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6/25/2018 7:04:05 PM
Posted: 6/15/2018 3:28:37 AM EDT
Good moring !!

What is the opinion on the lyman great Plains and Plains rifles ? I understand the only difference is the twist rate of the barrels, one is for round balls , the other made to shoot modern style bullets ? Can one or the other handle both styles , or is it round balls , or bullets ?

I see both are available in percussion or flintlock . For a new to black powder guy like me what would you recommend ? Personally I'm leaning towards percussion just because it's easier as I said I'm new to Black Powder firearms?

I know pedersoli, and Uberti make a hawken style rifle , but those are both premium models retailing around 1300 each !

Lastly , if you were me are there any other Hawken style rifles out there preferably ones that could shoot both modern style and Lead round balls that would be a good quality gun for a new guy like me?

Thanks guys !!
Link Posted: 6/15/2018 7:23:37 AM EDT
Unless it's changed:

Great Plains slow twist, best for balls
Great Plains Hunter fast twist, better for conicals. Accuracy with balls only with light charges.

I have many muzzleloaders including two Lymans. A Deerstalker, purchased used and is fine. The other is the Great Plains, purchased new, it is a major lemon. Nothing I've tried produces better than a four inch group at 25 yards. Also had sharp edges on the trigger guard and the rear sight was crooked casting. Lyman replaced those but should not have been that way from the factory.

Many people love the GPs however I've also read comments they need to be shot a couple hundred times for the bore to smooth out and shoot well (I've done that). The narrow sharp butt was so bad for me that I had it cut off and a pad installed. Most of my other rifles will 'cloverleaf' or near so at 25 yards. Meaning shots are touching or almost so.

My Pedersolis have been very good rifles. The Thompson Centers are variable. Good barrels. The TC double set triggers are good, single triggers are often poor, too heavy or stiff. Avoid TC flintlocks, the frizzens are usually too soft and don't spark well. Those are so common that people think the poor performance is the way these guns are supposed to be.

Also, Lyman does not fit the wedges to the barrel before leaving the factory. Expect that you may have to bend the wedges or hammer at the tennon(s) on the barrel to make them fit. Lyman doesn't bother to mention that until AFTER you have paid for the rifle.
Link Posted: 6/15/2018 7:35:43 AM EDT
BTW 'Investarms' made guns for others under other names and made some under the name 'Investarms'. They can be great guns found used cheap on Gun Broker.

FWIW Narrow curved buttplates go on the upper arm, close to but not on the shoulder. Better for light to moderate loads. If shooting identical guns, a wide flat buttplate is more comfortable with heavier loads, I definitely do not like that style on Hawkens or guns for deer or larger game though some people are fine with them.

Often modern makers use springs which are too strong, make frizzens which too soft (occasionally too hard), triggers which are too rough and such, then new shooters don't know the difference.

As with centerfires, you will need to experiment to find what load a gun 'likes' best, what powder charge, patch thickness, etc.
Link Posted: 6/15/2018 7:38:10 AM EDT
The 1-48 twist is the 'compromise' twist which may work ok with either ball or conical. But remember, guns are finicky about what they like.
Link Posted: 6/15/2018 8:48:43 AM EDT
Thompson Center isn't making their Hawken anymore are they? I've had experience with Lyman - and they make some good and bad stuff - the hot thing used to be to buy the Lyman and replace the barrel with one from green mountain - the TC had a good barrel and sometimes needed a re-heat treated frizzen.
Link Posted: 6/15/2018 12:08:42 PM EDT
Mark , many thanks for the info!!!

I was very worried about that Cresent shaped steel but plate , looks painful to shoot ? What do you mean when you say shoulder it on the arm ?

So neither one will shoot both conical and round ball if I understand you right ?

I think I will stick with percussion.

Again thanks for the very thorough commentary!!
Link Posted: 6/15/2018 1:43:13 PM EDT
Regardless of the makers intention, every rifle is an individual. Even identical guns of the same model from the same maker may perform differently. Some group just fine with either balls or conicals, there's no good way of telling but by shooting them. Still, a slow twist such as 1-60 or 1-66 is best for balls and may never do well with conicals (R.E.A.L, Maxi-Balls, sabots, etc).

The long barreled rifles with the narrow well curved buttplates can be shot from the usual position on the shoulder but were intended for high up on the arm. As we moved west and went to more powerful guns, some were still made that way but we returned to the wide flat 'shotgun' style butts. Even into the 1900s some powerful cartridge rifles were made with the curved butts but had a reputation as 'hard kickers'. Teddy Roosevelt ordered a pair of such rifles but specified that they were to have 'shotgun' buttplates instead.

I have a pair of rifles which appear identical except for the butt. I was using 90 grains of black powder and a conical bullet in one and was comfortable. In the other which has a narrow curved butt, 70 grains and a ball (which is lighter than the conical) was the most I wanted to go with that one, more was uncomfortable. But then, some people aren't bothered by such.

ALSO, If you want to hunt with it, first check your hunting regulations. Many States require a certain bore size. Some States require at least 45 caliber for deer. One State says for elk, 54 if using a ball but 50 is ok if using a conical of at least xyz weight.

