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Posted: 11/26/2003 3:23:53 PM EDT
It was the most fun I have ever had with my clothes on. Shot a friend's the other day. It was a .54 caliber with octagon barrel, double triggers and hammer...not the bolt action type. Huge cloud of smoke, delayed KABOOM..it was AWESOME! I am wanting to get one but I have absolutely zero experience or knowledge of black powder firearms. In fact..I used to scough at them because I had never shot one. He paid $90 for his gun at a pawn shop 10 years ago. What could I expect to pay for an "entry level" black powder muzzle loader similar to his with the double triggers, wood stock, hammer etc...I believe his is a thompson. Thanks guys! It is almost scary how much fun I had. Usually means that not long after...my money starts floating out of my wallet. Any other info is greatly appreciated.

Link Posted: 11/26/2003 3:29:24 PM EDT
The traditional blackpowder muzzle loaders are much more fun than the modern in-lines as long as you aren't talking about cleaning.
Link Posted: 11/26/2003 3:33:45 PM EDT
Tell me more. Are they difficult to clean?
Link Posted: 11/26/2003 3:48:30 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/26/2003 3:57:13 PM EDT by Cpt_Redleg]
Thompson Centre makes some pretty good products. Most likely what you shot was some form of Hawken, which has become a pretty basic term used to describe pretty much any and all half-stock rifles out there. I've got one by CVA, generally considered towards the low end of the food chain. Bought it with two barrels for 80 bucks. However, it has proven to be an OUTSTANDING shooter. It'll compete with any of the high end customs out there IF I do my part of the work. If you look around you should be able to find a decent used muzzleloader similar to what you shot for around $125. Perhaps less. If you're just getting started, I'd recommend going with a .50 cal. as that seems to have become the most popular caliber to stock for the department stores. Wally world has, at least around hunting season, a pretty good selection of bullets and cleaning supplies for .50 and a bit less for .54. Also be forewarned that black powder, by which I mean real black powder, can be a little tricky to find. Apparently it's classified by the ATF as some form of low explosive instead of a propellant and as a result it requires a different form of license to be able to sell it. Most places that sell powder don't sell black powder. Thing I can think of off the top of my head to look for if looking at a used rifle would be make sure the percussion nipple isn't corroded on. A lot of people don't remove that when they clean, and some people have a pretty liberal interpretation of the word "clean", so a seized nipple might be an indication of other problems. Also have a small flashlight, since it's impossible to open the action to look down the bore. Make sure the half-cock position is functioning. When at half-cock, the trigger should NOT fire the rifle. If it does, a previous owner probably tried to smooth out the action and thought himself quite the gunsmith. If the owner will allow you to remove the lock, do so and inspect the stock under the lock for cracks. This is the most common location for a crack to develop if using repeated heavy loads. It is not normal if using normal loads. I bought a wall hanger once for $50. Seems it's previous owner was unhappy that the stock had split there. He figured the gun was cheap. It turns out he was a moron of the worst type, one who knows JUST ENOUGH to be really dangerous. He had read that a good starting load was to start with the caliber of the gun (i.e. 50 grains of powder for a 50 caliber rifle) but misinterpreted that to mean bullet weight. He was shooting 325 grain buffalo bullets, so he started with 325 grains of powder. After the 8th round, the stock split. I honestly do not know how this person is still alive. Anyway, look around and have fun. Make sure to get a Dixie gunworks catalog. They've got about everything you could ever need for muzzleloaders and good customer service. And good call avoiding those spacegun frontloaders and going straight to the real thing. [;)] Cpt. Redleg {edit: never type while trying to control kids
Link Posted: 11/26/2003 3:49:04 PM EDT
Not really that hard. Just take it in the shower with ya. Scrub both ya right up. And yes Ive done it. But all you need is a bucket with REALLY hot water and some soap. Scrub the shit out of it and rinse with equally hot water then dry it. then re-oil as neccessary
Link Posted: 11/26/2003 3:50:13 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/26/2003 3:56:23 PM EDT by Pangea]
They are hard to clean, especially if you shoot real black powder. I recomend you peruse the wares of Dixie Gunworks. Their catalog has a wealth of information that is hard to match. My .45 was a kit from CVA. I still have it and shoot it from time to time. No inline yuppie muzzleloader for me! You will learn alot by building your own just as when you build your own AR. Lemme know if you need info. Forgot to add that blackpowder doesn't have a shelf life so be careful inspecting used and even antique guns. If it's dry it will go bang with a spark.
