View Full Version : Found a "grail gun" - T/C Scout pistol in .54

December 28, 2009, 09:00 PM
Hi guys,

I've been looking for one of these for a long time. 540 grains at almost 1100 fps! Eep! :) Problem is, I never got around to getting one while they were in production, then I never saw one in decent condition at a decent price.

On Saturday, after spending an hour in a large local gun store with a couple friends, we strolled past the single action revolvers on the way out the door. And there in the case was a T/C Scout . . . pistol . . . in .54. And, that can't be right, "Gil? Paul? Does that say $99?"

It did. There was some pretty horribly ugly damage to the front of the bottom of the stocks (someone had dropped it pretty good), but I ran over and got the store manager who pulled it out. My Fenix light revealed a pretty much pristine bore - dropping it was the only thing this guy did wrong. I just told the manager, "I'll need all the stuff for it - I've got nothing for black powder." So, he fixed me up with everything (including having the gunsmith cut me a "custom" ramrod for it for free) and then wouldn't take more than $90 for the gun. I'm just so psyched!

I put putty into the stocks until I can get some new ones (may have to go custom-made), and I'm hoping to get this thing to the range with 435-grainers here pretty soon.

Here are some pix:




December 28, 2009, 09:38 PM
Nice find!:D

December 28, 2009, 10:26 PM
Contratulations. This thread came at the right time. I was just researching muzzleloading pistols. The Holy Grail for me is the Encore 209x50 with the 15" barrel but they are about as scarce as hens teeth and pricier than diamonds.

December 29, 2009, 12:27 AM
That's a very pretty pistol even with the putty and I'm glad that it has gone to a good home! :)
The Scout replacement breech plugs are tough to find. Someone recently posted having some to sell for $40 each and I know of one person who had been looking for one for months.

December 29, 2009, 11:17 AM
Thanks, amigos. I've been a little concerned about the breech cap, but figure I might not have to worry about it for a while. And, I know a good machinist, if worse comes to worst.

December 29, 2009, 11:20 AM
That's great and appreciate how you feel as I found my "Grail-Gun" five years ago and that was the TC Patriot, in .45. Sadly we will never see these again and sure wish that TC would bring some of their older Side-Cockers back, Like the Seneca, Cherokee, Cougar and even the Renegade. I also recal some older CVA's that were pretty nice.

Be Safe !!!

December 29, 2009, 10:41 PM
Thanks, Pahoo. :) I agree . . . :( For instance, the White Mountain Carbine . . .

December 30, 2009, 03:03 AM
I think that TC bringing back any old models is highly unlikely mainly because Investarms seems to have ended most of TC's sidelock business with their comparatively lower prices via Lyman and Cabela's.
And don't forget Pedersoli, Traditions and any of the other smaller companies like Armi Chiappa that TC shared the market with.
Look at the downfall of CVA & Austin Halleck side locks and Navy Arms too.

December 30, 2009, 10:10 AM
Yeah, it'll never happen. But it would be nice . . . :(

December 30, 2009, 11:07 AM
I think that TC bringing back any old models is highly unlikely mainly because Investarms seems to have ended most of TC's sidelock business with their comparatively lower prices via Lyman and Cabela's.

I agree and I feel it's primarily because "They" have all gotten on the 209, In-line band-wagon. It is readily understood when over 90% of new sales is in that direction. The In-lines will keep evolving and the Side-Cockers will be left to the inport market. Wonder why the Chinese haven't started making these. Thar's a picture for you!! ... :eek:

Last month I bought a Vietman Veteran's hat at a Gun Show. Later when I got home, saw that it was made in Vietnam. Sad .... :barf:
Keep the faith, Brothers !!!

Be Safe !!!

December 30, 2009, 01:51 PM
That is a great gun & sounds like an awesome deal! Congratulations!

That's great and appreciate how you feel as I found my "Grail-Gun" five years ago and that was the TC Patriot, in .45. Sadly we will never see these again and sure wish that TC would bring some of their older Side-Cockers back...
As a late arrival, i wish they would bring some back as well. I would love a t/c patriot for my first BP pistol, but i guess i'll have to settle for the knockoff by Traditions. The Traditions seems like it will be more than adequate for my rookie tastes, though ( http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/templates/links/link.jsp?id=0065766216925a&type=product&cmCat=SEARCH_all&returnPage=search-results1.jsp&No=36&QueryText=black+powder+pistol&Ntk=Products&sort=all&Go.y=5&_D%3AhasJS=+&N=0&Nty=1&hasJS=true&Go.x=14&_DARGS=%2Fcabelas%2Fen%2Fcommon%2Fsearch%2Fsearch-box.jsp.form23&_dyncharset=ISO-8859-1 ) Early birds, worms, :( .

December 30, 2009, 02:21 PM
Go to the Traditions web-site and look at their close-outs or seconds and see if you like that pistol. I have a couple traditions and they are well made, just not home town issued.

Be Safe !!!

