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First Gun

Big Question is what are you going to do with it and what is your budget.

Target shooting is pretty open.
Hunting, you need to match the calibre to the game.
Reenacting - gets tricky, time period your doing, type of gun ... all come into the picture.

General rule of thumb is the better quality the gun is - the more reliable. Caplocks are more forgiving than flintlocks. Get a cheap flintlock and you will spend a lot of time wishing you hadn't. Quality flintlocks are a hoot!!! Just plain fun. But also cost more. If you go with a flintlock get good English flints. The staff at Dixie Gun Works are great at answering questions. They also have a great web site.
 

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Black powder rifle

I have been very happy with the Thompson Center rifles, no complaints.
 

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The TRADITIONS brand of side locks are very reliable, exceptionally accurate, and reasonably priced.

Check the Dixie site, they always have great deals, and the best selection I have seen anywhere.
 

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I have a Knight. I think it's a CK85, but I'm not sure on the model number. It shoots like a champ and the recoil isn't as bad as some of the other .50s when loaded with 100 grains of Pyrodex and a 275 grain sabot.
 

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The most reliable, easiest to clean, and simplest to operate are the break open style. CVA makes a very affordable model called the Wolf. About $150. One important thing to remember with muzzle loading is your rifle is only 1/2 the cost of the sport. Be prepared to spend another $100 plus for the other stuff you "need".
If you want to shoot round balls you will need to buy a more "traditional" gun with rifling designed for ball, muzzle loader accuracy is not mix and match.
 

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..I have a Beauty....

..I tell you a good first rifle,,the one i have had shot three times
it,s a Thompson Center Renegade 50,cal with instruction book
for loading and shooting and i have extra stuff to go with the rifle
im not pluging a sale,but its like new made in the mid 1980,s
and its just sitting in there..LOL 4 sale?????:D just go to
gunbroker.com type in Thompson Center Renegade...
 

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Dan

I am a TC man and have had great luck and terrific accuracy with 100% reliability from Thompson Center Arms products. I would look at the newer TC Triumph which has great feedback from range test reports.

If looking at a side lock and if you are a traditional sort og guy, I would look at the Lyman deerstalker or some of their other models. Dan
 

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Dan

I am a TC man and have had great luck and terrific accuracy with 100% reliability from Thompson Center Arms products. I would look at the newer TC Triumph which has great feedback from range test reports.

If looking at a side lock and if you are a traditional sort of guy, I would look at the Lyman deerstalker or some of their other models. Dan
 

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First B.P. Rifle

First decide if you want traditional side lock or inline. I use a CVA HAWKEN, #ii caps. I have used it since 1977, no problems and dropped a lot of deer, hogs and Javelinas, with NO complaints. I use 2 ffg powder, as I am a traditionalist. Good hunting, and "Keep Your Powder Dry" warthog
 

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Regardless of brand, look for a high quality bore (easy to keep clean -- the number one rule in BP), good trigger (adjustable prefered) dependable ignition, and good sights. The rest is just about preference and style.
 

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If this is your entry into black powder I would suggest a traditional side lock rifle. You will learn more and it's more fun with respect to the historical aspect. I have several CVA guns that I bought very cheap as kits in the early 80's. They shoot under 3" at 100 yds. I don't know if CVA is even in business anymore, I think they sold out to Traditions in the late 90's. Thompson Center makes excellent guns but they don't come cheap. Same with Lyman, excellent gun but expensive. I shoot roundballs in my T/C New Englander because it has a 1 in 66" rate of twist which stabilizes round balls but not conicals too well. If you want real knock down power get a gun with a 1 in 48 twist so you can shoot the heavier conical bullets which are much more accurate than round balls also. ( 1 in 48 will also stabilize round balls, so you cover both bases with that twist) If you are strictly concerned with extending your hunting season and taking longer shots maybe an inline is more appropriate. If you really get into it you can save money buy casting your own projectiles, either round ball or conical, with a lead pot and bullet mould, and pure non-alloyed lead. (don't use wheel weights!) There's nothing like going out on a crisp morning with a front stuffer and bringing home the venison! There are other little tricks that you will learn as you go, like not leaving a loaded gun indoors overnight and taking it out in the freezing morning temps. You will more than likely get a misfire from damp powder caused by condensation. That happened to me once and I quickly learned to leave the gun in the unheated garage...
 

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While everyone is jumping for the newest golly-gee-whiz in-line #209 primer muzzleloader, the traditional sidelock #11 percussion cap arms are going for fairly cheap. Check autionarms.com and gunbroker.com- you should be able to find a Thompson/Center Hawken in .50 or .54 cal for under $200. Will likely shoot better than you can.
 

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While everyone is jumping for the newest golly-gee-whiz in-line #209 primer muzzleloader, the traditional sidelock #11 percussion cap arms are going for fairly cheap. Check autionarms.com and gunbroker.com- you should be able to find a Thompson/Center Hawken in .50 or .54 cal for under $200. Will likely shoot better than you can.
C3 are those "used" prices? I paid more than that in 1991 for my T/C New Englander. Around here a T/C Hawken goes for over $450, twice what they sold for just 10 years ago. I recently tried to buy a .32 Squirrel rifle and the only one I could find was made by Traditions (the Crockett Rifle) and the cheapest I found it for was $430 from MidSouth Shooters Supply. Years ago CVA sold them for under $200.
 

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I have a Lyman Great Plains Rifle, 50 Cal. capper. Fine rifle but shop here:

http://www.thegunworks.com/

its a good place to become familiar with black power shooting. I met Joe Williams at a gun and knife show in Sacramento, Ca. He's a very knowledgeable individual.
 

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I have a Lyman Great Plains Rifle, 50 Cal. capper. Fine rifle but shop here:

http://www.thegunworks.com/

its a good place to become familiar with black power shooting. I met Joe Williams at a gun and knife show in Sacramento, Ca. He's a very knowledgeable individual.
Hey Dunerunner - thanks for the link. They have a variety of stuff and I was impressed that I can get parts for my old CVA rifles that are out of production! But the prices for rifles are about $70 - $80 higher than at WWW.MidsouthShootersSupply.Com. Midsouth sells the GreatPlains right hand percussion rifle for $409 instead of $486
the Deer Hunter Carbine for $278 instead of $348
and the Crockett Rifle ( the one I want) for $336 instead of $365

I was impressed that they sell the Shenandoah Rifle however, I havent seen this in over 10 years!
 

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Hey Dunerunner - thanks for the link. They have a variety of stuff and I was impressed that I can get parts for my old CVA rifles that are out of production! But the prices for rifles are about $70 - $80 higher than at WWW.MidsouthShootersSupply.Com. Midsouth sells the GreatPlains right hand percussion rifle for $409 instead of $486
the Deer Hunter Carbine for $278 instead of $348
and the Crockett Rifle ( the one I want) for $336 instead of $365

I was impressed that they sell the Shenandoah Rifle however, I havent seen this in over 10 years!
Yea, small shop, not much volume, prices a little higher but no sales tax in Oregon!! Added Midsouth to my favorites, thanks RL!
 

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Yea, small shop, not much volume, prices a little higher but no sales tax in Oregon!!

I don't pay sales tax from Midsouth either - they're in Tenn. and I'm in NY. They do have a lot of stuff for the Muzzleloader however. Almost like Dixie Gun Works.
 
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