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Gonna give it a try this season!

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Ben Meyer

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I've been deer hunting for @15 years. I've killed deer with a .30-06, 12ga slug, my Hoyt compound bow and my CVA inline, but never with a traditional ML. Ive been bitten by the blackpowder bug and over the last couple years and now also have a Hawken percussion and a flintlock TN mountain rifle, both .50 cal. I'm gonna bring them both this year. Patched roundball. I'll probably give these both a whirl from the ground, still hunting, flintlock of the weather is good, Hawken if it isnt.

What are some tips? I usually shoot 80gr loads; should I bump it up to 100-110gr? I read to not use a patch lube that can freeze; I generally use dry lubed(Ballistol and water) patches with the Hawken and Mr.Flintlocks lube with the flinter, but have Bore Butter and mink oil too. Do you guys put a piece of tape over the bore? Do you pinch percussion caps to help prevent them falling off? What is the max range folks will take shots at? Any tips will be appreciated, thx.
 

Walkingeagle

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Ok, lots of questions here, which is great! I will try to answer them all based on my experiences hunting with sidelocks for close to 25 years (although not exclusively).
Firstly, a .50 cal utilizing PRB is more than enough for deer, place the shot correctly and it will be over quick. Any charge over 60 grains is adequate, just don’t push the range. I would use whatever was most accurate with the patch and lube of choice. On that, I recommend the mink oil due to the exact reason you mentioned, freezing. I do not tape the muzzle, but do keep in downward in wet conditions. I do tuck the lock up under my armpit if raining.
On my recent elk hunt I lost a few caps, even when pinched. I had to really pinch them then work to put on the nipple in order to keep them in place. Once capped, I placed a thick piece of leather over the nipple then lowered the hammer to rest on it. This practice is not without its dangers and likely shouldn’t be used by everyone. It requires constant attention to the lock and hammer ensuring nothing can lift and subsequently drop the hammer thus firing the rifle. I have seen this happen on a television program by a careless hunter, who paid with a finger. You MUST be vigilant!! Regarding the range, my limit is 75-80 yards max. I know the effectiveness is beyond this distance but my range estimation skills are not. Therefor if an error in range is made, it likely wont be too far wrong. Remember you have hunted with a bow, that is exactly the same style you need to hunt with a sidelock muzzlegun.
Hope this helps.
Walk
 

Ben Meyer

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Thx Walk. I've hunted plenty with a bow, but generally from a treestand.

Do most folks wait until you see a deer to put a cap on the nipple? That, while obviously safer, seems like itll add time and movement to getting a shot off, thus reducing the odds. But walking around with a cocked gun seems stupid and is asking for that cap to fall off, so I may do your cap on, hammer down, leather in between method. Of course with the flintlock I can just use the leather frizzen cover, aka 18th century safety.

I've never left either gun loaded for any notable length of time, but I have left the inline loaded a week(but that's much more weatherproof). Leaving traditional guns loaded a week is fine?
 

Brokennock

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Throw the bore butter away, it can freeze and there is better stuff available and that you can make. Use the mink oil if it shoots well.
Google search, "Bob's Blackpowder Notebook," Spence has some good advice on hunting with flintlocks in wet weather. Too much for me to reiterate here and now.
80 grains is plenty, if you place your shot properly, so, if 80 grains is your most accurate load, use it. More powder won't help with a poorly placed shot so there is no point in it if it doesn't improve accuracy.
Treat it like a slightly longer range archery hunt.
 

Walkingeagle

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My rifle stayed loaded for 10 days I believe, with being in the rain for one evening included (I did protect the lock as stated above). It fired without delay when called upon.
I cannot speak for most, I do expect most cap once in full hunting mode (in treestand, at blind or a slow still hunt).
Walk
 

jrmflintlock

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Make a cows knee for both rifles. It will protect the lock from moisture, but you still need to do your part to keep as much direct rain off the lock. I have been hunting almost exclusively with a flintlock or percussion gun since about 2000. If weather is really bad I will put a small piece of masking tape over the muzzle, the air in the barrel will pop it off when you shoot. For the capper take a 380 or similar sized cartridge and pop out the primmer, drill the pocket out and put a leather thong through and tie it to the trigger guard. Set the hammer on it. Make sure the knot inside is not so big its resting on the cap. When you pull the hammer back a quick flip removes the "safety" It will help repel some water but not much.

