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New to traditional muzzleloaders. Questions on loading

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Jnye56

32 Cal
Joined
Dec 5, 2023
Messages
3
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Location
Massachusetts
Hello,

I am new to the tradition shooting world. A few years back I built my first percussion cap rifle, the Traditions Hawkens rifle. I have never shot it, let alone load it. Now being new, it’s easy enough to read a book and know what size hall or patch I need but I’d like to understand things a little more. The difference between powders etc. It is a little overwhelming getting into this world. I know there are many accessories that are helpful to have on top of the basics.

Would anyone be willing to share where the best place to purchase balls, patches, powders and what else I should get as a beginner? Ball starter, powder measures, and what not.
The goal is to use the rifle to hunt whitetail deer so whatever else might be handy in the woods to have as well.

I also have a flintlock that was given to me by a friend, a long barrel (I have to look for the model but might be a Kentucky rifle). Same questions as far as that rifle may go although I know this is a percussion forum.

Thanks all. I’ll get a picture of the rifle posted up.
 
Track of the Wolf is a good place to start for all of your accessories. Powder and caps is going to be a little more difficult, with caps being the most difficult. If nothing else, you can always find pyrodex or 777 black powder substitute is some sporting stores. Online is the best way to buy black powder, but you need to buy in quantity to get the best price.
 
Hello,

I am new to the tradition shooting world. A few years back I built my first percussion cap rifle, the Traditions Hawkens rifle. I have never shot it, let alone load it. Now being new, it’s easy enough to read a book and know what size hall or patch I need but I’d like to understand things a little more. The difference between powders etc. It is a little overwhelming getting into this world. I know there are many accessories that are helpful to have on top of the basics.

Would anyone be willing to share where the best place to purchase balls, patches, powders and what else I should get as a beginner? Ball starter, powder measures, and what not.
The goal is to use the rifle to hunt whitetail deer so whatever else might be handy in the woods to have as well.

I also have a flintlock that was given to me by a friend, a long barrel (I have to look for the model but might be a Kentucky rifle). Same questions as far as that rifle may go although I know this is a percussion forum.

Thanks all. I’ll get a picture of the rifle posted up.

You should take a look at Black Powder Maniac Shooter’s youtube channel….he makes it easy and fun to enjoy yourself while you’re figuring things out 👍


.
 
First be sure to clean the barrel well. You will need powder, balls and caps. Black powder is best but hard to find and expensive to order just enough to "get started". 777 is the best in my opinion. Pyrodex works as well. MANY here will dman those substitutes to hades and back. As many use it exclusively and love it. I use both. Balls are easy to find. I will assume you have a .50 cal. So I would start at .490 balls. Patches, either cut our own from pillow ticking at the fabric store or get precut UNLUBRICATED patches from wherever you get the balls. Lube? Spit will do. Also folks use homemade concoction's. I would strongly suggest Hoppes #9 Black Powder cleaner and patch Lube. Reg Hopes will not work, it's for center fire. Caps. GOOD LUCK. Probably goanna have to order some and I have only seen RWS available. They are fine, likely gonna pay Haz Mat. Get # 11 size. Try Muzzleoaders.com They got all ya need. Local is cheaper, all at once from one vendor easier.

As for the substitute powder. Lot has to do with loading as for success (and CLEANING the last time out). Pour the powder and then slap the side of the barrel opposite the lock hard a few times to get the powder own around the nipple. Make sure the ball is seated on the powder. Any gasps can cause barrel damage. NEVER USE SMOKELESS. Watch the YouTube stuff. Learn a lot. And/or find a guy with a bit of experience and shoot with him for a bit.

Black or a substitute you need to CLEAN after EVERY outing like that day or the next. Let us know what else you need and send some photos. Good Luck and welcome!
 
Grafs, Track of the Wolf, MidwayUSA, DixieGunWorks, BuffaloArms, Lodgewood, Simpsons, Slixsprings, oh heavens, I don't know how many others, just Google them.
 
Buy everything you can locally to encourage more ML inventory close by and possibly deal with someone knowledgeable in person. When that won't do it, I have had good luck with general sporting goods purchases from Midway and acceptable on ML goods. Track of the Wolf and RMC OxYoke are my favorite online ML suppliers. Grafs, Dixie and Buffalo are legit and the others probably are too. I just don't know of them. Midsouth Shooters Supply, KYGunco and Natchez are also legit if they have what you need.
Don't buy from any vendor that won't take a credit card. Scammers are legion these days. If the above mentioned vendors all say "out of stock" on an item and some site says they have it, 99% certainty that you are dealing with fraudsters. Good luck from MT. SW
 
Here's another option.

https://muzzle-loaders.com/
Free shipping on all accessories

Also Powder Valley sells black powder ( which you will need for the flintlock) by the pound if you don't plan on shooting a lot. Most places require a 5 lbs. minimum. Just be aware the hazmat and shipping are the same whether 1 lb. or 5+ lbs. 2F or 3F will work but most prefer to use 3F .
 
