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  #1  
Old 02-19-2010, 09:48 AM
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Scoping a side lock Muzzleloader?


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There was a time when this would have been considered a dumb thing to do. So do you know of anybody who has placed a scope on a lyman or maybe even a zuave? My uncle once told me the gunsmith up the street from him told him not to waste money on an inline because he could attach scope mount to his zuave in 58 cal. Now I have a book with pictures of different Confederate sniper rifles with scopes mounted on top of them. Sure they were the old brass style scopes, but I don't see why someone couldn't have a modern style mount and scope attached to a side lock muzzleloader. Couldn't you drill and tap the barrel or even weld a steel mount to the barrel? I sold my traditions percussion gun because I couldn't see the sights all that well. Maybe I should have hung on to it and put a fixed low power weaver on it. It's not like it was worth a whole lot anyways.
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  #2  
Old 02-19-2010, 03:49 PM
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I have four traditional rifles with scopes in them. I normally just put a 4x32mm on them as it is all I need for the area I hunt.

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  #3  
Old 02-19-2010, 05:54 PM
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That is just what I was looking for! Thanks for the fine example. How does it shoot? I've been eyeballing the Lyman Great Plains Hunter that has the faster twist barrel. I know how a scope greatly improved my Marlin 94 so I know a scope will help me feel more confident with a muzzle loader. At least there is a flat surface to work with to aid in alignment etc. I have Warne quick release/rezero mounts for my AR15 and I think these would also work well on a muzzle loader since you can remove the scope for cleaning. Thanks again for sharing that picture.
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  #4  
Old 02-19-2010, 06:08 PM
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I was shooting my other .45 caliber barrel that has a 4x32mm Simmons scope the other day. It was grouping really good. I also was shooting one last summer at 75 yards and it was as accurate as any of my inline rifles.
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  #5  
Old 02-21-2010, 12:45 PM
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Like many, my eye are not what they used to be, so I take opportunities to mount scopes on many of my rifles. I do not purchase high end scopes unless the rifle had some real plans of use. Normally I do target shooting with most of my rifles. So on them I mount a simple 4x32mm scope. I got kind of hooked on a $39.95 Simmons Pro Diamond Shotgun/muzzleloader scope from Natches.Com. For their cost, they are just exceptional.

These scopes have great glass, and clarity is excellent. Eye relief is four inches or better so they are not coming back and pounding your hat. I mount them on my Renegades with Traditions Quick Release mounts and just have fun. Well today was unlike most days in Northern Wisconsin, sunny little wind, and actually not snowing. My target was only at 30 yards as I can not move the stands as they are frozen to the ground. Next year I am going to put a target stand on a tobaggon so I can slide it back and fourth over the snow to different distances. But this year I am kind of sunk.

I have just started to seriously shoot my .45 caliber stainless steel Green Mountain Barrel. It is mounted in a Renegade Stock and is percussion cap. I use CCI Magnum caps and they work great. Although today (my fault) I did have a hangfire. So I put on my snow boots and wandered out to the target stand.



With the target in place, I proceeded to shoot. I swabbed the barrel with alcohol and then dry patched it. I also popped about three caps through it to clean it all out. I decided to start the day with 85 grains of Triple Seven 3f powder and some 180 grain Speer Gold Dot hollow points in light blue Harvester Crushed Rib sabots. I did swab between shots. I wanted to see if the scope came back to where it should be after having been taken off to clean the rifle last time.



I fired five times. I think that bottom plug has three hits. I can not think that I missed the target at that range. I like groups like that. Even if it is 30 yards. My average shot around here is under 50 yards.

I then cleaned the rifle with some Simple Green. I wanted to kick up the charge to see how the bullets behaved. Here was where I made the mistake of not making sure the barrel was bone dry.



I loaded 100 grains of the Triple Seven 3f and my first shot was a tickkkk... boom! Hangfire!! but I held it pretty close. I then decided to shoot a couple more without swabbing to make sure the barrel was good, clear and dry. Those were the two hits at the top of the bull. So I went back to my swabbing with alcohol and dry patching between shots and fired three more. They were stringing, so I will have to play with some charges it pull that string in.

