Any Lyman Plains Pistol fans here?

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Rat

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Sometimes if you make the rear notch wider, you really won't lose much practical accuracy, but it will make the front sight easier to see. Some kind of buckhorn rear sight, with a wide notch might work. The "horns" help to center the front sight. ?? A brass-bead front sight might be an idea.
 

bigted

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i do this as well. open up the rear sight a little at a time till everything becomes clear for me. when the sight is opened it allows more light on the edges of the front sight and i also agree that a nice bead front helps too.
 

Rat

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Actually, I've never noticed any deterioration of accuracy from making the rear notch wider, but I suppose it would for like serious target work with $1000.00 wagers involved. :)
 

Patrolman

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In regards to the heavy loads posted, they will hold 90 grains of fffg and round ball. Just be careful when talking and loading to use the right powder measure, rifle loads in a pistol will cause you to flinch.
 

Rat

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Indeed, I sure don't encourage anyone to shoot such heavy loads. In my experience, 70 grains is the limit for manageable recoil. I say that citing my own limit, which is hot .44 magnum loads. Someone who can manage the .454 Cassul, .500 S&W and those guns could probably get up to 90 grains without flinching. ?? But to my mind, that would be too much. I'm sure that to many, 65 grains is too much. Would be interesting to chronograph a Plains Pistol with increasing charges, and see where the diminishing returns really set in. For sure, teaching one's self to flinch would not be very productive.
 

joe4702

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I enjoy my .54. Especially when I want to do some BP pistol shooting, but don't feel like cleaning a cap-n-ball revolver.
 

Rat

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Right on, an easy pistol to clean. I've often wondered, if twelve aimed shots couldn't be fired by a single shot pistol, as fast as a revolver. Considering the time spent reloading the revolver for the last six shots, compared to the sustained fire of the single shot.??? Anyone ever try that? I bet it would be close.
 

Rat

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That might take a while....to chip a GPP out of a big hunk of flint. One would have to be a mighty good flint-napper too. Gonna have to settle for wood and steel.
 

Griz44Mag

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Might also be a bit on the heavy side...... LOL

I found the best accuracy on my .54 to be 40-45gr FFFg (OE), a .535 home cast ball with a .015 cotton patch with mink tallow.
 

zimmerstutzen

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I have some pistols for which "factory" loads are all over the place. about 1/2 to 2/3rd of caliber seems to be a good place for most shooters, ie a 36 caliber 18 to 24 grains, a 50 caliber 25 to 33 grains. With a stout barrel and a steady hand some guns are capable of far higher charges, but recoil builds and often accuracy suffers. The shape of the grip also seems to have an effect on the ability to hold heavier charges for accuracy. Certain unmentionable pistols are good for quite high charges. But their grips tend to be better at accommodating holding for such shots. Which is why some folks prefer a more saw handled grip on their traditional guns.
 

Rat

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Exactly, between the shape of the PP's grip, and all the barrel weight up front, the pistol tends, or does, flip up and back more violently than unmentionable #10 type pistols. I find that with the 240 grain slug, in my Plains Pistol, and 65 grains of powder, or 70 grains of powder and a ball, the recoil is right on par with an unmentionalbe .44 caliber gun, firing hot loads. And that's about my limit, as far as still being able to shoot the gun accurately. 40-45 grain loads for sure have plenty of power, and shoot well. However, as mentioned, if Mr.Big Cougar appears ten feet from me, on my right, when calling, I really want that extra punch.

Now I have found a technique, to shoot this pistol with heavy loads, and y'all probably already know, but if I grasp the pistol ahead of the trigger guard, with my left hand, like a rifle, hold tight an put some forward pressure on it, then my right hand pulls back on the pistol a bit, that makes for accurate shooting with a heavy load. Also with a normal or light load. The pistol still jumps out of my left hand, but it slows it down quite a bit. Not sure if others shoot them that way too. ??
 

M. De Land

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Probably should not say, lest I be flamed, and most find 30 grains to be a good load, but in my .50" I find that up to 60-65 grains is still very accurate, with patched round ball or the "PA" bullet, but that is about my limit for recoil. I have fired it with 70 grains, but yeah, it requires such a death-grip that it's hard to get a steady hold for good aim. About the same as a .44 mag with 60-65 grains. The reason I fire that heavy of a load is that when calling cougar, I like to set my handgun on my right, so that if (and when) a cougar comes in from behind and to my right, I can shoot it better with the pistol (it's going to be close) than trying to swing around to my right with the rifle. Too much movement which will spook the kitty cat.

Now, on heavy charges, let me defend myself. Some will say the mfg's max load is 35 (?) grains, and such a charge will blow the gun up. However, the breech and barrel on the Plains Pistol is the same as the rifle.

The other comment is that such loads can crack the stock. Somewhat true. But this usually results from not having a gap between the bolster and the lock plate, in which case the barrel will drive the lock plate back, and the bolt holding the lock plate will tend to split the wood. I think that the mfg holds the load down because of the chance of the stock breaking, and people getting banged on the head when the pistol comes back in recoil. Recoil IS stout with heavy loads, and it recoils differently from a large bore, modern revolver.

Having said all that, and blown all that hot air, 30-40 grains makes a nice handling, accurate, and powerful load. For shooting big kitty cats at short range, I want as much power as I can manage/shoot accurately. The pic at the top of this thread was shot with 65 grain loads.
You should run your loads over a chronograph if not done so and shoot over a sheet or fresh snow with your top loads. That much powder may get burned with a conical in that short of a barrel but I'd think not with a ball.
I have found in my .54 home made pistol using a cut off rifle barrel that 50 grains is about max with a ball. This whole gun was made from spare rifle parts and a walnut plank picked up from a refuse pile.
 
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ARFLY

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Interesting reading this, and some nice looking guns shown here. I found one in a gun shop yesterday. It's a factory gun not a kit in like new condition and comes with some caps, powder and balls. Would it be worth picking up for around $280?
 

Rat

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I forgot what the MSRP is for a new one, Just off hand I'm not sure I'd pay more than $250 for a used one. But a full box of balls, and a pound of black would certainly sweeten the deal. Certainly won't be disappointed with the pistol. Powerful, accurate, easy to clean, they are real keepers. And shooters. And accurate. Did I mention accurate?
 

Rat

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Did some quick price checks, prices all over the place. Anywhere from $290 to $325 for new pistols, kits around $240-$250...and those were on gun broker, so shipping would be extra. I'd offer them $250. At any rate, you won't be disappointed in the pistol, and will enjoy it long after that money would have been spent of gas, hamburgers, beverages, and other things that are gone in a flash. And did I mention accurate?
 
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