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Posted: 12/24/2017 11:25:48 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/26/2017 10:45:19 PM EDT by Knoxp9090]
Hey all.

Heavy emotions with this post. Recently, my cousin passed away (age 50) after a difficult 2 year battle with pancreatic cancer. Last night I was gifted a Thompson Center 50 Cal. Muzzle loader. He was an avid outdoorsman and loved everything outdoors. He spent his career in the Air Force supporting Strategic Command. I found out he spent much time debating he who would take care of it and keep it in the family for years to come.

The story gets better! Turns out he bought this from our grandfather as he was thinning out his collection. I would have never had the opportunity to own one of my grandfathers rifles if not for this. I am the youngest of all 30 some grandchildren. I am blown away.

Now for the needed wisdom. I know nothing of muzzle loaders. This is a Thompson Center 50 CAL. I now understand it to be New Englander. The SN is 586xx. I was told my grandfather built it, but I don’t think it was a kit because the lack of K in the serial number. To the best of what I have found is that it’s a late 60s early 70s.

Any wisdom would be so greatly appreciated!!!

My cousin Rob.

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The best rifle I have ever had in my hands for obvious reasons.

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Link Posted: 12/24/2017 12:19:53 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/24/2017 12:23:21 PM EDT by majg1234]
Congrats on the Heirloom I'm sure you'll treasure it for years.

First off make sure it doesn't have powder and ball in it!!! I've seen more than one caplock sold/acquired that were loaded.Many folks that shoot these mark the ramrod to assure the load is seated check the rod for markings if found drop it into the barrel and see that the rod goes beyond the markings if it does it is likely not loaded.

If there are no markings on the rod make some measurements of barrel and ramrod to decide if loaded or not

The rifle has a scope and tang site,I'm traditional with ML so I'd dismount the scope and use the tang sight but that's just me YMMV

The TC Hawken while not a close replication of the true Hawken rifle is a very good rifle It'll shoot roundball or Conicals very well but not sabots like an inline

Black Powder or substitutes are GTG but NO smokeless a good website for learning about these things care and feeding is the muzzleloading forum just be aware there are a bunch of elitist acting folks on there


For parts etc there is a company call Track Of The Wolf that can get ya anything you will need.These rifles are fun to shoot but require a lot of care and some knowledge to do so well

You'll enjoy the journey and connecting with your grandpa rach time you use it,good luck

Just noticed that it is aTC Renegade not a Hawken but all the other stuff remains unchanged enjoy!!!!!
Link Posted: 12/24/2017 12:32:59 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/24/2017 12:38:22 PM EDT by 10MMGuy]
OP, congratulations on your new family heirloom, it looks like from the setup it was originally assembled with a tang peep sight, and possible later with your Grandfather (eye sight getting poorer) he probably whiched over to a long relief scope.
It looks like a older Thompson Center scope and mount from the one photo.

I speak from experience on this, I can still use open sights, it just takes me longer to get the round sent down range.

My father had one like yours that he put together too. It came from Dixie Gun Works @ Union City, TN.
It had a hooded front sight with a insert, and adjustable tang peep sight. He did the blueing and stock work on the kitchen table. I can still remember mom fussing about the mess and smell in her kitchen.

Maybe your grandfather did the same, with your grandmother fussing too.

He would shoot Minnie Balls for deer (he never failed to get the job done), or patched round balls for squirrels (within 40-50 yards he would shoot them in the head). He would cast his own bullets and Minnie Balls, and round Balls.

He traded the rifle away for some other gun trade years later, I wished it was still in the family.
But I still have the memories of shooting it in the back yard with him, after he got finished with it, I was about 10 years old then. Plus dad is still alive and we have many more memories too, hunting, fishing, shooting, and other man stuff....

Edit - I did not see the other photos at first, maybe a long eye relief Redfield? Photo is blurry.
Link Posted: 12/24/2017 7:39:56 PM EDT
Link Posted: 12/25/2017 3:14:34 PM EDT
It's a New Englander model. They're very good rifles, just not as flashy as the Hawken. They're a lot easier to carry all day, too, unless you go adding a lot of extra weight, like a scope or something .

They also lack the set trigger found on the Hawken, Renegade and Seneca models. If you look around, you might come up with the 12 ga shotgun barrel for it.
Link Posted: 12/26/2017 11:47:07 AM EDT
Have a similar T/C, they are a hoot to learn, and I found mine to be reasonably accurate with patched round balls, would probably be even better if not for my old eyes.

Thanks for writing about the history of the rifle, family ties make it much more a treasure.
Link Posted: 12/26/2017 10:54:15 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/26/2017 10:59:31 PM EDT by Knoxp9090]
All thank you for taking the time to post. Your information has been great in helping me understand what I have.

It is in fact a New Englander, when I saw this on the barrel I don’t think it stood out as a model name.

The scope is a Leupold 2.5 - 8 EER.

The bore seems to be clean, the bluing is excellent, and then stock is in wonderful condition.

I have verified empty by shooting a cap and as expected it was uneventful. I am surprised to learn that cleaning of the barrel ulitizes water and soap followed by a preservative.

Can I use Maxi Balls or is the preferred patch and ball? I saw that a good starting load is 70grains, what is the max? Also, still trying to nail down the year of production if any one has suggestions.

Thanks again!

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