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  • New Muzzleloader

    I have larger caliber muzzleloaders ranging from 50 caliber up through 75 caliber, and I have small ones for small game, namely 36, 32 and 30 caliber. Notice the great big gap right there in the middle? I've been wanting a 45 caliber for years- big enough and legal for deer in Alaska, but small and light enough for easy carry and dandy for snowshoe hare with reduced loads.

    My all-time favorite is a 58 caliber Hawken built by the old Green River Rifle Works in Utah back in the 1970's. The outfit was only in business a few years, but built all their guns by hand from scratch. My Hawken is a thing of beauty and faithful to the originals right down to its 12.5# weight. Still love to shoot it, but it's proving more of a burden to lug each year.

    Recently several of the original GRRW gunsmiths got together to build a handful of the original GRRW offerings. I quickly determined that the individual gunsmith who did such a fine job building my Hawken 58 was among them, so I signed up to have him build another "GRRW" to their original specs.

    But this time around I wanted one that was lots friendlier to carry and perhaps even more useful for day-in, day-out use. I'll stick deer with it of course, but it's going to do most of its hunting on the trail of snowshoe hare.

    The parts have arrived for the build, so it's full steam ahead. He's building me a Leman Squirrel Rifle, the half stock version in 45 caliber with a 7/8" barrel. Evidently Henry Eichholz Leman also made "sporting" rifles in addition to all the trade rifles. This one is to be a "gentleman's" version with the Leman patch box and the stock carved from high grade figured maple. The original was intended for ladies and youngsters with a 13" pull and 28" barrel, but I'm having this one built with my usual 14.5" pull and the barrel stretched a little for a balanced look.

    Can't wait, but of course I have to. Delivery is slated for late spring/early summer. I don't even have it in my hands yet, and it's already starting to feel like it will be my new favorite!

    Here's the poop sheet and a glimmer of what it will look like: http://i185.photobucket.com/albums/x...pswqlxzi3p.jpg
    "Lay in the weeds and wait, and when you get your chance to say something, say something good."
    Merle Haggard

  • #2
    Do I dare ask what such a fine rifle sells for?
    Looks like a nice gun and your just the person to get a lot of use out of one.
    Good luck waiting on your new gun!

    Sent from my HTC One_M8 using Tapatalk
    "The closer I get to nature the farther I am from idiots"

    "Fishing and Hunting are only an addiction if you're trying to quit"

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    • #3
      More than "factory" muzzleloaders, but less than most customs. It's in the league of a good modern bolt and scope- right at $1600, all said and done. I've paid more for custom muzzleloaders that haven't had me near as excited.

      I can come pretty close to how many shots a year I fire through all calibers of muzzleloaders since I cast all my own balls. It's fluctuated between 2,000 and 2,500. Trouble may be, some of those may start collecting dust once I start casting .440 balls!
      "Lay in the weeds and wait, and when you get your chance to say something, say something good."
      Merle Haggard

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      • #4
        Thanks.
        A fine gun like that is certainly worth the price.
        Do you usually shoot real black or one of the substitutes?
        Can only find pyrodex here locally on the Kenai peninsula.
        My dad just cleaned up a .45 kit gun he assembled 40+ years ago that's been hanging on his wall forever.
        Had to replace the front sight as it was missing.
        I think shooting my .50 cal got him interested again.
        I just bought him a mold for his birthday to cast up some round balls and some Lee REAL comicals for it.
        Our local range has a black powder only bay that is a joy to shoot at.
        Going to have to get back over there soon!

        Sent from my HTC One_M8 using Tapatalk
        "The closer I get to nature the farther I am from idiots"

        "Fishing and Hunting are only an addiction if you're trying to quit"

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        • #5
          In my percussion guns I shoot both Pyrodex and Goex black, depending on supplies. I prefer the black, but when my supply gets low I have no issues switching to Pyrodex of Triple Seven. I have to shoot real black in the flintlocks, so when my supply of black gets below the halfway mark, I switch entirely to a substitute in the cappers while reserving the black for the flinters.

