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Shooting Traditional Muzzleloading Rifles ...

Discussion in 'Rifle Discussion' started by AndyinEverson, Feb 23, 2016.

  1. AndyinEverson

    AndyinEverson Everson, Wa. Well-Known Member

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    So as some of y'all have guessed , I'm really into original and traditional muzzleloading guns.
    I just wanted to put out some of my thoughts on shooting with these guns.
    None of this is meant to paint me as some sort of expert. I am not a expert of anything.

    First find a rifle that fits you. I'm not talking just about fitting your build or historical interest.
    But finding a rifle that you connect with , one that suits your style of shooting or just plain "feels good". It dosen't have to a full blown custom job or original . I've seen plenty of great shooting with a off the shelf model.

    Get a routine down of how you load , shoot and clean your rifle. Sick with it until it becomes second nature.
    I try to load and clean just like the guys did in the 19th century. No fancy lubes , just spit or bear grease and or tallow , real black powder ( some substitute powders do not well with flintlocks ) , cotton / linen patches , lead round ball and cleaning with soap and water followed by a oily patch to prevent rust.

    Practice often. Remember your rifle is not just a "rendezvous toy" . For hundreds of years people have been fed and protected by muzzleloaders.
    Take your rifle on a "woods walk" or hike. Try shooting at that small rock or pine cone.
    Shoot in different weather and at different times of day.
    Using these practices , has helped me become a better shot. I have fed my family , won many a match , prizes and not to forget to mention , out shot some folks with a modern rifle and scope on more than one occasion.

    In closing many folks , even those who like muzzleloading , sell their rifles short so to speak.
    You have a lot of money and time invested in your rifle , use it to the fullest.
    Andy
     
  2. MountainBear

    MountainBear Sweet Home, OR Well-Known Member

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    Now add another rifle I need to buy to my list... ;)
     
  3. Bigbaddude

    Bigbaddude West linn Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I keep thinking of buying a kit and try my hand at building one.
    What kit would you recommend ?
     
  4. AndyinEverson

    AndyinEverson Everson, Wa. Well-Known Member

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    Thats what I'm here for MountainBear , just fueling the addiction lol .

    Bigbaddude,
    Track of the wolf has some nice kits.
    Their version of the Leman Trade Rifle is a good build for the first time builder.
    The Great Plains Rifle kit by Lyman is a good place to start as well.
    Another option is finishing a rifle that is sold in the "white" .
    If you have some wood working and metal finishing experience behind you , getting the parts you want piece by piece is a good way to go as well.
    Are you near Springfield Oregon? Joe and Suzi Williams own The Gun Works and they are excellent folks to deal with.
    Andy
     
  5. etrain16

    etrain16 Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Just curious on your thoughts about more modern black powder rifles - like those by CVA, Traditions, etc. I'd like to try some black powder at some point and, at least to start, I like the idea of using 209 primers or caps in a more contemporary rifle. They also have the benefit of having a decent entry price while being plenty accurate at 100 yards +. Do you think that's a decent way to get an introduction in to black powder shooting?
     
    mjbskwim likes this.
  6. ogre

    ogre Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

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    Consider this flintlock kit. When the income tax return comes home I will get one in 40 calibre.

    It has a Chambers Late Ketland Lock and a 40 calibre is legal deer medicine where I live.

    http://www.jimkibler.net/kit-gun.html
     
  7. AndyinEverson

    AndyinEverson Everson, Wa. Well-Known Member

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    etrain16
    To my mind , modern muzzleloaders are "muzzleloaders" in name only.
    With that being said , I understand about the convenience of using powders other than the hard to get at times and places black powder , 209 primers etc ...
    The styling of stock being almost the same as a centerfire rifle , can be more comfortable to some.
    As for 100 + range I have shot gongs at 200 yards and hit them enough to know that I could hunt at that range with my Hawken copy. I would not do that where I hunt however as most shots are 100 or less.
    Entry level price is a tough argument to beat. Most traditional rifles are $500 or more new .
    I would recommend a Thompson Center "Hawken" in .54 or .50 caliber percussion rifle if you wanted to get your feet wet as it were.
    While not in the "inline" style , you can get a lot of after market items for it. You can use real black powder or a substitute powder , bullets or balls etc ...
    Plus those rifles if taken care of tend to hold their value , so you can resell or trade it off , without much loss if you want.
    Andy
     
    etrain16 likes this.
  8. Bigbaddude

    Bigbaddude West linn Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Those Kibler kits are a little out of my price range for my first build but they sure are nice looking.
     
  9. AndyinEverson

    AndyinEverson Everson, Wa. Well-Known Member

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    Maybe you find someone's kit or project gun they gave up on.
    That can be a more affordable way to go Bigbaddude...
    Andy
     
  10. Bigbaddude

    Bigbaddude West linn Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    That's the plan cause I do like the high end rifles.
     
  11. AndyinEverson

    AndyinEverson Everson, Wa. Well-Known Member

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    Well if you have any questions ... let me know.
    Having built or restored a few guns I'd be happy to help.
    Andy
     
    MountainBear and Bigbaddude like this.