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edw.marshall

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Hello! I am new to this community but am always getting more interested in joining it.

I've already asked a black powder subreddit on what to get but I came here to hopefully get more/different advice.

Like I said, I am brand new to this community/hobby so please let me know if I have unrealistic expectations.

I need some advice on as to what I should get to use and take care of a black powder rifle.

For budget I was hoping to get a rifle around $500-$700 USD and spend $100-$200 USD on accessories, balls, powder, etc.

As for a rifle I'm just looking for a .50 caliber percussion cap rifle that shoots relatively precise to shoot targets and maybe small game. I was thinking of either getting a Traditions rifle or waiting until I find a used Pedersoli for cheap. I'm hesitant to choose a Traditions because I'm wary of buying the cheapest option since I've heard they feel cheap and are fairly cheaply made, also in my other hobbies cheap-ing out will end up costing more in the long run in upgrades/repairs.

Also some advice on what other accessories I should get other than the rifle would also help greatly.

Again, please let me know if my expectations are unrealistic.
Any and all advice is greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
Don’t sell Traditions short. I think their products are excellent entry level guns. The quality has greatly improved over the years Their barrels are pretty accurate shooters & the locks have improved. The kits are an excellent way to get into gun building.
Pedersoli guns are excellent but they have priced their products too high, IMHO.
 
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welcome kudos to all on the forum. when you start it almost seems overwhelming. when I started 1to 2 years ago a gun stop where I go had an unfired cva mountain stalker for $99 . I bought it and essentials to fire it. that got me interested, what set the hook was reading this forum and shooting at the Gemmer Muzzleloading Gun Club. all out there are willing to help and give advice. welcome enjoy and remember ml guns are like Lay's potatoe chips, you just can't have one🙂
 
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It is amazing how easy it is to find information on the shooting and care of Muzzleloaders these days. When I started out 45 years ago it was hard to find someone who had even shot one in south central Nebraska let alone knowing anything about loading and shooting. No internet or easy communication outside one’s immediate area. The library and a few shooting magazines were about it.
 
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Haunt pawn shops especially this time of year, with guys switching over to the in-lines there is the possibility of a decent tradiditional type of rifle to be had, I would recommend finding someone who knows about these type of guns and ask them to tag along to check it over when you find one be sure to check the bore of the gun to be sure its in good shape.
 
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Before you pay for a rifle, aim it level with your eyes closed. When you open your eyes with the gun held level, you should be looking down the sights . If you aren't the gun doesn't fit you.
 

Col. Batguano

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The heart of any firearm is the barrel. Traditions uses the same (or close to the same) quality barrels as the finest custom makers these days. You can't experience good accuracy with out a good barrel. Sights make a difference there, but remember that the finest of adjustable sights are all simple fixed sights when you actually are shooting.
Next is the lock. There they make their own, and quality shortcuts are taken over the specialty makers like Chambers (in order to help keep prices down), but cap locks aren't quite as fussy regarding tuning as flint locks are. It's only required to hold the cap and make it go bang reliably.
Third is the trigger. In its simplest form it's just a lever to trip the sear.
Lastly is the stock. That's just a package holder for the other three so you can make them do what they're supposed to do. Just like people, some packages are more efficient, comfortable, and prettier than others.

'Nuff said.
 
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There's plenty of info on this forum, but no real beginner section that collates it all.

Either gun is fine, I like Pedersoli but it depends what you want it for. Just plinking, maybe a hunt someday I wouldn't break the bank.
You need to decide what you want to shoot I.e. balls or bullets, this will influence the twist rate you need. Something 1:30" or less is ideal for bullets, 1:60" is good for ball. Some people like 1:48 to have mid ground.

For a 50 cal you can't go wrong with 2F powder, caplock will let you get away with Pyrodex, maybe some synthetic powders. Real black is best, I prefer Swiss.

You'll need no.11 caps, probably a short start, and either bullets/sabots or patch and ball. For the latter try Hornady 0.490 balls and a 0.015 lubed patch. I lube with Peanut oil.

You'll also need a powder measure, range rod, 50 cal cleaning jag, ball puller and patch worm.

I'm a big game hunter not a target shooter so I prefer stouter loads, in 50 cals 90-120gr 2F. For targets try 50-80gr and see what the gun likes.

One thing I would say is that I have lots of experience shooting big game with various weapons - mostly centrefires. Anyone that suggests muzzlelosders or round balls can't cleanly kill big game (idiots like Steve Rinella) have no idea what they're talking about and should be disregarded. I used to be blown away by the terminal performance of muzzleloaders because people said they were no good. Then I realised most folks who say that never shoot them.

