Author Topic: Inline caplock rifles  (Read 17032 times)

Offline Knecht

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Inline caplock rifles
« on: December 24, 2013, 07:47:34 PM »
Anyone here has and uses modern caplock inline rifles? Namely Ardesa? I like the short Tracker model...they are pretty cheap here and I was thinking about getting one. I've been around black powder for a while, but always just historical guns, none of these modern ones. Any information and advice welcome, regarding brand, caliber, bullet choice, shooting sabot or ball, possible hunting applications...

Offline bdhutier

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Re: Inline caplock rifles
« Reply #1 on: December 25, 2013, 11:29:13 AM »
The inline design is not modern, and has been around as long as percussion caps, along with the side hammer, and under-hammer.  Of course, the use of 209 shotgun primers is new, as is electronic ignition.  Mainly (I think), the animosity towards inclines from blackpowder "purists" comes from the 209 usage, and the fact that current designs have strayed far from your typical antique look.  Then again, so do most of the "Hawken" rifles manufactured today, but they're at least in the ballpark.  Since you're a reenactor and own matchlocks, and are looking at buying a modern inline, I'm guessing you really don't care about that here, and are looking only from the perspective of functionality.

That said, Ardesa manufactures firearms here under the brand Traditions.  Hate them or love them, My opinion of Traditions based on products I've owned is: they're fine.  Not spectacular, but not garbage.  I have never owned a modern inline, so I can't speak there.  For caliber, I would go with the ever versatile .50.  Just enough juice to take a moose, but enough finesse to take rabbits.  My understanding of these rifles is they are designed to run sabots.  It would certainly he worth testing PRBs to see how they perform at different load ranges.  Although designed for Minie balls, most muskets will sling PRBs like a champ with a properly worked load.

GL!

Offline Knecht

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Re: Inline caplock rifles
« Reply #2 on: December 26, 2013, 12:25:51 PM »
Thanks!
I advertised on local gun site that I'm looking for one and already got a nice offer, so I guess I'll take it.
I don't own any matchlocks now, just two wheellocks (carbine and pistol), plus my GF has a flintlock. I also got a caplock doublebarrel shotgun recently, but it's still being worked on before it can be shot again.
Looking forward to try a caplock rifle.

Offline bdhutier

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Re: Inline caplock rifles
« Reply #3 on: December 26, 2013, 03:05:27 PM »
I don't own any matchlocks now, just two wheellocks (carbine and pistol)...

That's right!   :-[  Big difference!

Offline Mortblanc

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Re: Inline caplock rifles
« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2013, 01:29:03 PM »
I have always been a traditional side-lock shooter, be it flint or cap, but I confess to having a scope sighted in-line in the rack and I really do love experimenting with it!

I shoot anything and everything from it from saboted jacketed bullets to patched round ball. 

Mine uses #11 percussion caps so I can use the toy ring caps or my own Tap-O-Cap production.  It was a dirt cheap purchase because it does not use the 209 primers.  I did not want the 209 primers, but I sure did talk the guy down because it would not use them!  For all practical purposes I paid the guy for the red dot scope that was on the rail and he threw the rifle that was carrying them in for free.  I moved the red dot to one of my competition pistols and replaced it with a Simmons scope.

I must honestly admit that my in-line will outshoot any of my side-locks using patched round ball.  Some will say that the twist is to fast for PRB, but many of the old time guns had exceptionally fast twist, and you have to keep the charge down to "reasonable" levels, but 70 grains of 2f behind a .50 round ball is still a good load for most medium sized game.

Of course the scope helps too!

No the pioneers did not use them, but some of those pioneers died of starvation!

If you get a good deal on one buy it, play with it and enjoy smelling real gunpowder. 

Offline Knecht

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Re: Inline caplock rifles
« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2014, 02:46:17 PM »
Oh yeah, I really do enjoy smelling blackpowder smoke!
I'll see how the deal end up, I should meet the seller in couple days.

Offline Knecht

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Re: Inline caplock rifles
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2014, 04:42:05 PM »
Ok, I got it today. Very little used one, like new. Good price.
Since I never shot patched bullets from a rifled muzzleloader, any such advice is welcome! All my blackpowder experience is about round balls in smoothbore.

Offline Mortblanc

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Re: Inline caplock rifles
« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2014, 08:50:01 PM »
OK Knecht, here goes with rifled ML 101.

Caliber is probably .50". 

For shooting patched round ball choose a ball .001 under size, .490. 

Use a greased patch cut from pillow ticking, or just plain cotton denim from an old pair of jeans. I don't know what you have available in the Chech area. 

For grease plain shortening will work.  So will olive oil, vegetable oil.  Even chewing the patch and moistening it with spit will suffice.

Starting load should be 50 grains 2f.  Increase charge to the max effective balance between power and accuracy.

Wrap the ball in the greased patch and shove it down the bore firmly on top of the powder charge,

Cap and shoot.

There are several different types of bullets and propellants one can use in a modern in-line.  Saboted bullets, full bore sized slugs that engrave the rifling, solid powder pellets and artificial BP can all be used.

