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Bigpete

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Back to the drawing board apparently. New sights,new nipples,the previous owners powder of choice,still no consistency.
HOWEVER.
I did notice that I was able to twist the barrel around about 1mm each way with the barrel pin inserted one way ( the way it was shooting the groups) but not with it inserted the other way. So who knows,maybe that's causing the issues. Either way,I'm beginning to get royally peeved at this flipping rifle. I can shoot better groups with an unpatched round ball in my old Grundmanm than what this thing will do !
 

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What range were you shooting at? It’s really unusual that a blackpowder arm can’t be made to shoot reasonably well. Have you collected patches from this last outing? Also, if it’s possible, I never make more than one change at a time. Install the wedge whichever way prevents movement. Pick 40 grains, a round ball, thick patch, under ball patch, swab between loads! (Use Heet gas line drier and pop a cap or two after your dry patches.) Use a solid bench rest and shoot every round as if it’s the last thing you’ll ever do…
 

Bigpete

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Ok,so the breech hook to tang fit is super sloppy,and I've found a reasonable amount of info stating that movement in that area potentially is bad for accuracy,so I'll be looking at ways to get rid of that movement
 
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Ok,so the breech hook to tang fit is super sloppy,and I've found a reasonable amount of info stating that movement in that area potentially is bad for accuracy,so I'll be looking at ways to get rid of that movement
You might tighten that up with Acraglas or some other epoxy. Perhaps shim the hook and solder the shim in place?
 

Bigpete

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I just tried something that I read Skychief did,that is,shim it with some flattened lead. It certainly tightened it all up,zero movement in there now !
 

Bigpete

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What range were you shooting at? It’s really unusual that a blackpowder arm can’t be made to shoot reasonably well. Have you collected patches from this last outing? Also, if it’s possible, I never make more than one change at a time. Install the wedge whichever way prevents movement. Pick 40 grains, a round ball, thick patch, under ball patch, swab between loads! (Use Heet gas line drier and pop a cap or two after your dry patches.) Use a solid bench rest and shoot every round as if it’s the last thing you’ll ever do…
I was shooting at 25m over a solid rest and taking my time. The only thing I wasn't doing that you've suggested is swab between shots.
 
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I will be following this to see if/how you get this resolved. I've had 3 M/L that I spent alot of time and money on, and still could not get them to shoot. I did not know about the worn nipple issue, and will look into that. My opinion is that (and I own this) M/L are like CF/RF rifles in that the velocity and chamber pressure SD (standard deviation) has to be as low as possible before you can expect any kind of accuracy. That's why the focus on consistancy of betwen shot swabing, accurate and consistant powder measure, and consistant seating pressure. Evaluating the patches is one step, and it tells part of the story. Lastly, It took me awhile to realize how different people are in their use of the word "accurate". Check out the post from yesterday called "inconsistancy". I side with the OP. A small bore (ie small game) rifle that won't put every shot into an inch at 25yds is a toy, not a tool. Last I checked a squirrel's head isn't much bigger than an inch. If I pull the trigger and miss I want to KNOW it was me, and not my rifle because it can only be relied upon to put a ball in a 2 1/2" circle at 30 yards. Not important but one of the rifles that would not shoot was an early 50 cal T/C White Mountain Carbine with a 1:20 twist. You couldn't stuff enough black powder down that carbine length barrel to get that thing to shoot with any projectile. I know, I still have a shelf loaded with EVERY 50 cal projectile I could lay hands on, and probably burned $150 in powder. And no, it wasn't the nipple because I tried every #11 and musket nipple I could buy. Bill
 
