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Old July 22, 2014, 10:26 PM   #1
Model12Win
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I need a Hawken rifle

There comes a time in every young man's life that he needs a Hawken rifle.

Well not really, but for this young man, that time is now.

I'm looking for a pre-made, no kit gun. I haven't the patience or skill for such things. I'd like .54 caliber if at all possible. The gun doesn't have to be a fancy Hawken, just something fairly accurate. I value historical accuracy with my firearms, and would prefer one that's historically accurate if at all possible. Also, I'm after a percussion model. I hear many of these take #11 sized caps? That would be perfect, or #10, whatever. A single trigger is also wanted, I'm not a fan of double set triggers.

So what do yall recomend to a young buck who wants a .54 caliber, non-kit fully assembled and finished percussion Hawken rifle? Oh, I'd also prefer one for under $600 but only if this is possible.

I understand these were used by mountain men back in the early to mid 1800s. Where these also used as defensive weapons against humans, or even in any notable conflicts/wars?

Thank you so much for your help, this will be my first muzzle loading rifle and I'm darned excited to get one!
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Old July 22, 2014, 10:54 PM   #2
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Well if you want one made to fit let me know. I make them (and a lot of other muzzleloaders too) from "post-plane" to "Trappers dream".
I can also do them in antiqued finish so they look 180 years old.

You choose the barrel length, left of right handed, cap or flint, full stock or half stock, type and grade of wood, and you get your choice of drop at comb and heel and length of pull.





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Old July 22, 2014, 10:55 PM   #3
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Old July 22, 2014, 11:13 PM   #4
mehavey
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This one:

http://www.trackofthewolf.com/Catego...LYMAN-GPR-54-P $567
There are few (if any) better still being made for 3X the price.


postscript: Get the set trigger. I say again... get it.

.

Last edited by mehavey; July 22, 2014 at 11:24 PM.
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Old July 23, 2014, 04:29 AM   #5
Hawg
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If you can afford to get one made by Wyosmith get one. If not then I'll second the Lyman Great Plains. The Lyman is about as close as you're going to get to a real Hawken in a reasonably priced production rifle. The TC's, Investarms etc. Hawkens are Hawken's in name only and bear no resemblance to a real Hawken and no they were never used in a war but were used against Indians.
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Old July 23, 2014, 08:46 AM   #6
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Funny though it may be, I agree with Hawg.
The Lyman G.P. is probably the best factory made traditional muzzleloading rifle you can get.
No it's not as refined as a hand made Hawken. But the parts alone for a custom rifle will cost about $140 MORE than the whole rifle from Lyman. And their quality of barrels and locks is excellent.
For someone that is a purest it can be noted that the lines are very close to being right, but the way the Lymans are made and the details of historic design are not the same as a real St Louis Hawken, but the performance is as good as any, and better than most others.

My Hawkens start at $1300. They have $680 worth of parts in them before I even pick up a chisel. It takes me 20 to 24 to build one. Charging $200 a week is not unreasonable I don't think.

For those that want an exact copy of the real J&S Hawken they are obviously worth the price (to them or I would not still be making them) But if you want a super good rifle that has traditional lines and are not really interested in total historical accuracy, the Great Planes is never going to disappoint you.
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Old July 23, 2014, 09:56 AM   #7
Model12Win
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Awesome! Thanks all for the help. So these Hawken rifles were used against Indians, is that right? What history they have! That Lyman gun looks really nice, I'll have to read up on it!

So for firing the gun, I assume I need some things:

FFG powder (I like GOEX)
.54 round balls (I assume .535?)
#11 percussion caps (what brand fit this gun?)
Powder measure (I'll probably get the brass adjustable kind with the little screw type thing)
Patches (I have no idea about this one, all I shoot is C&P muzzleloading revolvers and they don't use patches so I need some help in this area.)
Spout for can of GOEX to pour into measure.

Anything else I'll need to shoot the gun?

Thanks so much for your help guys!
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Old July 23, 2014, 11:51 AM   #8
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That's some really nice work Wyosmith, thanks for sharing!
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Old July 23, 2014, 12:16 PM   #9
Wyosmith
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Thanks Swathdriver.


M-12, you may consider getting a shooting bag and a horn for powder. One thing I like to use is a Cash Manufacturing old fashoned hinged tin to carry my patches in. http://www.trackofthewolf.com/Catego...7/1/BOX-1790-B

I also carry a screw driver and flints in my bag (which you will have no need for) and I carry a knife.
A ball starter is nice to have too.http://www.trackofthewolf.com/Catego...spx/118/1/ST-8

Get the correct cleaning jag, (this may not be the right one because the Lyman may have metric threads, but you will get the idea.
http://www.trackofthewolf.com/Catego...83/1/JS-54-6-8

a patch worm (again you will need to ask what thread to get.
http://www.trackofthewolf.com/Catego.../1/WORM-CORK-8

and a ball puller (and hope that you never need to use that)
http://www.trackofthewolf.com/Catego.../183/1/BP-54-8
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Old July 23, 2014, 01:09 PM   #10
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Sounds good all!

