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Old 02-10-2013, 11:52 AM
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icehunter icehunter is offline
 
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Default Black Powder rifle for noobs,**NOT** modern inline rifles

This is for new shooters who want to get into black powder percussion shooting , but have no idea what is involved with it or what they need.Lets keep it simple for beginners just as I was and still am but now have a little knowledge in it...Thank You...Ice..* ( If any one wants to add info please feel free to do so,just keep it simple)

OK folks....I got into bp shooting just over 2 years ago. I was never around one but got started in it with a few good friends who had done it for years. So here are the basics to get up and shooting bp rifles..First off you need a rifle.

Now you need your shooting supplies...they look like this..



An now for a individual look at each one with a average price..First off is a possibles bag as they are called. I wanted a leather one but couldnt find it so had to settle for the camo one. They are used for carrying all your bp supplies while out in the field. Average price is $35-$40 for one..



So forward we go..first off we need some powder and balls to shoot. Please check out recommended loads for your rifle and load weights ..and dont exceed them..



An now we need some fire to get the fire going..caps....namely percussion caps. I have been using cci ones,never had a problem with them and by a 100 pack expect to pay $4-$6 for a tin full of 100..



Patches,without them the ball will simply fall into the barrel. They lube the barrel as well as create a tight friction fit for the ball. One thing to note in my pic,the patches on the right hand side are prelubed and when fired CAN START A FIRE IN DRY GRASS...so be wary of that.The bottle beside it contains whats called moose milk. Its made up of a few different things which are covered in a different thread if you want to play with things. Patch material for the milk can come from different sources,but for a beginner lets keep it simple and use prelubed patchs of the proper thickness as prescribed in good loading data.



So now we need to carry some powder...these are called flasks. I personally like the one on the left hand side as its a civil war era repro flask,right is a antique bone powder flask. Alternately if you cant find either you can still use a spoon to fill up your powder measure,its just a pain in the butt to do it that way.Cost are right around the $40 mark for either...but your mileage may vary..



Powder measures...2 shown but both do the same thing.They are graduated from 10 - 120 grains each. You simply unscrew the locking collar,set for your charge weight,lock the collar back in and you are good to go. On the funnels you will notice a thing that slides back and forth. What this does is slides one way and stops,you fill the measure up with powder from your flask then you slide it the opposite way and you have a very simple funnel to pour the powder in your barrel. Just make sure to give it a few extra taps after pouring to make sure all the powder is out of it and you dont get a under or over charge upon firing your new bp rifle..Cost is about $15 bucks or so..



Now the next thing is a short starter. What this does is allows you to start a slug with ease.I will post a couple of pics as to how its used.




So lets assume you have powder in the barrel as mentioned above..now the first part of a short starter allows you to seat a ball with ease...notice that I have a patch on the barrel and a ball ready to be seated.* please note I am doing this in my house and am not loading up a live round*




now the short starter being used..Note that the short starter has 4 tools to it,first it has a swivel stud for ease of carry in the field,its round on top so that using it really saves your hand from punishment while reloading,the longer part is to seat your ball/bullet down to where you can finally seat above said projectile with the long ramrod on your rifle...and finally a drilled out section that will fit over your ramrod and not wreck your hand. More pics..So here we go..

Powder in the barrel,patch on top,ball ready to go in and the shortest part of the short seater ready to start seating..



Now the second part is to use the 6 inch part of the short seater and push the ball down further..



The reason for it being round is that its easier on your hand when seating a ball or slug...now next step...remember from above the drilled out section of a short starter...here it is



This will fit over the ramrod from your rifle and make ball/slug seating easier I prefer the old fashioned method just because...but women like doing it this way cause its easier on the hands for them. For some reason photo bucket is really screwing up right now...so gonna post the rest of this later..K photo bucket is back up and running and so am I. Here is the next pic for ya.So you started with the short starter,then the 6 inch end of the short starter and now the ramrod.It only takes 2 or 3 good pushes to seat the ball on top of the powder.The ram rod can either be done with your hand and no short starter as I prefer or it can be done like this.Place the drilled out cavity ( on the short starter) and use it to push the ball home. One thing to remember,when the ball seats you will know it.Dont try and keep hitting it down cause you arent sure and compress the powder charge down to tightly.Alternately you can *tamp* the ball down.This is done by either using the ram rod in your hand and tamping the ball in place,or using the short starter and placing it on top of the rod and using your open palm and hitting it and forcing the ball down on top of the powder charge.Either way works just fine..



