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Old October 5, 2018, 02:46 PM   #1
CastAmerican
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Suggestions for First Muzzle loader?

I'm looking to get into muzzle loading and wanted a rifle with some historical significance, though not necessarily original. Any suggestions?
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Old October 5, 2018, 03:25 PM   #2
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Probably the best bang for the buck is Lyman’s Great Plains Rifle. Not a faithful copy of any one type of muzzleloader, it combines aspects that were common in the 18th and 19th centuries.
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Old October 5, 2018, 03:33 PM   #3
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What is your budget? There are many fine makers who will do a basic historically correct rifle for around $2,500. There are also many good kits and parts companies. My favorite is Jim Chambers www.flintlocks.com. Not cheap, but excellent kits that are usually exact copies of an actual original rifle or fowler.
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Old October 5, 2018, 04:37 PM   #4
CastAmerican
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Thank you. I will look into both of them.
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Old October 5, 2018, 05:13 PM   #5
Model12Win
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I would get a Traditions Kentucky flintlock rifle. Lyman’s have a problem with the breach plugs exploding so if that sounds good to you, by all means...
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Old October 5, 2018, 11:16 PM   #6
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Thompson Center made some of the best BP rifles on the market. The incorrectly named "Hawken" is one of the best rifles in that area. But it is not a Hawken rifle in any sense. It is closer to the Plains trade rifles made after the 1850s. The T/C rifles are sort of the "Rugers" of BP guns. They are built stout. But they are not historicly accurate. But they scratched the itch for many years for folks who wanted to try black powder shooting.

There are many decent reasonably priced T/C made guns on gunbroker. Look for a seller named "gman" he has an endless listing of clean BP rifles. And don't overlook the CVA and Traditions guns. They are budget guns but have some of the smoothest bores you will find on non custom guns.

You would have done better asking this question on the Blackpowder forum. Maybe the mods will move it for you. You will get lots of help there.

I have had my eye on a couple of the Tennessee Valley Muzzleloader guns. They are a big step above the guns I mentioned and are priced accordingly. But they have an excellent reputation for quality.

http://www.tennesseevalleymuzzleloading.com/ You will wait for a while as your gun is being built. They also offer completed guns. Check Track Of The Wolf. They also sell completed custom built guns.

Welcome to the forum and the madness.
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Last edited by ratshooter; October 7, 2018 at 01:53 PM.
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Old October 6, 2018, 05:28 AM   #7
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I will stick with my Lyman recommendation. The breech plug recall affects barrels made between March and December of 2017. The earlier comment about Lyman implies that ALL of Lyman’s barrels are dangerous. That is not the case.
The GPR is a well made gun and remains a fine choice for anyone looking the start using a muzzleloader.
My first MLer was a .50 CVA percussion carbine. A handy little gun. I have it still.
TVM MLers are well made guns. I have one of their 20 gauge Fowlers.
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Old October 6, 2018, 06:42 AM   #8
Jack O'Conner
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I lived in Pennsylvania for many years and always hunted the late season with my TC flintlock rifle in 45 caliber. When properly cared for, the flintlock ignition device is quite dependable unless the weather includes rain or sleet. I added a modern receiver sight and discovered the true accuracy of this well made rifle.

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Old October 6, 2018, 12:26 PM   #9
Thomas Clarke
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Suggestions for First Muzzle Loader

I strongly recommend you start with the National Muzzle Loading Rifle Association. You can find them at NMLRA.org. You can also find them on Facebook. They are an incredible resource in all respects.
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Old October 6, 2018, 01:19 PM   #10
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Nice rifle Jack. I am a real fan of the .45 caliber bore. I have two now. A Pedersoli Pennsylvania rifle and a Cabelas Hawken I built from a kit way back in the 1990s. What a great rifle that is. Its my most shot ML gun. The Pedersoli is listed on GB now. Its a very nice rifle but just too dang long for my taste. My dream gun is a Pedersoli Scout rifle with 28" barrel in 45 caliber. Some day I will have one.