Check out Gun Broker and PennWoods, there is also the 'for sale' section here on this website.

Go with a 'double set' trigger as so many single ones are poor to awful.

Get a ball puller before the first time you go shooting. Bullet patches, buy pillow ticking from Wal-Mart. Patch lube, I use a hand cleaner, think it's Perma-tex. If you gun has a wooden rod, get a synthetic or aluminum one and use that. Sometimes people break the wood rods and the rod goes through their hand. Get a bullet starter. I just buy balls now, I don't bother to cast except for specialty stuff. THE TIPS AND FITTINGS ON RODS CAN COME OFF. That can leave a tight cloth or bullet puller down in the barrel, another reason to use a synthetic rod.

NEVER LEAN OVER THE MUZZLE. Learn to load and anything else without putting face or other parts over the muzzle. Try to hold the rod such that if the gun were to go off while you are loading that the rod will cause the least damage to your hand. ALWAYS WEAR EYE PROTECTION.

Shoot and have fun.
Link Posted: 6/15/2018 9:13:55 PM EDT
Link Posted: 6/17/2018 5:41:37 PM EDT
I can promise you that for a first time BP rifle you can be hard pressed to do better than a Lyman Great Plains. They are excellent rifles.
Link Posted: 6/17/2018 10:05:59 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By AR-ZONA:
I can promise you that for a first time BP rifle you can be hard pressed to do better than a Lyman Great Plains. They are excellent rifles.
View Quote
Wow , again thanks Mark and the rest of you gents for helping a noob out .

I am going to go with the lyman great Plains. But with one do you think , great Plains or great Plains hunter ?

Am I correct that the faster twist hunter can shoot both balls and conical- maxi bullets , but not vice versa??

I have also decided on going with percussion , am I thinking correct ???

Lastly , 50 or 54 caliber ???

I have no desire to shoot heavy loads . This will be a bench , and plinking gun with a possibility of using it in the winter time during the Black Powder deer season.

Thanks again gents !!!!
Link Posted: 6/17/2018 10:07:19 PM EDT
Guys, one more question please . How hard would it be to take one of these lyman Great Plains rifles and cut that steel Crescent butt pad off and install something like a simple shotgun type recoil pad?
Link Posted: 6/18/2018 11:13:37 AM EDT
Link Posted: 6/18/2018 11:56:06 AM EDT
My other argument for 50 cal is that it is the most prevalent. Not many places carry BP stuff any more. The ones that do nearly always have 50cal. I have everything from .32 to 8 ga, but I cast my own or order online. Love my 54, but if you are mainly plinking the 50 would get my vote. It is great for hunting, but when punching holes in animals, you could make the case for bigger is better. (although a half inch hole is pretty darn big!!)

Doc
Link Posted: 6/18/2018 7:04:41 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By AeroE:
You'll want to buy a Deerstalker in that case. The stock will be really short and need shimming to recover length of pull after cutting a crescent butt off.

If you shoot light target loads in the .50 caliber rifle the recoil will be tolerable. Even your hunting load will shoot best at about 60 to 70 grains of black powder.
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Thanks aero!!!! I will go for the .50 !

Question please , for hunting what's recoil like for 60-70 grains of black powder like compared to say a twelve Guage slug ?

Also , what would a target load of black powder be? And what's recoil like???

If the recoil is tolerable I would love to have the Cresent but plate .

Thanks for your help sir , and God bless !!!
Link Posted: 6/18/2018 7:06:55 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By DocGP:
My other argument for 50 cal is that it is the most prevalent. Not many places carry BP stuff any more. The ones that do nearly always have 50cal. I have everything from .32 to 8 ga, but I cast my own or order online. Love my 54, but if you are mainly plinking the 50 would get my vote. It is great for hunting, but when punching holes in animals, you could make the case for bigger is better. (although a half inch hole is pretty darn big!!)

Doc
View Quote
Thanks for the reply doc !!!

What is the cost like for lead maxi-conical bullets ?

I am going to get the faster twist great Plains hunter, have you ever shot balls through one ??

Thanks again for all the help gentlemen!!
Link Posted: 6/18/2018 7:13:42 PM EDT
Ok guys , based on all your help here's what I am ordering

Lyman great Plains hunter with the faster twist in .50 caliber with the percussion lock and double set triggers .

I need some advice please four bullets and accoutrements.

What size lead balls and what size lead maxi- conical? I see there are different size balls and bullets that are all .50 but there are slight different widths ??

What thickness patches , and pretty lubed or no ? Also what lube do you recommend?? How would straight ballistol work as a patch lube ??

Do you still use a patch for maxi-conical bullets ??

What about starters , capers and power measurers??

Any thing else ??