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I will be following this to see if/how you get this resolved. I've had 3 M/L that I spent alot of time and money on, and still could not get them to shoot. I did not know about the worn nipple issue, and will look into that. My opinion is that (and I own this) M/L are like CF/RF rifles in that the velocity and chamber pressure SD (standard deviation) has to be as low as possible before you can expect any kind of accuracy. That's why the focus on consistancy of betwen shot swabing, accurate and consistant powder measure, and consistant seating pressure. Evaluating the patches is one step, and it tells part of the story. Lastly, It took me awhile to realize how different people are in their use of the word "accurate". Check out the post from yesterday called "inconsistancy". I side with the OP. A small bore (ie small game) rifle that won't put every shot into an inch at 25yds is a toy, not a tool. Last I checked a squirrel's head isn't much bigger than an inch. If I pull the trigger and miss I want to KNOW it was me, and not my rifle because it can only be relied upon to put a ball in a 2 1/2" circle at 30 yards. Not important but one of the rifles that would not shoot was an early 50 cal T/C White Mountain Carbine with a 1:20 twist. You couldn't stuff enough black powder down that carbine length barrel to get that thing to shoot with any projectile. I know, I still have a shelf loaded with EVERY 50 cal projectile I could lay hands on, and probably burned $150 in powder. And no, it wasn't the nipple because I tried every #11 and musket nipple I could buy. Bill
Some guns just won’t shoot… that being said, with decent bore, appropriate loads and projectiles and excellent sights I do believe it’s the exception rather than the rule. One of the biggest advantages ML’s have is the set triggers. With practice it’s possible to achieve excellent results with heavy or creepy triggers but it’s a lot easier with the light but predictable set triggers.
 
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Some guns just won’t shoot… that being said, with decent bore, appropriate loads and projectiles and excellent sights I do believe it’s the exception rather than the rule. One of the biggest advantages ML’s have is the set triggers. With practice it’s possible to achieve excellent results with heavy or creepy triggers but it’s a lot easier with the light but predictable set triggers.
It's funny you bring that up. One of my pet peeves are crappy triggers. It's not that I can't shoot with them, it's more like why! There's alot of solutions for them.
 

Bigpete

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I will be following this to see if/how you get this resolved. I've had 3 M/L that I spent alot of time and money on, and still could not get them to shoot. I did not know about the worn nipple issue, and will look into that. My opinion is that (and I own this) M/L are like CF/RF rifles in that the velocity and chamber pressure SD (standard deviation) has to be as low as possible before you can expect any kind of accuracy. That's why the focus on consistancy of betwen shot swabing, accurate and consistant powder measure, and consistant seating pressure. Evaluating the patches is one step, and it tells part of the story. Lastly, It took me awhile to realize how different people are in their use of the word "accurate". Check out the post from yesterday called "inconsistancy". I side with the OP. A small bore (ie small game) rifle that won't put every shot into an inch at 25yds is a toy, not a tool. Last I checked a squirrel's head isn't much bigger than an inch. If I pull the trigger and miss I want to KNOW it was me, and not my rifle because it can only be relied upon to put a ball in a 2 1/2" circle at 30 yards. Not important but one of the rifles that would not shoot was an early 50 cal T/C White Mountain Carbine with a 1:20 twist. You couldn't stuff enough black powder down that carbine length barrel to get that thing to shoot with any projectile. I know, I still have a shelf loaded with EVERY 50 cal projectile I could lay hands on, and probably burned $150 in powder. And no, it wasn't the nipple because I tried every #11 and musket nipple I could buy. Bill
At the moment its not even a viable big game rifle,not when it shoots this bad. Thanks for backing me up. Seems most people just assume I can't shoot or don't know how to load a muzzleloader. If it was merely fiddling with the load a bit then that would be simple,however its spraying balls around the place like a shotgun and that just ain't normal nor acceptable.
 
