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PostSubject: Traditions Hawken Woodsman Review   March 2nd 2016, 7:52 pm

3-2-16
Reviewing The Traditions Hawken Woodsman Flintlock .50cal

For a while now, I had the "Itch" to order a newer muzzle loader and after some searching, I decided to go a head and order a Traditions Hawken Woodsman in percussion.

I had a hog hunt planned for a couple months and after finding out my rifle was on back order, I was really getting worried that the rifle would not come in on time. In fact, when it did come in, I only had 6 days to work with it.
While six days seems like a lot of time to break in and figure out the unknowns with a new muzzle loader, especially in percussion, I got the surprise of my life when I got an email stating that the rifle had shipped out and they (Traditions) gave me 3 day delivery to ensure it would arrived on time.

Sure enough, 3 days later, the big truck shows up with my new rifle!
Excited, I took the package into the house, unboxed it, read the packing slip and scratched my head, thinking they had mislabeled the box.

I shrugged it off, opened the box, took the rifle out of the clear plastic and my jaw hit the floor!
The shipping department made a mistake and sent me a flintlock!
I've owned and shot a lot of flintlocks, but man! I had a whopping 6 days to learn a new flintlock, and to be honest, a flintlock is NOT my best friend.

I had all the supplies I needed, so I decided to go a head and keep it and go do some hog hunting with a flintlock.
After checking over the rifle, I admired its nicely stained and finished Select Hardwood (Beechwood) stock, richly blued barrel and the crisp operation of the lock and triggers. The locks mainspring is very heavy duty. The brass was nicely polished, even though I am not a big fan of brass.



The rifle utilizes click style hunter rear sight with a round front bead.



One problem I did have was with the frizzen spring. The spring was very stiff at around 8lbs to open. A spring this stiff caused flints to break within a half dozen strikes due to the frizzen not being able to fully open.
 I fixed this issue by using a small C clamp and gently compressing the spring a little at a time until I got it to open at around 3lbs which worked out perfect.

On the Range

I have owned many "Hawken" style rifles and so I loaded up my proven load of 80 grains volume, Goex 2fg black powder, both .015" & .020" patches lubed with Frontier's Anti-Rust & Patch lube and set the rifle down on the bags for its first shot. I swabbed lightly between shot to help keep the bore clean and make sure that first shot was on place with a clean bore come hog hunting season.

I tried other loads but settled on the load above because it has always been accurate and reliable on hunts in my other rifles. You don't need 150 grains of black powder and $2 per bullet, loads to go out and fill the freezer with meat! What you need is patience and some common sense when to keep your finger off the trigger and wait for the right shot.
Finding the perfect amount of pan powder is always tricky, but after a few shots, I got it down to around 3 grains 4fg Goex. The rifles lock is very fast, and if I do my part, ignition is almost instant to the human ear. This fast ignition helped me greatly on my hog hunt with this rifle!

Recoil is straight back to the shooters upper arm and the stock does not twist and dig in like some other rifles I've shot in the past. The balance of the rifle is perfect at right around the wedge key position. This is not a barrel heavy rifle.

There are many stories of the spanish muzzle loaders having soft frizzens and sparking poorly. I did not find that to be an issue. I feel that the frizzen spring being to heavy is what casues most of the issues, along with flints being to long and not striking correctly.



I use French Amber 1/2" X 5/8" flints and have had excellent sparks that sit at the bottom of the pan and sizzle. The flint is also wrapped in leather that I trimmed to prevent it from striking the face of the frizzen.

Any time I've had a misfire, where the pan powder did not go off, was after firing half a dozen times and not cleaning the fouling off the frizzen or, an old flint that had worn down to the point, the top of the flint clamp was actually hitting the frizzen and not the flint!

The barrel on the Hawken Woodsman is 28" long and 15/16" across the flats. The bore is superbly smooth and loads like silk. I never experianced a torn patch from a burr or sharp rifling at the muzzle. The bore measures .499" lands and .503" grooves. Tight bored but a very nicely machined barrel and one that shoots Patched Round Balls with solid hunting accuracy with its 1:48 twist. Bore Size:  .499" Lands - .503" grooves

The weight of the Hawken Woodsman on my electronic scale is right at 7lbs 6.5oz.
The rifle balances nicely aprox. 1 1/2" forward of the wedge key.

I have had excellent results with conical bullets as well, Powerbelts and the new 350 grain Lead Federal BOR Loc bullets. The BOR loves 80 grains 2fg Goex black powder and will put 3 shots touching at 50 yards. A shooter should not need a 350 grain concial for deer and hogs! Even elk that is a huge bullet but I know, I know.... You want to be safe in the field. Use what is most accurate and something that you personally have good experience with.

