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Dr5x

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First Muzzleloader
You just bought it. Didn't seem right at first. There was no way to insert a cartridge but then the guys at the range had told you about all the rigamarole that these old style rifles required about putting in powder and then wrapping the lead ball with a pice of cloth. ramming it down the barrel with that stick you found under the barrel then putting the cap On the nipple thing aiming at the target aning.
Hit the paper about 6 inches away from sea center at 7 o'clock. Must have named carefully enough.
Loaded again. aimed and fired again. Damn! The hit was closer to the center about 4 inches from center but at 2 o'clock.
This darn thing is simply inaccurate. Five years ago when I came out to the ange with my .22 riffle it gave me goops that were rather tight and all I had to do was adjust the sights so the hits were in the target area. This Muzzleloader
is just an inaccurYou watch him and see he was doing the same thing you had done but was getting goodrevults. It was obvious that your new muzzleloading was another sad experience in buying a piece junk.
You go over to the muzzleloading rifleman and tell him you sad story expecting sympathy but he laughs and said he had the same disappointment his first day day but was told you had to learn how to load the rifle to get good results. What kind and how much of a powder charge; how thick the patching cloth was. How little or much lubrication to apply.
He took your rifle figured out an approximate powder charge for the caliber, used some of his own patching material and let you fire at your own target. Nearer the center about 3 inches at 4 o'clock which still wasn't any better than your earlier shots. The rifleman agreed but suggested you fire a few more shots using the powder charge he had used as well as his patching material.
Bang! Bang! Bang! three shots fired and they all landed within an inch or two of that 4 o'clock hit.
Thee result was an amazing improvement.
Aha! you now looked at your smoke producing new rifle with new eyes.

He suggested that I now had a clue as to how to experiment to further improve the groups with my suddenly miraculous new rifle.
A year later you are consistently getting tight bench rest groups and are now working on your shooting stance to improve your offhand shooting with a rifle you are confidently shooting secure in the knowledge that the rifle will hit where it's aimed when the tigger is squeezed.

The beginning of this story is the usual story of what happens with new muzzleloaders, But there is no friendly nearby rifleman toto explain the small secrets of the muzzleloading rifle. So the disappointed takes his piece of junk home and stores it in the garage of barn where I t rusts away. Another potential member of the muzzleloading fraternity lost forever.
If you see an obvious newbie at the range having bad results with a new to him rifle see if you can take the part of the friendly and widely experience rifleman.

Dutch
 

renegadehunter

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VERY TRUE DUTCH.
MY FIRST TIME SHOOTING ONE WAS WITH A FRIEND THAT WAS EXPERIENCED WITH THEM. THE RIFLE HE LET ME SHOOT WAS A .50 CAL TRADITIONS. HE HAD DAMP PATCHES FOR ME TO USE, DAMP WITH TC#13 I THINK, AND JUST TOLD ME TO POUR 50 GRAINS OF POWDER IN AND THEN LOAD THE PATCH AND BALL. WITH A DAMP RANGE TYPE PATCH LUBE WE JUST LOADED AND SHOT WITH NO SWABBING. THE PATCHES WERE ONLY .010'S THICK. THAT RIFLE SHOT LIGHTS OUT WITH THAT LOAD. I CAN REMEMBER HE PUT A NEW TARGET UP AND SHOT AN OFFHAND SHOT INTO THE CENTER OF IT WITH HIS .54. HE LOOKED AT ME AND SAID, "SEE HOW CLOSE YOU CAN HIT TO CENTER". WE WERE ONLY 25 YARDS AWAY. WHEN I SIGHTED AT THE TARGET I REALIZED THAT THE GAPING .54 CAL HOLE WAS THE BEST REFERENCE I COULD SEE TO AIM AT, SO THAT'S WHAT I DID. AFTER I SHOT HE EXCLAIMED, "YA MISSED THE WHOLE TARGET!". I THOUGHT THAT SEEMED VERY UNLIKELY, SO WE WALKED UP TO LOOK AT THE TARGET CLOSER. YOU COULD JUST SEE WHERE I HAD ACTUALLY SHOT THROUGH HIS BULLET HOLE, IT WAS SLIGHTLY OBLONG. I WAS PRETTY IMPRESSED THAT THEY COULD SHOOT THAT WELL.

