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Help wanted selecting first black powder rifle

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by Trent, Sep 2, 2012.

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  1. Trent

    Trent Resident Wiseguy

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    Ok, insofar as cartridge guns go... aside from powder volume, are there any inherent accuracy differences in .45-70, .45-90, or .45-100 cartridges? I would think the higher velocity means a flatter trajectory, but that doesn't necessarily mean better accuracy.

    I'm so lost here it's not even funny. I went on Dixie gun works, and was looking through muzzle loading and cartridge black powder rifles, but everything for sale might as well be written in ancient Egyptian or Arabic; my brain doesn't recognize any of the names!

    At this point in the juncture, my buying prowess is about as good as closing my eyes, pointing at a random spot on the screen, and checking out.

    I'd rather make an informed decision but with the sheer number of different models and variations of rifles out there, it would take months or years of research to arrive at an educated decision.

    I've spent 15 years learning about modern military small arms. I can take apart and reassemble just about anything blindfolded, tell you what every part, notch, recess is designed to do, troubleshoot most anything, even give you a brief (or long) history on just about anything that has been fired in anger since the advent of smokeless powder.

    But here.. fellas.. I'm a fish out of water. :)

    Since I like reloading, I have no doubt I'd enjoy a cartridge arm. I take a great deal of pleasure loading and plunking mellow 45 Colt cartridges in to my lonely Armi wheelgun and plugging cans out back.

    Since I want to learn to hunt, I have no doubt I'd also enjoy a muzzleloader.

    So now the thread is "help me pick my first TWO blackpowder rifles".

    300 yards is the max range I have available readily, and that's the side of the shooting range I always set my stuff up on. So on the cartridge rifle, I would like to be able to put rounds on a 15" square target at that distance, so 5 MOA is kind of a guideline; any less accurate than that, and I'm going to be frustrated. There's also a 50 yard backstop on that side of the range for sighting, so the muzzle loader will also find a home there for hunting practice.
     
  2. kBob

    kBob Member

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    BHP,

    Via an act of the US congress it was the War Between the States.......and Great Great Grandpa Steven of various Florida Regiments (state regiments all) saw nothing civil about it I am sure.

    But lets not get started...again....

    -kBob
     
  3. Trent

    Trent Resident Wiseguy

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    OK OK OK enough someone just point me to a rifle or two I can click "BUY NOW" on that'll get the job done lol!
     
  4. Trent

    Trent Resident Wiseguy

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    C'mon, surely someone has a smokewagon recommendation I can act on.

    My first acquisition will be on blind faith - so guide me in the form of a link to something I can buy. :)
     
  5. Dixiejack

    Dixiejack Member

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    I have always wanted a Gibbs style rifle, but with a left hand lock. Putting together the iron would not be as hard as finding a good stock maker.
     
  6. mykeal

    mykeal Member

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    If you want to stay with muzzleloaders, the Pedersoli Gibbs in .451 is the rifle of choice for the majority of long range match shooters.

    OTOH, the Pedersoli Sharps in 45-70 is a very popular BPCR for long range shooting. AFAK there's really no difference in 45-70, -90 or -120 as far as accuracy is concerned. The choice is determined more by the size of game one wants to hunt. For punching holes, stay with the 45-70 - it won't hurt nearly as much.

    Hunting rifle: Lyman Great Plains flintlock in .54 cal. is my personal choice; the choices here are huge and very personal.
     
  7. kBob

    kBob Member

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    Trent,

    The Gibbs was a target rifle used by many members of the British Volunteer Rifles Corps in matches not governed by British military standards requiring an Enfield type rifle. If you want accuracy more than you want military loooks you might consider listening to the guys recomending the Gibbs.

    -kBob
     
  8. whosyrdaddy

    whosyrdaddy Member

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    OK, HERE

    Well, if you are willing to forgo the "Buy Now" stipulation, you may be able to get a (IMHO) much better deal like maybe THIS one.

    Both guns are equipped with high quality barrels featuring fast twist, shallow grooved rifling well suited for sabots or paper patched conicals. They also perform well with tightly patched round balls when combined with low to moderate charges.
     
  9. CraigC
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    CraigC Member

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    The Pedersoli Gibbs is a gorgeous rifle. I always make it a point to handle one every time I go to Dixie Gun Works. Very comfortable, very well balanced and very, very tempting.
     
  10. Trent

    Trent Resident Wiseguy

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  11. Trent

    Trent Resident Wiseguy

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    whosyrdaddy - looks like those Knight's have really rave reviews on accuracy, too.
     
  12. kBob

    kBob Member

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    Trent ,

    I know things must have changed at Dixie since Turner passed on but you might try giving them a call and asking to talk to someone about the Gibbs and all you might need to make it work.

    The Gibbs is the rifle the first Creedmore shooters had to beat with their new fangled breech loaders.....and it was not easy even with all the advantages of breech loading.

