Let's mix a couple of forums

Muzzleloading Forum

Help Support Muzzleloading Forum:

Joined
Apr 9, 2012
Messages
1,124
Reaction score
1,643
A thread in another forum has received a lot of interesting responses. It concerns how to increase interest in Traditional Muzzle Loading. I want to address that in this forum [Trad ML Hunting] because I believe the answer has to do with our hunting practices, Looking through the entire forum, the overwhelming information relates to Large Game Animals; deer, bear, elk, hogs, etc. Yes, I know there are some posts about rabbits, squirrels, birds and non-game animals, but there is not much compared to large game, I began shooting when my rifle was taller than I. It was small game only. In Kansas, where I was born and raised, there were no deer, no bear, no elk, not even elephants. I became a good shot because I had to. It is one thing to shoot a deer and quite another to make a head shot on a rabbit [often running] or a squirrel high up on a tree. We were poor and I shot small game to provide meat for my family. Mom did not like a shoulder shot animal; it wasted too much meat. As I moved out West I still tried to make head shots, even on grouse. [Yes, rifles and pistols were legal]. Today there are still more opportunities to hunt small game than large. Many of my friends wait all year to have ten days or so to hunt. How foolish is that when most states have abundant small game. You can take your kids, or your neighbor's kids, and instill in them the delight of hunting. If not small game, then non-game animals like marmots, prairie dogs and coyotes. You might even get them to leave their phones and electric toys at home and enjoy the magnificent world in which we live. When my sons were about ten years old, I built them guns to fit. We hunted together in Idaho, Montana, California, Texas and probably places I've forgotten. I know this is long and rambling but … why an emphasis, on this forum and others, about large bore ML rifles? It is really hard to find a .36 or .40 caliber rifle [that does nor cost an arm and a leg] and that is where kids could learn best. You can do without that time on your computer .. or at the bar and go hunting year around … and take a young person [and a parent?], loan him or her a ML and teach them safety, and care. Try it … you might even make a life-long friend and hunting companion. BTW: One of my hunting mentors was Jesse Gilmore … and while I served in S.E. Asia guess who took my kids hunting … yep, Jesse was there for them, too. Polecat
 
Joined
Nov 23, 2010
Messages
4,490
Reaction score
1,969
Location
On the Mississippi in SE Minnesota
Dale, I think small game hunting is a great way to get kids involved. Back when I was a kid, literally EVERYONE started out on small game.

One problem we have with muzzleloaders for kids, or really any small person, is almost all commercially available ones have long LOP....14" for example. Even nice little light-weight ones like the old TC Cherokee or today's Crockett that would otherwise be great for kids have long LOP. I was searching for a kit to make a rifle for my 5'2" wife and even that was tough. Yes...I could cut the stock off, but then the whole architecture starts to fall apart (cheekpiece location, etc.). I found two that would work...the Little-Fella from Chambers or Emig's offer one...both in the 12" LOP range. I'm currently building her a Little Fella. But a lot of guys won't want to build kits...especially considering how fast kids will grow out of them. So that's one issue to deal with. I started my grandson In "modern" arms on small game. Got him a kid's 20 GA Mossberg. I can possibly convert him to traditional muzzleloader later. He also shoots bow and has taken to both forms of hunting, so that's the start. As a young man, hopefully he'll see Papa enjoying traditional arms and decide to give it a try. I've had him shoot my wifes BP revolver and he had a hoot. He's pulled the trigger a few times on my flinters, but only on the bench so far because they are too long for him to handle otherwise.
 
Joined
Nov 17, 2014
Messages
1,349
Reaction score
863
Location
from Speedway Indiana
D Lily & Spikebuck, I’m with you all the way on this. I have three grandsons that shoot BP. Now they range in age from 14 to 20. All three started out shooting 50 caliber but only because when they started shooting I couldn’t afford any caliber smaller. Back to the small game hunting. They all started shooting at the range and then graduated to small game. Why? I was to old to drag a deer out of the woods and they were to small. Young children get bored quickly. I figured if we went after small game just walking through woods and fields would help with the boredom. Watching for small game, showing them tracks, looking for nut trees or berries, looking at different birds and a quick PB&J lunch kept them moving. It is lamentable that there is not even a 45 caliber rifle or a small gauge shotgun available for a tighter budget to introduce a smaller build person to our sport.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Apr 9, 2012
Messages
1,124
Reaction score
1,643
D Lily & Spikebuck, I’m with you all the way on this. I have three grandsons that shoot BP. Now they range in age from 14 to 20. All three started our shooting 50 caliber but only because when they started shooting I couldn’t afford any caliber smaller. Back to the small game hunting. They all started shooting at the range and then graduated to small game. Why? I was to old to drag a deer out of the woods and they were to small. Young children get bored quickly. I figured if we went after small game just walking through woods and fields would help with the boredom. Watching for small game, showing them tracks, looking for nut trees or berries, looking at different birds and a quick PB&J lunch kept them moving. It is lamentable that there is not even a 45 caliber rifle or a small gauge shotgun available for a tighter budget to introduce a smaller build person to our sport.
Spikebuck & ppg1949: Yes, my wife is only 5' 1" and I cannot find anything that really fits her. She shoots an Ardesa with only a 12"LOP but it is Kentucky style and a bit barrel heavy. Dale
 