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At the moment its not even a viable big game rifle,not when it shoots this bad. Thanks for backing me up. Seems most people just assume I can't shoot or don't know how to load a muzzleloader. If it was merely fiddling with the load a bit then that would be simple,however its spraying balls around the place like a shotgun and that just ain't normal nor acceptable.
Here's a couple of suggestions FWIW.
1. I use Dollar Store rubbing alcohol (isopropyl 70% or 91%) on my between shot swabs, on those round white flannel cleaning patches. I soak the patch and then sqeeze out as much as I can (think consistency), run it in/out, flip it over, then in/out again. Leaves it squeaky clean, evaporates and leaves nothing behind. Now I know my barrel is in the exact same condition for each shot.
2. I think consistent powder charges are important. Many things can effect this and the smaller the bore the bigger the factor it plays. Example: fill your powder measure and then tap the bottom lightly on a table - it will settle at least 2-3 grains. Not a big deal in a .62cal smoothie, significant in a .32 cal squirrel rifle. That is part of why I haven't had good luck with spit patches - too little and you get inconsistent inter-shot swabbing, too much and you can damp the fowling in the breech or some of your new powder charge.
3. I seat a wonder wad on top of my powder, and try to use consistent seating pressure. Some days I think it might be a waste of money, other days not so much.
4. I have found some rifles like a tight fitting patch/ball combo, some shoot better with a looser fit. My .56 cal smooth bore shoots best with a bare - bore sized ball. Shoots one hole groups @ 50yds all day long. Put the ball in a patch, any patch/ball combo and it shoots 2-3" groups.They say it shouldn't, but it does.
5. When seating your patch and ball it should feel exactly the same every time. No glitches or tight spots etc. If it feels different you can count on a flier.
6. Ball seating pressure plays an important part. I think it was Sam Fadala that used to recommend a tool (no longer made) that worked like a torque wrench - it clicked when you put a certain amount of pressure on it. You can achieve the same by putting the butt on a bathroom scale while seating the ball. Kind of a visual confirmation of what your hand is feeling. If you question how much impact this has, try shooting three identical shots - with radically different seating pressres.
7. When testing I sit on my porch on a stool and clamp the weapon in my JawHorse. Rules out most operator error.
8. Find some of your shot patches and post pictures here. The members can give a lot of feedback based on what they look like.
9. Check the barrel over closely. Inspect muzzle with a magnifying glass, the barrel crown is as important as on any other type of firearm. Drop something shiny down the bore and shine a light down the barrel to look for problems. Fit a very tight lubed patch on a cleaning rod and run it down the barrel to check for tight spots. Some factory barrels have tight spots at the dovetail points.
Good luck, I'll see if I can think of anything else, Bill

Went back and re-read whole post. I see you have a lot of prior experience so pick and choose from the above. Maybe something will rear its head and start you down the path to figuring this out
 
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My T/C Cherokee's hammer blew back with a 30 grain load and the Minnie Ball slugs right out of the box (after I completed the kit), and that was the T/C load data that came with the rifle. When I switched over to the PRB 20 grains was excellent, 30 grains wasn't needed and still blew the hammer back. This is with a new nipple. The Renegade I purchased new in 1987 shot 80 grains of FFg well, but the hammer blew back at 90 grains of FFg. Again, these 50 caliber loads were from the T/C manual that came with the rifle. I finally switched to FFFg in the Renegade at 65 grains and never looked back, Conical or PRB.

Hey, BigPete, if you use FFF....... JUST JOKING! I read your powder limitations in the first post, LOL. Hope you get that pretty little rifle all lined out before too long. Is the barrel needing a good scrubbing, possibly a lapping to smooth the bore?

Nor'easter, the T/C 355 grain Maxihunter would not group in the 50 caliber White Mountain Carbine to save my life, though very accurate in all my other 50 cals. The 320 grain Lee REAL Bullet was the combo that allowed the 1/20" twist to shoot accurately, relatively speaking. Good enough to deer hunt to 100 yards. Again, with 65 grains of FFFg, IIRC. That was one T/C Mzlder that is no longer in the arsenal.
 