MY FIRST TIME SHOOTING MY OWN A FEW YEARS LATER WENT A BIT DIFFERENT HA HA.
AFTER ABOUT 5 OR 6 SHOTS THAT WOULD EMBARRASS A SHOTGUN PATTERN, I WENT HOME WITH THE PATCH, JAG, AND ROD FIRMLY STUCK IN THE BARREL!
BUT I WAS ALREADY HOOKED.
 

mooman76

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I guess I was a lucky one. I didn't have this problem. While I have no doubt this happens frequently I did know a little about MLs when I got started and had been shooting other guns for a long time. I would not hesitate to help another shooter at the range if I saw he or she needed help, even with an unmentionable gun.
 

Dr5x

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VERY TRUE DUTCH.
MY FIRST TIME SHOOTING ONE WAS WITH A FRIEND THAT WAS EXPERIENCED WITH THEM. THE RIFLE HE LET ME SHOOT WAS A .50 CAL TRADITIONS. HE HAD DAMP PATCHES FOR ME TO USE, DAMP WITH TC#13 I THINK, AND JUST TOLD ME TO POUR 50 GRAINS OF POWDER IN AND THEN LOAD THE PATCH AND BALL. WITH A DAMP RANGE TYPE PATCH LUBE WE JUST LOADED AND SHOT WITH NO SWABBING. THE PATCHES WERE ONLY .010'S THICK. THAT RIFLE SHOT LIGHTS OUT WITH THAT LOAD. I CAN REMEMBER HE PUT A NEW TARGET UP AND SHOT AN OFFHAND SHOT INTO THE CENTER OF IT WITH HIS .54. HE LOOKED AT ME AND SAID, "SEE HOW CLOSE YOU CAN HIT TO CENTER". WE WERE ONLY 25 YARDS AWAY. WHEN I SIGHTED AT THE TARGET I REALIZED THAT THE GAPING .54 CAL HOLE WAS THE BEST REFERENCE I COULD SEE TO AIM AT, SO THAT'S WHAT I DID. AFTER I SHOT HE EXCLAIMED, "YA MISSED THE WHOLE TARGET!". I THOUGHT THAT SEEMED VERY UNLIKELY, SO WE WALKED UP TO LOOK AT THE TARGET CLOSER. YOU COULD JUST SEE WHERE I HAD ACTUALLY SHOT THROUGH HIS BULLET HOLE, IT WAS SLIGHTLY OBLONG. I WAS PRETTY IMPRESSED THAT THEY COULD SHOOT THAT WELL.

MY FIRST TIME SHOOTING MY OWN A FEW YEARS LATER WENT A BIT DIFFERENT HA HA.
AFTER ABOUT 5 OR 6 SHOTS THAT WOULD EMBARRASS A SHOTGUN PATTERN, I WENT HOME WITH THE PATCH, JAG, AND ROD FIRMLY STUCK IN THE BARREL!
BUT I WAS ALREADY HOOKED.
It's amazing how hooked you can get.
The point of my thread however was to suggest that we lose a lot of ML enthusiasts because the first experience is so damned disappointing that we lose the newcomer right then if there is no experienced friend to make sense all that mumbo jumbo required for teaching a sensible loading procedure.
It's all fun but will fade away if we don't continually breath life into it.
I remember how confused Was and am amazed that I stuck with it so long with no help or guidance.
Thanks for your post.

Dutch Schoultz
 

renegadehunter

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I PROBABLY WOULDN'T HAVE STUCK WITH IT THOUGH IF MY FIRST TIME EXPERIENCE WAS THE ONE ON MY OWN.
BUT THAT LITTLE BIT I SHOT THE VERY FIRST TIME WITH A FRIEND THAT HAD ME ALL SET UP TO BE ABLE TO LOAD EASILY AND HAVE SOME GOOD ACCURACY, THAT WAS WHAT SET THE HOOK.
 

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