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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. Elkins45

    Elkins45 Member

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    Given this info then the Savage 10ML-II is the only way to go IMHO. Better hurry and snatch one up if you can find it--Savage has ceased production. You can still find some new ones on the auction sites.

    I love mine so much that I bought a spare when I found out they were being discontinued.
     
  2. Crawdad1

    Crawdad1 Member

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    If you want to shoot accurately at three hundred yards with a muzzleloader then you’ll have to go with a conical bullet. The Civil War replicas would be your best bet as they have the faster twist rates suitable for that type of long range shooting. Pedersoli makes some real nice civil war replica rifles.

    Try here
    http://www.taylorsfirearms.com/blackpowder-rifles.html
     
  3. frontiergander

    frontiergander Member

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    midwest is a troll guys, hes now following my name to the forums i am registered on and preaching the Wakeman tales.
     
  4. rodwha

    rodwha Member

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    "...I'd be unlikely to get a clear line of sight past 50 yards. But, that being said, I like a challenge, which is where the other requirement comes in."

    I think part of the challenge and allure is patched round ball (PRB). It's good out to 75-125 yds. Past 75 yds you really need to understand how it's effected by the wind.

    If you are hunting in thick stuff you may want a shorter barrel. If you are stalking and not sitting you may want a lighter rifle. I have been pushing for a rifle that fits these scenarios. For me a Lyman's .50 cal percussion Deerstalker fits the bill, though I also considered the Tradition's Deerhunter, and the Pedersoli Country Hunter. None are all that expensive and can be had in percussion or flint.

    The Country Hunter has a faster twist better designed for conicals and saboted bullets. The stainless Deerstalker is more designed for sabots too, but with a slower twist (1:48").
     
  5. Lunie

    Lunie Member

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    I guess someone said "CVA" too many times.http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/shill

    And to the OP and others, my apologies for contributing to the pollution of this previously dormant thread.
     
  6. Pancho

    Pancho Member

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    A late last word for Trent of the 300yds. Muzzleloading doesn't have to be enjoyed at 300yds. 50 to 150 yds is plenty challenging when muzzleloading. The added magic of being able to enjoy all of the benefits of reloading with the advantage of instant gratification more than makes up for lack of long range shooting and you don't have to walk so far to change your targets.
     
  7. wap41

    wap41 Member

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    long range BP

    For a very accurate black powder hunting rifle I highly recommend an austin Halleck inline 50 cal.I have several and find them extremly accurate.They are made to shoot 150 grs of black powder and with a sabot the trajectory is quite flat.Mine zero'd at 100 yds will drop 3 to 4" at 200 yds.A year ago I shot my deer @235 yds and it dropped like a rock.
     
  8. Trent

    Trent Resident Wiseguy

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    Thread isn't dormant, still haven't picked out a black powder rifle. I've been paying more attention at the range when I see people shooting them, asking questions. :)
     
  9. Pancho

    Pancho Member

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    Trent, Glad you're taking careful thought.
    Just a reminder, I got as much adrenalin thrill out of autocrossing on a parking lot as the big guys got racing formula 1 on the the great road race tracks of the world.
     
  10. Trent

    Trent Resident Wiseguy

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    I used to get adrenaline road racing on the big tracks until Canada corner bit me at Road America during the Festival of Speed 2010. I was on a Gixxer 1000 built by Vesrah Motorsports, highsided and got hit by the bike behind me. Was ... nasty, and a little life altering.

    I had plenty of adrenaline teaching my boy to stalk yesterday in the woods. We spotted four deer in a large field, watched them go in to the woods, then tracked them. My son and I got to within 15 feet of a large buck. (Was teaching him to walk quietly, he's a quick learner)

    Every step was an adrenaline rush. We almost got "petting" close to the buck. :)
     
  11. Pancho

    Pancho Member

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    Evidently your stalking skills precludes the need for a 300 yd. gun.
    Can you imagine the adrenaline rush if you and your boy were armed with flintlock rifles?
    Rack on the wall, meat in the freezer and stories to tell.
     
  12. rodwha

    rodwha Member

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    "Can you imagine the adrenaline rush if you and your boy were armed with flintlock rifles?
    Rack on the wall, meat in the freezer and stories to tell."