I assume these were used to fight Indians during western expansion right? How effective of a weapon would the Hawken be compared to something like a Civil War rifled musket? I have heard Hawkens were used by some early Civil War soldiers who didn't have access to other weapons. Is this true?

I'm going to start getting things ready for whatever Hawken rifle I end up choosing.

See, the original plan was to buy a Civil War 1861 Springfield rifled musket, but, finding musket caps is an issue and .58 caliber Minie balls are expensive. I live in a studio apartment in the city and am afraid lead casting is not possible at this time.

With the Hawken, I can buy .54 caliber balls that are much less expensive than .58 Minie and round balls. Also, the ones I've been looking at use percussion caps which are more available in my area.

Thanks again guys!
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Old July 23, 2014, 08:20 PM   #11
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I have a Lyman GPR flint gun in .54 caliber, and I like it very well. And also because I am obsessive, I want a percussion model too.

Bill
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Old July 24, 2014, 04:31 AM   #12
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The Hawken is good for about 200 yards with a patched round ball. The P53 Enfield used in the Civil War was good for about 800 yards with a minie ball. I'm not going to say nobody used a Hawken early in the was as the South pressed whatever they could into service. Back during the fur trade era nobody bought a rifle with the intended purpose being to fight Indians. The plains type rifle were a little shorter and were of a bigger caliber than the eastern style guns to be better against large game found in the west. Hawken was just one of a myriad of plains style rifles and there really weren't that many of them made. A number of them went up the Oregon Trail in the 40's and 50's. Many of the ones that are left came from that area.
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Old July 24, 2014, 06:04 AM   #13
mehavey
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While the rifled musket was a game changer for linear tactics (civil war artillery wheeled on the battlefield was now vulnerable at many hundred of yards when infantry approached it), any individual target beyond 150-200 yards during an active firefight was a just a case of many bullets and hope for statistics.

Volley fire took advantage of those heavy Minnieball statistics against massed formations starting at 300 yards, but that was about it.




~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Incidentally, a 250-yard 54cal/roundball doing 1,200fps at the muzzle has a 4ft mid-range arc. I wouldn't make a habit of hunting much beyond a hundred.
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Old July 24, 2014, 08:57 AM   #14
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You want FFG powder! FFFG burns too fast. gunslinger
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Old July 24, 2014, 09:15 AM   #15
Trum4n1208
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Wyosmith, those are works of art, thanks for sharing them! One day, when I actually have disposable income, I'll get in touch with you, those are truly incredible.

M12, good luck on finding your Hawken rifle, hope you enjoy it!
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Old July 24, 2014, 11:23 AM   #16
Model12Win
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So Hawkens weren't used for defense against Indians? Then what did they use instead?

I'm just curious about the history of this style of rifle. I am not in the market for something that was just used to hunt with LOL!

That's why I was interested in getting a Civil War rifled musket at first, because they were used in combat and for some reason I find that interesting. But after seeing how much a quality P53 or 1861 Springfield costs, as well as the cost of .58 Minie balls and the scarcity of musket caps, and not to mention not being able to find any hard case long enough to fit them for under $300, I quickly sobered to the idea. The only range around me that allows BP is an outdoor one located on an Army base... and they require a hard, locked case for transportation.

I was under the impression the Hawken style rifles were used more as an all-purpose gun, both for hunting/survival and for defending against attackers? Was I wrong, and the Hawken was used pretty much solely as a hunting rifle?

Just curious! Thanks for the help!
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Old July 24, 2014, 12:30 PM   #17
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Interesting and Suspect !!!

Quote:
So Hawkens weren't used for defense against Indians? Then what did they use instead?
I use to be a Buckskinner and these days relate more to the Frontiersman. There is a difference as not all were Buckskinners. The Hawken was used for whatever the task at hand, needed. ...
Quote:
I'm just curious about the history of this style of rifle. I am not in the market for something that was just used to hunt with LOL!
I don't understand the this requirement but so be it
Quote:
That's why I was interested in getting a Civil War rifled musket at first, because they were used in combat and for some reason I find that interesting.
I find this comment, equally interesting and to be honest with you; somewhat disturbing. ....

Might add that more Frontiersman and Indians were killed by plain old gun accidents. .....
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Old July 24, 2014, 01:59 PM   #18
Wyosmith
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You want FFG powder! FFFG burns too fast.

Why would you believe that? I make muzzleloaders to earn my living and I have been a barrel maker for years, so I do have some knowledge of the subject.

I shoot a 62 cal for all my hunting and I have loaded it with 140 grains of 3F for many years. It’s very accurate and very deadly on game. I have also used it to win a fair share of ribbons and trophies since 94 when I made it.

