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Old March 21, 2013, 12:36 PM   #1
simmonds
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Help Identify This Armi Sport

Hello,
New to BP muzzleloaders and am interested in deer and possible elk hunting this year with a muzzleloader for the first time. A friend of mine has this rifle he is offering to sell me and I was wondering if I could get some thoughts on this for a first BP rifle for a new guy.

I cannot find any information on the web about this rifle, it appears Armi Sport doesn't make this model anymore. It looks like a Hawken style or trade style maybe from what I can tell. It only has a single trigger and a modern butt plate design which I think looks bad. Other than that the rifle seems built really well and has nice buckhorn sights.

Anyone have any idea of the model of this and information on what loads this might shoot. How do I know if it shoots round ball, conical etc.??? Can you shoot round ball in guns designed for other loads? How can I determine the rifling twist etc.?

I ideally and originally wanted to find a Pennsylvania style long rifle, maybe in flintlock to deer and elk hunt with but the price of what I have found in multiple hundreds of dollars. I think I can pick this little rifle up for 100 or less. Would that be a good deal? Should I just pick this one up as a starter and to get my feet wet?

BTW, this is a .54 caliber.





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Old March 21, 2013, 02:42 PM   #2
maillemaker
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I don't know what it is, but any time you can pick up a functional firearm for $100 that's a damn good deal.

Black powder percussion cap muzzle loaders are selling new today for $800 and up. The used market puts them around $500 and up. So I would not hesitate to spend $100 on it even if it was just a wall hanger.

If it is an ArmiSport, you might be able to get information about the rifle from them here: http://www.chiappafirearms.com/

One way to determine the twist rate is to put a patched cleaning rod in the end of the muzzle and allow it to spin as you push it down the barrel.

Make a mark on the side of the cleaning rod where you start, and then another mark at the same spot when it turns 360 degrees. Measure the distance between the two marks and you now know the twist rate.

There is a variety of ammunition available for the .54. You can shoot patched round balls, Solid projectiles that engrave the rifling at loading, or expanding balls (minie balls).

The first thing to do when you get it is to drop the cleaning rod down the barrel to make sure it isn't loaded. You should get a nice metallic ring when it hits the breech face. If you hear a "clunk" you might be hitting lead.

Steve

EDIT:
360 degrees was 180 degrees.

Last edited by maillemaker; March 22, 2013 at 10:05 AM.
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Old March 21, 2013, 06:50 PM   #3
simmonds
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Thanks Steve!

I guess i'll go ahead and get this rifle then. Seems like a decent deal.

So I did the patch in the barrel thing to determine twist and came up with about 14? Not real accurate though but it seems like it is possible 1:24 to 1:32, somewhere in there possible? Does this sound right? If so, doesnt that determine pretty much that this would be better for sabot and minie ammo and not a round ball? I was hoping to practice and shoot patched round ball when not hunting with the rifle.

The barrel looks nice and clean and shinny when inspected with a light and everything else seems to be in great, hardly fired use.

BTW, I already have the rifle in my possession to examine and determine if I want it.

I checked the Italian proof mark on the side and noticed it is a 1993 model. I checked online for 1993 Armi Sport catalogs so i can determine this model but had no luck. Next step, call Armi Sport and see if they can give me some info.

Thanks again.
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Old March 21, 2013, 07:36 PM   #4
Hawg
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If you let your ramrod make a half turn then you have to multiply by two. You came out with a straight 14 so that would make your twist rate 1:28. That's a good conical twist but not a round ball twist at all.
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Old March 21, 2013, 08:32 PM   #5
simmonds
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Hawg, Thanks for the info. So what will happen to if I load this rifle with patched round balls? Will the accuracy be WAY off or just not so reliable? From my research I have been doing today, it looks as though anything under a 1:48 twist is really only meant for loads other than round ball.

Here is a picture I took (sorry I didn't orient it properly before uploading) of a rifle in an older Dixie catalog. This barrel has a fast twist and yet the load recommendation is patched ball??? Why here I wonder?

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Old March 21, 2013, 08:59 PM   #6
Hawg
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I have no idea why they would recommend a PRB for that twist. 1:48 is about as fast as you really want to go with a round ball. Its a decent twist for conicals and ball but not ideal for either. most round ball twists run from 1:60-1:72. I would imagine accuracy would be pretty bad unless you kept the powder charge really low. Too low for any practical application.
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Old March 22, 2013, 10:07 AM   #7
maillemaker
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Yeah I meant to type 360 degrees not 180. Thanks for the correction. I have edited my post.

Steve
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Old March 24, 2013, 03:30 PM   #8
Hawg
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You would be hard pressed to find a traditional muzzle loading barrel you could do a 360 turn in. There's not a lot of 48-72 inch barrels out there.
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