Muzzle Loading...

Discussion in 'Guns - Blackpowder' started by Snagged2, Dec 10, 2008.

  1. Snagged2

    Snagged2 New Member

    Messages:
    6,252
    State:
    Verde Valley AZ
    Hello
    I was visiting a friend of mine today, and mentioned I was thinking about maybe trying to hunt Elk, next year with a muzzle loader.. He walked over to a locker and opened it up and said, Take your choice.,, use it as long as you need,,, I selected an old Thompson Center "Hawken" style in .54 caliber....

    Any recommendations, I don't have a clue......

    It has iron sights, double set trigger, no accouterments,, I'm Jazzed!!!
     
  2. katfish ken

    katfish ken New Member

    Messages:
    4,092
    State:
    Paintsvill
    Greg
    You picked up the very tool for the job at hand. Get some practice under your belt with it.
    Did You ask him what Load or bullet he used in it???? You might want to but. If not Start with about 70 or 80grn. by volume of 2FFg or 3FFFg black powder or equivalent. As for the bullet since you are going to go after the majestic elk. Make the bullet a big one that the old smoke pole spit out in a good group down range. My first muzzle loader was a T/C Hawkens 50 Cal. The load I ended up shooting in it was 110grn. FFg.and a Great Plains bullet.
    Can't remember the weight right no but that was the best grouping Load I could find for that gun. Did he give you any pointer or tips???
    Working up a load for a muzzle loader is just like working up a load for any rifle, you just have to do it one shot at a time on the range.
    Feel free To shot me a PM any time with any particular question you may have.
    Have you ever shot a muzzle loader before?? do you have the basic tools like bullet starter and such??
     

  3. Snagged2

    Snagged2 New Member

    Messages:
    6,252
    State:
    Verde Valley AZ
    Thanks,,Ken,,

    No other accessories or data,,, He did mention he preferred the soft lead bullets rather than Sabots,, and mentioned the powder "Pellets"..and Musket Percussion caps. It does have a Ramrod,

    I have shot them, but, has been decades:crazy:.. And then, I know we had regular, and Pyrodex, black powder..

    He showed me a Ruger BP gun, and a T/C Encore BP,, they both had low power scopes, SS, and laminated stocks,, pretty fancy, sophisticated, guns..
    I prefer the traditional style,,
    There is a local store that has some tackle for these, so, I will visit them, and take a look.
     
  4. Mickey

    Mickey New Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    14,592
    State:
    Illinois
    Greg you may need to find out the barrel twist. If you over power a barrel with fast twist it will cause the bullet to be eracte. If the barrel is 1in 66 or 1 in 72 (slow twist) you can shoot more grains of powder.
     
  5. katfish ken

    katfish ken New Member

    Messages:
    4,092
    State:
    Paintsvill
    Greg
    With the traditional side lock I would stick with loose powder it gets over in under the nipple much better than pellets. Pellets are designed especially for the in-lines and I don't think they would work well in the traditional gun.Probably end up with lots of miss fires.
    You will need a bullet starter, a powder flask, nipple wrench, and a cleaning jag.That is the basic list of tools you will need. Then you will need Caps,Powder, and bullets or balls and patches.
    Has the gun you got been shot any??? If not there is a process of tempering the barrel I can walk you through. The process will make loading easier and recoil less. If it has been shot some then there will be no need for it.
     
  6. katfish ken

    katfish ken New Member

    Messages:
    4,092
    State:
    Paintsvill
    Forgot one thing in the list a powder measurer.
     
  7. katfish ken

    katfish ken New Member

    Messages:
    4,092
    State:
    Paintsvill
    You are right Mickey. If it is the barrel that T/C puts on all their Hawkins rifles it is 1 in 48 twist which is ideal for mini and maxi balls and lead bullet. That is great for Greg since he's wanting to hunt the mighty elk in AZ.
     
  8. Poppa

    Poppa New Member

    Messages:
    1,233
    State:
    Pinson, Al
    I shoot the same rifle in a TC .54 renegade which is a TC hawken with
    out the brass and patch box in the stock. Your rifle should use no. 11
    percussion caps unless it has been altered to shoot musket caps. Musket
    caps are larger and hotter but you have to have a different nipple and
    sometimes the hammer has to be bent slightly to strike flat. You need
    to take your gun to someone who can tell and not buy a bunch of caps
    you can't use. Power pellets ignite through the hole in the center they
    are made mainly for inline rifles. Your gun ignites from the side and
    you might have a problem with power pellets. You need to shoot black
    powder or pyrodex. You need a powder measure I know that you reload
    and you measure powder by weight but in muzzle loading you measure
    powder by volume. Have fun with the Hawken.
     
