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Thread: A new journey begins

  1. #1
    Boolit Master


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    A new journey begins

    I have been shooting Muzzleloaders since I was a kid, and I have built a ton of custom bolt guns including hand carving the custom stocks for them. I have never built a Muzzleloader. After Thanksgivings over I will probably start it. It is going to be a 36 cal St Louis Hawken flintlock. It will pair nicely with my 50 cal Hawken, which is also a flinter, and my Northwest Trade Gun. I wanted a 32, but a 36 cal barrel fell into my lap, so my next squirrel rifle will be a 36 cal. I will still hang on to my 32 Crockett because I have close to 2k of No.11 caps.

    Iíve always wanted a flintlock squirrel rifle because in the late spring when squirrel season opens in the morning the dew is so heavy it is like itís raining, and it is just easier to keep a flintlock running in wet conditions. Many a hunt has ended early because a giant drop of dew the size of a marble landed on or near the nipple/cap and I didnít catch it until there was no bang and smoke when I pulled the trigger.

    I actually canít wait to get started on it. I would like to have it done before Christmas, and be able to squirrel and rabbit hunt with it before the seasons close in February. Letís hope I can do as well with this as I have done with commercial Mausers, Remington 700ís and Winchester Mod 70ís.
    WWG1WGA


    Tyrants use the force of the people to chain and subjugate-that is, enyoke the people. They then plough with them as men do with oxen yoked. Thus the spirit of liberty and innovation is reduced by bayonets, and principles are struck dumb by cannon shot: Albert Pike, Morals and Dogma

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    I hope you have fun building your new rifle.
    I mostly built custom bolt action rifles for the past 30 years.
    The socks I started building from scratch back when I started were for BP guns.
    Now that I am old.
    I started building mostly Muzzleloader rifles and occasionally some pistols.
    I think you should be able to get your rifle done by Christmas.
    I read your other post about your Crockett .32.
    I think the .36 or .40 are a little more accurate.
    But that is probably from the brand of barrel that is used.
    The Traditions barrels work OK , but not super great.
    Like you said , it takes a little bit of work to find your perfect load.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master


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    Back before I got old and had to have some serious hand and wrist surgery my Crockett was 1/2 minute of squirrel head at 25 yds. I still do alright with it but every once in a while it will throw me a curve. Heck it might be just worn out. I bet it has at minimum 10k rounds through it. I don’t know if muzzleloaders wear out like modern ones. If I recall correctly the one at Daniel Boon’s home here in Missouri started out as a 36, later bored to a 40, then a 45, and I believe it was bored once more but don’t remember what it was. I always figured it was due to frontier conditions and lack of proper cleaning. In modern times I’ve never heard of anyone wearing one out, but that Crockett has been shot more than since I owned it than all my other rifles combined.
    WWG1WGA


    Tyrants use the force of the people to chain and subjugate-that is, enyoke the people. They then plough with them as men do with oxen yoked. Thus the spirit of liberty and innovation is reduced by bayonets, and principles are struck dumb by cannon shot: Albert Pike, Morals and Dogma

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    If you feel that the Crockett is worn out.
    But you still like that rifle.
    Just call Bobby Hoyt and see what it will cost to Re Bore that barrel or just have the rifling Refreshed.
    He has Refreshed several of the barrels that I have , that were slightly rusted when I picked them up.
    That slightly deeper rifling works out great.
    I have also had him Re Bore barrels to the next larger caliber , with the rifling twist that I preferred.
    I also have had him Reline barrels that were very badly rusted when I bought them.
    Those too I selected the rifling twist that I preferred.
    Give him a call and see what your options are.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by LAGS View Post
    If you feel that the Crockett is worn out.
    But you still like that rifle.
    Just call Bobby Hoyt and see what it will cost to Re Bore that barrel or just have the rifling Refreshed.
    He has Refreshed several of the barrels that I have , that were slightly rusted when I picked them up.
    That slightly deeper rifling works out great.
    I have also had him Re Bore barrels to the next larger caliber , with the rifling twist that I preferred.
    I also have had him Reline barrels that were very badly rusted when I bought them.
    Those too I selected the rifling twist that I preferred.
    Give him a call and see what your options are.
    I would actually like to potentially have it relined with a slightly faster twist to shoot maxi balls out of. I have a maxi mold, but the 1-48 is just to slow for it. Probably something like a 1-28 should work well and still be able to shoot patched round balls out of it as well. But I need to get my kit put together first. A cap lock gun is low on the priority list. The Crockett shoots ok, still under an inch at 25 yds for 3 shots, but it use to put 3 in the same hole until the last few years, and every once in a while it will throw a flyer for no rhyme or reason. Nothing has changed other than the round count.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    That 1:28 twist sounds good for shooting slugs.
    I bet Hoyt can do that type of reline for you.
    Most of my TC barrels got relined from 1:48 to 1:66 so I could shoot more round balls since I don't use the rifles for hunting much.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master Maven's Avatar
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    Smile

    Nice to see you here again, Joe!

