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Pawn shop muzzleloaders

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by ScrapMetalSlug, Oct 8, 2017.

  1. ScrapMetalSlug

    ScrapMetalSlug Member

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    I've been searching for a good deal to get into muzzleloading by scouring the used gun racks and some local pawnshops. When I've checked the bore on some rifles, most seem rusty and several look like sewer pipes. I does not appear anyone cleans them before taking them to the pawn shop.

    Despite their cheap price, $100 or less on some, the ones I've seen so far look like junk. I am kind of starting to think I should just buy something new. How do you find a good deal on a well cared for used one? Can a rusted barrel on a muzzleloader be salvaged or is it completely ruined like I suspect?

    I'm not too set on what im looking for, just something that I could shoot patched roundball and hunt deer with a couple times a year.

    I've looked at some new Thompson Center Impacts, but havent seen any used ones. Any advice on finding a deal, or should I just buy something new?
     
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  2. stringnut

    stringnut Member

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    Rusted barrel cannot be saved in most cases. If it was free I would try it, but, sure wouldn't pay for one with a rusted barrel.

    No in-line that I know of has slow enough twist to shoot a patched round ball. Most are in the 1in 28 range. Round ball may shoot at 1 in 48, but, slower yet is better. The ball and patch strip out of the rifling if the twist is too fast. Even some sidelocks are built with a fast twist for conicals.
     
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  3. Patocazador

    Patocazador Member

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    You can have the barrel re-bored to a larger caliber. For example a .50 caliber 1" or larger across the flats barrel can be bored to a .54.
    Bob Hoyt in Pennsylvania is the one who has the best reputation for this. Don't expect it back soon. He has a big back-log. (I don't have his contact info but someone should chime in with it).
     
  4. bearleft

    bearleft Member

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  5. ontarget

    ontarget Member

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    When you say rust do you mean a light layer of reddish brown or rust like a civil war relic you just found at Gettysburg? If its just some light surface discoloration it could have been properly cleaned after use but sat in a closet for years and just need a good scrubbing.
     
  6. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Member

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    If I were going to buy a muzzleloader just to hunt deer with a few times a year, I'd go with a CVA Wolf.
    My dad got one for less than $200 and kills deer with it regularly.

    It is a 1 in 28 twist though, so patched round balls are not going to be ideal. My pops uses Hornady bullets with sabots. They're more expensive than round balls, but if you're just hunting a couple times a year, one box a year will be all you would need.
     
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  7. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

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    There are options for mild rusted barrels.
    Lapping
    Polishing with brush and solvent.
    A rebore is a last resort for badly pitted barrels.
    I had hoyt rebore an heirloom rifle for me a couple years ago. I could get his address if needed.

    That being said....there are lots of rifles being shot at clubs with less-than-shiny bores.
     
  8. drunkenpoacher

    drunkenpoacher Member

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    Another vote for the CVA Wolf, unless your set on shooting patch and ball.
    They don't cost much and are very accurate.
     
  9. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    I would not buy a rust bucket. I would not attempt to restore a rust bucket. Having the barrel enlarged, well someone ought to price that, might be more expensive than 2 new rifles.

    I don't know why shooters don't clean the things. I know of one Civil War re enactor who so hates cleaning his musket, at the first sound of battle, he runs off. It is historically correct, every war has deserters, guys who just run for the woods rather than doing the heroic thing and getting killed with their buddies.
     
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  10. Steel Horse Rider

    Steel Horse Rider Member

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    By the time a muzzle loader gets to a pawn shop it has experienced far too tough a life to be worth much, in my experience.
     
  11. rodwha

    rodwha Member

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    From what I've read Bobby Hoyt, who's reputation is rather grand, will work on a barrel for far too cheap, and certainly less than even a basic plastic cheap new rifle. But then too many people know this and keep him far too busy it would seem.
     
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  12. daboyleroy

    daboyleroy Member

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  13. drunkenpoacher

    drunkenpoacher Member

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    Looks like a good buy. I have one, left handed.
    The older ones like mine are 1 in 60 (1 in 66?). Later models are 1 in 48.
    I think mine was $175 new in 1990.
     
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  14. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

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    Rusted barrels can be saved. Bore and sleeve it!
     
  15. ScrapMetalSlug

    ScrapMetalSlug Member

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    Thanks for all of the replies. I will just keep looking and pay close attention to condition and twist rates. It's not a deal breaker if I cant shoot patched roundball, I'd just like the flexibility to do so, but it kind of depends what I come across.
    I saw one traditions deer hunter yesterday that could have passed for something pulled up from a shipwreck, if it was not for the modern scope mount with a homemade tap job.
     
  16. Sav .250

    Sav .250 Member

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    When in doubt................buy new.
     
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  17. Loyalist Dave

    Loyalist Dave Member

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    Try $80? ;) I can't say what Mr. Hoyt's prices are now, depending on the job and the brand of the barrel. But I know they are way bellowing the cost of buying a used rifle in very good condition.

