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Tuning your muzzleloader
Hunting and discussion with Muzzle Loaders, Archery and other Primitive weapons
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Gil Martin
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Joined: Jan 28, 2005
Posts: 1476
Location: Schnecksville, PA

PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2005 5:38 am    Post subject: Tuning your muzzleloader Reply with quote

My preferences are the traditional sidelocks and most of my smokepoles are flintlocks. I like T/C Hawkens and Renegades and Lyman Trade Rifles and Great Plains Rifles. Nearly all of these rifles came my way through the used gun racks. The primitive muzzleloaders season in Pennsylvania falls after Christmas and is restricted to flintlocks (there is a mid-October muzzleloader season where inlines and percussions are permitted).

Flintlocks can be very reliable if they have a decent frizzen and flint and if the touch hole opening is kept clear of debris. Many years ago I adopted Lyman frizzens for all my flintlocks and fitted them to my T/C rifles. It is tool steel and does not wear out like the T/C which is case-hardened and soon prone to misfires. The local blackpowder shop replaces about 500 T/C frizzens a year and sells out of Lyman frizzens most of the time.

Knapped flints seem to be superior to "cut" flints. I use them all the time. To keep the touch hole open, a safety pin works well during the loading process, is free and can be pinned to an outer garment to keep it handy.

My experience has been that a carefully tuned flintlock hardy ever has a misfire. Anyone else have any thoughts? All the best...
Gil

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roundball
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Joined: Feb 13, 2005
Posts: 29
Location: North Carolina

PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2005 5:48 pm    Post subject: Re: Tuning your muzzleloader Reply with quote

GilMartin wrote:

Flintlocks can be very reliable if they have a decent frizzen and flint and if the touch hole opening is kept clear of debris. Many years ago I adopted Lyman frizzens for all my flintlocks and fitted them to my T/C rifles. It is tool steel and does not wear out like the T/C which is case-hardened and soon prone to misfires. The local blackpowder shop replaces about 500 T/C frizzens a year and sells out of Lyman frizzens most of the time.
Gil

Just FYI...TC completely redesigned their Flint lock assemblies 4-5 years ago...they are now 100% reliable...biggest redesign improvements are the hammer and frizzen...plus they've significantly improved their vent liner.

I have several TC flintlocks in different calibers, shoot one of them every Saturday at the range, flint life is now 40-60 shots per 3/4" Black English Flint...passed 3000 shots a few months ago, not a single lock failure.

I hunt them exclusively in the fall for deer and squirrels...they're like shooting .30-30's...the current lock design is flawless...wouldn't waste my time with them oif they weren't
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Gil Martin
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Joined: Jan 28, 2005
Posts: 1476
Location: Schnecksville, PA

PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2005 6:15 pm    Post subject: Re: Tuning your muzzleloader Reply with quote

roundball,
Thanks for the update. Most of my T/C and Lyman flintlocks came off the used gun racks so I missed the recent T/C lock improvements. I recall telling T/C about their frizzen problem back in the 1970s and they sent me another case-hardened frizzen. That's when I switched to Lyman frizzens for my T/Cs.

What calibers do you shoot? I have .45, .50 and .54 flintlocks (both T/C and Lyman(except the .45)) and try to shoot at least one of them every weekend. As soon as the rain stops, I plan to cast some roundballs in the backyard. All the best...
Gil

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roundball
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Joined: Feb 13, 2005
Posts: 29
Location: North Carolina

PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2005 6:46 pm    Post subject: Re: Tuning your muzzleloader Reply with quote

GilMartin wrote:
roundball,
Thanks for the update. Most of my T/C and Lyman flintlocks came off the used gun racks so I missed the recent T/C lock improvements. I recall telling T/C about their frizzen problem back in the 1970s and they sent me another case-hardened frizzen. That's when I switched to Lyman frizzens for my T/Cs.

What calibers do you shoot? I have .45, .50 and .54 flintlocks (both T/C and Lyman(except the .45)) and try to shoot at least one of them every weekend. As soon as the rain stops, I plan to cast some roundballs in the backyard. All the best...
Gil

All buy all mine used too...
FYI...TC's lifetime warranty is for the product, not even the original owner...during the past few years, I've sent several old style locks directly to the attention of Service Manager Tim Pancurak, with a nice memo asking him if he could do anything to make them more reliable so I could depend on them...a couple weeks later they'd show up in the mailbox with all new redesigned parts, no charge.

I shoot TC .45/.50/.54's...plus a .58cal GM's drop in barrel for the Hawken, and a GM .62cal smoothbore drop in
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slamfire
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Joined: Feb 07, 2005
Posts: 19

PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2005 4:20 pm    Post subject: Re: Tuning your muzzleloader Reply with quote

Those of us who own underhammers don't have many problems with ignition. Accuracy ain't any different than the others though, some things work, some don't.

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Gil Martin
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Joined: Jan 28, 2005
Posts: 1476
Location: Schnecksville, PA

PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2005 5:12 pm    Post subject: slamfire Reply with quote

Tell us about your underhammers. They sound interesting. All the best...
Gil

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slamfire
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PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2005 9:51 pm    Post subject: Re: Tuning your muzzleloader Reply with quote

Ill have to work on picture posting I tried one and it didn't work. There are some photos in the linked to at the bottom.

