A Starter Rifle For A Friend

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AtlatlMan

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I have a buddy of mine who is interested in getting in to the hobby and is windowshopping for a first rifle. Very much on a budget. Wants something traditional but isn't a stickler for historical accuracy. Never shot a smokepole before. He's been eyeballing an Investarms .54 percussion Hawken. I have no experience with Investarms guns. Y'all got any recommendations?
 

AtlatlMan

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Turns out I had a brain fart, he's actually looking at a .45, as opposed to a .54, which is a better caliber for a neophyte anyway best to my knowledge.
 
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I have three Investarms rifles. The Lyman Great Plains rifle is the best of them but all are very well made. You can't go wrong. Dale
 

AtlatlMan

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A .45 will do near everything one would to do in the fields & woods. You might insist he get a caplock which are simple and easier to learn. I've never come across a production rifle in percussion that wouldn't work right out of the box.
He's set himself on percussion from the start, as unlike myself, he is not a masochist who prefers rocklocks.
 

Cpt Flint

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I don’t believe that I would start a new muzzleloader out on a cheap store bought rifle. Start out with the best or not at all.
 
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The Pedersoli base model Kentucky comes in a .45

You can still find T/C's in .45 for $300ish

"Budget" shouldn't equate to someone else's rusted and busted junk.
 

Eutycus

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A .45 caliber might just factor in just right depending on this "buddys" age. I started out with a .45, then went up to a .50. Now this old man is back down to the .45s and not regretting it one bit. Cheaper to operate too.
 

AtlatlMan

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A .45 caliber might just factor in just right depending on this "buddys" age. I started out with a .45, then went up to a .50. Now this old man is back down to the .45s and not regretting it one bit. Cheaper to operate too.
Late twenties, so no issue.

I started out on a Brown Bess so the notion of 'beginners caliber' is a bit foreign to me...
 

david58

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The Pedersoli long rifle in .45 is a shooter. You don't mention what a "budget" is, but I have found T/C Hawkens for $225-350. I have a Pedersoli for sale for $650, but that's double the price of the T/C. If he wants a Hawken, the Lyman Great Plains is the most authentically built recent production rifle, though they are no longer cheap, and I don't know if they were built in .45.

If it were me, I'd go for the T/C or stretch a bit and find a second-hand Pedersoli (tho if he wants a Hawken, theirs are a bit more spendy).

On another forum (ALR) there is a Santa Fe Hawken for sale, in .53 caliber (says .54, but they were actually .53). If your friend is tall, the LOP is heavenly at near 15" (I have one and LOVE it), the 1" barrel is very light compared to the 1-1/8" often seen in that caliber, and it is a good shooter. Spendy compared to a T/C, but it would likely be the last Hawken he'd want if he is set on one.

Your friend has a lot of options. Do whatever you can to help him smile, our hobby needs more guys in their late 20's!!

David
NM
[well past his late 20's]
 

AtlatlMan

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Your friend has a lot of options. Do whatever you can to help him smile, our hobby needs more guys in their late 20's!!
Couldn't agree more. Just having slunk past thirty myself, having done muzzleloading and living history since I was a kid, I never pass up an opportunity to try to drag younger guys into the hobby.
 
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