Link Posted: 11/26/2003 3:54:48 PM EDT
The only difficult part about cleaning a traditional muzzle loader is that there is no removable breech plug that makes cleaning the bore very easy. There are a few more nooks and crannies to clean on a traditional rifle.
Link Posted: 11/26/2003 3:57:00 PM EDT
I just bought a couple of black powder guns. There is a type of black powder (propelant) that cleans up in cool water. This was recomended to me by the guy at the gun counter that does the mountain man shooting thing. Knows alot about what he sells. I'm at work right now, so I can't tell you what it's called.
Link Posted: 11/26/2003 4:18:32 PM EDT
Welcome to the world that we BP shooters call "The Dark Side".... BP rifles are a lot of fun. My Muzzle loader stable includes a Thompson Center .50 Classic, .54, and a .50 Flintlock (you aint lived till you've mastered that flintlock...). I also have several BP cartridge rifles in various Sharps models. Cleaning is only slightly more involved than white powder(smokeless), but it's not difficult it's just different - it damn sure is messier!!! TC builds very good quality rifles for the price, check Dixie Gun Works or Cabelas. If you want to shoot real black powder you'll have to buy it from suppliers who have a license to sell that type of powder (I buy Goex in 25 pound lots over the internet). You can also shoot BP substitutes such as Pyrodex and several other brand names which aren't considered high explosives and are easier to obtain. These BP substitutes also are a little more forgiving on how much time you can let your rifle sit before cleaning (although they should always be cleaned ASAP after shooting), real black powder needs to be cleaned out right after you are done shooting. Real black powder also will cake in the barrel much quicker than the substitutes - all that being said, I still still prefer to shoot the real stuff instead of the "plastic black".... Have fun-
Link Posted: 11/26/2003 4:20:32 PM EDT
They are not that hard to clean. It takes longer to thoroughly clean an AR-15 due to the residue in the bolt/bolt carrier and copper fouling in the bore. Put a pot on the stove with about a gallon of water in it. While the water is heating to a boil, take the barrel out of the stock and remove the nipple. When the water boils, put the pot on the floor, add a dab of simple green. Stand the barrel upright in it with the breech end submerged. Use a cleaning rod with jag and patch to pump water in and out of the nipple hole and into the bore with long strokes. Your barrel will be clean in about a dozen strokes. Remove the barrel from the pot and let the water drain out. The water will evaporate quickly because it is just below boiling temperature. Oil the barrel and bore as you would your AR15. Scrub the nipple and hammer with a toothbrush and reassemble your rifle.
Link Posted: 11/26/2003 4:38:06 PM EDT
The type of black powder substitute you refer to is called "Tripple 7" by Pyrodex. Available in bulk or pellet form. Supposedly pretty good, but no firsthand experience with it. Cpt. Redleg
Link Posted: 11/26/2003 4:46:28 PM EDT
Actually Triple Seven and Pyrodex are both BP substitutes manufactured by the Hodgdon company.
Link Posted: 11/26/2003 5:20:06 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/26/2003 5:21:17 PM EDT by gamesniper]
I've got a .50 frontstuffer the GF bought for me as a Christmas present from Cabela's, and I have ZERO complaints with it. The Cabela's are made in Italy, and they did a damn fine job-it looks EXACTLY like a T/C Hawken, and shoots just as well. Think they're about $250 now. I use Pyrodex RS in mine (FFG) and it works good, though other muzzleload-hunting friends of mine say true black powder (Pyrodex isn't) is more powerful, but harder to clean. They're hard enough to clean already, but as mentioned previously, no harder or longer than a complete clean job on an AR. Buy one-they're fun to shoot, and EVERYONE that has shot mine gets that shit-eatin' grin on their face. Something about shootin' one of those old-fashioned shootin' irons, I reckon.
