Experience with Great Plains Hunter?

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bigbadben

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I'm curious if anyone here has experience with Lyman's Great Plains Hunter model. I've read much about the GPR, but the GPH (the one with the faster twist to shoot connicals and sabots) doesn't seem to get much attention.

I'm looking for a good, accurate rifle strictly for hunting. They seem like a deal and a half. Do these shoot well?

Thanks,

Ben
 

Zonie

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I don't know. They should but as with any muzzleloader a lot of different combinations of bullet/powder etc will have to be tried out to find the one that works well in the gun.

Expect to hear a lot of comments asking why someone would want to use modern projectiles and although it doesn't answer your question it is a fair thing to ask.

Personally I shoot patched roundballs not only because of their tradition but because of the expense.
I've seen some of the new slugs selling for over a dollar each and with prices like that who can afford to shoot the several hundred rounds that are needed for a person to find out which one works best and to become really familiar with their new rifle?

Anyway, I hope someone here has shot a GPH and can give you some good answers to your question rather than telling you why you should not be interested in these guns.
 

jtmattison

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I have the hunter barrel for my GPR in .54. It's a real tack driver with a wide variety of bore-size lead conicals.

HD
 

BrownBear

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My hunting pard got the hunter barrel to go with his GPR, both in 54. He casts his own conicals along the lines of the Hornady Great Plains bullet using a Lyman mould. I'll let him speak for himself (he's a member here), but as I recall it sure shoots really well, and the things that big old hunk of lead will do on the receiving end are impressive.

I don't know if he's shot RBs through his, but in another 54 I own with a similar fast twist, RBs turn out stellar accuracy up to around 60 grains of Pyro P, then groups start to spread. Probably "deer accuracy" inside 75 yards with RBs even with hotter loads, but the conical is way more accurate with stiff loads.

If a fast twist 54 was all I had, I'd be casting those same bullets like my pard for deer and big game, then shooting RBs for target and small game. With a 30-35 grain charge of Pyro P or 3f, I can tell you it's a real whacker of bunny heads.
 

anika

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When I bought my GPR kit a few years ago a friend got the GPH. He really likes it and has filled his deer tag with it every year since. He pays about the same for fifteen or twenty conicals in 54 as I do for 100 50 cal. balls.odis
 

torn moc

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The GPR is a great rifle! Shoots VERY well.
You might like the Lyman TRADE rifle also!
 

paulvallandigham

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Tell your friend he can shoot RBs in that fast twist barrel on his gun, too. He just has to find the right load. You can't OVER STABILIZE a round ball. There are plenty of rifles with 1:20 ROTs that shoot RB all day long, just fine. Pistol barrels are often made with ROTs of 1:14, and 1:12, and they shoot RBs fine, too.

Of Course, if his idea of killing animals is to put a hole through them and let most of the energy of the bullet expend itself on trees, or ground behind the animal, that's okay, too. RBs were used by early hunters to conserve lead, which is heavy to carry hundreds of miles over mountains, to the new lands, so much more valuable to the shooter. A RB can be loaded so that it remains inside even the rather skinny body of a Whitetail deer, so the ball can be recovered and re-melted in the field, for re-use. Long Hunters, and mountain men, could not afford to waste anything.

Jim Bridger, the famous Mountainman, and explorer, left his rifle, bag, and tools, which are now on display in a museum. His powder measure throws only 50 grains of our FFFg powder. This for a .54 caliber rifle. He explained to one biographer that he loaded one measure for thin skinned animals like whitetail and antelope, or mountain lion, two measures for elk, moose, and black bear, and three measures for Grizzley Bear, and Buffalo, unless he had a horse and could ride close to the buffalo. Then he would shoot them with the one measure powder charge. What powder he took into the mountains on his back had to last him a whole year before he could get more.

Today, we mostly don't hunt that way, unless we choose to, and using heavy charges, and conicals to shoot everything is okay.
 

bigbadben

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Thanks for all the replies. I appreciate it.