          Neat that you're getting your dad out again. It's always more fun to shoot with somebody you enjoy. We're a real small community out here (about 70 people), yet there are 8 or 9 of us shooting front stuffers. Pretty easy to stir yourself to get out when a bud says "Let's go!" At last count 6 of us are now shooting 58 calibers of one sort or another, and the other 3 shoot 54's. Just kind of a neighborhood thing!

          Neat that your range has a dedicated black powder bay. I'm over an hour from our club range, so I do about 99% of my shooting out in the hills closer to home.
          "Lay in the weeds and wait, and when you get your chance to say something, say something good."
          Merle Haggard

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          • #6
            That's going to be a nice looking rifle. Be sure to post a picture when it arrives. You sure make it hard for a guy to be frugal and not buy more guns! That is actually a pretty good deal for what you get, especially compared to other things a guy can throw a bunch of money at.

            A designated muzzleloader lane at the range would be nice. I live near a gravel pit that I use, but prefer to go when other shooters aren't there, which is only about half the time. The local range can be a little nutty at times. The University has a really nice range that the State uses for muzzleloader qualification. It sure would be nice if that was open for the public. I wonder if they'd consider it, with finances these days if the muzzleloaders offered some money for it's use.

            Brownbear: you need to send some of your deer this way!
            Louis Knapp

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Louis View Post
              The local range can be a little nutty at times.
              Another reason I don't use the ranges. It would be different with a real life range officer and some enforcement, but the guys showing up these days are no one I want to be around with guns in their hands.

              Here's a good laugh for you.

              Last time I was at the local range some guys showed up shooting AR-whatevers and AK-whocares. I was still downrange at my own target when they started shooting at their targets not 20' away from me.

              I started to leave, but thought better of it when I noticed the breeze was blowing across the firing line from me toward them a couple of benches down. I decided to stay a little while longer.

              They got all their mags reloaded, lined up, and started to shoot. I then popped off a shot with my Hawken 58, launching a round ball on top of 140 grains of 2f. They couldn't see a thing through my big cloud of white smoke. They didn't say anything as I went into a quick reload routine. They started to shoot again and I popped off another cloud.

              I managed to get off a third shot before they finished their mags, and we all walked down together. I had three nice little round holes in a better-than-usual 2" spread. Between them they had a total of 4 hits on paper from all those big long mags! :whistle:

              I packed up then, and never went back.
              "Lay in the weeds and wait, and when you get your chance to say something, say something good."
              Merle Haggard

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              • #8
                We don't always have RSO's but during busy times they will have one on the main rifle range.
                It's a 1,000 yard range so you really need to be sure it's clear.
                They did add red flashing lights to indicate a cold range.
                We had a guy start shooting with others downrange and he is now banned from the range membership revoked.
                If they catch you shooting modern guns at the black powder range you could also be banned.
                They are currently building a covered shooting area at the black powder bay.
                It's at the end of the range and quite a large bay. They have a large gong for us to shoot and several target stands.
                The shooting benches are new as well.
                Our whole range has been getting improved for all shooters the last couple years.
                Rifle,pistol,shotgun,and black powder.
                "The closer I get to nature the farther I am from idiots"

                "Fishing and Hunting are only an addiction if you're trying to quit"

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                • #9
                  Man, you folks are on top of it over there!

                  We just don't have enough guys making smoke to ask for anything set aside for us.

                  Of course, the wind keeps changing directions all the time, too.
                  "Lay in the weeds and wait, and when you get your chance to say something, say something good."
                  Merle Haggard

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                  • #10
                    Our range fees went from $80 a year to $150 a few years back.
                    Since then we went from 6 pistol bays to 12. 2 with shooting houses you can open small doors and shoot out of and have wood stoves for winter shooting.
                    The main rifle range extended from 600 yards to 1,000 yards after buying an additional 74 acres from the borough.
                    A new smaller rifle bay with 130 and 230 yard Max distances.
                    The black powder range of course.
                    Then they removed the old skeet house and are building two new ones right next to our 2 trap ranges.
                    They built a nice clubhouse too but it's only open for club meetings and hunters Ed etc.
                    So while our fees increased we got a lot more range for our money and all genres of shooting have seen improvements.
                    I don't see very many other shooters at our BP range.
                    But it's nice to see that when the other areas got money so did the BP shooters.
                    I hope it's a genre that never dies out but continues to grow.
                    If you ever make it to the central Kenai Peninsula you'll have to bring your muzzle loader to our range to check it out.
                    "The closer I get to nature the farther I am from idiots"

