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Old November 25, 2011, 02:15 PM   #1
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Traditional muzzle-loading rifles compared....

I'm looking into getting a muzzle-loading rifle.... like a Hawken.....something that fits into the 1830's fur trapper rendezvous era. Absolute authenticity not entirely necessary. How would y'all rate the various brands and models for over-all quality? TC vs Lyman vs others? Also, twist rates; will round balls shoot well in a faster twist intended for Minie's? I'm currently looking at a used TC 50 caliber. I will use real BP. Thanks y'all.
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Old November 25, 2011, 02:49 PM   #2
Andy Griffith
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I've got a couple of older T/C's and they are top quality as far as shooting and lasting a long time are concerned, but the downside is that they are not anywhere near authentic enough for anything other than hunting or shooting matches where authenticity isn't a concern. Round ball shooting is acceptable, but not the best as would be in a dedicated round ball gun.

A high quality round ball gun from Pedersoli would be hard to beat, and much more authentic to the period. There are also some very good hand-made ones sold through Track-of-the-Wolf from various good makers. They'll even allow you to send them back after an inspection period if you don't like it. Both of these options are going to be more expensive, but a good way to go. I've had good experience with TOTW.
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Old November 25, 2011, 02:55 PM   #3
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The Lyman Great Plains Rifle (GPR) is available in either .50 or .54, and in either a patched round ball (PRB) 1:66 twist or a faster 1:28 twist suitable for conicals (as the Great Plains Hunter, IIRC) - AND in caplock or rocklock.

They are also available in kit form, if you're up to a build.

Made in Italy, the quality has been consistanty satisfactory, if not top-notch - but they don't cost as much as a top-notch rifle, either.

The styling is 1830-1840 Hawken/Mountain halfstock rifle.

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Old November 25, 2011, 03:40 PM   #4
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The GPR is about the best of the reasonably priced factory guns out there. It's also truer to the Hawken design than the modern day Hawken's by TC, Investarms or CVA. The drawback is they either come in a round ball twist or a conical twist while the others come with a 1:48 for the most part. That's a decent middle ground for both. Not great with either one but decent.
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Old November 25, 2011, 05:00 PM   #5
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Which powder?

in a 50 caliber or better rifle is fffG a useable powder or would ffG be better?
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Old November 25, 2011, 05:13 PM   #6
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Your measure to make !!

in a 50 caliber or better rifle is fffG a useable powder or would ffG be better?
Both are suitable up to and including a .50 and .54. (No Larger) ...
Which is better, is your call and range-time would be in order. You will get varying opinions on this and yours will be just as good as any.

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Old November 25, 2011, 10:27 PM   #7
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Another vote for the GPR. I own two in .54 cal, one cap and one flint. Both are great roundball rifles.

I also own 5 T/C Hawkens, from .45 to .54 cal, all caplocks. The GPR stock fits me better so I find the GPR more comfortable - you should shoulder, or better yet shoot, one of each because it matters. Perhaps for that reason I think the GPR shoots better also; although I don't have data to prove it.

T/C is American made and comes with a lifetime warranty that is honored to a fault. They do have the 1:48 'compromise' barrel but I've found it works just fine out to 100 yards with either a mini or a rb (which is all you can expect from a rb anyway).

The GPR is a better match to the original plains halfstock rifle designs, but even it isn't a perfect Hawken clone.
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