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Author Topic: Gearing up for Blackpowder season!!!  (Read 4294 times)
Sean Kelly
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« on: August 30, 2009, 05:31:41 AM »

Getting pretty excited for deer season up here in Washington!  This will be my first time hunting muzzleloader.  Traditionally my mom's side of the family hunt modern firearm and my dad's side hunt archery.  I've been shooting muzzleloaders all my life but never hunted with one.

My grandfathers on both sides are pretty much the only people besides myself who are big blackpowder fans.  My grandpa Oester gave me my first riffle kit about 6 years ago which I put together in about 6 months.  It was a gun he bought back in the 70's that never even opened the box.  It's a 45 cal flintlock Kentucky longriffle.  It's a real blast to shoot.  My next blackpowder weapon was a replica 1851 colt navy revolver.  Then I bought from the local blackpowder shop here in Puyallup a replica 1690's Napoleon flintlock officers pistol in 69 cal!!!

But last November, my grandpa Kelly gave me my inheritance early for my birthday.  He said that he didn't want it to go to anyone else and it hadn't been put into the will and wanted to see me use it before he passed on.  I was really touched and honored to get his prized 54 cal Hawkin in perfect condition.  He's hunted with this gun for decades and I have no idea how he kept it looking so nice!

So this year several friends of mine who also have a huge passion for blackpowder shooting are starting our own camp.  We hope to keep everything as traditional as possible, staying away from camo and motor homes.  It's tents and tepees, open pit cooking, dutch ovens, and fur hats!  We're even taking it one step further by leaving the bic lighters and matches at home, starting the fire with flint, steel, and charcloth (don't worry, we've been practicing).

We will be camping at my parent's property deep in the cascades near a town called Darrington.  The property is very small and will just be for camp.  But it's a very beautiful location, right on the Sauk river.  We'll be hunting National forest lands.  Very rugged terrain but plenty of Columbian Blacktail.

Cant wait!  Should be a real blast.  Will be heading out for 4 days starting the 2th of Sept.

Anyone else planning on hunting muzzle loader this season?

Sean Kelly



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« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2009, 09:48:48 AM »

I love black powder....anything that extends the season is a must-do for me!
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« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2009, 11:01:48 AM »

If I had to choose one firearm to hunt with, it would be black powder. To me, nothing else compares, its challenging, you usually only get one shot, the black powder season here always brings brisk fronts and then there's the smoke! It definitely brings one back in time. I just love it!


...JP
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« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2009, 09:58:24 AM »

Sean, I recall a post a long time ago, about where you spoke about your Grandfather Kelly giving you that prized gun, at that time I thought you to be such a lucky young man, I still feel that way.  I know that you will wield that gun with the utmost pride.  What a wonderful gift.  I should think now that you are almost finished your hunting trip, or maybe in the last day of it.  What a great place, at your parents, to set your camp.  Hope you had the time of your life, and you will have some wonderful stories and tales to tell us, to take there, by your side, through our mind's eye.  Have a most awesome and wonderful day, great health.  Cindi
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« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2009, 07:55:58 AM »

Actually Cindi, I haven't left yet for our trip.  Opening day for muzzleloader is Sept 26th.  We will actually be leaving for the mountains on the 26th, setting up camp, sighting in our riffles, and doing a little scouting for the next morning, maybe even doing a little hunting.

You're right, I posted a thing here last year after my birthday when my grandpa gave me that riffle.  It's beautiful.  A 54 cal Hawken reproduction by Thompson Center.  I've made a little modification to it by replacing the percussion nipple and changing it over to use a musket nipple which uses a larger percussion cap, making more fire, ensuring a boom.  As you know Cindi (since you live in BC), here in the North West, it's wet.  The musket caps have a tighter seal, keeping moisture out.

Anyways, we're gunna have a blast.  I'll be posting pictures when we get back!

Sean Kelly
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« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2009, 10:00:04 AM »

Sean, cooooool!!!  I think I must have read wrong about when your trip was, my bad.  You have revamped your Grandfather's rifle nicely it sounds.  Knowing nothing of firearms, I can say no more, but I bet you have it right to your liking.  He (is he still alive?  I missed that in drawing from the cobwebs of my mind) woulda been/is, proud of you.  Things that come from our ancestors are very special, I have a few from mine too, small things, that would only mean something to me -- and of course, memories.  You have fun on that trip, safe travelling, and yep, yep, we wanna see some pictures.  Have that glorious and awesome day, lovin' life, with great health.  Cindi
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« Reply #6 on: September 17, 2009, 10:15:18 AM »

Sean, cooooool!!!  I think I must have read wrong about when your trip was, my bad.  You have revamped your Grandfather's rifle nicely it sounds.  Knowing nothing of firearms, I can say no more, but I bet you have it right to your liking.  He (is he still alive?  I missed that in drawing from the cobwebs of my mind) woulda been/is, proud of you.  Things that come from our ancestors are very special, I have a few from mine too, small things, that would only mean something to me -- and of course, memories.  You have fun on that trip, safe travelling, and yep, yep, we wanna see some pictures.  Have that glorious and awesome day, lovin' life, with great health.  Cindi