Alrighty so we have powder in the barrel,a ball seated and now for fire. Place a cap on the nipple and you are good to go.Push the cap down tightly,hammer is already cocked,watch your trigger closely cause you are ready to fire...




This is the end result...dont expect a big bang,its more of a click,followed by a split second and a kerWHOMFP....lots of smoke,little recoil,lots of burnt gunpowder smell...and a grin from ear to ear



there ya have it folks...bp shooting on a very simple scale...Oh by the way,if the wind is right,fully expect to go home reeking of burnt black powder..
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Old 02-10-2013, 01:14 PM
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Matt L. Matt L. is offline
 
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Reeking? How can you reek from black powder?

Great tutorial icehunter, something I definitely want to get into.
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Old 02-10-2013, 01:39 PM
petew petew is online now
 
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well done.
I might add that real Black powder will be more reliable for ignition than the substitutes like pyrodex.. Flinters in particular are just not going to like the subs. Marketing tells us real BP is hard to clean, but in reality it cleans easier, and is more reliable than Pyrodex ,777 etc. but it is harder to find.Stock up when you can.

It's nice to see a thread like this where muzzle loading is kept in the spirit and tradition of what it is. Simple close range shooting with basic gear. Unfortunately marketing has all but wiped out traditional Muzzle loading.
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Old 02-10-2013, 01:44 PM
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The shot nipples tend to help the ignition of Pyrodex, but the best is to use real black powder, as Petew said
It would be nice if we could sticky all these tutorials - I'll contact Alberta bigbore and see.
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Last edited by catnthehat; 02-10-2013 at 01:52 PM.
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Old 02-10-2013, 01:49 PM
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Very nice, wish this would have been posted last spring. I picked up a repro Kentucky long rifle at a gun auction but had never even seen one fired before. I asked around but ended up just finding some info online and faking it, what a blast! A word to the wise though, don't inhale till the smoke clears ;-) I love my percussion BP but got to try a flintlock brown Bess out at the range last week & now I want one of those too ( not to mention flintlock pistols)!
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Old 02-10-2013, 01:50 PM
petew petew is online now
 
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Perhaps we need a Mythbusters type thread dispelling the evils and downfalls of real ML shooting with black powder and lead balls. They are very reliable and simple , if we do our part.
Pete
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Old 02-10-2013, 01:51 PM
Dave the Demon Dave the Demon is offline
 
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its not so much the BP the reeks ive found but that pyrodex is foul when burnt. get doused in the smoke from that and no one would wanna be near you
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Old 02-10-2013, 05:15 PM
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Hagalaz Hagalaz is offline
 
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Great tutorial.

Is that a Deerstalker or a Trade Rifle that you are using?

I picked up a .50 calibre Deerstalker flintlock in December & man am I loving it. Much more fun than firing modern rifles.

I am using Goex 3F for the main charge, I tried Pyrodex but it didn't seem to work for me as well as the real black powder does.
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Old 02-10-2013, 05:38 PM
petew petew is online now
 
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Hagalaz:
You are right about the powder observations. 3f is so much more reliable. Also 4F in the pan helps a lot too. Get real flints and the sparks are much better than with those factory cut ones. If you get some welding torch, tip cleaners they are perfect for picking the vent hole to make sure it is clear.
When you do a dry ball in a flinter, and you will, LOL the easy way out is pull the touch hole liner and work some priming powder in the chamber, then fire the ball out. If it doesn't go out, ram it back down so you don't have a blocked barrel and repeat. It is easier than pulling a stuck ball. It doesn't take much powder to do it.
on a Percussion cap you can pull the nipple and do the same thing.
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Old 02-10-2013, 07:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hagalaz View Post
Great tutorial.

Is that a Deerstalker or a Trade Rifle that you are using?

