View Full Version : Looking to buy first blackpowder rifle

Mountain Man
January 5, 2009, 05:32 PM
I am looking to buy my first black powder rifle. I love the old .50 Hawken and was wondering what brands make good replicas. What kind of recoil can I expect? Comparable to a .50 BMG?

January 5, 2009, 05:52 PM
I'm not going to recommend a maker, as I have TC, CVA and Cabella's and love all of them. All Hawkens. All .50s

The recoil with round ball and 100 grains of powder is hardly noticable, to me. With the 250+ grain bullets and 90 to 110 grains, it gets to where I can feel it. Keep in mind that the 30-06 is pushing the 180 grain bullet at ~2750 fps. The .50 black powder is pushing the 180 grain round ball at 1200-1500 fps. My Hawkens weigh more than the 30-06 or the 8x57. More gun weight = less felt recoil.

My granddaughter was shooting her dad's little (light weight) Traditions .50 when she weighed less than 75 lbs and loved it.


Hoss Fly
January 5, 2009, 06:03 PM
Lyman Great Plains Rifle :cool:
Cant get any closer to a real Hawken without a time mechine or lotta bucks to buy a original :D


January 5, 2009, 06:11 PM
The Lyman is a good one.
I have a Thompson Center Hawken, a great rifle.
Recoil is not bad at all.

January 5, 2009, 06:11 PM
Hoss Fly how many kits did ya open to find that purdy piece of wood ? :D

Hoss Fly
January 5, 2009, 06:15 PM
That purdy wood was there but had to refinish & seal with 10 coats of tung oil to bring it out :D
Thank you BTW- I did put a little effort into this one -

January 5, 2009, 07:20 PM
...was wondering what brands make good replicas.
Let me say right off that there are no good branded replicas of an original Hawken rifle.

Having said that, I'll further state that there are several good replica plains style rifles made for the mass market today. I particularly like the Lyman Great Plains and the Thompson Center Hawken.

If your goal is to own a true Hawken replica you are in for a long and expensive ride, but in the end you will have a true treasure worth the effort and money. There are a few custom rifle makers who can and will build an excellent Hawken replica, or you can purchase the materials to make one yourself. You will spend on the order of $3000, perhaps more.

The cost of a new mass produced plains rifle - what some companies have called Hawken for marketing purposes - will be between $300 and $700. If your goal is to own a fine hunting rifle in the plains style the Lyman Great Plains rifle cannot be bettered for a reasonable amount of money, in my opinion. The Thompson Center Hawken is also a fine rifle for a little less money. Both can be had in percussion or flintlock and fully assembled/finished or as "in the white" kits which require minor inletting, wood and metal finishing and assembly.

January 5, 2009, 08:57 PM
Most of the Hawken models you see, are classified as "Non-Replicas" and that includes anything that T.C. makes or has ever made. Instead, they are described as "In the Spirit" of a true Hawken. The one that Hoss Fly has posted, is absolutely beautiful and any man or women would be proud to have it, but it too is a "Non-Replica". As far as commercial models, stick with Lyman and Traditions or even Pedersoli. There are others out there but I can't afford them. I know a man that will make me one and his Half-Stocks, start at $1500.00. Welcome to the party. As far as recoil, not all that bad.

Be Safe !!!

Hoss Fly
January 5, 2009, 10:02 PM
Pahoo - very good points ;)
I think at least Lyman was proud & confident enough in their GPR to put the GPR on it & not a "Hawken" to be mentioned on or about it :cool:
Thank you very much on my GPR :cool:
She is in most places "The prettiest girl at the dance" but got as much go as show - nuther pic- I cant help it!!


January 6, 2009, 03:58 AM
Hoss, you need to post a close up of the etching. That is one dam fine looking rifle.

January 6, 2009, 06:18 AM
Let me add another vote for the GPR. I have one, a flintlock, with a .50 cal. round ball barrel and also a Green Mt..54 smoothbore.
They are great rifles.
My first experience with the GPR was many years ago now. I was at a range out on Long Island, NY. A fellow set up next to me with a GPR percussion gun. My first impression was "that is a beautiful rifle." The fellow then proceeded to shoot, standing offhand, palm sized groups at 100 yards. I knew then that I wanted one.
About the last sentence in the OP - since no one has addressed it. Perhaps you were joking a bit but , if not, there is no real comparison between a .50 cal muzzleloader and a .50 BMG except that the caliber is close in diameter. The BP guns noted here shoot a pure lead round ball of about 177 grains weight (.490 dia.) at about 1600 fps (up or down a bit depending on the loading). The BMG round shoots a 750 grain FMJBT at about 2800 fps.

