Half Stock vs. Full Stock - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-29-2011, 10:51 PM Thread Starter
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Half Stock vs. Full Stock

I have been thinking about getting a full stock longrifle for deer hunting after many years shooting and hunting with the TC half-stock type rifles. I know there are quite a few here that recently went to the longrifle and I am interested in comments on how they like the longer swamped barrel for hunting.

I have not decided on what style or length yet so opinions on their preferences requested. I kind of like the looks of the Haines style and also the Virginian style too. I would like the rifle to shoot best with loads in the area of 100-120 grains and not sure what twist and rifleing depth ot get. I have a couple of half-stock rifles that I can tone down the loads with if I want to shoot something a bit milder. I want this rifle to be accurate for full charges and hunting. The builder would have to be within a few hundred miles so I could get fit correctly. I am thinking something with a Getz swamped barrel in .54 caliber, Jim Chambers lock and I am not sure about 38" or 42". I know Brad Emig is quite a popular builer but I am sure there are others that could be recommended.

So; Who is happy that they had a longrifle built to replace the half-stock style for deer hunting. The only thing I am pretty sure of is I want it in .54 caliber.
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-29-2011, 11:12 PM
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Re: Half Stock vs. Full Stock

i like the early lancaster myself.i shoot a50cal with a greenmountain barrel 1;70 twist but i shoot 75gr of 3f it all depends on what you want to shoot for the twist rounds [censored]..ect sabots ill say one thing 100-120grs of powder your wasteing powder its up to you on what you get because youre buying it

hate hang fires
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-29-2011, 11:15 PM
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Re: Half Stock vs. Full Stock

54 is a good choice. i am not sure why you want the heavy powder charges though. with the longer barrel you will get as much velocity and range with a bit less powder than you would with 110 to 120 in a 28 inch hawken barrel. (More barrel for the powder to burn in.) You don't necessarily need a swamped barrel. I have a custom long rifle with a straight tapered barrel, which weighs less than a tc hawken is is unbelievably well balanced and light weight. (50 cal)

There are at least a dozen builders in PA. If you can't wait until next July to visit the Gunmakers fair at Dixon's at least visit Dixons of one of the market fairs this winter to examine the work first hand.

If you are having a traditional style rifle built, go with a traditional style projectile (patched round ball) the best twist is 1 in 66 or higher.) The barrel maker will make the right depth for round ball. Match target shooters may have a reason for a different shape and depth of rifling, but for most long rifles used for hunting, such things matter alot less.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-29-2011, 11:49 PM
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Re: Half Stock vs. Full Stock

Mossie,
54 is a good caliber to go with. Getz makes a good barrel but you will wait a loooong time to get it. I would go with a Green Mountain barrel. I shoot 100grn of 2f swiss out of my 54 and it shoots great! Not sure where you live but there are quite a few builders within a hour drive of Harrisburg. I think you will find the full length stock with a swamped barrel to handle nicely. I personally carry a 42" barrel but you will have to handle a couple of rifles with different barrel lengths to see which you like better.

Good luck with your search

Chris Laubach
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-30-2011, 11:00 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Half Stock vs. Full Stock

Every time I mention that I want to use 100+ grains of powder in a long barreled .54 there are replies that it's a waste of powder. I have seen real life posts with such barrels, loads and cronographed velocities. There is always a fairly straight line of increase in velocity all the way up to 120 grains of powder and 120 grains is not an overcharge in a .54 and I do realize that 80-90 will do the job on deer.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-30-2011, 01:08 PM
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Re: Half Stock vs. Full Stock

Mossie, a long barrel 54 will certainly burn more powder and reach higher muzzle velocities. Keep in mind that caliber has only a part in whether something is an overcharge. Barrel wall thickness where the breech plug threads meet the bore is usually the weakest point in the barrel.

muzzle velocity does indeed keep increasing, but the increase can be off set by the additional deceleration caused by exceeding the speed of sound. Round [censored] launched faster than the speed of sound actually have air pile up in front of them which causes increased air drag and faster deceleration than a sub sonic ball. indeed the super sonic ball does move faster at all times, but out at 100 yards the difference in velocity can be reduced a great deal.

