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Thread: Anchorage: New BP Beginner

  1. #1

    Default Anchorage: New BP Beginner

    I want to get started in BP shooting with a 36 cal musket. I don't hunt, just like to shoot, so I don't need a larger cal. Where in Anchorage (or Soldotna/Kenai) can I purchase BP for it? I'm actually in Seward, but I know I can't get any in this one-horse town. (Heck, I can't even buy smokeless here...nobody has anything here.) Is FFF grade about right? I have heard I can use 00 Buckshot with a patch...is this true? (hate to buy a 25lb bag of buck, then find out it won't work...) Should be cheap shooting...

    Thanks
    Marshall

  2. #2

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    I'm not in Anchorage, but an earlier thread reported Great Northern Guns has Goex. FFF is just right for 36 cal in my experience. I'd bet that around 30 grains will be terrific for your anticipated needs, so that part is cheap.

    I'm pretty sure that you want 000 (.350 diameter) buckshot rather than 00 (.310). It can be had in 5# bags, but before spending even that much I'd buy a box or two of the Hornady .350 RBs (100 count) to use while getting your gun settled in.

    Finally, I'd by a couple of 100-packs of prelubed patches- one in .010 thickness and the other in .015 thickness. Depending on which gun you have, it might prefer one over the other. Initially any gun is going to feel a little tight when seating, but after a couple of hundred rounds or so it's preferences should be clear to you whether seating is tight (as preferred by most target shooters) or loose (as preferred by most hunters for ease and speed of loading).

    I think you'll be really pleased with your choice of 36 cal, whether for small game hunting or target. I have used both a 36 and a 32 for all my small game hunting in recent years.

    Which gun do you have? There may be folks here that have the same model and can offer additional tips specific to your model.

  3. #3

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    Thanks for the reply and info BrownBear. Sounds like I may have been mistaken about the 36 cal using 00 buck. I just read somewhere that you could use 00 buck in a muzzleloader, and it sounded like an inexpensive way to go. (besides, I already have a 25-lb bag of 00) Maybe they were referring to a 32 cal? I don't currently have a BP rifle, that's why I'm trying to get the right info first, then buy. Where can I get a 32 cal at not-too-steep of cost? (like $300 or less) Any recommendations on brand/model? Would a 00 buck work in a 32 cal? How many grains of FFF would you use in a 32? I don't plan on shooting at anything over 40 or 50 yards. I'll try Great Northern Guns the next time I'm in Anchorage, and see what they have.

    Marshall

  4. #4

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    Yeah, 00 buck is nominally .310- just right for 32 cal. I've got a Traditions Crockett 32 cal muzzleloader, and it's terrific. It was around $260 several years ago from MidSouth Shooters Supply, the cheapest place I've found on the web. The price has gone up a little in the last year, but I think they still fall within your budget. They're a really good looking rifle and a lot of gun for the bucks. I used to shoot either of two 36 caliber rifles for game, but I haven't fired a shot through either since buying the Crockett, if that tells you anything.

    There's one "snag" with the Crockett, though. Quite literally! If you use a cleaning jag to hold your cleaning patch it is very likely to hang up solid in the chamber right at the base of the barrel. You might think it will be okay if you avoid running the cleaning rod in that deep, but that area is critical to get clean. The solution is to wrap your cleaning patch around a 32 cal brush and use that rather than a jag. Easy solution, but a real PAIN if you don't know about it.

    I use 20-25 grains of Pyrodex P in mine when I can't get Goex FFF, and it works just fine. There's a noticeable crack when you shoot, so it's still breaking the sound barrier. If you go up as high as 40 grains or so, that little ball is whistling along at well over 2000 fps, and is considerably hotter than a 22 mag. The ball is a lot heavier than a 22 cal (around 75 grains as I recall) so it really smacks game on top of chargest as light as 20 grains. I have corresponded with folks who use 15 grain charges, but I haven't tried it myself. Even at 20 grains you want to be really careful to hit snowshoe hares in the head if you want to save the front shoulders and loin. It's also plenty accurate for head shots on grouse and ptarmigan out to 25 yards or so.

    My rifle and those of friends are all extremely accurate (no one I know has shot mine without immediately ordering one of their own). When you do your part, the rifle is capable of groups close to an inch at 50 yards. It will take 50 to 100 shots to "settle in" the barrel to get that kind of accuracy, plus you'll have to experiment a little with loads to find the one that is just right for yours. Mine likes .310 balls (Hornady swaged or those I cast myself) with .015 prelubed patches, as do all the others I'm familiar with. One friend got a 5 pound bag of Hornady 00 buck, and even though he shoots a lot, he still has a lot left. That 25 pound bag is going to last you a LONG time. Time will seem to fly though, because 32 call is so much fun to shoot.

  5. #5

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    I just doublechecked, and the Crockett is $293.82 at Midsouth, plus shipping. Here is the link to the Crockett on their site.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post
    I just doublechecked, and the Crockett is $293.82 at Midsouth, plus shipping. Here is the link to the Crockett on their site.
    Sounds good! I think I'm gonna order one, soon as I can convince my better half...

    It says percussion, so it uses those little copper caps for ignition...are they expensive? When they ship it, do you need to go thru a FFL dealer, or does it ship straight to you? (Not that it matters, but all the dealers in this town charge extra for that)

    Thanks for the great info!

    Marshall

  7. #7

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    Yeah, they're those little copper cups. The price isn't bad. The CCI's are most common around me, so that's what I use. You don't have to ship muzzleloaders through an FFL. They can come right to your door.

    You'll also need a powder measure, and it sure helps to have a "capper" to hold the percussion caps. I got a small T/C powder flask, clear plastic. I think they call it the "hunter" model or some such. It throws a 25 grain charge all by itself, but it's also a handy way to carry a small quanity of powder and dispense it into your powder measure without requiring you to take a whole can of powder into the field. While your at it, get a copy of the Lyman Black Powder manual. Full of loading data, safety precautions, loading procedures and cleaning directions. A MUST HAVE for anyone starting out.

  8. #8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post
    Yeah, they're those little copper cups. The price isn't bad. The CCI's are most common around me, so that's what I use. You don't have to ship muzzleloaders through an FFL. They can come right to your door.

    You'll also need a powder measure, and it sure helps to have a "capper" to hold the percussion caps. I got a small T/C powder flask, clear plastic. I think they call it the "hunter" model or some such. It throws a 25 grain charge all by itself, but it's also a handy way to carry a small quanity of powder and dispense it into your powder measure without requiring you to take a whole can of powder into the field. While your at it, get a copy of the Lyman Black Powder manual. Full of loading data, safety precautions, loading procedures and cleaning directions. A MUST HAVE for anyone starting out.
    Will do! Thanks for all the tips and advice...greatly appreciated!

    Marshall

  9. #9

    Default Pay attention

    Marshall, since you are new to this, the best advise I can give you is to pay attention to what you are doing. Until you get the hang of it, I advise you get a few good manuals on muzzleloading, and follow their guidance. It is even better if you have someone that is experienced that can walk you through your first hundred or so shots.

    I learned this the hard way when I was 17. I didn't read the instructions on my first my revolver (an 181 Navy) and nearly burned all the hair off my arm up to my elbow!!!! Lucky I didn't blow the gun up. When I read the instructions, I got it right and haven't looked back........
    Now just why in the hell do I have to press "1" for English???

  10. #10

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    I meant an 1851 Navy revolver.
    Now just why in the hell do I have to press "1" for English???

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