Newbie needs advice with first muzzle stuffer rifle

Help Support Muzzle Loading Forum:

Semper_Smokey

32 Cal
Joined
Jan 24, 2020
Messages
28
Reaction score
10
Hello JP,

Looks like it will be fun, I see in the pictures it was made in 1981 (AH).
I'm not sure if the clean-out screw will come out or not, if you try, make sure you have a good fitting screw driver or it will just bugger-up on you. Both of my Lymans need to have the clean-out screw removed before removing the nipple (that's not easy to remember).
Also, $195 is probably close to what it sold for new, I paid $210 for my TC Hawkin in 1978.

Looking forward to a range report, AntiqueSledMan.
Hi AntiqueSled - I just bought an older T/C Hawken that has one of these clean-out screw (think it's a set screw for the nipple). The bloody thing is well and truly stuck. Spent the day trying penetrating oil and heat to bust it loose to no avail. The only other option I can think of is to drill it out and use a screw remover bit (whatever those are called).

But I'm hesitant to start down this path of no return if there's any better option. How did you get the screws out of your Lyman?
 

Grenadier1758

58 Cal.
Joined
Oct 9, 2004
Messages
4,318
Reaction score
1,041
Location
St. Louis, MO
Hi AntiqueSled - I just bought an older T/C Hawken that has one of these clean-out screw (think it's a set screw for the nipple). The bloody thing is well and truly stuck. Spent the day trying penetrating oil and heat to bust it loose to no avail. The only other option I can think of is to drill it out and use a screw remover bit (whatever those are called).

But I'm hesitant to start down this path of no return if there's any better option. How did you get the screws out of your Lyman?
The better option is to leave that "Clean Out Screw" alone and pretend you never saw it. Better yet use a file to remove the screw slot and blend the plug with the rest of the breech. Any cleanout that needs to be done can be accomplished by removing the nipple on that T/C and flushing the breech by placing the breech in a bucket of water. Even T/C realized their folly and later versions did not include the "cleanout screw". I have been shooting my T/C Hawken for about 40 years and that flash channel boring plug has not been removed.
 

Semper_Smokey

32 Cal
Joined
Jan 24, 2020
Messages
28
Reaction score
10
The better option is to leave that "Clean Out Screw" alone and pretend you never saw it. Better yet use a file to remove the screw slot and blend the plug with the rest of the breech. Any cleanout that needs to be done can be accomplished by removing the nipple on that T/C and flushing the breech by placing the breech in a bucket of water. Even T/C realized their folly and later versions did not include the "cleanout screw". I have been shooting my T/C Hawken for about 40 years and that flash channel boring plug has not been removed.
Interrrrrreeesting. I couldn't get the nipple to budge and assumed this was a "set screw" - i.e. it was intended to more tightly secure the nipple. I had seen this thread and assumed it was the same. Attached a photo (hopefully?) of little bugger.

But if that's the case, Grenadier, then I guess I'm just putting the penetrating oil on the wrong part!
 

Attachments

Zonie

Moderator
Staff member
MLF Supporter
Joined
Oct 4, 2003
Messages
29,880
Reaction score
2,393
Location
Phoenix, AZ
Smokey:
The little hole with the screw in it isn't there to lock the nipple in although, I've seen cases where the screw was screwed in too far and it did interfere with the nipple threads on a few guns.

The reason for the screw is, there needs to be a hole to connect the area below the nipple to the bore. To do this, the maker drilled a hole from the outside, thru the nipple hole and onward into the "chambered breech", a under bore size cavity at the bottom of the barrel. I call this connecting hole a "flame channel".
To plug the flame channel, the hole is then threaded and a very short set screw is screwed in.

The old TC guns were made this way but they had so many people messing up the little screw slot and returning the barrel for repair the changed their design so the flame channel was drilled from inside the chambered breech to intersect the nipple hole. That eliminated the need for the screw so, if you see a newer TC Hawken, it won't have that screw.
 

Semper_Smokey

32 Cal
Joined
Jan 24, 2020
Messages
28
Reaction score
10
Smokey:
The little hole with the screw in it isn't there to lock the nipple in although, I've seen cases where the screw was screwed in too far and it did interfere with the nipple threads on a few guns.

The reason for the screw is, there needs to be a hole to connect the area below the nipple to the bore. To do this, the maker drilled a hole from the outside, thru the nipple hole and onward into the "chambered breech", a under bore size cavity at the bottom of the barrel. I call this connecting hole a "flame channel".
To plug the flame channel, the hole is then threaded and a very short set screw is screwed in.

The old TC guns were made this way but they had so many people messing up the little screw slot and returning the barrel for repair the changed their design so the flame channel was drilled from inside the chambered breech to intersect the nipple hole. That eliminated the need for the screw so, if you see a newer TC Hawken, it won't have that screw.
!!! Thanks for putting me straight, Grenadier and Zonie!

Now I just have a stubbornly stuck nipple to deal with. Any suggestions?