And I've made my decision, although I ended up going against the GPH. I have a 54cal flint GRP, which I honestly really like. But I've been wanting a percussion since the December muzzleloading season up here in the north tends to be pretty wet. And there's something about pulling a traditional muzzleloader out of the safe and reading warnings stamped on the barrel that just bugs me. To me the point of a traditional muzzleloader is to remember an earlier time, a time before lawyers made us put warning labels on our coffee cups telling us the contents were hot. I guess in the 19th century people didn't need owners manuals to teach them that firearms are hazardous.

I have a Thompson Encore Pro Hunter that I've been thinking about selling. It doesn't fit me well, and for reasons I probably don't have to explain here the in-lines leave me a bit chagrined.

So I decided to sell that and jump up to the rifle that I knew I really wanted to get someday. Just ordered a TVM late Lancaster rifle in 36" percussion with a patchbox, German silver furniture, and super premium maple. Should be a looker. Now, for the six-month wait . . .

I'll post pictures when I get it.


Ben
 

Isiah1103

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I have a GPR Hunter in .50 cal. perc. It shoots conicals very well and RB very well also. It shoots a 2-3 in. group easily at 50 yds. with RB and 50 gr FFg. It probably would do better if I could. That's a real nice target load. Using Hornady conicals w/ about 75 gr. I shot a deer and it went down so fast I thought I'd missed and it ran away. Luv that gun!
 

paulvallandigham

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The Supreme Court came out with the Product's Liability Doctrine in the 1960s, and that explains the different way of thinking today from those days. Blame the Court. The Court had good intentions, trying to creat a Cause of Action so that the people actually responsible for the dangerous design of products, or their careless manufacturer, would be held responible for injuries suffered by the public, and not just leave the injuried to sue ONLY the retailer that sold the product. The Court recognized that burdening the retailers with sole liability for injuries made retailers the Insurance company for the manufacturers, and that was also not fair. It would stifle commerce, as retailers would be reluctant to sell new products they little understood, and certainly had no way of testing for safety with all uses the public might make of the product. So, they created the Products Liabiliy doctrine. It is an exception the English Common Law doctrine, that is the foundation of the laws in this country. Normally, Legislatures, and Congress create laws and remedies that differ from that permitted under Common Law, but the Court took on that role in this issue. That is what is criticized as " judicial Activism", and is why there is a split, philosophically, about the role of the Court between " Liberals", and " Conservatives".

The Road to " Perdition " is paved with good intentions..."
 

tg

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", but the GPH (the one with the faster twist to shoot connicals and sabots) doesn't seem to get much attention.'

On this forum the majority are traditional hunters/shooters so the slow twist RB barrel is more popular around here,fewer use the modern projectiles.
 

bigbadben

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That raises an interesting question. When, historically, did conicals come into existence? I know most traditionalists shoot patched round ball. But I also know that by the civil war there were some rifles shooting conical bullets of some kind, right?

So historically when did the conical come into existence? Did it really take over from the PRB before the advent of cartridges? Or were they historically more of a footnote? Would a settler in the mid 19th century be more likely to shoot PRB or some kind of conical bullet?

Thanks,

Ben
 

BrownBear

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I can't dig up the citations right now, but I get the impression that they were used fairly extensively in target shooting early in the 1800's, though they didn't make it into the frontier till later. Hanson cites one account of conicals used in a Hawken in the 1840's, though I can't remember off the top of my head if it was 1843 or 1847.
 

tg

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There were conicals in the 18th century, the thing to remember though is that the conicals of today are no more the same as the conicals of the late ML period than the unique MLs with what would be called inline ignition of thetime are the same as the guns Mr. Knight introduced. A modern bullet developed independent of any historical research is just that, a modern bullet if it gets called a conical and the bullets of the past were called conicals it is just a chance conection, so to be realistic a traditional conical would need to be based upon of copied from an original.
 
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