I WILL be testing 460gr No Excuse conicals next.

My best 100 yard group was 3 & 1/2 inches with 80gr 2fg Goex, .490" round ball and .020" patching. I hope to improve that by bedding the Tang and Trigger Plate as this is a weak area on the many of the modern Hawken rifles. When a tang screw loosens up, maximum accuracy will never be achieved.

Overall I would give the rifle a solid 9 out of 10 rating.

The Hawken Woodsman is a really great bargain in price, fit, quality and reliability.

Sometimes a mistake turns out to be a good thing and this was one of those times! Every time I go out hiking, I find myself reaching for this rifle as it has been a blast to learn and shoot and has become a reliable hunting companion to take on hog hunts.

This rifle was very easy to learn and get sighted on target. In fact, I believe it took me less than 20 shots and most of those were experimenting with different amounts of powder in the pan to see what it liked best. The first 5 shots from the rifle were simply amazing and something I did not expect considering how little I get to shoot a flintlock.
If you are looking at a good solid hunting rifle or somethin to enjoy on the range, check out the Traditions Hawken Woodsman!

At the very top of the bull eye area are my final shots of the day! They grouped perfectly with my #1 shot with my normal hunting lube. The 4 shots LOW left were me just fiddling around with with pan charges.


Last edited by FrontierGander on July 9th 2017, 9:31 pm; edited 13 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: Traditions Hawken Woodsman Review   March 2nd 2016, 7:56 pm

Those hogs better go nocturnal if they know what's good for them.

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PostSubject: Re: Traditions Hawken Woodsman Review   March 2nd 2016, 8:00 pm

True, but right now I really want to limit myself to 50 yards unless I have a fairly decent rest.
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PostSubject: Re: Traditions Hawken Woodsman Review   March 2nd 2016, 9:20 pm

Niiice... 

Now, tell us again how much you need that MRI? Not. jocolor

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PostSubject: Re: Traditions Hawken Woodsman Review   March 2nd 2016, 9:23 pm

Did you use some of your shoot out in the bore Jonathan.

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PostSubject: Re: Traditions Hawken Woodsman Review   March 2nd 2016, 9:27 pm

Yup, 16 shots with Shoot Out. I just finished cleaning the rifle and will be taking a look inside the bore very shortly.
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PostSubject: Re: Traditions Hawken Woodsman Review   March 3rd 2016, 12:00 am

Brand new out of the box, removed all factory oils from the bore and followed up with ballistol.

You can see some very minor scratches and lines. Nothing that would hurt your accuracy of course, but its always the "unknowns"




16 shots later with SHOOT OUT! patch lube & bore enhancer. And yes, the pics were taken at the same sections of barrel as I do mark my camera cord with tape.




Just a darker picture to help show that nothing is left over in the bore but beautiful smoothness. This barrel feels like glass when you put a patched ball down the bore. No hard starting at the muzzle either, Traditions has a really nice crown on these barrels.

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PostSubject: Re: Traditions Hawken Woodsman Review   March 3rd 2016, 6:57 am

That's some fine shooting.
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PostSubject: Re: Traditions Hawken Woodsman Review   March 6th 2016, 10:32 pm

Got into oklahoma today with my dad and brother. We met up with Floyd (falcon) and chit chatted for a bit and then drove out to the hog hunting area so falcon could show us around and where to set up, along with baiting and setting traps.

On the second to last trap we ( dad,bro and I ) were ooooing and ahhhing over the nice little pond set up and I caught some white/pinkish color in the swampy area.

Turned out to be a hog and I says.. Floyd, there's hogs down there!

What?!

There's hogs down there! I see a black one and a white/pink hog.

Go get 'em Jon!

I got out of the truck, primed my new Traditions Hawken Woodsman loaded with 80gr Goex 2fg, primed with Goex 4fg, .015" patch lubed with my Anti rust & patch lube, home cast .490" round ball.

The wind was blowing pretty good and as I was working my way to a dead tree for some support to lean on, there was a 20ish pound pig looking at me while the fat porky and the black porky were rooting around in the swampy grass stuff. They had their backs to me and so I took my time  setting the trigger and waiting for the fat porky to move into position for a clean shot.

After a short time, the 2 big hogs started to root around and she turned into perfect position!

I squeezed the trigger and she fired instantly and through the smoke, I saw her drop on the spot.

I had to run to falcons truck to grab a speed loader and after that, we went out to find her.