Here is my gun on Gunbroker.

https://www.gunbroker.com/item/787747642
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Old October 6, 2018, 01:31 PM   #11
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I don't think any commercially available ML is an absolute copy of any vintage BP rifle. Other than Hawkens being 50 plus calibre and heavy things, I haven't looked that closely into it. I'd be wanting a Baker, but only because watch too much Sharpe on TV.
You need to decide on a budget and whether you want a flinter or a percussion lock. What period in history you're thinking will help there.
Anyway, I'd suggest you buy a copy of the Lyman BP Handbook and Reloading Guide. Tells you everything you need to know about shooting BP. Starting with it's used in grains by volume not mass like smokeless. Pretty good read too.
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Old October 6, 2018, 03:18 PM   #12
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First rifle and wanting in near period condition? _ Pedersoli
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Old October 6, 2018, 06:28 PM   #13
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Many options and sources.

Quote:
I'm looking to get into muzzle loading and wanted a rifle with some historical significance, though not necessarily original.
There are so many options and by now, you might have located one. The market is pretty flat right now and there are a number of used "Traditional" out there. As far as authentic, That train left long ago. Just find one that is "in the Spirit. Another factor is how much you are willing top spend. "For now", forget about the flinters as you are just wanting to get started. Not to brag but to add my experience. I own or have own most of the "Side-Locks" mentioned. …..

If I had to recommend one, it would be a used TC Hawken model or renegade. Your time and money and certainly, your call. Just enjoy what you get. …

Be Safe !!!
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Old October 7, 2018, 04:01 AM   #14
eastbank
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pedersoli blue ridge 50 cal flint rifle was my rifle of choice for many seasons, I have been using a RMC 50 cal flint with a 1-28 twist as of late.
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Old October 7, 2018, 03:13 PM   #15
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I had a Pedersoli Blue Ridge and it was a great shooter. I got a wild hair one day and sold it. I wish I hadn't done that. But any way I just won this rifle off GB. Like Pahoo said this rifle is "In The Spirit" of what was used in the past. I don't care if its not period correct. It has the features and barrel length I like.

A Pedersoli Scout Carbine with 28" barrel in 50 caliber. I would like one of these in 45 caliber but I couldn't beat the price. My total to my door is $341.00. Thats half of what a new one would have cost.

https://www.gunbroker.com/Item/787386973

The seller even reduced my shipping so I am a happy camper. I hope the Op comes back and tells us if he found a rifle and what he got.
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Old October 7, 2018, 04:11 PM   #16
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+1 on traditions Kentucky rifle. Relatively affordable as well.
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Old October 8, 2018, 10:27 AM   #17
eastbank
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the most important thing on a flint lock is the frizzen, second is the flint and if those two are not up to snuff, you have a walking stick instead of a rifle.
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Old October 8, 2018, 05:50 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sure Shot Mc Gee View Post
First rifle and wanting in near period condition? _ Pedersoli
I'd agree. The Pedersolis I've owned were not just well built, but have a good period look to them. And they shoot extremely well! They dominate International muzzleloader matches in Europe.
I have the Alamo percussion .45, and it's a very accurate rifle.
https://www.davide-pedersoli.com/sch...ion-model.html
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Old October 9, 2018, 02:07 PM   #19
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first

First off, I'd go with a percussion rifle, not a flinter. The cap guns offer more reliable ignition for the beginner, and ease the transition process from cartridge to ML firearms.

Next I'd consider bore diameter. If all you intend is mostly to punch paper and plink, I'd consider a .45, as it will be a tad cheaper to shoot over the long run. And as noted by others, you can hunt it successfully, on occassion, on both small and medium game. But if you intend to hunt medium game regularly (deer & hogs) I believe the .50 is a better choice and there is a wide variety of projectiles available as well.

Which brings us to twist rate. That is decided by what type of projectile you want to shoot. Roundball rifles have a slow twist rate, 1-66 as an example. Rifles intended for conicals have faster twists, say 1-20 Many makers put a compromise twist, ex. 1-48 in their rifles to accommodate both to a degree. If you wish to shoot only round balls (cheaper/authentic) you can accept a slow twist rate as is sometimes found in some of the "long rifle" guns, but you will not be happy with conicals in a slow twist. My experience with a fast twist and roundballs (1-20) is not so encouraging either. My advice for a starting rifle would be the compromise twist rate (1-48) , that allow plausible shooting with both types of ammo.

The T/C sidelock rifle have escalated in price since their demise, and there are a lot of trashed ones out there as well. But I think I would hold out for a clean one were it me. I'm partial to the plainer Renegade and New England Hunter models, but that's just me. Lots of fella's like the fancier Hawken.

