Sunday, February 28, 2010

Memories of a hunt

So far my best memory for hunting squirrels was at my folks ranch before I left for the Army, 1987ish. A friend had long ago purchased a Hatfield 36 caplock with all the beautiful woodwork. At this time I had never seen anything short of kit guns and my TC Hawken, the TC Hawken being the top of my experience at the time. He let me use the Hatfield for a few days while I went after bushy tails for a stew. I took it over to my known distance shooting area and was pleased that the sights and my load liked each other 350 RB with wonder lube over 40 gr 3F. 3 shots touching at 50yds... good enough for bushy tails.

I went down just below the earth dam where the trees are thick and marshy, always see greys there and today was no different. I have a favorite rock I use as a seat, flat and has a bit of shelf to the side, enough to put my possibles bag. As I sat there waiting for the buggers to get used to me being there I almost forgot why I was there. Calm day clear sky (what I could see of it lol) and clear air... intoxicating... Not long a wait I saw the buggers running around again.

The Hatfield was a LONG bugger, longest I had played till that time, and had trouble with holding it straight out. Once I got the hang of it I was fine, I think I developed a dislike of full stocks and long Bbls at that time... However when I got under the buggers, with them up in the trees I was very happy with the rifle. With the weight coming straight down on my shoulder the rifle seemed to not move at all. This rifle had full buckhorn sights, When I got the squirrel "In the TV screen" poof... down came bushy tail. I would slid it down to my foot and reload getting ready for the next lul to catch them in the open

I got 3 for dinner that day and we both had a great stew thanks to that rifle. The owner of the Hatfield as sence passed away and I don't know the fate of this rifle. I will not soon forget it.

Not long after I traded for a shorter 36 caplock that turned out to need ALOT of work... that rifle has been dragged ALL over the states and AK for the past 20 some odd years waiting for me to wake up and fix it. Well this year has been an awakening for me and I will get it done as experience for my goal of becoming a muzzleloader gunsmith like my great great grandfather I have a mission

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Projects are lining up...

As I get more involved in getting my knowledge built up I find more projects to get going. 2 more have just taken shape, and if things go well I may have all 3 done in the next two years time. The first project, in the post prior to this one, should be done by June July area. So the next two will be gong after that one.

#1 is a 36 flinty that will come from my family roots. Looking up family history to see where we where in the lat 1700's. That area will be that pattern of rifle I build :)

#2 is going to be a Pre1840 Hawken in .58 or .62, I like em BIG :) I like this idea as my mother was the only part of our family to head west, so my branch of the family will be tied to that rifle.

I'm going to try and get both stocks from the same tree if possible, ya long shot there but ya never know till you try.

Ever get that feeling that you have been in a fog for so long, that when you find a clearing you just loose it :p and you never want to let it go again? Shooting and Black Powder has been that way for me. For YEARS I have buried this interest not willing to let it go but not daring to look at it. Well I have looked at it this past year and I'm not going to loose it again. All the things I was going to do, before I shut the door on this part of my life, are going to be explored... Guess this is my mid life crisis, who knows, but I'm going for it and see what it brings me :)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Project as it stands

Well things are lining up for me so far, short of being in CA... Thats another issue all together...

I'm currently looking for a Case Colored G2 frame and because in CA you seem to have to buy a Bbl now to get a frame (looking deeper into that one) I will also be ordering it with a 50 ML tube, and walnut stocks. I don't know how much that will set me back but I have decided to sell off my coins and get a new frame set up

By the way, this poor thing will not look the same when I get done with it

I'm replacing the recoil pad with a brass butt plate. The forend will be reworked totally, no longer using screws but will have brass keys, also with a brass nose cap. The Bbl will also be stripped of it's finnish and browned. I'm still playing with the idea of redoing the sights as well.

If I'm going to learn to play with an In-line It's going to be on my terms

As much as I really want to get my Preditor project done, this has stuck a chord in my that hasn't let up yet. In my mind this will look great, lets hope I'm not completely insane HAHA

Monday, February 15, 2010

BlackPowder Gunsmithing

After a long day at work (cook on V-Day...) I got it in my head that I really needed to look into this. 25 years ago I had the fortunate experience to work with Hans Vang in Southern California. My interests at the time would have propelled me to follow in his footsteps had I not talked myself out of it all those years ago... I spent years burying that interest as I just couldn't afford to keep it going. Not that I can afford to do now :p but I have a career in the kitchen and I can now accept that this is something I REALLY wanted to do for SOOOO long.

