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Old 08-14-2017, 12:26 AM
ppine ppine is offline
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I built a TC Hawken from a kit in around 1980. If you want to kill larger animals definitely go with the .54 caliber. Even that is marginal for elk sized animals past about 120 yards. Percussion is more accurate and more dependable in bad weather.
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Old 08-17-2017, 08:43 AM
danr620 danr620 is offline
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Woodsman,

Been shooting tc Hawken .50 since 1976. Used to play mountain man. Percussion gun, has killed many deer with round ball. Never needed the slugs, but that gived alot more knock down power with 350-450 grain bullet. The boys are right though you would want to be close. 2f recomended for 50-54, burns slower. 3f in a pinch. 100 grains bp or pirodex makes a .50 ball into a quarter size projectile on impact. They don't go far. T/C had/has lifetime warrenty, I got new barrel when was shooting alot. Mite be worth checking into.

good luck

Dan
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Old 10-01-2017, 02:42 PM
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You can pick up a Thompson Center Hawken cheap now that most hunters prefer an inline. 2F and 3F are fine for the rifle. Either one works fine. I killed a very nice white tail buck with my T/C Hawken with a 50 Cal round ball and 90 grains of 2F. The buck was well hit and went down. let out one bawl and died on the spot. Range was about 30 yards with open sights. 50 cal will do the job just fine.
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Old 10-01-2017, 04:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodsman 16 View Post
Hey all. So I'm looking at getting into black powder shooting for the first time. I've never shot any black powder at all before so I have a few questions. I'm looking to get a TC Hawken rifle in either 50 or 54 caliber. Here are my questions:

1. Is there any advantage to 50 or 54 caliber? I'd want something that could take down elk sized game. 50 cal seems to have a much wider variety of bullets.

2. I know that rifles use FF black powder, but have read about FFF powder being used in smaller amounts and working. If that's true would you be able to use just one type of powder in a flintlock?

3. I like the idea (with a flintlock) of not having to use percussion caps, but is it true that they spray your eyes with burning powder when fired?

4. Should I get a percussion or flintlock rifle? Each has their pros and cons, but I do like the idea of not having to buy percussion caps. (As long as it is possible to use 1 type of powder with a flintlock, and if it doesn't spray your eyes with burning powder.

Thanks in advance!
I recommend looking at pedersoli rifles they are pricy but very very good quality

flintlock rifles are fun they shoot a little different than your probably used to

but yes a 50 cal is a good generic round, my next purchase will be a 36 cal Kentucky long rifle
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Old 10-01-2017, 05:13 PM
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If going with the Hawken style, go .54 if you think you will ever try for elk.

I started years ago with the same thing. My most accurate load was 90 grns of powder with a PRB. Now days I prefer the .50 cal inline using a 250 grn sabot.

Ease of loading, unloading and cleanup is what made me go to the Inline. Extended range was a bonus.
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Old 10-01-2017, 05:55 PM
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I learned to shoot on a hawken flintlock as a child. In regards to if they shoot sparks in your eyes, in my opinion, learning to deal with the pan flash has made me a better shooter on all platforms. I don't flinch ever and shooting through a small delay to fire is nothing to me. That is the main benefit to shooting flintlock in my opinion, you learn to deal with a fairly large disruption in your face both visually and with sometimes a delay to fire.
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Old 10-02-2017, 07:12 AM
Don H Don H is offline
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If you're looking for a used rifle check out Gunbroker.com. Costs you $1 to join but if you want a nice used rifle this is the place to look. I just bought a new, in the box T/C Hawken, 50 cal. off Gunbroker. I think you're on the right track going with a .54 cal. percussion for hunting elk.

I've seen lots of nice inline rifles, many with scopes, for sale in the local pawn shops. These would also be good for hunting although I know the OP was specifically looking for a Hawken type.
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Old 10-02-2017, 09:35 AM
Lt. Willy Lt. Willy is offline
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I have built and shot flint locks of all types for almost four decades. Love them and have taken quite a bit of venison, rabbits and turkey with them. Especially my 20 gauge smooth bore.
I also own a percussion 36 cal and the gun I would highly recommend to any serious hunter, the Lyman Deer Stalker. Mine is a 50 cal but they are also available in 54.
One in 48 twist shoots round ball beautifully and also shoots the maxi's very very well.
As much as I love the long barreled guns for the feel and looks when i go hunting for the past several years I take the Lyman. Very handy, light to carry and dead on accurate and reliable. For the price there really is no competition and I would have paid more for it knowing what I know now.
Just an opinion from a over forty year black powder hunting nut.
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Old 10-02-2017, 10:32 AM
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It takes some research to find suitable projectiles for elk sized game. Round balls and the other typical lead used in percussion rifles have terrible ballistic coefficients and rapidly lose energy down range. A round ball can kill an elk at close range with a .54 cal but would have trouble by 60 yards or so. Elk are large animals that can take lead and really travel. Make sure you come up with a combo that will do the job and practice with your rifle.
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Old 10-03-2017, 08:17 AM
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The 50 is the best choice if you are able to use sabots. Let me use this analogy. Many people use a 45-70 with a 300 gr bullet for hunting elk, deer, and black bear. If you use a 50 cal Hawken - load 100 gr of powder and Hornady SST 300 gr sabot bullet. Guess what - you have a duplicate of the Winchester 50-110 Express load used in 1886 Winchester.


