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Thompson Center Hawkin Rifle .50 Caliber


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#1 cayugad

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Posted 29 March 2009 - 06:43 PM

I had an opportunity to purchase a .50 caliber Thompson Center Hawkin rifle for a very reasonable price. Not being one to pass up a good deal I bought it. The prior owner claimed it was in new condition. IMO it was like new.

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So yesterday I wanted to work up a roundball load for the rifle. Most Hawkin rifles are powder hogs, so I guessed that it would like 100 grains of Graf's & Sons 2f and a moosemilk patched cast roundball.

Most my shots hunting are 30 to 50 yards max. Most of them 30 yards. So I brought the target in to 30 yards. I knew I had the sights close but never dreamed I was this close.

I was shooting 100 grains of Graf's & Sons 2f black powder. The reason for this is black powder is consistent. No matter how dirty it is, or what people think of black powder, if you want accuracy, shoot black powder. It will amaze you. I was also shooting cast ball I purchased from Gander Mountain. They are .490 diameter. And to set them of course I use 100% pillow tick with moosemilk I spritz right before loading.

I swabbed the barrel clean of any oil, popped a couple caps through it and loaded up. My first shot was real good I thought, just off the dead center of the bull at 30 yards. Without swabbing, the next two really started getting me excited.

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After that I started shooting roundball.

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This was the patches. They look beautiful out of that rifle.

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Then I decided I wanted to try some sabots out of this rifle. I was told that these Precision Rifle Extreme Hollow Point 300 grain, would shoot well out of a 1-48 twist. Well I was surprised how well they shot. This time I had a two inch dot.

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This was the first shot. I did swab with a spit patch between shots.

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When I did not swab, it did throw them a little bit. But over all I was kind of impressed with these Precision Rifle Extreme HP 300 grain sabots.

Then today I wanted to shoot it more. A person I talk to wanted to know how well it would shoot at perhaps 75 yards....

Well that question haunted me all night. So today I put another three inch Birchwood Casey Red Dot Bulls eye on the target, duct taped up all the old bullet holes so as not to confuse me.. Pulled up stakes at the 30 yard and marched it back to 75 yards. Well I discovered at 75 yards the snow was frozen too hard to drive the PVC legs into the snow. But I was able to find a spot at 72 yards where I could get it to stick with some bracing. So that's the best I could do, 72 yards. Man that three inch orange dot is small back there. I actually got readings of 70,72, and 77 yards, but I got 72 yards more often through my Bushnell Sports Pro range finder.




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This was holding that orange bull in a six o'clock hold making a 8 out of the front bead and the bull. The first shot on a clean barrel surprised me. The next two over joyed me.

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I kept on shooting the ball without swabbing until it was time for shot #6. So I swabbed the barrel clean using Simple Green Cleaner, then dried it with alcohol, patched it dry, and popped a cap. Loaded and shot #6. I was not pleased with #6 but that's the way it goes.

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At the end of the day the target looked like this... I stopped walking up there to check the target between shots, as it was a walk on ice packed snow. Where that one came from, I have no idea.

But to answer ther person's question of how well would it shoot at 75 (72) yards.. Not to bad at all.

I also bought a Thompson Center New Englander .50 caliber with a wood stock, and I bought a .45 caliber stainless steel 1-28 twist Green Mountian Barrel that fits this Hawkin. So I have a lot of shooting to do...

Edited by McBruce, 08 June 2009 - 08:31 AM.

"Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, a total wreck with a big smile on your face."

#2 PA RIDGE RUNNER

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Posted 29 March 2009 - 09:07 PM

Man you have the calming touch with those rifles. Great shooting. I know that a rifle has to be accurate to shoot those kind of targets but the nut that holds the trigger counts for a whole bunch too.
If God had a refrigerator would your picture be on it.
Remember the Ark was built by amateurs, the titanic by professionals.