Link Posted: 11/26/2003 5:26:56 PM EDT
Gentlemen...thanks for all the replies and info. Excuse the newbie question but what is the difference between a caplock and flintlock?
Link Posted: 11/26/2003 5:29:02 PM EDT
I do the same method that DnPRK uses except that I never use a dino oil . I use bore butter by TC to lube my rifle inside and outside. I own 3 50 cal rifles, one 12ga shotgun and a 50 cal pistol that was a kit.That pistol kit was fun. I would hate to be shot with a 50 cal round ball behind 40 grains of powder out of that pistol.Of course you better make that first shot count.I am way ahead of the curve when they take our modern guns away from us and then we only have BP frontloading weapons.
Link Posted: 11/26/2003 5:30:08 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/26/2003 5:30:38 PM EDT by Cypher214]
Originally Posted By DnPRK: They are not that hard to clean. It takes longer to thoroughly clean an AR-15 due to the residue in the bolt/bolt carrier and copper fouling in the bore. Put a pot on the stove with about a gallon of water in it. While the water is heating to a boil, take the barrel out of the stock and remove the nipple. When the water boils, put the pot on the floor, add a dab of simple green. Stand the barrel upright in it with the breech end submerged. Use a cleaning rod with jag and patch to pump water in and out of the nipple hole and into the bore with long strokes. Your barrel will be clean in about a dozen strokes. Remove the barrel from the pot and let the water drain out. The water will evaporate quickly because it is just below boiling temperature. Oil the barrel and bore as you would your AR15. Scrub the nipple and hammer with a toothbrush and reassemble your rifle.
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Were you TRYING to make that sound sexual? [:D]
Link Posted: 11/26/2003 5:39:01 PM EDT
Flintlock uses a consumable flint for igniting a primer charge in the frizzen pan. It's the kind you see in movies that spark and flash at the lock. Caplock or percussion lock uses a one time use cap containing fulminate of mercury(corrosive) to ignite the main charge via a nipple. You will have to work up a load and ball/bullet to suit your rifle. They don't all like the same thing. A dedicated blackpowder historian would never shoot a sabot or fake black powder pellet either. I would if I wanted to though. Most people wouldn't hold it against you.
Link Posted: 11/26/2003 6:00:56 PM EDT
Is there any advantage/disadvantage to using a flintlock? I am interested in those as well. I have a feeling I may take this black powder thing to an extreme...like everything else. What period were flintlocks used? What period for caplock/percussion?
Link Posted: 11/26/2003 6:09:44 PM EDT
Somebody help me here. I think flintlock replaced wheel lock and matchlock in the 1500s? and lasted until around the very early 1800s? Percussion is the most dependable of front stuffers and under hammer is the most dependable of percussion. Under hammer ignition systems have the most direct route to the charge. The flintlock with it's external primer charge in the frizzen pan is more susceptable to misfire from moisture. Also you will have to have a steady supply of properly sharpened flints. Flint knapping would need to be learned to be self sufficient. Get the Dixie Gunworks catalog and all you questions will be answered.
Link Posted: 11/26/2003 6:28:01 PM EDT
I ordered the catalog...can't wait to get it. Got another newbie question. What rifles were issued to troops in the civil war?> Do they use the patch and ball and load the same as the TC Hawken? Cabella's had an 1861 Springfield Replica that I gotta have but it didn't say what projectiles it could fire.
Link Posted: 11/26/2003 6:30:30 PM EDT
I've heard NOTHING good about sabot rounds. Everyone I know has tried them in their guns (Knight, Cabela's, T/C, CVA) and EVERYONE agrees that "those goddamn sabots never shoot to the same place twice". I, personally, haven't tried them (being somewhat of a traditionalist) and have no plans to. Everyone went back to the Lyman Great Plains or similar.
