Thompson Center Muzzleloader

Thompson Center Muzzleloader

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I bought this Thompson Center Hawken as a kit back in the mid 80s. It is the first Thompson Center muzzleloader that I ever owned at the time. This rifle is a 45 caliber, with the standard T/C barrel on it. The twist is 1 in 48 witch is a go in-between for round ball and conical projectiles. Since then I now own two Thompson center Muzzleloaders. The second gun is their New Englander 12 gage black powder single barrel shotgun.

 For those who like to shoot just round ball and feel that the 1 in 48 is too fast. You can buy and Green mountain 50-caliber barrel with a 1 in 70 twist rate in it. The barrel is 32 inches long and can be had in either percussion or flintlock ignition.  If you like to shoot just conical projectors, you can get a 50-caliber 1 in 28 twist that is 28 inches long.

Thompson Center Muzzleloader

Above is the Hawken with the barrel off ready to clean. 

Thompson Center muzzleloader Thompson Center muzzleloader

 

When I put this kit together I did a few modifications to the walnut stock before finishing it. The only thing that I did not like with the fit between the metal parts and the wood, was where the tang behind the barrel and wood matched up. I put an inlay of brass as you can see. I also shoot left-handed with a shoulder gun, so I removed the cheek piece from the stock, in its place, I inlayed a German silver fish.

Thompson Center Muzzleloader

Thompson Center Muzzleloader

 With this gun being a hook breach type, it is really easy to take apart and clean. All you have to do is pull out the barrel hold down that is in the forearm of the stock. Then it is just a matter of pulling the barrel up and sliding the barrel out of the stock. You can see the breech hook on the barrel and the tang piece on the stock in the above pictures.

To clean this muzzleloader, I take the barrel off and put the breech end in a bucket of hot soapy water. I use dish washing soap. It will cut the oil and crud left behind from the black powder. Running the patched ramrod up and down will pull hot water into the barrel. Do this till the patch stays clean and your done scrubbing. Just get the water off and oil up the barrel. Then its just a good wipe down of the rest of the gun to get rid of all the black powder residue and your are done.

Thompson Center muzzleloader Thompson Center muzzleloader

Here is the lock for this gun. This lock is well built and has never given me any trouble. As you can see from the back picture, it has all coil springs in it. It has a fly also so when the double set triggers set it off, the sear will not engage the half cock notch. As you can see also the fit is very good for the lock on this gun.

Thompson Center Muzzleloader Thompson Center Muzzleloader

You can see the patch box above with the double set triggers. The patch box is 3/8 of an inch deep. I leave mine empty. I carry a shooting bag, so I do not need to use it. The double set triggers have the only flat spring in the gun. They are fully adjustable, so you can get the trigger feel that you want. If you would rather not set them, you can still fire the gun with the front trigger.

Thompson Center Muzzleloader Thompson Center Muzzleloader

 

Looking at the muzzle above, you can see the wear on it from cutting patches. I have shot this gun a lot. I mostly use it at the target range now. I have used it for hunting in my earlier days. As far as the accuracy goes with this gun that would depend on how it is loaded. I do shoot way more round balls than anything else. Even with the 1 in 48 turn barrel, I can still hold a good 3-inch or better group at 50 yards.
 
The back sight as you can see is not the stock sight. I made this one to replace the loose original one. This is a solid mounted sight with adjustment in windage only. I held the sight height that what would match the front sight. It works well for my style of shooting.

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 All in all, this Thompson Center Muzzleloader is a very good gun. I like the feel of the traditional muzzleloader. If you are going to hunt with black powder, do it the way the forefathers did.

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