Crockett rifle questions

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doubleset

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I just got one of the little Traditions Crockett rifles from Midway and have been looking it over and cleaning it up prior to shooting for the first time. Here are a few questions I have:

1. Removing the barrel for cleaning requires removing the screw in the tang -- not the best idea in the world, but ... The (machine) screw has a slotted head -- maybe "period appropriate", but not the best idea in the world. Does anyone know of where to easily get a screw that would replace the original, but with something like either a hex, square, or Torx head on it?
2. The front ramrod keeper/bracket/whatever is loose. I haven't taken it apart to see what the story is. I'm hoping it's held on by a screw that just needs tightening. Any insight on that?.
3. The bore seems pretty tight -- just on the basis of cleaning with some patches and Ballistol. It also seems hideously rusty. This is the first new BP gun I've had, but I sort of expected the barrel to be clean and oiled -- or something like that. Moreover, the barrel seems tighter nearer the muzzle. As I pull the rod and patch out, I can feel a definite increase in resistance starting about 10" from the muzzle. Comments?

Otherwise, this gun is really cute (I don't normally use that word, but I think it fits here), and I'm looking forward to shooting it.
 

bubba.50

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1. Take your screw to the hardware and find the metric nut that fits it then look for the same size screw with a head that suits you. 2. Yes probably just a loose screw. 3. Are you sure it’s rust and not just that gosh-awful packing grease companies seem to be so fond of?
 

Grenadier1758

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Seems as if @bubba.50 are thinking alike.

1. It would be better to get a properly fitting screwdriver to fit the slotted tang screw than replacing it with a allen, torx or square screw. If you are bound and determined to replace the screw then take the original to your local ACE Hardware store and get some help to match the thread pitch and length. Still don't like the change.

2. Probably is a loose screw.

3. The manufacturer's preservative oil often comes out a nasty brown color that seems to be rust when removed with a solvent. At this time I don't see an issue. Are there any screws in the under rib or thimbles where the bore tightens? That may require some more investigation.
 

Rebel

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Like Grenadier said, the crud in the bore is factory preservative. Just give it a good cleaning. A .310 or .311 round ball over 20-30 grs of 3f make for a good shooter. You can up the charge safely if you want. I used mine to kill a coyote at a paced off 165yds once. Was a bit of luck involved as the ball hit him right in the ear and he dropped instantly. That was with a 45 gr charge. They are a really fun gun.
 

doubleset

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"The hardware"? Like there are still real hardware stores? 😂 Not around here. But yeah, since I've never invested in the necessary thread measuring tools, I typically take it to Lowes (or True Value) and use the ones they have -- which usually works. Of course they almost never have any hardware I actually want. But then I can at least order it from McMaster Carr or somewhere.

You're right, it was in fact just a loose screw. I found the parts diagram (Midway actually had a link to it on their page for the rifle), and fixed the loose "ramrod thimble" as it seems to be properly called. Getting it back together was a little more exciting than it should have been because the rib was slightly warped. But I don't think I'll have to do it again.

You could be right about it being grease, I guess. I need to really clean it thoroughly before I take more aggressive measures on the assumption it's rust.
 

doubleset

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Thanks again for these responses. There seems to be consensus here on the rust vs. grease question -- which is something of a relief. I'll take a look to see if there are any screws in the rib roughly where the bore tightens -- and maybe drop my cheap endoscope down there to see if there's anything funny looking.

I don't think I could get a better-fitting gunsmith screwdriver than I have for the tang screw. But it's still a slotted screw with a quite shallow slot, and not hardened. And it requires some force to tighten it sufficiently. So I'd rather find an alternative. And I've already committed a similar atrocity by putting a (stainless!) socket head cap screw in for my GPR's cleanout screw. It just makes my life a little easier -- especially since I pull the barrels off to clean them after shooting. If I can get a flat head hex or Torx screw for the tang screw, I'm pretty sure no one will ever suspect the switch. 🙂

I'm planning on using this gun mostly for target work, and at times to terrorize the encroaching squirrels around here. They keep violating the agreement about coming too close to the house and even getting into the attic if they can (which is a real pain). They basically have no morals and aren't dependable, and the hawks just can't (or won't) keep up with them. I've gotten a bit tired of executing them on a periodic basis from an upper window with a CZ 455 and 24x scope. So I'm now going to take a more leisurely and historically appropriate approach.

But I also plan to use it in local BP shoots at 25, 50, and 100 yds. So I'm really curious to see what can be done with loads for the 100 yd. course.