Last edited:

hanshi

Cannon
Joined
May 7, 2009
Messages
12,570
Reaction score
5,460
Location
New England
Being built closer to the ground than most, long lop has kept quite a few, otherwise splendid, rifles from my gun rack. I found I could handle a 13" lop, but in heavy winter coat it became a real chore. with that in mind when I got my latest rifle built several years ago, I got a 12.5" lop. Fits me like a glove. The world seems to be custom made for tall people and us "shorties" often get left out. In the Deep South 13" was fine as it wasn't uncommon to be in shirtsleeves during much of hunting season. There's a great need for smaller lop muzzleloaders geared toward youth and smaller statured shooters.
 
Joined
Nov 23, 2010
Messages
4,490
Reaction score
1,969
Location
On the Mississippi in SE Minnesota
Spikebuck: Yes, my wife is only 5' 1" and I cannot find anything that really fits her. She shoots an Ardesa with only a 12"LOP but it is Kentucky style and a bit barrel heavy. Dale

For anyone that can build a kit and wants to have a small rifle with Chamber's quality kit components, the Little Fella rifle is a good one to consider. Here's the specs from Jim's website. The one I got is probably more like 12 1/2" LOP, so even if you have to take it down another 1/2", you're not changing the architecture much like if you had to hack off a couple of inches on most kits. I got her .50 caliber for deer hunting and it will be sub 7# when done. Rice barrel. Also notice that it has a nice wide buttplate to help spread the recoil for smaller framed people!

If you search the Gun Builder's forum, Dave Person built one of these for Rifleman a while ago and it's a great tutorial on this build. I'm sure Rifleman will chime in on how much he likes the gun!

1607552503201.png


P.S. From Jim's description: It can also accommodate a Large Siler Percussion for those who find a cap lock more to their liking.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Mar 23, 2015
Messages
3,960
Reaction score
1,743
Dale, I grew up in Nebraska and also grew up hunting small game. Large game might have been an occasional coyote. I didn't have a muzzleloader but a 22 unmentionable. Squirrels, cotton tails, and an occasional jack rabbit were the common targets with game birds during the Fall scattergun seasons. I was lucky and had two large prairie dog towns within a mile on uncle's farms. Today, those options are much less common for many, but small game still offers generous seasons. I live in Kansas now and cotton tails can be hunted year around and squirrel from June through February. There are numerous state game areas and walk in hunting areas close to where I live in Manhattan. Those provide many opportunities to hunt if one can pry young kids away from the being "plugged in" as I call it.
 

JB67

45 Cal.
Joined
May 1, 2019
Messages
871
Reaction score
786
Location
Mid-Coast Maine
I don't hunt, never did. Never fired a gun until I was 49, and I'm now 53. I got into MLs because of the history and simplicity, and videos from Black Powder Maniac Shooter making it look like so much fun (which it is!)

The best way, IMO, to increase interest, is simply EXPOSURE. Be it videos, or hands-on. Hunting is an avenue, but not the only one.
 

smo

70 Cal.
MLF Supporter
Joined
Jul 25, 2007
Messages
7,020
Reaction score
3,429
Location
Tn
I don’t think there’s one magic roundball , so too speak of creating interest in traditional muzzleloading in our youth.
The action is simply too slow too keep their interest.
Unlike video games which are continuous action.

As too the rifles for the smaller framed people, here’s another option.... if you can find one.
However, I think parts are available still too build one.
Hopkins Allen .36 Squirrel Terminator!

429C2150-2A07-4CB6-9B14-34BFFB94F1EA.jpeg


Handles like a Red Ryder BB gun..
Shoots a lot truer. .350 roundball 25 grns of fffg Goex with .18 pillow ticking patches.