Link Posted: 11/26/2003 6:37:34 PM EDT
Some of the "creek people" used to let me shoot their muzzle loaders. It's a blast. A big heavy lead ball does a lot of damage. Clean-up is a bitch I've been told. Soap and water. Plus, you get dirty too. It leaves kind of a goo on you and your clothes. Lots of smoke.
Link Posted: 11/26/2003 6:41:18 PM EDT
The Zouave and the Mississippi rifle were used alot by the south though there were some squirrel rifles used too. Not sure about the north. The mini ball was the bullet of choice. It has a thin walled hollow base that expanded out into the rifling when the charge went off. Pretty acurate and devastating to flesh and bone. Patched ball was used some but I don't think they were issued. Pre made cartridges of paper were carried by north and south. The end of the tube was bit off and the powder was poured down the barrel. Then the paper and bullet was rammed home. When you get your charge worked up that shoots good in your rifle, mark the ramrod so you will know when the bullet is seated. That will guarantee that there is no air space in the powder. I pinch my cap out of round just a speck to make sure it stays tight on the nipple. I am working on a 1" bore cannon. It will have about a 3 1/2' barrel and a percussion ignition system.
Link Posted: 11/26/2003 6:47:38 PM EDT
Originally Posted By WX: I just bought a couple of black powder guns. There is a type of black powder (propelant) that cleans up in cool water. This was recomended to me by the guy at the gun counter that does the mountain man shooting thing. Knows alot about what he sells. I'm at work right now, so I can't tell you what it's called.
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Any kind of black powder residue in a gun will come off with water, both cold or hot. Just swab it all out with cotton or linen rags, dry the metal and wood, then oil it. I use olive oil, the heaviest variety I can find. Never goes bad. Avoid petroleum distillates around black powder guns- in my experience, they rust more quickly when using modern cleaning and lube products. Keep it simple, do it as they did it back then, and it will work for you too. Oh, BTW I'm a flintlock guy. Caplocks are for the LAZY! [;D]
Link Posted: 11/26/2003 6:49:21 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Redman: Tell me more. Are they difficult to clean?
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No, not compared to cleaning up an old milsurp bolt action after firing corrosive milsurp ammo and the cosmoline has started to leach out yet again in the heat....now THAT's a pain in the neck!!
Link Posted: 11/26/2003 6:51:52 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Snorkel_Bob: Not really that hard. Just take it in the shower with ya. Scrub both ya right up. And yes Ive done it. But all you need is a bucket with REALLY hot water and some soap. Scrub the shit out of it and rinse with equally hot water then dry it. then re-oil as neccessary
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Crazy as it sounds, this might not be a bad idea, (I'll try it with a .75 cal Brown Bess musket) but DO disassemble the gun first and don't let any little parts (screws!!) go down the drain...[:O] Dry and oil (gun) PROMPTLY!
Link Posted: 11/26/2003 7:03:29 PM EDT
Now that you smelled black powder smoke it's in your viens, you're hooked. Alot of the "entry" level front stuffer are not all that good in the quality dept., you'd be better served if you get a mid level rifle. I picked up an Austin & Halleck flint Mt. rifle for just a bit over $500 and I wouldn't trade it for any gun that anyone on this forum had. It's a sweet shooter and the lock sparks 100% with a good sharp flint. Cleaning isn't all that hard, if you have a hooked breech. Just take out the key that holds the bbl. to the stock, get a pot of boiling water, put the breech end of the bbl. down in the water, put a patch on a jag and pump up and down until you see the water come out the vent clean. Try to avoid soap if you can because it'll strip off the season that's in the bbl. I know I'll get flamed on that but it's a fact sure enough, you can not believe it if ya' want but I do believe it and don't use soap any more. Fore a cleaner/lube pick up some Ballistol, it's an excellent cleaner and will kill all the corrosive effects of the power, also works good on modern guns too, kills off the corrosive effects of primers in corrosive ammo too. Run a few patches lubed with it down the bore and you're done. Military muskets like the '61 Springfield or the '58 Enfield are generaly eaiser to shoot and clean then their civilian counter parts so keep that in mind. I've been shooting black powder since I was 16 yrs' old and I'm going on 43 so I've know a bit about em'. Here's a couple of sites that may have some more info. for you. Talk to ya' later. http://www.n-ssa.org/wwwboard/wwwboard.html http://www.sassnet.com/cgi-bin/ubbcgi/ultimatebb.cgi
Link Posted: 11/26/2003 7:26:18 PM EDT
Check out the National Muzzle Loading Rifle Association,(NMLRA). They have big spring & fall shoots. They're always looking for new "converts to the cause." I've met some good folks at the "shoots." Been going every year since the early 90's. Hessian-1[wave]out!
