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View Full Version : New to muzzleloaders and need some help


Shark Hunter
09-27-2007, 10:07 PM
I am looking to buy a muzzleloader and know nothing about them. I want to buy a flintlock style because it seems the most challenging to me. I am in desperate need from my fellow hunters for information on powder types, bullet types, gear I will need, anything you might think will help me.
Also if you know anyone who is selling a flintlock.

Nicodemus
09-27-2007, 10:20 PM
You can`t go wrong with a 50 caliber. With a 50, you can use either FFFg or FFg blackpowder, dependin` on what your particular rifle likes best. FFFFg is used ONLY for primin` the pan, NEVER DOWN THE BARREL. FFFg will work fine for the primin` pan if you can`t find FFFFg.

Both my flintlock, and percussion rifle are 50s, In my flintlock, I load 60 grains of FFFg with a .490 pure lead ball, patched with ten thousandths thickness cotton cloth. I prime the pan with FFFFg, and knap my own gunflints out of various flints and cherts.

My percussion rifle uses 70 grains of FFFg, with the same patched round ball, as noted with the flintlock.

These are my huntin` loads. PM sent.

TreeFrog
09-28-2007, 08:01 PM
When it comes to smokepoles, if nicodemus don't know it, it ain't known.

Nicodemus
09-28-2007, 08:48 PM
I appreciate the vote of confidence, and I know my own traditional rifles and pistol intimately, and enough about traditional rifles to be dangerous, but Choctawlb, Darkhorse, Fflintlock, and a host of others on here know a lot more about them than I do, I spect. :)

Shark Hunter
09-28-2007, 09:26 PM
I really appreciate the help. Is there any particular brand of the ffg or ffffg that you like best or is that the brand?
Which bullet is the most accurate?

Nicodemus
09-28-2007, 09:36 PM
I use DuPont Goex Brand blackpowder.

Fg is for cannons mostly, and a few large caliber smoothbores. It`s a very coarse grind powder.

FFg is for 50 caliber and above. It`s a medium coarse grind.

FFFg is for 50 caliber and below. It`s a "regular" grind.

FFFFg is for primin` the pan on a flintlock ONLY. It`s a very fine grind.

The letter "F" is a measure of how coarse the powder is ground. The more Fs, the finer the powder grind is.

Remember, the finer the grind, the faster it burns.

The only bullets I use are a .490 patched round pure lead ball. Since both my rifles are 50s, I can use either FFg or FFFg in them. They seem to like FFFg better so that`s what I use. My pistol is a 50 also, and the loadin` manual say FFFg only.

Darkhorse
10-01-2007, 10:28 AM
Goex all the way though a lot of folks like the Swiss powders. A lot of testing with a chrono is in order for the swiss and the grinds are different. I'm too old fashioned to change I guess.
3F can be used in .50 & .54 I used to be a dyed in the wool 2F shooter until someone finally talked me into trying some 3F. Now I shoot 3F in all but one of my .54's and the
.40. 3F gives higher pressures and loads should be reduced 20% from your 2F load. Some guns like one thing some like another.
Too bad your not lefthanded as I have a nice Great Plains flintlock I might part with.

Shark Hunter
10-01-2007, 06:43 PM
I really appreciate all the advice. If you think of anything that might be useful please post it. It might sound common knowledge to you but I know nothing in this field.

Nicodemus
10-01-2007, 07:04 PM
I really appreciate all the advice. If you think of anything that might be useful please post it. It might sound common knowledge to you but I know nothing in this field.


I forgot to warn you about one thing--traditional blackpowder rifles and shootin` em are just like turkey huntin`! It`s a disease that there is no known cure for.:bounce:


Consider yourself warned!! ;)

OconeeDan
10-01-2007, 09:50 PM
If you want a good blackpowder rifle for the money, I really like the Lyman Great Plains Rifles. You can get the finished rifle or a kit form. If you are handy with a few tools the kit form is very fun, and cheaper.
Try to decide what you want to shoot...
If you want to shoot patched roundballs, buy a gun with a slow twist barrel, 1-60 or so. Lyman GPR come in that version.
Like Nicodemus said, the 50 cal is a good place to start.
It is also a good idea to find a local friend to shoot with when starting...the learning curve is much faster and you'll buy less junk you don't need.
Also like Nicodemus said, Goex is my favorite powder. I tried Pyrodex and had some very bad hangfires with it. Pyrodex and some of the other "fakes" take a much hotter spark to ignite. Real BP works just fine.
Dan

wandering cowboy
10-01-2007, 10:14 PM
I forgot to warn you about one thing--traditional blackpowder rifles and shootin` em are just like turkey huntin`! It`s a disease that there is no known cure for.:bounce:


