Traditions PA Pellet & T/C Firestorm
I've learned alot from this forum so far, so this is my return investment. I hope this turns into a fun and very informative discussion chain, for both old timers and newbies, because I'm kinda baffled by it all. Here it goes...
Originally bought a Traditions PA Pellet two years ago, shot it in and found the sweet spot to be 70 grns 3F American Pioneer with 245 Aerotip Powerbelt (harvested a doe last christmas with it). 1-3 inch groups at 50 yds, depending on how I was shooting that day. Wasn't a big fan of the plastic sights, so...
I upgraded, in theory and price, to a T/C Firestorm this summer. I've shot every combination of 245 and 295 Powerbelts (Hollow and Aerotip) with 2F and 3F American Pioneer and Triple 7 with 70, 80, 90, 100 grains of powder. I've also tried said powder combinations with T/C 270 and 350 gr Maxi-Hunters. I can't get below a 6 inch plus group to save my life, with any combination! Might have something to do with the heavy trigger pull, but I'm not sure. So...
I found a new Traditions PA Pellet with Williams metal sights from Cabela's. Snatched it up and shot it in today. 80 grains of 2F Triple 7 with 245 gr Hollow or Aerotip Powerbelts and I got a an incredible group, that is repeatable, which I didn't think was possible with a flintlock. 295's shot just as well, but it didn't like a clean bore for some reason.
I used the exact same cleaning/loading routine today on both guns: 1) T/C bore cleaner wet patch, one pass (up and down), 2) two passes with a dry patch (a clean one each time), 3) add powder, 4) stuff bullet against powder and tap 3 times, 5) prime the pan with GOEX 4F, 6) fire, and repeat...both guns, all loads. Although, I did shoot a few dirty bore shots in the traditions...and it didn't matter! I made a very concerted effort with this today...a real challenge when a flinter isn't grouping right as I've come to find out! Tweak, tweak, tweak, and tweak some more!
Both rifles feature a 1:48" twist with a 26" barrel. The difference is in the breech plug design I suspect. Both are "designed to shoot loose powder or pellets." T/C has short solid plug with a cone (convex), while the Traditions is longer and hollow (concave)plug, which is somewhat closed on the bore end except for a nail size hole which connects to the main charge. This allows the 4f pan and 2F charge powder to mix a little before ingniting the main charge, or so I suspect.
Can a breech plug really effect powder and bullet performance that much? What about the performance of the "fake" powder in both guns...in one it's incredible, in the other I wouldn't take on barn door hunt; same container used on both guns today. The fake vs real powder argument, though probably is justified, takes on a new dimension in my mind (plug design) but I'm not sure why.
I started off archery hunting and got addicted quick, then dabbled in rifle hunting (not so addicted), and now I am beyond hooked on flintlocks...and now I'm broke.
Oh, I don't shoot the "real" powder because I can't find with 100 miles of where I live in AR and I'm not paying an additional $20 bucks for shipping. Plus the women don't like the smell either...clean it outside, I know, I know.
I look forward to the posts...off to clean some flinters, watch some real baseball (sorry Pirates, I love ya, but I like post-season excitment), and then back to work tomorrow.
Freshwater Mussels? Can you eat'em?