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Muzzleloaders, my preferences Empty Muzzleloaders, my preferences

Post by 12acrehome on Sat Feb 25, 2012 9:09 am

My association with muzzleloaders predates Pyrodex, so when I say black powder I mean real three part, brimstone smellin' dragons bane!! Commonly referred to and available in cans labeled Goex 2F, 3F, Elephant, Swiss, etc. It does not come in plastic jars or bottles, it is never promoted as clean, non-corrosive, or for damp weather. It is not a compound, rather it is a mixture of three simple ingredients, charcoal, sulfer, and potassium nitrate. Scientists today still cannot fully understand how it works, it is the last "magic" from the earliest days of science and alchemy.

My first brush with this stuff was way back when my age could be counted on my fingers with a spare or two thrown in for good measure. Dad had just been transferred back to our home town and the guys he worked with presented him with one of the first muzzleloader kit rifles to ever hit the market. He and I worked on this kit for months, smoothing, sanding, and fitting all the pieces. When we had completed the project we admired it for a while, I think dad was trying to get up his nerve to actually buy the powder for it. In those days you had to sign a form that stated, in part, that you swore you would not try to over throw the government, nor cause civil insurrection with this pound of powder. Well with powder, patch, lead balls, and cleaning solution in hand dad carefully loaded this monstrous (to us) rifle, took aim and carefully fired the first shot. The thunderous boom was like nothing I had ever heard. Dad reloaded, just as carefully as before, and handed the rifle to me. His instructions were "aim at that bare spot on that dead tree over there" Over there was 75 yards away, and that bare spot was an 8" wide by 16" tall area that the bark had been knocked off of the trunk. I did, squeezed the trigger, heard that joyous thundering boom, felt the forceful push of the recoil, and was unable to see where I had shot for nearly a full minute. When the smoke cleared two things came into sharp focus, 1) I had hit dead center of that bare spot, and 2) I was hooked!!! Very Happy

Fast forward 20 some odd years...

I was now newly married, our first Christmas as husband and wife fast approaching, my wife smiling and giggling says to me one day. "Open this present today it is from me, and I want you to have it early". When I did open the present I was stunned, a near twin to the old rifle dad and I had built was in the box. Brand new, lower priced and not as polished, but there it was all the same. Her reason for me to have it early was that day was the opening day of the muzzleloading season, and she wanted me to be able to hunt with it that year. I rushed to the store, bought black powder, a measure, some caps, patches, and cleaning solution. Then off to the farm where dad and I had first fired that old kit gun. Loaded the same load we used (the kit gun is still being used to this day so loading info was still fresh in my mind, not fogged by time) Took aim at a coffee can I had placed on an old stump. At that moment a doe stepped out of the edge of the woods, and stood sniffing of the coffee can. I adjusted my aim and squeezed the trigger. Heard that now familiar booming "voice" that traditional shooters hear every day, felt that same familiar push on the shoulder, and saw nothing for nearly a minute. When the smoke cleared I re-loaded and went to look at the area where the doe had stood. She was long gone, and there was a bullet hole in the tree that was behind her. So just to be sure I studied the ground, and found hair, and the start of a blood trail. Two tiny drops of blood. I also could see a trail where she had come out of the woods. I carefully slowly started down the trail. About ten paces into the woods, and just around a brush pile lay a doe, cleanly harvested. She had traveled a total of 35 yards, and had expired within 5 minutes.

I still hunt with that rifle some, and it still performs as it should. It is getting close to 20 years old now, the old kit gun is pushing 40, it still sees service in either dad's hands or my brothers. But there have been a couple times where I just needed a second shot...