  9. Snagged2

    Snagged2 New Member

    Messages:
    6,252
    State:
    Verde Valley AZ
    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you,, Fellas..

    Good info for sure... The rifle is rather plain,, no patch box,etc. And, it's looking like it has everything original, barrel, nipple, etc.

    Sounds like I need a bit of gear, some range time, and an Elk Tag!!!

    I do want to figure out a sling of some sort, no provision for that yet. I've heard of an inline capper that might facilitate a second shot, I'm familiar with the starter rod, I believe I've got a powder horn around here somewhere..

    So, will take an inventory, make a list, and get after it!!

    Thanks again,,
     
  10. katfish ken

    katfish ken New Member

    Messages:
    4,092
    State:
    Paintsvill
    It is good that your are starting now. It will give you plenty of time to get ready for elk season next year. I will get a picture of a sling I made of leather for a muzzle loader and post it. They make one of the nylon slings that has loops on both ends instead of swivel provisions. Forget what the brand is right now.
     
  11. Poppa

    Poppa New Member

    Messages:
    1,233
    State:
    Pinson, Al
    You can get after market ramrod thimble that have sling swivels on
    them that are exact replacements for your thimble. The stock end has
    to be drilled for the swivel.
     
  12. Snagged2

    Snagged2 New Member

    Messages:
    6,252
    State:
    Verde Valley AZ
    thanks Poppa, that sounds like a real nice way to go..on the sling swivel.

    Went today and bought a can of Pyrodex-2ffg equilavent, some No.11 caps, bullet lube, oh, yea, a brass, telescoping style powder measure...

    Hmm, Powder sure has gone up!!:cool2:

    Couldn't find any bullets of any style in .54 cal,, Will look around in the next town,, or maybe look for a mold for Mini-maxi styles.. they look to be right at an ounce @ 435 grns.. round ball wouldn't bother me too much either...

    I had no idea the modern stuff used shotgun prmer 209's.. they had everything under the sun for .50's

    Well, I'm underway on my journey, and am looking forwawrd to figuring this stuff out, with the Help , here!!!!:big_smile:
     
  13. katfish ken

    katfish ken New Member

    Messages:
    4,092
    State:
    Paintsvill
  14. katfish ken

    katfish ken New Member

    Messages:
    4,092
    State:
    Paintsvill
    Greg
    Here are a couple of pics of the slings I was telling you about. The one on the left is the one with the loops on the end. It is actually a shotgun sling. The one on the right is one I made of leather. Pics may not be real clear.
     

    Attached Files:

  15. Snagged2

    Snagged2 New Member

    Messages:
    6,252
    State:
    Verde Valley AZ
    Thanks for the pics,, I'll be on the lookout for a sling set-up as well as some other things as this all develops!!
    Have thought about some ideas for makin something, and If I run into something to buy first, I'll prolly do that..
     
  16. swampratt

    swampratt Member

    Messages:
    217
    State:
    oklahoma
    I little tip to avoid misfires ...Works for me and i was told by an old gentleman at a gun range with a beard down to his belly...so it has always worked...:big_smile:
    Pour in the powder and tap the but of the gun an your boot about 7 times ...to pack the powder
    then set the bullet...
    Now remove the nipple and make sure powder is under it ..
    The gentleman told me he likes to add a few grains 8 or 10

    install nipple-- cap it and no more misfires
    Sidelock Is what i was shooting.

    No more hangfires or misfires ...
     
  17. katfish ken

    katfish ken New Member

    Messages:
    4,092
    State:
    Paintsvill
    The shotgun sling works just fine and wasn't that expensive. I think 6 or 8 dollars about 8 or 10 years ago. I like it because it is easily removed and put in a pocket so it isn't swinging around or catching on stuff when stalking. The one I made, the boot on the butt of the gun is laced on, so it is sorta a pain to take off.
     
  18. katfish ken

    katfish ken New Member

    Messages:
    4,092
    State:
    Paintsvill
    I usually pour in the powder, turn the nipple down and tap the other side with my hand, then seat the bullet if on the range. If I'm loading up to go hunting then I take the nipple out and make sure I can see powder under it.