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Thread: Black powder rifle questions

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    the internet is serious business! Ought Six's Avatar
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    Arrow Black powder rifle questions

    I was at a pawn shop today during lunch, and I saw a Cabela's .50 Hawken for sale. It appears to be in as-new condition. They want $350 for it. Decent rifle? Decent price? I would just want it for a shooter, and possibly to hunt deer.

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    No Good Bloody Seppo California Joe's Avatar
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    That's a great price given the condition. It will knock the hell out of deer.

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    Not Goat Roping Shermbodius's Avatar
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    Pics or it never happened!

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    Quote Originally Posted by California Joe View Post
    That's a great price given the condition.
    Cool, thanks. I guess I will be stopping by the pawn shop on the way home tonight.
    ----------
    It will knock the hell out of deer.
    Yeah, especially the little Pacific blacktails we have out here. Back in the day, people used to use .50 Hawkens to defend themselves against grizzlies.

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    No Good Bloody Seppo California Joe's Avatar
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    Cabelas has several "Hawken" rifles but all of them are a lot more expensive than that. Yes .50 cal roundball is a rather large piece of lead.....

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    Quote Originally Posted by California Joe View Post
    Cabelas has several "Hawken" rifles but all of them are a lot more expensive than that. Yes .50 cal roundball is a rather large piece of lead.....
    This one has set triggers and appears to have the 29" barrel. I need to pick up some .50 balls, patch material, #11 caps and a can of FFFg as well. I will try conical balls at some point, but I will start with patched round balls.

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    Μολὼν λαβέ Hollis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ought Six View Post
    This one has set triggers and appears to have the 29" barrel. I need to pick up some .50 balls, patch material, #11 caps and a can of FFFg as well. I will try conical balls at some point, but I will start with patched round balls.
    Check the rifling, Generally 1:48 is for cylindrical, 1:60+ for round ball.

    If you use patched balls, you need a started and Patch thickness + ball diameter = Bore diameter.

    You can inspect your patches after you shoot them, they can tell you a lot.

    Generally, loads are for rifle caliber = grains of BP. There are other ways to find out. Also just the usual developing a load technique works,

    AlSO, do not use the rod for loading, make a loading rod. It does better and keeps your original rod looking good.

    Mark your loading rod for on the empty chamber. It becomes your gauge on if the gun is loaded or not.

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    I offered them $325 and they took it. It was just under $360 after the gubermint took their skim off the top. I was surprised I had to fill out the ATF form. I thought that black powder guns were exempt from all that crap.


    [IMG]http://i33.*******.com/a2ubs0.jpg[/IMG]


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    [IMG]http://i35.*******.com/30aduno.jpg[/IMG]


    It is a nice-looking rifle. The bluing is not that rich, but the case hardening on the lock and the brass fixtures look great against the walnut stock.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hollis View Post
    Check the rifling, Generally 1:48 is for cylindrical, 1:60+ for round ball.
    This model is 1:48. On black powder boards people said it gave excellent results with both ball and 'maxi-ball' conicals.
    ----------
    If you use patched balls, you need a started and Patch thickness + ball diameter = Bore diameter.
    On the aforementioned boards people were using .50 balls with .010" or .015" patch material.
    ----------
    You can inspect your patches after you shoot them, they can tell you a lot.
    What would I be looking for?
    ----------
    Generally, loads are for rifle caliber = grains of BP. There are other ways to find out. Also just the usual developing a load technique works,
    Most people who owned this particular rifle said start at 60 grains FFFg and work up from there. They suggested 90 grains was about max.
    ----------
    AlSO, do not use the rod for loading, make a loading rod. It does better and keeps your original rod looking good.
    I will likely just buy a synthetic rod for practice use.
    ----------
    Mark your loading rod for on the empty chamber. It becomes your gauge on if the gun is loaded or not.
    Good tip. Thanks!

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    Platinum Member Rattfink's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ought Six View Post
    I was at a pawn shop today during lunch, and I saw a Cabela's .50 Hawken for sale. It appears to be in as-new condition. They want $350 for it. Decent rifle? Decent price? I would just want it for a shooter, and possibly to hunt deer.

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    Senior Member Henry's Fork's Avatar
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    Great looking rifle you scored there 06.

    I dont own any, but they are a hoot to shoot. We had them in Scouts.

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    Hellfish Junior gaijinsamurai's Avatar
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    Congrats, .06.

    One of my first firearms was a .50 cal CVA Hawken. Great rifle, and a lot of fun to shoot. One of the guns I regret selling, and I'd like to get another when $$$ permits.

    Enjoy!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rattfink View Post
    Yeah, ever since I read some real mountain man accounts and saw Jeremiah Johnson I wanted a Hawken.

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    Μολὼν λαβέ Hollis's Avatar
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    On a .50, I have a .490 or a .495 ball. You might find loading a tad bit difficult with a .50 ball and 0.10 patch

    Also casting saves a bunch of money. Contrary to common belief, balls can be made out of lead alloy, like a Lyman #2 (about the same of wheel weights).

    IIRC, maxis are a commercial made slug. I cast a .50 conical that has a hallow base. Forgot the diameter. Hollow base, then pure lead should be used. That allows for the expansion of the skirt of the base to engage the rifling. See Minnie balls.

    A expended patch can tell you if it is too tight, cut marks. Too loose no rifling impression, How it is seated with the ball. I need to remember some stuff here.

    I mention a starter... I misspelled it.

    A loading block is good for ball and patch.

    This is a possibility bag that I made about 20 years ago. It is for my flint lock, I have two.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Hollis View Post
    On a .50, I have a .490 or a .495 ball. You might find loading a tad bit difficult with a .50 ball and 0.10 patch
    I will start with those and see how it works out.
    ----------
    Also casting saves a bunch of money. Contrary to common belief, balls can be made out of lead alloy, like a Lyman #2 (about the same of wheel weights).
    Do you use an electric melting pot or something? Or just a crucible and a torch?
    ----------
    IIRC, maxis are a commercial made slug. I cast a .50 conical that has a hallow base. Forgot the diameter. Hollow base, then pure lead should be used. That allows for the expansion of the skirt of the base to engage the rifling. See Minnie balls.
    Accord to what I read on the black powder boards, Maxi-balls are just minie balls; exactly what you cast.
    ----------
    A expended patch can tell you if it is too tight, cut marks. Too loose no rifling impression, How it is seated with the ball. I need to remember some stuff here.

    I mention a starter... I misspelled it.

    A loading block is good for ball and patch.

    This is a possibility bag that I made about 20 years ago. It is for my flint lock, I have two.

    Sweet bag! Thanks for the list. I am going to do some more research tonight, including finding a local black powder supply place. Then out tomorrow for a shopping run.

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