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My T/C Cherokee's hammer blew back with a 30 grain load and the Minnie Ball slugs right out of the box (after I completed the kit), and that was the T/C load data that came with the rifle. When I switched over to the PRB 20 grains was excellent, 30 grains wasn't needed and still blew the hammer back. This is with a new nipple. The Renegade I purchased new in 1987 shot 80 grains of FFg well, but the hammer blew back at 90 grains of FFg. Again, these 50 caliber loads were from the T/C manual that came with the rifle. I finally switched to FFFg in the Renegade at 65 grains and never looked back, Conical or PRB.

Hey, BigPete, if you use FFF....... JUST JOKING! I read your powder limitations in the first post, LOL. Hope you get that pretty little rifle all lined out before too long. Is the barrel needing a good scrubbing, possibly a lapping to smooth the bore?

Nor'easter, the T/C 355 grain Maxihunter would not group in the 50 caliber White Mountain Carbine to save my life, though very accurate in all my other 50 cals. The 320 grain Lee REAL Bullet was the combo that allowed the 1/20" twist to shoot accurately, relatively speaking. Good enough to deer hunt to 100 yards. Again, with 65 grains of FFFg, IIRC. That was one T/C Mzlder that is no longer in the arsenal.
We had a house fire and it badly pitted the barrel. I'm almost sad about it? Been looking for a replacement barrel that will fit/can be made to fit. Kinda miffed that I can buy a used WMC for close to the price they are asking for barrels. I know it's shamefull but I really don't want/need any more gun parts/projects laying around. I heard the REAL bullets would shoot in it, but when do you stop pouring good money after bad? I did find another combo that worked - UMAREX ARX speedbelt 180gr over 80gr 3f - definately minute of deer to 100yd and very flat trajectory. But then, if I really wanted to shoot a whizz-bang ray-gun why go with a front stuffer?
IMG_20211218_210001145.jpg
 
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Just recently bought a .36 T/C Hawken,and I'm having the devils own trouble getting it to shoot good groups. I've only got access to Wano 2f,and I'm using home cast Lyman .350 round ball. To get it to shoot any good at all I'm having to use 70gn of 2f and a 20 thou patch,but that's blowing the hammer back to half cock and is a real pain in the butt to load after 2 shots. 35gn of 2f just will not shoot at all,we're talking 4 or 5 inch groups at 25m. I don't have ready access to myriads of different powders and projectiles like you guys in the USA do,so I'm adamant to make it work. My next try I'll be using a flask that measures 21gn per load,and trying some 3mm thick leather wads between the powder and ball,as doing that has helped in the past. Does anyone else have one of these rifles,and if so,what load do you use and did you have heaps of trouble like I seem to be ? I'm not new to this,my 2 .50 cals will shoot 1½ to 2" at 50m when I'm shooting well,I even get my 12g Grundmann shotgun to shoot reasonably well at 25m,so I'm really perplexed as to why this 36 cal is giving me trouble. Help please !
BIGPETE , i have been shooting a T/C .36 Seneca for about 3 years and have no problem with accuracy ! Thing i noticed first , was your powder charge , about double what it should be . Next , was your choice (2F) , try some 3F in a small caliber. In all truth i have switched to "TripleF , 3F sub powder in my .32 , .36 , and .45 cal rifles !! And no , i have nothing against "black" , except in my area there is hardly ANY supply support for muzzle loader shooters, at the top of Maine . Don't know how much this may affect accuracy , but , do you shoot your home spun round-balls with the sprue sticking out ??? When i cast , no matter the caliber , i have an old file clamped in my vise to drag the sprue over to remove it . May not help accuracy , but sure does not hurt it ! Hope this helped !
 
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Looks like a hawken to me. Probably a Seneca but it doesn't have that written on the barrel so I just call it a hawken
T/Cs first few runs did not have the "Seneca" stamping on the barrel . I owned one of them at one time , before i gained an appreciation of T/C quality ! Now i own two of them with stamping .
 

Bigpete

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T/Cs first few runs did not have the "Seneca" stamping on the barrel . I owned one of them at one time , before i gained an appreciation of T/C quality ! Now i own two of them with stamping .
Yes,thank you,this was discussed earlier in this thread
 

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