Hoss Fly
January 6, 2009, 07:33 AM
Thanks Hawg- I was real pleased how the steel came out :cool:


Last one i promise -


4V50 Gary
January 6, 2009, 09:04 AM
What did you do to the steel? It's not merely polished but seems to have some slight coloring?

January 6, 2009, 10:48 AM
Thompson Center is aware of an important fact.
Most muzzleloading customers don't care if the rifle is a 100 percent accurate reproduction of a Hawken style rifle.
TC made a rifle that was good looking, well made, and reasonably accurate. If it has more brass fittings that would have been found on a rifle made in St Louis in 1845, most customers could not care less.
You put black powder and a patch and ball in the bore, the gun goes boom, makes a big cloud of smoke, and the deer dies.

Thirty years ago I bought a Dixie kit for their Tennessee Mountain Rifle. Back then the kit cost $350, so it is a pretty nice rifle. Dixie no longer sells this rifle or kit.
It was supposed to be an exact replica of the period rifle.
Accordingly, it had a "grease hole" and not a patch box.
Well, I like patch boxes. I just didn't like the looks of the grease hole, plus it was not as practical as a patch box. I bought a beautiful silver patch box from Dixie and spent hours inletting it into the stock. Bye bye grease hole.
The rifle looks great, shoots great, and the patch box looks great. I have killed 3 deer and 2 wild hogs with it.
If I have the only Tennessee Mountain Rifle in the world that doesn't have a grease hole, tough luck.
Anyway, I am in the North Carolina mountains, 20 miles from Tennessee.
I guess I have invented the North Carolina Mountain Rifle.

January 6, 2009, 11:42 AM
The Lyman Great Plains is a great rifle for the money. My .54 is a tackdriver, as evidenced by this 60yd three shot group that is fairly typical. It's long and heavy but it carries and shoots great. Took my first blackpowder buck with it last year. My plan is to refinish the stock, strip and brown the metalwork. Or get Pedersoli's Rocky Mountain Hawken, or both.


January 6, 2009, 11:44 AM
That grease hole in those Dixie Kit rifles ..does look like a bunghole to me too ..A good friend has one he built back in the 70`s ..it`s a good shooter , and he left the bunghole just so I get to kid him about it all the time . :D

January 6, 2009, 12:44 PM
I've got no gripe with people that shoot TC Hawkens. I've got an Investarms Hawken I've had for about 25 years. My gripe is they call then Hawkens when they're nowhere close to a Hawken. They're closer to a Tryon trade rifle. BTW there was plenty of brass furniture coming out of St Louis, just not on a Hawken. The GPR is the closest you can get to a Hawken for a reasonably priced production gun.

Hoss Fly
January 6, 2009, 03:40 PM
Gary- the steel id dun in wats called "etching"- Its a treatment in which the blueing is remove & parts are individually wraped tightly in white cotton strips(I used a T shirt) Them soaked with white vinager & allowed to "cook" for several days keeping the rags wet with vinagar - It gives it a pattern sort of like damasus (cant think of any other word) - The pictures really dont do it justice :cool:

January 6, 2009, 03:51 PM
She is in most places "The prettiest girl at the dance" but got as much go as show - nuther pic- I cant help it!!

Oh, she shore is that and more. My compliments on a very nice piece. :):)

I'm anticipating your reply to Gary's question, on the metal finish. Oops, I see it now !! I have a Lyman S.S. Deerstalker that I had to polish up a bit.

Be Safe !!!

January 6, 2009, 06:57 PM
I tried to help bring out the pattern. Hope this helps a little

January 6, 2009, 07:05 PM
It is very pretty. I just had to try and help the picture a little. Hope you don't

Hoss Fly
January 6, 2009, 07:11 PM
Dont mind at all - You did gud :D