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bad tom52 
32 Cal.
Posts: 7
bad tom52
11-09-17 06:11 PM - Post#1651072    


Just joined the site and already liking what I'm reading-- I'm 65 years young and new to muzzle loading, never fired a muzzle loader in my life-My brother in law passed away and left this gun to me.. It's a TC Cherokee percussion in 45 caliber-- my problem is, I was going to buy 45 caliber balls and patch but seeing that there are different ball diameter and patch thickness, I figured I better seek a little advice from those that know. How do you know where to start with patch thickness and ball diameter? any info will be greatly appreciated-- thanks!!

Edited by bad tom52 on 11-09-17 06:16 PM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
Al Rittenhouse 
40 Cal.
Posts: 136
Al Rittenhouse
11-09-17 08:50 PM - Post#1651114    

    In response to bad tom52

I would start with some .440 balls and an .018 patch. Most guys use FFFG for powder and you can get some CCI or Remington #11 caps. Patch lube is a matter of choice. Some guys like moose milk as they call it, I have been using Hoppes #9 blackpowder lube and cleaner. It has worked well for me. Al


 
Eterry 
45 Cal.
Posts: 585
11-09-17 09:21 PM - Post#1651117    

    In response to bad tom52

Welcome Bad Tom. My first black powder was a 45 Cal I built when I was 14. I cast 440 balls, loaded 60 yrs of ffg cause that's what I could get, got some caps and got mom to get some pillow tick.
I used spit for lube....just put a few patches between cheek and gum like the old commercial said...lol.
I never left it loaded overnight and never had any problems.

Good luck.

 
SgtMaj 
32 Cal.
Posts: 16
SgtMaj
11-10-17 01:25 AM - Post#1651146    

    In response to Eterry

Welcome, you will LOVE muzzleloading and black powder. It teaches you patience, attention to what you are doing and above all, there is just nothing like popping a cap on a black powder charge. It just makes you feel good!!
I mainly shoot a .50-cal. T/C Renegade and use .490 patched balls using .015 linen patches or .018 ticking patches and Goex ff black powder with Track of the Wolf mink oil patch lube. But, the nice thing about muzzleloading, there are any number of different ways to get a ball downrange accurately, and part of the fun is figuring out what works the best for you and your rifle and experimenting a bit ... and asking questions from some of the many very knowledgeable people that populate this forum.

Edited by SgtMaj on 11-10-17 01:31 AM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
J. Williams 
40 Cal.
Posts: 206
J. Williams
11-10-17 02:31 AM - Post#1651155    

    In response to bad tom52

Welcome aboard! You've got a fine rifle rifle in that TC Cherokee, and the .45 cal itself is a real winner. Probably my favorite all-around caliber for eastern hunting. It can be loaded light for small game and still be very accurate and with a stepped-up powder charge, is more than powerful enough for deer. That applies to many other calibers as well, but I've found the .45 to be almost perfectly balanced in this regard.

The .440" round ball would be my starting point too, and Al's recommendation of an .018" patch should work fine. I've been doing quite a bit of experimentation with patching and lube this year and am finding several different approaches that work well. A loose, easy-to-load patch seems detrimental to accuracy, as does one that's overly lubricated. When using a ball/patch combo that is "somewhat" difficult to load and just a little damp with lube, I'm seeing my groups really begin tightening up. My main rifle (an early Lancaster .45) seems to like a spit patch best of all.

I would recommend using real black powder, as I find it much easier to ignite and the fouling to be much softer and easier to clean than any of the substitute powders like Pyrodex, Triple 7, etc. I shoot Goex FFFg in mine and am at want for nothing in that department. Regardless of what powder you use, ALWAYS clean your rifle thoroughly after shooting! I'll run a cleaning patch through mine the following day (after a thorough cleaning) and then again a few days after that, just to ensure the bore is clean. Any rust or darkening on the clean patch indicates the rifle needs additional cleaning.

Good luck with your Cherokee, and please let us know how things work out for you.

