Old T/C 50 cal Hawkins

Ghostwolf308

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My dad just gave me an old Thompson center 50 caliber Hawkins. My question for you guys is what powder and bullets can I use to make her a shooter. This is my first black powder rifle and could use any help I can get.
 

Sully2

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My dad just gave me an old Thompson center 50 caliber Hawkins. My question for you guys is what powder and bullets can I use to make her a shooter. This is my first black powder rifle and could use any help I can get.
The rifle was made to shoot roundballs. Buy some factory made ( swaged) balls of about .490 diameter....some thin tough cotton material....FFFg powder ( shoots cleaner than FFg does) some ignition caps and have at it. Make sure of your backstop!
 

Pa Grizz

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I have two fiftys and one 45.If i am going traditional I go with round ball and 2f powder.3f is a little more accurate ,but 2f gives me a little more speed.If I am out for meat I use power belt bullets with 100 grs of 2f
 

Ghostwolf308

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Thanks guys gives me a place to start. I will have to see if I can find the FFFg and FFg powders. Then get some round balls and have some fun tuning.
 

Red Sparky

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Is it a flintlock or percussion cap Hawken? If percussion you can use a black powder substitute. I have an old CVA percussion .50 Hawken with the 1:48 twist. It will shoot maxi balls with about 80 grains of Pyrodex real well.
 

Leslie Sapp

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Here's the manual.

Round balls are fun and cheap, and will cleanly kill anything you're likely to shoot, but I've used a 320gr maxi-ball over 70 grs of FFFG for many years in my TC .50 cal Hawken.

That is a light load according to the manual, but I can tell you from experience that this load will shoot through both shields on a big boar hog, and leave a fan shaped spray of blood and pieces of lung on the off side. :D

I've killed many head of game with this rifle, and have never recovered a bullet.
 

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Ghostwolf308

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Dec 8, 2014
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Iowa
Finally got out to look today for powder and componcents. Local shop has .490 hornady ball ammo and pyrodex so looks like on payday ill get to play with the Hawkins finally.
 
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RT2506

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Your T/C was built with the proper rifling for either patched balls or Maxi ball. Either will kill big game used with proper application. The Maxi ball basically duplicates with more accuracy a 20 ga slug. 370 grs of lead going 1400 to 1500 fps has a habit of cutting very deep holes through most anything it happens to hit. To save you some problems run a damp patch down your barrel between shots to clean out the fouling especially when using a patched ball. If you don't there is a great possibility of sticking a ball in the bore before you can push it down to the powder. MAKE SURE THAT THE BALL IS DOWN ON THE POWDER. You will blow up your barrel if it is not.
 

ENCORE

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Your T/C was built with the proper rifling for either patched balls or Maxi ball. Either will kill big game used with proper application. The Maxi ball basically duplicates with more accuracy a 20 ga slug. 370 grs of lead going 1400 to 1500 fps has a habit of cutting very deep holes through most anything it happens to hit. To save you some problems run a damp patch down your barrel between shots to clean out the fouling especially when using a patched ball. If you don't there is a great possibility of sticking a ball in the bore before you can push it down to the powder. MAKE SURE THAT THE BALL IS DOWN ON THE POWDER. You will blow up your barrel if it is not.
Create a witness mark............ ALWAYS.
 

Ghostwolf308

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Iowa
Yea I'm going to have to see if I can find some maxi balls too. That way I can play and work up a good load. Do they come in a box lime the round balls?
 

RT2506

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T/C used to sale the Maxi balls in a plastic box that were already lubed with bore butter. If memory serves me they came 20 to the box. Check out Dixie Gun Works. They have most anything you can think of for muzzle loading. I picked up a 50 cal. Maxie Ball mold and cast my own out of pure lead.
 

longbowelk

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Jan 31, 2012
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Tyler, TX
My post may be late but I have the same rifle and have had good results with a Buffalo Ballet sod by Cabelas. They are sort of a mini ball. Pre lubed and weigh 245 grains. I find them to be plenty accurate at 100 yds.
 

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