  8. #8
    Boolit Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by Maven View Post
    Nice to see you here again, Joe!
    It’s nice to be back. I’ve been a but busy for the last 3-4 years. Still am, but able to slow down a bit now. After my spinal surgery in 2019 and recovery, I started a training and consulting company that Covid and the ammo shortage quickly killed, and at the same time was asked by some folks out of Jefferson City and the Governor’s office to try and start up a local unit in my area for the State Militia. I am still working on it but have gotten some great people who make the job easier. Last year about this time, I was promoted to Eastern Regional Commander, and got my gold oak leaf back, that the Army wouldn’t let me keep when they medically retired me because I hadn’t had it for the minimum time of three years.

    All my kids are raised and either are in college or like the two oldest are out of college now working good jobs and have families of their own. I am sure my oldest son, #3, will be doing the same once he graduates. It’s just the wife and I now and there is no empty nest syndrome. It is drop kick syndrome now, come visit for a while but then get the heck back out. I teamed up with a buddy of mine from CAG who runs a training company as well and have online classes as well as in person training. We have started catering to the prepper/homesteader groups, converting much of our military training into a more civilian oriented type of program where the training has been modified to match the types of tools, weapons and equipment that the average person might have on hand to defend themselves, families, and home.

    With the kids gone and the State Militia starting to run itself, I can get back to the more important things like shooting and hunting with the holy black. For the first time in years this is the first deer season, I haven’t had to rush to fill my tags. I’m a meat hunter and also like to manage the local herd, so I like to be picky, by eliminating all the scrub bucks and older does. Yesterday I shot my first deer of the season 9 days in. A young spike, about a year old. Past on a lot of yearling 6 pointers, that had perfect racks. I still have 4 tags to fill but they are antlerless only, so now that I have filled my Buck tag it is time to work on the older doe. I have through the 26th in my county to hunt, and then the first week of December Antlerless only season runs for 11 days, then a few weeks later Muzzleloader season starts, and my 50 Hawken is ready to go.
    WWG1WGA


    Tyrants use the force of the people to chain and subjugate-that is, enyoke the people. They then plough with them as men do with oxen yoked. Thus the spirit of liberty and innovation is reduced by bayonets, and principles are struck dumb by cannon shot: Albert Pike, Morals and Dogma

  9. #9
    Boolit Mold
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    Bobby Hoyt's work is the best. I've had him do several barrels for me. You pick the caliber and twist rate.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master


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    I started working on my kit. Got the lock and dbl set triggers working properly. It an older kit so the inleting on the stock was marginal at best. It is an old Cabelas kit, I am guessing investarms. At least it wasn’t over inleted. I cleaned up the barrel channel and got it and the lock and triggers fitted and all aligned properly. Now I have the patch box and the rest of the hardware to fit and I can start trimming the stock down some. It a Hawken so I can’t go overboard on hacking away wood. Hopefully I will get it shaped up better over the next few days and be able to start sanding it.
    WWG1WGA


    Tyrants use the force of the people to chain and subjugate-that is, enyoke the people. They then plough with them as men do with oxen yoked. Thus the spirit of liberty and innovation is reduced by bayonets, and principles are struck dumb by cannon shot: Albert Pike, Morals and Dogma

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    We would like you to post pictures if you can of your work.
    And pictures of your kills that you do if possible.
    What caliber is that Hawken ?
    Do you intend to hunt with ball loads or some type of slugs ?

  12. #12
    Boolit Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by LAGS View Post
    We would like you to post pictures if you can of your work.
    And pictures of your kills that you do if possible.
    What caliber is that Hawken ?
    Do you intend to hunt with ball loads or some type of slugs ?
    I am building this to replace my Squirrel rifle, a 32 Cal Crockett. I am moving away from all percussion cap guns completely. I love hunting squirrels with a muzzleloader. It really hones one’s skill for deer season, knowing that most likely you won’t get a second shot. I plan to mostly shoot patched round balls out of it, like I do my Crockett. The reason I am moving away from cap guns completely is it is too easy to make my own flints for nothing and black powder is cheap and easy to make if I need to. Percussion caps are getting expensive. I am sure it will quickly replace my Crockett as my plinking and woods walking rifle. In the high humidity of East Central Missouri, late spring early summer squirrel hunting is almost impossible with a cap gun. The dew is so heavy on the leaves it is like hunting in a rain storm. Many an early morning hunt has been ruined by a giant drop of dew splatting the cap and nipple. I have never had that issue with my flintlock trade gun, or 50 cal Hawken. So I am hoping that holds true with the 36.
    WWG1WGA