Yep, Grandpa Kelly is still here and doing very well.  He's a busy geezer, gardening, canning, fishing.  I actually got to go on a once in a lifetime fishing trip with him, my dad, and my uncle up to Alaska a two years ago (there's a post here about it somewhere in the archives).  I had a blast and am full of awesome memories standing next to him catching sockeye salmon on the Kenai river.  He gave the riffle to me early since it wasn't officially in his will and didn't want my aunts and uncles fighting over it or it going to an estate sale after his death.  He wanted to see me use it which makes it even more special to me.

Sean Kelly

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« Reply #7 on: October 02, 2009, 09:06:31 AM »

Sean, yes I remember your post of going on that trip, you are a very fortunate man....have that great and most wonderful day, health.  Cindi
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« Reply #8 on: October 18, 2009, 07:42:17 PM »

Sorry for the long delay in posting an update.
The hunting trip was awesome, even though we didn't see any deer besides one on the side of the road at night.  I did run into a blackbear cub about a hundred yards ahead of me down a ridge.  We had bear tags but a 100 yard shot at a baby bear just didn't seem possible.  Plus it would have made me feel bad.
The weather was totally unexpected!  70 degrees the whole time except the last night which rained.  We did run into snow on the last day up high but nothing at camp.
Also had an unexpected visitor in the middle of the night at camp.  My buddy Greg said he got an uneasy feeling while we were all passed out.  He crawled out of his tent and went to investigate and found himself face to face with a meth head about to steal our camp stuff.  Greg asked what the heck he was doing there and he said he was hunting raccoons.  Greg said he had a empty backpack and no rifle.  Of course the guy was scared to death seeing Greg, a half native american guy with long hair holding a a large blackpowder revolver.  Greg tried to wake everyone and the guy panicked and ran towards the road.  A pickup fired up as he got close and he jumped in the back and took off.
Had a blast, ate some great food, and drank lots of beer.  We can't wait until next season!!!
In the pic from right to left:  Me, Dan, Greg, and John.  Greg is a fellow truck driver from my work.  Greg is one of our mechanics.  John is one of Dan's friends.

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« Reply #9 on: October 18, 2009, 08:23:01 PM »

Sean it looks and sounds like you guys had a blast!  (no pun intended! grin) Did you target shoot? Yep, you probably would have felt bad killing "Boo Boo" and your daugher would give you heck!  Hopefully that guy got scared enough to not bother anyone else.  Your gun is beautiful!
Jody
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« Reply #10 on: October 18, 2009, 08:30:54 PM »

Sean is that a flint rifle? One of the first blackpowder rifles I owned was a Hawkin in the flint model. What a beautiful rifle. It is a great rifle. My passion is bow hunting but I do love the Blackpowder also. I purchased a TC Triumph with the weather sheild finish a couple of years ago now and equipped it with a Omega scope and LOVE it. It is so easy to keep it cleaned up compared to the traditional rifles. My old Hawkin is a real shooter though and much fun. I found that the Hawkin likes the round ball better than any other ammo I tried. You got me started now and can't wait till muzzleloader comes in. grin GOOD LUCK. Hope you bag a buck. Tim.
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Sean Kelly
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« Reply #11 on: October 19, 2009, 06:21:32 AM »

Hey Jody!  Yeah, the last day we did some target shooting before we packed up and came home.  I'm actually really glad that I didn't get a deer in my sights.  Most of the shots I made were duds.  All that money I spent converting to musket cap was a waste.  I switched back to percussion caps while we were up there and every shot went off.

Sparky, no, my Hawkin isn't a flintlock.  I do have flintlocks, a Hopkins & Allen Pensilvania long rifle in 45 cal and a Napolean era officers pistol in 69 cal.  But I don't hunt with them.  I plan on building a Kentucky longrifle flintlock for hunting before next season in 58 cal.

Those inlines are nice to clean, however most of them are illegal to hunt with in Washington state.  The dept fish/wildlife here tries to keep the muzzleloading seasons traditional.  The law says that the nipple has to be exposed to the weather and no 209 shotshell primers (or other modern primers).  Only no 10, 11, or musket.  Flintlock, wheellock, matchlock or any other primative ignition is still okay.  Oh yeah, no scopes, only iron sights.  Seems like overkill but if you've seen modern firearm season up here in Washington where all you see is a sea of orange, it makes sense.  We didn't see another hunter up there the whole weekend!  Was awesome!!!

Sean Kelly
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« Reply #12 on: October 19, 2009, 08:26:31 AM »

69 caliber? Sean, never expose your nipples to harsh weather.


...JP
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Sean Kelly
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« Reply #13 on: October 19, 2009, 04:48:01 PM »

69 caliber? Sean, never expose your nipples to harsh weather.


