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Thread: Lyman Great Plains Hunter .50 caliber questions

  1. #1
    Boolit Master

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    Lyman Great Plains Hunter .50 caliber questions

    Hi,
    Normally, I would go to the sites and look for myself but I already tried that and didn't get anywhere. Kind of surprised me as Midway has always been pretty good as well as Lyman about customer service. The online chat person at Midway told me to go ask Lyman and the customer service link to Midway was broken. The customer service link to Lyman was also frozen/broken.

    Was trying to find out if, in fact the stock was real walnut like it said, as the picture sure looked like a piece of balsa wood stained to look like walnut.

    I also wondered how these rifles balanced out. I picked up a .54 to hold in my hands and I liked the light weight of it but wondered if the .50 was that much heavier due to the hole size of the caliber (increased amount of metal left on the gun). they have a pretty good deal on a flinchlock that I have my eye on.

    As usual, any help is appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Calvin

  2. #2
    Boolit Master

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    Both of mine are walnut, but they're several years old. Can't speak to current production.
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  3. #3
    I have one (from many years ago) and it is walnut. Not fancy grain, but decent wood.

  4. #4
    Boolit Mold
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    What are you going to shoot in it? The Hunter is 1-32 twist and the Plains is 1-60,I believe.Round ball would be better suited with the slower twist.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master pietro's Avatar
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    With the same size octagon barrel ( on the outside), the barrel wall thickness of a .50cal front stuffer will be about .02" thicker (.04" divided x2) than a .54cal, making it weigh a bit more.

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  6. #6
    Boolit Master

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    i've owned Many of these investarms guns, rebranded as lyman, cabela, DGW, and others. while i've had a few as built new, the other 6 or 7 were "screwdriver" kits so i got to work with the wood quite a bit over the last 10 years or so. the stock wood is walnut, and quite dense. i'm sure it's probably european walnut, which is typically touted as being denser than american walnut, it's Hard.

    all of my purchases were flintlock GPR's and not GPH's. the prime difference is the rifling twist and they are both essentially one trick ponies, so do be aware that the 1:32 of the GPH will not do well with patched balls and the 1:60 of the GPR will not do well with conicals.

    i've had both 50's and 54's and they all balance out extremely well for offhand shooting, thanx to the 32" barrel and good distribution of wood/metal weight.

    last fall i wanted a GPR .54 kit and not finding one i found a .50 kit for a super price and just shipped the barrel off to bobby hoyt for a ream out, and that also allowed tailoring the rifling for a 1:56 twist that's better suits a 32" barrel, and deep radius bottoms for the grooves that's better suited to patched balls.

    the lock's geometry works reasonably well, but i typically replace it with an L&R RPL05 - it's not a drop-in fit and some mortise work is required.

    the ramrod is ok, i usually make up a few spare ones, but i always drill and pin the supplied brass ferrules and "reverse" the rod - the end with the concave ball starter bell is chucked in a drill and the bell is removed, this allows that ramming end to enter the thimbles and stock while the other threaded end can accept the cleaning jag. this way, during the loading process there's no need for awkward rod flipping.

    all in all, i think these guns are still the best value of the commercial offshore trad muzzleloaders.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master FrontierMuzzleloading's Avatar
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    Lately lyman has taken a big ol dump in quality. We all found that out with their recent barrel recalls.

    Poor fitting wood to metal fit, poor fit of the lock to the barrel on the flintlock models is another issue.

    One of the biggest issues to pop up recently was the stocks cracking in the lock area as well as inside the trigger inletting.

    I had one guy send me a picture with at least 1/8" of wood hanging over the tang,butt plate and wedge key plates lol. Its like they just barely sand the wood and don't even bother taking it flush with the wood.

    Keep in mind, these are actually unfired lymans & replacement stocks that lyman sent the customer.



