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Thread: Trying to get a TC Hawken to shoot RB

  1. #1
    Boolit Mold godzilla's Avatar
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    Trying to get a TC Hawken to shoot RB

    Hi Guys. I have an old TC hawken from a kit. The original barrel was rusted out so I ordered one from TC apparently right before they quit making them. I think it was Fox River outfitters or some name like that. I remeber considering a GM barrel at the time and now really regret it because I have never been able to get this TC factory barrel to shoot. It has the counter bored muzzle and ball/patch combos start easy enough but I cannot get them to group. Is there some trick to these barrels? I have tried swaged and cast balls, thick and thin patches, spit and bore butter. Am I missing something?

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    I put together a kit years ago, 50 cal... it shot great with .490 round balls I cast from pure lead and used a .015" lubed patch made from pillow ticking... my best target load was 62 gr. of black powder... hard to tell from your post what you actually have... I would suggest that you go with one bullet and try to work up an accurate load by slightly increasing powder and compare groups.... start with a 50 at about 55 grains... shoot a group, then another group with 60 and another with 65gr... see which one shoots the best.. then add or subtract a grain and try again.
    Perhaps my learning skills have diminished in my senior years.. 50 years ago I could read something once and then "have it"... Now I read it about three times, do it a couple of times and then... "have it" only about half the time.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master brewer12345's Avatar
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    Mine does well with .015 prelubed patches and 50 to 80 grains of powder. The other thing you could try to improve accuracy is put a wad between the powder and the patched ball. I use wonder wads (prelubed wool) under my conicals and it makes them go from a pattern to a nice group. I have been told that the wads do similar for PRB, but haven't tried it because my focus is on an elk load (which means conicals).
    "If you see me running something has gone poorly, and you should probably run too." - any beekeeper

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    Boolit Master scattershot's Avatar
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    T/C muzzleloaders have shallow rifling, in my experience. I had best results with a larger diameter ball and a thinner patch. The wad over the powder helps, too.

    I never shot one of the counterbored barrels, but that could present problems, I don’t know. Also, best accuracy is obtained with light to moderate charges in that 1:48 twist barrel.

    You don’t mention the caliber or powder charge. That may help diagnose your problem.
    "Experience is a series of non-fatal mistakes"


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  5. #5
    Boolit Bub
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    My TC Hawken .50 flinter likes 80gr homemade B Powder, a ticking patch lightly/dampened with olive oil and a .495 soft round ball. Group size differance is noticeable between .490 & .495 balls.
    Found my Pedersoli Traditional Hawken caplock likes the same load.

  6. #6
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    TC rifles like the 0.495" balls. Play with patch thickness. And DO NOT BEAT THE BALL DOWN THE BARREL!!!!!!!!!!!!! Get a long range rod and use it.

    Try to seat the ball with the same pressure each time. Try to find the patches you shot to see how they held up. This will tell you if it is too thin and if you need a different lube. I have went to using a felt lubed wad under the ball and patch. Put the wad between the patched RB and the powder. This has helped a lot. And try not to run them too hot.

    I have a couple of the NewEnglanders. One has the counterbore and the other does not. The one that does not shoots way better than the one that does. And the one that does has a perfect shiny new bore. The older one that does not has a pitted bore all the way up and down. I picked it up at a gunshow for $50. It is my best shooting gun!

  7. #7
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    I think it was Fox River outfitters or some name like that. I remeber considering a GM barrel at the time and now really regret it because I have never been able to get this TC factory barrel to shoot. It has the counter bored muzzle and ball/patch combos start easy
    I believe you are talking about TC's QLA Muzzle System (Quick, Load, Accurizor).
    In the 1990s I bought a QLA barrel from Fox Ridge outfitters in 36 caliber for a Seneca. I received a beautiful barrel that is accurate when using a .350 RB with a standard pillow ticking lubed patch.

    I wonder if there is a defect or flaw or damage to the area where the rifling ends in your barrel?
    Maybe have a look at it with an endoscope.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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  8. #8
    Boolit Buddy arcticap's Avatar
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    If all else fails and as a last resort, I would consider cutting the QLA part of the barrel off and having it re-crowned.

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    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by arcticap View Post
    If all else fails and as a last resort, I would consider cutting the QLA part of the barrel off and having it re-crowned.
    Indeed so. It is not uncommon to find late production TC - QLA barrels with the counter bore slightly off bore center - with attendant accuracy problems.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    [QUOTE=RMc;4656685]Indeed so. It is not uncommon to find late production TC - QLA barrels with the counter bore slightly off bore center - with attendant accuracy problems.[/QUOTE

    That makes three of us !!!!!!

  11. #11
    Boolit Mold godzilla's Avatar
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    Hmmm, I never considered the Counter bore being off center. That will have to be my next step. I have tried felt wads, hornets nest wads, every powder charge from 50g to 100g. Both 2f and 3F powders and ever combo of patch and ball I could come up with. Every combo produces patterns not groups. Time to get out the saw!