To be continued...
worry


Last edited by 12acrehome on Sat Feb 25, 2012 10:05 am; edited 1 time in total

_________________
Proverbs 28:19  He who works his land will have abundant food...

Genesis 1:29  Then God said,"I give you every seed bearing plant on the face of the whole earth, and every tree that has fruit with seed in it..."

http://christiancountryramblings.com/
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Muzzleloaders, my preferences Empty Re: Muzzleloaders, my preferences

Post by 12acrehome on Sat Feb 25, 2012 10:04 am

About 8 or 9 years ago I was told by the doctors that I was at a cross roads with my health. Stop smoking, or start oxygen therapy. Well I ain't ready for no oxygen bottle yet!! So when, after many failed attempts, I finally quit I found myself in the woods deer hunting. It was muzzleloading season and I had ole Bess with me (the one the wife gave me). By this time we (Bess and I) had taken our share of game for the table, and dispatched a few vermin as well. Bess even put down a suffering cow at the request of my grandfather. I had at that point developed a pretty good technique of still hunting and stalking. On this day I was sitting on the ground, back against a tree watching a stand of white oaks. There was a game trail to my right about 5 feet away that went from clear pasture into the white oaks and beyond. My plan was, thinking the deer would come to the white oaks from the other end of the trail and then after dark go on into the pasture, and over to the ponds and lakes, I was to ambush one of the early deer that went for the acorns before dark. I was kinda day dreaming, watching the birds, and a squirrel when suddenly a coyote trotted past me from the pasture and down that trail. At about 20 yards from me the coyote stopped and laid down watching the squirrel. I could barely make out the upper half of it's outline. The colors of its coat blended perfectly with the surrounding brush, making the him look much like a log. I picked a spot that I thought was the shoulder area, squeezed the trigger, ( by now you know what happened Cool )

So when the smoke cleared I could no longer identify the coyote, but there was a log slightly to the right of where I remembered shooting. I thought, humph, missed one, and without reloading walked over to see...

worry

As the log comes into view I see it is a wounded and not quite dead coyote, and due to the terrain I am now less than three feet from a bad situation with what amounts to a pipe handled club, and a sheathed knife!!

worry

I slowly and as quietly as I came, backed away and waited a few minutes (this while re-loading, changing under attire, etc)

Then, loaded for bear (really, put a bear stopper load down the tube), went back to end any undue suffering. It was long over, and as it turns out I was perfectly safe standing where I had been. The shot did miss the shoulder, what I thought was the shoulder swell along the back had been the head neck junction. The brain was well off when I had stepped around the last tree, and the coyote was merely starting to go into death throus.

That whole situation and some other less dramatic events lead me to search for a mulit-shot weapon for muzzloader seasons, or a legal way to carry a side arm during muzzleloader season. As I have posted elsewhere, when I did quit smoking I set up a "reward jar" and every day that I did not smoke I put the money that would have gone for cigarettes into this jar. After the "Coyote incident" or near miss and a full 9 months of not smoking. The next muzzleloading season was approaching, and it was time to have a second gun in play or a new gun. Time to get it, break it in, and develop the loads to be used. I had enough in the jar to buy one of these:

http://www.dixiegunworks.com/product_info.php?cPath=22_92_186_191&products_id=3515

A replica of the type of muzzleloader that explored Africa!! They are made in .72 caliber (too heavy for deer, and I am not familiar enough with that large of a bore to develop a good load quickly) they also make a .50 cal, but I have a thing about .45's and 50's. They are effective, and they both will do the job, but their bigger brothers just do it better, quicker, and with alot more authority! The above rifle is sometimes found in .58 caliber, but the big 58's are hampered by a severe lack of suitable projectiles. (I'll explain this elsewhere if asked) So I chose the .54. Same caliber as the gifted rifle, with a faster rate of twist so it is more attuned to either target loads with patched round ball loads, or the full bore diameter heavy projectiles.

And what a voice Cool

_________________
Proverbs 28:19  He who works his land will have abundant food...

Genesis 1:29  Then God said,"I give you every seed bearing plant on the face of the whole earth, and every tree that has fruit with seed in it..."

http://christiancountryramblings.com/
12acrehome
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Muzzleloaders, my preferences Empty Re: Muzzleloaders, my preferences

Post by Rohn on Sat Feb 25, 2012 11:42 pm

Great stories Keith. Loved them . cheers

I am relatively new to muzzle loaders. I have a flint lock Thompson Center .50 cal. Hawlkin with a Green River barrel. I just had this gun given to me this past summer.
I just purchased a Traditions inline. Took the inline out to the range for the first time last Monday and enjoyed shooting it. So now when Muzzle loader season come around again I can use either one, and have lots of fun.
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Muzzleloaders, my preferences Empty A muzzleloader safety video.

