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Discussion Starter #1
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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Discussion Starter #3
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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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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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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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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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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Discussion Starter #8
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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I know this is a older thread, but you may want to mount a Lyman tang mounted peep sight if you can't use a scope. The front stock sight is usually good to use. A 2 hole T/C tang needs to be drilled and tapped, a 3 hole T/C tang is good to go. TOTW sells a drill bit and tap you can use yourself.
 

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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.
I had a 3x9x40mm Bushnell scope on my 45 cal TC Hawken rifle 40 years ago.

Killed a lot of deer with it that way to.
 

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Hey Gents;
Have any of you more seasoned shooters heard of the v-peep sight sold by the company that bought out ox-yoke. I too have older eyes and have the old tasco brass 3 power long scope on a hawken, but found that in dim light you cant see the cross hairs on a deer there is minimal light gathering so it is almost useless in low light conditions. I took off the scope and put on the v-peep and I also use a home made eye pal I clip on my glasses and it allows me to see the target, front site and rear sight all in very clear definition. It acts like a peep but with a notch cut at the top of the rear site which shows the bull for a good picture at a 6 o-clock hold.
I'm not knocking the modern scope on a side lock, it's just not my thing, and the v-peep with the eye pal apature really help 70 yr. old eyes hit the target.
Just my 2 cents. I believe the company is R.M.C. OX-YOKE.
COUPE
 

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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.
That was the only way back then but I had eyes like an eagle. I took many deer with a flint lock in PA and Ohio.

But regulations change every season so I do not know now. PA has always been behind a little and even the compound bow took a while to hunt with and even then they said you must unstring a bow when it gets dark or it is in the car but how do you unstring a compound? It was politicians telling the game dept what to do.

I once put a long eye relief on a TC Hawken but like was said they black out unless you have enough light. Any pistol scope will lose the exit pupil before it reaches your eye. A red dot will work fine though. You can make a base to fit the rear sight dove tail with a set screw to hold it tight and mount a little heads up dot. My eyes went with cataracts so I had them fixed and gained over 50 years of sight back. At near 81 I see so good it is amazing. Opens have come home.

Nothing wrong with a scope on a ML and even a ML revolver. Go for it. The old codgers that sit around a table to write laws need 20X cheaters to read and never shot a gun or hunted. It was to make money from fines. In Ohio it was not legal to spot deer and if a car full of kids with no guns or bows inside even turned to light a deer that kids never seen, you got a ticket. One game warden ticketed his cousin when he was fox calling and his light lit up deer eyes coming over a hill. Deer are interested in fox calls that sound like a fawn in distress if blown wrong. Also deer and fox get along just fine.
 
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