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PA Hunter Carbine - "New" used first range day

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36 Cl.
Jan 18, 2022
Reaction score
Lancaster County, PA
The much loved and maligned in one. I recently found a used PA Hunter carbine at Fort Chambers and for a guy who is never lucky, I hit the lottery that day. I stopped in and was looking over the rack and saw a TC carbine profile and asked if it was a White Mountain or a PA Hunter. Turned out to be a White Mountain. Jack asked if I was interested in a PA Hunter and I said that was my preference and I'd been looking for some time. He said, "Well, just got one in yesterday, it's still upstairs, not even cleaned it up". It went home with me :)

I have a model with the QLA and an off-center touch hole. I prefer the set triggers but this single is not too heavy. Turns out none of that mattered. I fired three-shot groups using a .490 ball and .015 patches. Powder was 60-65-70 grains 3F (Goex) for three shots each. Wet patch and two dry between shots.

The impacts are below at 25 yards, sights left as they were. It turned out that the sights were pretty much dead on for 50 yards as I later found out.

After the 25-yard groups, I was out of pre-measured 3F powder. Having a marked vile for 70 grains 3F, I poured in 2F to the line and loaded the .490 balls over a .018 patch to see how that would load. They were snug and I am going to do all future shooting with the .018s.

I proceeded to take three shots at the 50-yard gongs. I suppose they're 8-inch, 6-inch and 4-inch diameters. I hit all three pretty much in the center... heck I was thrilled they were all swinging when the smoke cleared! I was very impressed with both the gun and myself and figure that was about as good a range day as I ever had with open sights.

I pulled a couple shots to the right and dropped one low when I had a slow ignition. Of the 12 shots, 11 were fine but I do believe the lock could/should be faster. First image shows the first three shots, 1 and 2 virtually same hole and the third low with the delayed ignition. To me it looks like 9 very dead deer...

In summary, QLA in my experience of 12 shots is a non-factor with this rifle and both .015 (Ox-Yoke) and .018 (old TCs) were fine. Powder volume did not matter too much but the 70-grain 3F load with the .018 patch is where I'm going to start the fine-tuning.


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