I'd like to make my next project a "traditional" long range muzzle loader. I've seen a number of threads about using sabots with in-lines. That just doesn't interest me. I'd like to start with my set trigger TC Renegade add a new barrel and perhaps a more traditional scope like the "Leatherwood". My goal would be to build a muzzle loader with which I can hunt comfortably and perhaps do a bit of target work between 400 and up to 600 yards. From what I've read about the Whitworth, it should be do-able. Am I on a reasonable quest - or just chasing and unrealistic vision? Any comments or suggestions?
I'm sure it's possible to set up a muzzleloader to be a 2 MOA rifle out to 3-400 yards, however, it would take a whole lot of work and keeping a traditional look to the rifle would complicate the matter by a lot. First off, I'd definately want it to be 209 primed, caps just wouldn't give consistant enough ignition. In-line would be better for the same reasons. You'd probably want to use smokeless powder and coupled with a fast enough twist to stabilize the bullet, recoil would probably be stout.
So, in short I think you're probably skating uphill for what you want to do, you might want to re-evalute what's important here, do you want a traditional muzzleloader, or an extremely accurate muzzleloader.
When I hear someone say Traditional Muzzleloader I automatically think of a round ball gun. Something not shooting Black Powder or Roundballs to me is a modern muzzleloader.
I built muzzleloaders for a lot of years for people and with a lot of differant needs. To do what your talking about gets to be pretty tough to do and still end up with a gun that can be carried and used for hunting.
A gun that can be used for 250 yds is very doable. I'm talking a round ball gun with iron sights that can take down a deer or elk at 250 yds comfortably give or take a few yards.
First off dump the idea of the T.C. Renagade for parts. Its not going to happen. Not with what your expectations are. Not even for a very accurate 200 yd roundball gun. First off a roundball has a very low BC which means its going to shed volocity very quickly. Next, to keep your energy up to where its going to do the job on a deer or elk and do it cleanly it needs to be a fairly large round ball either a .58 or .62 will do the job. When a large roundball is used it is going to have a fair amount of drop. Its going to be a hungry SOG too. I'm talking 180 to 200 grains of 1 1/2Fg Swiss. Its going to need a good snail breech like a hawken style and a heavy barrel tapered from 1 1/4 down to 1" and at least 36"s long. Plus a lock thats fast with a fly on the tumbler. The triggers, lock, and breaching and sights will be the heart of the gun. Everything else is incidental. Having someone put it all together right will be the main thing. But when your finished you will be able to blow a hole through both sides of a deer or elk at anything under 250 yds without much of a problem. Pretty amazing guns when built right.
If you build it in a bullet gun you can stay with a smaller bullet but it will need to be a fairly heavy for caliber bullet and will also be a lot harder to load. Also slower. Stay with the standard primer and black powder. The reason that the modern ML's need the 209 is to ignite that stuff they call powder.
I really appreciate your inputs. I do want to pursue the "traditional" style. I was not thinking of a round ball gun, but rather a .45 cal barrel that would throw a long heavy projectile. I mentioned the Whitworth. I think they shot something like a 525 or 575 gr 451 cal with 60 gr of powder. I'd rather have higher velocity, but suspect if the round is supersonic & goes subsonic during flight, there could be issues.
Any recommendations on where to have the lock/trigger work done?
In the very first Creedmore shoot, only the Americans used breechloading rifles, and the person that had the highest score loaded a paper patched bullet FROM THE MUZZLE, and then loaded the cartridge. IIRC, they shot at between 700 and 1,000 yards. As a side note, the muzzleloaders would have won had one shooter not shot a bulls-eye on the wrong target!
I see no reason that with modern barrels that you could not do equally as well.
Dixie use to carry a Whitworth reproduction in .45 along with a mold for the rifle. I wouldn't worry about supersonic or subsonic too much as with that weight of bullet it isn't going to be much of a problem. Haven't had a new Dixie catloge for a while so don't know if their still carring them. I think Pedersoli was the ones makeing them for them.
I have a Pedersoli Mortimer Whitworth muzzleloader in .451 It launches a 525gr gun bullet. On hand I don't remeber the velocity or charge. When I purchased the muzzleloader I had a specialist manufacture a bullet mould specifically for that barrel. The gun groups 3/4moa consistently with bullets from this mould. The sights are long range peep sights which are great for target shooting, but really difficult to hunt with. I stand to be corrected but believe that competitors shoot up to 1000yards with this model and variations of this model.
I am fairly new to black powder hunting & shooting, but am exceptionally happy with the quality and craftmanship of this gun. Probably the only critism would be the trigger pull which is fairly easily rectified.
I attached a photo of a recent hunt where I shot a warthog at 60 odd yards. With a bit more time at the range I would not hesistate to shoot an animal at 200 yards with this setup.