  8. #8
    Boolit Master

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    I am getting the hunter model in .50 to shoot conicals but am thinking it may shoot a plinking load with a round ball like another fast twist gun I have. I thought I might pick up a .54 barrel (they are the same size) for round balls. Mainly, I just wondered about the wood. Those stock pictures look pretty ugly, maybe that's why they are going so cheap on GunBroker in more than one place I've seen.? Hoping not or will have to send it back I guess. Thanks for the good information as usual guys! Love this place. Better go out and cast up a few for my new Henry .327. Work keeps cutting into my shooting time and I get little time for any lengthy casting sessions these days.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master

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    FWIW, i've seen FAR WORSE on the spanish offshore gun wood (not to mention the metal). most are total CR@P JUNK and not worth wasting money on. dried wood can happen, and any vendor selling any gun from any manufacturer, including those CR@P spanish guns with their welded breech plugs, should honour a return IF need be. for all the investarms guns i've had, and that friends have had, that's never been the case and most of the hysteria from some folks about these guns is a personal agenda. get the lyman and don't look back ... if ya can, get that spare barrel for patched balls, too. my .50 turned into a .54, wth added RPL05 lock ...

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  10. #10
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by rfd View Post
    FWIW, i've seen FAR WORSE on the spanish offshore gun wood (not to mention the metal). most are total CR@P JUNK and not worth wasting money on. dried wood can happen, and any vendor selling any gun from any manufacturer, including those CR@P spanish guns with their welded breech plugs, should honour a return IF need be. for all the investarms guns i've had, and that friends have had, that's never been the case and most of the hysteria from some folks about these guns is a personal agenda. get the lyman and don't look back ... if ya can, get that spare barrel for patched balls, too. my .50 turned into a .54, wth added RPL05 lock ...

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    It's on it's way. Next month maybe, .54 barrel. Everyone has their preferences, I know. I, myself, never cared much for CVA but I got one of those Traditions Crockett .32's and talk about one smooth barrel! Their Pennsylvania rifle with the 1- piece stock looks like a nice rifle too. I dunno, like some other things, good looking may not always be good. You pay the money & take your chances.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master FrontierMuzzleloading's Avatar
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    Ive never seen a cracked cva or even a traditions stock like those lymans. In fact, I ordered a traditions mountain rifle flintlock that will be in next week.

    Lymans quality has greatly dropped in the last 7 years and the recent barrel recall was the cherry on top.

    LOL you say you hate welded on breech plugs.... One that I have never seen on a traditions or cva.... Maybe lyman should consider welding theirs on as well.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by FrontierMuzzleloading View Post
    Ive never seen a cracked cva or even a traditions stock like those lymans. In fact, I ordered a traditions mountain rifle flintlock that will be in next week.

    Lymans quality has greatly dropped in the last 7 years and the recent barrel recall was the cherry on top.

    LOL you say you hate welded on breech plugs.... One that I have never seen on a traditions or cva.... Maybe lyman should consider welding theirs on as well.
    Thanks guys, sorry, not intending to start WWIII (done with muzzle loaders-might be kinda fun huh?!). Those are some hella crazy pictures. Wondering what kind of a load would blow off a breech plug like that. Looks like there were "beach marks" on that metal and maybe it had cracked on installation and was rubbing along until it finally blew out. I understand they had a big recall on their guns recently due to catastrophic breech plug failure. If they discover the reason, would be nice to know. It just looks like maybe the metal used was either bad or they were overtorqued (or both) on installation? Just an EWAG of course..