Link Posted: 11/26/2003 7:44:10 PM EDT
Yes, triple seven and Pyrodex are both by Hodgdon, I simply meant it was in the same category as Pyrodex to differentiate it from the smokeless propellants made by Hodgdon. Also, since you're mew to it, personally I'd recommend starting with a caplock. Flintlocks are fun, I move all of mine (and my wheel-locks and matchlocks, for that matter) but they're a bit more finicky. Probably best avoided until you know a little more about the sport. Also much easier to find caps than flints. Cpt Redleg
Link Posted: 11/26/2003 8:16:03 PM EDT
The smell of black powder is addictive. I started with a .36 1851 Colt revolver. Then came the 1860 .44, the .45 Ruger Old Army, the Pennsylvania .50, the 12 gauge side by side, the TC .50 in-line. If you want a challenge, try shooting trap with a BP shotgun. It's a lot of fun, but you won't be able to see your hits through the smoke.
Link Posted: 11/26/2003 8:40:06 PM EDT
Hates them I do.
Link Posted: 11/26/2003 9:19:03 PM EDT
I have a Hawkin rifle which is accurate to 200yds (length of range). They are fun
Link Posted: 11/26/2003 10:16:09 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Redman: I ordered the catalog...can't wait to get it. Got another newbie question. What rifles were issued to troops in the civil war?> Do they use the patch and ball and load the same as the TC Hawken? Cabella's had an 1861 Springfield Replica that I gotta have but it didn't say what projectiles it could fire.
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There were a lot of different firearms used in the Civil War because of the huge number of combatants and the scarcity of standard issue firearms. They varied from 1842 smoothbore (.69 cal) up to the lever action Henry carbines. The most commonly used musket in the CW was the 1861 Springfield. It shoots a .58 caliber Minie ball (an elongated conical bullet). Both sides imported piles of firearms from Europe because of shortages of weapons. The British provided the P53 (3 band) Enfield in mass quantities, making it the second most common firearm in the war. If you check around on some CW sutler (merchant) sites, you can find better deals than Cabela's for a replica musket. The Mississippi rifle was a Mexican War relic that was kept in service by the South. The so-called Zouave rifle was never fielded during the war. BTW, you really get the muzzleloader fever when you hear a pile of them go off in unison in a CW reenactment.
Link Posted: 11/27/2003 6:56:59 AM EDT
Originally Posted By 95thFoot:
Originally Posted By Snorkel_Bob: Not really that hard. Just take it in the shower with ya. Scrub both ya right up. And yes Ive done it. But all you need is a bucket with REALLY hot water and some soap. Scrub the shit out of it and rinse with equally hot water then dry it. then re-oil as neccessary
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Crazy as it sounds, this might not be a bad idea, (I'll try it with a .75 cal Brown Bess musket) but DO disassemble the gun first and don't let any little parts (screws!!) go down the drain...[:O] Dry and oil (gun) PROMPTLY!
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How do you get the inside of the barrel completely dry?