    That's what I kind of thought when I saw him state "I like a challenge." When I became interested in a muzzleloader my first thoughts were pistol bullets in sabots, but after many questions, as well as stories and opinions, I'm more interested in patched round balls and conicals.

    I think it would be a little more gratifying. Not to mention the looks and remarks from people in hunting camp/range. Plus it would be more involved in that it seems there is more to know to do well with it vs pistol bullets in sabots.
     
  13. Trent

    Trent Resident Wiseguy

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    My son doesn't like the idea of hunting. It's actually one of the few points of contention between us, he doesn't like that I hunt.. "You have enough money to buy food, why do you have to kill it?" He seems unwilling to accept the idea that the meat I put on the table all came from a living animal. Dunno. I can't figure teenagers out.

    So, I'm trying to teach him the skills he needs without tipping him off on "why".. :)

    I don't know much about hunting per se - in fact this is the first year I'll be hunting deer. I've successfully stalked and taken turkey before (not easy, those birds have superhuman senses), and I can move very quietly through the woods.

    Compared to turkey, deer are .. well, kind of stupid critters. :)

    Flintlock sounds like fun. :)
     
  14. Pancho

    Pancho Member

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    living in Southwestern Ohio and loving the bush country of Canada and Alaska I know that there is a disconnect today with were protein comes from. Here in the midwest I could stand in a shopping mall and could ask people where an egg came from and most would not know it came from a chicken's butt.
     
  15. mykeal

    mykeal Member

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    Trent - the issue isn't where the meat came from, its the purpose of hunting. Hunting, especially whitetail deer hunting is a critical part of responsible game management. In our settlement of wilderness lands we became prey to many natural predators that also served to keep deer populations under control. We eliminated those predators out of both fear and to eliminate the competition for resources. In doing so we found that we had to take their place in keeping their food sources from exploding in population. Talk to any state game management office about what the real role of hunters are. Better yet, volunteer to survey the herds in the spring and see first hand what devastation occurs due to overpopulation.

    Michigan harvested some 400,000 deer so far this year. Assume half were does, and that those does would have produced two fawns next spring, and that half those fawns were does that produced two fawns apiece the next year while the first set were still producing. We'd be overrun with whitetails in less than 4 years. The habitat would be decimated in that time.

    Hunting is necessary to meet our commitment to preserve our planet and it's resources. See what he thinks about that.
     
  16. rodwha

    rodwha Member

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    "...why do you have to kill it?"

    My mother was like that. She would tell me what I was doing was awful and that until the deer were armed as well it wasn't fair, nor right.

    So I replied, "What chance did your hamburger get?"

    I can understand people disliking the killing, gutting, etc. part, but don't hate me for it. I don't actually care for the gutting and skinning part, but I certainly love the taste of fresh meat that didn't get hormones pumped into it!
     
  17. Pancho

    Pancho Member

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    The only thing that Mykeal left out was that a goodly number of those deer would be bumper hunted resulting in at the very least an insurance claim and at the most a human fatality. As a motorcyclist I truly dread an encounter with a deer.
     
  18. frontiergander

    frontiergander Member

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    haha true, Mr Hamburger was shot in the head a couple times with a tiny .22 to reduce damage. Deer and other wild game are not locked into a tiny little compartment and shot point blank.
     
  19. Trent

    Trent Resident Wiseguy

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    Same here. I hit a deer in 2008 at 60mph in my 3/4 ton pickup truck. It shoved the right side of my frame back a full 8", destroyed my radiator, tranny radiator, fan, grill, battery compartment, fender, and a bunch of other stuff. Managed to straighten the frame (good enough) with a friend, scavenged parts from junk yards for most of the expensive stuff, still cost me almost 2K to fix. (Had liability only on the pickup truck, insurance wouldn't cover a dime). Fixed it up good enough I ended up selling the truck for slightly more than I'd purchased it for, 5 years prior.

    I've had two close encounters on motorcycles - and know of a few who have had worse (including two who were critically injured by hitting a deer on a race track).

    My son pays more attention to facebook than human face to face contact, so in a post I tagged him in a photo we took while standing a few feet away from a buck. On it I wrote this;

    Hopefully it'll make my boy think a little.

