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Scoped A Traditional Rifle For Fun.


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#1 cayugad

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Posted 10 December 2010 - 04:59 PM

I had purchased a number of Simmons Pro Sport 4x32mm scopes from Natchez.com and wanted to scope a tradtional rifle that had a common twist. I wanted this to test my theory that by having a scope on a traditional rifle it would let me play with the in-lines in side by side accuracy.

12/10/10 16 slight wind, snowing lightly, damp and cold.
Thompson Center New Englander .54 caliber percussion cap rifle.
1-48 twist barrel.
1.5-6x40mm Traditions Illuminated cross hair scope.
90 grains of Pyrodex RS RWS 1075 caps
.530 Hornady roundball, pillow tick patch, moosemilk lube.
No swabbing.


The rifle I decided to scope was a Thompson Center .54 caliber New Englander. I first tired to set that Simmons Pro Sport 4x32mm scope but discovered that the hammer on the rifle no matter how I adjusted the scope, hit the bell housing of the scope, so it would not work.

I then remembered a long scope I had which might clear that rear bell issue. It was a Traditions Illuminated cross hair 1.5-6x40mm scope. Traditions had them on sale one day for $49.99 so I decided to see if I could break one. Plus I always wanted to test how well the illuminated cross hairs really work. It had been on a Green Mountain Barrel .50 caliber and had over 200 rounds through it. It was once even on my Remington Genesis. So the scope had went through a lot of abuse. I decided to see if it would stand for a little more.

I mounted the scope and as I suspected it did clear the hammer so there was no issue with bending the thing, or doing anything else.

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I had bore sighted the rifle in the house so I was sure it would be close to being on. I set the target out at 30 yards just to zero it.

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The first two shots were 2-1/2 inches to the right. So I made an adjustment and then shot a five shot group. Needless to say I was pleased with that group.

I then moved the target back to 50 yards and shot three shots. Again, it clover leafed. I was surprised though that the hits were basically in the same spot as they were at 30 yards. I would have suspected they might have came down a little. I was going to photograph them and discovered the camera batteries had gone dead, sitting out in the cold.

I decided to end the shooting session as I was getting cold also. And next time out I want to see how the rifle does at 100 yards. If it is going to be as accurate as I believe it will be, this would make a nice rifle for all around hunting, with that big roundball in it.

"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 TerryfromAR

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Posted 10 December 2010 - 06:16 PM

:( I really need to start building my collection..... maybe someday... LOL Sounds like you had some fun though...
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#3 cayugad

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Posted 10 December 2010 - 06:56 PM

I need to stop collecting. I was thinking of buying a T/C Hawkins .50 caliber percussion because I wanted one. And after I shot today, I was putting guns away and realized I already owned one. Pretty nice looking rifle actually... Getting bad when I forget what rifles I have.
"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 TerryfromAR

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Posted 10 December 2010 - 08:46 PM

Ohhh I WISH I had that problem LOL
Semper Fi

#5 REDGREEN

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Posted 11 December 2010 - 04:25 PM

Nice shooting for a coal burner. You should be ready to bark a batch of tree rats for sure. :boone:

#6 PA RIDGE RUNNER

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Posted 11 December 2010 - 07:14 PM

That is excellent shooting. I wish that the PA Game Commission would allow a scope on a flintlock. That would be interesting to see how well one could shoot if using a scope. Our modern rifle deer season just ended here in PA today. I need to get the flinchlock out and fire a few shots as I still have 1 tag left and the flinter season begins after Christmas.
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#7 cayugad

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Posted 12 December 2010 - 12:34 AM

Lets hope the storm that is pounding me is not moving on to you. They are talking wind chills tonight of -33. I am sure glad I will not be out in that. And it is still snowing. I am not sure how much of the white stuff we got, but the drifts outside are pretty impressive.

Good luck with your muzzle loader season. Wisconsin finally this year changed their laws and allowed magnified scopes. I had a bunch of magnified scopes on muzzleloaders already but none on a 1-48 twist. And everyone tells me that twist shoots roundball but not that well. I intend to make liars out of them. I have always claimed that the reason for poor accuracy is poor sight picture. And as of late, I just have a hard time seeing out to 100 yards at little red one inch circles... This should help.