80 grains and patched roundball is plenty for deer. Like others have said if upping the powder does not improve accuracy, there is no need. With open sights, accurately aiming at a specific location on a deer and not just "at" the deer, past 60 yards gets really hard! Some can, but I try and keep my shots under 50 yards. That's all part of the fun, getting close!!

Dry patch lubes don't freeze so you should be fine. The Mink oil would be my suggestion but again only if it improves your accuracy! If not don't change what ain't broken!

Good Luck!! Can't wait to see pictures of your success!!
 

Loyalist Dave

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I usually shoot 80gr loads; should I bump it up to 100-110gr?
As others have written, No, that's plenty of powder.

I read to not use a patch lube that can freeze; I generally use dry lubed(Ballistol and water) patches with the Hawken and Mr.Flintlocks lube with the flinter, but have Bore Butter and mink oil too.
Get two empty, clean, identical jelly jars. Melt a small beeswax candle in one. In the other jelly jar pour in enough cheap olive oil or canola oil to equal twice the amount of melted wax in the other. Heat the oil and then pour it into the jar with the wax. Allow to cool. :thumb:

Do you guys put a piece of tape over the bore?
No as your bore really should never be upwards when loaded, long enough for water to get down the bore to cause a problem. IF it's pouring when you're loading the load will be FUBAR long before you get a chance to put a balloon over the muzzle....

Do you pinch percussion caps to help prevent them falling off?
They should be plenty tight if they fit right. On the other hand I have pinched them when I had the wrong size.

What is the max range folks will take shots at? Any tips will be appreciated, thx.
My max range is 100 yards, but it's seldom that I get a shot out that far. Normally it's between 50-100 yards, though the last deer I shot was at 33 feet.
Just like a modern rifle as for placement. I got these from an internet site and they are pretty good...
SHOT PLACEMENT !.png
DEER QUARTERING.jpg

LD
 

hanshi

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In my .50 I find 70 grains of 3F to be accurate and powerful. The .45 likes anything from 60 grns to 70 grns. I've hunted numerous times in the rain with both percussion and flint when there was no other choice. So far there has never been a problem with rain, but I pay careful attention to the locks, especially. The muzzle always stays pointed downward.
 

SDSmlf

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I've been deer hunting for @15 years. I've killed deer with a .30-06, 12ga slug, my Hoyt compound bow and my CVA inline, but never with a traditional ML. Ive been bitten by the blackpowder bug and over the last couple years and now also have a Hawken percussion and a flintlock TN mountain rifle, both .50 cal. I'm gonna bring them both this year. Patched roundball. I'll probably give these both a whirl from the ground, still hunting, flintlock of the weather is good, Hawken if it isnt.

What are some tips? I usually shoot 80gr loads; should I bump it up to 100-110gr? I read to not use a patch lube that can freeze; I generally use dry lubed(Ballistol and water) patches with the Hawken and Mr.Flintlocks lube with the flinter, but have Bore Butter and mink oil too. Do you guys put a piece of tape over the bore? Do you pinch percussion caps to help prevent them falling off? What is the max range folks will take shots at? Any tips will be appreciated, thx.
A lot good questions, will offer my opinion for what it is worth....
• 80 grains of powder is fine. Would not bump up.
• Dry lube works at any reasonable temperature. No experience with Mr. Flintlock. Mink oil works well. Bore butter, would save for something other than hunting. Maybe use as chapstick?
• I use electrical tape over the muzzle in rainy or snowy weather. Not HC but better than a misfire. Doesn’t change point of impact.
• Nipple and percussion cap should fit without needing to pinch cap.
• Personally feel that with a 50 caliber patched roundball a hundred yards or so is about it if you have practiced and are confident.
 

ghostdncr

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I start out new rifles with with one grain of powder per caliber. That is, for instance, 50 grains in a .50 caliber. I'll work up adding two grains of powder per shot string until I find the load that produces the tightest groups in that particular gun, and that's what I'll go with. Give me accuracy over horsepower any day of the week.