Steppping back to the traditional ML rifle, either to hunt or just a shooter, is something I would recommend, it puts us back in touch to from whence we came.
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Old October 9, 2018, 08:36 PM   #20
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Bama you got it right. The TC Hawkens are nice and I see them all the time on GB listed as never fired. I bought a 50 caliber Renegade a month or so back that was a kit gun that was poorly put together and had the lock plate area rounded off and very little sanding to the rest of the wood. The prior owner tried to cold blue the barrel and it was splotchity and dull. So I just striped everything and started over. Oh, and the gun had never been fired by the way. I paid $210.00 for it with shipping.

Now it looks pretty good and has been fired 10 times. So a new gun thats tough as nails and not period correct except maybe the guns carried after the 1850s on the westward expansion and the men traveling in covered wagons across the great American desert.

And don't discount the slower twist with bullets instead of round balls. The 1/60 twist of my Lyman GP rifle shoots a Lee REAL 320gr bullet at 90 yards or so well enough to hunt deer with. IIRC the Civil War rifles had 1/60 twist and shot 600gr Minnie Balls darn well.

Here are a couple of pictures or the Renegade I redid. Wood is linseed oil and Formbys Tung oil mixed and BirchwoodCasey Plum Brown on the metal.
Attached Images
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File Type: jpg 020.JPG (119.8 KB, 13 views)
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Old October 18, 2018, 02:41 AM   #21
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ok

RatS that Renegade looks pretty good. Too, it seems to have the blade front and square notch rear (I think) which I prefer over the bead and blade. I just sold a T/C Hawken .50 flinter that I'd owned for near 40 years.......I just don't shoot it anymore. A good friend just had to have a flintlock, and I gave him a real deal.

Saw a percussion T/C Hawken .50 in a shop a week or so ago, $250. Didn't look too bad, but I don't really need it. Most of the traditional side hammer guns don't sell well .....almost all the BP hunters around here are using stainless in-lines with pellets, scopes and sabots.

Your comments regards slow twist and conicals is duly noted. I've not owned any slow twist rifles and can't speak from experience. But my 1-20" White Mtn won't shoot roundballs worth a hoot.
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Old October 18, 2018, 07:50 AM   #22
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If bitten by the "historical bug" you are actually better off to start with the gun you want to end up with.

Many if not most men start with an import, and up-grade to a better one, maybe a few times, and in the end they get a custom made rifle or a good kit and make it themselves, before they are truly happy.

If we look at the time and the over-all expense of doing that, the shooter ends up spending years and a lot more money to finally get what he really wanted.

I say start with the one you really want, take the time to get it exactly as you want it and you will not have to "learn" what you really don't want.
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Old October 18, 2018, 09:19 AM   #23
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Quote:
If bitten by the "historical bug" you are actually better off to start with the gun you want to end up with.

Many if not most men start with an import, and up-grade to a better one, maybe a few times, and in the end they get a custom made rifle or a good kit and make it themselves, before they are truly happy.

If we look at the time and the over-all expense of doing that, the shooter ends up spending years and a lot more money to finally get what he really wanted.

I say start with the one you really want, take the time to get it exactly as you want it and you will not have to "learn" what you really don't want.
I think this is pretty good advice... depending. If you are brand new to smoke poles, you may want to test the waters with something inexpensive to make sure it will hold your interest. I'm new to muzzle loading myself, and I started out with a cheap Pietta C&B revolver. It's not the epitome of workmanship, nor is it all I will ever want, but I do like it and it has been a great introduction for me. It is also entirely plausible that BP firearms wouldn't hold their interest, but they do (honestly I should have known better ).

I will not pursue the gradual upgrades from here out though. Next I'm getting a rifle, probably make it from a kit. And it will be exactly what I want, no less. So I think Wyosmith gives good advice in general.
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Old October 21, 2018, 02:09 PM   #24
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Suggest Jonathon Browning Muzzleloader in 50 or 54 round ball. These are Hawkins with first rate walnut. Browning built the rifle to commemorate the life of Jonathon Browning, John Browning's father. I enjoy mine with brass furniture in 50 cal.

.02. David.
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Old October 21, 2018, 05:01 PM   #25
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For a first rifle I'd go with Lyman Great Plains percussion. A flinter can be overwhelming to a new shooter. The stories about exploding breech plugs are blown all out of proportion. It is a round ball rifle with a 1:60 twist. I would go with a .54. I wish now when I had my rifle built I'd gone with a .58. My second choice for a factory gun would be the Pedersoli but they cost a lot more.
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