Saturday, July 26, 2014

Traditional Muzzleloader Bear Hunt!


August 16th will find me in Northern New Mexico hunting black bear with my brother in law as well as two gentlemen from the World Hunting Club. The world hunting club will actually be professionally filming this hunt as I try to take a respectful sized bear with my .58 caliber CVA Hawken that I pieced together almost two years ago.

This hunt will be a Do it yourself hunt, no guides, no baiting, no dogs, just lots of hiking, spot/stalk and watching waterholes under the blistering New Mexico sun!

New Mexico is currently under a fire ban at the moment so that leaves it all up to me to film little sections of the video with me casting my round balls over an open  camp fire. Other segments will include me lubing my own patches, weighing the round balls that I just cast, swabbing the bore with TOW and preparing my rifle for the hunt.

If YOU would like to see something specific or give me some tips, Let me know!

I want to do this filmed hunt RIGHT. Not the silly lame rear end way that we have to see things on TV today.

Hunting with a traditional patched round ball muzzle loader,has always been one of my passions, and with me being able to film it cleanly, I want to make sure those watching it, get to voice some of their opinions on area's that I may over look. Scenery will NOT be left out, that's for darn sure!

Long speaking sessions will also try to be limited, I am a shut up and hunt style hunter, not a sit in front of the camera and talk your ear off, hunter.

You'll get to see my equipment close up and see how it's used and me HOPEFULLY putting it to use!

Speak up guys and girls! I want your views and opinions and tips on getting this done RIGHT!

Round Ball Elk Hunt


This morning i headed out bright and early to start my 4th season Colorado Cow Elk hunt. I was able to locate a bunch of tracks of deer and elk. Close to 4PM I had went back to the area after a break and a nap at home and started back up to where i had seen some deer early this morning, along with millions of deer tracks and a darn good number of elk tracks.

I had been keeping my eye open on a certain area where i had seen the deer and as i was sneaking through the trees and brush, I took a knee to look under some oak brush before heading out into the open where i was going to set up under a tree.

I knelt down, looked around my area, and my eyes drift upwards to the side of the mountain that was directly in front of me, half way up, all I see is dark brown/black/tan bodies half way up the side of the mountain. I set the double trigger on the CVA .54 Mountain Rifle.

All 6 cow elk had me pinned down and knew I was there.


Thursday, July 24, 2014

Does centering your ball matter?

A lot of on the forums will hear the Traditional guys saying to stop using pre-cut patches and cut directly at the muzzle as its easier to center the ball in the patch every time rather than being off to the side from one load to the next.

While shooting off my shooting sticks at 150 yards, I took 2 shots before calling it quits as they were within 3" apart at 150 yards. It was time to experiment and learn for my self how much of a difference centering the patch VS slightly off centering the ball in the patch makes.

As we can see here, the patch on the left was slightly off center and blew out a portion where it was thinner and has was allowed to seem through, shredding and tears it apart.  The patch on the right was from one of my center shots at 150 yards which was directly dead center with the bulls eye.

Lets get to the fun part! TARGETS.
On the left we have 2 shots off my shooting sticks and patches that were carefully placed in the muzzle before being seated.
On the right we had 2 shots with the patches not being perfectly centered. The different in where those 2 shots impacted is GREATLY seem and could cost the hunter the animal he or she is trying to harvest. If its not a clean miss due to this off center patch, its going to be a wounded animal that most likely will not be recovered.

So if you are using pre-cut patches, spend some extra time and try to center them in the muzzle before pushing the ball down on top of the powder charge!

Review: Traditions 1860 Army .44cal

A review long over due but that's reviewing for you! You have to take your time, know the product you are working with and learn the good and bad about it.

In this case I bought " I paid for this item, it was not free nor is it a loaner from the company" a Traditions 1860 Army .44cal with steel frame.
I am not big on shooting the max loads out of these revolvers. Max loads just are abusive and not needed for accurate target shooting out to my average 12 to 15 yards, where most shooting was originally done with these revolvers back in the old days when they were basically protection against evil.

The Traditions 1860 Army is actually built by Italian firearm maker, Pietta. They have done a great job on building this model! The bluing is a deep rich, bright blue, color case frame is drop dead gorgeous, one of the nicest I personally have owned.

Like a great deal of Pietta made revolvers, this one shoots high. Pietta would really help us all out by putting an over sized front sight on it and allowing the new shooter to fine tune and file down the front sight so you have adjustment. Right now I am shooting a good 3 1/2" high at 12 yards. As you back up to say 25 yards, that height doubles and goes up to 6" high. A taller sight that we the shooter could file down our self would be a great upgrade on the Revolver.