The strange thing is, when this was all said and done and I cleaned the rifle. I realized it was on 3x in stead of 6x.

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This was at 47 yards. Strange it seems that the group stayed about the same. Although I note there is some stringing going on there. But still I was more then pleased with that kind of group. Where I hunt, that would be a long shot. So a deer would not have a chance with that rifle and that big roundball.
"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 PA RIDGE RUNNER

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Posted 12 December 2010 - 03:37 PM

I have been shooting a 1:28 twist for the past 3 or 4 years on my flintlock. Eric has been shooting a Lyman 1:48 twist using the prb and has lost two deer in the past two years. He said that both shots were good shots but even with a little tracking snow we lost both of them. His is a 50 cal and really shoots the prb well with 80 gr of 3f so should have done the job. We did some testing with the 370 gr maxi ball and that is what he wants to use this year. He is really anxious to get one with that combo.
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#9 cayugad

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Posted 15 December 2010 - 04:41 PM

Rifle: Thompson Center New Englander .54 caliber 1-48 twist
Scope: Traditions Illuminated cross hair model 1.5-6x40mm
Powder: Pyrodex RS and Triple Seven 2f
Projectiles: home cast .530 roundball with moosemilk patch and 250 grain Hornady XTP .452 with Red Harvester .54/.452 sabots. RWS 1075 caps
Distance: 71 yards with range finder bench rest
Weather: 16 slight wind (not much thank goodness) and very sunny


When I got up this morning it was -19.9 below zero and we are not talking wind chill here. A little warmer then yesterday morning at least. But the weather man said there was a chance for sun shine and temps in the teens. So I knew I had a shot at some range time. I kept my eye on the thermometer and the sky.

I had taken the scope off when I cleaned last time and wanted to see how close it would come back. I knew it was dead on at 50 and expected it to be a little higher on the target at 70 (since the rifle was technically sighted in for 100 yards) so time would tell.

I checked and it said 14 above zero. That was good enough for me. I got everything ready, rifle, targets, swab solution of pure alcohol, etc and headed to my back yard.

I decided to start with Roundball and a moosemilk patch. Last time out at 50 yards it groups very good but was stringing a little. I still decided to stick with 90 grains of Pyrodex RS just to see what would happen.

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The first shot on a clean barrel (and this rifle has a bore treatment currently working in it.) kind of surprised me. I did not swab since I was shooting Pyrodex RS and round ball and shot three more times. Actually for the first group at that distance, other then it being a lot higher then I thought it would be, I was pleased with the group.

So I swabbed the barrel clean with Simple Green, then used alcohol to make sure it was dry, and then dry patched it and popped two caps. I then decided to see how much difference the 250 grain Hornady XTP would do on the same kind of target. I loaded with 80 grain of Triple Seven 2f and shot at the lower set of bulls eyes.

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Again, surprised at how high they were hitting, but very pleased with the way this 1-48 twist barrel shot sabots. For that distance, I was more then pleased.

I then swabbed the barrel again and reloaded pyrodex RS and shot a roundball. It shows adj #1. Not enough of an adjustment. So I made another adjustment and shot the final set of hits. The first two were real good, and I was pleased. Then the next two came in low and wild and I was not sure what was happening.

So I swabbed the barrel clean and loaded triple Seven to see what the scope adjustment did to the XTP's. It stacked the two on the top. I swabbed and had a misfire with the Triple Seven. A new cap went off and it gave me the one touching the bull. I would not call it a misfire but it had a strange sound to it. I was worried about swabbing again. Maybe the cold and the fact of the swab was not agreeing with the Triple Seven powder. So I loaded and shot again and the results was the one next to the bulls eye.

By now I had been outside for over an hour and was really thinking .. Hot Coffee. So I decided to stop for the day and maybe get a warmer day. But over all this scoped traditional rifle is doing well. Especially with the XTPs. Sabotloader gave me the idea to try them in this rifle and he was right. A 1-48 twist will do a good job with sabots. One reason I used the Triple Seven because he has such good luck with it. As usual, I had a misfire. Oh well, that is the name of this sport.

Also this New Englander might have a single hunting trigger, but who ever did this one, did it right. It has to be one of the best single triggers I ever shot. No creep, and breaks crisp and clean.
"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."




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