 
Don Steele 
45 Cal.
Posts: 583
11-10-17 03:34 AM - Post#1651156    

    In response to bad tom52

Welcome.
Seeing you're in Pennsylvania, I'm going to recommend that you find a group of BP shooters in your area and get together with them to begin learning how to feed and care for that rifle.
You'll get a LOT of ideas, suggestions, options ( and opinions... ) on this site, but there's nothing as good as spending a day with a group of BP shooters to learn firsthand. If you don't know anyone local to you, try contacting the NMLRA (National Muzzleloading Rifle Association in Friendship, IN). They have "Field Reps" spread all over, and I'm sure there are several in PA. who can provide information on clubs and matches that might be close to you.


 
bad tom52 
32 Cal.
Posts: 7
bad tom52
11-10-17 07:04 AM - Post#1651167    

    In response to Don Steele

Thanks for the info Gentlemen!! Now I have a starting point and can get some shooting in to be ready for some summer ground hog shooting and next years deer season

 
SgtMaj 
32 Cal.
Posts: 16
SgtMaj
11-10-17 11:33 AM - Post#1651211    

    In response to bad tom52

Like J. Williams said, I do the same. After shooting I do a very thorough cleaning, and then I run a patch down the barrel every few days just to be certain. Actually turned up a little brown on a patch a few weeks ago about a week after shooting my .58-cal. Enfield. Can't be too careful about cleaning BP. And, I'm not a Pyrodex et al fan either. Only real BP goes in my rifles.

 
hadden west 
58 Cal.
Posts: 2093
hadden west
11-10-17 01:48 PM - Post#1651224    

    In response to bad tom52

I'd check to make sure there is nothing down the barrel. I have a .36 Cherokee, wonderful little rifles. I wouldn't load it too heavy, the stocks were know to crack. Although, I've always wondered if people were over tightening the screw that holds the lock in. Just snug it down.

You can google the owner's manual, if you don't have one.

I use Black MZ powder, in my small caliber rifles, it leaves little or no fouling.

If you're close to Hamberg, or the Cabelas, then you're close to Dixon's Muzzleloader Shop. One of the greatest shop's anywhere. Ten or twelve miles from Cabelas.



 
bad tom52 
32 Cal.
Posts: 7
bad tom52
11-10-17 03:19 PM - Post#1651232    

    In response to hadden west

I live in the southwest corner of Pa. about 7 miles north of the west Virginia state line. The gun hasn't been shot for about a year now so tonight I take it out and give it a good going over- I just down loaded an owners manual from Thompson center.

 
Eterry 
45 Cal.
Posts: 585
11-10-17 04:29 PM - Post#1651236    

    In response to bad tom52

Something I wanted to mention is this: it took me a while to figure out but after I clean my rifle I run an oiled patch down and lube the barrel. I remove the patch, and I now stand it UPSIDE DOWN for a few days then stand it upright. Seems to keep the oil from pooling in the chamber area.

Then BEFORE you shoot it please swab it again with a dry patch and get as much oil as possible from the barrel/chamber. I used to think a few caps would dry out the oil, and spent lots of time cussing the rifle while I pulled the nipple or cleanout screw to make it go bang. I dry swab it before loading and haven't had a misfire in a while.

There's hundreds of ideas on here, most useful. But shooting muzzleloaders is like dancing...the easiest way to learn is to get out there and do it!!

 
Grenadier1758 
54 Cal.
Posts: 1888
Grenadier1758
11-10-17 04:56 PM - Post#1651242    

    In response to bad tom52

Loading, shooting and cleaning will be greatly facilitated if you get a good working rod made of brass or stainless steel. There's too much stress to be placed on your wood rod that came with your rifle.

Get the extra jag that matches the threads on the working rod.

 
SgtMaj 
32 Cal.
Posts: 16
SgtMaj
11-10-17 07:23 PM - Post#1651256    

    In response to Grenadier1758

Yes, I second getting a brass or steel cleaning/loading rod as essential. I can attest to the hazards of the wooden ramrod that came with my .50-cal. T/C Renegade. Was using it to load at the range and it broke and ran a splinter into the base of my thumb. Bled like hell and I still have some numbing on the side of my right thumb as a reminder.
I got a 3-piece heavy brass one for my Renegade, and a hickory replacement ramrod for show/in-the-field hunting.

 
bad tom52 
32 Cal.
Posts: 7
bad tom52
11-11-17 04:39 PM - Post#1651340    

    In response to Grenadier1758

Thanks, I'll definitely put that on my list!

 
hanshi 
Cannon
Posts: 8023
hanshi
11-14-17 04:03 PM - Post#1651719    

    In response to bad tom52

Welcome to the forum, bad tom. The advice posted is spot on; just be aware of the learning curve.

 
bad tom52 
32 Cal.
Posts: 7
bad tom52
11-14-17 06:15 PM - Post#1651755    

    In response to hanshi

thanks--Being new to black powder shooting, I'd rather ask guys that are familiar with shooting percussion rifles. sometimes books go into too much un-necessary details. These gentlemen explained it in a way I can understand!

 
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