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Thread: Lyman Plains Pistol

  1. #1

    Default Lyman Plains Pistol

    My younger brother has gotten himself badly laid up and is going to be riding in a wheel chair for a while. He is already bored and asking for little projects to do. I mentioned to him that I had thought about getting a Lyman Plains pistol in 50 cal. I only mentioned it and he ordered a brand new one in a kit to build for me. I offered to pay him but he wouldn't hear me out. He has one and has killed a couple deer with it and thought I ought to have one too.

    I asked my brother what he shot for powder in his Lyman and I was surprised when he said Pyrodex RS. My 50 cal carbine with 24 inch barrel won't cleanly burn 100 grains of RS. In fact it shoots the same fps with 80 grains as it does 100. 100 just gives more muzzle flash from the extra 20 grains burning outside of the barrel. I was thinking either Pyrodex P or FFFg but then got to thinking that since bother is using a musket cap for igniting his pistol maybe the hot ignition is giving him a cleaner burn with the RS.

    What do you fellas think about this?

    Back to little brother....he was being a good dude and helping push a young man out of a snowbank. Little did he know that the police officer that had showed up on the scene to keep it safe made a critical mistake. The police officer stuck a 2x12 under the front of the rear wheels on the stuck pick up truck for traction. Brother grabbed the bumper to push and the kid gunned the engine. The 2x12 shot out from under the tire and broke one of little brothers legs badly and severed the calf muscle on the other leg. He's as tough as they come though and will be back on his feet come Iowa musket season next october.

  2. #2
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    I have one and shoot 30gr of ffg behind a great plains bullet or 490 roundball and 015 lubed patch. Havent tried it with a musketcap but on my new englanders I would file down the hammer and use a musketcap. It greatly reduced the chance of a hang fire

  3. #3

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    Never owned one, but shot a buddy's 54 cal with RB's a bunch. He's using Pyro P or Goex 3f interchangeably. He tried all sorts of stuff over the chrono and got the best velocity and accuracy with the 3f or P. But every gun is different, and it's worth trying them in your own. Haven't found the right deal on one, or I'd own it. You're getting a great deal, but at a heck of a price for your brother. Give him our best for a full recovery, and a hats off for his generosity.

    My own brother severed a calf muscle while surfing, and recovery came in two stages. He healed up on schedule, but had lost most of the lifting motion in the foot. Took him over a year of steady exercising and therapy to get that back, but he did get it back.

  4. #4
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    Sorry to hear about the accident. Best wishes for a complete recovery.

    I built a .54 caliber Lyman Plains pistol up from a kit a few years ago. I ended up giving it to my best man as a groom's gift a few years later. I did three things that weren't in the book.

    1. I got a 12" flat file, made wooden jaws for my bench vise and filed all the lettering off the visible sides of the octagonal barrel. On mine the serial number was on the bottom side of the barrel and concealed by the stock when the gun was assembled, so no harm done.

    2. I took the lock apart and cleaned it up so it could cycle quicker giving me quicker lock time. Beware the case hardening on the lock parts is not even paper thin. Fine grained whetstone yes, any kind of sand paper, no. I remember getting the half cock dog in the half cock notch was a pain in the neck, but I eventually got it back together correctly.

    3. When I got around to blueing it I should have processed the barrel and breech in the same pot/ same batch. I used the same chemicals, but different batches and the very slight color mismatch always bothered me. I also read up on blueing and made mine black instead. I used the Birchwood-Casey gun blue in I think boiling water, there was some alcohol or acetone involved - but once it was out of the bluing I boiled the metal parts in water with -I think- baking soda, so the blue turned to black. I think I did three cycles of bluing- blacking- fine steel wool before I got to oiling the metal. It probably would have helped if I had filed the barrel flats on the breech together with the flats on the barrel, the step was very noticeable to me as the builder, and probably made the slight color mismatch more noticeable.

    Oh yeah, 4, on the walnut once it was shaped and smoothed I painted it with black latex paint, an then sanded it back clean so I had little specks of black down in each of the holes in the wood grain, and then varnished from there. The stock on mine had pretty nice grain on the side of the butt that was up against my shirt when I carried it strong side as a right handed shooter -only-, so the wood needed a little help.

    It was on this pistol I learned how fast pyrodex causes surface rust if not cleaned immediately - I tried some 777 after that and haven't ever bought another pound of pyrodex. Never did chrono mine, but sometimes I could see the RB flying down range after the smoke cloud cleared, so not very quick.

    If I was going to do it again I would do a .50 caliber and spend more money for better parts, especially the lock, but for a first build it was very lucky choice. Works good, all the hard stuff is done, etc etc.

    If he really gets into it he could do a really nice job on that gun in maybe a month or so and have time to build a nice ML pistol and nice ML rifle before he is out of the chair.

  5. #5

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    I didn't tell this part. Little brother is a very gifted woodworker. He has taken oak pallets and from them has built some beautiful clocks. His Musket pistol was also a kit and it looks awesome. He has also designed and built some pretty fancy pulpits for preachers to stand behind.

    He also had a few pieces of walnut and some cut glass sitting in his study next to the boxed pistol. He said that is to build a glass fronted walnut case to put the pistol in. How cool is that?

  6. #6
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    EKC:

    Is your brother using a Nipple that fits the Musket Cap?

    Smitty of the North
    Walk Slow, and Drink a Lotta Water.
    Has it ever occurred to you, that Nothing ever occurs to God? Adrien Rodgers.
    You can't out-give God.

  7. #7
    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    Know nothing about the pistol but pray your brother heals well and strong.
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smitty of the North View Post
    EKC:

    Is your brother using a Nipple that fits the Musket Cap?

    Smitty of the North
    Yup Smitty he is. Sorry for the long wait......i wandered off like old dogs do!

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Amigo Will View Post
    Know nothing about the pistol but pray your brother heals well and strong.
    Thanks Will! He is a very tough Dude. He's in his mid 50's now but is in very good shape so I'm sure he'll bull his way through this. Sorry about the late response!

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