First Muzzleloader, anyone heard of Mont Swasey?

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Bearsniper

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Just picked up my first muzzleloader at a gun show this weekend. Seller said it was made by “Mont Swasey” (or Swayze?) out of Utah—probably in the 70s. Anyone have any info? The only thing I’ve found with a google search refers to apricot brandy...so any info would be appreciated. Appears to be a Hawken style, percussion, in .45 caliber.
 

SDSmlf

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Welcome to the forum.

Photographs would help identify what you have. Never heard of this specific maker, but that doesn’t mean much, there were and are many fine makers out there. Good general rule of thumb is to buy the gun, not the story.
 

Bearsniper

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Not the best pics, but maybe they will be helpful. I was just looking for something to deer hunt with in our extended season and this one was in the right place at the right time.
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eggwelder

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Thats an English rifle, although of small caliber. It is not very hawkenish at all.
 

ohio ramrod

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By the location of the rear sight I would say that it was made for someone with "old eyes".
 

Bearsniper

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Don’t know the rate of twist yet, but they guy I bought it from said it shot .38 cal bullets in sabots well with 50gr of powder. He said it was a “long range” model hence the second flip up sight leaf. Sounds like it originally had a ladder type flip up sight but the original owner took it off and kept it when he sold it to the guy I bought it from at a rendezvous. It has a second set of holes drilled by the lock.

Went to the local gun shop and got some pyrodex RS, no. 10 caps (11 seemed too big), and Hornady .357 cal 158gr and .40 cal 180gr XTPs (in 45 cal sabots) to try. I also have some .45 cal Minnie balls that a friend cast and gave to me.

Hoping to swab the barrel tonight and give it a try tomorrow if things look ok.

Here are some better pics in the daylight:
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B7F09B45-B3F9-421B-9FBF-A71F595F8008.jpeg
8C4BB892-2285-4F85-BDB2-EC9E17E86D52.jpeg
 
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Nice looking rifle, be careful with the sabot thingy on the site the boys get a bit touchy about those things.
 

Zonie

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Yes. The rate of twist needs to be known before anyone can figure out what the best projectile for the gun is.

Talking about sabots and bullets with plastic inserts is against the forum rules. We are a Traditional forum that only talks about guns, or reproductions of guns that were made before 1865.

A forum that does a lot of talking about sabots and the like is our sister forum, Modern Muzzleloaders.

If this gun does prove to have a fast rate of twist and very shallow rifling grooves, that would be the place to be.
If the gun has a twist rate of 40" per revolution and fairly deep rifling grooves, this is the site to be on.

Here's a link to the Modern Muzzleloaders site

 

Bearsniper

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Oh ok, my mistake. I only figured I’d try the forbidden bullets since that’s what the seller said he had success with, but I’d really rather shoot cast lead bullets.

The rifling seems to be quite deep, I’ll try to check the twist when I get a chance.
 

Flinty Scot

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That's a very nice looking rifle. .45 is deer legal here. .38 or .40, however you seal them to the bore - which you can do with a thick enough patch (you might even consider trying leather patching on the smaller balls)-are not. It's adequacy has been discussed here, with pics of very still deer who appeared to be convinced.

Stay here, as well as talking options on the other site. I'm curious how it works out & would like to see more detailed pictures.
 

jimhallam

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Certainly an unusual bundhook! The Express sights are from a much later period than the general design of the rifle and the barrel is disproportionately long for an "English" rifle. I would suggest that it could be a custom job. Are there any PROOF or other markings? (perhaps under the barrel and/or inside the lock?)
There is no reference to "Mont Swasey" in DER NEUE STOCKEL. either as stated, as the two words concatenated or either of the two words separately, just "Mont Storm" in the Birmingham Gun trade.
Did you take a pic of the "second set of holes drilled by the lock" ?
 

Musketeer

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The seller noted that it was made "probably" in the '70s by a Mont Swasey of Utah. The only info I could find online was what I linked to above in post #7. There was a company called San Rafael Muzzle Loaders started in Utah in 1975 by a Monte C. Swasey. I have not been able to dig up anything further, sadly (in terms of connecting him to the rifle), but this sounds like our guy. :dunno:
 
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R.J.Bruce

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Unless the rate of twist is quite a bit slower than 1:48", you should be able to find a bullet that will shoot out of that barrel over a wool wad

Idaholewis over at Modern Muzzleloader has had tremendous success getting stock, T/C, 1:48" twist, Hawken & Renegade rifles to shoot properly sized for the bore, grease groove bullets, over moderate charges of Swiss black powder, and an oversized for bore wool wad (.50 cal wad for .45 cal bore).

On a whim one day, he decided NOT TO LUBE that huge forward grease groove on the T/C MAXI-BALL bullet, theorizing that the excess lube was not being shed as the maxi-ball left the barrel. Just like the SkyChief Load, not lubing that big groove, and only lubing the small rear groove is COMPLETELY COUNTER-INTUITIVE.

But, wonder of wonders, all of a sudden every one of his many T/C rifles started shooting incredibly tight groups, where before they were horrible.

Who knew?? Sometimes it takes a person to think outside the box to solve a long standing problem.
 
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