  12. #12
    Boolit Master pietro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arcticap View Post

    I would consider cutting the QLA part of the barrel off and having it re-crowned.

    Two things:

    Has the Fox River barrel's rate of twist been measured/checked ?

    It may have a 1:28" twist meant for conicals ILO T/C's standard 1:48" compromise (PRB/conicals) twist.



    If the twist is 1:48" or 1:60" (the other 2 twist rates t/C used), then inspect the crown.



    BTW, the barrel may not need to be cut to re-crown the end of the rifling inside the QLA - just re-crown it with an appropriately sized tool.


    .
    Last edited by pietro; 05-29-2019 at 11:45 AM.
    Experience is a wonderful thing - It lets you recognize a mistake, when you make it again.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master FrontierMuzzleloading's Avatar
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    the QLA barrels often suck. Especially with conical bullets.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    I have a very, very early TC Hawken 50 caliber rifle and it took a little bit of work to get it to shoot well. Here are the steps I took as told to me by my mentor:
    - Made sure trigger was adjusted best as possible, I.E. just touch front trigger to drop hammer.
    - Set up at 50 yards
    - Used a Lead Sled to insure "I" would not have an effect on the shots.
    - Bought several thickness commercial patches and made a bunch from pillow ticking.
    - Bought some 0.490 and 0.495 diameter round balls.
    - With breech plug out, determined which loaded better I.E. start ball on lubed patch with short starter then pushed ball down all the way with one smooth motion. I ended with .490 balls and lubed (Bore Butter) pillow ticking. Others were either too loose or too tight.
    - Started with 60 grains of Goex FFG and went up in 5 grain jumps and determined 80 grains was best. The powder load seems to have less affect on grouping than ball diameter/patch.
    - Tried wiping one wet/one dry after each shot and not wiping until 5 shots, ETC and found wiping worked best.
    - Shot various combinations noting in my book what worked and what did not.

    That has worked on all the rifles I have assembled over the last 8 years or so.

  15. #15
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    All of mine shoot better with 3F than 2F. Have you tried that?

  16. #16
    Boolit Master 243winxb's Avatar
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    The patched ball needs to slide down the barrel with little force. KEEP THE BALL ROUND.

    Put more powder down the tube. Give ball more RPMs.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    Sounds like Pietro might be on to something what is the barrel length? if its longer than 28" its round ball twist 1:66 which means its definitely a qla issue but if its a 28" it could also be a fast twist 1:28 barrel. Which will shoot a ball ok but with a charge lighter than 50 grs like 30 to 45 grs of 3 fg. All together I would put my money on the fact its a qla barrel. T/C ment it to be a good thing but anyone who was a savvy bp shooter hated them and this was the reason.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by 243winxb View Post
    The patched ball needs to slide down the barrel with little force. KEEP THE BALL ROUND.

    Put more powder down the tube. Give ball more RPMs.
    He's been up to 100grains! got the more powder issue well covered - something else is wrong here - I would be suspicious of the coned muzzle - but it sounds like time to start over with the basics ...................
    Clean it - check the bore with a scope - check the twist rate - inspect the crown with a magnifying glass - check the bedding (yeah that can effect a ML I have one hook breech gun that has to be put together tight and right to shoot its best) - check that yr balls are round and even weight - check that patches are not torn or burnt - cut a patch on the muzzle to get the right size .............all the basic stuff

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    As I recall Fox Ridge only sold factory T/c shooting products as the store was a outlet to accommodate T/c mail-order & phone order customers. Unlike other gun stores of the time Fox Ridge offered the services of a Custom Build Shop. Beautiful weaponry creations built by Thompson's factory in house Gun Smiths.
    I purchased a number of their Custom Hawken & Renegade builds because they were the >best of the best.

    Um~ staying on point.
    All seven T/c's that I own have that Accurizer {false} muzzle. All shoot 1" 1-1/2" 100 yard groups. Two rifles I prefer to hunt with {45 & 54} Hawken's were ordered through Fox Ridge's Custom Shop and were tuned and fitted with factory Rd Ball Only barrels before delivery. I also have a GM quicky twister {1-28} drop-in barrel to swap out the Rd Ball barrel on my 45 Hawkens.
    If I were to compete? There is no doubt in my mind I would rather shoot the Ball barrels before the GM sabo bullet shooter. Those 2-rifles are that 100 yard accurate.
    The one thing I noticed early on. GM Barrels did not have a false loading muzzle. So I highly doubt the T/c Accurizor inhibits accuracy. Others stating T/c Accurizor barrels are inaccurate? >Baloney!!
    "JUST A OLD DEPLORABLE THAT'S IRREDEEMABLE."

  20. #20
    Boolit Master FrontierMuzzleloading's Avatar
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    do some research, the TC qla with conicals has been a pest and most folks, cut them off and re-crown. These are mostly on the encore/omega guns, but some of the older models have shown their ugly face now and then.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

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
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check