50 cal kill
View attachment 166003


Good luck
What is that rifle in the pic? Thanks.
 

Bushfire

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Holy crap guys, I cannot stress enough how helpful and welcoming your responses are. I'm really surprised at how active these forums are for what seems like a very niche hobby. I have read all of the responses and I thank each of you for helping me out.

I think I'll take the jump whenever I find a reasonably priced T/C or Pedersoli Hawken rifle in .50 caliber unless any of you have other recommendations. I don't care for historically accuracy but it just seems like the best choice for me since it gives me easier to find ammo and the choice to use minnie balls and lead balls.

Again, thank you all so much!
You may never care, but who knows.

My first muzzleloader was an inline that I had for years and loved. But eventually I wanted a caplock gun, still wasn't phased by historical accuracy. But then you see those well made hawken rifles and I started changing my mind.
If you ever end up into flintlocks historical accuracy will be more important to you. If for nothing else because a well made flinter is generally historically accurate anyway. And it's always nice to have something similar to what our forefathers hunted with.

I always said I'd have one muzzleloader, being a practical man i'd have no need for more...
20220806_171705.jpg
 
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Holy crap guys, I cannot stress enough how helpful and welcoming your responses are. I'm really surprised at how active these forums are for what seems like a very niche hobby. I have read all of the responses and I thank each of you for helping me out.

I think I'll take the jump whenever I find a reasonably priced T/C or Pedersoli Hawken rifle in .50 caliber unless any of you have other recommendations. I don't care for historically accuracy but it just seems like the best choice for me since it gives me easier to find ammo and the choice to use minnie balls and lead balls.

Again, thank you all so much!
TC also had a couple other models offered in 50cal. The Renegade and New Englander, both are solid. Earlier Renegades had double set trigger like the Hawken. But later production they introduced the "Renegade Hunter" with a single trigger. I have one I bought new in 1996 and it still serves me well. The New Englander is also a single trigger model, I don't believe they were ever offered with a double set trigger. These two can usually be found for cheaper than the old flagship Hawken model if you are looking to save a little money on your initial investment in the hobby. They are just as good of quality though, just not dolled up like the Hawken. I'd say Renegade, New Englander and Hawken will be the most common you will encounter as you shop around.

A couple other models TC offered in 50cal but seem to be less common are the Pennsylvania Hunter and White Mountain Carbine. The PA Hunters had the slower twist better suited for PRB. Not sure if they changed that over the years or not. I'll defer to those who know for sure, but I know for a fact that at least initially they were slow twist.

I'm not sure about the twist rate of a White Mountain Carbine, but they are an attractive little shorter barreled rifle. These tend to demand Hawken prices and then some just based on my window shopping online.

Can't hardly go wrong with a used TC traditional muzzleloader as long as you find one that has been descently cared for and is sound. They offered a pretty wide array of traditional models. I sure miss those days ☹️
 
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You may never care, but who knows.

My first muzzleloader was an inline that I had for years and loved. But eventually I wanted a caplock gun, still wasn't phased by historical accuracy. But then you see those well made hawken rifles and I started changing my mind.
If you ever end up into flintlocks historical accuracy will be more important to you. If for nothing else because a well made flinter is generally historically accurate anyway. And it's always nice to have something similar to what our forefathers hunted with.

I always said I'd have one muzzleloader, being a practical man i'd have no need for more...
View attachment 166301
I'll concur with this.

For over 25 years I only had one, my Renegade.

Then recently (earlier this year) my 15 year old daughter was bugging me to let her shoot it. That rekindled my fired for it in a big way. Now I own a Hawken and a PA Hunter to keep the ol 'Gade company. Got my daughter her own New Englander. Now I find myself wanting to collect more of the old traditional TC models... Namely White Mountain Carbine, Seneca and the ever elusive Big Boar..wouldn't mind adding a couple 54s as well. It's an affliction 🤣
 

Flint Striker

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TC also had a couple other models offered in 50cal. The Renegade and New Englander, both are solid. Earlier Renegades had double set trigger like the Hawken. But later production they introduced the "Renegade Hunter" with a single trigger. I have one I bought new in 1996 and it still serves me well. The New Englander is also a single trigger model, I don't believe they were ever offered with a double set trigger. These two can usually be found for cheaper than the old flagship Hawken model if you are looking to save a little money on your initial investment in the hobby. They are just as good of quality though, just not dolled up like the Hawken. I'd say Renegade, New Englander and Hawken will be the most common you will encounter as you shop around.

