Thursday, December 26, 2019

Traditions Kit Gun - Metric screw hole sizes

**Currently being updated as measurements are made**

***Note: CVA & Traditions use Metric Threads:***
Tang Screw & Trigger Plate Thread  - M5 X 0.8
Lock Screws - M4 X 0.7
Drum Clean Out Screw - M5 X 0.8
Hammer Screw & Tumbler Thread - M3 X 0.7
Nose Cap screws - M4 X 0.7

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

C.T Little 10ga Shotgun

I just recently acquired this gorgeous and original, C.T Littlem 10ga fowler. It is British made and in beautiful shape with some repair work that was done the right way! The barrel at the breech is 1 1/2" wide and the barrel length is 37" long. 

Over time, I will do more video work with this one and hopefully take a fox or two with it! So far, it has shown promise as being a shooter.

A little info I got from Track of the wolf when I sent them a ton of pictures:

"That fowler has a classic British appearance circa 1820 with a hooked breech." "That lock is a very classic 1820 era flintlock design that has been altered to percussion. You can see the filled holes in the lock plate"

Just enjoy a few pictures and a video of me shooting it.


Saturday, December 7, 2019

Sometimes.... Its just the cap that cause's such a headache!

Re-resting with Pyrodex P & Swiss in my Traditions St.Louis Hawken shooting 70gr 3fg Swiss and Pyrodex P with a .490" round ball and .020" patch lubed with my hunting patch lube. The bore was swabbed clean between each shot.

This was with RWS #11 Percussion caps and Pyrodex P.
 Switching to CCI #11 Magnum caps.
 Now the huge surprise! Swiss 3fg reacted very well to the CCI #11 Magnum cap! Highest shot was #1 on a squeaky clean bore.

Traditions St.Louis Hawken .50cal & Buffalo bullets 385gr Test

Out testing round balls and when I went inside to grab some patches, I noticed an old box of Buffalo bullets, 385gr sitting on the shelf... What the hell! These things has always sucked in the accuracy department when I originally tried some many years ago.

Loading up my Traditions Hawken 1:48 twist with 80gr Black MZ, I fired 3 shots and said some words I normally use when I am upset! 3 touching about 2" high of my point of aim.

 Needless to say, these bullets will go back on the shelf until I actually need them for hunting use. These bullets fit this bore extremely snug at the muzzle and then loaded nicely after that. No swabbing either! 

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Testing 3fg Black Powder

Swiss 3fg - Schuetzen 3fg - Pyrodex P 50 yard target shoot. This is not a video about what powder is better than the other. I was simply putting them side by side with a set charge, patch and ball. When I do compare them side by side, I will use my hunting patch lube as that is where I do care about optimum accuracy.

Monday, November 18, 2019

First hand forged knife

Started with over a month ago and still slowly going at it, but I made progress recently and have the blade in its final shape ( still have to polish it out ) knock the handles off and then harden/temper the blade before finishing up the handles. The handles are curly maple. I needed a thin handled knife for skinning foxes as all my other knives used thick heavy handles which gives me a hard time when carefully skinning out a fox. I am extremely happy with the results of my first knife.

Casting Round Balls


Wednesday, November 13, 2019

J. & D. Little Half stock muzzle loader

LITTLE, J. & D. — Bellefonte, Pa., mid-19th century. Gun and gun barrel makers. Made percussion rifle barrels for J. D. McKahan; McKahan & Noble, and others.

What a sweet rifle! This one is .38 caliber, sporting a 36" barrel that is a massive 1" across the flats! Curly maple stock, double set hair triggers. For an original untouched piece, this is just gorgeous! After a little cleaning with a bore brush and many patches, the bore is in good solid shape and shootable! I will be doing some work at getting the nipple out and installing a new one, Hopefully!