If you google the subject you will have weeks of research to read and thousands of opinions.

With a BP rifle all of life turns into an experiment.  Changing powder charge by a couple of grains can make great changes in accuracy as can thickness and texture of the patch material.....

One load will shoot into 5cm @100m and the next will not stay on the target backer.

Offline Knecht

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Re: Inline caplock rifles
« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2014, 01:57:26 AM »
Thanks!
Yes, it's 50cal. Next to my old 18mm wheellock, it looks like something I borrowed from my little brother :)
Patching materials - I have all kinds of fabric and even soft leather (deer and such, I found some people like it for patching), as a result of my long reenactment career.
Are you sure about the load? My local seller's site says that due to different rifling of the modern inlines, designed mainly for sabots, one should fire lead bullets with 30grains of BP tops. But maybe our powder is made stronger.

Offline Mortblanc

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Re: Inline caplock rifles
« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2014, 01:49:20 PM »
Thanks!
Yes, it's 50cal. Next to my old 18mm wheellock, it looks like something I borrowed from my little brother :)
Patching materials - I have all kinds of fabric and even soft leather (deer and such, I found some people like it for patching), as a result of my long reenactment career.
Are you sure about the load? My local seller's site says that due to different rifling of the modern inlines, designed mainly for sabots, one should fire lead bullets with 30grains of BP tops. But maybe our powder is made stronger.

All of the official recommendations are to use wimp loads when shooting round ball in the inline rifles.  They claim it is the fast twist, but that is not the reason, since many of the old jaeger rifles and the American Hawkins had fast twist or gain twist rifling, often as fast as 1turn/32".

The real culprit is the extremely shallow rifling.  If the proper ball/patch combination is not used the rifling with strip the ball as it goes down the barrel instead of grabbing it and turning it.

You will have to experiment and see just how fast you can drive the ball and still retain accuracy.  Find that balance point. 

The real problem is that many rifles must reach a power level to achieve their accuracy potential.  One must hope that they can find an accurate platform above the lowest level needed, but below the point when the rifling strips.

Even if you are restricted to 30gn charge you will still have an excellent small game/plinking load at mush less cost than the saboted loads.

Over here the saboted loads can cost up to $1.00 per shot, while I can cast round balls from scrap lead and shoot for the cost of the powder/caps (around $0.04 US).

There is a compromise in the Lee REAL slugs.  They are elongated slugs cast at full bore size and the rifling is forced into the slug as it is loaded.  Thompson Center offers the same thing in their Maxiballs. 

They are probably the best of both worlds.  Cheap lead cast into an efficient slug for the inline.

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/130069/lee-2-cavity-bullet-mold-50-250-real-50-caliber-517-diameter-250-grain-real



Offline Knecht

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Re: Inline caplock rifles
« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2014, 03:57:52 PM »
I got that exact mold with the rifle :)
So these should be my number 1 you think? Just patch them and boom?
I can get sabots here, but the price is about the same or more. Saw here some sabots filled with .45 FMJ bullets as well, but not sure what real use are they supposed, other than target practice.
I have some lead to cast, some is pure, others are various alloys that will need to have pure lead added I guess. Is there any good "common man" way to measure the hardness?

Offline bbobwat33

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Re: Inline caplock rifles
« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2014, 08:22:02 PM »
i have a traditions 50 cal inline that takes 209 shotgun primers. i use the powder pellets and 240 grain hollow point .45 sabot. it's an accurate gun and deadly on a deer. few years ago shot an eight pointer at about 150 yards. double lung pass through he went about 20 yards before dropping.

Offline Mortblanc

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Re: Inline caplock rifles
« Reply #12 on: January 06, 2014, 08:46:59 PM »
I got that exact mold with the rifle :)
So these should be my number 1 you think? Just patch them and boom?
I can get sabots here, but the price is about the same or more. Saw here some sabots filled with .45 FMJ bullets as well, but not sure what real use are they supposed, other than target practice.
I have some lead to cast, some is pure, others are various alloys that will need to have pure lead added I guess. Is there any good "common man" way to measure the hardness?

You do not patch the REAL bullet!!!

REAL stands for Rifling Engraved At Loading.  This was the loading system they used for jaeger rifles before they started using patched round balls, which was an American innovation. 

Use pure lead.

Smear lube in the grooves.  Lard or shortening will work.  Bore butter is better.

No patch.  This is a bare bullet load.

The bottom grove is narrow and will fit down the bore to start the slug.

The slug should be popped into the bore with a bullet starter.

Press the slug down on the powder charge using the loading rod.  It will have stiff resistance.

Cap and shoot.

« Last Edit: January 06, 2014, 08:53:08 PM by Mortblanc »

Offline Knecht

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Re: Inline caplock rifles
« Reply #13 on: January 07, 2014, 12:57:10 AM »
Thanks!
No patch, fine. Will see what lubes my gunshop carries.
I really appreciate any information, as I haven't shot rifled muzzleloaders before, always just smooth bore.