                    "Fishing and Hunting are only an addiction if you're trying to quit"

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by kasilofchrisn View Post
                      If you ever make it to the central Kenai Peninsula you'll have to bring your muzzle loader to our range to check it out.
                      I'll most certainly do that! Wow.
                      "Lay in the weeds and wait, and when you get your chance to say something, say something good."
                      Merle Haggard

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Wow, that sounds about like a shooters paradise, especially with the designated black powder range. It seems like if we got our act together here something like would be possible. Of course it would take some money, but I'd be glad to pay something for that situation. I'd much prefer a range that wasn't free but also wasn't a free-for-all over what we have now. What organization there runs the range?

                        Brownbear, I know what you're talking about with certain shooters. I was at our range with some other muzzleloader types and we were scratching our heads while watching some guys just blasting away at a large dirt berm at the range...no other targets at all. Hopefully, they were able to hit it!
                        Louis Knapp

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                        • #13
                          Those AR/AK type shooters that just want to spray bullets and brass everywhere are the reason our range added the extra smaller rifle bays.
                          To give them a place to go where they are not showering guys on our main range with their brass.
                          They can cut loose in their own little area.
                          Our local range is the snowshoe gun club.
                          Www.snowshoegunclub.com
                          We have elected officers and all that.
                          The December meeting is for election of officers.
                          They are open to our members with the clubs funding and budgets.
                          They get some matching funds from friends of the NRA and members often volunteer to help with improvements.
                          They also get local companies to give discounted services to the club for the major work projects.
                          In reality $150 a year is only $12.50 a month for unlimited range use.
                          There are occasionally closures of small areas for repairs/improvements or competitions/classes.
                          Most of that is posted on their website and always at the gate when entering.
                          The range property was leased for years from the borough.
                          When the club sought to buy the land there was talk of the range going public.
                          But the club nixed that one and bought the property.
                          There was a legitimate concern with our range getting trashed by certain segments of the public.
                          I'm only 10-15 minutes from our range and it is great for me.
                          Especially since they cover all genres of shooting as I am into all of them myself.
                          Owning rifles,pistols,shotguns,and black powder firearms.
                          If I owned a custom black powder rifle such as what brownbear just ordered I would be at our range a lot more often I think.
                          Would be a joy to shoot it without hassle from those spray and pray types.
                          "The closer I get to nature the farther I am from idiots"

                          "Fishing and Hunting are only an addiction if you're trying to quit"

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by BrownBear View Post
                            More than "factory" muzzleloaders, but less than most customs. It's in the league of a good modern bolt and scope- right at $1600, all said and done. I've paid more for custom muzzleloaders that haven't had me near as excited.

                            I can come pretty close to how many shots a year I fire through all calibers of muzzleloaders since I cast all my own balls. It's fluctuated between 2,000 and 2,500. Trouble may be, some of those may start collecting dust once I start casting .440 balls!

                            Hi Brown Bear, what is the web site where one could look at and possibly order a rifle from these folks? I'd like a 58 Hawken some day for round ball shooting and hunting... Thanks! :-)
                            That country was so hungry even the ravens were packin' a lunch.... HUNGRY I tell ya'!!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Alaskan Woodsman View Post
                              Hi Brown Bear, what is the web site where one could look at and possibly order a rifle from these folks? I'd like a 58 Hawken some day for round ball shooting and hunting... Thanks! :-)
                              Here it is. The site is kinda clunky, but navigate around to find the procedure for ordering. Basically you get with one of the gunsmiths and get on their build schedule for the model you want. Then you order all the parts (listed), shipped to the smith. Once all the parts are on hand, the smith does the build on his schedule, and you pay him for his work once the gun is finished and ready for delivery. I got on my smith's list last spring, then at his signal ordered all the parts this fall. Once those arrived he carried on, with delivery anticipated April or so. It would be sooner, but he has to take a break from building this winter due to other calls on his time. Otherwise it would have been about a month after parts arrival.
                              "Lay in the weeds and wait, and when you get your chance to say something, say something good."
                              Merle Haggard

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