Consider yourself warned!! ;)

I'll second his statement...between him and a friend from another board I've have contracted the contagious "traditional muzzle loader disease"....Now just a matter of finding a nice left handed flintlock long rifle for less than $4000!
Nathan

fflintlock
10-01-2007, 10:23 PM
I use 2F in my 45 rifle I built, prime with it too. Most commercial touchhole linners are way to small, I drill them out to 7/32 and have never, I mean never had a missfire. When I touch those Davis triggers, that gun goes off, now!
What ever you decide to buy, always remember, you get what you pay for. You can buy kits, or finished rifles from 450.00 to 4000.00. just depends on what you want. Tomorrow night, I'll go through some of my links and post them, I'm too tired right now.

Shark Hunter
10-03-2007, 09:57 PM
What extra gear should I buy and what should I avoid?
Are the kits worth it or are they cheap?

Shark Hunter
10-03-2007, 10:01 PM
Where in the atlanta area is there a range that black powder is allowed. The closest one I know of is the one at Wilson shoals WMA and I will have to check if they allow them.
Anyone want to go target practice with a rookie and show him the ropes?

Nicodemus
10-03-2007, 10:01 PM
Sharkhunter, tomorrow evenin` I`ll take some pics of my shootin` pouch, and gear and post it on this thread for you, maybe that`ll give you a few ideas.

Most of this gear, you can make yourself.

Shark Hunter
10-03-2007, 10:05 PM
What guns would y'all recommend under $1000?

Shark Hunter
10-03-2007, 10:08 PM
Does firing a flintlock burn your eyes when it is fired?

fflintlock
10-03-2007, 10:19 PM
Not as long as your not looking in the touch hole, or standing just a foot or so from the pan. Bystanders beware standing to the right, of a right hand flinter, it'll throw a little fire and sparks out a few feet.
At first it freaks some folks out when they first shoot it and there's an explosion a few inches from your face. Ya gotta try to ignore it and you will after shooting it a few times.
If you have'nt already, you need to go check out Deer Creek Gun Shop over in Merrieta off of Fairground St. He'll have about what ever you need and a bunch of things you think you need LOL ;) From guns to powder and ball. I forgot about those links, I'll get'em to ya soon.

choctawlb
10-05-2007, 03:04 PM
If your looking for an affordable "hand made flintlock" or high quality parts to make your own smoke pole, go to www.avsia.com/tvm (Tennessee Valley Muzzleloading) . These folks make high quality reproductions, and their word is as good as gold. These folks stand behind their product, and they are a joy to deal with. These are just good folks. By the way if you want to hunt with a TVM in 2008, you should have ordered it in 2006, as there is about a 2 year waiting period on their flintlocks.
Ken

Nicodemus
10-05-2007, 05:22 PM
Here`s the contents of my flintlock rifle pouch.

Everything is laid out on extra patchin` cloth.
Deerskin "wallet" for extra gunflints, adjustable brass powder measure, forged screwdriver, and feathers, for pluggin` the flashhole.
Forged flashhole pick.
60 grain antler powder measure.
Antler and wood short starter.
Heavy cotton cloth for "whatever".
Rendered bear oil, for greasin` patches, and wipin` the rifle down after cleanin`.
Deerskin bullet pouch.

All of this fits in a deerskin pouch with a shoulder strap, and is lightweight and easy to carry. With this stuff, I can shoot, maintain, and clean this rifle .

The small powderhorn is full of FFFFg for primin` the pan. The larger elk antler powderhorn is full of FFFg.

Most of this stuff you can make yourself, with maybe a little tradin` with a good blacksmith. ;)

wandering cowboy
10-05-2007, 07:03 PM
Where in the atlanta area is there a range that black powder is allowed. The closest one I know of is the one at Wilson shoals WMA and I will have to check if they allow them.
Anyone want to go target practice with a rookie and show him the ropes?


You can fire black powder at Wilson Shoals, Me and another gentlemen were doing so this last weekend. For a right handed rifle there are a good sleection of muzzleloaders out there around a $1000.
Nathan

Hoyt
10-07-2007, 07:29 AM
Shark Hunter..I was pretty much in your situation a few yrs ago when I decided I wanted to start hunting spring gobblers with a flintlock.

I didn't know anything about them only that I wanted to use one to hunt with. I didn't care about the "PC" stuff..which means period correct...I think..still don't care about it...except that I wanted my gun to be as one would have been back then. I just wanted to hunt with the same type gun that that Daniel Boone and the boys did. I wanted to know first hand the challenge of using a flintlock.

