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My first smokestick

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by FlSwampRat, Feb 3, 2019.

  1. FlSwampRat

    FlSwampRat Member

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    I bought my first muzzleloader back in the mid 70's. I got it as the end result of a new shooter mistake. I bought a rifle based solely on 1. I love lever actions and 2. I chose one based on ballistic charts. Shot half a box of ammo out of it, decided it was beating my shoulder too much to be enjoyable as a regular shooter, took it back to the store from which I had purchased it and asked what I could swap it for. They had this brand new TC Seneca in .45 they were having trouble selling because most shooters wanted .50's.
    Back to the range and just fell in love with it. Have it's Hawken big brother and the T/C Patriot to round out my T/C black powder collection.
    How'd everyone else get into those old smokesticks, and are you a percussion or flintlock fan?
     
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  2. arcticap

    arcticap Member

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    I started out by reading one of the Black Powder Handbooks by Sam Fadala, along with some other books from the local library, and magazine articles.
    Then I saw a write up about a Pedersoli rifle that had a mule ear lock being imported by Navy Arms that I really wanted to buy to hunt deer with.
    So I called up Navy Arms and they told me the name of a dealer in PA who had some of those guns in stock.
    He brought them to a gun show in CT where I met up with him and I ended up buying a couple of them from him.
    After that I joined a muzzle loading club, and started shooting and BP deer hunting, and collecting more BP rifles.
    Years later I joined this forum and read a lot about cap & ball revolvers for several years until I decided which of those that I wanted to buy.
    I only shoot percussion guns.
    I basically made that decision a long time ago after trying out a flintlock at the BP club, and that's probably one reason why I chose to get involved with C&B revolvers instead.
    There's nothing quite as thrilling as loading & shootng a muzzle loader for the first time.
    I thought it was a lot like loading and shooting off a cannon!
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2019
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  3. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    My first muzzleloader was one I built myself. Got a Traditions Hawken style rifle kit one year for Christmas. Had a great time putting it together and finishing it over that Winter.

    KEukGGj.jpg
     
  4. FlSwampRat

    FlSwampRat Member

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    Looks a lot like mine! Family resemblance I guess. How old were you when you did that? Great job!
     
  5. arcticap

    arcticap Member

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    Here's what my first Navy Arms BP gun looks like
    It's a .50 with a 1/2 stock, but I also have a .45 barrel for it.
    The barrel is 13/16" much like the Seneca has.

    [​IMG]


    P1010206a.jpg
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2019
  6. Loyalist Dave

    Loyalist Dave Member

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    I still own the .45 caliber CVA "longrifle" with it's 35" barrel, and caplock ignition. I bought it at Best Products, a catalog showroom store, in 1981 for a whopping $78.00 so that I could hunt deer on break from college, since the regular season closed before classes ended, and I was in school, out-of-state. Never got a deer with it though.
    I own some Thompson center Hawkens, and a New Englander. I have a 20 gauge SxS in caplock from Pedersoli that hammers upland birds.
    I switched to flintlock when I started doing living history in 1994. ALL of the deer I've harvested (except for two by SUV bumpers) have been with a .54 caliber Cabin Creek Pa Mountain rifle. ;)

    LD
     
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  7. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

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    My father and and I went to a local rendezvous and I was hooked.
    I bought a .54 T/C Hawken kit and built it during the winter of 1982/1983. Here it is 35 yrs later. It still hunts too!
    15492913995136916280815638360573.jpg 20161201_114659.jpg 20161118_114559.jpg
     
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  8. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

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    My first smokepole was a 45 caliber kit from Markwell Arms (Spanish import).
     
  9. BullRunBear

    BullRunBear Member

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    I was at a gun show held at a local college some years ago. (My, how things have changed!) A sales rep for Traditions was there. This might have been when the company was getting started. I had been shooting a CVA Kentucky pistol I put together from a kit but wanted a rifle. Walked out with a Shenandoah full stock percussion in 50 caliber. They don't make that model anymore but use the name for a newer version. The rep offered a great deal so I also got a replacement barrel and lock to convert to a flintlock. Still have that set up and it still shoots great 35 years later.

    Jeff
     
  10. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Member

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    My first ML was an inline. It was just a means to an end, a way to get me in the woods a couple weeks earlier.

    Now, while I don't own any yet, I do have an appreciation for traditional MLs, as well as cap and ball revolvers. One of these days when I have more time on my hands, I'll delve into that world I'm sure.
     
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  11. paul harm

    paul harm Member

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    It was in the 70s, a CVA two piece stock kit. It was junk - the barrels rifling was so ruff I couldn't get it clean and it wouldn't group. TC came out with their " Hawken " and that was it. Bought a couple, one was a kit, then a friend showed me how to make my own. I'd order the lock and barrel and make the rest and put it together. Mostly flintlocks and one matchlock. Over the years maybe 20 or so shotguns, rifles, and pistols. Now a days it's just the ones I made and BP revolvers. All mine are " smokepoles " not " smokesticks ". Maybe mine are bigger than yours :).
     
