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Old June 14, 2009, 09:14 PM   #1
Northslope Nimrod
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What do I need after I get the muzzle loader?

My dad recently bought a .50 caliber muzzle loader. I think it is a Thompson.
I am in charge of Father's Day gifts. What accessories, etc do I need? What to add to this list?
1. Sabots/bullets (what grain, manufacturer, etc)
2. Powder (which kind?)
3. A powder flask (Which one?)
4. Speed loads (any recommendations?)
5. Cleaner (which works best?)
6. 209 primers (any will do I assume?)

What else?
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Old June 14, 2009, 09:36 PM   #2
dalegribble
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cabelas offers an accessory kit has a powder flask and other stuff. bullets and powder are up to you. i like the powerbelt bullets and you might try the pre formed powder pellets to start off, they take alot of the guess work out of loading for a beginer.
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Old June 14, 2009, 10:29 PM   #3
Doyle
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1. Don't waste your money on pellets. They are notoriously inconsistent in their charge and in a muzzloader consistency = accuracy.
2. Pick a good powder and stick with it. I like 777 - others like pyrodex. Everybody likes the new Buckhorn 209 but it is a bear to find. Once you find your load, stick with it. Consistency is everything - even down to the amount of pressure you push the bullet down with. Don't bother with a flask. At the range, one of those little funnel tops for the power bottle works fine. Get a good powder measure though. For the field, use the plastic tubes that hold 1 powder charge, one sabotted bullet, and one primer. I carry 3 of those in addition to the charge in my gun while deer hunting.
3. You'll need a good cleaning kit (nipple pick, bore brush, bore butter, patches, jag, etc.).
4. I have had really good luck with the Hornady SST bullets in the low-drag sabots. The SST type bullets tend to fly just a hair flatter than the flat-nosed bullets. In a slug-thrower like a muzzleloader I like all the flatness I can get. Using 100 grns of 777 and a 245grn Hornady SST bullet, I can get close to 1moa.

Go to Thompson's website. They have some very good videos about beginning muzzleloading. About the ony thing on their video I totally disagree with is that they don't remove the breech plug when they swab between shots. To me, that is absolutely essential. Many powers (777 especially) start building up a "crud ring" just in front of the breech plug. If you remove the plug when you make your cleaning swab, it can't build up. If you do let it build up, then the bullet won't seat down on the powder good and you start getting inconsistency (translates into inaccuracy).
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Old June 14, 2009, 11:42 PM   #4
Chuck Dye
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The Lyman Black Powder Handbook.
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Gee, I'd love to see your data!
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Old June 15, 2009, 01:08 AM   #5
arcticap
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While a flask isn't absolutely necessary, using one makes pouring loose powder into the powder measure much easier to control the powder flow down to the last few grains.
I prefer the Traditions brass flask because for me, the plunger valve is easier to use than CVA's flask with the lever/spring design. The Traditions plunger spring is thinner and I'd rather not need to stretch out my thumb to depress the lever, so I just prefer the button plunger instead.
The plastic pour spout for the can is more likely to pour too much powder and there's no precise way to control the flow. Even though it would work, it's designed to refill flasks from the bulk container.
It's usually better to have any flask than none at all.
The flask's long thin spout tube also helps to precisely direct the powder into the powder measure, especially if the powder measure has a narrow opening. And once the volume of the flask spout is determined, it can also be used to measure out powder charges more quickly in the field, and different volume spouts can be added.

http://www.traditionsfirearms.com/es...ductCode=A1201

This TC flask has the same plunger design as the Traditions but it doesn't have a threaded, interchangable spout:

http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/te...set=ISO-8859-1

Every brand of powder has advantages and disadvantages. Most folks end up trying different ones over time. But if using loose 777, it's recommended to also use the Winchester 777 primers along with it because they burn less hot which reduces the possibilty of a crud ring forming. Using the hotter standard 209 muzzle loading or shotshell primers increases the chance of a crud ring forming with 777 powder, and so does loading with 777 pellets.
Loading with 777 powder requires using 15% less volume to equal other powders.
TC also makes a cleaner/solvent that's specifically designed for 777 that's named T-17 Bore Solvent.

http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/te...set=ISO-8859-1

http://www.olibuy.com/tcpic7488.html

Last edited by arcticap; June 15, 2009 at 12:46 PM.
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Old June 15, 2009, 05:08 AM   #6
simonkenton
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We need to know the make and model of the rifle.
In particular, is it an inline, or a traditional styled muzzleloader?
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Old June 15, 2009, 06:05 AM   #7
aussiemaletuber
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Lyman Black Powder Handbook.

Thanks Chuck.
Nice looking book (I have ordered one today).
Cheers
David
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Old June 15, 2009, 08:15 AM   #8
Missoura Don
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Actually...as far as the pellets go, I've had pretty good luck with them in my Hartford .44, consisty and all!
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Old June 15, 2009, 08:31 AM   #9
Northslope Nimrod
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It is an Inline. Thompson Omega, I believe.
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Old June 15, 2009, 09:29 AM   #10
Doyle
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Quote:
It is an Inline. Thompson Omega, I believe.
That's what I shoot. Great rifle. Like I said, mine loves 100grns of loose 777 with a 777 primer and a 245grn Hornady SST in a low-drag sabot. One more thing I forgot to mention. The Hornady SST's come in a pack of 20/box at about $12/box. The other brands usually come packed 15/box at an even higher price per box. I love value.
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Old June 15, 2009, 12:22 PM   #11
simonkenton
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245 gr. SST?
I have some 250 gr, not familiar with the 245 gr.
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Old June 15, 2009, 01:54 PM   #12
Doyle
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My bad, they are 250 grn. Good stuff even if I can't read the box right.
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Old June 15, 2009, 04:54 PM   #13
simonkenton
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Well, I wouldn't nit pick with you, but, I wouldn't want to send a newbie out to buy a bullet that doesn't exist.
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