Monday, November 11, 2019

Capote - The Mountain Mans Coat

When a mountain man’s store-bought coat wore out, he or an American Indian made a new coat, called a capote, out of a blanket. The mountain man used the “tails” on the hood for decoration as well as a tie to secure the hood under his chin and to protect his neck from the cold. The mountain man wore his regular belt over the capote. This kept his knife and tomahawk accessible, even when he was bundled up against the winter weather.

The Capote (the traditional name for a blanket coat) began as a hooded coat that was worn by French sailors. The earliest known reference to one was made by the First Nations in 1644. As more and more sailors and traders began coming to Canada, the blanket coat was seen more frequently. It soon became a popular item among the natives and French settlers. Over time the coats were used by the military, and eventually were popular with upper class people. By the late 1800s they were promoted as a kind of national dress, and continued to be popular up to the turn of the 20th century. 

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Townsends - The American Frontier

Introducing "The American Frontier" - A New Series from Townsends



Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Update: Traditions St.Louis Hawken build

As stated, updates on this build will come and are here!

I started off by scraping the lock inlet large enough so the lock would slip in. Normally I have to do a lot of scraping and shaping but this one went in very smoothly with just a little scraping here and there and the lock popped right into place nice and snug. I cleaned up inside the lock panel with some 150 and 220 grit sand paper as well. Always remove any flaky wood chips/splinters! 

With the lock fit, I moved on to the barrel channel which needed some scraping and smoothing in order for the barrel to lay down flat. Traditions always leave an unmilled section in the barrel channel and so you will have to use either a file or scraper, even a sanding block and finish it off so the barrel sits down nice and even in the barrel channel. 

 With the Lock & Barrel now fit perfectly, I moved onto the nose cap which can be a pain in the butt, especially when it comes to drilling the holes! The nose cap may also have to be opened up with a file in order for the barrel to slip in between the nose cap. Lots of prep work on the inside of the nose cap! Remove as many of the burrs and casting marks as possible otherwise it can cause you issues fitting it to the wood. A double cut bastard file makes for easy wood removal as well.
Moving on to the Trigger guard, rather than inlet the wood, I decided to make it easier on myself and just removed a lot of brass on the rear section of the trigger guard until everything fell right into place. I also removed all casting marks left on the sides of the trigger  guard. Anything sticking out, WILL leave an imprint on the stock which can be seen by the naked eye. Slow Down - Take your time - Prep the part that you are working on!

Since this kit gun comes with plastic ( Eeeek!!) sights, I am installing real sights. I opened up the dovetail to a standard 3/8" dovetail and tapped in a German silver front blank sight that I will shape when the time comes. The rear sight (Plastic) is held on by 2 screws, So I will have to cut a new dovetail for the new replacement rear sight.

This kit also comes with a Derlin ( Plastic ) Ramrod which is great for swabbing the bore on the range and at home for cleaning, but that's about it. It is to light weight and flexy for any seriously snug load combos you may load into the bore. I replaced this wit ha 9mm Hickory Ramrod and screws on a .50cal Cleaning jag. 

Friday, October 18, 2019

2020 Santa Fe Trail Rendezvous ( Raton New Mexico )

New hunting moccasins

Just had the booshway of the 2020 Santa Fe Trail Rendezvous make these up for me as he lives about an hour away and invited me over to talk about the rendezvous. These are brain tanned/smoked elk in 3oz weight with a thick 3/8" ( maybe slightly less ) cow hide sole.

They fit like  glove and the thick leather soles feel so much better on rocks and pointy objects. 

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

The patched round ball challenge

I stood by my plan and went full .50cal patched round ball (2017) this season! I heard a lot of " Don't use that!" You'll wound it!" "That ball isn't made for big game" all the typical brain washed fubar where some think you need plastic, SS, scoped and high priced pretty shaped bullets in order to down game.

I am feeling really good after 9 days of hunting in southern Colorado. We saw plenty of elk, deer, including a real nice muley with a crown of antlers growing off one side of his rack! The weather was a little rainy in the afternoons for the first few days and then finally cleared out to where we were able to get out hunting in the evenings.