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  12. FlSwampRat

    FlSwampRat Member

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    I guess those eastern longrifles are the poles and the western ones are sticks? LOL
     
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  13. arcticap

    arcticap Member

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    Yep, and then there's smoke stacks! (like punt guns and cannons) --->>> [scroll down the page] https://rarehistoricalphotos.com/punt-gun-1910-1920/
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2019
  14. FlSwampRat

    FlSwampRat Member

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  15. JeffG

    JeffG Member

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    I was fortunate to go to a rondevoux type gathering, in the 70's. Hershel House was there, crafting muzzleloaders. I spent the weekend watching and listening to the experienced shooters talking about the culture, and the guns. I did some reading(Foxfire books) and mentioned it to a buddy of mine, back at the barracks. He said that ML is all they ever hunted with. He took me coon hunting in North Carolina with his family. It was magical. I was MAJORLY hooked ever since.

    As financially challenged as I was, I had to wait until the 80's to buy my first Dixie kit, 45 cal. flint Pennsylvania. I also built the Dixie 32 cal squirrel rifle. Caplocks were nice, but flintlocks strike a cord with me, and I have never looked back. In the 80's I got my dad into flintlocks, and he bought a Hatfield long rifle, so we could shoot together. I got the gun when he passed,and I cherish it.
     
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  16. ridgerunner1965

    ridgerunner1965 Member

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    my start with black powder may be a bit different than a lot of guys.

    I was prob in the 7th grade when I got a Kentucky kit from sears. I had hunted on my own for several years at this point but all I had was a 22 and a 410. I was rather bored with them. I wanted a BIG rifle!

    of course my parents were not going to let me roam at will with a centerfire rifle.so when I came up with the idea of a blackpowder kit rifle they said ok. it seemed they were under the impression it was little more than a toy.

    I ordered a Kentucky 45 kit from sears for i think 69$. I spent a couple weeks putting it together, rather crudely but it functioned perfectly.

    I had my BIG rifle! the local grocery store chain in my area had somewhat of a sporting goods dept. they sold black powder, caps and balls. so was set. when I needed ammo I would just save up a few bucks and go grocery shopping with mom.

    I had a fine hunting dog and him and I roamed the hardwood ridges around out farm for years with that rifle.

    I still think having that rifle at that age taught me to be a better hunter. I learned to choose my shots carefully. something I still do to this day.

    for being a cheap rifle it was very accurate. I could bark a squirrel out of a fairly tall tree and also shoot it as good as most full growed men could with a 30-30 out to 100 yrds.
     
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  17. Patocazador

    Patocazador Member

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    It was in the '70s. I liked all guns and saw a T/C Hawken; I talked my wife into buying me one for Christmas. I still have it but don't hunt with it as it's too cumbersome for me now.

    I have over 20 black powder arms so I must like them.
     
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  18. Catcar67

    Catcar67 Member

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    My first black powder came to me as a kit. I bought a CVA .45 caliber Kentucky rifle. After I had it for a while and enjoyed shooting it, my then-wife bought me a mate to it (in CVA kit form). When I mentioned that I wanted to hunt blacktail deer with the .45, she bought me a .36 brass framed 1851 Navy replica to carry as a backup gun. Since then, I bit the bullet one more time and bought a ,54 Hawken replica (one of those "deals" you can't pass up).
     
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  19. woodnbow

    woodnbow Member

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    I had one in .45. I really regret selling it, the kids and several of their friends learned how to shoot on that rifle. I had a problem with the lock, called Dixie and they shipped a replacement lock. I may even have the original laying around somewhere... neat little guns. Eventually, I replaced it with a .45 Seneca which is a dandy but I still miss the mule ear.
     
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  20. red rick

    red rick Member

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    I got into it as a way to hunt earlier in the season . My first was an inline . I have since bought a .50 TC Hawken and a .54 Renegade .
     
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  21. paul harm

    paul harm Member

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    When I was younger we'd attend a couple of rendezvous a year with a 18' tee pee. The wife and kids would all go. I made my own leather buckskins and the wife made proper attire for herself and kids. The kids grew up and didn't want to go and as I got older setting up the tee pee by myself got to be work. Down sized to a lean-to. My favorite guns are the 54 Hawken flinter and 12ga tradegun . Next are my 62 Jaeger and 12ga matchlock. Made em all and all except the matchlock they're flinters. Five years ago I finally got a deer with the matchlock. We both retired from deer hunting - it over the fireplace and me just talking about deer hunts. Lately I've given away two caplock muzzleloaders to a nephew and niece who both showed a interest in deer hunting with the old style of guns.
     
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  22. gemihur

    gemihur Member

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    My first was a 45 also.
    Kentucky rifle.JPG CVA Kentucky .45 cal 1:66" twist
     
  23. robhof

    robhof Member

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    My B/p addiction started with a 22 cal cannon from Mexico, my brother and I got in the early 60's, shot it alot and even killed some birds adding bb's to the smooth bore and setting up a feeder and long fuse, graduated to a DGW .75 cal barrel and built a carriage, got a kit pistol and graduated to rifles much later.. DSCN1091.JPG That's the DGW barrel bought in 1967 for $15, still shoot on holidays!
     
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  24. FlSwampRat

    FlSwampRat Member

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    There is an elegance and inherent beauty in the lines of older firearms that I have always found attractive. Thanks for sharing.
     
  25. Dave Markowitz

    Dave Markowitz Member

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