I picked up a .50 calibre Deerstalker flintlock in December & man am I loving it. Much more fun than firing modern rifles.

I am using Goex 3F for the main charge, I tried Pyrodex but it didn't seem to work for me as well as the real black powder does.
That is a TC Renegade in .54 cal.That is my friends rifle and the one that got me hooked on shooting BP. I looked for over a year to find a TC Hawken in .54 cal. Here it is



As well I have a Hawken in .50 cal. The 50 hasnt been fired since 1987 when the owner passed away.That was till I got ahold of it,just 3 months ago.It has converted a buddy of mine to black powder traditional shooting as well as a 12 year old friend fired it and had a big grin after.All I fired last year was BP. I didnt put a round out of any of my modern rifles,not even a .22

Thanks to who ever stickied this,next up will be a tutorial on how to clean a black powder rifle and show just how easy it is. Here is a pic of my first ever shot out of my .54 hawken. The ler scope came off right after and the sights were put back on and its just way more fun that way.We filled up every can,jug, non glass bottle with water and what a peacefull way to shoot targets at 5 am on a Sunday morning..

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Old 02-10-2013, 07:12 PM
2 Tollers 2 Tollers is offline
 
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Nice and thanks

Now if there is someone that uses a flintlock and is willing to put up the same I am interested in taking a step further back in time.
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Old 02-10-2013, 07:30 PM
petew petew is online now
 
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A flinter is realy the same, just a diferent source of sparks. I love the Flinters.
The Flintlock got a bad name and it shouldn't have. Most problems are caused from a poor choice the shooter was talked into. Cut Agate flints are junk, and not known for reliable good sparks. Use knaped flints and that is 1 problem less to deal with.
The next source of problems on a flinter is powder. Flint locks hate Pyrodex. 777 and all the other new powders. They do like Real BLACK POWDER, and are very reliable with it.
3F will work in the pan quite well, but 4F works better and is quicker to flash.
Don't over fill the pan, a small caharge in the pan fires faster.
Keep the vent hole cleared , and make it a habit of picking it after each shot. A welding tip cleaner on a lace tied to the trigger guard is a good tool to have at hand.
Having the flint positioned corectly in the jaws makes for a good spark. Pad it with leather to keep the flints lasting longer. I get up to 70 shots from a flint before needing to sharpen it. Set the flint to barely clear the frizzen at half cock.

I will add some more after supper.
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Old 02-10-2013, 08:25 PM
petew petew is online now
 
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If you do not get good spark first make sure you have real flint in the jaws. Set the flint to barely clear the frizzen at half cock. Make sure it is the right size, and square to the frizzzen. The frizzen must be clean and dry!!!NO OIL.
Still poor or no spark, remove the lock , cock and fire it in your hand . without powder!!
If it sparks now, you have something hanging up in the trigger or lock. Often screws have been overtightened creating binding. Take a look for interferences in the lock to wood, springs and the trigger sear.
If when you tested the lock for spark outside the gun it is not sparking and you have a good flint, set properly, turn the flint over, and try again. Some like bevel up some bevel down.
look for something binding. Does the frizzzen flip over easy or hard? Does the frizzen fit squarely on the pan? Often it is just a matter of smoothing the frizzen to spring contact to make it smooth and reliable.
If the hammer falls quickly, and the flint makes good contact and still no spark you may have a bad frizzen, a $20 fix and 10 minutes of your life. Do not oil the frizzen. It stays dry or no sparks will be made.
One thing to remember, Flinters will shower the person beside you with a jet of very hot gas when the charge goes off.
Pick the vent between shots, Run a damp patch down the bore before you reload, use good flints and real BP and you will see just how reliable a flinter can be.
Let the inline guys use sabots, and pistol bullets. Round balls or maxi's of pure lead do just fine in our guns.

Pan Primer for Flinters.