A couple other models TC offered in 50cal but seem to be less common are the Pennsylvania Hunter and White Mountain Carbine. The PA Hunters had the slower twist better suited for PRB. Not sure if they changed that over the years or not. I'll defer to those who know for sure, but I know for a fact that at least initially they were slow twist.

I'm not sure about the twist rate of a White Mountain Carbine, but they are an attractive little shorter barreled rifle. These tend to demand Hawken prices and then some just based on my window shopping online.

Can't hardly go wrong with a used TC traditional muzzleloader as long as you find one that has been descently cared for and is sound. They offered a pretty wide array of traditional models. I sure miss those days ☹️

I haven’t hunted in PA or lived there for years, but PA used to require a patched round ball at least 44 caliber and flintlock ignition for its primitive winter muzzleloader season. That’s where the slow twist for round balls came from. I had a couple Lyman Deerstalkers and wish I had kept one. They were fairly handy and reliable once I learned them a little. They had sling swivels, rubber buttpads, 1:48 twist, and a synthetic ramrod - very practical hunting guns. Seems they’re discontinued now.
 

TDM

54 Cal.
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Holy crap guys, I cannot stress enough how helpful and welcoming your responses are. I'm really surprised at how active these forums are for what seems like a very niche hobby. I have read all of the responses and I thank each of you for helping me out.

I think I'll take the jump whenever I find a reasonably priced T/C or Pedersoli Hawken rifle in .50 caliber unless any of you have other recommendations. I don't care for historically accuracy but it just seems like the best choice for me since it gives me easier to find ammo and the choice to use minnie balls and lead balls.

Again, thank you all so much!
You have received excellent advice from every post made so far, nothing I can add. But I do suggest carefully going over the information given. Make some notes and weight your options. Do this and you'll stay in your budget and have some fun.
 
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I haven’t hunted in PA or lived there for years, but PA used to require a patched round ball at least 44 caliber and flintlock ignition for its primitive winter muzzleloader season. That’s where the slow twist for round balls came from. I had a couple Lyman Deerstalkers and wish I had kept one. They were fairly handy and reliable once I learned them a little. They had sling swivels, rubber buttpads, 1:48 twist, and a synthetic ramrod - very practical hunting guns. Seems they’re discontinued now.

I live in NY. Back when I first got into it our special Muzzleloading season was fairly restrictive in terms of legal implements. My first year they had just begun allowing projectiles other than PRB. Couldn't have scopes, not even FO sights and minimum was 50cal. They have since lowered it to 44cal and pretty much anything goes. But, I'm risking taking this thread way off track and flirting with mentioning un-mentionables...so I'll stop there. I will say I miss those days.
 

stephenprops1

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Hello! I am new to this community but am always getting more interested in joining it.

I've already asked a black powder subreddit on what to get but I came here to hopefully get more/different advice.

Like I said, I am brand new to this community/hobby so please let me know if I have unrealistic expectations.

I need some advice on as to what I should get to use and take care of a black powder rifle.

For budget I was hoping to get a rifle around $500-$700 USD and spend $100-$200 USD on accessories, balls, powder, etc.

As for a rifle I'm just looking for a .50 caliber percussion cap rifle that shoots relatively precise to shoot targets and maybe small game. I was thinking of either getting a Traditions rifle or waiting until I find a used Pedersoli for cheap. I'm hesitant to choose a Traditions because I'm wary of buying the cheapest option since I've heard they feel cheap and are fairly cheaply made, also in my other hobbies cheap-ing out will end up costing more in the long run in upgrades/repairs.

Also some advice on what other accessories I should get other than the rifle would also help greatly.

Again, please let me know if my expectations are unrealistic.
Any and all advice is greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
I suggest you Google Black Powder Maniac Shooter, aka Mark Humphries. Mark has many videos on the internet that could help you learn a lot in a short period. If you subscribe you will have access to all of his prior videos and a wealth of information.
 

mudgarfish

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Gun Shows were good at getting a good quality Smoke Pole, bought my 50 cal. Hawkins for 175.00 small pitting shoots great. Then at another gun show I picked up a 50 cal. Great Plains for 75.00 with Possible bag and accessories and in great shape. Now lately nothing but Black Guns. Hard to find a good used one, through my years in shooting 45cal is the way to go and read any material on the sport you can find. I piece of advise minimize all the cool shiny stuff you can buy, buy just what you need, before you know it, you will have more stuff than I. Shoot Straight and Shoot Often.
 
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