    Tyrants use the force of the people to chain and subjugate-that is, enyoke the people. They then plough with them as men do with oxen yoked. Thus the spirit of liberty and innovation is reduced by bayonets, and principles are struck dumb by cannon shot: Albert Pike, Morals and Dogma

  13. #13
    Moderator Emeritus / Trusted loob groove dealer

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    Quote Originally Posted by Boerrancher View Post
    I am building this to replace my Squirrel rifle, a 32 Cal Crockett. I am moving away from all percussion cap guns completely. I love hunting squirrels with a muzzleloader. It really hones oneís skill for deer season, knowing that most likely you wonít get a second shot. I plan to mostly shoot patched round balls out of it, like I do my Crockett. The reason I am moving away from cap guns completely is it is too easy to make my own flints for nothing and black powder is cheap and easy to make if I need to. Percussion caps are getting expensive. I am sure it will quickly replace my Crockett as my plinking and woods walking rifle. In the high humidity of East Central Missouri, late spring early summer squirrel hunting is almost impossible with a cap gun. The dew is so heavy on the leaves it is like hunting in a rain storm. Many an early morning hunt has been ruined by a giant drop of dew splatting the cap and nipple. I have never had that issue with my flintlock trade gun, or 50 cal Hawken. So I am hoping that holds true with the 36.
    I knew you would turn into a dyed in the wool flint shooter!
    I worked on converting a new shooter yesterday at the VFW. He's been a cartridge shooter for years, and is just catching the muzzle loader addiction. I took a cut off percussion breech to show him yesterday, and explained why he had so many misfires his first time out. He was amazed at how a patent breech has to function. He had the same problem as many others do now, too cheap to snap a few caps before loading. All they see is dimes being thrown away every time the hammer falls. Now he's looking for a flinter!
    The solid soft lead bullet is undoubtably the best and most satisfactory expanding bullet that has ever been designed. It invariably mushrooms perfectly, and never breaks up. With the metal base that is essential for velocities of 2000 f.s. and upwards to protect the naked base, these metal-based soft lead bullets are splendid.
    John Taylor - "African Rifles and Cartridges"

    Forget everything you know about loading jacketed bullets. This is a whole new ball game!


  14. #14
    Boolit Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by waksupi View Post
    I knew you would turn into a dyed in the wool flint shooter!
    I worked on converting a new shooter yesterday at the VFW. He's been a cartridge shooter for years, and is just catching the muzzle loader addiction. I took a cut off percussion breech to show him yesterday, and explained why he had so many misfires his first time out. He was amazed at how a patent breech has to function. He had the same problem as many others do now, too cheap to snap a few caps before loading. All they see is dimes being thrown away every time the hammer falls. Now he's looking for a flinter!
    Believe me it didn’t take long. Between that ancient CVA that I got from Ken (45 Nut) and that old Northwest Trade Gun, I was hooked. I had to step away for awhile because life got super busy in 2020. Now it is getting back to a semblance of normality at least for a few months, and I have gotten back to spending more time with the holy black. I love squirrel hunting with a muzzleloader, but over the years have had too many ruined hunts because of heavy dew and a percussion cap. Never have had that issue with my flintlocks.

    I am not sure how I am going to like this Old Cabelas kit. I just hope the stock is not any indication of the barrel quality. It would have been easier to start with a blank, because outside of the lock and trigger nothing else has been right. I ended up having to plug every predrilled hole and start over because nothing was in line with the lock and barrel channel. It turned out ok, but there was a few places I got too deep with the chisel and not quite deep enough in others but it will be fine for a plinking and squirrel rifle.

    Any home brew concoctions that can brown one? Other than the old fashioned way of leaving it in the white and using it? I am thinking about doing just that. I wish I could upload photos but this site doesn’t seem to like iOS’s.
    WWG1WGA


    Tyrants use the force of the people to chain and subjugate-that is, enyoke the people. They then plough with them as men do with oxen yoked. Thus the spirit of liberty and innovation is reduced by bayonets, and principles are struck dumb by cannon shot: Albert Pike, Morals and Dogma

  15. #15
    Moderator Emeritus / Trusted loob groove dealer

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    Quote Originally Posted by Boerrancher View Post
    Believe me it didn’t take long. Between that ancient CVA that I got from Ken (45 Nut) and that old Northwest Trade Gun, I was hooked. I had to step away for awhile because life got super busy in 2020. Now it is getting back to a semblance of normality at least for a few months, and I have gotten back to spending more time with the holy black. I love squirrel hunting with a muzzleloader, but over the years have had too many ruined hunts because of heavy dew and a percussion cap. Never have had that issue with my flintlocks.