Thanks a million guys !!
Link Posted: 6/21/2018 10:43:59 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/21/2018 11:46:53 AM EDT by DocGP]
moka,

Every gun is different, but i use .490 ball mold and the old blue striped cotton ticking for patches. Precut are fine also. A lot of guys actually take micrometers to the cloth store to pick out their patch material, but I am not near good enough of a shot to worry about that. I personally like the patch/ball combo to be easy enough to load that I am not in danger of breaking my rammer, but some guns like an extremely tight ball/patch combo for best accuracy. You just have to play with it and see what you want. Most of the conicals (that I have used) have a soft lead skirt so don't use a patch. They cost about what loaded ammo cost for a modern rifle in my experience, especially from basspro or cabella's.

Read up on the manual. My 50 cal says 100 grains max charge and it kicks like a Missouri mule with that. However with 50-60 gr 3fg and it is quite fun to shoot. Feels like 20ga light field loads. Mostly sound and smoke!! A short starter is not a bad idea.

My advice is also to clean up pretty soon after use. You can put it in the corner over night and be fine, but if you forget it a week and don't clean, you will have rust/pitting. Black powder residue it hygroscopic (attracts water) and mildly corrosive. Piping hot water with a few drops of soap are about the best cleaner I have found. Ballistol does great, and also works as a patch lube. Although a bit stinky!!! Spit lube works fine for a few shots while hunting and helps cut down on what you carry.

Have fun with your accessories. Pick up a bit here and a bit there. Slowly build your kit. Make it unique to who you are. That is part of the fun. I have built a whole longhunter outfit that I love to wear to gunshows, just to stir up conversation and (hopefully) promote the sport.

Before you know it, your bench will look like this;



Doc
Link Posted: 6/21/2018 12:23:18 PM EDT
Oh also forgot, two places to hang out with extremely experienced blackpowder guys and gals;

http://www.muzzleloadingforum.com

americanlongrifles.com

Doc
Link Posted: 7/21/2018 11:46:36 PM EDT
Have a .45 T/C and a .50 Investarms. I think the Investarms is slightly more accurate but neither are match rifles. I need to run about 50 more balls through each one before I decide if I want to sell either one of them. But they are great fun to shoot. My Investarms uses a larger musket cap.

Link Posted: Yesterday 1:56:35 PM EDT
Love my GP. 50 cal slow twist, flintlock with upgraded lock and trigger. I went 50 mostly because I had a bunch of 54s and wanted something different. I would have rather stuck with .54. In this rifle I don't intend to ever shoot anything but roundballs...twist rate was an easy choice for me. Other 1:48s I own shoot clinicals exceptionally well, and aren't exactly shabby with roundballs.
Link Posted: Yesterday 2:08:09 PM EDT
[Last Edit: Yesterday 2:09:03 PM EDT by Danny_Boy_2017]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By moka:
Ok guys , based on all your help here's what I am ordering

Lyman great Plains hunter with the faster twist in .50 caliber with the percussion lock and double set triggers .

I need some advice please four bullets and accoutrements.

What size lead balls and what size lead maxi- conical? I see there are different size balls and bullets that are all .50 but there are slight different widths ??

What thickness patches , and pretty lubed or no ? Also what lube do you recommend?? How would straight ballistol work as a patch lube ??

Do you still use a patch for maxi-conical bullets ??

What about starters , capers and power measurers??

Any thing else ??

Thanks a million guys !!
View Quote
All of my Lyman's do best with a ball 5/1000 under bore size. 535 for a 54, and 495 for a 50, whereas my TCs do best 10/1000 under. That said, the fact twist barrel is totally and completely different rifling, from what I understand. Not deep like the slow and compromise twists.

Patch thickness is an experiment to find what works best. Patch lube is the same way. I settled on Dutch Schouktz's dry lube system and found my best groups to date with .020 patches.

I would give Hornady Plains Bullets a shot, personally. They shoot well in everything I've tried them in.

I wouldn't buy too much extra (you'll figure out what you need) but here's a few essentials:

Flask
Adjustable powder measure
Caps
Powder
Patch worm
Flannel cleaning patches
Nipple wrench
Ball/ bullet starter
Cleaning jag

I would add a bottle of Tc bore cleaner to the list, so you can do a bit of cleanup at the range. You'll figure out your own repertoire in the long run...I use moose milk.

You're going to need to clean the grease from the bore. I believe Lyman recommends 0000 steel wool. This laps out irregularities at the same time.

Pinning your ramrod tips is virtually essential, too, unless you intend to use a range rod.
Link Posted: Yesterday 10:16:13 PM EDT
[Last Edit: Yesterday 10:23:43 PM EDT by Rocklock]
Precussion for sure .

Do you know if you even like BP ?
I will give you one piece of advise when shooting patched RB everything you'll read says real tight fit .

I ve been shooting BP since 1973 and I'll tell you something , if you use a snug patch instead of real tight you will load much easier especially when fouled .
You wont have issuses of getting stuck half way down and you wont notice any loss in accuracy .

Dont talk and load ...just load and think ! When not if you load a ball with no powder , have a screw with centering collet and a RANGE ROD with a handle.

Or you can remove the nipple and dribble powder down into the nipple hole , replace nipple ,cap and fire ....pop...the ball out .

With the hooked breech you just dunk the rear of the barrel with the nipple removed in a bucket of hot soapy water and pump it up and down with the ramrod and a patched jag .
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