December 30, 2009, 07:55 PM
I took the afternoon and built an ugly but sturdy reloading stand for it. Alas, while I was doing so, the Scout nipple that I'd intended to buy on GB got sold. You snooze, you lose. :(

December 31, 2009, 01:29 PM
I never had a Scout pistol but always liked the looks of them. I did have a .54 cal Scout rifle and it was a lot of fun to shoot. My dad bought one of the .54cal rifles when he heard that TC was discontinuing them and has never shot it. Now he keeps debating whether or not he should sell it as they did away with the muzzleloading elk season here so he'll probably never shoot it.

December 31, 2009, 01:45 PM
On a related subject, do any of you understand the breech plug/nipple configuration as well as the side vents, on these Scouts? I have never owned one but shot a few as well as worked on them and found these features rather confusing as to their purpose. I see them as a safety vent but how practical are they? ... :confused:

Be Safe !!!

January 2, 2010, 11:19 PM

Okay, so I shot the 435-grain (almost one ounce!) .54 MaxiBalls over 100 grains of Pyrodex RS. According to the T/C load data, this was supposed to do about 1122fps from the gun.

It didn't. At this altitude (5950', 46°F) the first one chrono'd at 1253 fps. And, incidentally, gave me a heck of a whaling on my weak hand index finger (still not really sure how, but the finger is for sure swollen and having a hard time bending).

(By the way, we had a few people actually wait a couple extra relays after they'd finished shooting, just to see it go off. The big hole in the Scout really attracted attention.)

Getting ready . . .

In recoil


Hit the lower rear chrono wire with the third shot, thankfully not damaging the chrono (I ran some .45s to make sure it still worked). Thing is, the Scout apparently knocked the wire into another dimension . . . my friend got positively OCD looking for it, and it was just GONE (and no doubt twisted into a U-shape).

I wanted to shoot some of the .535" 230-grain balls at lower velocities for fun, but the patches that I bought were too thick (.018") to allow loading the balls - I either need .530" balls or thinner patches. Hitting the chrono (not the first time by a long shot) irritated me, so I wasn't in the mood to shoot the Scout anymore. So, I knocked it off after only three shots of the heavy ball.

Took the gun home and tore it apart and cleaned it - hope I didn't mess that up too bad, particularly since I don't have the dedicated cleaning gear yet. Afterward, I stuck the barrel in the toaster oven at 200°F for about 15 minutes to evaporate any water droplets, then greased the bore with T/C Bore Butter.

I need to shoot this thing at 50 yards for accuracy, but I have no doubt that the gun is going to be good. I think my favorite part of the whole experience was the smell of the paraffin - though I think loading the entire gun as a cartridge for each shot is pretty cool as well. I'm frankly a little intimidated by the power level - this gun makes a full-house .44 Magnum look pretty wussy. (That first shot provided 1516 fpe!) Think I might put in for a black powder elk tag . . . I am looking forward to getting this back out to the range, but on a mellow day where I can enjoy myself with it. Might have to go into the boonies to find one of those days, though - the city range is a little "busy" for running black powder guns.

As far as the vents, the literature describes them as being designed to standardize pressure . . .

January 3, 2010, 04:30 AM
Hello Erich,
I just bought a scout 54 cal.to replace the one i had years ago. I'm going to try 180 grain xtp with sabot to maybe lessen the beating a little.
The powder i'm going to try is Black mag made in Vermont. Have you used it? it;s pricey but i think after reading the reviews it may help with the scouts finicky ignition. My range is snowed in but i will let you know how it works out when i can

January 3, 2010, 05:37 PM
I'd be curious to hear about it, but mine hasn't showed any finickiness yet. :)

Here are the pix that got deleted up-thread when I re-organized my Photobucket account the other day:




January 3, 2010, 05:38 PM
(This 9-image limit on TFL is getting tiresome . . . )

And here are some pix of the sturdy but unattractive stand I built for it:





I've got to find some thinner patches for those .535" balls.

Oh, and the proliferation of range boxes is probably not a good thing. ;)