    :)
     
  20. rodwha

    rodwha Member

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    Great post! Good view on it.

    For me hunting isn't really even about hunting. I don't mind sitting all weekend and not taking home a thing except a much relaxed mind and the enjoyment I got out of seeing the wildlife. Drinking a little beer after dinner with the fellas is a nice bonus too.

    I'm curious as to whether or not you are looking into a hunting rifle and a target rifle or one that can handle both.

    What will your hunting entail? Lots of thick brush with relatively short shooting lanes? Will you be stalking or sitting in a blind?

    What has interested you so far as far as rifle, powder type (black powder or a substitute), and projectile?
     
  21. OrangePwrx9

    OrangePwrx9 Member

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    Trent,
    I started 15 years ago with a TC inline with a removeable breech plug. It was the closest thing to the cartridge guns I grew up with. That, plus my experience with TC Contender handguns had proved to me that TC was a good company to deal with.

    The inline was a good choice and I still have it. However, I enjoy sidelock percussion rifles a bit more and that's what I use most often. The inline was good in that it allowed a progression from what I knew to what I was learning. As I slowly got my act together, the traditional sidelock made a lot more sense.

    For you, I'd recommend starting with a TC Encore 209x50, if that's within your budget, for the following reasons:
    1)It'll be close to what you know;
    2)the removeable breechplug will allow you to easily clear many of a beginner's common mistakes;
    3)it'll be as accurate as any production muzzleloader;
    4)it'll be strong enough for magnum loads (and let you learn they're really not necessary);
    5)it'll be easy to clean (doubly so if you opt for stainless).
    6)its ignition will be as reliable as any smokepole made (probably moreso)
    7)it'll give you the flexibility of converting to a modern centerfire cartridge rifle by the expedient of purchasing an extra barrel (or you could go the centerfire handgun route).

    Since the Encore 209x50 has a fast twist and is designed for conicals & sabots, your full power loads, at least initially will either be lead conicals, saboted pistol bullets, or Power Belt conicals. Roundball will work in an Encore, but the fast twist and shallow rifling (positives for conicals) will likely cause extra work on your part to find an accurate full-power RB load.

    However, roundball loads will be quite accurate and enjoyable in the fast-twist Encore at reduced loads for plinking, target practice and varmits.

    I've tried a variety of lead conicals and sabots in fast, slow, and medium twist barrels from TC and Lyman/Investarms. Most gave mixed results; sometimes good, sometimes bad. Worst thing was the same load would shoot well in a given rifle one day, and poorly a few days later.

    The one conical that's delivered reliable day-to-day accuracy in every barrel I've tried (assuming reasonable full-power loads) is the Power Belt. It even shoots well in slow-twist roundball barrels if the bullet weight (and therefore, length) is kept down. I've found the 295 gr. Power Belts (in both .50 and .54) to be all the bullet a whitetail deer needs. Consequently, the lead conicals and sabots I've accumulated over the years are excess baggage and destined to be melted down or sold on ebay.

    A word or two about loads and powder (then I'll shut up). Loose Pyrodex RS is perfectly fine. It's all I use for full power loads anymore. It's corrosive, but easy to clean up after. More importantly, it's readily available. The 209 primer you'll use on the Encore won't have any problem igniting it. Heck, I have no problems using little #11 caps on sidelocks. Don't be misled by all the hooey about holy black. It's nice but not necessary. I haven't tried 777 and the other substitutes, but they each seem to have drawbacks of their own.

    Pyrodex P is a good choice for reduced loads when you're shooting roundballs. My favorite plinking load uses only 30 grains of Pyro P behind a .50 patched roundball. That load will shoot accurately all afternoon in a TC with no need to swab the barrel.

    I've tried Pyrodex pellets, but don't use them anymore. They seem to foul more, kick harder, deliver inconsistent accuracy, and are harder to clean up after. Some sources say they give much better ballistics; other sources indicate there's little difference. Two things for sure; they're less flexible than loose powder and more expensive.

    For full power loads on deer, I typically shoot a 295 gr. Power Belt over 80 to 90 grains of Pyrodex RS. Any more than 100 grains and accuracy evaporates from shot-to-shot unless you swab the barrel after every shot. With 80 to 90 grains of RS, I can often shoot decent 6 or 7 shot groups from an initially clean barrel WITHOUT ANY shot-to-shot swabbing.

