View Full Version : Newbie to the forum- black powder rifle selection

November 25, 2002, 02:07 PM
Hello. I was told this forum would be a great place to receive some much needed advice.

I have exclusively bow hunted for the past 20 years and decided to add the black powder rifle to my hunting experience. As a starter rifle I purchased a Cabela's Hawken rifle. I have made several mistakes like shooting sabots through it and attempted to get accessories. Dang metric stuff anyway. So I was shooting this thing and wound up with a severe should bruise, a split stock, a missed elk, and a not enough confidence to shoot the next shot syndrome.

I need a new rifle and since I have a traditional one now that needs to be repaired I thought I would get an in-line. I am left handed with a rifle, don't ask, so keep that in mind. It was suggested by a very successful BP hunter to look seriously at the Marlin MLS54. The gun has a synthetic stock, stainless barrel, scope mount holes, aluminum rod, and rubber butt. The rifle is $182.

I know that there are more expensive guns but the main issue is this a good quality gun for the value? Any thoughts?

November 25, 2002, 08:46 PM
Well Welcome to the board, this is truly a great place to ask questions, as there is a ton of collected knowledge here.

2 part answer, 1st you will recieve many opinions on traditional Muzle loaders vs Inlines here, personaly I prefer traditional, but don't mind inlines. I'm not real familiar with the marlin, however they normally put out quality rifles, so you really can't go wrong. I think the majority of the inlines are fairly accurate, be aware the 150 gr load probrably won't be the most accurate load for your gun. That's going to take some practice.

2nd you're best route would probrably be to tell us what happened to the first rifle, I'll bet that somebody here can explain what went wrong, and help restore you're confidence. Traditional MLs can be just as reliable and accurate as inlines when you know what you are doing.

Good hunting:D

November 26, 2002, 12:17 PM
I ordered a new stock for the hawken. It split on both sides of the breach through the hammer mount screw hole and on the hammer side. I was under the impression the gun was a 1:28 twist and was trying to shoot sabots. Oops. I want a 1:28 twist to shoot conicals and sabots. The gun seems to be accurate enough but I have little experience with the ML. I was shooting at 100 yrds at a sticky note on a cardboard box. The group of 5 was 8". I may have been able to do better but I was flinching pretty bad and really did not want to shoot that thing again.
Set up- 110 grs of Seven, 300 gr. nozzler sabot.

I am not that interested in the debate between the styles. I have been an archer all my life and shot about every type of bow there is. I prefer the open class with sites, release, compound etc. and so I have been involved in discussions of tradition. I'll shoot what I like if it is legal and will not pass judgement on others if they shoot something different. I like both types of ML's so I will have both to play with.

Thanks for your reply.

4V50 Gary
November 26, 2002, 10:36 PM
An archer who flinches with a smokepole? Generally archers have to be steadier with their follow-through since arrows are so much slower than bullets. Earplugs/earmuffs?

Try benchresting to determine the accuracy potential of your gun. Be sure to tuck the stock snug into your shoulder to minimize the recoil. It hurts more when it jumps into you that when it "pushes" you back. Whether you shoot a traditional or in-line, tuck it in. It almost goes without saying that once you develop a "fear" of the gun, flinching sets in and your group widens. Try it again but tuck it in this time.

Good luck, have fun and be safe.

November 27, 2002, 11:22 AM
4v50 Gary- The flinching was coming from the beating I had been receiving. Both my cheek and shoulder were bruised big time. It has been suggested that I had too heavy of bullets which may have equated to excessive pressures. The results was a mule kick that split the stock.

You are correct about flinching in general. I have shot comp both in the military and civilian and have a pretty good handle on shooting technique. But technique does not appear to work to well when you are crying like a baby and running to mama! ha ha

Oh BTW the 8" group at 100 was standing free hand. Just kidding.

Thanks guys for the help.

November 27, 2002, 08:24 PM
I used to shoot ML's but being lefthanded and having multiple heart attacks,I don't abuse my left shoulder any more.While i was shooting I shot Hawken,Long Rifle style.Musket.I liked flint,with that flash at the end of your nose,and your face peppered with power.With all that aside,try to stay with traditional cap lock or flint,just like it was pre 1840.Just my idea.Have fun!!!

Jimmy Mac
November 27, 2002, 09:22 PM
First you have no need for all that power. 110 grains over a 300 grain sabot is just more than you need.

A patched ball over 70 to 80 grains of blackpowder is more than enough. A round ball always expands and it is very deadly.

This load will be very accurate in a real rifle and it will not hurt your sholder. You will enjoy shooting your rifle and get good with it.

A good well placed ball is much better than a poorly placed sabot no matter how fast it is going.