Last edited by petew; 02-10-2013 at 08:35 PM.
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Old 02-12-2013, 05:29 AM
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I have a .50 cal hawken by investarms out of Italy and I love it! I dropped a white tail last fall at 80 meters with it. I was using 70 gns of triple7 and a CCI #11 cap.
One thing I should point out that you showed a pic of your ball sitting on your patch prior to seating the ball onto the powder. Remember that the sprue needs to be exactly on top of the ball for better accuracy. if you are using swaged balls, no problem because there isn't a sprue but if you are casting your balls like I do, you need to pay attention to this.
Just my thoughts here
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Old 02-18-2013, 04:25 PM
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Does TC still make a Hawken kit or is Traditions the only one? Great article too!
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Old 02-18-2013, 06:31 PM
petew petew is online now
 
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Recently heard the TC sidelocks are discontimued . Traditions , Pedersoli, and Lyman are still available. There are lots of options for kits at trackofthewolf.com
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Old 03-03-2013, 08:04 AM
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So its Sunday morning and I am bored so I thought I would share a very simple tool I made for the certain ooppsie you will eventually have when you come to the conclusion that a rifle fires better when the powder is under the ball!!

On the very left is a ball puller which screws into the ball. OK looks simple enough,but they are only usefull for throwing at the neighbours cat!!They thread into your ramrod and get drove into the stuck ball,but the threads arent sharp enough to dig in,and if it does your hand slips around the ramrod as you try to screw it in. Save your 5 bucks and I will show you something that works for half the cost..



This here gadget..




Its a handy dandy piece of ready rod with a screw welded to it..here is the business end. Take a piece of 1/4 inch ready rod and weld a #6 screw to the end of it. A mig welder works great for this,dont have a mig? No problem,local welding shop or autobody shop has one and will probably weld it for nothing for ya.So just above the welded screw we have a 1/4 inch nut,the reason for this is to lock things tight.I built this for a 54 cal rifle but with a slight adjustment in case size or tape it will work for other calibres. Take 2 30-06 cases,drill the primer hole out to .250 (1/4 inch) Slide one down the ready rod.Now the mouth on a 06 case is .308,but no problem.Grab a role of black tape and give the rod a few wraps to make up the difference and screw the 1/4 nut and case up so that half the 06 case neck mouth covers half the tape. Now take the other 06 case and drop it down opposite the first one. Just like in the picture. Now take and give both case necks a few wraps of black tape to hold them together. Run another 1/4 inch nut down the rod and tighten it against the last case,this way things are tight and lined up.The cases will be loose in the barrel so take your tape and give each case a few wraps on the base so that it is just snug in the bore.This way you know that the screw will be centered in the bore and on the ball...



So now the handle end,thread a 1/4 nut down a few inches,grab a piece of wood dowel and drill it out slightly larger then the rod. You want the dowel to be able to swivel on the rod.The reason for this is because as you pull the ball out,the rod will swivel with the rifling and wont hang up. Just like a cleaning rod works.Thread 3 1/4 inch nuts on top and tighten them against themselves.Take and drop this down the barrel so the screw rests against the stuck ball,a slight tap to get it started and take a ratchet with a 7/16 socket and thread the screw into the ball. When it stops,( and you will definately know it) Grab your fancy dancy wood dowel handle and with one pull...out comes the ball.Oh and give the exposed part of ready rod a few wraps of tape so the metal of the rod is not contacting the rifling in the barrel.



There ya have a ball puller that works every time...and only costs a couple of bucks to build!!
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Old 03-03-2013, 09:01 AM
petew petew is online now
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by icehunter View Post
So its Sunday morning and I am bored so I thought I would share a very simple tool I made for the certain ooppsie you will eventually have when you come to the conclusion that a rifle fires better when the powder is under the ball!!

On the very left is a ball puller which screws into the ball. OK looks simple enough,but they are only usefull for throwing at the neighbours cat!!They thread into your ramrod and get drove into the stuck ball,but the threads arent sharp enough to dig in,and if it does your hand slips around the ramrod as you try to screw it in. Save your 5 bucks and I will show you something that works for half the cost..



This here gadget..