Also, in complete honesty, I simply don't seem to be able to get decent .22LR ammunition for competition nowadays. So this is my smallbore competition substitute -- though I expect to continue with it for BP shooting since it's so much lighter than the .50 GPR, and that helps a lot with my iffy back/spine.
 

ghostdncr

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I got one of these a couple of weeks ago in the form of a brand new kit that I wasn't really looking for, but the price was just too good to pass up. I'd say a lot of cleaning will be needed to get the protective grease out of the bore. I'm not surprised to hear your barrel is tighter toward the muzzle. Bore tolerances seem to have opened up quite a bit on most all production guns over the last few years. I've ran across several that needed lapping in order to run right.

In the case of my Crockett, all I've done so far is fix things. Most importantly, the mainspring popped out of my lock the third time I cocked it, which was fortunately lying in the palm of my hand at the time. It stung like the Dickens but at least it didn't blow the bottom out of the stock! Like any production kit gun, it's going to take some work. You probably saved a bunch of headaches buying a finished rifle.

I've got some other builds going on right now and will be messing with this one over the winter. Should be a fun and economical rifle once straightened out.
 

doubleset

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Thanks for that info. I haven't had the lock off it yet -- deciding that I'd prefer to put a few balls down the barrel before I did that. It seems just a bit rough on cocking, but I think that will probably smooth out with use, and I'm not going to preemptively try to "improve" it. I thought of doing the kit, but just didn't want to go through all that time and effort since I'd like to get back to shooting instead of spending a lot of time gunsmithing. I have a Pietta 51 Navy Colt replica that's been sitting in pieces for years that I need to fix (new cylinder and timing). So another pile of gun parts isn't what I need right now.
 

smoothshooter

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I just got one of the little Traditions Crockett rifles from Midway and have been looking it over and cleaning it up prior to shooting for the first time. Here are a few questions I have:

1. Removing the barrel for cleaning requires removing the screw in the tang -- not the best idea in the world, but ... The (machine) screw has a slotted head -- maybe "period appropriate", but not the best idea in the world. Does anyone know of where to easily get a screw that would replace the original, but with something like either a hex, square, or Torx head on it?
2. The front ramrod keeper/bracket/whatever is loose. I haven't taken it apart to see what the story is. I'm hoping it's held on by a screw that just needs tightening. Any insight on that?.
3. The bore seems pretty tight -- just on the basis of cleaning with some patches and Ballistol. It also seems hideously rusty. This is the first new BP gun I've had, but I sort of expected the barrel to be clean and oiled -- or something like that. Moreover, the barrel seems tighter nearer the muzzle. As I pull the rod and patch out, I can feel a definite increase in resistance starting about 10" from the muzzle. Comments?

Otherwise, this gun is really cute (I don't normally use that word, but I think it fits here), and I'm looking forward to shooting it.
Why are you removing the barrel for cleaning?
Not necessary at all.
Only causes more wear and tear on parts.
 

doubleset

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I use real BP and clean in the traditional and most effective way: with hot soapy water and the end of the barrel in a bucket so you can pump it with the cleaning rod/patch. Nothing works as well. Nothing. The Traditions manual describes this process in detail (in it's section "Cleaning by means of removing the barrel") and doesn't warn about wear and tear on parts.

While it's POSSIBLE to avoid pulling the barrel and do this, it requires a special "nipple" and plastic tube. Just messier and slower and you get crap all over the stock. I've tried that and didn't care for it. Also, the old timers didn't have those special nipples, and so ... you know ... tradition. 😂

This should NOT cause more wear and tear on the parts. On WHAT parts? In the case of the Crockett, you just pop out one wedge and the tang screw. The only potential wear is on the single screw head that I'm looking to replace with something more robust anyway. And even with the slotted screw head, it's not that much wear on an easily replaceable part. These guns are made to be taken apart for cleaning.

So, basically, that's why I remove the barrel for cleaning.
 

doubleset

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I just ran some patches with a citric degreaser on them through the barrel. It seems to have eliminated what I took to be a rust problem.

The problem with the "tight spot" in the barrel I now think was partly silliness on my part and partly a result of vacuum being created in the barrel because of a tight-fitting jag/patch, and partly a result of some hardened or semi-hardened grease in the barrel at that point (speculation). After I cleaned it with the degreaser, it seemed to not be so tight where it had been before. Then I also just pulled the rod out quickly and was rewarded by an impressive "POP!". So I think a lot of what had felt like constriction was just the effect of vacuum in the barrel at that point. I then pulled the nipple out, and that also reduced any feeling of the sort of "drag" I'd been feeling before.