I'm a bit tired right now to tell the rest of the story but holy smokes guys. None of us expected to get a hog this evening after a 7 hour drive!

Who says them stupid simple, stupid low cost, stupid round balls can't kill?!

Don't worry, I have more pics to load, just tired to the point that my head is throbbing lol.


Last edited by FrontierGander on July 9th 2017, 9:34 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Traditions Hawken Woodsman Review   March 6th 2016, 10:50 pm

I enjoyed the hell out of the story! 
Congrats all the way round!
cheers

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PostSubject: Re: Traditions Hawken Woodsman Review   March 7th 2016, 3:41 am

And a little left of your right shoulder is a tree stand! Might ought to try that out!

GOOD LUCK!

If you recovered the RB....post a photo of it!! cheers :tup2
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PostSubject: Re: Traditions Hawken Woodsman Review   March 7th 2016, 6:02 am

Looks like your flinter really did it's job! What a fun thing to do in the off season!  Best yet, you get to put some meat in the freezer too.

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PostSubject: Re: Traditions Hawken Woodsman Review   March 7th 2016, 6:46 am

MMMMM nothin like bacon and sausage. Congrats Jonathan....Al

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PostSubject: Re: Traditions Hawken Woodsman Review   March 7th 2016, 7:38 pm

And the back pain is just a memory after that!
Congrats
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PostSubject: Re: Traditions Hawken Woodsman Review   March 7th 2016, 9:19 pm

Jonathan
Is the a particular reason you picked the Traditions over say like a Lyman? Just curious what your determining factor was? Al

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TC Hawken 58 cal Green Mtn drop in barrel
TC Renegade 58 cal
GRRW 50 cal
GRRW 58 cal
Lyman GPR 54 cal flintlock L&R lock davis deerslayer trigger
Lyman Trade Rifle 54 cal
CVA Hawken 58 cal by Jonathan
Hawken Squirrel Rifle 40 cal by John Bergman
Pedersoli Penn Rifle 50 cal flintlock
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PostSubject: Re: Traditions Hawken Woodsman Review   March 7th 2016, 9:50 pm

I've owned many lymans. I had one good flintlock out of the 3 that I bought/traded for. I wanted to give this rifle a chance and see how it worked out.

Nice and light weight too. Its a pleasure to carry up into the stand and walk around with.
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PostSubject: Re: Traditions Hawken Woodsman Review   March 8th 2016, 9:09 am

It's great that you had a successful hunt!
The fact that it was with a round ball and flint lock is another feather in your hat!
Congratulations!
Ron

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PostSubject: Re: Traditions Hawken Woodsman Review   March 8th 2016, 9:40 am

That hog looks like it's got some Hampshire in it. it should be better eating than the rangy black variety.

Hogs aren't hard to kill as long as you don't gut shoot them. Congrats!

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PostSubject: Re: Traditions Hawken Woodsman Review   March 8th 2016, 6:06 pm

Nice going John Exclamation Exclamation How many are you guys going to take and where is that little silver video camera that I know of Question

Ray......... Nice shootin"

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PostSubject: Re: Traditions Hawken Woodsman Review   March 8th 2016, 6:32 pm

OUTSTANDING!!

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PostSubject: Re: Traditions Hawken Woodsman Review   March 9th 2016, 6:09 am

AWESOME pic IN the swamp Exclamation ...nice recap...Congrats FG cheers


When if comes down to smoke blowers it's hard to beat a successful RB hunt.  :rtup
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PostSubject: Re: Traditions Hawken Woodsman Review   March 12th 2016, 10:56 am

While butchering the hog, I started cutting up the opposite shoulder where I thought the ball might be trapped. I was right!

The .490" 177gr round ball penetrated both front shoulders, completely breaking the actual round bone and I recovered the ball in the meat.

The recovered weight is 169.6 grains.


Last edited by FrontierGander on July 9th 2017, 9:38 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Traditions Hawken Woodsman Review   March 12th 2016, 11:03 am

Well, that round ball surely did the job.
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PostSubject: Re: Traditions Hawken Woodsman Review   March 12th 2016, 11:25 am

FrontierGander wrote:
While butchering the hog, I started cutting up the opposite shoulder where I thought the ball might be trapped. I was right!

The .490" 177gr round ball penetrated both front shoulders, completely breaking the actual round bone and I recovered the ball in the meat.

The recovered weight is 169.6 grains.


Way to go! cheers

Thanks for the photo!
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PostSubject: Re: Traditions Hawken Woodsman Review   March 13th 2016, 8:14 am

Awesome effort FG in recovering that bullet to post...it's a thing of beauty and is a great piece of memorabilia Wink
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