I may one day go more into the PC direction with clothes..etc..but for now the gun and it's tools are what I'm interested in.

I didn't want to wait a yr and pay an arm an a leg to have someone build me one so I built one for myself. I built a 20ga. for gobblers using parts I got from Pecatonica and had never even shot a flintlock till I got it built. Tied the gun down behind a big pine tree and tied a string to the trigger for the first shot...didn't know if it would blow up or not.

Liked the flintlock so much had to have another one for deer..built a .54cal with parts from Pecatonica..before I got through decided I'd rather have a .58cal. lightweight for everything I'd hunt in America. So ordered parts from different suppliers and built it..my favorite. Now am working on another 20cal. for gobblers and am already wishing I was through with it so I can start one for hogs and squirrels..either a .36 or 40cal...probably a .36cal..so then I can need a .40cal..cause everybody needs one of them..then I can build a .32 just cause I don't have one.

If I had it to do again and could only have one gun for deer I'd go with the .58cal.

OconeeDan
10-07-2007, 07:45 AM
I have a flintlock Lyman GPR that I made from a kit. I think for the money, they'll shoot as good as anything. My rifle will shoot about 2in groups at 50 yds from a rest. And it's as reliable as any, if you hog out the touch hole as Nic said. Try Midsouthshootersupply.com or MidwayUSA.com for good prices.
Many of the kits are junk, but there are some good ones too. Dixie has nice kits as well.
Make sure you get the slow twist barrel.
These kits cost about 300 or so, and everyone I have seen has nice wood. Brown the metal and you'll end up with a nice looking rifle.
Dan

Shark Hunter
10-09-2007, 11:21 PM
What do you use to moisten the patching cloth. I have heard oil, grease, and saliva. What do y'all use?

Is there a specific size ball for 50 cal?

How much primer is used?

Shark Hunter
10-10-2007, 03:05 PM
Also, what type of flints are best?

Nicodemus
10-10-2007, 06:49 PM
If I`m target practicin`, or firin` from the line, I spit patch. I only use this method if I`m gonna shoot right then.

In a huntin` situation, I`ll use rendered bear oil to grease the patch.

I knap my own flints. I have flints made from English, coastal plains, agatized coral, Indiana hornstone, Kentucky blue, Georgetown Texas, Edwards Plateau, Bay Branch, and Early County blue ice. Any good flint or chert source makes a good gunflint as long as it is not heat treated stone.

fflintlock
10-10-2007, 10:12 PM
There are a ton of things people do different with muzzleloader, as you'll see. Experiment and use what best works for you.
I have a 45 cal. rifle that I use nothing but Thompson's Bore Butter on, to lube patches, bullets and to season the barrel. It will actually do as it say's it will do, season the barrel like a cast iron skillet, providing you use it regularly. I have experienced no rustin or any other problems useing this. I think it's a pretty good product.
I have a 62 cal. that I use nothing but "olive oil" on, patches, cleaning, etc. and have had no problems with any rust at all. This is the gun I use for all my 18th century living history programs and events, shoots etc. that I attend. Olive oil was used in the 18th cen. , as well as bear grease, or any other concoction you can come up with. It actually works pretty decent, beleive it or not.
I take a peice of cloth, the correct thickness for my patching and wash it, dry it, then pour and work into the cloth the olive oil. I have a thin strip of leather tied to my strap on my shooting bag, to this strip of leather I fasten my patch material, a strip about 2" x 7"
I cut my patches when I load, I don't use precut patches. These strips of patching have lasted for a year without having to be resoaked with the oil. I place the end over the muzzle, seat the ball flush with the muzzle, use my belt knife to cut the patching off flush, then ram the ball down, letting the patching material fall away, as it is tied to the bag strap. It's really handy and not a bad way to do it. After a few times you get the hang of it and it becomes second nature. What ever you use, make sure your cleaning process is compatible with your lubes and oils. Uaslly just a good cold soapy water, then rinse with cold water, will take out any thing in the bore, then clean dry patches, then your bore lube.

Each barrel will be a "little bit different then the next, inside diameter. You can take your gun to a smith and he can miche (mike) the barrel for you. That will tell you your bore size and what size ball to use. Then you decide on what thickness patches you'll need for a round ball, there are a couple different sizes. Conical bullets will not require a patch, just a little lube.

I put enough powder in the pan to half fill it, that is usally enough. You can fill the pan completely if you so desire, it won't hurt a thing. Just a bigger flash out in front of you, that's all.