I just spent an hour with more penetrating oil and all the odd hand tools I could find. I'm soaking the whole end now in oil to see if that helps. My nipple wrench just doesn't give much leverage - too small and pretty cheaply made. Is there a premium wrench out there I'm missing?
 

Grenadier1758

58 Cal.
Joined
Oct 9, 2004
Messages
4,318
Reaction score
1,041
Location
St. Louis, MO
The most sturdy nipple wrench for rifles with #11 nipples is the ratcheting wrench offered by Ted Cash.
http://www.tdcmfgstore.com/agora.cgi?cart_id=50655805.2818528&p_id=E-RATCHET&xm=on&ppinc=search2
You can get the adapters for musket nipples and pistol nipples too.

I would think your rifle is unloaded. If you have a soldering iron, you can heat the nipple. Some times you need to play the flame from a propane torch on the nipple. Then with your cheap wrench on the nipple, tap the top of the wrench while you twist it. The heat expands the metal near the corrosion and the tapping while twisting breaks the threads loose.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Oct 5, 2019
Messages
58
Reaction score
19
Hello Semper_Smokey,

On my old TC Hawken, the screw has never been removed. We just purchased a green Mountain LRH barrel for it and that one doesn't even have one.
On both of my Lymans, the clean-out screw does lock the nipple. Both are simply a set screw with a hex socket.
I have to agree with Grenadier1758, just leave the screw alone as it doesn't do anything but plug the hole. But on Lyman rifles one should check with nipple removed to see if the screw will interfere with the nipple.
Sounds like your nipple hasn't been removed in a while, I'd keep soaking it. Maybe try heating it (put it in the oven at 350 degree), & another trick I've found is to (while hot) touch it with a piece of Dry Ice, it will shrink & hopefully loosen up.

AntiqueSledMan.
 

Crow-Feather

32 Cal.
Joined
Jan 28, 2004
Messages
92
Reaction score
27
Location
Idaho
Even fast twist rifles shoot accurate with small amounts of powder. Check out the twist of most round ball black powder pistols. I would try about 30 to 40 grains of powder with a tight patched ball and see how it does. Some people put Vernier sights on their rifles due to the big difference tween round ball and slug striking locations on a target. Sort of like the Lyman 57SML receiver sight for the Lyman Deerstalker rifle with 1:48 twist. I am not saying to hunt with the round ball, but target shooting is not impossible.
 

Semper_Smokey

32 Cal
Joined
Jan 24, 2020
Messages
28
Reaction score
10
Hello Semper_Smokey,

On my old TC Hawken, the screw has never been removed. We just purchased a green Mountain LRH barrel for it and that one doesn't even have one.
On both of my Lymans, the clean-out screw does lock the nipple. Both are simply a set screw with a hex socket.
I have to agree with Grenadier1758, just leave the screw alone as it doesn't do anything but plug the hole. But on Lyman rifles one should check with nipple removed to see if the screw will interfere with the nipple.
Sounds like your nipple hasn't been removed in a while, I'd keep soaking it. Maybe try heating it (put it in the oven at 350 degree), & another trick I've found is to (while hot) touch it with a piece of Dry Ice, it will shrink & hopefully loosen up.

AntiqueSledMan.
Afraid I've exhausted the day and my toolkit trying to remove this little guy. The nipple and clean-out screw are both truly and well stuck! Ended up ripping off the... socket? end of my nipple wrench as it couldn't take the torque. I'm going to try my local gunsmith and see if we can't save this old girl!
 

Semper_Smokey

32 Cal
Joined
Jan 24, 2020
Messages
28
Reaction score
10
Just wanted to give a huge thanks to Grenadier1758 for the lead on that socket wrench. After soaking for days in WD-40 and then in Breaker penetrating oil, I still ended up just breaking my little hand nipple wrench. Got some Kroil + this ratcheting wrench Grenadier1758 recommened, and it popped right off! Time to make some smoke!!
 

Shotgunblast

32 Cal
Joined
Oct 12, 2014
Messages
2
Reaction score
0
My investarms 50 cal purchased in 1989 is the chrome lined barrel with a maple montecarlo stock. Nipple thread size is 6×.75mm.
 

renegadehunter

32 Cal.
Joined
Oct 29, 2014
Messages
292
Reaction score
111
Location
Idaho
Glad you got the nipple out! I simply put a small amount of anti-seize on the threads when I reinstall mine and barely...and I mean barely...snug it when I put it back in. Always comes out just fine after a day of shooting.
The "clean out screw" on my Renegade has been stuck ever since I got the rifle. It kinda bugged me for a while and I was going to have it drilled out, but then after a couple of shooting sessions and cleaning with the bucket of soapy water method I realized it didn't seem to need to come out for anything. It has been several years now and I have not needed it to come out at any time for any reason.
 

Griz44Mag

54 Cal.
MLF Supporter
Joined
Nov 12, 2017
Messages
1,936
Reaction score
910
Location
Republic of Texas, District of Krum
I will admit I have removed a "clean out" screw on several occasions, but not to clean them.
I get a lot of chatters and attention diversions while at the range on busy days, resulting in at least 2 rounds of dry-balling.
Removing the screw allows easy addition of powder to dislodge a stuck ball.
Since those days, I have implemented a policy of bench location of powder measure and ball started to follow the loading sequence. It works and has eliminated the potential of that particular loading error.
 