Post by 12acrehome on Sun Feb 26, 2012 12:34 am


Please watch:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7f5Aux1Mtsc&feature=youtube_gdata_player

This is quite simply bad safety practices.

_________________
Proverbs 28:19  He who works his land will have abundant food...

Genesis 1:29  Then God said,"I give you every seed bearing plant on the face of the whole earth, and every tree that has fruit with seed in it..."

http://christiancountryramblings.com/
12acrehome
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Muzzleloaders, my preferences Empty Re: Muzzleloaders, my preferences

Post by Rohn on Sun Feb 26, 2012 12:50 am

Thanks for posting Keith.
Accidents like this are because people don't use their common sense and don't put safety first. When handling any kind of firearms, safety must be rule number ONE.
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Muzzleloaders, my preferences Empty Re: Muzzleloaders, my preferences

Post by sbkittrell on Wed Dec 19, 2012 10:26 am

Hello, I'm brand new here and this is the second thread I've opened. I am a lifelong hunter and I own several muzzle loaders, a Hawken Renegade, a Miraku (sp?) flintlock that I've never fired, and an antique 14 gauge double percussion shotgun (Liege Barrel, but the make is unknown) that is is in shootable condition but I've never fired it. I use Goex Black powder. I also have a couple of cap and ball replica revolvers. I love the smoke and that flat bam sound. Good to meet you.

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Muzzleloaders, my preferences Empty Re: Muzzleloaders, my preferences

Post by Rohn on Wed Dec 19, 2012 11:05 am

Welcome. Good to have you on board. I have a couple of muzzle loaders. One is a TC Hawken with a Green Mountain barrel and it is a flint lock. The other one is a Traditions inline. I haven't used either one very much but do enjoy shooting them and hunting with them.
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Muzzleloaders, my preferences Empty Re: Muzzleloaders, my preferences

Post by 12acrehome on Wed Dec 19, 2012 2:25 pm

Hi ya sbkittrell, and welcome.

My firearms collection includes 1 replica Pennsylvania rifle, an "in the spirit of" "Hawken", a 1851 Remington replica, and a loose interpretation of what might have been a dangerous game double rifle (my avatar) muzzleloader. Please explain how a man can own a gun and never fire it. This concept is foreign to me. I must hear her "voice" and feel the push on the shoulder, or the bucking in my hand... Very Happy

_________________
Proverbs 28:19  He who works his land will have abundant food...

Genesis 1:29  Then God said,"I give you every seed bearing plant on the face of the whole earth, and every tree that has fruit with seed in it..."

http://christiancountryramblings.com/
12acrehome
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Muzzleloaders, my preferences Empty Re: Muzzleloaders, my preferences

Post by sbkittrell on Wed Dec 19, 2012 10:25 pm

12acrehome wrote:Hi ya sbkittrell, and welcome.

My firearms collection includes 1 replica Pennsylvania rifle, an "in the spirit of" "Hawken", a 1851 Remington replica, and a loose interpretation of what might have been a dangerous game double rifle (my avatar) muzzleloader. Please explain how a man can own a gun and never fire it. This concept is foreign to me. I must hear her "voice" and feel the push on the shoulder, or the bucking in my hand... Very Happy