On day 1, I found the elk herd, 2 - 2.5miles away. To darn far for packing out in that range of  the mountains. We did find a short cut that brought us to within 1 1.5miles, but due to the amount of downed black timber, swampy ground and clump grass, it was worse than trying to hike the regular route.

Day 2, found us watching the elk herd again. There was a real nice butt scratcher of a bull in there with 20+ cows/calves with him. I'd bugle and cow call, he'd look toward the mountain we were on and that was about it. He had his girls and that's all that mattered to him. He rounded up his cows and they went off to bed down in the shade.

On the hike back to the ATV's I mentioned how perfect a setting it would be for a  doe to step out into.

15 minutes later, THREE doe stepped out of the aspens! The big lead doe took off, I whistled and it caused the other 2 doe to stop, and the lead doe stopped to look back at them.

 I raised my Traditions St.Louis Hawken .50cal kit gun that I bought from Muzzle-Loaders & spent a month putting it together. I took aim and squeezed the trigger. BOOM! I sent a .490" Round Ball, driven by 70gr 3fg Goex, .020" Patch lubed with Frontier's Anti-Rust & Patch Lube toward her. A huge white cloud of smoke hung low in the crisp morning air.​The doe dropped at the sound of the shot. I gave her time to expire while I reloaded. Afterward, I went up to her and bled her out and couldn't believe how they just walked out like that! We had crossed that area a couple hours before!

The shot was a high lung/ bottom of spine shock, shot. It killed her instantly. After she was bled out, We took some pictures and then proceeded to gut her out and drag her back to the ATV, parked at the top of the mountain.

I got her at around 40 yards. She packed the freezer with a little over 48lbs of meat for the winter!

Believe it or not, this year, I found out very clearly... Patched round balls, leave a BIG entrance hole and a 1/2" exit hole! I thought it would have been reversed, but it is not so.

 The 6th day & One more tag in my pocket:

With having filled my doe tag, the ultimate tag left to fill was my Bull elk tag, which I felt would be impossible due to the bulls not reacting to the calls. They would speak very little and almost at dark when the temps dropped.

On day 4, we found a new hunting zone which the elk funneled into! This place is straight out a painting! The first thought that entered my mind was... A perfect spot for Rendezvous!

A nice small open meadow, a good strong creek running through the west side, heavy aspen growth also on the west side and the east side was a mixture of thick growing aspen and spruce trees. To the north, a heavily beaten elk train going between the gap of 2 mountains, framed by aspen and spruce. Just freakin picture perfect!

It was getting late, around 6:30, and we decided to set up behind a log and start cow calling. I did this for around 15 minutes and then told my nephew I was going to climb up the hill and take a looksee for a couple spikes I saw going over a bald hill. I got 50 yards into the open and all we heard up a loud CRACK! tripping, and more cracking. The area we set up in was on the side that was thickly covered. My nephew and brother were getting all excited, looking around into the thick stuff.

Minutes go by and finally, we hear a weird sound, like a cops bull horn. Apparently they could see the rack of a 4 point bull in all that nasty stuff! There was no way to tell where the body was at any time, so it was a good hunt, just nothing to see other than antlers here and there. The weird sound like the bark an elk makes when he spooks.

We hit this place early the next day and stayed until almost dark when we packed up. It was an amazing place to kick off your boots and just wait the day out.

On day 6, the alarm clock went off and I said to hell with it. After all this hiking, we know where they are, but it's time to just take the morning off. We all went back to sleep, got camp chores done, freshened ourselves up. I was pretty fed up and pooped out on elk hunting by then. All these elk and no way to get them out without killing ourselves.

Around 3:30 PM, I suggested we check out our old hunting grounds, which is a real nasty ATV trail up into the high mountains. This trail had my white knuckling. If I was white knuckling then, I had white hair by the time I got down that same mountain trail later that night, with probably close to 300+ lbs of meat strapped to the ATV.

