View Full Version : cabela's traditional hawken percussion rifle

January 3, 2009, 06:18 PM
cabela's traditional hawken percussion rifle - right hand

online order for in-store pickup at the nearest cableas, which is a 266mi/5hr round-trip drive.

picked up the rifle today only to be disappointed, the escutcheon wedge was missing from the package. cabelas could not help me.


i was lucky to know dixon's muzzleloading shop was only 15mi/20min away, they had the missing part i needed.

otherwise it is a beautiful rifle, wood stock, wooden rod & the cleaning jag was inside the patch box. i can't wait to take it to the range to sight it in.

two questions:

1: what size #11 nipple? - i bought a .75mm knight red hot stainless nipple but am afraid to wrench it down.

2: rear tang peep site - who makes one for this rifle?

January 3, 2009, 07:42 PM
You have the correct nipple - 6x75 fits most if not all the Italian made muzzleloaders. Your gun should be made by Investarms, same manufacture that makes Lyman muzzleloaders.

Tang mount peep sight – Lyman 57, T/C Hunting Peep, and I believe Williams makes one (RU22?). Another option is a barrel mounted Williams (WDOS).

I currently use the T/C on both a T/C White Mountain and Renegade – pretty good for hunting (you will want to open up the aperture diameter to suit your eyes and lighting conditions), but I had to bed the barrels and tangs to make them come back to the same zero after disassembly.

I use the Williams WDOS on a stainless Cabela’s Sporterized Hawken Hunter Carbine – sight stays with the barrel and there are a variety of interchangeable apertures.

I have a couple of Lyman peep sights and the micrometer adjusts along with their quick release slide are convenient, but to me the thing is just too large for muzzleloader hunting.

January 3, 2009, 07:54 PM
My only complaint I EVER had was that my granddaughter won't give it back.

You manual should tell you which nipple size to use. Otherwise, use the original one to compare diameter, thread and length.

Drop an email to Cabela's customer service. They respond quickly, in my experience.


January 3, 2009, 08:32 PM
Yeah, I don't understand, "Cabela's could not help me". Can't believe they sold you a rifle with missing parts and then said, "Sorry, Charlie, have a nice day." Customer Service needs to know time, date, location and names of the people involved.

January 3, 2009, 11:24 PM
Firearms, ammunition, powders, and primers cannot be returned due to safety regulations. All sales are final.

If a firearm is defective and returned within 30 days of purchase, we will repair or exchange it. After 30 days, we will gladly assist you in returning the item to the manufacturer for repair and/or warranty determination.

customer service quoted the above store policy to me. i told them it was not defective, just missing an integral part. they then said they could process the warranty repair if i wished. i declined, saying all i needed was the missing wedge.

this is when i said to myself - "cabela's cannot not help me"

i suppose i could have taken the warranty repair but that won't help me shoot tomorrow morning.

i left the store, walked back out to my truck then walked back into the store bypassing customer service. went to the blackpowder section & explained the situation. a nice fellow checked around the dept & the bargain cave but no wedge to be found. i thanked him for his efforts & drove out to dixon's where i found what i needed.

i removed the original nipple & it's not easy to get back on. you really have to be careful to not cross-thread it. i'm afraid to try the replacement nipple i bought.

thanks for the peep & nipple advice, i've decided i'll leave the originals on. i'd hate to cross-thread the spare & ruin the rifle.

hope it shoots as good as it looks...

January 3, 2009, 11:34 PM
I've got one of those I bought in 85. I think I paid 149.00 for it. Pretty good guns but the sights are crap.

January 3, 2009, 11:58 PM
I saw an old Investarms rifle at a gunshow and it didn't seem to be as well built as the newer ones.
Investarms has effectively put TC out of the sidelock business.

January 4, 2009, 12:31 AM
Drop an email to Cabela's customer service. They respond quickly, in my experience.ginoe, let me second the advise from armedandsafe. Every experience I have had with Cabela's doesn't reflect the attitude you encountered at the store. I have had missing parts or damaged equipment, I have sent them an email and received fair treatment. They have gone above and beyond on some occasions.

It may be a mute point as you have already purchased a replacement wedge. But letting them know how you were treated will help future buyers. And who knows, they may send you a spare wedge.

Can't have too many wedggies now can we???:D

I haven't the money for a Hawken, so I can only drool over yours and sit back shoot my cheap Kentucky.

