13 replies [Last post]
Offline
Location: Michigan
Joined: 12/20/2006
Posts: 13
Hawken 50cal Percussion Question (semi-newbi)

Hi, I'm getting back into Muzzleloading after 20 years (was a teenager back then).
I purchased a Traditions 50cal Hawken's muzzleloader. My question may seem dumb, but I have to ask....
First, I haven't fired the rifle yet. I plan on using it mostly for target practice. I purchased 50cal (.490) roundballs and I notice that when I put the ball up to the top of the barrel (without the patch), the ball slides down the barrel to the bottom and rolls back out when tipping the rifle. Is this normal? The reason I ask is because I used to have a 45cal Kentucky rifle and I don't remember the ball sliding down the barrel like that. I am going to use .015 pre-lube patches, but looking at the patch and the ball it would seem I could put the patch on top of the barrell then the ball and push it in with my thumb (not having to use a ball starter). Also, maybe it's me, but I just can't see the roundball with the patch fitting snuggly in the barrel. AGain, maybe that is just me and afterall I haven't yet been able to load the rifle.
Anyways, I hope I'm making sense. I appreciate any advice or knowledge. Thanks, Tom.

Offline
Location: Maui, Hawaii
Joined: 05/03/2006
Posts: 100
Hawken 50cal Percussion Question (semi-newbi)

I used to shoot a Dixie Tennesse Mountain Rifle 50 cal. flintlock. I never tried putting just the ball down the barrel. If the 490 round ball with the .015 patch is too loose, you can try a 495 round ball. If that is still too loose, you can double patch - 490 round ball and two .010 patches. My rifle shot best with really snug loads. If I did not run a cleaning patch between shots, it would be almost impossible to seat the next ball.

ADKBEAR's picture
Offline
Moderator
Location: Central NY
Joined: 09/16/2003
Posts: 823
Hawken 50cal Percussion Question (semi-newbi)

Tom
First off welcome to BGH.
h-r has some good advice about possibly getting a larger diamiter ball. Double patching sounds like too much of a pain in the butt to me, you migh be able to find some thicker patches?
Before you go out and start buying more stuff I would start shooting what you have. As long as the 490 ball patched with the .015's wont fall back out, shoot them. Don't know what you are using for powder (shooting a patched round ball maybe ff black powder?). I would start with around 80 to 90 gr of powder (pyrodex, trip-7 or ff Black) unless you have fff black then I would start out with 60 or 70 gr. But anyways do some shooting and see how they fly. As long as the accuracy is good not needing a ball starter is not a bad thing. I have a 45 cal flinter that I can start the ball and patch with my finger if I push real hard and with 70 gr of fff it is a real tack driver. On the other hand I have a 50 flinter that I had to go to .020 patches and still need a starter to seat the ball and with 105 gr of ff it to is a real shooter.
Good luck with the gun and what you will need to do to get the full effect here is shoot a big fat bear so you can render down the fat and lube your patches with it Thumbs up

Offline
Location: Levack, Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12/26/2006
Posts: 24
Hawken 50cal Percussion Question (semi-newbi)

I can started .490 rb with .015 patches with my thumb on my .50 cal. Also I can plink all day with it without really worrying about fouling. Mind you, I am shooting fff Goex.

Now with my .54 cal I shoot .535 rb (as opposed to .530 rb) with 0.015 patches. With this rifle, I find the patched rb quite tight and more difficult to seat. Also I have to clean my barrel every 5 to 8 shots, or it will become difficult to seat the patched rb. That said, I went with the .535 rb in this rifle because it just plain out shot the .530 rb. Accuracy rules~

Offline
Location: Michigan
Joined: 12/20/2006
Posts: 13
Hawken 50cal Percussion Question (semi-newbi)

Hey everyone, thanks for the replies! Everything worked out fine. I went to the range this past weekend and fired the rifle for the first time. I used .490 Round Balls, with pre-lubed .015 patches. I did use the ball starter. I was using Triple 7 FFG powder, 75 grams. At 25-30 yards I was dead on the target. I fired only 3 rounds, had one misfire, recapped and fired the second time.

Thanks for the advice, I was just a little anxious it sounds like.

I cleaned the rifle afterwards and even replaced the nipple. Is it a good idea to replace the nipple after a days shooting?

ADKBEAR's picture
Offline
Moderator
Location: Central NY
Joined: 09/16/2003
Posts: 823
Hawken 50cal Percussion Question (semi-newbi)

You will not have to replace it with a new one.
It is a good idea to take the nipple off and clean it good inside and out. Soak it in a jar of the cleaner you are using then wipe off the outside and blow out the inside. Then put a light coat of gun oil on the nipple threads and reinstall back into the gun.
Another pc of advice. After you have cleaned and stored the gun always wipe the barrel out with a clean patch or two before you load it and shoot it next time. This cleans out any old cleaner or protecter you may have left in the barrel when you cleaned it and could cause proubs with the gun going off.

Offline
Location: Colorado
Joined: 11/09/2005
Posts: 166
Hawken 50cal Percussion Question (semi-newbi)

Remove and clean the nipple, absolutely! Replace it after a days shooting? No way. Actually, I think the nipple that I'm using right now is about two... maybe three years old.

ADKBEAR's picture
Offline
Moderator
Location: Central NY
Joined: 09/16/2003
Posts: 823
Hawken 50cal Percussion Question (semi-newbi)
denverd0n wrote:
Remove and clean the nipple, absolutely! Replace it after a days shooting? No way. Actually, I think the nipple that I'm using right now is about two... maybe three years old.

Exactly a good nipple will last a long tome if taken care of.

Offline
Location: Michigan
Joined: 12/20/2006
Posts: 13
Hawken 50cal Percussion Question (semi-newbi)

Okay, sounds good. Though I did change the niipple, I'll stick with it for the long run.

ADKBEAR's picture
Offline
Moderator
Location: Central NY
Joined: 09/16/2003
Posts: 823
Hawken 50cal Percussion Question (semi-newbi)

Tom
The thing that will wreck a nipple faster than anything is dry firing the gun. If you just cock it and pull the trigger with no cap on the nipple the hammer will mash the nipple so you cannot get a cap on it in no time. It is always a good idea to carry a new nipple and nipple wrench with you when you are carrying the gun out in the field.
It is also a good idea to shoot off a cap before you load the gun to make sure there are no obstructions from gun oil, grease etc (Make sure you are pointing the gun in a safe direction when you do this safety first. Every gun is a loaded gun!!!!!)

Offline
Location: Michigan
Joined: 12/20/2006
Posts: 13
Hawken 50cal Percussion Question (semi-newbi)

Thanks again ADKBEAR.

I have one more question. Is this a good product to use to clean the barrell while bench shooting (after every 2-3 shots):

https://www.traditionsfirearms.com/eShop/10Expand.asp?ProductCode=A1254

Thanks.

Related Forum Threads You Might Like

ThreadThread StarterRepliesLast Updated
Look what I got today!Kirrmeister308/17/2008 02:05 am
Safari Arms Hawken?BruceW410/15/2009 05:56 am
Load confusionDaGooster1008/28/2007 15:22 pm
Deer riflesFiremanE41312/13/2007 06:16 am
Winchester 100 ?Country Boy209/28/2004 21:52 pm