    -kBob
     
  13. CraigC
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    CraigC Member

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    That's it! They ain't light or cheap but they are mighty fine. I kinda wish they made a sporting model 2lbs lighter and in .50cal.
     
  14. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    The difference between the various BPCR cartridges has to do with the amount of powder you want to pack. Also when you're dealing with modern .45-70 or .50-70 cases it can be very difficult to load to their original parameters because our brass is thicker and not balloon headed. It can be done with a compression die but it's tricky. So usually people have de facto downloaded rounds with those. If you move up to the bigger "buffalo" rounds beyond the military ones then you have more room to play with powder-wise. But the down side is those rounds tend to be far more exotic and can be tough to find brass and components for. Whereas .45-70 is a piece of cake to find equipment for.

    Overall I have had the most fun with flintlocks but for efficiency and ease at the range the cartridge guns are way better. You can take the time to tool your loads at home beforehand, and you can make your own drop tube and such pretty easily.

    It sort of depends on what you're after. If you want to shoot maybe 25 rounds a session and don't have a lot of rain to worry about at your range, the flinters are loads of fun. Smoothbores are quicker to load but less accurate.

    FWIW I've found caplocks to be *less* reliable than flintlocks. Go figure. With a flint so long as your frizzen face is tempered and your flash hole unclogged, the worst that happens is it sometimes takes two tries. But caplocks can have more serious issues. I've had a number of them go "click click click" while everyone else is waiting on me on the line. Ur-simple flinters at least make go boom.

    If you want to get maximum accuracy and power, the cartridge rifles may be the way to go. A good one with a fine-tuned load can easily match the accuracy of an average modern bolt action rifle, believe it or not. And since they use conical slugs of often enormous mass, they take your hunting range from a max of maybe 150 yards out to twice that or more. They're like artillery pieces. The trajectory issues can be addressed with good pre-sighting before your hunt. With a sharp eye and good sights they are absolutely viable long-range hunting rifles. In fact they evolved from long-range sniping rifles during the CW and became famous as long range buff guns. Those huge, low-velocity rounds are killers even out at half a mile.

    They can be somewhat complicated to load for and the learning curve is steep for things like paper patched bullets. But the open breech allows for much easier cleaning between rounds. And the fact that you have your loads prepared ahead of time means your session can last all day with periodic barrel cleanings. I like them because I can get them ready ahead of time and not have to worry about getting in conversations a the range and loading a dry ball.

    Prices range all over the place. Some of the Sharps are crazy expensive, but you can find refurbed rolling blocks or replica trapdoors for reasonable prices. I've got an antique .50-70 roller that shoots surprisingly good.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2012
  15. CraigC
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    CraigC Member

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    I've never used a flintlock but the folks that use them often, never complain about reliability. I have issues with my percussion rifles constantly. Last season I had a doe stand and wait for me to recap my Lyman and put one through her boiler room. I'm ready for a good flintlock.
     
  16. onetohunt

    onetohunt Member

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    Trent I love BP. The rifle that I have found that seems to do it all for me are the Knights. I really like the bolt style rifles. The Mountaineer is a real shooter and can make that 300 yard shot you are talking about. Give them a look, I don't think you will be dissappointed.
     
  17. MidwestProwler

    MidwestProwler Member

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    Info you ask for

    To answer your questions. Accuracy at 300 yards. A dead on zero at 300 yards would put you at almost 8in high at 50 yards, 13in high at 100 yards, 14 1/2in high at 200 yards, 5 1/2 high at 275 yards & dead on at 300 yards. As you can see this would mean you need to aim very low at closer ranges to hit your target. Most any modern inline muzzleloader with modern sabot ammo in 45 cal with 50 cal sabot will reach 300 with accuracy but having some energy left to kill clean with is another story at 300 yards. With magnum load of powder that is not smokeless powder you are left with around 850 ft/lbs or less at 300 yards. Note magnum powder loads are rarely as accurate also & you would need to dial in the scope for wind every shot or dial for closer shots like a sniper would do. You could guess & hold over or under but that would not be very accurate at all. Some scopes have drop compensation & rise but not to 15 inches that's extreme & would require you to dial the scope - count clicks every shot. This is also why a sniper has a spotter with a scope this is part of his job to instruct the sniper of wind elevation so on.. The sniper just dials it in.

    The Savage 10ML-II is the only true smokeless powder capable inline bolt action muzzleloader & due to using modern smokeless powder would be much more capable for your intended 300 yard goal. A patched round ball could hit a target 300 yards away but remember its made of lead like a shotguns slug not jacketed so it will flatten out in flight like a blob accuracy goes right out the window at that range along with ft/lbs.