Overall, 85 grains of powder and that bullet should make a good deer load at the distances I hunt. Accuracy wise, it is a good shooting load with little to no recoil. Also this stainless steel barrel when I shoot Triple Seven is a real joy to clean. I took the scope off, pulled the barrel from the stock (as usual) and gave it a water bath. Two patches and they were coming out clean already... You can't ask for more then that...
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Old 02-21-2010, 09:23 PM
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If you mount a scope of your t/c or Lyman GPR just for hunting purposes, that is okay in my book. But it does take a lot of the fun out of it. Definitely don't do it to a custom gun, especially not a flintlock!
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  #7  
Old 02-21-2010, 10:24 PM
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My .45, .50 and .54 Renegades, all with Simmons 4X ProDiamond scopes.



Yeah, it's a sin to scope a sidelock. But if you can't see it you can't hit it.

If the choice is between giving up shooting because you can't see iron sights anymore, or scoping your favorite gun, the answer is obvious.
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  #8  
Old 02-22-2010, 09:31 AM
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I'm not familiar with the Renegades. I'll have to research them. I'm quite impressed with the groups. Did you have the barrel drilled and tapped to mount that to the barrel? No matter what, I will get picked on around here for mounting a scope on a side lock. I live in Getz country here in PA. My father has a custom smoothore for reinacting and I can picture his buddies laughing at me right now. Using anything other than real Black Powder also results in negative comments. Thanks for the pictures and load information.
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  #9  
Old 02-22-2010, 11:13 AM
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I did not have to have the barrel drilled, but my understanding is some of the very old models do have to have the rear screw hole drilled. Renegades are made by Thompson Center Arms. T/C sells a mount for their Renegades and Hawkins model rifles. They also fit a Green Mountain Barrel for that same rifle. You remove the rear sight and a small screw in front of the tang. The mount sits off center to allow the hammer to fall with out hitting the scope. Then just your standard weaver rings and the scope mounts right up. I normally use a Quick release system for easier cleaning.
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  #10  
Old 04-28-2010, 06:47 AM
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I read that slow twist barrels shoot best with old fashioned cloth patches and round balls. But your groups with sabots appear to shatter this assumption.

Please share the twist rate of your side lock rifles.

I picked up on your statement of light recoil which is highly interesting to me. Recoil is my reason for looking into muzzle-loader hunting whitetails in eastern Pennsylvania.

Thank you for your input.

TR
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  #11  
Old 04-28-2010, 08:36 AM
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My scoped Renegades all have 1-28 twist Green Mountain drop in barrels. I keep the T/C barrel in original condition. With the fast twist (called the LRH a.k.a. long range hunter barrel) it will shoot sabots as good as any of the inline rifles. These are the same barrels you find on the high dollar Knight Rifles.
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  #12  
Old 04-29-2010, 10:02 AM
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T.R.
You may want to check the regulations for Pennsylvania. I heard their muzzle loading season was for flintlocks with iron sights shooting round ball only. My .54 Lyman GPR flintlock with the 1 in 60" twist barrel and iron sights can shoot some impressive groups at 100 yards. Recoil for round ball is a lot less than for any conical. I agree with OneEyedJack. It's a sin to put a scope on a traditional muzzle loader. But if your eyes are getting old and vision a little blurred then there is not much else to do, as long as it's legal.
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  #13  
Old 04-30-2010, 08:50 PM
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I ordered a scope mount for my Green Mountain fast twist Hawken barrel last week. T/C had them in stock.
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  #14  
Old 05-01-2010, 07:28 AM
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while I do not need one at this point, I might order another mount. Never can tell when you will need it, and they were at one time VERY HARD to find...
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  #15  
Old 05-07-2010, 08:10 AM
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In my opinion the scope sight has done more for the accuracy of the modern hunting rifle than any other development since the rifled bore. If I had to choose, I would feel more confident in hunting with a scoped muzzleloader than with an open sighted centerfire magnum. I don't have that choice however, since Colorado is one of many states which don't allow scopes for the muzzleloading seasons.
I think the scope has also done a great deal for hunting safety, it's hard to mistake a person for a deer through a scope.
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  #16  
Old 05-07-2010, 11:10 AM
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Coyote Joe I could not agree more. I know there are a lot of people that object to scopes being allowed in muzzleloader season. Their reasons for this belief I am not sure of. But like you I think they make the hunter a better shot, there for able to place his shot better. This makes a more humane kill. Also while it does allow the hunter to shoot further, it also allows hunters better target identification.
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