Thompson Center Muzzleloaders Pros & Cons

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The earlier ones were very well made, the later ones not so much. The last one I bought new in the box had the lock so poorly inletted that they filled the inlet with hot melt glue and pressed the lock into place. The hot melt glue fell out the first time I pulled the lock.

The biggest con of these guns is that about 75% of the people who owned them didn't know how to clean them properly, a TC without some barrel pitting is a rare gun indeed.

A lot end up like my friend's rifle; this is it prior to a trip to Bobby Hoyt for a rebore.

roached out barrel.jpg
 

Banjoman

50 Cal.
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I have a .50 caliber Thompson Center Hawken that I really like even if it doesn’t look like a real Hawken. It looks good to me. The only thing I don’t like is that you can’t cap the nipple in the half cock position. The hammer sits too close to the nipple in half cock.

I recently helped a friend clean and set up his Thompson Center White Mountain Carbine. I told him if he decided he didn’t like that gun I would take it off his hands. It was a pleasure to shoot.
 

dylan84

40 Cal
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Just got a Renegade 50 flint. So far having fun with it. Nice handy rifle. Hoping to get time tomorrow to shoot some groups. As others have said the rifling is surprisingly shallow compared to my Browning Hawken-like-rifle.
 

ord sgt

.58 cal
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My first muzzle loader was a T/C Hawken, .45 calibre percussion kit. I still have it, I used it as a learning tool. I knew of no one who shot them, so I learned from the T/C instruction book. Won some bp shooting matches with that rifle before expanding my collection.
 
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The TC rifling was specifically engineered to work the way TC wanted it to so I'd have to argue with success to say they did it wrong. I was of the opinion that they didn't put a fast enough twist in their .50 calibers but then that gentleman from Idaho posted his results from shooting hundreds of yards.
Live and learn!😂
 
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I was maybe 16 or 17 when I asked a gun store clerk, we called 'em clerks not associates at the time, to show me the Thompson Center Hawken which sat behind the counter, I was enamored. The clerk became a salesman when he explained how the muzzleloader I held was far and away better than any original. Oh the quality of steel, coil spring lock, design, parts interchangeably, exceptional finish and so on, surely any mountain man would gladly trade whatever shooting iron he, mountain men had but one pronoun in their era, carried for a Thompson Center Hawken. It took a couple more years before I'd take one home but 48 years later I'm sure glad I did, it still shoots good.

I get the custom gun thing, I was bitten by that bug long ago, I love the ones I'm fortunate enough to own. This being said a well cared for Thompson Center "traditional" muzzleloader is a pretty fine gun.
 
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Have one in 45 cal. very dependable rifle. It dont get shot much anymore since I have moved on to bigger bore custom built rifles. Good starter for the a new BP shooter, and can be found in pawn shops for reasonable prices at times since most hunters have moved on to in-lines. Not great but then not bad either a generic gun playing on the edge of history with movies like Jerima Johnson and the mountain men.
 
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My first muzzle loader was a T/C Hawken, .45 calibre percussion kit. I still have it, I used it as a learning tool. I knew of no one who shot them, so I learned from the T/C instruction book. Won some bp shooting matches with that rifle before expanding my collection.
Mine was/is a .50 Hawken. I still have it and always will. I'm winning with the Renegade I rescued a few years ago. No need to change or "upgrade". Although I do have a custom full stock Hawken flintlock slow twist. I haven't mastered it yet. It's hard to leave the TC's home when targets are being scored.

The TC rifling was specifically engineered to work the way TC wanted it to so I'd have to argue with success to say they did it wrong. I was of the opinion that they didn't put a fast enough twist in their .50 calibers but then that gentleman from Idaho posted his results from shooting hundreds of yards.
Live and learn!😂
"Specifiacally engineered"... yes. However, just because something is specifically engineered doesn't mean it is the best of engineering when it comes down to longevity and/or results.

What barrel(s) is Idaho Lewis using for those hundreds of yards shots? You do understand that he switches barrels to fast twist, and often longer, to shoot those conicals out to 3 & 4 hundred yards, don't you?

I was maybe 16 or 17 when I asked a gun store clerk, we called 'em clerks not associates at the time, to show me the Thompson Center Hawken which sat behind the counter, I was enamored. The clerk became a salesman when he explained how the muzzleloader I held was far and away better than any original. Oh the quality of steel, coil spring lock, design, parts interchangeably, exceptional finish and so on, surely any mountain man would gladly trade whatever shooting iron he, mountain men had but one pronoun in their era, carried for a Thompson Center Hawken. It took a couple more years before I'd take one home but 48 years later I'm sure glad I did, it still shoots good.

I get the custom gun thing, I was bitten by that bug long ago, I love the ones I'm fortunate enough to own. This being said a well cared for Thompson Center "traditional" muzzleloader is a pretty fine gun.
Sounds a lot like my story! I bought it on the spot and learned on the fly... still have it today.
 
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I have a kit in .54 cal and a Seneca in .36 cal that were acquired in the mid late 80's. I will never get rid of either of them for personal reasons. They are both very good shooters but neither of them gets shot enough. None of my guns get shot enough as there are so many to shoot that they must take turns.
 
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I’ve got a few myself, my first TC Hawken I bought used and sold it to my brother when I felt I needed to go flint route instead with a GPR, which was converted to percussion when I gave up on flint. I gave that to my stepson. Next .50 TC Renegade I gave to my brothers oldest boy. Next TC Hawken .50 went to my brothers second boy (his daughter got my Pedersoli .45 Kentucky cap lock). Next TC Hawken .54 cap went to my son, and his girlfriend got a .50 New Englander caplock. I still have my hand carved .54 Plains rifle (started life as a Renegade) and a converted late Lancaster .50.
I like the TC guns but only my Plains rifle fits me absolutely perfect.
Just as a sidebar, I also have an unmentionable .50 muzzleloader for non traditional projectiles with iron sights, after giving two others to my nephews too. All TC’s. My cousin got my .50 GPH also. Jeeze, now I’m rambling, sorry….
Walk
 
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I recall how the Hawkens from the 70’s and early 80’s had spectacular, highly figured walnut stocks. Pretty much all the ones from late 80’s on had very straight-grained wood, unless you got one of their limited run models, like the Silver Elite.
 
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