Receivers come in cast or stainless, and barrels can be easily changed. I've seen 4 bore smoothies as well as .36 short barrels. I have one of the later sold by Numrich in the 60s and 70s at the beginning of the muzzleloader revival. It is called a buggy rifle. The trigger guard is actually the mainspring that drives the hammer. Ignition is fast aand positive with not much distance traveled by the hammer and the nipple screwing directly into the combustion chamber. Pyrodox, 777 and the like are easily ignited by standard #11 caps.

Here is a link to a pretty good discussion:

Underhammer thread

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DallanC
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Joined: Jan 18, 2005
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Location: Utah

PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2005 10:55 am    Post subject: Re: Tuning your muzzleloader Reply with quote

Try the tutorial guide if you are having trouble posting images:

www.huntingnut.com/ind...icle&sid=5

I make this to help people who are having issues. I also am putting a second one online today or tomorrow showing how to use hosted pictures in message board posts both here and at other websites.


-DallanC
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DallanC
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PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2005 3:26 pm    Post subject: Re: Tuning your muzzleloader Reply with quote

Here is the tutorial I just put up to show people how to use images stored in the Photo Albums in posts and things...

www.huntingnut.com/ind...cle&sid=18


-DallanC
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roklok
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Joined: Aug 11, 2005
Posts: 607
Location: Fairbanks, Alaska

PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2005 7:12 pm    Post subject: Re: Tuning your muzzleloader Reply with quote

TC definitly improved their frizzens ,in my opinion they are as good as Lymans now.I used Lyman frizzens on my TC locks also but now just use TC,no fitting required.In my opinion the old TC flintlocks were superior to the new ones in that they had much stronger mainsprings.Every newer TC that I pick up seems to have a weak mainspring {compared to my two renegades built in the 80's}.The stronger mainspring makes the flint ''self knapping",I rarely have to chip a new edge on the flint on my TC's.My Lyman deerstalker and friends TC's require frequent knapping for reliability.
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roundball
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Joined: Feb 13, 2005
Posts: 29
Location: North Carolina

PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2005 8:25 pm    Post subject: Re: Tuning your muzzleloader Reply with quote

roklok wrote:
TC definitly improved their frizzens ,in my opinion they are as good as Lymans now.I used Lyman frizzens on my TC locks also but now just use TC,no fitting required.In my opinion the old TC flintlocks were superior to the new ones in that they had much stronger mainsprings.Every newer TC that I pick up seems to have a weak mainspring {compared to my two renegades built in the 80's}.The stronger mainspring makes the flint ''self knapping",I rarely have to chip a new edge on the flint on my TC's.My Lyman deerstalker and friends TC's require frequent knapping for reliability.


Had all my TC Flint Locks upgraded or replaced by TC with the new style improved parts...flawless...average 40-60 shots on them using 3/4" Black English Flints, knapp it once or not at all during a 40 shot range session...the new locks also have redesigned, taller hammers...TC's Flint locks made during the past 5 years are now just outstanding
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Gil Martin
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Joined: Jan 28, 2005
Posts: 1476
Location: Schnecksville, PA

PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2005 3:43 pm    Post subject: Re: Tuning your muzzleloader Reply with quote

Muzzleloaders sure are fun to shoot. The T/C folks no longer offer the Renegade or Hawken in .54 caliber as standard guns (and I will not pay custom shop prices). Lyman still offers their Trade Rifle and Great Plains Rifle in .50 or .54.

I usually shop the used gun racks and have been pleased to find decent blackpowder rifles at reasonable prices. Both T/C and Lyman have been outstanding in handling warranty replacement parts or repairs. All the best...
Gil

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roklok
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Joined: Aug 11, 2005
Posts: 607
Location: Fairbanks, Alaska

PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2005 4:36 pm    Post subject: Re: Tuning your muzzleloader Reply with quote

Gil I certainly agree with you about muzzleloaders being fun to shoot.Its a shame TC whittled down their traditional muzzleloader line like they did. I guess inlines are such a big hit now that they are focusing on them. When I was 16 I bought my first black powder rifle a TC Renegade flintlock kit.After assembling it I shot 600 balls through it the first summer I had it. At the time PA required round balls so I put a green mountain 1-70 twist 54 barrel on it,I still use this rifle with round balls even though we dont have to anymore.At the Harrisburg gun show in March I got lucky and found a like new renegade 54 caliber flint rifle that already had a Lyman frizzen installed.I only had to pay 250 for it,Iwas tickled as they are about 450.00 from the Fox Ridge custom shop.There are some bargains out there.
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Crackshot
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Joined: Oct 23, 2005
Posts: 1693
Location: Mich

PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2005 7:17 pm    Post subject: Re: Tuning your muzzleloader Reply with quote

I wish they still offered there Pennsylvania Hunter's as well. I have one (caplock) which I am told is hard to find. Shoots real well with 75gr FFF under swaged ball and .015" Patch. Real fun! Shoots better than my friends rifled Slug gun.

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Gil Martin
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Joined: Jan 28, 2005
Posts: 1476
Location: Schnecksville, PA

PostPosted: Sat Nov 05, 2005 6:10 am    Post subject: Re: Tuning your muzzleloader Reply with quote

Crackshot,
A few months ago a local gun shop had a like-new Pennsylvania Hunter .50 flintlock on the used gun rack. I got it really cheap. Seems the locals are going after new in-lines and are trading off their flintlocks and percussion rifles. All the best...
Gil

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