Link Posted: 11/27/2003 7:05:42 AM EDT
Originally Posted By TNFrank: Now that you smelled black powder smoke it's in your viens, you're hooked. Alot of the "entry" level front stuffer are not all that good in the quality dept., you'd be better served if you get a mid level rifle. I picked up an Austin & Halleck flint Mt. rifle for just a bit over $500 and I wouldn't trade it for any gun that anyone on this forum had. It's a sweet shooter and the lock sparks 100% with a good sharp flint. Cleaning isn't all that hard, if you have a hooked breech. Just take out the key that holds the bbl. to the stock, get a pot of boiling water, put the breech end of the bbl. down in the water, put a patch on a jag and pump up and down until you see the water come out the vent clean. Try to avoid soap if you can because it'll strip off the season that's in the bbl. I know I'll get flamed on that but it's a fact sure enough, you can not believe it if ya' want but I do believe it and don't use soap any more. Fore a cleaner/lube pick up some Ballistol, it's an excellent cleaner and will kill all the corrosive effects of the power, also works good on modern guns too, kills off the corrosive effects of primers in corrosive ammo too. Run a few patches lubed with it down the bore and you're done. Military muskets like the '61 Springfield or the '58 Enfield are generaly eaiser to shoot and clean then their civilian counter parts so keep that in mind. I've been shooting black powder since I was 16 yrs' old and I'm going on 43 so I've know a bit about em'. Here's a couple of sites that may have some more info. for you. Talk to ya' later. http://www.n-ssa.org/wwwboard/wwwboard.html http://www.sassnet.com/cgi-bin/ubbcgi/ultimatebb.cgi
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Thanks for the great LINKS!
Link Posted: 11/27/2003 7:11:00 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/27/2003 7:11:37 AM EDT by Redman]
What is the history behind the Brown Bess Musket? That seems to be a popular BP rifle.
Link Posted: 11/27/2003 7:23:59 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/27/2003 7:27:08 AM EDT by Stronghorn]
Been shoot'n muzzleloaders for over 25 years. Use a TC Renegade myself in .54 cal. Use nothing but GOEX black powder since day one. And I'll tell ya, compared to a detail cleaning of the muzzleloader to the AR, I can do the Renegade in less than a quarter of the time it takes on the AR. I can do the Renegade in about 15 min.(complete). Because when you clean the front stuffer, you are done vs. letting a modern gun 'soak' with the solvent and bore brushes, multipile patches etc. Blackpowder is a fun release. You don't need to reload your ammo, or look for deals on the same. Besides that BP smell is like heaven sent. And where else can you pick your nipple and grease your balls in public.
Link Posted: 11/27/2003 7:25:17 AM EDT
The Bess is a .75cal(10Ga.)smooth bore musket, not a rifle, so it's only accruate up to about 50 yrds or so. If you get a good one that has a proper lock it'll spark 100% with a good flint. They take a 1" flint so it'll throw a BIG shower of sparks. For a beginner it's eaiser to start with a good cap lock because they's less to mess with and less of a delay between trigger pull and actual firing of the weapon. Shooting a flinter will make you a better shot with any weapon that you've got because you'll learn "follow through" , that's where you hold on target after the trigger is pulled. You should have follow through with any gun you shoot if you want to shoot accurately and you MUST have it with a flintlock because it takes a split second for the gun to go off from trigger put to bullet exit from the bore. I LOVE my Austin & Halleck Mt. rifle. If you want a good rifle check into the A&H. They make cap lock as well as flint and at around $500 they're the most bang for the buck in a muzzleloader that you can get. Like I've said, you can get a cheap $89 dollar inline that'll work but it just don't have the heart that a good traditional style gun has.
Link Posted: 11/27/2003 7:27:17 AM EDT
I am wanting to buy a Springfield 1861 replica. Could someone point me in the right direction? I seen one at Cabela's but it was $650 and I've been told I can find one much cheaper. Are these rifles percussion or Flintlock and how were they used in the civil war?