    I am not sure how I am going to like this Old Cabelas kit. I just hope the stock is not any indication of the barrel quality. It would have been easier to start with a blank, because outside of the lock and trigger nothing else has been right. I ended up having to plug every predrilled hole and start over because nothing was in line with the lock and barrel channel. It turned out ok, but there was a few places I got too deep with the chisel and not quite deep enough in others but it will be fine for a plinking and squirrel rifle.

    Any home brew concoctions that can brown one? Other than the old fashioned way of leaving it in the white and using it? I am thinking about doing just that. I wish I could upload photos but this site doesn’t seem to like iOS’s.
    I've done with some 10% veterinary iodine. Rough finish. Muriactic acid works, all you would need to do is put the barrel in an enclosure, and a little of the acid in a container. I think you would need to protect the bore with this. I found out about how much this rusts by leaving a container open in the shop over night, and everything within five feet had rust on it the next morning! Lots of things will produce rust.
    With the Cabela's, lock quality will probably be the biggest concern.
    The solid soft lead bullet is undoubtably the best and most satisfactory expanding bullet that has ever been designed. It invariably mushrooms perfectly, and never breaks up. With the metal base that is essential for velocities of 2000 f.s. and upwards to protect the naked base, these metal-based soft lead bullets are splendid.
    John Taylor - "African Rifles and Cartridges"

    Forget everything you know about loading jacketed bullets. This is a whole new ball game!


  16. #16
    Boolit Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by waksupi View Post
    I've done with some 10% veterinary iodine. Rough finish. Muriactic acid works, all you would need to do is put the barrel in an enclosure, and a little of the acid in a container. I think you would need to protect the bore with this. I found out about how much this rusts by leaving a container open in the shop over night, and everything within five feet had rust on it the next morning! Lots of things will produce rust.
    With the Cabela's, lock quality will probably be the biggest concern.
    I decided to leave it in the white for now, and will try and work up a load and zero it today. The lock was my concern as well, but it is pretty smooth, and throws a decent shower of sparks once I got all the finish off of the frizzen. The issue I had was with the stock and double set triggers. The stock was the worst. Aside from the lock and the barrel channel being mostly correct, everything else was basically a stock blank with a bunch of pre drilled holes. My 4 year old grandson could have gotten the holes closer to being where they should have been and not off at weird angles. I had to plug them all and re drill them. As to the triggers. They were really rough. I had to take them apart and spent several hours with a fine diamond block smoothing all of the burrs and boogers off of everything. What I thought was going to take me 8-10 hours to build, and be shooting, I have between 30 and 40 hours in. I guess because this is an older kit and the accuracy of the machine cutting and drilling the stock was not as good as a modern CNC machine.

    I never got a chance to say Thank you for all the things I learned from you here, and it must have been frustrating with all of the beginner type questions, especially when I got the old Trade Gun, so Thank you. Your knowledge gave me a whole other level of insight and confidence into the world of the Holy Black, and I will forever be grateful.
    WWG1WGA


    Tyrants use the force of the people to chain and subjugate-that is, enyoke the people. They then plough with them as men do with oxen yoked. Thus the spirit of liberty and innovation is reduced by bayonets, and principles are struck dumb by cannon shot: Albert Pike, Morals and Dogma

  17. #17
    Boolit Grand Master
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    Glad to see you back, too.

  18. #18
    Moderator Emeritus / Trusted loob groove dealer

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    Quote Originally Posted by Boerrancher View Post
    I decided to leave it in the white for now, and will try and work up a load and zero it today. The lock was my concern as well, but it is pretty smooth, and throws a decent shower of sparks once I got all the finish off of the frizzen. The issue I had was with the stock and double set triggers. The stock was the worst. Aside from the lock and the barrel channel being mostly correct, everything else was basically a stock blank with a bunch of pre drilled holes. My 4 year old grandson could have gotten the holes closer to being where they should have been and not off at weird angles. I had to plug them all and re drill them. As to the triggers. They were really rough. I had to take them apart and spent several hours with a fine diamond block smoothing all of the burrs and boogers off of everything. What I thought was going to take me 8-10 hours to build, and be shooting, I have between 30 and 40 hours in. I guess because this is an older kit and the accuracy of the machine cutting and drilling the stock was not as good as a modern CNC machine.

