Lyman Great Plains rifle

Skinnersblade

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Evening gents I bought a Lyman Great Plains rifle from an estate today that appears unfired. It was still disassembled in the original box and the stickers had to be cut to open it.

I have used inline muzzle loaders but am not all that familiar with traditional ones could anyone suggest a safe starting load? I also purchased the deceased gentleman’s range gear. There is a flask measure ball starter nipple wrenches several hundred caps sealed and a jug of ffg. Besides balls and pillow ticking is there any thing else I need?

On a side not I’m cursed with the inability to own a blunderbuss, today makes the third time I’ve tried to purchase one that was in the estate and I’ve missed out on it every time. It sold about 45 minutes before I got there.
 

WAB

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I’ve owned a Lyman Great Plains in .54 for roughly 35 years. A couple notes; it’s a slow twist round ball gun, the upper limit on recommended powder charge is lower than some, I.e. the TC Hawken.

Mine likes round balls and the old buffalo ball-ets, a mini designed for slow twist guns. I am comfortable with mine to 150 yards, 100 with round balls. If yours is a .54 I can help with some load ideas.

It is one of the most authentic production hawken replicas
 
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WAB

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That’s a good rifle. It won’t stabilize maxi’s but if you can find something like the old ball-et you’re in business.
 

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My grandfather built flintlocks for many years and actually currently has one on the bench in his shop. Of the commercial cap and flintlock guns he always has regarded the great plains rifles from Lyman as good ones. Growing up I was taught for Goex powder at least to try 1.5x caliber ( bore diameter) as a load for pushing patched round ball. Some rifles would shoot better with five more or five less grains from there.
 

Skinnersblade

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My grandfather built flintlocks for many years and actually currently has one on the bench in his shop. Of the commercial cap and flintlock guns he always has regarded the great plains rifles from Lyman as good ones. Growing up I was taught for Goex powder at least to try 1.5x caliber ( bore diameter) as a load for pushing patched round ball. Some rifles would shoot better with five more or five less grains from there.
Thanks that’s a very helpful and easy to remember formula.
 

WAB

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I have an older cva mountain rifle that I built as a kit around 1978 or so that is .50 caliber, it has a slow twist also, I use .490 dia. Roundball, .010 or .015 patch, a plinking load is around 60 grains of 2f black powder, my hunting load is 90 grains of 2f, my may charge is somewhere at around 110 grains of 2f.
 

WAB

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I have an older cva mountain rifle that I built as a kit around 1978 or so that is .50 caliber, it has a slow twist also, I use .490 dia. Roundball, .010 or .015 patch, a plinking load is around 60 grains of 2f black powder, my hunting load is 90 grains of 2f, my may charge is somewhere at around 110 grains of 2f.

I doubt that the Lyman max load is that high.
 

Skinnersblade

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I have an older cva mountain rifle that I built as a kit around 1978 or so that is .50 caliber, it has a slow twist also, I use .490 dia. Roundball, .010 or .015 patch, a plinking load is around 60 grains of 2f black powder, my hunting load is 90 grains of 2f, my may charge is somewhere at around 110 grains of 2f.
That would be about the same time period as the rifle I mentioned, the box is marked 1979
 

flatwater bill

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I recommend reading "The Lyman Black Powder Handbook & Loading Manual".....available from several sources for about 20 bucks.......I have used this rifle for just over 40 years....should you have any problems when you prepare to shoot (I have encountered them all at some time I think)..........be happy to help................FWB
 

WAB

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I believe the Lyman max loads are available online. They are lower than CVA or TC!!!!
 

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The 60 grain load that I use for plinking is very accurate, each rifle will have its sweet spot, and patch diameter, thickness, and type of lube can make a difference, all I have ever shot out of mine is real blackpowder, make sure your balls are pure lead, in the US track of the wolf in Minnesota is a good resource as well as Dixie Gun Works.
 

WAB

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The 60 grain load that I use for plinking is very accurate, each rifle will have its sweet spot, and patch diameter, thickness, and type of lube can make a difference, all I have ever shot out of mine is real blackpowder, make sure your balls are pure lead, in the US track of the wolf in Minnesota is a good resource as well as Dixie Gun Works.

Hmmm, balls of pure lead…
 

Skinnersblade

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I’ve got a long piece of lead sink drain that I melt to cast. I assume it’s pure lead but have never really tested it. Out of curiosity why would pure lead be of such important to these rifles? I thought people used wheel waits with no trouble?
 

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