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Thompson Center Hawken 45 cal. - Help!

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Thompson Center Hawken 45 cal. - Help!

Old 08-28-2010, 07:06 AM
  #1  
Spike
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Default Thompson Center Hawken 45 cal. - Help!

I helped a guy with a roof this summer and as part of the payment he gave me an old (serial # 8519) Thompson Center .45 Cal Percussion Cap that belonged to his late father.
I've always been partial to the hawken & Lyman Great Planes so this was quite exciting to me.
I received JUST the gun, nothing else with it.
I have a few general questions because this is my first muzzleloader... Bare with me...

1: What powder do I use & how much - pellets??
2: I was told NOT to use anything but a roundball... true/false & why?
3: What percussion cap should I use?
4: Any other tips/suggestions/advice would be GREAT!
5: ANY IDEA what the value of this gun would be?
6: Does anyone have anything I need just collecting dust that they'd be willing to let go for a reasonable price?

Thanks a bunch for any/all help you can give!

I included pics because a pic is 1,000 words
Attached Thumbnails Thompson Center Hawken 45 cal. -  Help!-0828000948.jpg   Thompson Center Hawken 45 cal. -  Help!-0828000949.jpg   Thompson Center Hawken 45 cal. -  Help!-0828000950a.jpg  
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Old 08-28-2010, 07:28 AM
  #2  
Giant Nontypical
 
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1: What powder do I use & how much - pellets??
Pyrodex is my #1 choice as APP is very weak and attracts moisture and 777 is hard to ignite in my TC 45 and has a horrible crud-ring which is hard to get out and must be cleaned out every shot . Use P Pyrodex and swab every 3to 5 shots as needed to maintain accuracy. Try 50 and 55 grains
2: I was told NOT to use anything but a roundball... true/false & why?
You can use Maxie balls or other conical usually with 40 to 50 grins of P. If you use power belts plug the hollow point for use on deer or they may act like a fragmenting bullet.
3: What percussion cap should I use? CCI mag or RWS are good
4: Any other tips/suggestions/advice would be GREAT!
A .440 ball and a ticking patch works great with 55 grains of P in mine.
5: ANY IDEA what the value of this gun would be? Depends on the condition if mint around 300.
6: Does anyone have anything I need just collecting dust that they'd be willing to let go for a reasonable price?
Don't need much. A powder measure best is a TC view through, a short starter [made from a 3/8 hickory doll and a wood ball from the craft shop] a good ram rod a couple of jags and some cleaning patches [make from a flannel sheet material]a can of powder.
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Old 08-28-2010, 07:54 AM
  #3  
Fork Horn
 
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I use 100grain ffg black powder and a knight sabot 195 grain bullet in mine.
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Old 08-28-2010, 08:39 AM
  #4  
Spike
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Default few more things...

Thanks for the great answers!! I really appreciate them! any all suggestions are welcome!

A few other questions to add...