  13. #13
    Boolit Master

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    it's not good and a blight when things go wrong and a manufacturer recall is required, but at least lyman did the right thing. there was a range of gun serial numbers where some of them had breech issues. i can understand how this can bother some folks, for sure. however, unlike other offshore trad ml's, the investarms breech plugs can be removed. i do it to all of them and reinstall with anti-seize lube (dittos for the vent liner), and in this way i better know the guns and the breeches can be removed in the future. without a good antiseize lube, and a lotta shooting, that bp residue will get into unsealed barrel threads and those components - breech and liner - will be hard if not impossible to remove IF need be. but, to each their own, it's all good.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    Hmmm... Never considered removing the breech plug and adding anti-seize. Always heard you shouldn’t do such with a non inline. Makes sense though if you ever need to remove it.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master

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    all onshore trad ml gunmakers will grease all barrel threads. some use a mix of graphite and vaseline, others use anti-seize goop like permatex, or the nikal that i prefer. offshore guns will be oiled at best and no grease used. some are on so tight you'd think they were welded. some offshore manufacturers advise that breech plug removal will destroy the barrel, and they're right - been there, done that. you *should* be *able* to remove the breech plug - if not you the owner/shooter, then the gunsmith. some folks ask, why bother, i've had this gun for 20 years and never needed to remove the breech?! good for them. however - that bp residue will eventually compromise breech threads that haven't been properly sealed; there may come a time when a tightly patched dry ball just can't be removed and pulling the plug is the only solution; folks who don't properly care for barrels after shooting may need to either get a new breech or pull the breech in order to aggressively work on getting the hardened gunk outta the breech area, which in the case of almost all offshore guns means dealing with a patent breech ante-chamber. investarms guns can have their plugs removed by vising the barrel and using a large pipe wrench - tools that are readily available but will have the ability to mar metal. better tools would be a rice vise octagon barrel clamp and a reed corp flat jawed wrench and/or a rice plug wrench in 1" pipe, or an offshore plug wrench. clearly these are my opinions and i offer them as nothing more than food for thought.

    GPR patent breech (ante-chamber) plug ....

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  16. #16
    Boolit Master

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    That's quite the setup. Something like that would be good for a club purchase & everyone uses it after given proper instructions so as not to wreck the thing (there's one in every crowd it seems- or maybe none if you're lucky).

  17. #17
    Boolit Master

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    there's really not much to pulling the breech plug on a gun that will allow it to happen, regardless of the tools used. with the barrel vised, a witness mark is scratched in to the plug & barrel so that it can be realigned when put back - you can see that in the first image in my last post. other than that, the plug on a good gun will come off with some leverage and muscle, that's it. clean out the barrel and the ante-chamber, grease up the threads, screw it back on. easy peasy, good to go. subsequent removal of the plug, if need be, will be a piece of cake, and the anti-seize grease will inhibit the migration of bp residue into the threads.

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  18. #18
    Boolit Master

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    I know that metal stretches and a bolt and it's matching threaded hole eventually deform to the point that either the bolt breaks or the threads in the hole bend towards the bolt head to where the threads no longer hold very tight at all. Know this from having taught at a trade school where we disassembled and reassembled transmissions and ran them on a trans dyno. Did this for 31 years. Eventually, the case threads and then the bolts would give out. We would install heli-coils and later on time-sert inserts (when they came out) in the cases until they eventually gave out. Then we installed oversized inserts (if there was room to put one in) Got me to thinking, if the steel is mild enough to be easily machine-able and can be cut with a file, it may stretch to the point where those witness marks won't line up anymore. One would not want to take that plug out more than a couple of times I would think, true??

  19. #19
    Boolit Master

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    naw, never found that true with breech plugs. look, we're not taking these things apart much if at all. i do it ONCE, for the anti-seize lubing, and that's about it. it'd only come off if there was an issue that involved pulling it off.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by rfd View Post
    naw, never found that true with breech plugs. look, we're not taking these things apart much if at all. i do it ONCE, for the anti-seize lubing, and that's about it. it'd only come off if there was an issue that involved pulling it off.
    OK, Just checking. I don't have access to that kind of equipment so don't know how I'd get it off. So far, I've been able to blow out any stuck balls (no powder) by shoving enough fine powder in behind to get it out. I recently purchased one of those CO2 dischargers just to keep from having to go thru the trouble. I guess I should be OK.

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BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
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GC Gas Check