Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Traditions St.Louis Hawken Kit Gun Build!

I am pleased to say, I got my brand new Traditions St.Louis Hawken kit gun in on Monday and have started the build off! I got a great deal on it from Muzzle-Loaders for a whopping $318 + $8 shipping and got it within 5 days.

A great looking rifle overall, nice wood grain, great balance and an easy rifle to handle as its light weight but not so light, recoil will beat you up.

I am doing a complete step by step picture tutorial of this build for any new comers to the addicting sport of muzzle loading and this will cover everything from basic knowledge, to tips and tricks at improving your build, as well as any issues I find along the way and report back on. All of these things add up to help a new builder that may run into a problem!

This kit does require some wood carving tools, but overall, if you take your time, gather up the right tools and look at the "problem area" long enough and go in with a plan.... You'll do just fine!

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Wednesday, November 2, 2016

A new build on the table!

Since I sold my semi custom .58cal sidelock, I took my time thinking and looking around and finally came to the decision to order a new kit gun to serve as my main hunting rifle. I found the best price on the Traditions St.Louis Hawken at Muzzle-Loaders listed at $318 + $8 Shipping!

When it comes in, I'll be putting together a picture, build a-long for everyone to follow and read up on how I assemble the kit, any trouble areas I find and best of all, Tune up and Stock finishing how to!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Mountain Man Fur Hat

With the cold weather setting in, I finally decided it was time to dress the part and enjoy Traditional Muzzleloading! I've always been a fan of the movie, The Mountain Men, starring Charton Heston. He wears a number of hats throughout the movie and this style was one of them. Just enough of a bill to help cut the glare out of your eyes and some nice warm fur to keep your head warm and MAYBE, just maybe, enough fur to cover the tops of you ears to keep the earaches away long enough to snap a picture or two!

A hat like this is certainly not something you want to wear while hunting on public grounds, but for hiking and taking pictures, rendezvous shoots or even private property hunting, this is a fine hat and will last a long time with proper care.

This hat I bought off line and is adjustable with a leather strap inside to fit a head size of 7 to 8 with just the pull and tie of a leather thong inside. I thought that was a pretty nifty idea the maker added.

The hat is also made of Badger, which should really be soft and nice and warm on a cold winter day. It also is topped off with a wool liner!

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Muzzleloading Safety Inspection find!

I just wanted to share a very scary situation I found on a friends sons muzzleloader pistol! His son bought it at a show, unfired condition the seller told him. They felt that the lock was heavy and the set trigger was to stiff. After inspecting the lock and  trigger, they checked out in perfect working order.

The pistol brand is known for using a very heavy duty main spring which does make the lock feel heavy when you cock it. Even heavier when theres no lube on the rubbing surfaces! A little lube and oil and the lock felt perfect.

Same with the triggers! A little lube and oil worked into the rubbing surfaces of the trigger spring and engagement areas left a nice grit free, creep free trigger.

Getting to the bore I got my light out and was shocked to see that barrels breech plug and drum was packed full of fouling! I mean SOLID fouling! I used a small drill bit to break it up as much as I could, then used the hot soapy bath method to remove the rest.  Unfired condition? It was more like, fired until it would no longer fire!

I suspect the previous owner had been using a centerfire cleaner and just swabbed the bore from the muzzle end, rather than using the hot soapy water/suction method. All the previous owner did was push fouling into the breech plug and in the end, plugged it up and sold it off.

Luckily neither my friend or his son attempted to shoot it!

After the barrel was clean, I grabbed the nipple I had pulled out, went to clean it and my gut just sunk!

The nipple on one side had most of the threads broken off from poor cleaning and lack of up keep! Most likely, the owner had installed the nipple dry and over the time of shooting, all the blow by that gets into the threads, locked the nipple into the drum and he broke some threads during removal. The threads inside of the drum looked perfect and a new 6-1mm nipple was threaded into place and everything was in safe working condition.

Never buy something and assume the previous owner actually cared for it! Strip it down completely, inspect for cracks in wood,metal and especially the threads of the bolster/drum! 

 I took the pistol outside after I was finished cleaning and inspecting it, shot it 6 times and now, I will be ordering the same pistol because it was deadly accurate out to 25 yards!

After shooting it half a dozen times, I completely stripped it down, cleaned the wood, cleaned out the trigger mech, lock, nipple, threads, and did a good cleaning job before relubing all the parts. A nice wipe down with a RIG rag and she was back to the owner the next day.

It feels good knowing that  you most likely saved someones eye due to the previous owner being a skunk and selling something to an un-expecting stranger.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Patched Round Ball Mule Deer Hunt

September 10th, my brother were in southern Colorado hunting, deer,elk and bear. The first day we didn't do a morning hunt due to getting into camp at midnight. We spent the afternoon and evening setting up camp, getting things squared away and finally got out to do a little scouting on the lower lands. The low lands showed some deer prints in the valley we were looking, but it was pretty darn dry and hot there so we decided to skip that and concentrate on the elk first.

Day 2 comes by and we are in a new area just loving the heck out of it! Over 10,000 feet in deep thick forest and aspen. On the way up we kicked up a couple doe and then a small buck that went straight up a steep cliff and into the aspens.

The past 4 years they FINALLY allowed does to be hunted and since then, the buck population has exploded to the point, I actually feel comfortable putting in for a buck tag.

So on day 2, we kick up a couple does, hes getting his rifle ready and Im looking and said, forget it, to small! They look big in the woods, but if you have the time, you can look at their heads and if it looks almost like a dog in a way, short, shubby and scruffy, its not a mature doe.

They took off after a while and we moved on, finding some torn up ground, followed that and eventually worked into a large section of aspen.

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Traditions Mountain Rifle .50cal - Percussion Review

The Traditions® Mountain Rifle is a high-quality modern muzzleloader with an old-school flare. The Mountain Rifle maintains the classic styling and handling of time-honored Sidelock rifles, while offering great performance and affordability.

Weight: 8lbs 3oz
Overall Length:  48 3/4"
Hooked Breech
Flintlock & Percussion
.50 Caliber with 1:48 twist
Traditional Sights
Lifetime Warranty
The double set triggers I judge to be set to around 3lbs with a little over travel in them. I have not taken the triggers out of the rifle yet to grease them properly and once I do that, I am sure any creep I feel now, will disappear.

The triggers also seem to be inletted properly, depth wise. On the original Mountain Rifle, the previous makers had some trouble inletting the triggers to deep and so you had problems when you went to full cock, the lock wouldn't always catch that mark because the trigger was rubbing up against the sear, preventing the sear to engage the tumbler. Shimming under the front of the trigger to lift it up out of the way a bit was needed to fix this issue. So far, I have NOT experience this episode on the Traditions Mountain Rifle.

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Traditions Mountain Rifle .50cal - Flintlock Review

The Traditions® Mountain Rifle is a high-quality modern muzzleloader with an old-school flare. The Mountain Rifle maintains the classic styling and handling of time-honored Sidelock rifles, while offering great performance and affordability.

Weight: 8lbs 3oz
Overall Length:  48 3/4"
Hooked Breech
Flintlock & Percussion
.50 Caliber with 1:48 twist
Traditional Sights
Lifetime Warranty

READ MORE....