F.G. Ford

62 Cal.
MLF Supporter
Joined
Apr 3, 2005
Messages
2,762
Reaction score
79
Hi Folks,
First of all I want to thank all who are sharing their knowledge on this forum. I joined up a little while ago and have been reading and soaking up as much info as possible. I got the black powder bug about 3 years ago, and have been enjoying shooting replica black powder revolvers. I own several Pietta, 1858 Remington 44 cal.replica revolvers, a Euro-Arms Rogers & Spencer (my favorite) and a Ruger ROA. I've also owned a Colt Walker and a Spiller & Burr and I just recently got a new Diablo 12 gauge, double barrel, shot gun pistol (I know its not historically correct but what a hoot!!).

Yesterday on GunBroker, I bought an Investarms, 50 Cal.rifle with a 23 " barrel, for $195 (already equipped with what appear to be Lyman rear and front peep sights-which these 67 year old eyes will certainly appreciate). I have read very good things about Investarms rifles on this forum, and, having been born in Italy, I am also a bit biased :)

Rifle is in the mail and I don't have it yet, so I don't know which model or serial it is yet.
Loading & caring for a muzzle loader rifle is apparently a bit different than revolvers. I am mostly going to be punching paper for fun, so I'm thinking probably will be shooting mostly round balls.

I am starting to stock up on some supplies, so my question is this: there seem to be two different sizes for 50 caliber:.490 & .495 round balls. Which thickness patch goes with which ball? Also, I am ordering a hickory bench ramrod: which thickness wood rod should I get for a 50 cal? I was thinking perhaps the 7/16 thickness would be stiffest and sturdiest or is that too big for a 50 caliber? I have plenty of different powders (Swiss, Old Einesford, Hogdon's 777, and even a couple bottles of Black MZ.) I much prefer the Swiss but there are only two places to get it here in AZ.

I will also need to get some ignition caps: which are the most reliable and which size for an Investarms? Also, is there anybody who makes a conversion nipple to be able to use 209 primers for the Investarms side lock? and lastly, is there is an owner's manual available on line for these rifles?

Any information or advice is much appreciated
Thanks you very much &
Keep yer powder dry!
JP

Nice find on the Interarms rifle.
Living in the USA makes you fortunate in many ways, but one of the great options is that you can buy black powder right to your door. If you buy five pounds or more you save money and incorporate hazmat charges split over the five pounds.
I would buy ten pounds and save more.
You will get about 100 shots to the pound, so ten pounds will give you about a 1000 shots, yes that is a lot of shooting, but you will not have to go shopping for powder, and you will have more than enough powder to work up a good load.
I am a serious shooter and have always bought as much powder as I could afford and NEVER regretted it.
For .50 cal. 3F powder is good.
RWS caps are the best you can buy, lots of power and they work.
I have bought CCI, Remington, and Dixie caps, all with varying success, most not good.
RWS works! Buy a full ten cans of caps ( 1000 caps )
Yes the above will cost you about the same that you paid for the gun, but you will not be looking for caps and powder for a few years. That has to be worth something.
And also the Dutch Shoultz shooting guide is well worth the investment.
Fred
 

Gary K

Pilgrim
Joined
Dec 31, 2019
Messages
1
Reaction score
0
Hi Guys. I'm a newbie. And have no idea where to go to post a question. I was hoping someone knew the distance to place the rear sling stud? I finally got all the parts to finish my mint 1980 TC Hawkin. I found tangent rear sight and front globe, and the brass TC sling set new in package. I just am not sure how far from the heel to mount the stud. I have the Uncle Mike's stud installation kit for other rifles I have done it does a clean job. I'd love to put that rear stud in the e act spot it goes. I know thimble goes on first spot. I cant believe I found the brass set. and my luck bidding and get NOS target long range tang sight set. It's the gun I could not afford 40 years ago. now I'm old, and I can afford to try to get my bucket list done. I love and killed many deer with my inline Encore custom shop gun but.. it seems I get older and want to switch to the way I used to hunt even a stick bow now. thanks all for your patients with me I have no clue what I'm doing here.. Gary in NH
 

renegadehunter

32 Cal.
Joined
Oct 29, 2014
Messages
292
Reaction score
111
Location
Idaho
To start a new thread to ask questions you'll want to click on the orange "post new thread" tab. Rather than clicking on a subject that is already going, look at the top right of the screen after you choose a main topic section...such as this "Percussion" section...for the above mention orange tab. It is located a little left and down from the "Search" box. It will ask for a subject for the thread and then have a larger spot below that for you to write your question.

You are much more picky than I in wanting to get the bottom sling stud in the "exact spot it goes". I would pick a spot about 6" up from the heel, center it carefully, drill a pilot hole, and then put it in. If the strap of the sling doesn't have any adjustment, then that might play into where you want to put it for the room needed for bulky hunting clothes.
 
2

Latest posts

Group Builder
Top