Took the Hawken Rifle out for some dirty time.

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Took the Hawken Rifle out for some dirty time.

Post by bladeracer » 10 Apr 2022, 4:04 pm

The "new" blackpowder forum gave me a hankering to get dirty.
Got lots of family here for a couple weeks so I couldn't get in as deep as I would have liked, but I managed 19 shots before needing a second clean and then finding other things to do :-)
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I took 70gn charges of FFF out with me but it was tossing them into a 180mm circle at 30m, so I backed off to 50gn which improved it a bit.
Seems to be grouping around 120mm at 25m offhand.
Five shots were good, then they started getting hard, with shot number nine needing to be persuaded down the bore with a stick. I cleaned the bore out to spotless and fired some more patched .440" balls until they started getting difficult again by shot number eight.

Then I finished with three REAL Lee bullets just on bore diameter. I did measure them but don't recall what they were now - .444" I think. On 50gn they went sideways so I think they need a bit more punch to obturate. And I think they're too hard. I lost my logbook from back when I cast them but I think they're too shiny to be soft lead. I probably threw them when I was casting rifle bullets. But so much easier to load, I'll have to cast a pile of them out of some lead conduit I was given a couple years ago.
Then I cleaned the damned thing again!
Twenty patches from cleaning it twice.
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Re: Took the Hawken Rifle out for some dirty time.

Post by LawrenceA » 10 Apr 2022, 4:14 pm

Your Hawken.
What breed is it?
Looks even short by Hawken standards.
One well placed shot is all it takes.
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Re: Took the Hawken Rifle out for some dirty time.

Post by on_one_wheel » 10 Apr 2022, 5:38 pm

What's your twist ?

Mine is 1 in 48 and the black powder specialist who sold it to me told me to use balls only, he said it wouldn't shoot minnies yet I'm reading loads of posts on the bet from people who've shot them quite successfully from the same type of rifles.
Many claim that using wads help.

I've cast a heap of R.E.A.L bullets ... can't wait to try them. I'll probably do it tomorrow.
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Re: Took the Hawken Rifle out for some dirty time.

Post by Oldbloke » 10 Apr 2022, 6:02 pm

bladeracer wrote:The "new" blackpowder forum gave me a hankering to get dirty.
Got lots of family here for a couple weeks so I couldn't get in as deep as I would have liked, but I managed 19 shots ]


Dirty old man. :allegedly: :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Took the Hawken Rifle out for some dirty time.

Post by bladeracer » 10 Apr 2022, 7:07 pm

LawrenceA wrote:Your Hawken.
What breed is it?
Looks even short by Hawken standards.


Made by Hawkin in NZ in the seventies.

As short as it is it's still fairly front heavy.
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Re: Took the Hawken Rifle out for some dirty time.

Post by bladeracer » 10 Apr 2022, 7:09 pm

Oldbloke wrote:
bladeracer wrote:The "new" blackpowder forum gave me a hankering to get dirty.
Got lots of family here for a couple weeks so I couldn't get in as deep as I would have liked, but I managed 19 shots ]


Dirty old man. :allegedly: :lol: :lol: :lol:


Certainly was after cleaning it :-)
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Re: Took the Hawken Rifle out for some dirty time.

Post by bladeracer » 10 Apr 2022, 7:20 pm

on_one_wheel wrote:What's your twist ?

Mine is 1 in 48 and the black powder specialist who sold it to me told me to use balls only, he said it wouldn't shoot minnies yet I'm reading loads of posts on the bet from people who've shot them quite successfully from the same type of rifles.
Many claim that using wads help.

I've cast a heap of R.E.A.L bullets ... can't wait to try them. I'll probably do it tomorrow.


I don't have the twist-rate noted in the log so I'm not sure I've measured it.
It's a good point, I'll have to measure it.

The REAL is a significantly longer bullet than a ball. The ease of loading them is a big deal so I do want to play with them more. Not sure I'll find time to cast them while we have family here though. Even a slightly over-bore bullet would likely still push down the rifling pretty easily due to the driving bands. Maybe I can do some tomorrow in a ladle.
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Re: Took the Hawken Rifle out for some dirty time.

Post by bigpete » 10 Apr 2022, 8:30 pm

on_one_wheel wrote:What's your twist ?

Mine is 1 in 48 and the black powder specialist who sold it to me told me to use balls only, he said it wouldn't shoot minnies yet I'm reading loads of posts on the bet from people who've shot them quite successfully from the same type of rifles.
Many claim that using wads help.