We got to our old area and took a walk down into a valley where there is a huge meadow and thick aspens. A good deer and elk area. My dad had a deer tag and I wanted him to get one bad.

All we found was that the rancher bordering the Ntl forest, turned his cattle loose in that area. I was pretty upset over that

Hiking back up to the ATV, I said, let's go up the main trail and look down into the little fields/openings along the way. We always see deer when riding along it, so we may as well walk it and see if we can get another doe.

We hike and hike and hike. Finally, we make it to a bowl where its a good sized open area and NOTHING! We were just blown away at how little deer we were seeing over the past few days. Deer should be everywhere, and the were, just the wrong genitals!

We walked down a little ways to a log off in the trees and sat down to rest and and were talking aloud about the area and how crazy it was with the deer. My brother asked if we were ready and of course, nahhh, just a little longer.

We were talking normally about the area again when my brothers eyes pop out of his head.. . HEY! he says in a harsh whisper.... ELK!

I turned my head a little to the right, and saw the elk turn and start to run back into the trees. I whistled a couple times as I  brought the rifle to my shoulder and cocked it. The elk stopped with his neck area behind a tree, peering at us from behind that same tree. I took note of his antlers, placed my front blade  sight right in the crease of his shoulder, halfway in the middle and squeezed the trigger.

A huge cloud of smoke, blinded us until it cleared out in the faint breeze.

My dad and brother start talking and I hushed them up so I could listen for the direction the elk was going.

After, I heard nothing, I pushed the ball down the bore, seated it, capped and slowly started in the direction the elk was standing when I shot. I couldn't see blood, but I did not expect to find any that close to the scene.

Losing light fast ( dark timber ) I gave up on the blood trail and started to go up when I heard some thumping going up towards the north east and then nothing. SHOOT!.... I spooked it! my mind screamed.

Getting lower, I tried to pick up a blood trail but it was just to dark to see in that timber with fading light. I called my dad and brother up and we spread out. My brother looking low, me in the middle and my dad high. I got into the thick timber and it opened up greatly after about 30 yards.

My eyes searched the downed logs and I couldn't see anything so I turned to the right and slowly made my way to my dad when he yelled out... Holy BLEEP!! You got him, he's right here!

I go running up to my dad and sure enough. My dad broke into the edge of the thick stuff and was scanning the area below where I was and he just happened to glance down and to his left and the bull was not more than 12 feet away from him!

We all went nuts, hugging and just in total disbelief that this elk literally, fell into our lap!

There was NO reason for that elk to cross right then and there. No reason for that bull to have stopped when I whistled. No reason whatsoever! It was one of those hunts where you worked your butt off and just as I gave up, we were gifted this elk as a reward for all of our previous hard work.

Again, I used the same rifle for this bull as I did for the deer. My Traditions St.Louis Hawken kit gun in .50 caliber, shooting a home cast .490" round ball, .020" patch, 70gr 3fg Goex and a CCI  #11 percussion cap.

The shot in the pictures looks high lung. Its not, its perfectly center, right behind the shoulder. We couldn't get the bull spread out good enough to show it properly due to the mountain side he was on. Plus hes just freaking heavy!

The bull was only 25 to 30 yards MAX when I took aim and sent that little piece of lead through his lungs. The ball destroyed both lungs and exited!

The bull was just drop dead gorgeous. A beautiful tan and dark brown hide, not one imperfection on him. You just have to take a moment and stand back and look at him. A beautiful animal.
 No exit hole picture. We skinned one side at a time and by the second side, I had blood running down me after carrying the 1/4's back down towards the trail.

 In end, I can not say enough about how pleased I am with the Performance of that St.Louis Hawken. It will hang on the wall until next year and through the winter, I can stare at it now and then and reflect back on the hunt with that rifle and the memories made.