Tenessee Mountain Rifle

Muzzleloading Forum

Help Support Muzzleloading Forum:

shaman

36 Cl.
Joined
Jan 13, 2022
Messages
63
Reaction score
108
Location
Browningsville, KY
Honorable #2 son, Moose, showed up yesterday bearing the fruits of a trip to the pawn shop. Among his acquisitions was a Dixie Gun Works Tenessee Mountain Flinter in .32. It appears to be a Poor Boy model.
It isn't in any way what you'd call pristine, but it appears to be serviceable. He's only dealt with modern inlines before. This is his first foray into old school tech, and his intention is to turn it loose on the squirrels this fall.

I'm just guessing, but I'd think a Lee .311 mold and some .010" pillow ticking would get him there. Anyone have any experience with casting for one of these critters?

The Lee .311 is something like 45 grains in weight. The rule of thumb says 45 grains of powder would get the ball safely out the bore. What sort of loads do y'all use?

One thing that intrigued me was the circular hole in the center of the stock. What was its function?

wm_12689148.jpg


What sort of wood might that be? It's similar to the one in the pic.
 

Notchy Bob

58 Cal.
Joined
Apr 6, 2014
Messages
2,085
Reaction score
3,716
Location
Florida
The hole is called a "tallow hole" and is intended for holding patch grease. Like a "patchbox" but with no cover.

I recall reading some time back that these rifles were made in Japan by Miroku, and they used locally-sourced Japanese cherry as stock wood. Cherry makes a nice stock.

For those really small calibers, a lot of old timers would use buckshot rather than cast balls. Accuracy can be just as good as with cast balls. I don't have a chart handy to look up the size for you. Buckshot is generally a little harder than pure lead, so you might consider that when selecting the ball size and patch thickness.

Nice rifle!

Notchy Bob
 
Joined
Nov 2, 2003
Messages
361
Reaction score
553
Location
Georgia
I have the same rifle in percussion and it’s a very accurate rifle using a .310 ball and 20 gr 3F patched with .020 pillow ticking. Casting the .310 balls goes quickly - mold fills up quick! In fact, casting .310, .400 and .445 balls is what I plan to do today!
 

Dusty_Traveler

Noisy Cricket
Joined
Jun 2, 2022
Messages
251
Reaction score
381
Location
SWARK
I, too, have this rifle. I purchased it as a percussion and have since converted to flintlock.

I have found that .310 balls and .010 patches work best in mine. If you can find a bulk jug of #1.5 buckshot, that will be much cheaper for you if you intend to shoot it a lot.

20-25gr powder charge is what I like. A .38 SPL hull works great as a quick and easy powder measure.

I filled my grease hole up with plain ol chapstik! Dual purpose in the bush!
 
Joined
Oct 9, 2004
Messages
9,022
Reaction score
7,220
Location
St. Louis, MO
@shaman, since Moose's previous muzzleloading experience was with inline products, he should be looking for real black powder, such as Schuetzen in 3fg. Substitute powders will function very poorly at best in a flintlock. The 3fg real black powder will work just fine as the pan powder. Light loads in the 15 to 20 grains are more than adequate for squirrel hunting.
 

Loyalist Dave

Cannon
Staff member
Moderator
MLF Supporter
Joined
Nov 22, 2011
Messages
12,983
Reaction score
7,914
Location
People's Republic of Maryland
One thing that intrigued me was the circular hole in the center of the stock. What was its function?

I own one in .50..

So as others have replied, that's the tallow-hole, and yes it's a sort of poor man's patch box. Some things to remember if you decide to use it for what it was made though are...,

Rendered Beef suet is better than tallow as it is the hardest of the animal grease types you will find...,

If you don't use rendered beef suet (from the fat around the cow's kidneys), other types of grease melt at lower temps, and you may end up with the stuff dripping from the hole, down the stock and onto your clothing or guncase or car upholstery....

Adding about 25%-50% melted beeswax to melted grease that you then pour into the hole and allow to harden will usually make the grease stay put, even in the hottest weather...