Ha ha, you've got a good point there. No excuses, just the facts here. Over the years I have accumulated a LOT of firearms. The Miraku I have absolutely no excuse for not firing. None. But the old double shotgun is another story. When I bought it I was assured that it was safe to fire. The bores are a little pitted, but nothing major that I can see. But it's an OLD shotgun. the barrels are marked Leige so they were made in Belgium, which can be a good or a bad thing. But there is no makers mark that I can find on it. As I'm sure you know, damascus barrels can have weaknesses that you can't see with the naked eye. A little corrosion can sneak in to the interior of the metal and even light loads can damage or cause failure. It's such a pretty old shotgun that I guess I'm just too much of a wimp to tie it to a tire and fire it with a light load remotely to see. I will one day I guess. Without the gunsmith's mark there's no way to tell exactly how old it is, that I know of and of course age really isn't the only issue. But believe me, I have shot every other rifle, shotgun, revolver, semi-auto and lever action rifle that I own. I even own a few milsurps that I like to shoot, a SAKO Finn Mosin Nagant is one of my favorites and an FN 1949 Egyptian too. I haven't hunted in a few years for various reasons, but most of my deer hunting is beanfield hunting and I use a Browning SAR in 7mm mag for that. Too much gun, but I got it cheap from a friend years ago. I also love my Savage 99E in .308. If I listed everything I have my fingers would get tired. But you are right. I need to shoot that Miraku and probably bite the bullet and work up some loads for that old double.

Here's my old double:
Muzzleloaders, my preferences 12gauge004

Muzzleloaders, my preferences 12gauge001

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Muzzleloaders, my preferences Empty Re: Muzzleloaders, my preferences

Post by Rohn on Thu Dec 20, 2012 12:10 am

Nice old gun. If it is not safe to shoot, it would still make a nice gun for over the mantle. A great conversation piece.
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Muzzleloaders, my preferences Empty Re: Muzzleloaders, my preferences

Post by 12acrehome on Thu Dec 20, 2012 12:24 am

damascus does not scare me as a rule. I have seen unmarked doubles with loose breeches and wound wire barrels stand up to to modern (1997) proof loads. On the muzzleloader, as long as the nipple hole is not eroded, and the barrels ring true I'd have to be shootin' that one. Nice looking, appears to be well balanced, maybe a bit muzzle heavy...brass or ivory bead?

_________________
Proverbs 28:19  He who works his land will have abundant food...

Genesis 1:29  Then God said,"I give you every seed bearing plant on the face of the whole earth, and every tree that has fruit with seed in it..."

http://christiancountryramblings.com/
12acrehome
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Muzzleloaders, my preferences Empty Re: Muzzleloaders, my preferences

Post by sbkittrell on Thu Dec 20, 2012 12:30 am

12acrehome wrote:
A replica of the type of muzzleloader that explored Africa!! They are made in .72 caliber (too heavy for deer, and I am not familiar enough with that large of a bore to develop a good load quickly) they also make a .50 cal, but I have a thing about .45's and 50's. They are effective, and they both will do the job, but their bigger brothers just do it better, quicker, and with alot more authority! The above rifle is sometimes found in .58 caliber, but the big 58's are hampered by a severe lack of suitable projectiles. (I'll explain this elsewhere if asked) So I chose the .54. Same caliber as the gifted rifle, with a faster rate of twist so it is more attuned to either target loads with patched round ball loads, or the full bore diameter heavy projectiles.

And what a voice Cool

I'm fascinated by double rifles. I guess I read too many of Peter Captstick's books. But I didn't even know that a modern muzzle loading rifle was available until I read your post. So how does it shoot? I was wondering what your point of aim is and what loads you use, 100 yards? I was also wondering if the point of aim can be changed by changing the loads? That is a really cool rifle there.

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Post by sbkittrell on Thu Dec 20, 2012 12:39 am

It's got a brass bead. The nipples are new, replaced by the seller before I bought it. I got a good deal on it because somebody started to refinish the stock and sanded it down. Messed up the collector's value in doing that but I don't care.

sbkittrell

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Muzzleloaders, my preferences Empty Re: Muzzleloaders, my preferences

Post by 12acrehome on Thu Dec 20, 2012 12:48 am

oh, couldn't tell from the picture... some people just can't help but to tinker with things. There are ways to improve the looks of collectors but sand paper is a definite no-no unless the stock is broken.

_________________
Proverbs 28:19  He who works his land will have abundant food...

Genesis 1:29  Then God said,"I give you every seed bearing plant on the face of the whole earth, and every tree that has fruit with seed in it..."

http://christiancountryramblings.com/
12acrehome
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