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Login Name Post: Best School for Offhand Shooting        (Topic#264324)
Dixie Flinter 
62 Cal.
Posts: 2700
Dixie Flinter
12-18-11 12:32 PM - Post#1083532    


I'm wondering which style "holds" or "hangs" the best for offhand shooting. If you were to build another flintlock rifle for offhand target shooting or primitive trail walk, what style would you choose? Lancaster, Early Virginia, Tennessee/SMR, York, or something else? I am assuming swamped barrel. Please add caliber preference...

 
paulvallandigham 
Passed On
Posts: 17538
paulvallandigham
12-18-11 12:55 PM - Post#1083546    

    In response to Dixie Flinter

Are you not intending this gun to be used for hunting of any kind?

What ranges are you wanting to shoot? Distance has a way of limiting the caliber of ball we would recommend.

Length of barrel, even when swamped, is going to depend on your body shape and size, your ability to hold any gun steady, and what makes you comfortable shooting off-hand. There is NO one-size-fits-all.

For target shooting only, I would recommend a .40 caliber, as a Nice compromise, with the .45 being my second choice. I am slightly over 6 feet tall, but found that a barrel of 38-40 inches is muzzle heavy enough to give me good steady "barrel hang". If you are much shorter, you might be served better with a gun that is a few inches shorter in length.

The off-hand shooting I did, and still do involves targets at 50 yards and less. I hate punching paper, so have no interest in doing the kind of daily practice needed to get good enough to shoot 100 yard target matches.

The Best shooting I have done on paper was a 47-2X( 4-10s; 1-7-called dropped shot) shot off-hand at 50 yds on a cold New Years Day, shooting a .45 caliber percussion "Carbine" with only a 25 inch barrel. I used 50 grains of FFFg Goex, behind a .445 ball, and .010" cotton patch. Lubed with spit, as I fired the gun within seconds of loading it.

I have done a lot of accuracy "trick" shots using my .50 cal. flintlock, with its 39" barrel( straight, not swamped)but never have shot a better "Paper" score than I did that day with my short barreled .45. I think the best paper score I have shot off-hand with my .50 was a 42-1X. I bought this rifle for hunting, not target shooting, so I simply have not tested the gun on paper very often.

If you are looking for a gun with a certain length, it would be worth your while to get to Tip Curtiss' place in Tennessee, or see him at Friendship, or at some of the other events he has. He has dozens of guns of all sizes with him in his trailer, and it would help you greatly to know what "feels" right for you before you buy or order a gun made for you with that swamped barrel. Chuck Dixon also has a lot of guns you can "try" in his shop in PA. I am told that The Log Cabin Shop, in Lodi, Ohio also has a large stock of guns, as do other stores across the country.

Best wishes on your search. Part of the satisfaction with your final choice is all the work you do to find the gun that fits you!

 
hanshi 
Cannon
Posts: 8217
hanshi
12-18-11 02:09 PM - Post#1083584    

    In response to Dixie Flinter

Yes, it depends a lot on your build and what feels comfortable on your shoulder. If I were to build a rifle for off-hand shooting it would have a straight barrel and be noticeably nose heavy. An early Lancaster/Va/etc, stock would be my preference. A flat butt makes a nicer mounting rifle.

The best off-hand rifle I ever fired was a Va. rifle with a .50x7/8"x42" barrel. I eventually sold it for reasons having nothing to do with its fine accuracy. I could always shoot excellent groups with that fine rifle as it held rock steady.
Young guys should hang out with old guys; old guys know stuff.


 
ohio ramrod 
75 Cal.
Posts: 5759
12-18-11 03:42 PM - Post#1083629    

    In response to Dixie Flinter

The best shool for offhand shooting is the school of experience! While I shoot best with my 42 inch douglas barreled spanish style stock on trails and silolets(for the life of me I cann't spell that word).(silhouettes) The best "paper shooting" rifle I ever had was the boy's t.c. Cherokee. in 36 caliber.