777 has always left a crud ring and made reloading difficult for me, real black powder or Pyrodex if you can’t find it is my preference
 
graffs and sons for powder and primers, probably your best shot. Primers are chancey, and it initially seems expensive when you factor in the hazardous shipping costs, but if you buy 3-4 lbs and a grand of primers, it levels off the cost greatly, and you will probably be well set for a while. Track of the Wolf is a great place to deal with, and if they dont have it....
I would recommend replaceing the standard # 11 nipple with a musket nipple...easily found online (amazon or ebay) for under ten bucks. Nowadays musket caps are much more available than #11 primers., and the nipple is quickly and easily changed out (you will want to get a nipple wrench for the musket nip too).
 
graffs and sons for powder and primers, probably your best shot. Primers are chancey, and it initially seems expensive when you factor in the hazardous shipping costs, but if you buy 3-4 lbs and a grand of primers, it levels off the cost greatly, and you will probably be well set for a while. Track of the Wolf is a great place to deal with, and if they dont have it....
I would recommend replaceing the standard # 11 nipple with a musket nipple...easily found online (amazon or ebay) for under ten bucks. Nowadays musket caps are much more available than #11 primers., and the nipple is quickly and easily changed out (you will want to get a nipple wrench for the musket nip too).
I’m sure this is great advice about the musket nipple but since I’m very green, I’m unsure of what to even look for. Any more advice on this one? Or explain the difference perhaps? Thanks!
 
I really don't think that a musket nipple for the Tradition's Hawken rifle is all that necessary. A nipple designed for setting off the synthetic powders (Hot Shot, Spitfire, Red Hot and a few others) should be fine especially with a #11 magnum cap. The musket cap is much larger than a #11 cap and more priming compound for a hotter ignition of the charge. @Jnye56 will need a nipple wrench designed to fit around the larger nipple (Track's NW-100, out of stock)

Here's a link to the musket nipple offered by Track of the Wolf.
https://www.trackofthewolf.com/List/Item.aspx/64/1/CVA-MS
 
I really don't think that a musket nipple for the Tradition's Hawken rifle is all that necessary. A nipple designed for setting off the synthetic powders (Hot Shot, Spitfire, Red Hot and a few others) should be fine especially with a #11 magnum cap. The musket cap is much larger than a #11 cap and more priming compound for a hotter ignition of the charge. @Jnye56 will need a nipple wrench designed to fit around the larger nipple (Track's NW-100, out of stock)

Here's a link to the musket nipple offered by Track of the Wolf.
https://www.trackofthewolf.com/List/Item.aspx/64/1/CVA-MS
I agree with this Grenadier. I have 2 Traditions Hawken 'style' rifles and they both fire without a hitch using t-72f and cci #11 standard caps. If the OP uses holy black, he will certainly have no problems at all with ignition using the standard nipple, provided he follows the other good advice given.
One thing to look at is, that when Traditions sets up the rifle at the factory right now, the cap receiver on the nipple it comes with is bored out to approx. 3/32" while the replacement nipples sold under the Traditions name are more like 5/64 ". [I don't have any metric bits so it's approx.] That doesn't sound like much, but it make for a visibly much thicker rim on the replacement nipples and would seem to waste some flame. The flash hole on both is the same and appears to be around .028. To make sure that the amount of flame getting to the flash hole remains the same on my rifles and my loads stay consistent, I bored the top of the replacements out to the same 3/32". I did save one, as is, to test later and make comparisons.
I also have some metric [6/1] Knight Red Hots I will be trying after hunting season, but their flash holes are at about .032 or more [maybe even .034] and for hunting with a load I really like I don't want to mess with success. Their top opening is also close to 3/32". The Knight Red Hots are the best I have tried in my TC Hawken with the vented Hot Shots being a complete flop. I'm not saying they are bad but they did not work for me. The Red Hots are also slightly bevelled towards the interior to maximize flame to the flash hole.
I have purchased the Knight Red Hots directly from Knight and from RMC Ox Yoke for about the same price. SW
 

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