First time with a .45 cal TC Hawken, advice wanted

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New member here--I just acquired a used Thompson Center rifle at a price I couldn't pass up. I think it's a Hawken. My only BP experience is with .54 caliber. I would really appreciate some guidance as to what size round ball and patches I should use for this.45. Load advice would be great too. I mostly shoot offhand at 50 yd targets, but I guess my ideal load would be one I could use for deer as well, as long the recoil wouldn't be too much for a long day of target shooting.
 
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I only have one .45 but shoot anywhere for 30gr of 3F for targets to 70gr of 3F for deer. The bore on my gun, not a TC, is loose with a .440 ball and .018 patch but just right with a .445 ball and .018 patch.
 

deermanok

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I have an old Traditions Deerhunter rifle, 45 caliber, 1/66 twist barrel.
That gun shoots pretty good with the .445 round ball, .010 thick cotton patch with 70 grains volume of 2f Triple 7.
 

BruceHH

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Try 50 grains of Swiss 2F or 55 grains of Goex 2F with either a .440 or .445 ball and a good lubed thick patch for the best accuracy and you can go up about 10 grains each for an effective deer load.
 

Pietro

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I think it's a Hawken.


Beware ! Before trying loading any loads, it would be best to make sure it's really a Hawken, and not an almost identical Seneca - in which Hawken loads may cause the stock to split.

Seneca's were made with slimmer barrels, smaller locks and more slender stock than the Hawkens.

Early examples of both were made w/o the model name roll-marked on the barrel

Both were available in .45cal.

The surest way to determine which is which is to measure the barrel thickness across the flats.

Seneca barrels measure 13/16"; Hawken's 15/16" (in .45 cal )


Here are the Seneca recommended loads (from T/C) - The starred loads designate the most accurate loads.

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Here are the recommended .45 Hawken loads:


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RicM

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On my TC Hawken Flintlock .45 cal ball, also got it from a good friend for a deal you can’t refuse. Checked serial numbers it was a late 70’s kit done very well. I use a .440 ball with a .010 patch, load with 60 grains 2F and 4f in the pan. Very easy and love it!!! Pretty accurate too, shoot it at 50-75 yards. Once you get the hang on loading and shooting it you’ll love it.
 

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I measured the barrel, 15/16th", well actually .95" is what my calipers read, so apparently a Hawken. K serial number, so from a kit. The build quality could be better, couple of screws not quite straight, etc. Waiting on supplies to arrive so I can see if it shoots well.
 

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RicM

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e.estern that a nice looking Hawken! Should should bring you loads of good times shooting 👍👍
 

Rock Home Isle

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New member here--I just acquired a used Thompson Center rifle at a price I couldn't pass up. I think it's a Hawken. My only BP experience is with .54 caliber. I would really appreciate some guidance as to what size round ball and patches I should use for this.45. Load advice would be great too. I mostly shoot offhand at 50 yd targets, but I guess my ideal load would be one I could use for deer as well, as long the recoil wouldn't be too much for a long day of target shooting.
I no longer have my .45 calibre T/C Rifles, I do have 2 .45 calibre rifles. Both are very accurate…sub 1“ groups at 50 yrds.

Rifle #1, 36” barrel:
.440 calibre RB, 55 grains fffg, blue pillow ticking, moose milk lube

Rifle #2, 42” barrel:
.440 calibre RB, 50 grains fffg, red pillow ticking, moose milk lube.
 

DOUBLEDEUCE 1

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I agree with the .440 cal balls, pillow ticking patches and a good lube. That comes from my experience with two TC .45’s, and a CVA .45 cal.

Start with a load around 45 grains FFFG. Shoot from a bagged rest, three to five rounds. Adjust your charge up, or down 5 grains at a time. There is no rush. Once you get it on the paper and with a group you are comfortable with, adjust your sights if needed. The main thing is to be consistent.

The cracked stock issue is a new one to me. It might have been confused with the cracked stocks of the TC Patriot pistols. Those were generally caused by over tightening the lock screw, or loading improperly with the heel of the stock resting on a hard surface. Those would be the two main culprits.
 

SDSmlf

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The cracked stock issue is a new one to me.
I have repaired more cracked TC stocks for folks than I can remember. Back in the day, TC would repair a gun with a cracked stock by simply replacing the stock, but the later stocks just didn’t have wood as nice as the older ones. People wanted their old nice piece of wood stock, not a dull piece of wood as a replacement.

The original TC design had two wood screws holding the tang to the stock. Put the wrong kind of pressure on it and it was subject to cracking through the lockplate screw hole. TC replaced quite a few stocks because of this as part of their lifetime warranty policy, though many never had an issue either through luck of how they handled their guns. Later TCs replaced the forward tang wood screw with a machine screw that went through the tang, stock and trigger plate, and then threaded into the trigger guard, effectively clamping the stock between the tang and trigger guard. This essentially eliminated the cracked stock issue. But early on, cracked stocks were a real issue, for both TC and their customers.
 
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If you are a crafty guy, you can make a poorly done kit gun or a stock that had been abused into something really nice, there is a lot of extra wood on a TC stock that can be removed for a sleeker appearance.

I reshaped this kit stock to be slenderer, a TC cheekpiece is its ugliest feature so I slimmed this one down as well as lowering the comb to get rid of the "cheek slapper" configuration it once was. I defined the lock panels and inletted the brass parts flush with the wood.

TC cheek side.JPG
 
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