    I understand from your post you intend to use this for deer hunting. My advice would be go check your state laws. Can you use a scope? Can you use sabot ammo & what size restrictions on projectile or muzzleloader if any? Are you limited to only black powder or approved BP subs such as pyrodex? Is blackhorn 209 powder legal to use during the season? What restrictions apply to ignition type? Are Inlines legal?

    If all goes well with the above I would recommend for deer hunting out to about 200 yards max range a Thompson Center Omega 50 cal with stainless barrel & laminated thumb-hole stock. For a cheaper option get the Omega z5 version if will do just as well. I would top it with a standard scope of good quality like this http://www.leupold.com/hunting-shooting/scopes/shotgunmuzzleloader-scopes/ultimateslam-2-7x33mm/

    A 3-9 magnification scope may be more to your liking if you plan on most shots at 200+ yards. If you posses the skill set & want to dial the scope every shot for wind & drop or rise at different ranges by all means get a scope capable of field dialing like a tactical scope it will cost you tho.

    As for equipment have a look at my youtube channel It will give you a good idea of what your getting into. I know people will recommend a bunch of guns to you but keep the following in mind in your decision. A break action inline won't be as accurate due to hing pin like a single shot shotgun. Under recoil it introduces poi or point of impact changes. Stick to a bolt action or a drop action like the Omega design with a fixed barrel position free floated. The breech plug design is important if you plan on using blackhorn 209. Example some CVA inlines require you to purchase a blackhorn 209 capable breech plug. The thompson center omega was the test gun for blackhorn 209 it is truly a very amazing powder & that gun has never had a problem with it. Primers are not all created equal that's why I use CCI 209 Magnum shot shell primers not the special muzzleloader ones. The powder I use also calls for this & my gun is capable of using both of them from the factory. I have seen ignition problems with this setup but that was due to user error such as using wrong primer type.

    Hope this helps any questions I may be able to help you with just shoot me a pm. Here is a link to my channel with some good accurate information http://www.youtube.com/user/MidwestProwler/videos The videos to watch muzzleloader vs shotgun pt 1 & pt 2 slug gun ammo & muzzleloader ammo.

    Have fun be safe :D
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2012
  18. Trent

    Trent Resident Wiseguy

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    MidwestProwler-

    That is one heck of a first post. Welcome to THR. :)

    As far as legality:


    Legal Firearms

    Shotguns, loaded with slugs only, of not larger than 10 gauge nor smaller than 20 gauge, not capable of firing more than 3 consecutive slugs; or
    Single or double barreled muzzleloading rifles of at least .45 caliber shooting a single projectile through a barrel of at least sixteen inches in length; or
    Centerfire revolvers or centerfire single-shot handguns of .30 caliber or larger with a minimum barrel length of 4 inches.

    Additional Muzzleloading Restrictions\

    A muzzleloading firearm is defined as a firearm that is incapable of being loaded from the breech end.

    Only black powder or a "black powder substitute" such as Pyrodex may be used. Modern smokeless powders are an approved blackpowder substitute only in muzzleloading firearms that are specifically designed for their use.

    Percussion caps (shotgun primers are legal), wheellock, matchlock or flint type ignition only may be used, except the Connecticut Valley Arms (CVA) electronic ignition shall be legal to use.
     
  19. MidwestProwler

    MidwestProwler Member

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    Thanks for the warm welcome. I just seen your post & know how it is to be starting out in the BP world. To many people have been hurt with inaccurate information about black powder guns. Here is another link to more information & research about BP guns then you will ever need not saying this guy is god or nothing but he knows his stuff. http://www.randywakeman.com/inline.htm You can find answers & accurate info to just about any question you have at that link just scroll down enjoy :D P.S. With the laws you posted I would go with this http://www.lg-outdoors.com/proddetail.asp?prod=28732 or for cheaper http://www.lg-outdoors.com/proddetail.asp?prod=46007 It will be just as good but I would much prefer the stainless fully upgraded model it is what I own & a true sub moa gun. I would top it with a leupold scope they can take serious abuse & still hold zero. I ran mine over with the truck by mistake god as my witness. Don't ask how it happened lol but it still holds zero clear as a bell also I will never need another warranty for life is nice to :) yet to use it. I would only shoot this powder in it http://www.blackhorn209.com/ from the laws you posted this should be fine. & I like this deer stopper http://www.midwayusa.com/product/12...th-45-caliber-250-grain-polymer-tip-flat-base By the way for a 45 cal bullet of any kind in that gun the hph-24 sabot is the way to go not to tight not to loose amazing accuracy. The spitfire t-ez come with this sabot in package cheaper to buy the bullet & sabots separate tho. I put my faith in http://truprep.com/store/cci-magnum-primer-209-shot-1pk.html never fails to go boom rain sleet snow. Clean with this http://www.hoppes.com/products/solvents.html I would refrain from using t7 pyrodex or any other powder it's not worth it with a little research you will see why. Your laws are well about the same as mine in my state this is the setup I use & never fails to amaze me or the guys at the range or in the field. You do your part it will make you smile every shot but let you know it's capable of more & that's a good feeling makes me practice more for sure.
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2012
  20. mykeal

    mykeal Member

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    Not to start a flame contest or anything, but just to let you know - there are different opinions about Randy Wakeman in the black powder community. This is The High Road, so I'll refrain from further comment.
     