I like the black english flints, knapped, not cut. The yellow french flints are a bit weak in my opinion. Always get the "knapped" flints too, as opposed to the "cut" flints. They look like someone cut them out with a saw, sort of a flat square shaped. With a little practice and the right tool, you can put a new sharp edge on your flints when they become worn.
Jerald

Shark Hunter
10-10-2007, 10:46 PM
Thanks, I really appreciate the help. That is the kind of info I really need.
Where can I buy flints? How can I put a sharp edge on them?
Where can I buy ffff powder?
I looked at bass pro and they were out of ffff powder and no flint.
What is a chert?

OconeeDan
10-11-2007, 06:47 AM
You'll get a different answer from each person.
I use Hoppe's Black Powder Solvent and Patch Lubricant to lube the patches.
I use English flints, found at Track of the Wolf or other places.
Dan

OconeeDan
10-11-2007, 06:50 AM
For powder, you need to find a place that holds a license. If Bass Pro was out, and they can get it, then have them order some.
OR, get with someone that goes to rendevous or civil war reenactments, there is usually a vendor there.
You'll have to watch someone knap a flint to see how. Chert is a rock found in Ga that could make spark, but not ideal. I'll let someone else with more knowledge jump in.
Buy flints from Track of the Wolf or Dixie Gunworks, buy a bunch at a time and you'll be glad.

fflintlock
10-11-2007, 06:16 PM
You can get powder and flints from Deer Creek Gunshop in Merrietta, the're on 280 Fairground st. S. E. 770-425-5060.
He's got a lot of stuff in there too, from guns, right down to stuff to build guns, ball, powder, flints, etc. you name it, he's got it.

Shark Hunter
10-11-2007, 08:16 PM
Yea, I went by there just before they closed today and they had the ffffg and the flints I needed.

This flintlock shooting has gotten me really excited about gun season again. It was becoming somewhat boring due to how easy it is to kill deer with a modern rifle.

fflintlock
10-11-2007, 09:09 PM
Can I ask you why you want 4FFFF powder. That type would best be suited to 32, 36 cal. or pistols or revolvers.
Ah yes, the dreaded "black powder" bug ;) Once you have been bitten, there's no going back.
Perhaps one day, maybe, we can have a "Woody's fflintlock shoot" some where at one of the ranges. Everyone can meet up, put some faces with names and do some shoot'n, both guns and bull LOL !!
What'cha ya'll think about that ?

Nicodemus
10-11-2007, 09:15 PM
Can I ask you why you want 4FFFF powder. That type would best be suited to 32, 36 cal. or pistols or revolvers.
Ah yes, the dreaded "black powder" bug ;) Once you have been bitten, there's no going back.
Perhaps one day, maybe, we can have a "Woody's fflintlock shoot" some where at one of the ranges. Everyone can meet up, put some faces with names and do some shoot'n, both guns and bull LOL !!
What'cha ya'll think about that ?

Long as we got a fire, coffee pot, meat to cook, and a trade blanket, I`m all for it! How`s February sound?

Shark Hunter
10-11-2007, 09:40 PM
Can I ask you why you want 4FFFF powder. That type would best be suited to 32, 36 cal. or pistols or revolvers.
Ah yes, the dreaded "black powder" bug ;) Once you have been bitten, there's no going back.
Perhaps one day, maybe, we can have a "Woody's fflintlock shoot" some where at one of the ranges. Everyone can meet up, put some faces with names and do some shoot'n, both guns and bull LOL !!
What'cha ya'll think about that ?

I bought it for priming the pan.

What loads do you shoot?
what are the max loads for 50 cal in fffg and ffg?

Shark Hunter
10-11-2007, 09:44 PM
Long as we got a fire, coffee pot, meat to cook, and a trade blanket, I`m all for it! How`s February sound?

I think fflintlock is on to something. I like that idea. I can make it pretty much anytime. Febuary works, but that is a long time away. Though it would give us some time to get a pretty good group up.

Darkhorse
10-12-2007, 08:06 AM
A get together sounds good but I have hard time makeing those. I have too much work to do around here and a full time job to boot.
If the get together don't work how about the annual Rondevous at Brushy Creek? I plan to be there this year.
I'd like to do a flintlock group hunt sometime.

fflintlock
10-12-2007, 07:47 PM
Well heck, let's plan it, we'll call it the,
"Woody's Flinter Camp"
This weekend sometime, I'll start another thread for it, or, one of you can start it, what ever, let's just do it ! ;)
I think it would be a HOOT !
Ken Purdy, you ready ?