So I'm thinking that problem was just a combination of vacuum and some gunky grease.
 

Stykbow

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Shoot some brake cleaner down the bore and scrub it. This’ll get the grease out. Learned that little trick right here and it cleaned up my GPR bore.

Edit: you posted right before me and I see you have solved the grease problem.
 

doubleset

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Yeah, I'm a fan of brake cleaner as well -- in appropriate circumstances. Or carb cleaner. Or MEK. But I think the citric stuff has handled it. I've become really impressed with the citric-based degreasers in recent years. Not from the point of how "green" they are, but because they actually work really well. And they don't evaporate as quickly as the organic solvents do. Or affect other stuff they may get on. Still, I have a big can of carb cleaner on a shelf in my shop, and I don't use it for cleaning carbs. I don't like to mention the gallon of carb cleaner and gallon of MEK I keep in the barn. My wife would rather I don't use those. 🙄
 

Billy Boy

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Thanks again for these responses. There seems to be consensus here on the rust vs. grease question -- which is something of a relief. I'll take a look to see if there are any screws in the rib roughly where the bore tightens -- and maybe drop my cheap endoscope down there to see if there's anything funny looking.

I don't think I could get a better-fitting gunsmith screwdriver than I have for the tang screw. But it's still a slotted screw with a quite shallow slot, and not hardened. And it requires some force to tighten it sufficiently. So I'd rather find an alternative. And I've already committed a similar atrocity by putting a (stainless!) socket head cap screw in for my GPR's cleanout screw. It just makes my life a little easier -- especially since I pull the barrels off to clean them after shooting. If I can get a flat head hex or Torx screw for the tang screw, I'm pretty sure no one will ever suspect the switch. 🙂

I'm planning on using this gun mostly for target work, and at times to terrorize the encroaching squirrels around here. They keep violating the agreement about coming too close to the house and even getting into the attic if they can (which is a real pain). They basically have no morals and aren't dependable, and the hawks just can't (or won't) keep up with them. I've gotten a bit tired of executing them on a periodic basis from an upper window with a CZ 455 and 24x scope. So I'm now going to take a more leisurely and historically appropriate approach.

But I also plan to use it in local BP shoots at 25, 50, and 100 yds. So I'm really curious to see what can be done with loads for the 100 yd. course.

Also, in complete honesty, I simply don't seem to be able to get decent .22LR ammunition for competition nowadays. So this is my smallbore competition substitute -- though I expect to continue with it for BP shooting since it's so much lighter than the .50 GPR, and that helps a lot with my iffy back/spine.
The hawks are probably following the new committee rule regarding engagment and talking it over with them first….
 

doubleset

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I for one would like to see a picture of this "CUTE" rifle.
DL
😂 The best approach to that is to go to YouTube and search for "Crockett rifle". There are a number of videos on it. Here's one with some nice pictures in it. Although that one was build from a kit, it looks identical to mine that I ordered from Midway. As you'll see, it really is quite a "precious"-looking little gun.

 

doubleset

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The hawks are probably following the new committee rule regarding engagment and talking it over with them first….
The (large red-shouldered) hawks make a lot of noise hunting on a daily basis. I've seen them take out a couple of snakes and a couple of squirrels. But they seem to have more of a taste for songbirds and often just sit in trees right outside the house and eyeball the birds coming to the fountains in my wife's flower garden. I'm a little skeptical about their work ethic.

Some years ago, on a day I'd stayed home from work, I was standing at our back door just looking at the barn and what was then our riding ring. I saw a rabbit (unusual) hop about halfway across the riding ring -- at which point an adult bald eagle swooped down, picked it up and took off with it. Very impressive.

But I think that pretty much everyone is just tired and overwhelmed with the squirrels. They breed relentlessly around here and are just regarded by the predators as part of the background. When my kids were living with us here, the boys would go on squirrel-hunting sprees in the "back yard" (.22 or bow), get a dozen or more, and cook them up. It only ever put a temporary dent in the population.

Now and then my wife gets irritated by their incursions and will take a bunch out with the S&W AR-15/22. I've told her that she shouldn't use her AR-15 (5.6mm) in the yard, but she'd really like to use it on the squirrels at times. 😂 🙄
 

bubba.50

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All this squirrel talk done got me hankering for a big pan of squirrel gravy and some hot biscuits to pour it over.
 
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