The barrel is 8" in length and beautifully finished on the inside. My pictures will show is looking dirty and that it is. After a hot soapy water bath after shooting, I always dry the bore and then run Birchwood Casey Bore Scrubber down the bore. I am shooting .451" round balls and they lead up the bore greatly so the need of a solvent that cleans out lead is a must have. I've had the revolver sitting with Bore Scrubber for about 5 days now and while taking pictures of it for today's post, I smiled as I looked down the bore and saw how well the Bore Scrubber was working. A good deal of lead had been lifted up. Later on it easily brushed away with a bore brush and a couple dry patches later, it was ready for storage.

Cylinder lock up is tight and no rattling while cocked. This revolver has been the cleanest shooting black powder revolver I have shot, that's due to the cylinder being slightly pushed up against the barrel while at full cock. It amazes me how clean it is even after refilling all the cylinders 3 times. At the end of the shoot, I often just have to wipe the barrel down and clean the loading rod section of the barrel.

Now I am not real huge on black powder revolvers but one thing I always remember was to leave One chamber unloaded and the hammer down on that because the pistols of 10 years ago did not " Or at least the ones I had" did not have this cool safety feature!

The hammer has a small cut out and on the cylinder are 6 small nipples that stick out. You pull the hammer slightly back, rotate the cylinder to the middle of the cylinders and let the hammer down. The safety nipple engages into the safety catch on the hammer and locks it into place, preventing the cylinder from rotating onto a percussion cap. This is awesome and now the hiker or hunter that has this pistol slung to his or her hip, can now keep all 6 cylinders loaded and not worry about having one less cylinder.

The Traditions 1860 Army has a max load of 35 grains volume, 3fg black powder. I use 20 grains Goex 3f with a home cast .451" round ball and for preventing a chain fire, I dip a Q tip into Crisco and smear a little around the inside of the cylinder. You do NOT need to fill the cylinder guys, that just makes a mess when the revolver goes off!

The 1860 Army weighs in at 2lbs 11.5oz and is 9inches over all length. Trigger pull is just a hair over 2lbs and feels great with no grit or take up.

If you are looking for a great handling and shooting black powder revolver, check out the Traditions 1860 Army! I have found the best prices on them over at for around $215 + shipping.

Be sure to visit PatchNBall's Forum!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Hawken gets dialed in!

I am going to label this one as " Hawken Blues" due to the dummy behind the trigger forgetting to adjust his ramp sight up two clicks to dial her in perfectly for the long range distance I was shooting.


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Stone blade knife is finished!

Done!!  I took my dog out for a walk this evening and while he was running around acting like a nut, I went off and collected pine pitch. I got some real nice hard stuff along with some charcoal from the fire pit, ground that up fine and then melted the sap, added an equal amount of charcoal, mixed it up and then painted the sinew with this mixture. It acts as a glue to keep everything in place. Got it on some wax paper now and will give it time to dry and set up.

This was a super fun project and I may offer this as a service on the Forum/Blog for any one that is interested in having me make them one or two.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Lyman .570" Round Ball Mold

Finally! After the bag mold turned out to be a big mess and poor quality, I bought the Lyman .570" ball mold for my 58cal Hawken and they came out beautifully!

Weight ranges between 277 & 278.8 grains. I sort them to within 2 grains and put them in marked bags to make sure I get no light weight balls while out on the range.

Hopefully these will still give me good accuracy out to 175 yards.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

New Lyman .570" Ball Mold is in!

Now that was money well spent! The Lyman .570" ball mold was in todays mail but with the weather and other projects, casting isn't going to happen for a few more days.

No gaps, or casting flaws inside, no DENTS in the mold like the previous bag mold I tried to use. Expensive at $78 shipped but since I am going for 200 yards, I need the precision that Lyman molds offer. We'll see how heavy she throws them once I cast some up.

Making a new knife - The OLD way

Next up on the block will be an Obsidian knife with deer antler handle. My brother had me looking through some the other day, He's always wanted one so I figured he was going to make it. He gave it to me as a gift after we saw a knife blade like this on the history channels, Mountain Men. They are pretty darn cool looking and seem as if they can skin a deer. I have the sinew for attaching the blade, but I will have to do some research on the Pitch Glue I have to use to keep the sinew together and the blade held in tight.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Any clue what kind of pistol this is?

Check out all the pictures guys! I am in desperate need of knowing what the heck it is, possibly when it was made and value?