January 30, 2010, 06:49 PM
Hi Erich and all, I'm new to this site but read about your comments regarding the T/C Scout pistol and had to register and reply. I, too, own a Scout pistol in .54 and it is one awesome hand cannon! I haven't had the courage to try a full power load; the moderate loads are rather horrifying but that monster is some fun to shoot! I started out shooting .530 patched round balls pushed by 80 grains of ffg, getting fair groups of about 4 inches at fifty yards off the bench. Not too impressive. By chance I tried some of Buffalo Bullets .54 "ballettes" weighing 310 grains with the same 80 grain charge of ffg. Much better results with that projectile, producing groups of 2 to 3 inches at fifty yards with factory open sights, and with noticeably more recoil but not too bad. I learned early on to put some smooth padding under my elbows when shooting off the bench or I would get "bench burn" on my elbows from recoil skidding my elbows backward on the wooden bench surface...are we having fun yet?!! And I wear ear plugs AND muffs for any firing of something like the bellowing Scout pistol. A glance at the ballistics in the owner's manual shows why the thing snorts so loudly and bites the hand that holds...energies are much higher than .44 magnum; in some loads more than double the foot pounds of energy produced by the .44 handgun. YIKES! A firm two handed grip is necessary to avoid bloodying one's fingers where the trigger guard slams back.
Curious about the big game hunting potential of the .54 Scout, I contacted T/C and was informed that at the time (this was many years ago when the Scout was still being manufactured), some of the game taken with the big Scout pistol included deer, black bear, zebra, antelope, etc. Plenty of power there is you can hit what you are aiming at.
I had to try hunting with that handgun and chose New Hampshire's muzzleloader deer season since that state permits muzzleloading pistols as well as rifles. I decided that if I shot from a sitting position or with the handgun on a rest I was quite effective to 50 yards; farther than that and I wouldn't take a shot, and I prayed that all would fall into place. With buck of doe legal in the area I hunted with my, I was not going to be fussy and hold out for a buck, or even a large deer of the fairer sex. Any deer that wandered into my self imposed range and offered a standing shot would be in big trouble....ahem.
On the afternoon of opening day (Halloween, that year) I got my wish and a deer, a very large deer, showed up at my stand near dusk, and I squeezed off a shot while bracing the Scout against the tree I was leaning against. The buck (!!) was forty yards away and quartering slightly toward me when I fired and the deer ran about fifty yards, dropping after running past me. The 310 grain Buffalo Bullet entered the front of the right shoulder, passed through the chest cavity, destroying the lungs and coming to rest on the left side of the chest just under the skin behind the shoulder, total penetration of over 20 inches. There's a lot to be said for the momentum of a fat,heavy slug! The buck had a wide nine point rack and dressed out at 195 pounds the day after he was shot (it was late that night before my buddy and I got him dragged out).
Anyway, I thought it might be interesting to some of you guys to hear how the Scout can perform. Like you, I whimper to think that these monster pistols are no longer being made by T/C; neither are most of the old side hammer caplocks. I called T/C to ask why and the reason, besides the popularity of the in-lines, 209 ignition, scopes, and all that, is that the tooling for those older style frontstuffers was lost in the disastrous fire at T/C's factory years ago. Dang. Good hunting! Markarcher

January 30, 2010, 09:54 PM
Markarcher, thanks for a great first post! :) I was hoping to get back to the range with the Scout tomorrow to run some roundball at 50 yards, and 80 grains was what I was planning to put under them. You've got me all fired up about it now - thanks! Wish you lived closer by: I'd bet we could really turn some heads with two of these things going off on adjoining lanes at the range. If you ever find yourself out NM way, drop me an email! :)

February 2, 2010, 05:33 PM
Hi Erich and all,
thanks for the welcome in spite of the typos in my first message. Glad you got a "kick" out of the information (no pun intended). I also made a loading stand for my .54 Scout pistol and admired the features of the model you designed. It sure makes it easier to load that handgun. In the field I sit on the ground and hold the pistol upright between my legs in the area of my knees. Seems pretty makeshift but it works.
I mentioned using Buffalo Bullet's "ballettes" and liking them; unfortunately that company has gone belly up. I have some .54 Powerbelt bullets in 295 grain and 360 grain that I want to try. Powerbelts seem to shoot pretty darn well in a number of muzzleloaders, even in my Green River .54 rifle which has a 1 in 60" slow twist barrel intended for round balls. I have used the round ball loads pushed by 85 grains of ffg for years and have had good luck on whitetails with them but lately I have been hunting Virginia's muzzleloader deer season at a time when black bear is also legal. I would feel better about the penetration potential of the Powerbelt bullet than that of the round ball on a big boned blackie and the Powerbelts also are available in hollow point. I have taken three deer with these hollowpoint conicals and even with the mild (for .54) powder charge of 80 grains these mushroom wonderfully. I have a recovered slug from the off side of a whitetail's chest that is about an inch in diameter and almost perfectly round and 'bout a quarter inch thick. Now THAT is expansion! Kilt that deer right dead. Yessir.
Keep in touch and let me know how those round balls do. I use a .530 ball with a .015 or .018 greased patch and that works pretty well.
Happy shooting! Markarcher

February 2, 2010, 05:45 PM
Hi Guys,
I noticed the mention of the vents in the receiver of the .54 Scout pistol. These are curious forward slanting vents, one on each side of the receiver, that shunt some of the blast from the chamber when the gun is fired. I did some head scratching about these things but T/C says they help make for more consistent energy from shot to shot and they are the designers. They also said that when hunting, if there is any concern with moisture entering the charge via these vents,that you can tape over them to keep the powder charge dry. I taped these vents at the range and could see no change in performance and when hunting I used electrician's tape over the two vent holes. Things worked just fine so I will continue to tape while hunting though there is no need when shooting at the range.
Keep your powder dry. Markarcher

February 2, 2010, 09:32 PM
That's good info on the vents - thanks. Living in the desert, I don't worry much about precipitation, but I shouldn't forget about it, either.

I've got some .530" balls and some .018" patches, as well as some .535" balls and some .005" patches. Hopefully I can get this rolling. The 435-grain bullets (I think they were Buffalo Bore as well), shot great.