What was your first Muzzleloader?

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JakeGa

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My first was a T/C Hawken in 45 caliber. I was 15 years old in 1974, and a big fan of Davy Crockett and Jeremiah Johnson. I bought it from an ACE hardware with a little help from my Uncle Lewis. He taught me the basics of loading and shooting that rifle. He also set me up with a family friend who took me to my first muzzleloader match, there by ruining me for life. I was by far the youngest shooter at the match and all the "old guys" took me under thier wing. I shot with them for several years after that. It occurs to me nowadays that those old guys were all probably younger then than my current age.

I shot deer and small game with that rifle for a long time. It was traded for the latest and greatest something or other, which I regret. At any rate, I was and have remained enamored with blackpowder firearms since.
 

Ricb

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My wife bought me a .50 T/C Hawken flintlock kit in 1978 to build while she was away from home for a year going to graduate school. I had no prior experience with muzzleloaders, but had plenty of woodworking and metalworking experience. That kit was so well designed! Spent many days draw fileing and polishing that “in-the-white barrel, and had it professionally hot blued. Still have it, and it still looks beautiful! As I recall, she paid $129 for the kit.
 

TCMonts

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Mine was a 50 caliber TC NewEngander. I think it was just what was on the shelf at the gun shop. I had thoughts of getting the 12 ga barrel for it, but ended up buying a Navy Arms branded DP Twice barreled gun.
 

Flinty Scot

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I'd almost forgotten, but (as a teenager) it was a bronze "Chinese Hand Cannon", from Dixie Gun Works. About 12 ga smooth bore.
It had a sort of tapered tail and a coned touch hole on top. Nobody bothered to tell me (& I was too green to ask or research) that they had been strapped to a stick "stock"; I just held it in the web of my heavily gloved hand (ignorant but not totally youth-stupid), with a tightly packed steel wool wad.
It yanked itself out of my hand, tearing the web of my hand a bit, and just missed my ear as it spun past.
I think I strapped it down after that, but that part of the memory is gone.
I think I still have it - somewhere.
 

Gary Russell

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I'm curious to know what was your first BlackPowder firearm? Was it a rifle or a smoothbore?

What made you want to buy it?

How experienced/knowledgeable with this sport/hobby were you, when you bought your first blackpowder
I'm curious to know what was your first BlackPowder firearm? Was it a rifle or a smoothbore?

What made you want to buy it?

How experienced/knowledgeable with this sport/hobby were you, when you bought your first BlackPowder gun?
I bought my first muzzleloader back in the early 80s it was a used Hopkins and Allen's 45 caliber under hammer that I hunted deer and Elk both was a great gun I have sense picked up a couple of 50 calibers and am in the process of building a 50 caliber Kentucky percussion
 

BP Addict

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My Biggest regret is that I never bought a Hatfield...I sincerely wish that I had...
From what I've been told, you still can. It'll just say Pedersoli instead. I missed a Hatfield on Gun Broker. I mentioned it to the late Joe Williams of the Gun Works in Springfield, Oregon. He showed me a Hatfield and then a Pedersoli Frontier Rifle. The looks and lines were identical. According to him, Pedersoli made Ted's guns.
 

R.J.Bruce

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In 1970, at age 16, after starting my first "real" job (35-39 hrs/wk afterschool) I ordered what I now know to be a semi-custom, Siler flintlock, .45 caliber, Douglas-barreled, brass-mounted, single trigger, curly maple longrifle from Golden Age Arms Company in Ohio. It cost me $330.00, and took roughly 11 months to pay for on an installment plan (lay-a-way).

While that was taking place, I was responsible forthe purchase of all my own clothes, school materials, some of my food, etc. in order to relieve some of the financial burdens of life from my parents.

During the time spent waiting for the longrifle, my friend and I purchased black powder percussion revolvers together. He a replica Remington 1858 steel frame .44 cal., and I a replica Colt 1860 .44 cal.

So, technically the percussion revolver was my first muzzleloader, although at the time of its purchase the longrifle was only a couple of months away from being delivered.

We shot the hell out of those two revolvers. Mine was notoriously inaccurate, with spent caps constantly jamming up the action. I don't think that 5 consecutive shots were ever achieved out of it. I purchased a 25lb bag of buckshot from the gunshop that sold me the revolver to shoot out of the pistol. They worked great, shaving the lead ring off the ball to create a seal in the chambers. A can of Crisco to fill the chamber on top of the seated ball, a couple of tins of percussion caps, and a 1 pound can of fffg powder from the hardware store. And we were good to go. I already had an adjustable brass powder measure purchased in anticipation for the longrifle. We later added some Cream of Wheat as filler over the powder. And, I almost forgot a nipple wrench for removing the nipples to clean.

The longrifle was both beautiful, and incredibly accurate. It was capable of 5-shot groups at 100 yards that could be covered with a quarter. Uf the shooter did their part. Which, with my lousy eyesight, was very seldom.

I was self taught. No mentor(s). A love of the past, DGW catalogs, Shooter's Bibles, Herters catalogs, the Lyman Black Powder Handbook, and Muzzle Blasts magazine was mostly what got me started.
 
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From what I've been told, you still can. It'll just say Pedersoli instead. I missed a Hatfield on Gun Broker. I mentioned it to the late Joe Williams of the Gun Works in Springfield, Oregon. He showed me a Hatfield and then a Pedersoli Frontier Rifle. The looks and lines were identical. According to him, Pedersoli made Ted's guns.
Yeah...that's my consolation prize, 2 Pedersoli Blue Ridge rifles. 1 in .32 calibre, the other a .50 calibre.