January 4, 2009, 12:59 PM
The treatment you received from the store's Customer Service rep is not Cabela's policy and must not be excused. Selling someone a gun with missing parts and then misapplying the warranty repair policy is completely unacceptable. I'll suggest you call the corporate Customer Service number and report the incident, including date, time and the names (if you have any) of the personnel involved. Customer Relations is 800-237-4444.

January 4, 2009, 01:05 PM
That is a beautiful rifle! Glad you got the wedge straightened out.

But damn, it was a genuine Hawken, you couldn't go no better.

-Jeremiah Johnson

January 4, 2009, 03:16 PM
I'm not sure this service rep was correct in assuming the firearms policy applies to BP guns. I had a Uberti 1873 Cattleman that I returned to the store no problem after deciding I'd rather have an 1858. I've never had a problem returning anything to them.

January 4, 2009, 05:36 PM
Beautiful rifle ginoe. Love those doubleset triggers. FYI, you probably are aware of this but just incase, apply a very small amount of anti-seize to nipple threads. Makes for easier removal later. Have Fun!

January 4, 2009, 06:55 PM
Re: fitting the nipples. I took a Dremel ball stone, fitted it in a wooden handle and then gently opened the mouth of the well a few thou. Helps a LOT. A dab of blue and you can't tell any metal was displaced.


January 4, 2009, 10:55 PM
i was broken-hearted about the missing wedge on the new rifle & when the customer service desk had only offered the warranty repair option. a big thumbs up to the blackpowder dept worker who went around trying to find a replacement wedge. i probably would have pushed the issue further if the dixon's shop didn't have a wedge - but since they did, it's all good.

brought the new smokepole to show off to a friend this morning, we went to the wooster range in ct. pretty neat outdoor range, there was a guy shooting a full-auto belt-fed machine gun :eek:

i wore a (faux) coon skin hat w/tail & a leather cowboy suede jacket w/ fringes. i looked the part when i pulled the smokepole out of it's fringed leather gun sock. everyone left the machine gun to watch me prepare to fire.

measured 60gr of blackhorn 209 powder
lubed .010 patch w/ .50 cal lead ball
pushed it down the muzzle & seated it on the powder
#11 cci percussion cap firmly seated on the nipple
cocked the hammer, set the trigger, aim, click...dud
muzzle downrange...one-mississippi, two-mississippi, three-mississippi...
cocked the hammer, set the trigger, aim, pop - only the cap fires!
muzzle downrange...one-mississippi, two-mississippi, three-mississippi...dud
waited about 30sec then wrenched the nipple off to clean it
added a touch of powder in the thread hole & wrenched the nipple back on
new cap seated on the nipple, fire - dud
used a worm to get the ball/patch, shook the powder out
placed the smokepole back into the fringed leather gun sock
by then, everyone had already left me to watch the machine gun

good thing i brought a m&p15 with me too, must have shot off about 200rds

i'll try the nipple tweaking tips ya'll suggest, i'll even wrench down the knight redhot nipple since it should fit - better luck next time.

January 4, 2009, 11:32 PM
measured 60gr of blackhorn 209 powder

cocked the hammer, set the trigger, aim, pop - only the cap fires!

Want to guess why it's called Blackhorn 209?

January 4, 2009, 11:47 PM
It takes a 209 primer to set it off.:p:D:D:D get some Pyrodex if you gotta use a sub. Sounds like the cap wasn't fully seated on the nipple the first go round.

January 5, 2009, 12:13 AM
lol, yep dopey me - it even says it on the container (now that i've re-read it). use shotgun 209 primers, not muzzleloader 209 primers. #11 won't set that stuff off. the pyrodex rs probably won't ignite either (had blackhorn at the range, forgot the pyrodex at home).

since i already have 3 extra #11 nipples (doh), i'll try the musket nipple/caps to see how they work. maybe i'll try the triple 7 fffg powder too.

fun stuff, they scariest part was deciding how long to wait to worm out the ball.

January 5, 2009, 12:30 AM
Even when using Pyrodex or FFg, you want to fire off a couple of those #11 caps to clear the nipple of any obstruction, grease or cleaning material before you load the powder.

Good luck with a nice gun.:)

January 5, 2009, 12:47 AM
rear tang peep site - who makes one for this rifle?

