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Old February 4, 2013, 08:43 PM   #10
Senior Member
Join Date: October 12, 2012
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 333
back to the past with your hunting

(mine is under each question asked)
you wrote
Hello all,

I have decided to switch to BP this year, as I'm sick and tired of all the ammo panic, and have decided to go with traditional hunts only. I only have one BP weapon, an old TC Hawken .50 that my dad built for me years ago. I have some questions about BP hunting, as I haven't shot the thing since I was 12 or 13. I'm 29 now. Yeah, yeah, I've neglected the poor thing, but it's been clean and oiled for all these years and begging for a chance for a comeback. So, here it goes:
1 How many shots can usually be fired using Pyrodex RS and a patched RB before
cleaning is necessary?
It will depend on you, your gun, hunting conditions and accuracy.
While sighting in you will find out when the time is right. Accuracy will
likely fall off and it will get too hard to push the ball home.
Before you fire the first shot sighting in, pop a couple caps first, to clean
any residual oil from the nipple, drum, chamber area.

2 Is lube necessary on all patches, regardless of charge weight?
Not absolutely if you forget or run out, but it is best.

3 Are cast round balls that much worse than swaged?
Depends on quality of each. Cast has been around a lot longer. Nothing wrong with

4 What are your cheapest sources of round balls and other ML components?
Depends on the area you live in. If buying online, remember there is normally
freight added in. And hazmat fees

5 How long can my rifle sit loaded and still be reliable, provided it is kept dry?
Varies on a lot of conditions. like humidity heat cold and where stored.
Personally if I am going to load and leave set more than a month or so,
I make a paper cartridge load it whole, Helps reduce moisture

6 Is there a way to find black powder cheaply, as nobody around here sells it?
Not really. Several places sell it on the internet, but by the time you pay
freight and the hazmat fee, it's not cheap. Maybe go together with several
people and buy max allowed for shipping. Or find a shooting club that shoots

7 Do harder alloys make acceptable round balls, if I'm casting my own?
In true black powder you want pure soft lead or no more than 20% alloy.
The steel in the barrels won't handle the abuse, and you will get more
leading making cleaning harder and affecting accuracy.

8 Do Lee molds provide enough life to be worth the $20?
As in anything you get what you pay for. But yes if you take care of them
they will last a long time. Keep them clean, lubed per directions.

Well, if you've made it this far, thanks for your time.

And as an add on here. You may want an extra unbreakable ramrod just in case.
If you don't have one, a round knob type ball starter and a palm saver.
makes starting a ball easier and ramming home too.

Last edited by DD4lifeusmc; February 4, 2013 at 08:52 PM.
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