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  • Knight MK 85

    I just purchased a MK 85 in 50 cal. I can't find much info on this rifle, other than it was first made in 1985. Does anyone know what twist the barrel has. Also I plan on using it for deer and was thinking about the REAL bullets for this rifle. I plan to cast my own any ideas on these and what charge to use. I shoot mostly black powder but will probably switch to 777 or something else. Black powder is hard to get here. I haven't shot this rifle yet. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks
    vtflatlander

  • #2
    I was able to obtain the following information on the Knight MK-85 from the book"muzzleloader hunting then and now",author Toby Bridges, Page x,x1 in the introduction. According to the author Knight MK-85 initially was offered in a 1-48 twist in 1985, by the end of the 2nd year of production the rate of twist was reduced to 1-32 inches. Several years later,( the author was not specific on the exact year) the twist was once again reduced, this time to 1-28 inches. Hope this information is accurate. MM

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    • #3
      Originally posted by vtflatlander View Post
      I just purchased a MK 85 in 50 cal. I can't find much info on this rifle, other than it was first made in 1985. Does anyone know what twist the barrel has. Also I plan on using it for deer and was thinking about the REAL bullets for this rifle. I plan to cast my own any ideas on these and what charge to use. I shoot mostly black powder but will probably switch to 777 or something else. Black powder is hard to get here. I haven't shot this rifle yet. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks
      vtflatlander
      I've got a Knight 54 caliber from roughly the same era, and it's twist rate is really fast, though I couldn't tell you if it's 1:28 or 1:32. It would be easy to tell if it was 1:48 though, because the rod would only make half a turn or so in traveling full length down the bore. Frankly, in your shoes I'd be lots happier with the 1:48 twist, which is the "compromise" that TC uses in their traditional models to allow great performance with both round balls and conicals. In my experience with the faster twists, RBs shoot incredibly well till you get up past around 60 grains, then the groups start to spread as range increases.

      I've shot a whole bunch of REAL's in both 54 caliber weights through mine. They're only mediocre performers until you put a lubed felt wad between them and the powder, which turns them into tack drivers. You can order them online cheaply from lots of sources or make your own, but I'd sure try them with the REAL bullets. I suspect without them the REAL's aren't getting a perfect gas seal on firing, but the lubed wad changes all that.

      You want to be sure that you're casting them with pure lead though. You'll have a dickens of a time getting them down the bore with anything harder, and an even worse time getting a good gas seal. The lower bands on the bullet are smaller than bore, while the top band is slightly larger. You can thumb the REALs down the bore till they hit that top band, then you have to whack them with a short starter. If the lead is harder than pure, you need to whack them with a sledgehammer to get that top band to engrave and seat into the bore, then the smaller bands don't swell enough to seal the bore when you fire.

      I've also tried just about every propellant known to man under them. My rifle works best with loose Pyrodex P or Goex 3f black powder. They're almost interchangeable. For some reason Triple Seven just doesn't perform well in my rifle except with plastic sabots. I never have managed good accuracy using REALs and lubed felt wads, but can't tell you why that is so. Since I'm going for CHEAP in my shooting, I'm shooting my own cast bullets virtually all the time, so I've written off 777.

      All 54 caliber rather than 50, but in my experience you've got a good performer on your hands.
      "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 for the information. Just need some time and warm weather to play with it. I have another question maybe you can help me with. The serial number is 4899, any idea where I can check to find out date of manufacture Than maybe I can find out the true twist.
        Thanks again

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        • #5
          Originally posted by vtflatlander View Post
          Thanks for the information. Just need some time and warm weather to play with it. I have another question maybe you can help me with. The serial number is 4899, any idea where I can check to find out date of manufacture Than maybe I can find out the true twist.
          Thanks again
          You could contact Knight on their site or call if there's a phone # there, too. You could also come pretty close using your rod: Put a patch on your jag and seat it all the way down and wrap a turn of masking tape around the rod right above the muzzle. Now put a mark on the tape right at the front sight. Slowly withdraw the rod from the barrel, and put another wrap of tape on it just above the jag, and mark that for the position of the sight.

          Now eyeball the amount of twist between the two marks, and I bet it's either close to a full rotation (in the case of a 1:28 or 1:32) or only about half a rotation in the case of 1:48. You could get real precise in determining if you want, by measuring the amount of rotation and using a proportion formula to convert to twist rate. Hope the math's clear.