T/C makes a nice tang sight , should fit your near Hawken.

January 5, 2009, 01:10 AM
Pyrodex RS will be fine with #11 caps. I use it all the time. I usually drop a little powder down the muzzle and set it off before I load a ball just to make sure there's no lube left behind.

January 5, 2009, 08:45 AM
good tip - i'll try that next!

i did fire off a couple of caps in the unloaded rifle just as i do using my in-line, but i'll drop a little bit down the muzzle next outing.

it was slathered with oil when i 1st opened the box. after a few swabs, the patches were coming out clean/dry though i probably didn't get all the oil out.

January 5, 2009, 03:23 PM
A little smear of oil in your barrel won't bother you if you are going to load and shoot. If you are going to load and wait more than a couple of minutes before firing, a little sprinkle of posder in the bore when you pre-fire is good.

You might be able to use that 209 powder if you install a musket nipple. Those musket caps are close to the 209 in power. Remember, though, the fire still has to make that left-hand turn to get to the powder. Might work. Might not work.


January 5, 2009, 03:58 PM
Another tip for better service out of a side lock rifle ...always put the hammer on half cock while ramming the patched ball ..if you don`t it will air lock in the breech and powder won`t make it around the bend where the nipple sets ...haveing the hammer at half cock gets the face of the hammer off the top of the nipple and will allow the air to be pushed out of the nipple flash hole when seating the ball so some of the powder ends up closer to the flash ...

January 5, 2009, 04:04 PM
The Blackhorn 209 powder is said to be a progressive burning powder and supposedly it's smokeless.
It requires a tight seal to build up pressure.
I'm not sure that it's even worth trying all by itself in a sidelock, but I have been wondering if it would ignite as a duplex load with an easier burning powder being dropped in the barrel first to set it off.
Used alone it will weakly hangfire if the primer isn't hot enough.
If 50% Blackhorn 209 was loaded after the Pyrodex, at least the ball wouldn't get stuck and there would be a report on a trial duplex load.
A duplex load should also burn noticiably cleaner than if using Pyrodex alone.

January 5, 2009, 08:38 PM
Don't know about the 209 powder, but I have used both Pyrodex and 777 in my flinter, by dumping 2 flashpan loads of ffff B/p ahead of the charge. It's easier here to find subs than real B/p, so I dole out my pan powder sparingly.

January 5, 2009, 11:28 PM
nice tip sundance44s! i don't remember if it was on 1/2 cock when i dumped the powder down, i'll follow your advice next outing (using the pyrodex rs this time).

went to the local shop & picked up a tin of cci MAGNUM #11 caps this time & some of that aerosol spray gun cleaner, kinda smelly, dries fast & turns stuff white (like acetone). used that to clean out the gunk by the breech/nipple, it's squeaky clean/dry now.

btw - i put a bright led white light in the nipple hole & tried to peer down the muzzle to see if i could see light coming through, i didn't - but i know the area is clean & clear of obstruction.

i keep reading on the internet that the investarms should take the .75mm nipple. i have a knight red hot 75mm nipple but the threads really don't look like the original nipple threads...the knight .75mm nipple starts to thread on tight, i will not try to force/wrench it down further.


.50cal ball - investarms nipple - knight .75 nipple - t/c 10-31 ramrod ball puller


here are the threads up close: investarms nipple - knight .75 nipple

what size would the original nipple be? the investarms manual does not say but the lyman's trade rifle manual does say .75mm...
that original nipple is not .75mm (don't look like it to me anyways).

just for kicks, i tried to see if the t/c 10-31 ramrod ball puller thread would fit but it's too small/narrow & it just drops right into the hole.

thanks gang, i really appreciate the tips.

January 6, 2009, 04:01 AM
Since the Investarms nipple is .75 and it fits, the Knight nipple must have been mispackaged or mislabeled by mistake.
I've also seen that happen within a box of ammunition. :eek:

A ramrod thread adaptor should work to convert the TC thread to fit 8-32 threads. I saw a set in the Auctionarms.com black powder section recently.

January 6, 2009, 05:52 AM
The one on the right appears to me to be a 1/4x28 nipple.

There is no '10-31' thread. It's a 10x32.