I've cast a heap of R.E.A.L bullets ... can't wait to try them. I'll probably do it tomorrow.


1:48 is meant to be good for both ball and conical. Wads can certainly help. My 1:48 twist will shoot both mini and round ball to the same place at 50m,just shoots the round ball slightly better. Always pays to play
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Re: Took the Hawken Rifle out for some dirty time.

Post by No1Mk3 » 11 Apr 2022, 1:40 am

G'day bladeracer,
Tony made his 45 rifles in 1:22 for heavy bullets, 350 to 450g, and 1:40 for lighter 300g bullets and Round Ball. The standard barrel length was 32", but later on he made .38 and .45 rifles with a 24" barrel. He also stamped the twist next to the serial number on later rifles. All the .38s were 1:18 for a 270g bullet and all the .58s were 1:66 for ball only. The mould that came with my rifle casts a 443g flat base 7 groove conical bullet at .446" in soft lead, the 45 rifles had a .459 groove, Cheers.
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Re: Took the Hawken Rifle out for some dirty time.

Post by CRF » 11 Apr 2022, 12:42 pm

I run a spit patch then a dry patch every few shots at the range. Prevents a big build up and caking of the powder so clean up at the end of the day seems much easier.

No offence intended toward your rifle but hawken is becoming a very loose term these days.
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Re: Took the Hawken Rifle out for some dirty time.

Post by bladeracer » 11 Apr 2022, 1:12 pm

CRF wrote:I run a spit patch then a dry patch every few shots at the range. Prevents a big build up and caking of the powder so clean up at the end of the day seems much easier.

No offence intended toward your rifle but hawken is becoming a very loose term these days.


Do they shoot differently though?

True, though mine is nearly fifty years old :-)
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Re: Took the Hawken Rifle out for some dirty time.

Post by CRF » 12 Apr 2022, 7:21 am

bladeracer wrote:
CRF wrote:I run a spit patch then a dry patch every few shots at the range. Prevents a big build up and caking of the powder so clean up at the end of the day seems much easier.

No offence intended toward your rifle but hawken is becoming a very loose term these days.


Do they shoot differently though?

True, though mine is nearly fifty years old :-)


Like any gun I guess, depends on what it likes.

Hawken was (still is) a brand, and the guns were advertised as mountain rifles as the style. In the resurgence of muzzleloading from say around the 1960s a lot of "hawken" rifles came out and the name in marketing came to refer to hawken as a style.

In the same way that someone could refer to a ruger hawkeye as a Rigby because hey they're both bolt action wooden stock guns.

Pedersoli make the only production guns that are close to a hawken in their Rocky Mountain and Missouri River but they aren't perfect. There are some custom gun makers in the states that do bloody nice reproductions.

I'm not really trying to make a point I just find the history interesting.
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Re: Took the Hawken Rifle out for some dirty time.

Post by bladeracer » 12 Apr 2022, 9:01 am

CRF wrote:
bladeracer wrote:Do they shoot differently though?


Like any gun I guess, depends on what it likes.


I mean, does it shoot differently when you change the patch from spit to dry? If you were shooting a five-shot group would you change the patch midway through?

As for the design, I think back in the day the makers simply made what they liked with the material and equipment they had to hand. If it ended up looking similar to something somebody else had made then if fell under the same general name. I don't think there is a specific design that is a "Hawken Rifle", it was just a design that was a little different at the time so it garnered it's own name. I don't think of Hawken as meaning the rifle was made by the specific maker, it just fits into the same general design that Hawken liked to build.
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Re: Took the Hawken Rifle out for some dirty time.

Post by No1Mk3 » 12 Apr 2022, 1:22 pm

The Hawken Brothers made mostly a larger calibre (45 or over) plain rifle in a style preferred by explorers such as Kit Carson, Jim Bridger Jedidiah Smith etc who all owned Hawken rifles, their features were set triggers and iron furniture, (no brass) in a half stock octagonal heavy barrel. Many others produced similar style rifles as the popularity grew among trappers and adventurers as the Hawkens only produced less than 200 rifles per year. As bespoke makers you could also get the rifle in full stock and quite a few were made, Teddy Roosevelt had one. The name is now generic to any heavy barrel 45+ cal half stock rifle, set triggers or not, brass or iron furniture, As for bladeracers rifle, it is a genuine Hawkins Rifle, Tony Hawkins made it!
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Re: Took the Hawken Rifle out for some dirty time.

Post by bladeracer » 12 Apr 2022, 2:00 pm

No1Mk3 wrote:...it is a genuine Hawkins Rifle, Tony Hawkins made it!