    Hope this helps and isn't redundant. Haven't read the entire thread as it seemed to degenerate into the kind of bickering I've heard before.
     
  22. Pancho

    Pancho Member

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    Trent, getting back to your original question.
    Although I am mostly a traditionalist I do have 2 inlines that I enjoy shooting and I'm not opposed to new ideas (check out the new Redemption muzzleloader) my greatest joy is solving the mystery of what each of my muzzleloaders prefer to be it's most accurate.
    I don't have the patience for bench loading and I like instant gratification.
    Muzzleloading provides me that, I am able to, in effect, bench load at the range or in my back yard.
    Let's face it, if shooting cloverleafs at 300 yds. is your benchmark, maybe muzzleloading is not for you, after all, it is known that BP and the subs are inferior to modern smokeless powders and we are launching 50 cal. solid lead rounds with less than 100 grs of powder.
    Lastly, I don't know where you hunt but you should consider your effective hunting range. You might get 200 yd. shots out in the plain states but here in SW Ohio because of underbrush 75 yds is about the best you can expect.
     
  23. Trent

    Trent Resident Wiseguy

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    I'm leery about hunting on public land around here (and don't fully understand the process for it - IDNR's website is not straightforward or easy to follow); so this year I'm making due hunting in my back yard with archery gear. Can't use firearms out back due to IDNR limitations of 300 yards from inhabited buildings, but I can use archery gear as it only has a 100 yard limitation and I don't have to ask permission from anyone. :)

    This being said, deer around here tend to stick to the edge of fields and the timber, so I don't see long shots really being necessary if I'm set up right.

    I've found over the years that on rifles, I really prefer wood stocks over synthetics, which tend to make a firearm front heavy. Overall (especially if hiking to a spot) I'd prefer a rifle that's balanced and not overly front heavy.

    Aside from that I'm not too picky. Don't really need modern optics; scopes are nice for bench shooting, but I've never had a problem putting lead on target with iron sights.

    Very good information there, appreciate the time you took to put it up. I'm still on the fence about what to get. I'm really starting to lean towards a traditional rifle of some kind, though. I have enough "modern" guns (too many, in fact).

    I will tell you one piece caught my eye recently, guy at the range was shooting a muzzleloader that turned my head. Not sure WHAT it was, but I know it made a really loud boom, set off a huge cloud of smoke, and shot a (I believe) 75 cal projectile. The projectiles he was sending out that thing were enormous; I asked him how much they weigh and he said "I dunno, but they come 12 to a pound".

    He wasn't getting much in the way of accuracy with it (even at 50 yards he was all over the place), but it sure looked fun. :)

    Last time I was at the range I also saw a guy shooting a Savage smokeless muzzleloader - and he was hitting respectable groups at 300 yards. (At 100 he was making a big ragged hole). I didn't even know they MADE smokeless muzzleloaders.

    Something about that one didn't sit well with me. It was a neat piece of engineering, and interesting because I'd never seen one before, sure, but not really "my cup o tea".

    Nah, the more I think about it, the more I'm leaning towards a traditional rifle. Something I can hang on the wall and appreciate when I'm not out trying to put food on the table with it.
     
  24. rodwha

    rodwha Member

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    12 to a pound would be ~583 grains.

    Maybe a Lyman's Trade Rifle would be your thing. It comes in .50 or .54 cal and percussion or flint.

    http://www.lymanproducts.com/lyman/muzzle-loaders/trade-rifle.php

    If a cross between modern and traditional styling is OK (It's what I'm hoping to get for Xmas as a good stalking rifle) maybe a Lyman's Deerstalker would do you well.

    http://www.lymanproducts.com/lyman/muzzle-loaders/deerstalker-rifle.php

    They can be found for $100 less than Lyman shows them for.

    Money is a bit of an object for me. I'd like a "better" gun, but these, from what I've researched come highly recommended. They are considered by many to be extremely good for the cost.

    I'd be too worried about taking a $1000 rifle into the woods anyway!
     
  25. Trent

    Trent Resident Wiseguy

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    I really like that first one! That brass metalwork really sets it off. :)
     
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