Link Posted: 11/27/2003 7:34:48 AM EDT
You can keep an eye out on the N-SSA page, they normally have some guys selling off a gun or two or do a google search for Dixie Gun Works, they have them as well. I've seen used '61 go for as low as $400 so keep an eye out. I generally like to get a new rifle so you can take care of it from the get go, you never really know how the last guy cleaned or took care of a used rifle and with muzzleloaders it's extra important to clean/care for them. After the black powder bug hits ya' you'll be looking for a Sharps breech loader, either a '59 or a '63, when you get one take care of keeping the floating chamber cleaned and lubed or it'll stick and not seal the breech properly. I just bought a used '63 and had to do a butt load of work to get it to seal(new chamber, O-ring in the gas plate, ect.). Talk to ya' later.
Link Posted: 11/27/2003 8:08:33 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/27/2003 8:11:55 AM EDT by Cpt_Redleg]
Fall Creek has the '61 for $475, and they aren't usually the best price around, so you can do better than Cabelas for sure. Oh, and the '61 is percussion, to answer your question. HOWEVER it take musket size caps. These are somewhat more tricky to find, but they're catching on some with inline shooters so some department stores do now carry them. Sorry. Didn't see that question a minute ago. Must remember not to post while trying to determine if the turkey is on fire in the kitchen. Cpt. Redleg
Link Posted: 11/27/2003 9:16:05 AM EDT
Can you guys tell me more about the Sharps rifle?
Link Posted: 11/27/2003 9:42:52 AM EDT
Oh God, here we go, you must have gotten a lung full of that smoke,LOL. The Sharps is a dropping block rifle that takes a paper ctg. that you make from cigerette papers. It also takes musket caps. They aren't cheap, the cheapest ones are from IAB and and sell for alittle over $550. Dixie sell then and you can get them from EMF and other places. Most states won't let you hunt during black powder season with them because they're breech loading but they sure are fun to shoot. You can "roll your own" cartridges with a kit or you can put stuff together on your own. All you need are bullets, papers, a dowel rod to roll around, some lube for the bullet, 3F Goex BP or sub like Pyrodex and some stick glue. Hit the N-SSA site again and checked under "carbines" for more info. Of all the black powder guns the breech loaders, especially the Sharps, are some of the more fun guns to shoot.
Link Posted: 11/27/2003 10:05:20 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/27/2003 10:09:04 AM EDT by Cpt_Redleg]
[img]http://www.dixiegunworks.com/images/PR0862.jpg[/img] 1859 Sharps rifle [img]http://www.dixiegunworks.com/images/PR0982.jpg[/img] 1859 Sharps carbine Basically the main difference between the '59 and '63 is the deltion of the patchbox on the '63 models. Great rifles, a little more tricky than more standard muzzleloaders but worth the extra effort, at least to me. The repros are most commonly seen in .54 caliber, though they'll occasionally turn up in .50 or even .45. You'd about have to be Indian Jones to find one in .45, though. I started using clear shot black powder substitute in mine and that made life a WHOLE lot easier. he rifle version is also available with double set triggers as the Berdan model. Apparently the 1st US sharpshooters used them during the civil war with double set triggers. Theirs were also modified to accept a Dahlgren Navy bayonet. Why I don't know. Usually the difference in cost is about $90 additional for double set triggers. Also the repros made by Pedersoli have the tang drilled for a tang sight. One of my rifles is set up with double set triggers and a vernier tang sight. If I can see the target, I can hit it. VERY accurate. Cpt. Redleg
Link Posted: 11/27/2003 3:48:44 PM EDT
They are designed so that you don't have to disassemble them. For T/Cs there is a barrel wedge, just drive/pull that out and the barrel rotates up and disengages from the "hooked breach". For the Brown bess there are pins to drive out, three IIRC, and one big honking screw that holds the breach down (you'll want to watch that one) As an aside the Bess has no sights but the bayonet lug can double as a front sight. For the back just turn the breach screw so's you can look down the slot in it. It makes an ok rear sight. I found, also, that one can adjust for elevation by inserting small washers beneath this screw (to shoot higher just add another washer, lower-remove)
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