Here are the thread specs for the most popular nipples being made today:

January 6, 2009, 03:46 PM
yep, i figure maybe the knight nipple was mis-labeled. i've placed an order for the lyman .75mm nipples from midsouth - they arrive this friday.

hopefully i'll have all the parts i need to get this thing fired-up this weekend, i can't wait.


i just got a call from cabela's customer service today. they've read about my woes and apologized for the inconvenience, they're sending me a gift card in the mail!

January 9, 2009, 08:24 PM
replacement lyman trade rifle .75mm nipples arrived today. since i have 4 of them now, i took the original nipple to the dremel & filed it down so the #11 caps could fit.


it pops the cap on the 1st hammer strike (not like before where it would take a 2nd strike).

the #11 magnum caps always pop on the 1st hammer strike no matter if i use the original nipple or the modified dremel nipple. they seem to fit much better. i did notice the #11 caps are stamped cci 10 but the magnum caps are stamed cci 11m.


January 9, 2009, 11:19 PM
If they're stamped with a 10 then they are not No. 11's.

February 17, 2009, 03:00 PM
nice looking rifle .. i baught one from cabelas.. a 50 cal.. i dont remember what i paid for it.. somwhere around 250 bucks 15 years ago or so.. little more since i baught the starter kit with it. the are made by investarms in italy. i have since baught another rifle from investarms.. the now dicontinued hawken carbine in .58 cal. that little gun is a handfull and kicks like a mule. i hope you have fun with yours.. i know i have with mine.


February 17, 2009, 03:15 PM
all is well, i'm having so much fun with the rifle - i have not touched the others.

50yds, 60gr of pyrodex rs, .50cal hornady roundball, t/c prelubed .015 patch, spit/dry patch between shots - was at the range the other day getting it sighted in. after 10 shots i was satisfied with the groupings. i still had a few mins left, so i tried one last shot. rushing through it, i lost my rhythm & forgot to load the powder charge. too late,i already stuffed the prb down. i was lucky i got it out with the puller.



February 17, 2009, 03:23 PM
i did the same thing as has my dad .. ONCE!! and you did get lucky. the threads of my puller yanked the center of the ball out.. i had to take mine to a gun smith to get it out...


February 17, 2009, 03:23 PM
i have not been impressed with TC patches lately. My current bag that i am shooting up are the worse ive ever seen, loose weave and you can see big holes through out the patch. I am going back with traditions prelubed patches.

You should try some .016 or .018 pillow ticking in that cabelas hawken. I have 3 of the Sporterized hawkens. 2 50s and 1 45

February 17, 2009, 03:44 PM
i'm still in the process of getting the groupings tighter. i did try using two .010 cabelas prelubed patches at once, i forget how that experiment ended. i'll have to bring a notebook next time.

lol, sunday i forgot the powder charge again. there was a doll that showed up at the range & i was too busy looking at her, i didn't pay attention to what i was doing.

February 17, 2009, 04:51 PM
have you tried conicals in your rifle yet.. the cabelas rifles shoot them suprisingly well.. i also picked up one of those numatic unloaders.. and it works well for conicals.. but doesnt work well on patched round balls. one thing i have done is taken the nipple out and fed a small amount of pistol pyrodex or 4f black into the toutch hole. and it has been enough to get the ball out.


February 17, 2009, 05:39 PM
I had the opportunity to experiment with a T.C. Hawken about 30-odd years ago..... Using real BP I found that tamping down the powder with the ramrod before seating the ball resulted in reliable ignition first try, every time. When this wasn't done the rifle invariably misfired.

February 18, 2009, 03:09 AM
These rifles WILL shoot conicals really good. Ive only shot Powerbelts out of mine and they are awesome. I havent shot them yet in the 45 but will do so next week. I'll report back.

February 18, 2009, 09:21 AM
i've got one of those co2 dischargers, it didn't work in this particular case. i was lucky the 2nd time when i tried the 'powdered nipple' trick.

what .50cal conicals do you suggest with the 1:48" twist?

February 18, 2009, 12:00 PM
Minies would load easiest. I used Lee Reals, Maxi balls and Buffalo Bullets in mine with good results. I tried sabots but they all tumbled.