Its a handy dandy piece of ready rod with a screw welded to it..here is the business end. Take a piece of 1/4 inch ready rod and weld a #6 screw to the end of it. A mig welder works great for this,dont have a mig? No problem,local welding shop or autobody shop has one and will probably weld it for nothing for ya.So just above the welded screw we have a 1/4 inch nut,the reason for this is to lock things tight.I built this for a 54 cal rifle but with a slight adjustment in case size or tape it will work for other calibres. Take 2 30-06 cases,drill the primer hole out to .250 (1/4 inch) Slide one down the ready rod.Now the mouth on a 06 case is .308,but no problem.Grab a role of black tape and give the rod a few wraps to make up the difference and screw the 1/4 nut and case up so that half the 06 case neck mouth covers half the tape. Now take the other 06 case and drop it down opposite the first one. Just like in the picture. Now take and give both case necks a few wraps of black tape to hold them together. Run another 1/4 inch nut down the rod and tighten it against the last case,this way things are tight and lined up.The cases will be loose in the barrel so take your tape and give each case a few wraps on the base so that it is just snug in the bore.This way you know that the screw will be centered in the bore and on the ball...



So now the handle end,thread a 1/4 nut down a few inches,grab a piece of wood dowel and drill it out slightly larger then the rod. You want the dowel to be able to swivel on the rod.The reason for this is because as you pull the ball out,the rod will swivel with the rifling and wont hang up. Just like a cleaning rod works.Thread 3 1/4 inch nuts on top and tighten them against themselves.Take and drop this down the barrel so the screw rests against the stuck ball,a slight tap to get it started and take a ratchet with a 7/16 socket and thread the screw into the ball. When it stops,( and you will definately know it) Grab your fancy dancy wood dowel handle and with one pull...out comes the ball.Oh and give the exposed part of ready rod a few wraps of tape so the metal of the rod is not contacting the rifling in the barrel.



There ya have a ball puller that works every time...and only costs a couple of bucks to build!!
Good Idea for a range puller. The little comercial pullers are handy in the possible bag, for pulling your balls in the woods,but they are also hard on Ram Rods, and can pull the end off the rod if it is not pined in place and glued.
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Old 03-30-2013, 11:39 AM
ishootbambi ishootbambi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by icehunter View Post

So forward we go..first off we need some powder and balls to shoot. Please check out recommended loads for your rifle and load weights ..and dont exceed them..






Powder measures...2 shown but both do the same thing.They are graduated from 10 - 120 grains each. You simply unscrew the locking collar,set for your charge weight,lock the collar back in and you are good to go.
.
clear and concise with one very important error that you described twice. guys who know already know, but since this is aimed at noobs, it is VERY important to understand that BP and its substitutes are measured VOLUMETRICALLY, and NOT by weight. the powder measure meters a volume of powder. the term grains may confuse some, but please do not weigh a charge on a scale thinking it will work out fine. a volume measure must be used. carry on.....
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Old 03-30-2013, 03:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ishootbambi View Post
clear and concise with one very important error that you described twice. guys who know already know, but since this is aimed at noobs, it is VERY important to understand that BP and its substitutes are measured VOLUMETRICALLY, and NOT by weight. the powder measure meters a volume of powder. the term grains may confuse some, but please do not weigh a charge on a scale thinking it will work out fine. a volume measure must be used. carry on.....
Thank you for pointing out my error,so lets clear that point up. Yes black powder and substitutes are measured by volume.So I scooted outside on a nice warm day here and took a pic. Notice that the measure is locked in at 100 grains. This is 100 grains of B/P by volume as it being a cylinder shaped object and NOT 100 grains on a scale. Good point you made and thank you for catching my error..

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Old 04-02-2013, 11:13 AM
Shannon89 Shannon89 is offline
 