#3 cayugad

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Posted 29 March 2009 - 09:18 PM

I was very pleased with the way this rifle shot roundball... After I shot the first three I kind of smiled and thought ... bring on the deer season. But that one that just took off.. I have no idea why it did that. All the ball loaded fine, and I was concentrating on sight picture and mechanics of shooting. All I can guess is since these are cast ball, it must have been a bad cast and I never noticed it when I loaded it. Because the others grouped too good.

And that is a good hot load. Would work fine for deer.
"Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, a total wreck with a big smile on your face."

#4 Spirithawk

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Posted 29 March 2009 - 09:46 PM

I've owned two T/C Hawkens. I always had good results shooting 90 grains with the round ball and 120 grains with the T/C Maxi bullet.

#5 REDGREEN

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 02:11 PM

Now, that is sweet! I am in the market for a 58 caliber Navy Arms Hawkins, if I can find it.

#6 PA RIDGE RUNNER

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 04:03 PM

RG the only problem with the 58 cal is finding supplies for it.
If God had a refrigerator would your picture be on it.
Remember the Ark was built by amateurs, the titanic by professionals.

#7 cayugad

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 05:39 PM

For a .58 caliber I bought a Green Mountain Barrel Company IBS barrel with a 1-70 twist. I have that mounted on a Thompson Center Renegade stock. Talk about a sweet shooter... 110 grains of 2f black powder and a .570 (284 grain) roundball and that rifle is my most accurate traditional rifle. I actually clover leafed three shots at 100 yards with it in the bull one day. My buddy called it Micky Mouse's shadow. I was shooting with some friends and after they seen that they teased me something terrible to shoot five shots. But I was smart enough not to shoot again, and left the group to stand for the day.
"Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, a total wreck with a big smile on your face."

#8 cayugad

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 05:42 PM

I want to get me a .58 caliber Zouave or a 1842 Springfield rifled musket in .69 caliber. Those I think would be a lot of fun to shoot at things..
"Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, a total wreck with a big smile on your face."

#9 silvertip-co

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 09:28 PM

COngrats on the new Hawken. Looks like it shoots real good. I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoy my Hawken( wish I took more time to shoot it).
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#10 Phil

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Posted 31 March 2009 - 02:46 AM

My hat's off to ya Cay ! That's some really great info to pass along to others here !
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#11 PA RIDGE RUNNER

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Posted 31 March 2009 - 06:32 AM

Just don't forget that real men shoot flintlocks not those newfangled cap and ball percussion outfits. Next thing you know some Knight will move the nipple to the back of the barrel and all will be lost. Well not as long as you make those great posts. Thank you Sir.
If God had a refrigerator would your picture be on it.
Remember the Ark was built by amateurs, the titanic by professionals.

#12 cayugad

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Posted 31 March 2009 - 10:43 AM

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That's a picture of a New Englander .50 caliber I bought a week ago. I shot it with some roundball and it did real well. But the target was only 25 yards. At that range I expect a sling shot to do pretty good... But I wanted the wood stock.
"Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, a total wreck with a big smile on your face."

#13 Spirithawk

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Posted 06 June 2009 - 04:51 PM

Just don't forget that real men shoot flintlocks not those newfangled cap and ball percussion outfits. Next thing you know some Knight will move the nipple to the back of the barrel and all will be lost. Well not as long as you make those great posts. Thank you Sir.



Paul, didn't anyone ever tell you..... flint is for napping arrowheads. rofl

#14 Fred

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Posted 07 June 2009 - 01:59 AM

I have heard it said that" if the lord had meant us to keep tyeing rocks to sticks, he wouldn't have invented gunpowder". Posted Image Fred
Quondo Omni Flunkus Moritati

#15 Jeremiah

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Posted 07 June 2009 - 11:55 AM

I have heard it said that" if the lord had meant us to keep tyeing rocks to sticks, he wouldn't have invented gunpowder". Posted Image Fred


It's derF! Must be a blue moon tonight. :P

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