Hunting in foul weather weather with a flintlock isn't much of a challenge. It's just a matter of learning what to do and then consistently doing it. A good cow's knee, properly waterproofing your pan, and keeping the muzzle down pretty much cover it. You'll feel quite a sense of accomplishment the first time you take a head of game in the rain with a flinter!
 

GREENSWLDE

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Never loose caps. A COMPETENT LOCKsmith should be able to cut a Second half cock into a normal tumbler which leaves the hammer .020" or so above the cap on a nipple. This,like the normal half cock,should have a Detent (FLY for those across the pond). Once capped the hammer can be set back to the "new" safe position for carrying while hunting on the move. The sound from cocking over the normal 1/2 cock can be a nuisance if the Sear spring is OVER strong. This method saves any risk of the "hard brass corrosive type" cap detonating when you sqeeze it between your teeth.

OLD DOG..
 

Ben Meyer

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Success!

Monday, I got my first traditional muzzleloader deer! Its Indiana Firearms season, I have been hunting with my .30-06. We have several ladderstands but this one in particular is really for bowhunting. Matter of fact, I took my buck out of it last week. Open front, no rail nowhere to rest a gun, but no long shots. 67 yds is about the furthest decent shot window.

Decided to take the Hawken percussion, loaded with 80gr 2F Goex and a 50 cal roundball. Stopped a big doe broadside at 42yds, shot offhand from the stand. It hit exactly where I wanted it to, complete pass thru, she went 30yds and dropped.
 

ebutch

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Success!

Monday, I got my first traditional muzzleloader deer! Its Indiana Firearms season, I have been hunting with my .30-06. We have several ladderstands but this one in particular is really for bowhunting. Matter of fact, I took my buck out of it last week. Open front, no rail nowhere to rest a gun, but no long shots. 67 yds is about the furthest decent shot window.

Decided to take the Hawken percussion, loaded with 80gr 2F Goex and a 50 cal roundball. Stopped a big doe broadside at 42yds, shot offhand from the stand. It hit exactly where I wanted it to, complete pass thru, she went 30yds and dropped.
Congratulations, very nice! I’m hoping to get my first deer with a flintlock as well in the next couple weeks. Any pictures of the doe, shot, etc?
 

Brokennock

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Success!

Monday, I got my first traditional muzzleloader deer! Its Indiana Firearms season, I have been hunting with my .30-06. We have several ladderstands but this one in particular is really for bowhunting. Matter of fact, I took my buck out of it last week. Open front, no rail nowhere to rest a gun, but no long shots. 67 yds is about the furthest decent shot window.

Decided to take the Hawken percussion, loaded with 80gr 2F Goex and a 50 cal roundball. Stopped a big doe broadside at 42yds, shot offhand from the stand. It hit exactly where I wanted it to, complete pass thru, she went 30yds and dropped.
Congratulations.
 

Ben Meyer

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Thx. It was dark by the time I got her dragged out and field dressed, so I didnt snap a pic. The shot was exactly where I aimed....behind the front leg and dead center. Perfect double lung shot. I practiced a bunch with it offhand and was completely confident out to 50 yds.
 

poker

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Awesome Ben! It seems you have confidence now, and will always be able to enjoy your ml hunts.Getting that first notch in your belt is the hardest one.
 

Ben Meyer

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I still have another doe tag. If I dont fill it before ML season in December, and if the weather is good, I may give the flintlock a go next. I've had a nice scoped CVA inline for a while if the weather sucks.
 

dsayer

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Congrats!! I was reading through all the excellent advise you were getting from everyone hoping there would an update from you at the end!!
 

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