Edited by ohio ramrod on 12-18-11 03:45 PM. Reason for edit: proper spelling

 
Dan Phariss 
70 Cal.
Posts: 4622
Dan Phariss
12-18-11 04:44 PM - Post#1083656    

    In response to Dixie Flinter

  • Dixie Flinter Said:
I'm wondering which style "holds" or "hangs" the best for offhand shooting. If you were to build another flintlock rifle for offhand target shooting or primitive trail walk, what style would you choose? Lancaster, Early Virginia, Tennessee/SMR, York, or something else? I am assuming swamped barrel. Please add caliber preference...



C weight swamp 42" in 45 or 50.
Stock design need to be something that will make a nice looking rifle with good recoil characteristics.

I currently have a chunk/turkey match rifle in processing.
Its based on a Dickert Rifle. #48 in Rifles of Colonial America. I will be making a lighter version of the same rifle next.
A JP Beck, a Dickert, or a early VA will work very well. A deeper crescent buttplate may work better for a purely offhand rifle. A Melchior Fordney would be good, but all around the flatter butt early rifles are better especially in calibers over 50. The later crescent plates are often fairly narrow.
Also individual shooters physical build and shooting style will effect the choice as well.

Dan



 
Dixie Flinter 
62 Cal.
Posts: 2700
Dixie Flinter
12-18-11 05:01 PM - Post#1083661    

    In response to Dixie Flinter

Started shooting the .54 Sells Tennessee rifle offhand at 50 yards Friday - what a blast- a friend suggested I get off the bench and I'm glad I did. Plenty of room for improvement, but this offhand stuff is fun! The .54 has a 42" swamped GM barrel and holds very well. But someday would like an early rifle. Have a .62 jaeger being built now for hog hunting, but don't know how the shorter rifles hold for offhand.

Paul - would definitely hunt with it, but already having a .54 and (hopefully soon) a .62 am thinking of a .45 or .50.

hanshi and Dan - am in agreement of an earlier, wide butt design.

Ohio ramrod- you're spot on about experience, plan to shoot offhand at the range every chance I get.

It may be that the .62 will be fine, and coupled with the .54 won't need another...but it's fun to dream and speculate

 
flehto 
Cannon
Posts: 7688
12-19-11 08:53 AM - Post#1083942    

    In response to Dixie Flinter

Any of the styles that have a wide, flat butt and a straight comb would do well for any kind of shooting. Of course, even these styles w/ improper drops at comb and heel could be "cheek slappers". Lancaster, York and Virginia atyles w/ the above attributes would all be comfortable shooters. Seeing I'm fond of Bucks County LRs and have made and shot quite a few, this style w/ moderately curved butt outlines also would be excellent for all kinds of shooting.....Fred

 
Dixie Flinter 
62 Cal.
Posts: 2700
Dixie Flinter
12-19-11 09:10 PM - Post#1084270    

    In response to flehto

  • flehto Said:
Any of the styles that have a wide, flat butt and a straight comb would do well for any kind of shooting.



So that would include an early transitional rifle (Christian Springs/Marshall/Moravian type rifle). I think one of these in a .58 would be nice!

 
Stumpkiller 
Moderator
Posts: 17317
Stumpkiller
12-19-11 09:34 PM - Post#1084279    

    In response to Dixie Flinter

The one with the stock built to fit you. If you have to lean your neck forward into the cheek to acquire the sights it will slap you in recoil. I shoot a .54 Lehigh, which probably would be a punisher if I crammed it full of powder. I load moderate and the stock is built to my measurements (for offhand) and I find it comfortable with 85 gr FFFg.

From just the point of straight architecture the Lancaster probably would be favored. Recoil is usually less noticable offhand than benched IMHO because your body flexes to take the impact. Relax your neck.
"Don't take life too serious - it ain't nohow permanent."


 
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