...JP

JP, that' why I wear a jacket.  HHAHAHAHA

No really though, they basically mean you need to use a sidelock or an inline that doesn't have a weather guard.

Yes, .69 cal.  Its almost the same diameter as a 12 gauge shotgun.  It's a period replica pistol so its a smooth bore.  It's a chore to shoot roundball.  I shoot .678 ball with a .015 patch and 50 grains FFG Goex blackpowder.  It kicks like a mule!  Haven't done it yet, but you can get wads, shot, and over cards for a 12 gauge muzzleloader and run it through it.  I think that would be really fun!  Someday.

.69 cal is more common than you'd think.  My buddy Greg is a amateur gunsmith and is in the process of making a .72 cal flintlock musket for hunting next year.  I think he's nuts but some of history's awesomest game had been taken with big bore muzzleloaders.

Sean Kelly
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« Reply #14 on: October 19, 2009, 09:46:40 PM »

 Most of the shots I made were duds.  All that money I spent converting to musket cap was a waste.  I switched back to percussion caps while we were up there and every shot went off.
Sean it sounds like you got a bad batch of caps. It happens. I had the same experience a few years ago when using a cva rifle that I thought would be better than my flint lock. It cost me two different 8 points that were within 40 yards. The one heard the dreaded click and went off to the side a few yars and stopped long enough for me to put another cap on and had the same results. Before I made it part of a tree I tried some caps, someone told me about and my dud problem went away. They are made in Germany and come in a little red plastic, round pack that says  100 Vorderlader No. 1075 PLUS made by Dynamil Nobel. They are a little hotter.
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Sean Kelly
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« Reply #15 on: October 20, 2009, 08:35:32 AM »

Sparky,

I think I'm just gunna stick with no. 11 caps and put the musket stuff aside for now.  I have those same caps you mentioned, a plastic round can about the size of a can of chew.  I had no problem with them at the range besides one dud.  But out on the field they preformed terribly.  My no. 11 caps which are about 6 years old fired all perfectly.  I think I'll just keep my Hawkin the way Thompson Center intended it.  I'll use that musket setup for a future rifle.
I love flintlocks.  Track of the Wolf has a kit of a 1803 Harpers Ferry flintlock musket that I've had my eye on for a while.  I just need to start saving a little jingle and hopefully have it before next spring so I can have enough time to assemble it for next hunting season.  Click here to check it out!

Sean Kelly
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« Reply #16 on: October 20, 2009, 07:28:32 PM »

The Harpers Ferry rifle looks nice. You got me pumped now because our Maryland early Muzzleloader comes in on this Thursday and I hope the weather is fit to hunt. I have been watching a few scrubs running around in the fields and told my daughter I will save them for her on youth rifle hunt day but you never know how the trigger finger will want to react. I have a neat looking pieball running around that looks like someone puts a spotlight on it when it stands near the other deer in the field. I will not shoot it just because of enjoyment of seeing something different.
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« Reply #17 on: October 23, 2009, 02:35:56 PM »


Early Muzzleloader Season Results.
I passed up on a bunch of scrubs last year and ended the season with a very rare,nothing taken so that my Daughter could have better luck with her first year of hunting. She ended up getting one the first day of Youth Hunt and another in rifle season. She had to rub it into the old man for not putting the meat in the freezer. This year I had to set the bar for her. Wink
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« Reply #18 on: November 07, 2009, 05:56:01 PM »

Sorry to hear about that Meth Head almost ruining your hunting trip. I try to always carry a concealed handgun for protection when my wife and I venture into the woods to hike, camp, or canoe. A few bad apples can ruin your outdoor experience if you turn your back at the wrong time. It seems to be worse every year.
 I have a T/C .54 New Englander that I switched over to the musket caps from the #11 percussion caps. The red German #11 caps mentioned are suppose to be three times hotter than the regular #11 caps and the musket caps are suppose to be three times hotter than them. I tend to agree that you might of got a bad batch because the musket caps have prevented hang fires in every muzzleloader that I've known to have problems. Are you using a "Hot Shot" nipple made by T/C ? Hope you get your ignition problems ironed out.
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Sean Kelly
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« Reply #19 on: November 08, 2009, 03:20:43 AM »

Nah, I just gave up on trying Musket caps.  I put everything back to No. 11 caps since I never had any issues with them before.  I was talked into the musket cap deal cause it sounded awesome but ended up being a pain.  Thompson Center designed the gun to use No. 11 and it seems to work fine.  Why fix something that isnt broken.  lol

Not sure if I'm going to build the Harpers Ferry rifle before next hunting season.  Probably will end up using my Hawkin again.  Will be focusing most of my rifle building time with my buddy Greg while we start blacksmithing out own flintlock barrels in his shop.  Going to be doing it the old way by hand forging bar stock into a forge welded tube.  Greg built a reaming and riffling bench which we will use after we hammer the barrel out.  It's a dying tradition and really cool to watch.

Sean Kelly
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