          I had another thought. Is yours set up for #11 cap or 209's? It might have been retro'ed for 209's, but if it's still set up for #11 caps, that increases the odds that it's an early one like mine.

          BTW- If you decide to scope it, be sure to put some moly grease between the scope bases and the receiver to help keep out water from cleaning and weather. I didn't bother, and now I've got unsightly rust marks where the scope bases once were. Stupid mistake when something's so easy to prevent.
          "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
            Thanks Brown Bear. I will try the rod thing. It is still set for #11 caps.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by vtflatlander View Post
              Thanks Brown Bear. I will try the rod thing. It is still set for #11 caps.
              Long as it's on the table, I'll pass on a few insights about the #11 caps and the Knight. They can have a tough time lighting off powder pellets, at least those that aren't fresh out of a new box. Take it as a measure of my damp climate, but I can't depend on them here unless they came from a brand new box.

              The #11's can be hard to get onto the nipple, especially if you scope the gun. They're so small and the space is small, but fingers tend to be big. Get yourself one of the "stick" style of capping tools that hold just a dozen or so like this one from Cash. They're small and simple, and they're perfect for the job.

              #11's got hard to find a year ago. I picked up extras and keep them on hand. I don't know if it will ever happen again, but it may be a good idea to keep a few extra tins on hand against future shortages. #209 shotgun primers are a lot more widespread and easier to find, but I prefer the #11 caps.
              "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
                Thanks for the info. I already have an in-line capper. My arthritise doesn't let my fingers work like I want them to sometimes. I plan on using powder not pellets. I have several side hammer rifles also and they seem to be more reliable with powder. Heard many bad stories about the pellets misfiring.

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                • #9
                  Brown Bear in one of your first posts you said to use a greased felt wad between powder and R E A L bullet. Is this wad the same size as the round patch for round balls or is it smaller the size of the barrel diameter. The only pre cut patches I find are for round balls.
                  Also I tried contacting Knight company twice so far for information and owners manual. I have not gotten a responce yet. I saw a owners manual on line but can't remember which site so I could print it out. Any ideas
                  Thanks
                  Fred

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by vtflatlander View Post
                    Brown Bear in one of your first posts you said to use a greased felt wad between powder and R E A L bullet. Is this wad the same size as the round patch for round balls or is it smaller the size of the barrel diameter. The only pre cut patches I find are for round balls.
                    Also I tried contacting Knight company twice so far for information and owners manual. I have not gotten a responce yet. I saw a owners manual on line but can't remember which site so I could print it out. Any ideas
                    Thanks
                    Fred
                    Hey vtflatlander,

                    They are more or less bore-sized felt "buttons" rather than oversize patches. This is one source, to give you an idea. They're available plain or prelubed. For convenience I get the prelubes. You see them stocked in bags in better-supplied muzzleloading stores as well as from many online sources, but not in stores with just a few supplies. Some folks cut their own from all-wool felt, but that's yet another thing that's hard to find except online.

                    I wish I was home rather than on the road, or I would dig out and copy mine for you. Since I'm not due home till late May, figure on me as your last ditch backup. You might go to one of the dedicated inline sites like hpmuzzleloading and ask there.
                    "Lay in the weeds and wait, and when you get your chance to say something, say something good."
                    Merle Haggard

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                    • #11
                      Thanks again Brown Bear

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by vtflatlander View Post
                        Thanks again Brown Bear
                        I want to thank you too, Brown Bear. I have not shot ML for way too long, forgot much of what I need to know. Thanks for a great seminar here.
                        NRA Lifetime Member

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                        • #13
                          Thanks for the tip

                          Brownbear-
                          Thanks for the tip on HPmuzzleloading http://www.hpmuzzleloading.com
                          I'm also new to ML and always appreciate a new source of info to review.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by jkjllkj
                            Why would anyone need that much velcro? These guys sell it by the roll http://www.liangdianup.com/miscellaneous_1.htm and is
                            hook and look and velcro the same thing?
                            I'll bite. What are you selling here?
                            "Lay in the weeds and wait, and when you get your chance to say something, say something good."
                            Merle Haggard

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              vtflatlander this may be of some help.
                              its the manual for the mk 85.

                              http://images.ebsco.com/pob/knightri...mplete_web.pdf

                              Its in pdf forum so one needs a program like adobe reader to view.
                              print date is 04/01/1995

                              I just bought a mk 85 and it had no manual so I was looking for one.
                              hope this helps

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