Originally Posted by chickenmcnasty
I also saw that bass pro is offering a traditions springfield hawken for around $320. How does this compare? Their 6 pay offer is tempting, but the other rifles seem much nicer.
Also, can you elaborate more on barrel twist and uses? I'm also wanting to get into one and am very confused.
Is there any good sites that have a breakdown of some of this info? I would also love to know more about .50 cal vs. .54 cal
The Springfield Hawken is a lot like the laminated Traditions Hawken Woodsman except that it has a single trigger and a wood stock. They can sometimes be found used for under $200 which means that they lose value quickly after their initial purchase because they've been made in one form or another for the last 20 years or more.
The 1 in 28" to 1 in 38" fast twist barrels are primarily for shooting bore size conical bullets or saboted bullets.
The 1 in 48" medium twist barrels can shoot both round balls, conicals and saboted bullets accurately anywhere from 60 - 100 yards with a heavy hunting load.
One fellow who built a .54 Traditions Deer hunter from a kit put a scope on it and found that it really liked shooting conicals and sabots way better than it would shoot patched round balls. So some 1 in 48" barrels will shoot conicals really great while conversely others will only prefer round balls. You never know which projectiles a medium twist will shoot better with the heavy powder charges that are used for hunting.
The 1 in 59" to 1 in 72" slow twist barrels are primarily for shooting patched round balls out to about 100 yards. But they usually require heavier powder charges for best accuracy, especially at longer range.
They can sometimes shoot only the shortest and lightest lead conical bullets at a limited range of 60 -70 yards at the most, which are the Buffalo Ball-et conicals or Hornady PA conicals. Some slow twist barrels will shoot these short light weight bullets and others simply won't.
One needs to experiment to find out what their rifle likes and there are always exceptions to the basic rules about barrel twist rates and which projectiles that they will shoot accurately and out to what distance.
Target loads have light powder charges which can be more accurate, while hunting loads need to have more powder for better penetration on deer size animals. So the amount of powder and type of projectile definitely affects accuracy.