But I don't have as much drive to work on modern firearms, I want to focus on muzzleloaders, and I am not going to talk myself out of it. I'm going to study what skills I'll need, what tools, what licences, so on and so forth. I may need to take a few classes and I may have to get certified somewhere.. or something... Who knows, but that is what I'm going to find out. I'm giving myself a few deadlines on research and a project that must me made.

Anyone who knows me or has read this blog knows my feelings on in-line or "the Modern" muzzleloader... Ya I don't care for them much... at all... SOOO my project is to convert a popular model using my current skills into something of a flagship muzzleloader that those that like in-lines would be ok in purchasing as a conversion. Whether I sell that one or convert others is not my current goal. Getting it made, using it on a hunt, and having that peer group critique it. If it's a favorable endeavor, and something I can afford to produce at a reasonable cost than I'll start with that project. Ether way I'll end up with an In-line that I can stand to have around and it will tell me if I have what it takes to continue this endeavour :)

I'll be posting my project as it comes together. Till that time it will have to remain my little secret :)

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Traditionalist in the land of in-lines

Sux to be me at times. I'm a "traditionalist" type shooter, I use Goex black powder, not a substitute powder. Using a sidelock Percussion or flintlock standard rifle set up. Patched roundball is my prefered projectile with the occasional mini ball if needed.

No 209 ignition, substitute powder pellet, sabot shot, stainless steel barrel, scoped rifles for me. That may as well be a cartrige gun in my eyes. Yes I'm in the minority here and I am told that regularly, by those that use the above mentioned thingies... Seems the people making the laws are ether ignorant (most likely) or don't like traditional shooter/hunters. Because here in California there is something called a Lead Free zone, no lead projectiles can be used to hunt large game. So what you say? Or "sounds good, not having all that lead in the animales we hunt" and I'm inclined to like not having lead particules in my food... However has anyone tried to use a lead free round out of a traditional muzzleloader? Blind people are more accurate than these rounds out of the slow twists used in a traditional muzzleloader. Round Ball rifling (traditional Bbls) is around 1:60 twist (0ne full twist in 60 inches) while the sabot style rounds do best in a 1:28 twist... So you ether have to buy another Bbl and get it all broken in to shoot sabot or get another rifle entirely, both are expensive prospects in todays market.

So I'm currently on the fence as to what I'm going to do... I really don't want to shoot sabot rounds as I feel that not what muzzleloading is all about, so I can no longer hunt legaly in my area using what should be used in the muzzleloading season... Oh well...

Champain interests on a "on sale" beer budget


What can I say, I'm a cook and we just don't make the big bucks. This post and many that will undoubtedly follow are as much for me to track my ideas as they are out there to help or gain help from those that read this. So I shall begin...

One day I will have a Hawken that is "Period Correct" pre 1840's, till that time though I will make due with T/C's Hawken line of rifles. I'm always on the look out for these rifles when I find a shop that actually stocks muzzleloaders, yes a rare find indeed... My current TC Hawken is a early 80's 50 cal Perc with nice walnut wood, I've also had the muzzle flowered as I find that to beautiful "Art Form". You just don't see that very much out there.

I'm still looking for at least 2 more T/C Muzzleloaders, that are not collector items, a flintlock Hawken (any caliber) and the T/C Big Boar 58 monster. I came across one years ago in the Bay Area and talked myself out of it... I have regretted that choice ever sense...

Why do I like the Thompson Center Hawken line so much, well it just fits me. When I pick it up and shoulder it, the sights are right in line. Not many rifles fit me that well that easily. While it's rifling is a bit of a bugger, 1:48, mine has kept tight clover leafs at 75yds when I do my part. So I pretty much stick to that load.

New beginings...

Well as my other interestes waken other hobbies I find the two topics just don't need to be on the same blog. So I make one here from my interests in Muzzleloading.