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Burned Some Charcoal Today

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by Dave Markowitz, Nov 3, 2019.

  1. Dave Markowitz

    Dave Markowitz Member

    Joined:
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    Plymouth Meeting, PA
    Today I made some smoke with my Cabela's / Investarm Hawken. (And yes, the lock is on the correct side.)

    Cabelas_Hawken.jpg


    The rifle is a .50 caliber with a 1:48 twist. Last Winter, I installed a Lyman 57 SML aperture sight along with a Lyman white bead front sight. I'd shot the gun with a different, higher front sight, but not with the current sight. So, my first order of business was to zero it because with the lower front sight, it was shooting about 18" high at 50 yards.


    range.jpg


    The initial zero was with Hornady .490 round balls, 0.018" pillow ticking patches, and 80 grains of Swiss 3Fg black powder sparked by CCI No.11 caps. The patches were lubed with October Country's Bumblin Bear Grease.

    I settled on a slightly different load: 70 grains of Swiss 3Fg and 0.020" patches. The 15-shot target below is actually two groups as marked by the brackets. The second, lower group is 7 shots all in the 10 ring.

    target.jpg


    I like this ball / patch / lube combination. I only swabbed after every fifth shot and the combination of the tight patch and the Bumblin Bear Grease remained easy to load. The temperature was around 50 degrees F. and the BBG remained easy to apply to the patches.

    I recovered some of my fired patches, which show no signs of cutting or burning:

    fired-patches.jpg


    Another change I'd made to the rifle since the last time I shot it was to swap out the factory nipple in favor of a Hot Shot nipple, which has two small vents in the cone. The theory behind this is to allow the air contained inside the cone to escape when the flash of the cap hits it, improving ignition. My main reason for trying this was to improve first round ignition if I haven't popped a cap on the nipple to clear out the patent breech's flash channel.

    I noticed that the Hot Shot nipple got a lot dirtier on its outside after multiple shots. There were a couple times when the accumulated exterior fouling prevented me from properly seating the cap, causing the cap to fail to ignite on the first hit. This would only be a problem in extended shot strings, not while hunting.

    For cleaning at the range I used moose milk made up of a Ballistol/water mix. I've found this to be very good at removing black powder fouling. In theory, if you run a few patches wet with this through the barrel and can't clean it all out, it should leave a light film of oil behind when the water evaporates.

    To complete cleaning after I got home I used a flush nipple from Track of the Wolf. The Cabela's Hawken has a hooked patent breech allowing easy removal of the barrel from the stock. However, because the tang sight isn't mounted to the barrel I don't want to remove it to dunk the breech end in a bucket of water, because I don't know if it'll return to zero. The flush nipple allows you to pump water through the barrel using a piece of vinyl tube. The tube that came with it is a bit on the short side so I'll probably pick up a longer piece at a hardware store.

    The blue painter's tape it hold the tube in the water.

    flush-nipple.jpg


    I may get this rifle out in the woods for buck season.
     
    bannockburn, 1KPerDay, robhof and 9 others like this.
  2. LaneP

    LaneP Member

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    Nice review. You have that tuned up right.
     
  3. Bigted

    Bigted Member

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    Oct 27, 2019
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    Western Oregon
    That is good shooting my friend. Looks like you and your rifle are getting along right nicely.

    Ted
     
  4. Shanghai McCoy

    Shanghai McCoy Member

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    Those Cabela's side locks are good rifles. Investarms is also the company that makes Lyman rifles.
    Good shooting there Sir, and good luck hunting with it. :thumbup:
     
  5. Dave Markowitz

    Dave Markowitz Member

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    Indeed. I'd wanted a left handed Lyman Trade Rifle, which of course has never been offered (unlike the Great Plains Rifle). This rifle is basically a left handed Trade Rifle with the additions of a cap box and double set triggers. Cabela's no longer offers this particular rifle although they have a similar model made by Pedersoli. On the other hand, Dixie Gun Works does sell this rifle in both percussion and flint.
     
  6. ruger357

    ruger357 Member

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    Very nice
     
    Dave Markowitz likes this.
  7. Old Stumpy

    Old Stumpy Member

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    Mar 3, 2019
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    It looks like the same rifle that I had in .54 caliber back in the 1980s. I recall that I was impressed with these rifles because the quality and the walnut was just about as good back then as a TC Hawken.
    I also preferred the trigger guard shape to the TC.
    And of course it was a .54 while my TC was a .50.

    I don't think that removing the barrel from the stock would have much effect on the zero.
    The hooked breech is usually under a bit of tension when you drop the barrel down that last little bit. And, since the barrel lug is just a close fit in the tang mortise, with nothing other than the mechanical fit to retain it, every time you fire it the recoil would shift your zero if it was going to happen.
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2019
  8. robhof

    robhof Member

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    I was given the Right hand version in a kit of 54 cal. many yrs back for Christmas, took a few deer with it, I later got a Thompson one and found them to be interchangeable both barrel, lock and even trigger group.
     
    Dave Markowitz likes this.
  9. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    Looks like a shooter!
     
    Dave Markowitz likes this.
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