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  #1  
Old 03-16-2009, 07:24 PM
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GPR or Trade Rifle?


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Hello all, new to the forum and have a question. I am not new to muzzleloaders but it has been a long time. Looking at buying a 54 cal to extend my hunting seasons, I'm a bowhunter, and who knok's what else it could lead to. I wanted to remain as primitive as possible so I am thinking I'll be shooting mostly ball. But who knows, I may end up trying conicals too.

So I was looking at the GPR and the trade rifle by Lyman and that $120 price difference and also the extra 1 1/4 lbs of the GPR. 9 lbs is a lotta weight to be hauling around. This will be an antelope to elk gun and I would shoot to 120 yds or so providing I can do my part after I find the load the gun likes. My question is, is either one of these two guns more accurate than the other?

I know the GPR should be but from what I'm reading on this forum, some of you guys are shooting that Trade rifle as good as the GPR with balls. But it seems the GPR likes a little more powder and that would be better down range on an animal so that would give the GPR the edge.

I guess I am just looking for some opinions although I feel like I should buy the GPR.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.
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  #2  
Old 03-16-2009, 08:07 PM
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Welcome to the forum screamin. Rules are simple, be nice and join in.

Years ago I built a beautiful GPR from the kit. I highly recommend the Great Plains Rifle.
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  #3  
Old 03-16-2009, 09:08 PM
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Well just the fact that you might want to shoot conicals, then the Trade Rifle with the 1-48 twist is the better choice. Unless you purchase a second barrel for the Great Plains Rifle and get a Great Plains Hunter barrel with the 1-32 twist. The 1-32 would be great for conicals.

I hunt with a Trade Rifle flintlock. In .54 caliber I shoot 100 grains of powder. That ball will stop anything. It also shoots conicals, powerbelts, and sabots pretty good.

Also I understand the difference of just a few pounds when you wander all over mountains out west. I elk hunted out there years ago with a rather heavy rifle. I was young and was sure I could take the strain. Well I did, but I sure slept good at night in that tent. Talk about the last mile back to camp.. Camp never looked so good. Some of us City boys who thought we were in good shape sure got our lunch handed to us by the western state mountain goat men. Those guys were crazy the way they ran up and down them hills. And a few pounds does end up making a difference.

Both are great rifles. You being a bow hunter know how to get close. Both will do the job, but the Trade Rifle is a good value.
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  #4  
Old 03-17-2009, 09:57 AM
SFT SFT is offline
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Having owned both I have to give my vote to the Trade rifle. However, if you built the GPR from the kit then I'd go with that, especially considering that you can get another barrel with different twist rate. As for your accessories, check out the links I've posted.

You may also want to look at the Muzzle Loading on the Cheap forum.
http://traditionalmuzzleloadingcheap...orum/index.php

Be sure to start off with real black powder, such as Goex. While I really like the subs like Triple 7 for cartridge loading, they really do not work nearly as well in traditional muzzle loaders. Besides conicals, you should also check out the Buffalo Ball-ets in your rifle. These are half ball, half conical and give the advantage of round ball accuracy while adding weight, even better for larger game.

http://www.possibleshop.com/

http://stores.sheasmtn.com/Categorie...y=Powder+Horns

http://www.logcabinshop.com/

http://www.octobercountry.com/produc...?productid=395

http://www.rockymountainpowderhorns.com/Bags.html
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  #5  
Old 03-17-2009, 12:46 PM
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hey cayugad

what have you found to be a good load for your Trade rifle? I see you use 100grs of powder so what size ball and patch? I've noticed a lot of you guys use .530 balls and either a .015 patch or the pillow ticking from walmart with the moose milk or other lube. Just curious and trying to shorten the experimental load curve. What size groups you getting at 100 yds?

Interesting links there SFT. Does that shotgun nipple really make a big difference?

This is going to be fun. Years ago I had a CVA hawken I built from a kit but never hunted with it. I still have 2 Remington 1858 New Model Armies. One hasn't even been shot, the other has been shot so much the blue is wearing off. It was a lot of fun.

Maybe I should have asked what would be the best elk gun and load in the hawken style without breaking the bank?

Last edited by screamin; 03-17-2009 at 01:17 PM.
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  #6  
Old 03-17-2009, 02:38 PM
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I'd get the GPR. If I were considering the Trade Rifle, I'd just buy a used T/C Hawken for about $200.00.
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  #7  
Old 03-17-2009, 03:30 PM
SFT SFT is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by screamin View Post
hey cayugad

what have you found to be a good load for your Trade rifle?
I started out with a 60 grain load and worked up. So far my target load is 75 grains, prelubed .020 patch with a fiber wonder wad in between the powder and patched ball. Switching to Goex and adding the wad really tightened up my groups, especially when using ball-ets or sabots.