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My brother in law shoots black powder and loves it. one day i may look into it, but theres a lot to know and a lot involved so when i think I know then I will have to look into it.
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Old 04-12-2013, 09:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by petew View Post
well done.
It's nice to see a thread like this where muzzle loading is kept in the spirit and tradition of what it is. Simple close range shooting with basic gear. Unfortunately marketing has all but wiped out traditional Muzzle loading.
BIG X2 !!
Quote:
Originally Posted by petew View Post
Recently heard the TC sidelocks are discontimued . Traditions , Pedersoli, and Lyman are still available. There are lots of options for kits at trackofthewolf.com
That's a shame if it's true?T/C has been a leader in the ever shrinking traditional market for decades,and their lifetime warranty is almost unheard of in the firearms industry.It wasn't all that many years ago that T/C offered 1/2 dozen traditional rifles from .32-.58cal,plus sidelock pistols as well.Coincidentally,I was just on the T/C website last week and aside from the dozen or more(?) modern in-lines(don't know/don't care?)they only list the Hawken .50 in flint or capper.If in fact they are now discontinued also,it's either a new announcement for 2014 or perhaps their website hasn't been updated for 2013?Either way,it's a shame,as mentioned in above quote,marketing has all but wiped out traditional muzzleloading.
Modern muzzleloader hunters it seems have no interest in the tradition or spirit in which these ML and/or "primitive weapon" seasons were created in the first place.They only want centerfire rifle performance in a rifle that meets the legal criteria to take advantage of the extra season opportunities,and the manufacturers have responded. Ironic really and sad at the same time that originally special seasons were created to fit the weapon,and nowadays the weapons are being created to fit the season.



Quote:
Originally Posted by petew View Post
Perhaps we need a Mythbusters type thread dispelling the evils and downfalls of real ML shooting with black powder and lead balls. They are very reliable and simple , if we do our part.
Pete
Hopefully these pics will help dispel some of the myths regarding traditional MLs being unreliable,underpowered,or innefective/un-ethical for medium and bigger game?

T/C Hawken .45 caplock(no that's NOT a typo...it's a .45!!)
90gr FFFg Goex
225gr Powerbelt HP
100 yards thru boiler room
distance to recovery.....40yards
No,Powerbelts aren't exactly "traditional",but .45 cal conicals are impossible to find in southern Alberta in my experience thus far? gonna have to mold my own I guess?
Don't let anybody tell ya you need a .300 win Mag to hunt elk,lol



Couple pics of a .45cal/325grHP Buffalo Bullet that I recovered from just under the hind quarter hide of a WT buck after a 40yard,head-on shot thru the chest.For comparison,a .45cal roundball,and a 250gr .45 maxiball.Unfortunately,i didn't have a 325gr HP BB for comparison being as the very last one I had killed that buck,and Buffalo Bullet Co. had previously gone outta bizness. they are in fact kickazz,whomp'em,DRT bullets though.I've killed 2 other WT with that load,none of three took another step.Expanded from .45 to .875...deadliest mushroom in the woods,lol.





Keep yer powder dry....
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Old 04-12-2013, 09:52 AM
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58thecat 58thecat is offline
 
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Wow that sure brings back memories, had a Hawkin 50 cal for many years and shot many mule deer and whitetails with it. Had some great times and I bet there is a hundred pounds of lead in the South Saskatchewan river coulees as that was our preferred hunting areas. Went through a few Ram Rods as they were forgot in hast to be removed from the barrel and when the smoke cleared it was "what the heck was that?"...fun times!
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Old 12-28-2013, 06:26 PM
Gunrarr Gunrarr is offline
 
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Thanks for the great on making a ball puller, I'm sure that will work better than the one that I bought, just like you said. Tom.
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Old 01-22-2014, 04:54 PM
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Nice to see there is interest in the bp shooting. Been doing it for years. I recemend maxi balls for hunting and better accuracy. Last deer I shot with mine the bullet went diaganally through the deer from front leg to out the rear leg. He was turned a bit facing me.

As to your ball puller that is for your ram rod, I have used mine about 2 times and it worked fine. I do have a differant ram rod than stock on my tc 54 renagade hunter. Found that you can get a ram rod tip and aluminum arrow to make a great ram rod that you will never pull apart. May be able to do the same with the new carbon arrows.

Have fun and keep your powder dry.

TF
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  #26  
Old 02-15-2014, 07:49 AM
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icehunter icehunter is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trike_flyer View Post
Nice to see there is interest in the bp shooting. Been doing it for years. I recemend maxi balls for hunting and better accuracy. Last deer I shot with mine the bullet went diaganally through the deer from front leg to out the rear leg. He was turned a bit facing me.

As to your ball puller that is for your ram rod, I have used mine about 2 times and it worked fine. I do have a differant ram rod than stock on my tc 54 renagade hunter. Found that you can get a ram rod tip and aluminum arrow to make a great ram rod that you will never pull apart. May be able to do the same with the new carbon arrows.