  21. MidwestProwler

    MidwestProwler Member

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    I agree. However the information he provides with ballistics & testing using a gun range chronograph seem to be accurate if compared to other information from other sources. The only information I would believe may be inaccurate would be information in regards to CVA. I feel that's how opinions of him come to be what they are in the BP world today. He puts such a high standard on safety & the track record of firearms as history shows it. CVA has a bad past not to say this is the case today or to knock CVA arms. I however do like thompson center arms & faced this dilemma when I was in the market for a muzzleloader. My choice was based on my own research not on Randy & his word. I found that CVA arms are made overseas not always a bad thing but T/C arms are all made & assembled in the U.S.A with US grade material such as steel. I also wanted to shoot blackhorn209 powder I was told by CVA I would have to buy a breech plug that could be used for this from them at that time. However a newer CVA may not need this as I think they are now supplied with this from factory in the little town of Bergara in northern Spain. Note not all of them come from this location some are manufactured on-site in Spain or sourced from other manufacturers. This I really did not like at all who knows what your getting. You may get one from Spain accurate as all get out or China or who knows with totally different accuracy. The last reason I leaned to the T/C arms. The Omega was the test gun for blackhorn 209 the powder I wanted to use. T/C has a very good history the Omega is proven & withstood the test of time. Warranty lifetime transferable CVA offer this but not transferable. I wanted someone that would stand behind the product 100% it also gives the product a much higher resale value with this. I know the price is higher on T/C made arms but I would pay it for all the pros listed above but that's me. I would do some research on whatever gun you may be looking to buy. The CVA arms are priced lower I know for a fact they are shooters with accuracy seen them on range many times. I however IMHO feel it's not the gun for me. I like Knight made inlines good history proven. T/C same deal. Savage made one of the most sought after held to center-fire standards & test unlike any other muzzleloader proven - withstood test of time also. That's why I would recommend any of them. T/C is also the most copied inline to date they started it all.
     
  22. mykeal

    mykeal Member

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    I own, and shoot, black powder guns made by Lyman, Investarms, CVA, Thompson Center, Bondini, Zoli, Uberti, Pietta, Palmetto, FAUL, ASM, Euroarms/ASP, Pedersoli, Ruger, Knight, IAB, Jager and Colt. My experience with CVA, starting in 1970, has been nothing but positive. My experience with Mr. Wakeman, however, has been very much the opposite. That's all I am willing to say on this forum and in someone else's thread.
     
  23. MidwestProwler

    MidwestProwler Member

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    Now you got me curious with your experience with Mr Wakeman. How would it relate to Thompson Center Arms Co or CVA customer service or quality of firearms? As far as I know Mr Wakeman would just be a source of information or advertisement. I would also add if this is the case Savage would be the one he would do this for the most over many others. He always talks about the quality of the savage 10ML-II & we all know that gun would arguably be the best quality inline made to date. I have to disagree with you if you base the gun quality from T/C or customer service - quality of any product from any gun maker on your opinion of Mr Wakeman. I am still curious as to what bad experience you have had with him & the nature of how it would relate to the products customer service or quality of a said Co. Products that he may recommend - review like blackhorn 209 powder & many others? If this has some bearing on Quality of any said firearm please explain I always have a ear open & willing to listen-learn. knowledge is power in my book & if it saves me money or gets me something of higher quality then I'm all for it.:)
     
  24. mykeal

    mykeal Member

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    What part of
    don't you understand?
     
  25. MidwestProwler

    MidwestProwler Member

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    I understand fully I simply ask how it's would relate-contribute to the original question ask for information about black powder & a given muzzleloaders quality-accuracy. If you don't want answer my question no worries. I took it you was offering further explanation. Is there a thread or forum you could direct me to that may explain this further.:) If my questions or differing opinion has offended you I'm sorry :) Like others I'm always looking for more information about firearms & what or why people would recommend one over the other. I would also respectfully disagree with your opinion on CVA. My opinion of them is not very good for many reasons this being the most recent 2011 http://www.itcblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/thompson.swcomplaint.pdf no one likes a thief I sure don't. Does it make it a bad gun or show the kind of business - people your dealing with well that's up to the owners to decide. Looks like it's all about money to me not quality & customers but what do I care who's toes get stepped on. They have a history of things like this going back to a mass court ordered recall from around 1997ish. Looks like more then Ford vs Chevy to me but that's my opinion.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2012
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