencil thin barrel, and it doesn't group well at all at 100 yards. BUT the first shot from the barrel is extremely accurate. (Additional shots heat the barrel and he throws a "string" on the target)

    He could worry about the wooden stock changing pressure on the barrel as the humidity and season changes, he could free float the barrel and bed the action, he could have a better barrel installed, and he could have an after market trigger (maybe a Timney) installed. AND he wouldn't take more large game than he does now, for all of those modifications really make a difference at a match nor at very long range..., not necessarily on the first shot for most folks. ;)

  12. Jaymo

    Jaymo Well-Known Member

    Hurry, let's all p*ss in his Cheerios and trample his enthusiasm.
    Come on, guys. There's nothing wrong with his endeavors to improve his gun. After all, why should we even shoot black powder when much more modern guns exist?
    The answer is for the fun of it. For some of us, improving things is fun. I enjoy modding and improving air rifles as much as powder burners.
    Small improvements are improvements, nonetheless. Better is better than not better.
    Why put a scope on a gun? It doesn't make the gun more accurate. But, it DOES enable you to shoot more accurately, by eliminating some of the human error/limitations of human eyesight involved.
    I am intrigued by his efforts and applaud them.

    Just because a particular load shoots well prior to bedding/accurizing, doesn't mean it'll shoot as well after. It could shoot much better, or much worse. I say apply everything that is known about accurizing rifles to the gun, and then work up a load.
    I've had plenty of powder burners and airguns that shot better with one load/pellet after tuning/accurizing than they did before. I've seen mediocre pellets/loads become preferred by the gun and I've seen stellar performers become mediocre after accurizing.

    More accurate is always better, so long as it doesn't adversely affect reliability.

    I say bed it, free float it, and then work up a load. Most of all, enjoy it. We don't have to justify our hobbies or pleasures(as long as no one gets hurt) to anyone other than ourselves, and sometimes our wives.
  13. junkman_01

    junkman_01 member

  14. arcticap

    arcticap Well-Known Member

    Some folks who have gotten less then stellar performance from their expensive muzzle loaders often resort to bedding their gun and action, sometimes very elaborately. A lot of otherwise nice guns of all sorts only need some expert tinkering to help them give more accurate and reliable performance.
    Only the owner can decide whether the rifle is meeting his expectations or not. Shooting and making improvements to them can be a rewarding hobby, the gun is a personalized tool, and learning how to fix some of their related issues are all part of the art of gun smithing.
    A lot of folks like to tinker with their revolvers and I've seem some great improvised fixes shown by people who are very talented and dedicated to the shooting sports.
    Everything that they do and show us is archived here on THR for others to learn from and to try out for themselves if they think that it's a good idea.
    Even how a gun is adorned is a form of art.
    Well done Wylie1, please keep us updated about your progress.
    That's an impressive custom ramrod channel and artfully done. :)
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2011
  15. Wylie1

    Wylie1 Well-Known Member

    I was questioning myself in posting modifications to a short range gun but this is what I do. I am a perpetual tinkerer and there is a lot of trail and error involved in a lot of cases.

    I'd take that first shot pencil thin barreled rifle over a heavy target rifle any day of the week because it's the first round out of the barrel that matters to me. Loyalist and Purist are synonymous Dave and I don't hold anything against fly fishermen either but when it comes down to it I can fish the same waters with a spinning rod and most of the time match or do better then most fly fisherman.

    As far as ranging at greater distances I am working with a three sight system at the moment that does make target acquisition a bit tougher but narrows down the error margin IMHO. The verdict is far from being cast on this system at this time being all the projects I have going but I hope to make up my mind before I have to hunt with this muzzle loader.

    No worries man. :)
    Even award winning inventors have critics and nay sayers, if they are open minded enough to take the greater percentages comments into account the better they make out in the end, is the way I have been dealing with it.

    I shoot black powder because of the Elk hunts we have here in Idaho. Although I wasn't lucky enough to bag one this year I did help pack one out that was taken with the same muzzle loader I own. The 54 cal. that was loaned to me for the weekends hunt wasn't grouping very well so the weekend after I had the Buckhorn without much experience with it.
    This is exactly what I'm doing although I have a good idea of what could be brought out of the gun while the barrel was bedded in the stock pushing on the barrel.

    I agree 100% although the wife had to go!
  16. Wylie1

    Wylie1 Well-Known Member

    Looks like you beat me to the post. :)

    Thank you!

    I'll just have to see how it does once I'm finished with what I'm doing and go from there. Being what tension there was on the side of the barrel is the only reason I floated the barrel. If I end up bedding the barrel again I'll start by just bedding it to its taper point and go through the evaluation again.
  17. Jaymo

    Jaymo Well-Known Member

    Wylie1, funny you mention that it's a short range gun. Look at the time and money spent customizing and accurizing pistols, and it's universally accepted as a good expenditure of money.
    I'm not a huge fan of inlines. I like them, but I'm more interested in traditional. However, they do have their uses and advantages.
    I own a TC Thunder Hawk inline that I was thinking about using as the basis of either a BP shotgun, or a prechargaed pneumatic big bore airgun. I paid 30 dollars for it and found it has a Timney trigger when I stripped it to clean it.
    I may bed the action, install a Pachmayr Decelerator or Sims Limbsaver recoil pad and keep it as a frontstuffing .50 cal rifle, using cast conicals. I'm just not a huge fan of plastic sabots and pistol bullets. If I want .444 Marlin power, I can hunt with my Marlin .444 and have 6 shots on tap. Though it is nice to have that kind of power in a smokepole. I think I'll stick to TC Maxi Hunters in it. That gives even more muzzle energy.
  18. Wylie1

    Wylie1 Well-Known Member

    Nice! That would be $30 well spent.

    I swap over a limb saver (The squishy rubber Wally World model)from my Mosin when I'm shooting the CVA. The $20 for this limb saver has gone a long way so I got another for the 770 I was given as a gift.

    Sounds like you have a pretty nice collection!
  19. buttrap

    buttrap Well-Known Member

    We the issue is most places they are not legal for for hunting is all.
  20. Wylie1

    Wylie1 Well-Known Member

    Excuse me, I don't understand?

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