February 18, 2009, 04:33 PM
i have used powerbelts.. they work well in that rifle.. but the best ones i have ever used as far as acuracy have been the CVA deerslayers. 300 grain.. i am not sure if they make them anymore though.. i will need to do some recerch. its been a few years since i have used the 50 for hunting. and have only used it for target shootingand competitionshooting and most of that is done with round ball.

looks like some places still sell them. by far the best acuracy for a conocal from my cabelas hawken


February 18, 2009, 05:31 PM
i have tried sabots. didnt like how they loaded, or how they shot, and in colorado you can not use them for hunting anyway.. so no worries. LOL

February 18, 2009, 08:31 PM
lol, i was secretly hoping someone would chime in with LEE R.E.A.L. minie :D

i've got a few tools, i can't wait for the weather to break so i can start casting my own. i think my next purchase is the .50cal LEE minie mold - but what grain weight would work best?

(yes, i did see the movie 'the patriot')

February 20, 2009, 08:09 PM
Heres my first 3 shots today with my nephews .45cal sporterized hawken carbine. 225gn Powerbelt Aerotip, 70gn Pyrodex RS, 50 yards with poor lighting and off of my shooting sticks. This rifle has thick chunky sights on it, i may upgrade to the firestorm sights.

This is the best group i have ever shot with this rifle and conicals. It can only get better on a solid rest and good light!

March 2, 2009, 05:03 AM

31ºF, overcast, no wind, 50yds, .50cal hornady prb, 10 shots

few changes:
2 swabs of spit patch between shots -> 2 swabs dry patch between shots
60gr pyrodex rs -> 70gr pyrodex
.015 t/c pre-lubed patch -> .018 t/c pre-lubed patch

the 3 shots down in the 3rd quadrant (thats about 8 o'clock for you non-geometry types) - were the original routine before the changes, after the changes the groups tightened up.

the 10th shot (2nd quadrant, 11 o'clock) was because the 1st trigger was not setting the hair trigger. i heard it click twice but had to pull harder on the hair trigger making me miss the bull - that's when i quit (i didn't have a small enough screwdriver to adjust the set screw).

oh yeah, happened again - i forgot the powder charge! i'm getting good at popping it out with the 'powdered nipple' trick.

March 3, 2009, 12:36 AM
Nice shooting, you're doing great!
And I forget the powder sometimes too! :D

March 9, 2009, 08:29 PM

62ºF, no wind, 50yds, .50cal hornady prb, 9 shots
2 swabs dry patch between shots
70gr pyrodex
.018 t/c pre-lubed patch
#11 cci magnum caps (instead of the regular caps)

i think i found the right combination :)

btw - no stuck ball this go-round, i remembered to load the charge 1st!

March 9, 2009, 09:00 PM
there you go! Have you tried a wad under the patch yet?

March 10, 2009, 06:52 AM
Yes, loading the powder first definitely improves accuracy!;)

Well done.

March 10, 2009, 09:07 PM
As to the Knight Redhot nipples being the wrong thread pitch....Glad Im not the only one to see it.
I had a couple Green Mountain TC drop in barrels come in a couple months ago with metric Knight Red Hot nipples forced into the 1/4-28 bolsters....tight as all get out too.
I called Green Mountain and told them about it and they said they had not seen that issue before,but would report it to knight and offered to have the barrels picked up for inspection.I got lucky and there was no thread damage to my bolsters.So I installed a couple standard TC cones as I prefer the profile and moved on.
So the Knight Red hot nipples must have had a couple batches mixed up in the packaging process.
You should call knight and let them know they have an issue as well...They need to let the distributors know to check thier inventory or recall the parts.

March 11, 2009, 12:22 PM
ah ha! so there is more to this...wad under the patch...

i did notice wads of what looked like cardboard or maybe felt on the ground along with patches.

the experiments continue!

March 11, 2009, 02:25 PM
As to the Knight Redhot nipples being the wrong thread pitch....Glad Im not the only one to see it.
I had a couple Green Mountain TC drop in barrels come in a couple months ago with metric Knight Red Hot nipples forced into the 1/4-28 bolsters....tight as all get out too.
I called Green Mountain and told them about it and they said they had not seen that issue before,but would report it to knight and offered to have the barrels picked up for inspection.

Green Mountain actually issued a recall a little while ago when a large number of people started getting barrels with wrong thread nipples installed. They found the problem in house also, and attempted to correct the barrels that had damaged thread with Heli-coils. The recall was initiated after several customers complained about receiving repaired barrels that they had paid new prices for. It was not Green Mountain's finest hour.