Navy Arms .58 Hawken Hunter?

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ToothPick

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I was at a gun show and saw this guy on a table a what I thought was a good price and it came home with me.

Never saw one before and that short heavy barrel and huge bore really caught my attention.

Spent some time reading up on what it is and it looks like a Hawken Hunter to me.

When comparing to the very few I could find online mine might have a different lock then the couple I saw.The others looked case hardened to me. Also, my rear sight looks more primitive and my ramrod is wood, not fiberglass or metal as I saw on some others. It also has a musket sized nipple.

Could those differences be because it is such a early one? Ser #367

Any opinions on these models?

Also, what is the approximate value?

Thanks
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Frontier's

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I'd put it up for $500 minimum. I just sold a Hawken Hurricane .45cal recently. That .58 will be a hot seller.
 

SDSmlf

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Research the guns Val Forgett (Navy Arms) took to Africa and wrote about in the Lyman Black Powder Handbook in the 1970s. Don’t have my copy with me, but remember he took two guns, one a Hawken that was beefed up for very stout loads and another lighter 58, possibly called a Buffalo Hunter, or something like that, that I believe had a patch box. You may have one of the Hawken models he took and wrote about. Value would be based on the bore condition, at least in my opinion.
 

Eterry

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Thats the same type of rifle Val Forgett, the founder of Navy Arms, took to Africa in the 70's and laid low elephant, cape buff, hippo, and sundry other critters that bite back. He used a 610 grain minie and about a handful of fffg (180 Grains).

SD, your right on track. I looked over my copy of Lyman's handbook before posting to be sure.
 

Rat

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Bore that sucker out to .66". Now that would be a gun. :)
 

hawkeye2

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"my rear sight looks more primitive and my ramrod is wood, not fiberglass or metal as I saw on some others. It also has a musket sized nipple"

Those things could have been easily changed out by a previous owner. The lock could have been refinished too. The hammer looks like it may have been casehardened or blued at one time.
 

Rat

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And more flash and bang, and bragging rights. And, now that the wolves are running wild again, what if they re-introduce the elephant, and cape buffalo to Washington state? See...66" would be more better.

Plus, we would load it with ffffg. Lots of it. :)
 

Rat

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By the way, what does it weigh?
 

SDSmlf

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And more flash and bang, and bragging rights. And, now that the wolves are running wild again, what if they re-introduce the elephant, and cape buffalo to Washington state? See...66" would be more better.

Plus, we would load it with ffffg. Lots of it. :)
Believe they tested loads up to 200 grains of fff under the 610 grain minie, before settling on 180 grains of fff. That’s more flash and bang than most would consider fun. Buddy of mine had one years ago and remember trying some minies in the 5-600 grain range..... never got near 180 grains of powder, let alone 200, before it was obvious that it was way to much of a load for mere mortals to shoot in a gun that was a smidge over 9 pounds (believe it was something like 9-1/4 pounds).
 

Rat

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I can't quite imagine what that would be like, getting into that 180 grain range. I have fired a .58 with 125 grains, and a heavy minne', and that was about the limit of my recoil tolerance. And I am not recoil shy.

Rifles must kick more than smoothbores, as I find 140 grains behind a round ball, (a .690" ball being close in weight to a .58 slug) in my Bess, not to be near as bad, and actually not bad at all.

Those "English Sporting Rifles" run around 200 grains of powder, but I forget what caliber they are.

By the way, the flash and bang is fun, as long as one is the spectator, and not the one pulling the trigger. :)
 

poker

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Many years ago I recall a good friend used a chronograph just to see what an optimum charge would be behind a .50 cal. 240 gr from a 24” barreled piece he built. He found that velocity peaked with 90 gr of 3f. In fact he shot up to 200 gr and claimed unburnt powder laid out in front of the muzzle well before that much. Of course with longer tubes that may not have been the case.
 

SDSmlf

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A 240 grain bullet is less than 40% of the weight of a 610 grain bullet. A lot more resistance to burn a heavier charge completely. Don’t believe things are exactly linear, but playing the math game, 90 grains is 50% of 180 grains, plus I believe we are talking about a barrel longer than 24”.
 

Treestalker

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And more flash and bang, and bragging rights. And, now that the wolves are running wild again, what if they re-introduce the elephant, and cape buffalo to Washington state? See...66" would be more better.

Plus, we would load it with ffffg. Lots of it. :)
Mastodons! Megatherium! Smilodons! Oh, My!
 

M. De Land

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I was at a gun show and saw this guy on a table a what I thought was a good price and it came home with me.

Never saw one before and that short heavy barrel and huge bore really caught my attention.

Spent some time reading up on what it is and it looks like a Hawken Hunter to me.

When comparing to the very few I could find online mine might have a different lock then the couple I saw.The others looked case hardened to me. Also, my rear sight looks more primitive and my ramrod is wood, not fiberglass or metal as I saw on some others. It also has a musket sized nipple.

Could those differences be because it is such a early one? Ser #367

Any opinions on these models?

Also, what is the approximate value?

Thanks
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I have one with the steel rod and made a maxi bullet mold for it. It also weighs 610 grains. My best/accurate load with that maxi bullet I made uses 150 grains of 2F Goex and the chrongraph says 1400 fps. It is grim to shoot from a bench and I use a Past recoil pad. Even with that my sternum hurts the next day as it stretches the cartledge in the rib heads.
I checked the pitch once years ago and think it was 1 in 60 with three lands and grooves. Mine has a Beryllium copper nipple on it and is musket cap fired as well.
I recall getting a couple two inch groups with that maxi bullet at 100 yards but my it was grim in the recoil department!
224.photobucket.com/albums/dd277/mdeland_photos
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I also had a Buffalo hunter for awhile but it was not as accurate as the Hunter so I let her go down the road.[/URL]
 

Rat

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Is it shallow groove rifling? How many lands/grooves? From the pic it almost looks like minne' rifling. Bore does look clean and shiny. Let's take her out to .69", maybe get the weight down to 8.75#. !!!
 

SDSmlf

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Is it shallow groove rifling? How many lands/grooves? From the pic it almost looks like minne' rifling. Bore does look clean and shiny. Let's take her out to .69", maybe get the weight down to 8.75#. !!!
Not sure I understand argument. 50 years ago this gun at 58 caliber easily took down the largest critters on the planet. Larger diameter at same velocity means less penetration. I guess we could take it to 12 pound howiterzer diameter of 4.62” diameter and end the argument, except we run out of barrel steel. Oh, and you may not be able to hold the gun and shoot it from your shoulder.
 

M. De Land

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Is it shallow groove rifling? How many lands/grooves? From the pic it almost looks like minne' rifling. Bore does look clean and shiny. Let's take her out to .69", maybe get the weight down to 8.75#. !!!
Believe me , 58 cal is all you will want to shoot with a 610 gran bullet. The barrels are 26 inches and they have a patent breech. The gun was made to shoot heavy conicals for big game.
A .69 would be better as a ball shooter in my opinion.
 
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