A word of Caution! Under hammers from time too time will let a hot partial from a cap land on bare skin.... sleeves are advised.

Spikebuck, it’s not what you think.....
Honestly, it’s my Wife’s rifle!
I’m still true too my Gal!

She does get a little jealous when I fondle my smoothbore....
 
Last edited:

smo

70 Cal.
MLF Supporter
Joined
Jul 25, 2007
Messages
7,020
Reaction score
3,429
Location
Tn
I would love too know the story behind this old rifle.

I picked it up in a package deal one day at a local lawn shop.
Apparently the Owner had passed away and his Widow had sold the guns.

His ball bag was a 110 film camera case and his flask was the Prince Albert tobacco can.
The gun came with the custom fit velour lined plywood case. Vintage 70”s I would think.
 

Carbon 6

Cannon
Joined
Nov 2, 2018
Messages
7,342
Reaction score
3,998
A thread in another forum has received a lot of interesting responses. It concerns how to increase interest in Traditional Muzzle Loading. I want to address that in this forum [Trad ML Hunting] because I believe the answer has to do with our hunting practices, Looking through the entire forum, the overwhelming information relates to Large Game Animals; deer, bear, elk, hogs, etc. Yes, I know there are some posts about rabbits, squirrels, birds and non-game animals, but there is not much compared to large game, I began shooting when my rifle was taller than I. It was small game only. In Kansas, where I was born and raised, there were no deer, no bear, no elk, not even elephants. I became a good shot because I had to. It is one thing to shoot a deer and quite another to make a head shot on a rabbit [often running] or a squirrel high up on a tree. We were poor and I shot small game to provide meat for my family. Mom did not like a shoulder shot animal; it wasted too much meat. As I moved out West I still tried to make head shots, even on grouse. [Yes, rifles and pistols were legal]. Today there are still more opportunities to hunt small game than large. Many of my friends wait all year to have ten days or so to hunt. How foolish is that when most states have abundant small game. You can take your kids, or your neighbor's kids, and instill in them the delight of hunting. If not small game, then non-game animals like marmots, prairie dogs and coyotes. You might even get them to leave their phones and electric toys at home and enjoy the magnificent world in which we live. When my sons were about ten years old, I built them guns to fit. We hunted together in Idaho, Montana, California, Texas and probably places I've forgotten. I know this is long and rambling but … why an emphasis, on this forum and others, about large bore ML rifles? It is really hard to find a .36 or .40 caliber rifle [that does nor cost an arm and a leg] and that is where kids could learn best. You can do without that time on your computer .. or at the bar and go hunting year around … and take a young person [and a parent?], loan him or her a ML and teach them safety, and care. Try it … you might even make a life-long friend and hunting companion. BTW: One of my hunting mentors was Jesse Gilmore … and while I served in S.E. Asia guess who took my kids hunting … yep, Jesse was there for them, too. Polecat

I think you captured the spirit of my original topic better than I did. :thumb:

I grew up hunting with a muzzleloader, Oh, I had other guns, but a muzzleloader is just so much fun. Hunted squirrels, rabbits, grouse, chipmunks, feral cats, woodchucks and any other thing I could get a bead on. Hunted constantly, nearly year round.
 
Joined
Feb 28, 2007
Messages
9,215
Reaction score
9,499
Location
England.
It's ok for you guys. For years and years I begged, pleaded, even threatened our licensing system for a .32 or .36 patched ball long rifle to hunt small game with. No dice!
If I lived in a place that was not so backwards thinking I would have a .32 long rifle in my bed (might have to watch out for that flint mind)!
 
Joined
Nov 17, 2016
Messages
1,398
Reaction score
1,349
Location
N.C. and elsewhere
Interestingly, there is a distinct lack of small game where I spend most of my time. Just 2 hours North I can find cottontails, jackrabbits and squirrels in abundance. Here, a day of hunting might yield 2 or 3 squirrels on a good day. I have to have a very interested newbie to make a trip successful with small game. Leave in the dark and return in the dark is not appealing to certain age groups. I am going to see about a team or business with a lot of younger folks. Get a "bus" like a transit van from Church and make it an over-night camp and black powder hunt trip to a ranch with a lot of rabbits and squirrels. Maybe that will do it.
 

Carbon 6

Cannon
Joined
Nov 2, 2018
Messages
7,342
Reaction score
3,998
Interestingly, there is a distinct lack of small game where I spend most of my time. Just 2 hours North I can find cottontails, jackrabbits and squirrels in abundance.

It is very easy to increase small game populations in small areas, especially rabbit.
 

Latest posts

Top