    I never got a chance to say Thank you for all the things I learned from you here, and it must have been frustrating with all of the beginner type questions, especially when I got the old Trade Gun, so Thank you. Your knowledge gave me a whole other level of insight and confidence into the world of the Holy Black, and I will forever be grateful.
    Thanks for the compliment.

    Always remember, there is a reason they are called kits!
    The solid soft lead bullet is undoubtably the best and most satisfactory expanding bullet that has ever been designed. It invariably mushrooms perfectly, and never breaks up. With the metal base that is essential for velocities of 2000 f.s. and upwards to protect the naked base, these metal-based soft lead bullets are splendid.
    John Taylor - "African Rifles and Cartridges"

    Forget everything you know about loading jacketed bullets. This is a whole new ball game!


  19. #19
    Boolit Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by waksupi View Post
    Thanks for the compliment.

    Always remember, there is a reason they are called kits!
    I’ve spoken with several other people who have built Investarms kits and my troubles seem to be common, and yet those who have purchased the complete rifle claim that everything is as smooth as butter. They must be dumping their parts that didn’t pass QC into kits. If you can’t fix the trigger or the lock and complain that it doesn’t work right they send you one that does. If you just fix it yourself, you just made them more money because you fixed their scrap.

    I spent several hours shooting it today. I am pleased with the accuracy. I burned nearly 1/2 a lb of 3F, but what I can’t figure out was on occasion I would get a flyer and not just an inch or two, sometimes it would be as much as 6 inches at 27 yds. Why 27 yds? Because I was on a 25 meter range. It only happened a couple of times but it has me puzzled. Maybe it was a bad ball with a void. I didn’t bother to weigh them.

    What I find most interesting is I own 3 different flintlocks now, and each of them are uniquely individual in how much powder to put in the pan, where to put the powder in the pan, how often you have to pick the touch hole. I only had a couple of pan flashes which isn’t bad considering the number of times I shot, and I only had a couple of no sparks as well, due to residual on the frizzen. A lick of the thumb, and a quick wipe and she was back shooting. I have 4 days left before deer season starts again to go find some tree rats. Hopefully tomorrow I can put a few in the freezer.
    WWG1WGA


    Tyrants use the force of the people to chain and subjugate-that is, enyoke the people. They then plough with them as men do with oxen yoked. Thus the spirit of liberty and innovation is reduced by bayonets, and principles are struck dumb by cannon shot: Albert Pike, Morals and Dogma

  20. #20
    Moderator Emeritus / Trusted loob groove dealer

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    Quote Originally Posted by Boerrancher View Post
    Iíve spoken with several other people who have built Investarms kits and my troubles seem to be common, and yet those who have purchased the complete rifle claim that everything is as smooth as butter. They must be dumping their parts that didnít pass QC into kits. If you canít fix the trigger or the lock and complain that it doesnít work right they send you one that does. If you just fix it yourself, you just made them more money because you fixed their scrap.

    I spent several hours shooting it today. I am pleased with the accuracy. I burned nearly 1/2 a lb of 3F, but what I canít figure out was on occasion I would get a flyer and not just an inch or two, sometimes it would be as much as 6 inches at 27 yds. Why 27 yds? Because I was on a 25 meter range. It only happened a couple of times but it has me puzzled. Maybe it was a bad ball with a void. I didnít bother to weigh them.

    What I find most interesting is I own 3 different flintlocks now, and each of them are uniquely individual in how much powder to put in the pan, where to put the powder in the pan, how often you have to pick the touch hole. I only had a couple of pan flashes which isnít bad considering the number of times I shot, and I only had a couple of no sparks as well, due to residual on the frizzen. A lick of the thumb, and a quick wipe and she was back shooting. I have 4 days left before deer season starts again to go find some tree rats. Hopefully tomorrow I can put a few in the freezer.
    I get those fliers on occasion, and I'm pretty sure they are caused by voids. It really shows up shooting the smoothbore. The balls are big enough to see in flight when light conditions are right Some of them have an extreme curve in flight.
    The solid soft lead bullet is undoubtably the best and most satisfactory expanding bullet that has ever been designed. It invariably mushrooms perfectly, and never breaks up. With the metal base that is essential for velocities of 2000 f.s. and upwards to protect the naked base, these metal-based soft lead bullets are splendid.
    John Taylor - "African Rifles and Cartridges"

    Forget everything you know about loading jacketed bullets. This is a whole new ball game!


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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