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Agreed, Retired_Rusty.

I'm not saying a flintlock new-comer needs a multi-thousand dollar custom job, for sure, but man, I'm just thinking about all the things with a flintlock that can go wrong, or at least really frustrate a new shooter, and going really low end on the rifle is just asking to be frustrated, I think.

To the OP, some things to consider:

-For a flintlock to work correctly and in a manner conducive to good accuracy, you need relatively fast and reliable ignition.

-Fast and reliable ignition does not occur unless several moving parts are properly functioning and have been properly constructed. The metallurgic qualities of the frizzen, the angle the flint hits it, the speed/force with which it's driven into the frizzen, the alignment of the pan to the touch hole, the size of the touch hole, etc....it's all important. A well-made rifle will have these thing managed well, but a poorly made one will not.

-There is nothing on this planet more maddening than actually getting that late season shot at a buck, that once in who knows how long chance, and having your rifle fail to fire. Ask me how I know that.

-Don't go into a flintlock believing that everything you do with a centerfire rifle or slug gun will transfer over and you'll start shooting bulls-eyes out at 100 yards in no time. Take the issues found with shooting a bow, marry them to shooting a rifle, and roll it up into one big smoky, sulfur-smelling ball. Now you have flintlock shooting. You have to present a good follow-through as an explosion occurs in open air a few inches from your face. And the lower quality firearm you have, the longer that ignition is likely to take, meaning the BETTER you have to be to shoot it well.

I'm not saying all this to shy you away from flintlock hunting. Do it! You'll love it! But that said, I'm trying to help you understand what you could be setting yourself up for if you really go too low on the quality of the rifle(s) you and your father purchase.

Cruise online forums and classifieds. I'd think you could scrounge up some used TC Hawken rifles, the older they are the better, for $200-$250 per rifle, give or take. Get them in either 50-caliber or 54-caliber. Then take them straight to Dixon and get yourself rigged up with good, proper gear and have the rifles verified as being in good, proper, working order. Then...shoot. And shoot. And then shoot some more. It'll take you precisely one shot to understand this entire post.


Good luck!
 

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all of the above! a little info: on guns that some of us shoot, the lock alone cost $150, triggers $100 or more. so to buy an entire gun for $150, well you get the point. as stated, the older T/C's, Lymans and even the CVA's are all good rifles. all the help you will ever need, is right here at your finger tips. its a great sport and hope you get into it and enjoy it.
 

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You have some great advice here. My best advice is to find a local flintlock shooter and see if you and your dad could visit and shoot one. There is a kind of big learning curve to becoming a good flintlock shooter. You can pick his or her brain as to what constitutes a good flintlock and will have a much easier time of it when looking for that good gun. Be careful though as these things are very addictive and soon your modern rifles will just sit in the safe and cry.
 

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There's truth to that! I have a 62-cal early Reading rifle on the way, and my T/C and (loaned) Lyman have come to understand they won't see the range much....
 

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Yeah, you get what you pay for. I generally steer people away from Traditions and to Lyman or Thompson Center. But you might have some issues with anything you buy, a bum lock, poor inletting, etc. The cheapest flinter I have is a Traditions Deerstalker. I think I paid $185 for it years ago. It is a handy little gun and the locks works fine. After replacing the touch-hole liner, flimsy ramrod, and plastic (?!!!) sights, I had a nice little gun. I made the same changes on my Lyman Great Plains even though it had decent sights on it already. I paid about twice as much for that Lyman (at the time) but I'd say it is a 10 times better rifle.

Having someone give you a few lessons is nice. Just keep in mind that (beyond unsafe things) there is not a single right way to do it. Lots of people have quirks they've incorporated that aren't necessary and possibly detrimental to function and accuracy. If you can get 2 or 3 people to show you how to do it, you can figure out what works for you and your rifle.

I like my in-lines too and use them often in regular seasons in PA and NY. It is a no-brainer for me in NY since the area is shotgun or ML only, no centerfire rifles. I'd much rather hunt with an ML than a slug gun. Compared to flintlocks, cheaper inlines tend to work and function well.
 

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Discussion Starter #26
Ok thank you every one for the info I will head to my local small shop in town and ask around about flintlocks and maybe see if I can get some one to show me and let me fire it. I really like the comparison to bow hunting since I bow hunt mostly and rarely ever gun hunt. I never actually used a rifle to hunt besides my 17 and 22 for small game. I have a 30-30 my uncle gave me and I never even fired the thing it sits in my gun safe.
 

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Discussion Starter #27
Is it flintlock only during muzzleloader and second season or is a side Hammer percussion ball and cap allowed.
 

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Discussion Starter #28
Disregard last question.
 

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Discussion Starter #29
The cheapest deer stalker I found is 401 online so far. I was wondering when I buy a muzzleloader what else will I need to purchase besides black powder and some bullets. Also is a traditions pa pellet flintlock any good my local shop has a full camo synthetic one for about 300 or am I better off with the lyman?
 

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I'd take the Deerstalker because it is available in .54 caliber which would be better for shooting roundballs (180gr 50 cal ball vs 230gr .54 cal ball). The Deerstalker has decent metal adjustable sights. If the PA Pellet has plastic sights, I spend the extra on the Lyman.
 

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I've been shooting muzzleloaders for over 30 years and l'm sure there are guys here that have been doing it longer. The saying you get what yo pay for holds true when your talking flintlock guns. Do not jump into things without doing alittle research on the type of gun your thinking about buying. Tradition muzzleloaders to me are the bottom rung on the ladder. The further up the ladder you go the better quality you get. If you can get a deal on a used T/C, Lyman, or older CVA you'd be much better off. Going to Dixions muzzleloader shop is a very good idea. Me I hate going there.. Always find something I like but can't afford. Going to the Gun Makers Fair will really open your eyes to what a quality muzzleloader is.
 

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Discussion Starter #33
longfellow said:
I've been shooting muzzleloaders for over 30 years and l'm sure there are guys here that have been doing it longer. The saying you get what yo pay for holds true when your talking flintlock guns. Do not jump into things without doing alittle research on the type of gun your thinking about buying. Tradition muzzleloaders to me are the bottom rung on the ladder. The further up the ladder you go the better quality you get. If you can get a deal on a used T/C, Lyman, or older CVA you'd be much better off. Going to Dixions muzzleloader shop is a very good idea. Me I hate going there.. Always find something I like but can't afford. Going to the Gun Makers Fair will really open your eyes to what a quality muzzleloader is.
Yea I called dixons everything was the same price range I can get around here for a lyman I really want the deer stalker I just fell in love with the way it looks and feels. Theres a gun show this weekend I think I'll go and see if I can pick up a used lymans.
 

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great deal on a lyman 54 cal on amazon, bout $320.00, think they have 4 left...........as of two minutes ago.........buy me a beer sometime.
 
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