How far can I expect this gun to be accurate out to?? 75-100 yds?? further??
Which bullet/powder combo is most likely to give me the greatest accuracy?
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Old 08-28-2010, 08:58 AM
  #5  
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If you give t/c a call they will sent an owner's manual right out to you.
Art
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Old 08-28-2010, 09:30 AM
  #6  
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That is a very nice rifle you have... Go to T/C's web site, download the manual for that rifle and read it cover to cover. Lots of good information in there. Also there are load suggestions. When you have it read, if you have any questions, read it again. 1: What powder do I use & how much - pellets?? No pellets at all. The reason is the design of the bolster and the fact that you are shooting a #11 percussion cap. Just stick with loose powder. The powder I would suggest if you can find it is Goex 3f. That might be hard to come by, so you could shoot some Pyrodex P. The reason for the 3f grade is the rifle is a smaller caliber. I know not about a .45 caliber sounds small, but in the old days this was a small caliber. They also ignite better with the 3f grade powder. I suppose you could also shoot Triple Seven 3f in the rifle. As for the amount, let the rifle tell you how much powder it likes. Start your testing with about 70 grains. I have a friend that shoots a .45 caliber with 70 grains and a .440 roundball. I would hate to guess the number of deer he has killed with that rifle. As you work up a load, you might go up. When the group starts to open and fail, that is when you back down to what was accurate. That will be the load for the rifle. I will GUESS it will be around 80 grains of 3f powder. 2: I was told NOT to use anything but a roundball... true/false & why? Well both true and false. The rifle will shoot conical bullets like the maxiball. And that maxiball makes a good projectile. But roundball is most common out of the traditional rifles with the twist you have. They are deadly, and cheap to shoot. 3: What percussion cap should I use? CCI Magnum #11 percussion cap. Remington #11. Or RWS 1075 (if you can find them)... are all good caps and will serve you well. Also purchase a new stainless steel nipple for the rifle. Many times when rifles have sat around, people like to dry fire them. Or the nipples get plugged. If you have a new one, that will be one less thing that might stop you from shooting. Then keep the old one for a spare. 4: Any other tips/suggestions/advice would be GREAT! Even though the person said the rifle is clean, check it. First thing I would do it drop the ramrod down the barrel. If it all but disappears, that usually means it is not loaded. ALWAYS CHECK A NEW RIFLE FOR BEING LOADED! It will surprise you how many of them are sitting around with a charge in them. Now give the rifle a good cleaning. A water bath would be for starters. After that I would get a brass or nylon brush and scrub the bore with a good solvent. As rifles sit, they collect dust, grimes, grease, even bugs. Make sure that rifle is clean or you will have a head ache. Once it is nice and clean, check the bore. If you do not have a bore light or a very skinny flashlight (thanks Semisane for mine), then you can roll up a piece of tin foil. Make sure it is smaller then the bore. Drop that down the bore and shine a strong flashlight down there. The tin foil will reflect the light and give you a poor view of the bore. Look for rust, pitting, and wear. It should be fine though if the rifle was taken care of. This rifle might be a bore butter baby. Many of the old timers used bore butter to protect the bore of the rifle. If it has been stored a long time, I would remove the old bore butter out of the barrel. To do this, knock the wedge pin out of the escutcheon plates. Now lift the barrel upward from the end of the muzzle to about 45º and the hooked breech should come out. It goes back just the opposite. Take the barrel outside. In a tea kettle, boil water. Put on good leather gloves. Leaning the barrel against something and with the nipple out of the bolster, pour the boiling water down the muzzle of the barrel. This will melt the bore butter and float it to the surface, out the muzzle of the rifle. I like to run a bore brush at this point to help the old bore butter come off the walls of the bore and move out. Now the barrel will be hot, but pour that through. This is a good time for a water bath again, to make sure the bore is nice and clean. Be sure after this that you dry patch the barrel and either apply more bore butter (if you like to wax your barrel's insides) or a quality gun oil. As the barrel cools it will draw that into the metal and protect the rifle bore. With the nipple out, make sure it is clear. Hold the nipple up to the light in your fingers. Can you see light through it? Blow through it. That will clear out dust and oils. I like to put a dab of anti seize on the threads when I put them back in the bolster. Now you have a clean rifle with a clear nipple. When you get ready to shoot... first swab the bore with a patch and some isopropyl alcohol on it. This will take out the gun oil. If your a bore butter person, swab with a dry cloth and try and pull as much of the wax out as you can. Now push a dry patch to the bottom on the ramrod jag, and pop a cap. Pull the patch and check for burn marks. If you see no burn marks, do it all over again, UNTIL YOU SEE THOSE BURN MARKS. Now you are ready to load and shoot. Measure out your powder and dump it down the barrel. Here, some people tap the butt of the rifle on their shoe to level the load, some slap the lock side down, to know powder into the bolster. Some just load. Now load the projectile you decided to use. If shooting a conical, be sure the conical has lube, like bore butter on it. If shooting a patch and ball, make sure the patch has lube on it as well. A little lube goes a long way. When you are ready to fire, cap the rifle nipple. If you fire and the cap goes off but the rifle does not fire, DO NOT MOVE. JUST KEEP AIMING DOWN RANGE. These thing can hang fire. I like to aim down range for at least 30 seconds or longer. Remove the spend cap and try a new cap. If you heard a short fire, where part of the powder went off... this is not a time to load again. You hear a very muffled BOOM and no recoil. Wait for over a minute. Now drop the ramrod down the bore of the rifle. Did it disappear? If it did the rifle fired, but something contaminated the powder charge. This would be a good time to swab the bore with alcohol and then dry patch it. Also pop a cap on the empty barrel to make sure the nipple is clean. So load it and try again. If you get another short fire, your powder is probably bad or your loading technique suffers. If the rifle just will not fire, and your sure you loaded it correctly, something is blocking the bolster. Take the nipple out. Now drizzle a little powder down the nipple port. Replace the nipple. Take your ramrod and check your charge. It must be set down to the breech. Sometimes they will climb it you pop caps and such. So make sure it is seated. Or you have an obstructed barrel and a real danger there. Now cap and fire. It will ignite the powder you put in the bolster which 99% of the time will fire off the main charge. Once you fire you should be good to go, shooting roundball. You do not have to swab between shots unless loading becomes very difficult. When I swab a traditional, I always make sure to dry patch after the wet swab. Water is the enemy of a black powder rifle when shooting. Not when cleaning through. 5: ANY IDEA what the value of this gun would be? I have seen them in excellent condition go as high as $350.00 on auction sites, even higher for the .45 for some reason. 6: Does anyone have anything I need just collecting dust that they'd be willing to let go for a reasonable price? Let me look around and get back to you on that last one.
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Old 08-28-2010, 09:31 AM
  #7  
Dominant Buck
 
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no idea why the post took out all my spacings.. that's a mess.
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Old 08-28-2010, 09:36 AM
  #8  
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Originally Posted by flounder33 View Post
If you give t/c a call they will sent an owner's manual right out to you.
Art
It is a really good idea to get an owner's manual or download one from the T/C website.
It will have maximum loads,and suggested loads for your gun. It will also give you specific
safe loading and other procedures that you as a novice will need to know. Flounder is wise.
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Old 08-28-2010, 10:51 AM
  #9  
Spike
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Originally Posted by cayugad View Post
no idea why the post took out all my spacings.. that's a mess.
WOW! That's A LOT of info... but it is EXACTLY what I was looking for! Thank you very much!
I have killed many deer with compound bows & rifles but never with anything traditional... This year I have a recurve & a TC, should be fun!
I see you're from WI. I grew up in the Stevens Point area & moved to KC just 2.5 years ago. My wife wants to move back so I'm sure we'll be headed that way eventually.
Thanks again!
Luke
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Old 08-29-2010, 02:31 AM
  #10  
Fork Horn
 
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I have a.45 TC hawken also. It loves 70gr 3F Goex, felt wad and 240gr maxiball. It drives tacks at 70yds!!
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