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You can't go wrong with a used 50 cal T/C caplock. I like the New Englander and Renegade without the set trigger. The Hawken is a fine looking rifle but the curved buttplate and small trigger guard with the tang underneath don't do anything for me as a hunter.

The High Plains Sporter is a nice hunting model with a large trigger guard.

[img]https://i.imgur.com/tQ1ixxe.jpg?2[/img]

Last edited by Bill_N; 09/22/22.

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Fixed that curved butt plate problem. Original stock cracked so I made a new one and put on a pad.Drilling the hole for the ramrod was a challenge.

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Incredible job on that stock saddlesore! I had a 50 Caliber Hawken for many years. I traded it for a New Englander when they first came out..


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Originally Posted by Pappy348
If buying new, I recommend Pedersoli. Still, I’d suggest you try to find a nice used one before plunking down big money on a newor custom until you’re certainit’s your “thing”.

My current Hawken is a Pedersoli and I love it. It's a bit finicky, but it's on a different level than the Traditions. It cost more than twice as much as the Traditions, so it should be better. It is a good rifle if it fits the OPs budget.

Other very good ones are Lymans and Investarms. Dixie Gun Works as some of their own branded guns but these are usually made by one of the Italian houses, like Pedersoli or Investarms.




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I’m building a investarms .50 Hawken kit. It’s about $500, plus ~40 hours of build time. I’m currently finishing browning the barrel which is a multi day process. I’ll probably have another $40 -$50 into materials. I thought it would be fun to shoot something with a gun I finished myself.

Not done yet picture

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Looking good so far.

I've never browned a barrel but watched either a Brownells or MidwayUSA video on the process. It's kinda complicated.




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Lot of good info here for you, plenty to ""sift" through. Only thing I'd like to add is that a cheap gun is... well... cheap. Made up of cheap materials and put together as cheaply as possible. They do, for the most part, work. Just don't really expect any longevity with heavy use. Some will agree, others will disagree. Just like all of this stuff, no matter the method, you can make it whatever you want it to be. As simple or as complicated as you'd like. Personally, my opinion, use the best equipment you can afford. Totally sucks when you're out at it and you have equipment failure.

Enjoy your time out there going at it!


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Originally Posted by DeanAnderson
Lot of good info here for you, plenty to ""sift" through. Only thing I'd like to add is that a cheap gun is... well... cheap. Made up of cheap materials and put together as cheaply as possible. They do, for the most part, work. Just don't really expect any longevity with heavy use. Some will agree, others will disagree. Just like all of this stuff, no matter the method, you can make it whatever you want it to be. As simple or as complicated as you'd like. Personally, my opinion, use the best equipment you can afford. Totally sucks when you're out at it and you have equipment failure.

Enjoy your time out there going at it!

I agree with this. While the Traditions was a nice, accurate rifle, it had some quality issues. Fit and finish was as you'd expect on a gun that cost around $450. Brass to wood fit was kinda rough. The ramrod was kind of whippy. It worked, but it had a lot of flex. The nipple wasn't quite square to the hammer face and the drum was not easily adjustable. (My Pedersoli has a drum that can be turned a couple of degrees either way to square up the nipple, but it came perfectly squared. A good feature if you want to switch to a musket cap nipple and need to make a very minor adjustment without meaningfully altering the flame hole to bore alignment.) And while not a quality issue, the barrel diameter was singificantly less than on my Pedersoli. IIRC, the powder charge limitation was 100 grains. More than I ever used. But the Pedersoli is 120 grains.

If you can pay in the $600-$900 range, you can buy a very, very nicely made muzzle loader.

It seems everyone that says they want to try muzzle loading but may not stiuck with it, ends up sticking with it and loves it. Might as well buy the best you can afford right off the bat, as Dean says.




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Thank you all for the wealth of information! I think I have what I need to start shopping around.

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Finding a decent caplock with a good bore should be no problem.

Finding the percussion caps might be the tougher problem these days.

A slow 1-66 twist is for patched roundball.
A faster 1-48 twist can handle ball or conical bullets.

Have fun with the new hunting season!


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Originally Posted by colodog
Finding the percussion caps might be the tougher problem these days.

I'm just starting out and I've found everything but #11 caps . I have a friend that's going to loan me some until I can find some available.


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Price is high but here they are available. $15.00 is high for 100. But not having any at all may be worse.

https://muzzle-loaders.com/collections/powder-primers/products/cci-11-magnum-percussion-cap




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