Offline Mortblanc

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Re: Inline caplock rifles
« Reply #14 on: January 08, 2014, 11:44:20 AM »
I failed to answer your question about hardness of lead.

There are several gadgets that one can buy to give a proper test of lead hardness, but I do not own any of them.

There is also the age old "thumbnail test".

If you can make a dent in the lead with your thumbnail it is soft enough to use for ML bullets.

That is about as simple as it gets.

Any alloys that I run into that do not dent or mark with thumbnail pressure are converted into regular rifle and pistol bullets.

Offline Knecht

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Re: Inline caplock rifles
« Reply #15 on: January 08, 2014, 02:10:52 PM »
The thumbnail test is perfect, thanks! Exactly the AK-simple rule I was looking for.
I don't cast bullets for modern loading by now, yet I plan to. I guess the harder alloys should be ok for home-cast buckshot as well, right? My Fabarm is even steel-shot approved, so it should handle harder lead as well.


Offline caverdude

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Re: Inline caplock rifles
« Reply #16 on: January 08, 2014, 04:57:42 PM »
The first inline was patented in 1806. For some reason it wasn't really produced and used that much in the 1800's. I had a disc shaped cap that was inserted from the bottom next to the trigger guard. Many pistols were actually inline if you think about it though. Also you can get breach plugs that used #11, or larger Musket primers or shot gun primers.

Offline bdhutier

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Re: Inline caplock rifles
« Reply #17 on: January 09, 2014, 12:24:09 AM »
Many pistols were actually inline if you think about it though.

Definitely the Colt and Remmy style revolvers (oh, and the LeMat, of course!).  ;D

Offline Mortblanc

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Re: Inline caplock rifles
« Reply #18 on: January 18, 2014, 12:20:08 PM »


No one has even made a statement about the side-lock vs. in-line thing, so why even bring it up?  It has nothing to do with the OP.

A survival forum is about using what you have when you need it in the most efficient manner possible with no regard to the modern vs. traditional debate.

The absolute most efficient use of materials in firearm construction I have ever seen was a muzzle loader using an inline system copied from a flare pen.  It had one moving part, the spring powered striker, and was a masterpiece of simplicity.

Offline Knecht

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Re: Inline caplock rifles
« Reply #19 on: January 27, 2014, 02:21:45 PM »
my Tracker's mechanism is just like that. Cylinder-shaped striker with a firing pin (rather spike), all in one piece. Has a cocking handle attached. Spring loaded. Trigger just holds it in the rear position.

Offline caverdude

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Re: Inline caplock rifles
« Reply #20 on: January 30, 2014, 04:05:01 PM »
my Tracker's mechanism is just like that. Cylinder-shaped striker with a firing pin (rather spike), all in one piece. Has a cocking handle attached. Spring loaded. Trigger just holds it in the rear position.

tracker? have picture?

Offline Mortblanc

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Re: Inline caplock rifles
« Reply #21 on: January 30, 2014, 04:36:25 PM »

Offline Knecht

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Re: Inline caplock rifles
« Reply #22 on: January 31, 2014, 04:20:31 PM »
Correct, that's the one I have.
I'll finally get to shoot it tomorrow!

Offline iam4liberty

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Re: Inline caplock rifles
« Reply #23 on: January 31, 2014, 08:47:57 PM »
While not inline, underhammer firearms have the same advantages of a short, direct ignition path and simplicity of parts.  The only moving parts are the trigger and hammer.  And the trigger guard plays double duty as the mainspring.  They are known for their extreme reliability, smooth trigger, and light weight.  Numrich used to make a series under the Hopkins & Allen brand name.  Though inexpensive they were used to win many a muzzleloader match vs. high end side locks.

Offline armymars

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Re: Inline caplock rifles
« Reply #24 on: February 01, 2014, 10:00:31 AM »
Ah Yes,
  The carriage gun in 45 cal. The first inline I ever saw was an H&R back in 1973. With a faster twist you might want to try a 50 cal. mini ball mold from Lee. Start low on the powder charge and work up. You need enough powder to get the skirts to engage the rifling, but at some point you'll loose accuracy as the skirts distort as the bullet leaves the muzzle.

Offline Knecht

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Re: Inline caplock rifles
« Reply #25 on: February 01, 2014, 12:33:41 PM »
I shot it today with the REAL cast bullets I made. After some sight setting, it hit fine. Need to work on the accuracy yet.
This poor bean can got hit at 25m at the beginning phase of zeroing. The exiting hole is quite impressive.



Offline Knecht

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Re: Inline caplock rifles
« Reply #26 on: March 30, 2014, 12:53:19 PM »
Tested my new lead melter yesterday and cast some more bullets for my Tracker. Found a small scrapyard nearby, that will supply me with cheap lead, hurray. Also got some sabots and regular .45ACP fmj bullets to try. I may get to range next weekend, hope to test all the new ammo.
Been thinking about another inline muzzleloader, just to add it to the prepping stock since they are so cheap, but will rather get a caplock SxS shotgun, as mentioned in other thread here. It's two shots instead of one, plus it's more versatile than a rifle.