Have fun and keep your powder dry.

TF
The problem I found with buying one is this. The shank is 2 thick and the threads are too dull to cut into a ball. The reason this was made up was before I got into black powder a friend of mine did the seat the ball without powder trick. He called me up just fuming mad and thought he was screwed. I hit the shop with a idea and it worked.He was happier then a clam in mud as how slick it worked...I gave it to him and 6 months later when I finally got into BP I made one for myself.Since all the time I take a rifle out its in a hard case,I just left it in the case under the foam. In fact it has never came out of the case,so I always have it with me where ever I go shooting.
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  #27  
Old 03-10-2014, 10:07 PM
NW Tradegunner NW Tradegunner is online now
 
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Location: Fort Saskatchewan
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Thumbs up When the ball puller bores thru the ball....................

Sometime in your experience with BP rifles, you'll get a dry ball experience that will just about drive you crazy. You forget to put the powder in and ram that tight patched ball down the bore and when it hits bottom; crap! So you pull out your ball puller and proceed to screw it into the ball. In most cases the pure lead ball allows the screw to thread into it. On a rare ocassion, the ball is too hard; maybe the person that cast the balls used wheel weights ( heaven forbid) and it won't screw into it. Or the screw is too blunt and basically drills right through the ball! What now? If your gun has a bolster or a drum, you can unscrew the nipple and put a little FFFFG in there, screw the nipple back in. Put on a percussion cap and fire it in a safe direction. With a flintlock, dribbling FFFFG into the touch hole may send it out upon firing; but I doubt it. Usually a long whistling flame comes out of the touchhole and you're back to square one.
The only alternative is to pull the breech plug. About 35 years ago this fellow black powder shooter, that's dead now, told me how. When you get home, take the barrel off the gun, turn the barrel so you can see where the breech plug and the barrel match on the bottom of the barrel, turn the barrel so the sights are facing downward. Take a cold chisel and strike a mark that shows a line on both the breech plug and the barrel. This is your reference mark when reassembling the breech to the barrel. Pad the jaws of your vise with copper sheet so nothing get marred. Put the breech plug/tang in the vise jaws. Rest the front sight end on something solid. Now the barrel is horizontal and held up on both ends, front and back. You'll need a piece of rope at least 6 feet long. Take masking tape and tape one end of the rope to the barrel by the front sight. Take the other end of the rope and tape it to the breech end. About 3 or 4 wraps of tape will hold it. Now wrap the rope around the barrel in counterclockwise manner. Now insert a sturdy stick, a hockey stick will do, I use a stout piece of maple. Now turn the stick and as the rope tightens things start to happen. The stick shouldn't marr the barrel and the barrel should litterly pop loose off the breechplug. Unscrew it and knock out the ball and fowling. Put the breechplug back in and using the rope wrap it clockwise and proceed with the stick until the reference chisel marks line up. Whew! Won't do that again! I've done quite a few over my years of shooting BP and the shooters I did it for are ever grateful and tend to be a little more cautious.
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  #28  
Old 03-11-2014, 08:19 AM
jpohlic jpohlic is offline
 
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Location: Edmonton
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grinr View Post

Unfortunately,i didn't have a 325gr HP BB for comparison being as the very last one I had killed that buck,and Buffalo Bullet Co. had previously gone outta bizness. they are in fact kickazz,whomp'em,DRT bullets though.
I was at P&D a couple months ago and they had 3 boxes of .50 490gr HP flat base Buffalo Bullets for $5 a box!!! I couldn't pass that up!!!

They must have been some really, really old stock because the lube is dried up and flaking off. I'll have to clean them off and re-lube them before trying them out.
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  #29  
Old 03-11-2014, 06:01 PM
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catnthehat catnthehat is offline
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Traditional Plains style rifles are what I really like, owned flinters and full stock Pennsylvania rifles, but the Hawken is the one for me!
I've killed a smack of game and won a mess of money and trophies with this one since 1980.
Cat
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  #30  
Old 06-10-2014, 09:47 AM
tamati67 tamati67 is offline
 
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thanks for the great write up
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