LD
 
Joined
Jul 22, 2021
Messages
949
Reaction score
1,717
Had one in .32 caplock, have one in .50 flint. Some were made by Miroku ( it will state on the barrel). Dixie doesn't stock many parts for these at present. Onliest trouble I had with my .32 was when I broke the ram rod by trying to hold it too far up. Removing that ramrod was memorable enough to discourage me from long barrels in small calibers with wooden ramrods.

They were offered in both finished and kit form. Dixie's gunsmith told me the screws are metric.
 
Joined
Oct 28, 2018
Messages
3,843
Reaction score
4,756
One in my stable, converted it to flint, fairly easy change. It is nice to be able to choose flint or percussion, very accurate and a proven killer on tree rats. Light powder charge with a .310 ball and 15 thousands patch. Bees wax and lard with a bit of olive oil for patch lube,nothing in the grease hole for reasons as Dave stated, bit barrel heavy but overall a very good rifle.
 
Joined
May 19, 2021
Messages
785
Reaction score
1,468
Location
The Woodlands, Texas
For those really small calibers, a lot of old timers would use buckshot rather than cast balls.
Do you mean using a single buckshot of the right size for the barrel?
Or do you mean load it like a shotgun with a bunch of buckshot?
I have a .36 that I haven't shot yet, and the buckshot was suggested to me. It sounds like a good idea, and lots cheaper than cast balls.
Thanks,
Brazos
 

Dusty_Traveler

Noisy Cricket
Joined
Jun 2, 2022
Messages
251
Reaction score
381
Location
SWARK
Do you mean using a single buckshot of the right size for the barrel?
Or do you mean load it like a shotgun with a bunch of buckshot?
I have a .36 that I haven't shot yet, and the buckshot was suggested to me. It sounds like a good idea, and lots cheaper than cast balls.
Thanks,
Brazos
Single buckshot.

The last ammo I bought for my .36 was .350" buckshot from Hornady. Way cheaper for the amount.
 

Notchy Bob

58 Cal.
Joined
Apr 6, 2014
Messages
2,085
Reaction score
3,716
Location
Florida
Do you mean using a single buckshot of the right size for the barrel?
Or do you mean load it like a shotgun with a bunch of buckshot?
I have a .36 that I haven't shot yet, and the buckshot was suggested to me. It sounds like a good idea, and lots cheaper than cast balls.
Thanks,
Brazos

Single buckshot.
Just as @Dusty_Traveler said. Buckshot are small-caliber lead round balls. You load them singly with a patch just like cast balls. My dad had muzzleloading squirrel rifles in various small calibers when I was a kid, and he had sacks of every available size of buckshot. That's what we shot in the rifles. We also used buckshot in cap and ball revolvers. Ned Roberts discussed the use of buckshot instead of cast balls in The Muzzle-Loading Cap Lock Rifle. The only caveat is that buckshot are slightly harder than pure lead round balls.

This chart from Ballistic Products shows the different sizes of buckshot:

2022-07-15.png

The "Super Buck" in the chart are swaged, and said to be of high quality.

Best regards,

Notchy Bob
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jul 15, 2019
Messages
2,843
Reaction score
3,484
Location
Tyrone , Pa. 16686
These Particular Dixie rifles , could be bought as a kit rifle , back in the 1970's. I built a number of them for resale. They had the feel , and look of a longrifle . My dentist at the time wanted to finish one himself , so I assembled it and gave it to him. He put a bunch of silver amalgam in the stock used to fill cavities in teeth. He showed me the gun after he finished , I couldn't stop laughing.It was certainly ,One of a kind. .......oldwood
 

Dusty_Traveler

Noisy Cricket
Joined
Jun 2, 2022
Messages
251
Reaction score
381
Location
SWARK
Also…If the factory lock gives him any trouble, replacement parts from Dixie are just non existent. L&R makes a good replacement lock for it. Requires a little file fitting and some additional inletting, but is a better lock than the original. They also offer a caplock if he wants to convert to percussion.
 

Latest posts

Top