"Secret loads"? The known has a price....

Discussion in 'General Muzzleloading' started by Sparkitoff, May 18, 2019.

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  1. May 18, 2019 #1

    Sparkitoff

    Sparkitoff

    Sparkitoff

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    I have noticed something interesting that has been recurring in my search for various muzzleloaders. That is, the person selling it does not offer their load data. I have heard "its shoots round-ball" or "it shoots this ok but that better" (when referring to projectile). I've also heard "you'll have to work up a load". Rarely will someone give the load data. Why?

    I think if someone took the time and effort, not to mention expense of developing a load for a particular gun that information should be passed to the new owner. I did buy a rifle from a man that told me specifically 3 loads that the rifle seemed to like best and he provided photos of a target shot with each load and the other relevant info. I paid more than I wanted to because this information was valuable to me. When the gun (a rifle in this case) arrived I opened the box, checked it over and loaded as he said. Bang. Bullseye.

    On two occasions I loaned a muzzleloader to someone going on a hunt. I showed them what to do, tested their competence and let them take it on their hunt. Of course I provided the exact load information that the gun is sighted in with. Why wouldn't I?

    I understand if you are a vendor or retailer and have not fired the gun personally. However, in a private sale what is the pros and cons of sharing load data? My guns have from 5 to 40 hours of work in them for load development and sight-in plus the expense that comes along with that. If I sell one I am going to pass on the exact load it is sighted in with and what I found to work best in it. If the new owner wants to experiment that's his/her prerogative.

    For my uses I don't want a gun that needs a maximum charge every time to achieve best accuracy if it is going to recoil more than I am comfortable with. If I want a PRB shooter I don't want one that works best with a conical. If I have an abundance of .490 for example, I'd prefer a rifle that will use them - not .495's.

    Am I missing something? If a potential buyer asks, wouldn't you give them all the info you have?
    Thanks in advance for the opinions and suggestions.
     
  2. May 18, 2019 #2

    THBailey

    THBailey

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    Might could be they are selling because they could never get it to shoot good? :rolleyes:
     
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  3. May 18, 2019 #3

    Ranger Boyd

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    Or, I think more likely, they never really took the time to work up the "optimal" load. I own 7 flinters and I would be hard pressed to tell you the "best" load in any of them. The best I could probably do is tell you what I have chosen to use and how has performed for me and under what conditions.
     
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  4. May 18, 2019 #4

    hanshi

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    Good reply, Ranger Boyd. That pretty much describes the approach I took.
     
  5. May 18, 2019 #5

    bang

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    Yeah I think in general if they don't tell you they don't know. Then there are those that tell you but it doesn't perform, again they don't know. Think it's best to carefully inspect it and just work up your own loads.
     
  6. May 18, 2019 #6

    Patocazador

    Patocazador

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    Or they may not wish to subject themselves to a potential lawsuit when the possibly ignorant buyer misunderstood the directions and wound up with an injury.
    It never ceases to amaze me how stupid some people can be.
     
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  7. May 18, 2019 #7

    Grenadier1758

    Grenadier1758

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    Then there's differences in the way one puts the rifle to the shoulder, places the hand on the stock, puts the check to the butt stock or sets the ball on the powder. the load data may result in similar performance to the original developed load or more development may be required.
     
  8. May 18, 2019 #8

    SDSmlf

    SDSmlf

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    Don’t know about legal concerns, but agree with ignorant buyer statement. Guy I worked with shot in—lines, but his kid wanted a ‘real’ muzzleloader like Jeremiah Johnson. The father talked me out of a little CVA, believe it was called a Frontier. Had used it as a loner or kid gun, but it shot surprising well with a couple of different loads. Provided written specific instructions and offered to go shooting with them, but the guy had it covered. He comes to work a couple days later and tells me the gun would only go off half the time they couldn’t hit a thing with the it. I could tell he was upset with me. Well we all go to the range and the kid tells me the ‘bullets’ are sideways if they hit the target at 25 yards. Told him the term was ‘keyhole’, but round balls can’t do that. He looked at me funny. His father tells me, see I told you. Even though I provide balls and patch material, they were shooting sabots because that is what the father used. Father also told me that he read where round balls just wounded game and there was no point in using them. And they were using Pyrodox pellets because..... Anyway, wiped the bore, loaded the gun with my powder and clay pigeons weren’t safe at 50 yards with the kid shooting. Then I told him JJ used a 50 caliber round ball, just like the one he was now shooting and told him to get hold of me if he had any questions. Kid got a couple of deer with gun, and last I heard was a US Marine. The father is still ignorant as far as I know.
     
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  9. May 18, 2019 #9

    Loyalist Dave

    Loyalist Dave

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    The last rifle that I bought I got patching material, round ball, and a range book showing how the pet load was worked up.

    LD
     
  10. May 19, 2019 #10

    Sun City

    Sun City

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    And....if the truth be known 100% of well built rifles are capable of more accuracy than can be derived from any owner thereof!!
     
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  11. May 19, 2019 #11

    fleener

    fleener

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    You people must be sick if you are selling and not buying?

    I sold two personal rifles last year. I gave the buyers each the specific load that the I used in the rifles.

    Fleener
     
  12. May 22, 2019 #12

    renegadehunter

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    I would be happy to share my load info if I ever sold my rifle...not likely to ever happen since I only own the one so far, but anyway.

    I can think of some different reasons that someone wouldn't share their load data.
    1. They are the type that shot and hit a paper plate at 25 yards and that was good enough for them. Embarrassed to share the load to another shooter that would discover how horrible of a load they settled on.
    2. They are the type that doesn't like to make it easy for the next person. Either they feel that they put in the time to figure it out and everyone should have to do it that way too, or they want to keep their precious secret of how they made the gun shoot tiny groups (these types secretly hope you come to them complaining about the horrible groups the gun shoots and they can then take it and put them all into one hole while you watch).
    3. They haven't shot them in a long time and can't remember what load they used in it...especially if they have several of them.
    4. The original owner passed away and a relative is selling it.
     
  13. May 22, 2019 #13

    Ranger Boyd

    Ranger Boyd

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    Or,
    5. They like hunting critters, shooting practical courses, and taking woods walks more than punching paper in 5 grain increments from a bench and recording the results in a spiral notebook? I know it's hard for some to imagine...
     
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  14. May 22, 2019 #14

    Zonie

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    When I sold the first long rifle I ever made, I spent over half an hour explaining how to replace the flint, how to load and how to prime the pan to the man who bought it. I also included everything in a written letter including the best powder/ball/patch combination to use.

    He patiently listened to all of this and thanked me before saying, "Oh. I will never shoot this rifle. It's going above the mantle on my fireplace. :(:(

    Of all the guns I've ever sold, I regret selling that one, not because it was gone but because it would never be used for what it was made for.

    For those interested, it was a .45 caliber, 13/16" straight octagon barrel with a Durs Egg flintlock mounted in a #3 curly maple "Lehigh" stock from Pecatonica River. The furniture was all brass.
     
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  15. May 23, 2019 #15

    Shot deer

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    But, you never know. Maybe one day he'll think "I'll try to shoot that gun and see how it goes." And then he won't want to stop.

    And.....

    Thanks! I was wondering before I read it!
     
  16. May 23, 2019 #16

    Treestalker

    Treestalker

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    Somebody (George Carlin?) said consider about how stupid the average person is, then realize that half of the people are stupider than that!
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2019
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