Just curious and trying to shorten the experimental load curve. What size groups you getting at 100 yds?
2 inches, sometimes better.

Interesting links there SFT. Does that shotgun nipple really make a big difference?
If you are using one of the subs, yes, very much, which is due to the much higher ignition point that they have. If you will be using traditional powder then your #11 cap works perfectly.

This is going to be fun. Years ago I had a CVA hawken I built from a kit but never hunted with it. I still have 2 Remington 1858 New Model Armies. One hasn't even been shot, the other has been shot so much the blue is wearing off. It was a lot of fun.

Maybe I should have asked what would be the best elk gun and load in the hawken style without breaking the bank?
If you do your part and put the shot where it needs to be then .54 sized RB will be fine. I would increase the pwoder charge from 75 to perhaps 85-90 depending on accuracy in your particular rifle. A good rule of thumb is to take one practice shot for every yard of distance you anticipate your longest shot to be; 100 yards, 100 practice shots, however, this advice was for cartridge guns but you can see the point. Since you are a bow hunter you already have good stalking skills and can appreciate the need to keep shots with a reasonable distance. For more downrange energy, you'll need to find which bullet is the most accurate out of your rifle, whether it is a ball-et, maxi-ball/hunter, or sabot, but for the latter make sure you use the heaviest bullet that will stabilize with your rifle's twist rate. Keep in mind that sabot projectiles are usually pistol bullets, so if it's unwise or not responsible to hunt it with a pistol ( past a certain distance) then don't expect things to change shooting the same bullets in a rifle using a sabot. However, you must keep in mind that the max weight of the bullet will depend on the twist rate of you rifle. My Trade rifle with it's 1:48 twist limits me to about a 325 grain bullet, sabot or otherwise, with the exception of bullets that have a good driving surface, such as the 435 gr. maxi-hunter, which is then limited to a very specific powder charge in order to get decent accuracy. In most cases you wouldn't need to shoot something that heavy though.

Hope I didn't ramble on too much, and please feel free to add on in case I missed something or got it wrong.
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  #8  
Old 03-17-2009, 05:33 PM
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thanks SFT, that does help. I have one more question.

Could I drop a 50 cal 1:28 green mtn barrel in a 54 cal Lyman Trade rifle? I can't seem to find any info on the width across the flats on Lymans website. Is the 54 ca; 15/16" or 1"?
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  #9  
Old 03-17-2009, 06:13 PM
SFT SFT is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by screamin View Post
thanks SFT, that does help. I have one more question.

Could I drop a 50 cal 1:28 green mtn barrel in a 54 cal Lyman Trade rifle? I can't seem to find any info on the width across the flats on Lymans website. Is the 54 ca; 15/16" or 1"?
That is something that I don't know and I think GM would be better able to answer that question. I think, but am not sure, that it is 1". I do know that you can put a .50 cal hunter barrel on the GPR stock if you want to go to that caliber and take advantage of a faster twist rate. The GPR comes with a 1:66 twist barrel and the "hunter" barrel has a 1:32 so you'll have a terrific RB shooter, switch barrels and be able to shoot conicals and maxi-ball with equal accuracy. The Trade rifle's 1:48 barrel allows the use of RB and sabots, but just won't stabilize conicals well at all. That really isn't a handi-cap though considering the wide selection of available projectiles. For round ball shooting I would go with the .54 cal since it will be the heaviest bullet, but you might notice that the .50 cal is more popular and thus easier to find a wider selection of projectiles. .54 cal is by no means scarce though, it's just that most stores will always have more stuff in .50.
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  #10  
Old 03-17-2009, 06:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by screamin View Post
hey cayugad

what have you found to be a good load for your Trade rifle? I see you use 100grs of powder so what size ball and patch? I've noticed a lot of you guys use .530 balls and either a .015 patch or the pillow ticking from walmart with the moose milk or other lube. Just curious and trying to shorten the experimental load curve. What size groups you getting at 100 yds?

Interesting links there SFT. Does that shotgun nipple really make a big difference?

This is going to be fun. Years ago I had a CVA hawken I built from a kit but never hunted with it. I still have 2 Remington 1858 New Model Armies. One hasn't even been shot, the other has been shot so much the blue is wearing off. It was a lot of fun.

Maybe I should have asked what would be the best elk gun and load in the hawken style without breaking the bank?