My dad was shooting his Pedersoli flintlock last weekend at a shoot, and a couple of people thought he was shooting a Hatfield...
 

oldwood

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In 1970 , didn't even know anyone actively playing w/muzzle loaders. Had no money for any kind of m/l gun. Began saving couple bucks of lunch money each day. Was on the road doing electronics emergency service , so found several small gun shops along the way . One shop had an original Potsdam musket on the rack. The lock and trigger were mechanically sound except for the middle barrel band missing , and of course the bore was pitted and rusty. Layed the gun away and in a week or so came up w/the $40 to buy it. Went to the Dixie catalog and found a barrel band that would work. Soaked the breech plug loose and unscrewed it w/ a Big wrench and a little heat from a soldering torch. Cleaned the bore up best I could with the idea of shooting the big musket , but the bore was too pitted toward the breech end. Found a piece of 3/8" /48" rusty rod stock somewhere and cut a 2" long slot to hold a couple wraps of 50 grit emery cloth on one end and a trusty electric drill on the other end. Several hours later , the bore was smooth enough to shoot it. The bore started as a pitted .690 and after the abuse I had given it , was a smoother .700. In the mean time my Dad made me a Potsdam "looking" steel ramrod at the coal mine machine shop where he worked. Dixie catalog had a cheap .680 dia. r/b mold . A box of winged Alcan musket caps for on a new Dixie nipple and to the neighbors to fire the old master piece. Had a blast that afternoon shooting the old musket , then sold it to another gun shop to get money for my next m/l adventure , a Brown Bess musket kit to build.
 

Cruzatte

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After reading Foxfire V I just had to have a muzzle loader. Before reading the book, I had no idea anyone was shooting these things, let alone building them. I had seen a few in museums, and that's where I thought they all were.

I sent off for a Dixie Gun Works catalog and when it arrived, I spent days just thumbing through the book. I finally decided on the Tennessee Mountain Rifle, .50 caliber, flint lock and it was left handed. I shot that rifle for five or six years, learning everything it had to teach me about flint locks. I finally sold it.

Although the lock was very reliable, the rifle proved to be quite muzzle heavy being 41 inches long, and 15/16 of an inch across the flats.
 

leadhoarder

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My first was a savage inline that I used as a hunting tool but I eventually got a TC renegade and learned to really enjoy shooting PRB using real BP.
 

L W Smith

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After reading Foxfire V I just had to have a muzzle loader. Before reading the book, I had no idea anyone was shooting these things, let alone building them. I had seen a few in museums, and that's where I thought they all were.

I sent off for a Dixie Gun Works catalog and when it arrived, I spent days just thumbing through the book. I finally decided on the Tennessee Mountain Rifle, .50 caliber, flint lock and it was left handed. I shot that rifle for five or six years, learning everything it had to teach me about flint locks. I finally sold it.

Although the lock was very reliable, the rifle proved to be quite muzzle heavy being 41 inches long, and 15/16 of an inch across the flats.
My first was a TC 54 renegade ...really accurate with round balls ....but maxi bullets even better...shot a lot of deer with it and still have ...looks like the day I bought it new $135.00....
 

Eutycus

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I forget which came first, the pistol or the rifle. A friend gave me the pistol as a gift and I promptly went out and bought the Kentucky rifle. Or was it vice versa? Both were CVA kits though. Oh yeah, now I remember my brother gave me a CVA naval cannon for Christmas first.
 

Muley Gil

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I turned 15 in August 1969 and received a new Ithaca .22 Model 49 and my granddaddy's Stevens .22/.410. On Labor Day, my dad and I went to a gun show at his American Legion post and talked to one of his friends that invited us to the North-South Skirmish Association's Fall National near Winchester VA, held the first weekend of October. We watched the shoot and then Dad bought me a Zoli Zouave. We went to his friend's house 2 weeks later and I fired it for the first time. Didn't know his friend increased the load by 50%! That Christmas I had a Dixie Gun Works catalog and my grandmother bought me a single shot 28 gauge shotgun, like the shown in post #89. First BP handgun came in the summer of 1970 when I got a Navy Arms Model 60, a brass frame .44. That one also came from Dixie. Started shooting with the N-SSA in 1970 and I did all the casting for me and Dad.
 

.36Rooster

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I had cva. Hawken style. As a teenager into traditional archery, the older fellow who was keeping me motivated bought one for himself and one for me. Man I killed some deer with that one, despite the trouble our limited knowledge gave us. I had a few good bucks walk by that first year wondering what in the hell that snapping noise was that was irritating them the hell out of them.-and also a buck that heard a boom and never stepped again.

All I knew then was snapping caps was supposed to be part of it, and it just made the hunting more addictive at the time.

I had a blast.

Never would have dreamed I'd come to the point where I get more enjoyment out of target shooting and small game hunting.

Back then, in indiana, it was only legal to deer hunt with a muzzleloader or a shotgun. And I just thought that if you were serious about deer hunting you'd use a muzzleloader instead of a smoothbore bird gun with a slug.
 

Stony Broke

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I had a friend years ago when I was living in Kalifornia that was a muzzleloader shooter. I owned modern guns but there was no range nearby to shoot them at. The muzzleloading club had a range that members could shoot other stuff at when matches were not going on. I bought the cheapest rifle I could find in order the join the club and had to shoot a couple matches as part of the joining. It just started from there that I got enthused with the competition and I'm still at it about 40 years later.
 

Don H

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In 1973 I went to Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico for 2 weeks. There I had my first experience with shooting muzzleloaders. When we got home 2 of my fellow Scouts and myself bought .45 cal. CVA Kentucky kits form Dixie Gun Works. That rifle hangs over my fireplace today.
 

FiremanBrad

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Cabelas Blue Ridge Rifle. .50 cal percussion. Followed the next year by a Pedersoli double 12!!
 

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