    I've restored many "rust buckets", either the owners found them as bargains at a yard sale or pawn shop, or because the new owner inherited the item, had fond memories of seeing it [use by Dad or Mom], and wanted to experience some of that again. Currently I'm working on an old Japanese Bess. So far so good....fingers crossed though since the barrel on that musket is waaay too thin to rebore so if it isn't serviceable, it's a wall-hanger until I scrounge a Jap barrel, OR the owner wants to splurge and put a Colerain barrel upon the piece.

    The secret is to use Evaporust. http://www.truevalue.com//catalog/product.jsp?productId=25124&parentCategoryId=13&categoryId=196&subCategoryId=1712&type=product&cid=gooshop&source=google_pla&9gtype={ifsearch:search}{ifcontent:content}&9gkw={keyword}&9gad={creative}.1&9gpla={placement}&ctcampaign=4680&ctkwd={product_id}&ctmatch=&ctcreative={Creative}&ctplacement=126762-43411605579. Either remove the nipple on a caplock, and plug the nipple-hole tight, OR on a flinter simply plug the touch hole. Then put the breech end into a plastic bucket, and fill up the inside of the barrel. Let it sit upright overnight, dump the contents into the bucket and then examine the bore. Now the stuff is much safer than naval jelly and 'cause it's a liquid you can apply it to a breeched barrel when the Naval Jelly paste is much more difficult to use on a bore. IF the bore is serviceable you can treat the outside of the barrel to remove external rust, and the lock as well. I've done so many barrels, mostly muskets, that now I use a PVC pipe with a cap at one end and sealed with silicone caulk. I immerse the whole barrel for about 24 hours. I save the Evaporust solution until it gets really dirty. Now on rifles it will remove things like bluing or browning but we're talking about rescuing a very rusty item from a possible demise in the parts-bin. How good could the external finish be? :D

    IF the bore is roached, that's when you decide if you want to spend the money and have it bored smooth, or for more money bored and then re-rifled.
    Why would anybody want a smooth bored rifle?
    Ah well first, there weren't uncommon, and today they are often referred to as "smooth rifles", meaning a smooth bore that has the hardware and stock shape of a rifle. Bore that 15/16th barrel in .50 out to .55, and you have a 28 gauge shotgun, capable of launching patched round ball of .530 or .535 diameter, and normally they are sufficiently accurate to hunt deer out to 50 yards. A 1" .54 barrel may be reamed out to .58 and you have a 24 gauge shotgun. Either work very well on rabbits and squirrel.

    A $100 pawn shop rescue with de-rusting and reaming/polishing the bore should run under $300 and would be more versatile than a good used factory rifle starting at the $350 range or higher. Sometimes the damage to the bore is minor and some lapping to smooth the rough spots to protect the patches (or you simply use conicals) and you have a serviceable rifle for under $200 :cool:

    Of course costs will vary depending on where you live, etc.

    Most folks that I know find the best pawnshop bargains a week or so before Christmas as folks dump the old ML for spending cash, and then another wave of ML bargains is often seen from March 1 through April 15, as folks may need tax money, and also hunting season (except for Spring turkey) is over.

    LD
     
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  18. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    Very interesting about the chemicals and what you have done. I will be on the look out for bargains before the holidays.
     
  19. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

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    A good read loyalist Dave.
    I have saved two family heirloom rifles. I am holding one of them in my avatar picture. It's bore was freshened by Wyatt Atkinson in Tennessee in the 1970s. The other was bored and rifled by Mr Hoyt.
     
  20. Sunray

    Sunray Member

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    "...local pawn shops..." There are hordes and hordes of decorative ML's that are not shootable in pawn shops everywhere. Don't buy stuff in pawn shops you're new at playing with.
    "...look like sewer pipes..." Means they haven't been maintained properly. Don't buy those either.
     
  21. the Black Spot

    the Black Spot Member

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    Look for a used one with a chrome barrel. My son found an older caplock hawken style with chrome barrel for $125.
    Vinegar soak will remove rust, but don't let it soak longer than an hour. Rinse with baking soda water.
     
  22. ontarget

    ontarget Member

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    One more thing to watch for is a loaded chamber. I have found more than 1 pawn shop ML on their shelf with a full charge of powder and ball in it. ALWAYS drop the ram rod in and check them.
     
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  23. alsaqr

    alsaqr Member

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    For years i attempted to salvage rusty muzzleloaders. Folks would bring me guns with roached bores, expecting miracles: Then i gave it up. It was relatively easy to remove the rust from the bore. Then the pits would abrade and tear the patches. Unless there is only very light surface rust; salvaging a rusty gun bore is akin to salvaging a 5.0 Mustang that was driven in Detroit for 20 years-it ain't worth the trouble.
     
  24. Kaeto

    Kaeto Member

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    Pawn shops around me won't accept muzzle loaders.
     
  25. alsaqr

    alsaqr Member

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    Same thing here. i go pawnshop hopping once a month. Very few muzzleloaders in pawnshops here. Bought one muzzleloader from a pawnshop: A
    a pristine .54 caliber TC Fire Hawk. It was marked for $175. Got it for $100.
     

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