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Old June 30, 2012, 10:52 PM   #1
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.50 blk powder whitetail rifle questions

my step father picked up a ball and powder .50 cal whitetail for a 100 bucks
lots of questions!
first i guess was this a good deal the rifle is in excellent shape ...was it worth $100.00

next i no nothing about black powder guns where can i get all of the information about this so i can show him how to load it and fire it safely

and last where can i get him the things it needs do load it

i have lots of knowledge of fire arms but am not experienced in ball and powder and my step dad though he is a great guy and does my mother right he is illiterate so i told him i would learn it for him and teach him what i can and i know the people here on this forum are great about sharing their knowledge and i wont get misinformation

thanks all you fine folks
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Old July 2, 2012, 11:24 AM   #2
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Do you know what brand it is? Mine is a Traditions; they are affordable rifles for somebody who is going to shoot the thing not "collect" it. Traditions has made a LOT of .50 caliber muzzle loaders. The website for traditions has owners' manuals available to download that cover the loading and cleaning procedure. Some people consider their loading recommendations overly conservative, some don't.
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Old July 2, 2012, 04:22 PM   #3
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How do you know it's a "ball & powder" muzzleloader ?

If it's not an original muzzleloader, the rifling's twist might be stamped into the outside of the barrel somewhere.

If it is, 1-28" indicates a barrel suitable for conicals/sabots; 1:66" for a patched round lead ball; and 1"48" a compromise twist suitable for either.

For $100, while the outside may look perfect, the bore could be as rusty as a sewer - the very first thing that should be done is to ensure it's not loaded, via dropping the ramrod downbore, marking it at the muzzle, then withdrawing the rod & hole it alongside the barrel with your mark again next to the muzzle.
If the end of the rod ends up near the nipple (if it's a caplock) or flash hole (if a flintlock), it's unloaded, but if the end is more then an inch or two forward, there's a good chance someone left a load in there.

If the gun's name/brand is actually "Whitetail", then it's a fairly decent buy @ $100 - as long as the bore's not rusted.

If it's a Traditions Whitetail, this one just sold for a bit less.


Last edited by PetahW; July 2, 2012 at 04:29 PM.
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Old July 2, 2012, 08:58 PM   #4
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first) it is not loaded
second) it is a 1:48 twist
third) it is a cap precussion not flint lock looks to be fairly new
fourth) it is a whitail not a tredition
fifth) it is in excelent condition including the barrel as i have taken it apart and put it back together to insure my mother would not be a widow
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Old July 2, 2012, 10:57 PM   #5
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Now we know it's a 1:48 and it's not a Traditions.

Do you have a picture or two of it? I'm not familiar with a whitetail, but I'm sure it works kinda like some other one I have. It would help to see the nipple and hammer area and let's start with what you should use to ignite it and we can just work on down the rifle from that end.
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Old July 4, 2012, 04:12 PM   #6
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If the photo is an accurate dipiction then that model looks very similar to the Traditions Deer hunter.
Most of the instructions for loading, shooting and cleaning a caplock are contained in the Traditions sidelock manual under the heading "percussion".
One thing that I noticed about the manual is that it doesn't specify #11 percussion caps which is the standard cap size that is most commonly used.

Was your gun made in Spain?

This the TC sidelock manual which may have also have some helpful instructions. While TC percussion guns may not be exactly the same there's still a lot of similarity.

Last edited by arcticap; July 4, 2012 at 04:19 PM.
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