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Old December 10, 2011, 09:32 PM   #1
Sarge
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Pre-season roundball shooting

Our muzzle-loader deer season starts in about a week, so I decided to shoot my old .54 Hawken today. It sat with a load in it since last winter, and it fired without hesitation on the first cap.


If there are 101 uses for a dead cat then dead terrorists ought to have some utility, too. I stapled OBL up in front of the logpile, held on his do-rag and let a few rip at about 120 yards. There was about a 10-12 mph crosswind from right to left, so I expected a little drift and wasn’t disappointed. I’m running a 230 grain patched .530 ball over 90 grains of Triple Seven, for a chronographed 1810 feet per second from this particular gun. The group is six shots in about six inches and it includes one right adjustment between the 3rd and 4th shot. The old gun got moved & stored over the summer and I'm certain in was dead on the money last fall. I’ll have to shoot it again on a calm day and see if I need to adjust it a tad more.


While I haven't cornered the market on accuracy here, it is sufficient to put some venison on the ground at the ranges at which I'll be hunting.
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Old December 10, 2011, 10:15 PM   #2
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Today was the last day I could hunt our muzzleloader season and My grandson and I blasted the balls out of our rifles at sunset.
My Flint did not go off till the 3rd time and the caplock my grandson carry's roared like it was suppose to.
Crazy thing was my Flint'er roared after carrying it on a rainy opener but misfired after a nice day.
I don't store them loaded in the barrel.
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Old December 11, 2011, 12:24 AM   #3
Sarge
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That emptying of the charge, at the end of hunting season, was a ritual of mine too. Last couple of years, I've been trying to ding a coyote with the old rifle so I left it charged.

Of course I always pull the cap off the nipple. Anytime the rifle is loaded & uncapped, I also set a fired .22 LR case over the nipple and let the hammer rest on it. This provides me with a visual and tactile reminder that the gun has a load in it.
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Old December 11, 2011, 12:32 AM   #4
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I discharged mine at the end of every day, and reloaded it every morning. (Though, we have substantially shorter muzzle loader seasons than most parts of the country -- generally less than 9 days.)

Different strokes, for different folks..
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Old December 11, 2011, 08:16 AM   #5
Gbro
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Quote:
Anytime the rifle is loaded & uncapped, I also set a fired .22 LR case over the nipple and let the hammer rest on it. This provides me with a visual and tactile reminder that the gun has a load in it.
And I close my pan on a clean ball patch as a reminder there is a charge in the barrel.
I will save a few fired .22 cases for the caplock. Thanks!
I pulled my load many times at night, especially when hunting in the Colorado Rocky's.
I made up a pilot drill attachment for the end of my ram rod and that made pulling the ball much much easier.
I broke my ramrod one week into season (caught on brush and it was a fiberglass one) and other than the rod in the other rifle I was stuck with a short rod until I went to town.
I was loaded with Norton's so there was no problem and my new rod is still without the fittings.

And by the way Sarge, looks like you will have a warm winter!, you did well at the "Chunk Shoot"
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Last edited by Gbro; December 11, 2011 at 08:24 AM.
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Old December 11, 2011, 08:01 PM   #6
Sarge
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Chapter II

Today was going to be my last chance to get old Santa Fe zeroed. So back out to the rickety-azz shooting table we go.



The wind was still about 10 mph today, but dropping a handful of grass confirmed the direction was better at 30 degrees into the muzzle. For a better defined aiming point, I stapled a picnic bowl on Osama’s gizzard. Three shots at roughly 120 yards landed toward its left side and given the conditions, I’m comfortable with the zero.



Never one to quit while I’m ahead, I moved the works back to the edge of the field, about 192 yards according to Google Earth’s yardstick. Right on schedule, the wind picked up. In case you’ve ever wondered what an Osamazoid with a bowl stapled to his belly looks like at that distance, it’s that little white speck above the front sight.



I resisted the urge to fiddle with the sights and fired five shots, hoping they wouldn’t drift off the plywood backer. My wish was granted and I located an eleven inch group, just off bottom-left corner of the target.



Just a couple of thoughts… those .54 ball were taking about ¾ of a second to get to the target and making a THWACK I could heard with earplugs in. All made clean holes through ¾”plywood and all buried in the old oak logs behind it. Also, the old rifle is keeping 2/3 of its shots real close together and I’m certain the flyers are mine. I am getting real tempted to install a finer front sight and a good aperture sight on the rear. Those additions would make it easier for me to shoot well- and this long-distance round-ball shooting is getting addictive.
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Old December 11, 2011, 08:29 PM   #7
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Good shooting Sarge.

I'm callin for two more right clicks.

What say you?
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Old December 11, 2011, 08:31 PM   #8
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Good shooting Sarge.

I'm callin for 1 to 1 1/2 more right clicks .

What say you?
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Old December 11, 2011, 08:49 PM   #9
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Thanks, shortwave. If it had been dead calm today, I'd have taken that little bitty hammer & a punch to the rear sight. But those poor old round balls are about as aerodynamic as a bumble=bee and drift something fierce. For now, I'm gonna leave it alone. After the hunting season, it just may get new sights anyhow.
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Old December 12, 2011, 09:28 AM   #10
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I shuddered when i saw that "Little Bitty" hammer on your bench. I was with a friend a couple years ago and he was complaining about his sights also and we stopped at a LGS and there was a fibre optic set on the shelf. he asked if he could have the sights installed and the proprieter took the rifle and beleive me, when he finished installing the rear sight he had put aside the 8 Oz hammer and was whacking the brass drift with a 3 #'er! I was sick to my stomach watching and the gun owner didn't even pay any attention.
I was looking for a couple of V notches on the edge of your rickety-@zz table.
They are nice for standing the smoke pole at the bench for loading.
Good luck on your hunt.
We are having an unbelieveable fall and hunting is done.
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Old December 12, 2011, 11:42 AM   #11
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Quote:
For now, I gonna leave it alone.
Don't blame ya.

I'm getting ready to experiment with a new load on the BP rifle I use but like you, have to wait till after ML season is over.
Have all my 'new load' components and its driving me crazy.
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