For instance (From the Lyman Black powder handbook)

54 cal, 43 inch barrel

80 gr 3fg results in 1629 ft/sec
120 gr 3fg results in 1907 ft/sec (ie 50% more powder for only 17% increase in muzzle velocity)

Again according to Lyman, the slower ball will still be going 980ft/sec at 100 yds

the faster one launched with 50% more powder at 100 yds will be going 1109 ft per sec. (only 129 ft/sec or 13% faster) At 150 yds the difference in velocity is 841 ft/sec to 923 ft/sec less than 10% difference.

So you have to ask your self whether the additional powder and recoil is worth the small difference down range.

If you look at it from the standpoint of extending your range, that extra 50% of powder may get you another 25 yards.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-30-2011, 01:35 PM
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Re: Half Stock vs. Full Stock

The fullstock rifles "look better" and more traditional. A drawback is if you pull the barrel to clean it, it's easy to break the barrel tang at the screw hole. Ask me how I know.

Halfstocks are more easily disassembled and cleaned. A drawback to most halfstocks is that they have a Nock (after Henry Nock)type breechplug. They sometimes don't fire quite as fast as traditional breeching, because it's a little farther from the touch hole to the main charge. It can be hard to clean down into the recess of the nock breechplug.

As for caliber, ya pays yer money and ya takes yer choice.

Rich Deerhunter
Cochranville, PA
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-30-2011, 03:20 PM
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Re: Half Stock vs. Full Stock

You can build a half stock with a long barrel. Several NY makers did this, also Ohio guns were common this way. Many surviving half stock guns started life as full stocks.

Half stock or full stock, the breech can be the same.

I would call Jason at Rice barrels and discuss your needs with him. My opinion is they are every bit as good as a Getz without the wait.

Jason is doing a special run of Forsyth rifled barrels this spring designed for heavy loads. I don't know what the outside configuration will be. The downside of this rifling is they usually won't shoot lite loads very well.

Bill
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-30-2011, 09:27 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Half Stock vs. Full Stock

Hello Zimmerstutzen;

I agree with all you have stated. A while back I looked up the sonic and sub-sonic speeds. Depending on temperature and elevation it's give or take 1,076 fps. and as long the projectile stays under or above it's not an issue. So a 1900 fps muzzle velocity stays above to 100 yards but the 1700 fps mv does not and drops thru before reaching 100 yards. I don't think it's a big deal or anything I am just stating what I have found in my research.

I do not intend to shoot at game beyond 100 yards and really don't want to shoot beyond 75 yards but I also don't see much of a waste of powder to load er up for a hunting load if it will still have very good accuracy. I think velocity and accuracy are obtained with proper twist rates, groove depth and barrel length. A 28" barrel cannot reach 1900 fps in .54 with a safe load but a 42" can reach it with a 110 grain charge. A 32" barrel is about ideal for a half stock giving good balance and power but it can't burn what a longer barrel will. I must admit I really like my half stocks; fiber optics and removable barrels. Not real PC but they do make nice hunting rifles for deer.

I also like the hooked breech style for cleaning and as long as the chamber is kept swabbed out they shoot fine. I know for fact that the patent breech will cause accuracy problems if not kept clean and it can happen within 4-5 shots depending on weather and loads. I have one rifle I named "Eureka" when I discovered it wanted that patent breech area kept clean to shoot it's best; it's a tack driver clean and sends terrible fliers if I don't.

I need to go to the Dixon gun fair and look at and handle some longrifles before I make any decisions on just what I would like best. The problem is I just don't see many longrifles to handle and check out. All of the people I know and hunt with use half stock rifles.

Thanks to all who are commenting.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-30-2011, 09:44 PM
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Re: Half Stock vs. Full Stock

There's the Lewisburg show in early February.. Many of the same people as Dixons.
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