3F is fine. 2F may be more accurate in some guns, but not all.
Try both.
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Old July 24, 2014, 02:01 PM   #19
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Thanks Trum4n1208
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Old July 24, 2014, 02:06 PM   #20
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Quote:
So Hawkens weren't used for defense against Indians? Then what did they use instead?

I'm just curious about the history of this style of rifle. I am not in the market for something that was just used to hunt with LOL!

That's why I was interested in getting a Civil War rifled musket at first, because they were used in combat and for some reason I find that interesting. But after seeing how much a quality P53 or 1861 Springfield costs, as well as the cost of .58 Minie balls and the scarcity of musket caps, and not to mention not being able to find any hard case long enough to fit them for under $300, I quickly sobered to the idea. The only range around me that allows BP is an outdoor one located on an Army base... and they require a hard, locked case for transportation.

I was under the impression the Hawken style rifles were used more as an all-purpose gun, both for hunting/survival and for defending against attackers? Was I wrong, and the Hawken was used pretty much solely as a hunting rifle?

Just curious! Thanks for the help!
A Hawken rifle, just like any other non military rifle, was designed and manufactured as a hunting, or "sporting" rifle. Just like the flintlock rifles used during the Revolutionary war. Even the Sharps' and Winchesters of the later 1800s were not made for the purpose of killing people. They too were "sporting" arms. Pretty much any gun, at one time or another has been used in a combat situation even if it wasn't made for it. Honestly, the lowly shotgun has probably killed more folk over the years than any other "sporting arm". You seem to have an odd fascination with guns being used to kill people.

Last edited by MJN77; July 24, 2014 at 02:14 PM.
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Old July 24, 2014, 02:16 PM   #21
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Quote:
You want FFG powder! FFFG burns too fast. gunslinger
I second Wyosmith's comment that there is nothing wrong with using 3F in place of 2F in a musket. You will probably find that you can use less powder and get the same performance, since 3F burns more vigorously than 2F. Since 2F costs the same as 3F, this is a good money-saving move.

There's nothing wrong with liking or collecting or shooting military weaponry. I shoot competition in the N-SSA and the entire purpose of the organization is the competition shooting of Civil War-era weaponry, and most of them were designed and used as weapons of war.

Steve
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Old July 24, 2014, 02:26 PM   #22
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Quote:
That's why I was interested in getting a Civil War rifled musket at first, because they were used in combat and for some reason I find that interesting. But after seeing how much a quality P53 or 1861 Springfield costs, as well as the cost of .58 Minie balls and the scarcity of musket caps, and not to mention not being able to find any hard case long enough to fit them for under $300, I quickly sobered to the idea. The only range around me that allows BP is an outdoor one located on an Army base... and they require a hard, locked case for transportation.
No doubt about it, BP shooting isn't cheap. You can figure about $.30 a shot. About it's only saving grace is the rate of fire is low so you can shoot all afternoon and only have spent $30 in ammo. You'll probably end up wanting to cast your own bullets, and if shooting anything other than round ball, size them, too.

There are shorter Civil-War era firearms, such as the P58 Enfield, the Enfield Musketoon, and the Richmond Carbine. Then there are breech loaders like the Sharps and Maynards, etc. However, new, these run $1000+.

But that Lyman GP seems like a low-cost way to get into the action.

Steve
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Old July 24, 2014, 02:29 PM   #23
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Quote:
There's nothing wrong with liking or collecting or shooting military weaponry. I shoot competition in the N-SSA and the entire purpose of the organization is the competition shooting of Civil War-era weaponry, and most of them were designed and used as weapons of war.
...and I used to be a ACW and WWII reenactor. Enjoying military history is one thing, but not being
Quote:
in the market for something that was just used to hunt with LOL!
seems a little, odd. This guy seems to want a rifle just because it killed people. Maybe he needs to phrase things differently?
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Old July 24, 2014, 02:30 PM   #24
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I've been shooting a Lyman Trade Rifle (percussion, 50 cal.) for several years now and can attest to the accuracy and dependability of the Lyman rifles. The Trade Rifle is a slightly shorter barreled version of the Great Planes. It easily rings the steel at 100 yds. And will put three balls within the size of a 1/2 Dollar @ 50 yds.from the bench. Favorite load is 60 gn. Goex 3F under a patched round ball. Will accept 90 gn. of 3F if you want more velocity. It does have a 1:42 twist barrel so it's a compromise for ball and conical bullets.
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Old July 24, 2014, 03:01 PM   #25
Model12Win
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Sorry!

I should have rephrased this differently!

Shall I say, I enjoy firearms that were used in conflicts because I am deeply interested in the history of western expansion and the Civil War/other wars of the 19th century. I DO NOT want a rifle just because "it was used to kill people", that is silly. I was interested if the Hawken had any history as a fighting gun, that is all. I collect military weapons and civilian weapons that were used in conflicts.

To me that would just add to the rich history of an old gun like this to know it was used for more than hunting game animals. That's all I was trying to say and if this offended or confused anyone I am deeply sorry!

-M12Winny
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