Yes, I can't believe that's entirely coincidental :-)
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Re: Took the Hawken Rifle out for some dirty time.

Post by Noisydad » 12 Apr 2022, 7:01 pm

Try a wet patch lube brew. I can shoot my .54 CVA all day without cleaning by using a wet lube. It also doubles as a cleaning solvent. It’s made from 420 ml water, 30 ml liquid soap (wool wash is good), 60 ml soluble cutting oil.
Soak the patches and lightly squeeze them out. Use them nearly dripping wet. Each re load wipes the bore and you can shoot all day.
I also use this brew as bore cleaner for no cartridge rifles too.
There's still a few of Wile. E Coyote's ideas that I haven't tried yet.
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Re: Took the Hawken Rifle out for some dirty time.

Post by bladeracer » 12 Apr 2022, 7:20 pm

Noisydad wrote:Try a wet patch lube brew. I can shoot my .54 CVA all day without cleaning by using a wet lube. It also doubles as a cleaning solvent. It’s made from 420 ml water, 30 ml liquid soap (wool wash is good), 60 ml soluble cutting oil.
Soak the patches and lightly squeeze them out. Use them nearly dripping wet. Each re load wipes the bore and you can shoot all day.
I also use this brew as bore cleaner for no cartridge rifles too.


It doesn't affect the powder at all?
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Re: Took the Hawken Rifle out for some dirty time.

Post by dnedative » 12 Apr 2022, 9:44 pm

bladeracer wrote:
Noisydad wrote:Try a wet patch lube brew. I can shoot my .54 CVA all day without cleaning by using a wet lube. It also doubles as a cleaning solvent. It’s made from 420 ml water, 30 ml liquid soap (wool wash is good), 60 ml soluble cutting oil.
Soak the patches and lightly squeeze them out. Use them nearly dripping wet. Each re load wipes the bore and you can shoot all day.
I also use this brew as bore cleaner for no cartridge rifles too.


It doesn't affect the powder at all?


No, not really, well it might affect a few grains on the top of the charge but they will still get burnt off ;)
Shooting well lubed patches is the go, dry and spit patches in my brown bess are good for about 5 shots and then it starts to become a chore to get a ball seated. Run a well lubed wet patch and they go down nicely, I dont think it fowls any less though. Same with my percussion rifles.

I would try a few with lightly soaked in olive oil first, see how they go.
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Re: Took the Hawken Rifle out for some dirty time.

Post by bladeracer » 13 Apr 2022, 10:25 am

dnedative wrote:
bladeracer wrote:
Noisydad wrote:Try a wet patch lube brew. I can shoot my .54 CVA all day without cleaning by using a wet lube. It also doubles as a cleaning solvent. It’s made from 420 ml water, 30 ml liquid soap (wool wash is good), 60 ml soluble cutting oil.
Soak the patches and lightly squeeze them out. Use them nearly dripping wet. Each re load wipes the bore and you can shoot all day.
I also use this brew as bore cleaner for no cartridge rifles too.


It doesn't affect the powder at all?


No, not really, well it might affect a few grains on the top of the charge but they will still get burnt off ;)
Shooting well lubed patches is the go, dry and spit patches in my brown bess are good for about 5 shots and then it starts to become a chore to get a ball seated. Run a well lubed wet patch and they go down nicely, I dont think it fowls any less though. Same with my percussion rifles.

I would try a few with lightly soaked in olive oil first, see how they go.


I was more wondering about the oil soaking into the powder making it not burn, or at least not at the same rate as the dry charge. If you're on a range loading and shooting any soak would be fairly consistent, but if you're hunting you might have one soaking for a minute and another soaking for several hours.

I will try it.
The patches I'm using are pre-cut prelubed, and are quite greasy, but I'll try some ticking soaked in oil and see if the fouling improves at all.
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Re: Took the Hawken Rifle out for some dirty time.

Post by LawrenceA » 13 Apr 2022, 12:45 pm

Wet patches are OK at the range as there is no time for the lube to really contaminate the powder.
Not so good for hunting.
But unlikely to get 20 shots off hunting
One well placed shot is all it takes.
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Re: Took the Hawken Rifle out for some dirty time.

Post by bigpete » 13 Apr 2022, 1:52 pm

LawrenceA wrote:Wet patches are OK at the range as there is no time for the lube to really contaminate the powder.
Not so good for hunting.
But unlikely to get 20 shots off hunting


This ^^^^
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