Last edited by Big Sarge; 10-03-2017 at 11:36 AM.. Reason: Added photo of SST round for reference
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Old 10-03-2017, 10:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Sarge View Post
The 50 is the best choice if you are able to use sabots. Let me use this analogy. Many people use a 45-70 with a 300 gr bullet for hunting elk, deer, and black bear. If you use a 50 cal Hawken - load 100 gr of powder and Hornady SST 300 gr sabot bullet. Guess what - you have a duplicate of the Winchester 50-110 Express load used in 1886 Winchester.
Not even close to the same load. It sounds similar but it is not.
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Old 10-03-2017, 11:27 AM
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Not even close to the same load. It sounds similar but it is not.
I beg to differ. The Winchester 50-110 Express (standard load) was 100 grains of black powder with a 300 grain lead bullet. This gave a velocity of 1,605 fps and 1,720 ft lbs. A quick run of ballistic calculators shows the 50 cal muzzleloading data I gave earlier as 300 grain at 1,800 fps and 2,400 ft lb

The original 50-110 Winchester aka 50-100 was first offered in 1887. There was a 50-110 Winchester High Velocity made with smokeless powder that was offered around 1910. This High Velocity round was 300 grain at 2,225 fps. Both the standard cartridge and the later high velocity round were offered with a 450 gr bullet later in the development of each chambering.

I've been wrong before and if I'm barking up the wrong tree, let me know. I was comparing the original blackpowder loading
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Old 10-03-2017, 11:32 AM
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Should mention my calculations for the 50 caliber muzzleloader was using 100 FFF Goex. My Goex powder calculator has loads up to 120 grain of FFF in the 50 cal, in addition to the FF powder, most are familiar with in a rifle of this caliber.
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Old 10-04-2017, 02:04 AM
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Won't see it till December buy my left hand 54 cal percussion Lyman Great Plains rifle finally arrived at the house.

Will be shooting patched ball. Need to research powder charges.
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Old 10-04-2017, 10:33 AM
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Sabots work poorly in a T/C because of 1/66 twist in the barrel.

The projectiles in a black powder persussion rifle and those in a Model 1886 Winchester behave much differently. By 100 yards the '86 is still a powerful cartridge but the perc model is not.
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Old 10-04-2017, 02:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ppine View Post
Sabots work poorly in a T/C because of 1/66 twist in the barrel.

The projectiles in a black powder persussion rifle and those in a Model 1886 Winchester behave much differently. By 100 yards the '86 is still a powerful cartridge but the perc model is not.
Makes sense on the sabot that it would need to be shot from an inline. I have to disagree on the 50-110, but I readily admit I am basing mine on comparing a reproduction three band enfield against a 577 snider.
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Old 10-04-2017, 05:42 PM
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Big Sarge,
I think what is confusing our discussion is that a Model 1886 Winchester is a cartridge black powder rifle using modern projectiles. A percussion muzzleloader with patched round balls or muzzie balls is a horse of a different color. Their numbers are similar, but their performance in the field is quite different.
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Old 10-07-2017, 05:54 PM
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I have just purchased an 1864 Springfield in great shape for, what seems, is a good deal.

Should I begin hunting with this big bad boy or should I be saving it and using a more reliable and newer bp gun to practice with?

Very unfamiliar with bp hunting...
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Old 10-07-2017, 06:32 PM
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The Trapdoor Springfield is a notoriously weak action because it leaks gases. Do not try to increase the performance of your rifle because it is easy to blow one up. Even though they typicallycome in .45/70 they are not the big bad boy you may have thought you bought.
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Old 10-07-2017, 07:12 PM
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Purchased it as part of an estate sale. Can you suggest and newer good options for bp hunting which are reliable and for novice level?
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