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 Questions about getting back with powder in the pan after 30 years

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genaro48

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PostSubject: Questions about getting back with powder in the pan after 30 years   December 16th 2015, 10:18 pm

Hello, 

Built a TC Hawken .50 kit decades ago. Antiqued the brass, browned the barrel, oil finished the stock, replaced the crappy frizzen.... used it for a few years shot targets, shot a squirrel(NOT the best results head shot at 25 yards... not much left but the guts and tail... Shot some deer.... put it away. It looks pretty. It wants to unleash its fury on some deer again soon!  

So, I am going hunting again here in PA after Christmas. Going to use my round balls and my 90 gr of FFG black powder.  

Any suggestions for patch lube are appreciated.  I can't wait to get to the range this weekend and blow blue/grey smoke across everyone's line of sight.  

Questions: (I used to know the answers to these things but now I forget)
1. How long can you leave a load in the breach and have it reliably fire and not begin to rust the barrel?  I have never actually left the gun loaded.  I know that the Mountain Men must have left their guns loaded for periods, at least a few days at a time to deal with natives, game harvesting, and Grizzly Bears.  

2. I have always used good old black powder. Are there less corrosive powders out there that are good in flinties?   

3. I can't remember.  

Thanks, 
Lance in PA.
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PostSubject: Re: Questions about getting back with powder in the pan after 30 years   December 16th 2015, 10:48 pm

Hi Lance,

Welcome back.

1 IDK, but I do not worry about it when hunting. I always discharge at the end of the day. 

2 I trust BP 3F (I do not use Pryodex)

3 IDK either

4 Why 90 grains in a TC Hawken? That is a lot of powder. I've never shot more than 70 grains and I have one, too. I tend to use 60 with my round ball/patch and Hawken. Tried 50 grains most recently.

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PostSubject: Re: Questions about getting back with powder in the pan after 30 years   December 17th 2015, 6:50 am

Nice to meet you. Thanks for the powder recommendation. I plan on hunting for multiple days in a row between Christmas and New Years Day so I thought it might be nice not to shoot and clean every day.  

I have to verify the powder charge. Thanks for posing that question. I have a measure on my flask but I recall 90 grains. Maybe it is 70?  Decades may have clouded my rememberings! I had penetration problems on deer(wounded a rather large 8 point who I had to track into the next day, shot penetrated about 1" above the heart at 40 yards but didn't go far enough to take out the lungs so he went a good ways near end of shooting hours with the snow kicking up)  and phone books(considered dangerous game where I live, although I may instead shoot smart phones since they have replaced phone books) with round balls with lighter loads, I remember that much.  So I know I went to heavier loads.  I will throw a charge on my scale today and check. 

What do you like for patch lube?  I used to experiment with pre-lubed, white lithum, spit.....

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"I, Hatchet Jack, being of sound mind and broke legs, do leaveth my rifle to the next thing who finds it, Lord hope he be a white man. It is a good rifle, and kilt the bear that kilt me. Anyway, I am dead. Sincerely, Hatchet Jack." 


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PostSubject: Re: Questions about getting back with powder in the pan after 30 years   December 17th 2015, 7:14 am

Hi Genaro48,

I'm not an authority by no means but I run 80 grains of 2F in my .54 caplock and 90 grains of 2F in my .58 flinter.  I use 4F in the pan. As far as patch lube you have lots of choices.  Look in the classified section here on the forum, Jon sells some lube that you may want to consider.

Also if you go to the Thompson Center web site you can read the Hawken manual as to the various loads:  http://www.tcarms.com/pdfs/uploads/manuals/Hawken_Manual.pdf

Good luck with your Hawken, I know they are fun to shoot!

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PostSubject: Re: Questions about getting back with powder in the pan after 30 years   December 17th 2015, 7:19 am

I use 75 to 90 gr. in my T/C .50 when hunting depending on whether I use a round ball or conical and what I am hunting. Try increasing loads from 70 gr. up to see which is the most accurate in your barrel.
Some 1:48 T/C s like a smaller charge for roundball stability, other guns do just fine with more powerful loads. 

I use corn oil or mink oil for a patch lube. There are hundreds of patch lube 'favorites'.

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PostSubject: Re: Questions about getting back with powder in the pan after 30 years   December 17th 2015, 7:58 am

Shoot the load that your gun likes best. 90gr sounds fine for hunting. I usually use more, but I also hunt for elk.

Jon who owns this forum makes a patch lube that is well liked. I haven't tried it personally, but probably will at some point. It gets good reviews. I used to use mink oil from TOW, but switched to bear grease from October, and it worked good. Especially in cold weather.

http://www.octobercountry.com/bumblin-bear-grease-4-oz/


As for leaving in the load? A PRB load is pretty cheap, so I always shoot it out at the end of the days hunting. It's not that BP is corrosive unshot, but it does absorb moisture. I don't like to take the chance when hunting, so I start with a fresh load every morning. Make sure the gun is cooled off to the days temperature before loading in the morning. It's the going in and out of different temps that builds up moisture the fastest.