I have used both the .530 and the .535 ball. Normally I use the .530 with .018 cotton pillow tick patch, moose milk and 100 grains of Goex 2f. At 100 yards my Trade Rifle will shoot normally four inches or under. Some days much under, once in a while a little over. A lot depends on the flint and how fast the ignition is. But the Trade Rifle with a 100 grain load, at 52 yards, will shoot length ways through a deer.
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  #11  
Old 03-17-2009, 06:54 PM
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I used a GPR rifle one year, and swore I wouldn't carry that much around again. Then I got an Austin and Halleck Mountain Rife that weighed about the same, used it one season and sold it too. I currently have a Lyman Trade rifle in .54, and think it is a keeper. The Lyman Deerstalker in .54 was the rifle that I originaly wanted, but they were out of stock and the Trade rifle felt so good, that it came home.
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  #12  
Old 03-17-2009, 07:03 PM
SFT SFT is offline
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I have one of these straps and it makes carrying my rifle much easier, and it's a universal fit that looks period correct as well.

http://www.trackofthewolf.com/(S(gur...m=SLING-UNIV-J

Link to a ML only elk hunting outfitter;
http://www.actionadventures.net/blackpowder.htm

List of articles om muzzle loading by Chuck Hawks;
http://www.chuckhawks.com/index2h.muzzleloader.htm

Last edited by SFT; 03-18-2009 at 03:12 PM. Reason: more info added
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  #13  
Old 03-19-2009, 03:31 PM
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you guys have been a lot of help. I do have one more question though.

anyone have any experience with the green mountain barrels in 1:70 twist?

I see they make a 58
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  #14  
Old 03-19-2009, 06:16 PM
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I have to cast my vote for the GPR. I have two .54 GPRs, one percussion and one flint. I've had the percussion for almost 30 years. Got the flint kit a couple of years ago. I took the flinter to the 100 yard line once. I got one group that measured 3/4 inch. I was shooting a .530 ball, Wal-Mart pillow ticking lubed with Ballistol and 90 grains of FFg Goex. I may not be able to do that again, but that rifle sure can. No need for a 1 in 70" barrel. These 1 in 60" barrels will do it. The .54 round ball is all you need, as long as you keep it within 100 yards for a clean kill. As others have said, if you need to shoot conicals get the Great Plains Hunter barrel as a second. The .54 T/C Hawkens has a 1" barrel and feels chunky and heavier than the GPR. I have one of them also. The Lyman .54s have a 15/16" barrel and feels so much better in the hand. Both rifles are good and you'll be happy with either one. Good luck.
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  #15  
Old 03-19-2009, 06:43 PM
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There is a 15/16" .54 caliber IBS barrel from Green Mountain that will fit the TC Hawken. The .58 caliber barrel is for the Renegade. Renegade is 1". The 1:70 twist rate falls in between the ideal twist rates for .54 and .58 calibers. 1:66 for .54 and 1:72 for .58 caliber.
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  #16  
Old 03-19-2009, 06:46 PM
SFT SFT is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by @bullseye View Post
There is a 15/16" .54 caliber IBS barrel from Green Mountain that will fit the TC Hawken. The .58 caliber barrel is for the Renegade. Renegade is 1". The 1:70 twist rate falls in between the ideal twist rates for .54 and .58 calibers. 1:66 for .54 and 1:72 for .58 caliber.
Wouldn't you be pretty much limited to round ball with a 1:70 twist, or would it shoot conicals alright as well in .58cal?

Last edited by SFT; 03-19-2009 at 07:34 PM.
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  #17  
Old 03-19-2009, 07:31 PM
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SFT, I think a 1:70 would be round ball only.

Any way guys, I ordered the Trade rifle. I think I should be able to get an acceptable 100 to 125 yd load out of it....I hope.
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  #18  
Old 03-19-2009, 07:37 PM
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Originally Posted by screamin View Post
SFT, I think a 1:70 would be round ball only.

Any way guys, I ordered the Trade rifle. I think I should be able to get an acceptable 100 to 125 yd load out of it....I hope.
You'll have no problems doing that plus it will be lots of fun finding the most accurate load in your rifle. Post a pic when you can and please keep us informed. Good luck!
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  #19  
Old 03-20-2009, 10:10 AM
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I think you are really going to like the Trade Rifle. The only thing that was wrong on mine is they forgot to tighten the thimble rib screws, so I was outside, pulled the ramrod, and ..... no screws anymore. Lyman sent me new ones. Its been a great rifle ever since.

Also it will shoot powerbelts very well. 405 grain for the .54 caliber with 80 grains of Goex 2f shoots them real real good. I am now testing sabots out of it to see what it will shoot. But mine really shines with roundball.
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  #20  
Old 03-20-2009, 02:26 PM
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I have both GPR and Trade Rifles in.50 and .54

Both are great muzzleloaders, but I would vote for the Trade Rifle. My preference is based on the single trigger of the Trade Rifle and a better fitting buttplate (not to mention the lower price). My last deer fell to a .50 caliber Trade Rifle using 80 grains of FFG and a .490" roundball. Take care...
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