For a flintlock you don't want to use anything but real BP if you want reliable ignition. I use real BP in caplocks too, but some guys do use the sub powders in caplocks. With varying success.

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PostSubject: Re: Questions about getting back with powder in the pan after 30 years   December 17th 2015, 3:13 pm

Lance, Welcome to the forum in the first place! Good to have a sidelock shooter with us! We've been growing lately with more and more sidelock shooters and that is a good thing!

90gr 2FG sound like a good load. I always go for what is the most accurate. Normally 70 to 110gr in my sidelocks depending on caliber and what Patched ball set up I am using.

I make a couple lubes that I sell on here, they can be found here. For target shooting, I highly recommend the Buckskinner's blend patch lube. For hunting, switch over to my Anti-rust & Patch Lube. The Anti-Rust patch lube has special oils in it that are actually made to keep rust off of metal yet does not get nasty with black powder fouling.
https://www.frontiermuzzleloading.com/f14-frontier-s-anti-rust-patch-lube

How long you leave it loaded depends on a lot of things to consider.

Are you taking it into the house after the hunt and is the barrel sweating?
What projectile are you loaded with? Does that projectile fully seal the bore?
Are you using something like a piece of leather or an old ear plug on top of the nipple to seal out moisture when the percussion cap is off?

If things are all stored correctly, I leave my sidelock loaded up to 9 to 10 days while in the field.

If it rains, I check the bore often at camp to make sure theres no rust starting. If there is, it gets fired off, cleaned and oiled and then loaded in the morning AFTER I run a few dry patches down the bore to mop up excess oil. Moisture is what will cause the rusting, not dry powder.

Goex is a great black powder. If you can get it or don't mind ordering, Keep it in stock! Another black powder I highly suggest you try is Olde Eynsford, its made by Hodgdon to compete with Swiss powder at around $10 less per can VS swiss! Very powerful stuff.

No other good powder for a flintlock other than 100% pure black powder!

Jonathan


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PostSubject: Re: Questions about getting back with powder in the pan after 30 years   December 18th 2015, 6:07 pm

Thanks for all the welcomes everyone. Much appreciated and I am not surprised because I found my old time traditional black powder buddies back in the day to be all good folks.  

My measure is at 70 grains(weighed on my reloading scale last night). I also have an adjustable and a 90 grain tube for my flask and will see what shoots best at the range this weekend. TC Hawken has that 1:48 twist and not exactly a Pennsylvania rifle barrel length so I don't really want to be wasting too much powder(you know... global warming and carbon footprints and all Smile  ).  

I appreciate all the information. It strikes my memory now that I used to cap off the vent and muzzle and leave my gun out in the cold(flinty season is the week after Christmas here in PA and it has been unseasonably warm this year) so as not to take a chance on condensation in the barrel or vent having an effect on ignition.  

Years ago I shot Pyrodex for a bit, and now recall that I sold it to a friend for his Navy Colt reproduction and went back to the grey blue smoke especially since I was igniting from a pan and not a cap.  

I still have a pound of FFG Goex and a pound of FFFG(unless I start using it in a small cannon that will get me a lifetime of pan priming I think) that has been stored properly so I should be good to go.  

I had a small tube of white grease I used to lube patches but will probably buy some of the ones recommended here. I have a son turning 11 who is an excellent marksman and he can't wait to blow some round balls down range. 

Actually, I am pretty excited and ordered a Dixie Gun Works Catalog so I have something to oogle.  

QUESTION: does anyone have experience with prelubed patches? I was a Field and Stream store and they were like $9.99 for 50ct.  Does anyone prelube their patches themselves. I never did it that way, I always lubed them myself. 

QUESTION:  Whose patches do you recommend? Are there some here on this site in addition to the lube?  

Thanks!  

PS, I respect all hunting and shooting, but for me, muzzle loading season with the modern inlines has no appeal. I can't say exactly that it is cheating, but it seems like that a little bit. It's all good though. It took me a couple of decades to give up hunting with my Bear Kodiak Hunter recurve and move over to a compound bow so....

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"I, Hatchet Jack, being of sound mind and broke legs, do leaveth my rifle to the next thing who finds it, Lord hope he be a white man. It is a good rifle, and kilt the bear that kilt me. Anyway, I am dead. Sincerely, Hatchet Jack." 


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PostSubject: Re: Questions about getting back with powder in the pan after 30 years   December 18th 2015, 6:24 pm

used to buy prelubed but the quality was not up to speed. You have to wonder how long they sit on the shelves and how much sun they get every day they are there. I lube my own patches.
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