Lyman Great Plains rifle

Ravensview

Bronze supporter
AH veteran
Joined
Apr 17, 2020
Messages
177
Reaction score
281
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?
Good question and at one time I might’ve remembered the answer, I started muzzleloading in 1975 or so and that is what I have always remembered being told, there were reasons but dang if I can remember them, I know a lot of wheel weights now are really high in zinc content, old roof flashing and pipe joints are usually pure lead.
 

JimP

AH legend
Joined
Dec 14, 2014
Messages
2,477
Reaction score
3,640
Location
Gypsum, Co
Media
46
Hunting reports
Africa
1
USA/Canada
3
Member of
NRA, RMEF
Hunted
US (Utah, Arizona, Idaho, Colorado, Nevada. Canada (British Colombia), South Africa (Eastern Cape)
You want pure lead to be able to ram the projectile down the barrel and the harder the projectile is the more force that is required, and if it is hard enough you'll need a hammer and a brass rod is to seat the bullet.

If you are using a patched round ball you can get away with a harder bullet since the patch is what grabs the rifling of the barrel.
 

Ravensview

Bronze supporter
AH veteran
Joined
Apr 17, 2020
Messages
177
Reaction score
281
I believe at lower velocities that the pure lead expands better also for hunting, I know one of my first retirement projects is going to be to build a .62 caliber (20 gauge) smooth bore French fusil, I want to try partridge hunting with it and also be able to use it for deer hunting in the muzzleloading season, oughta be fun
 

JimP

AH legend
Joined
Dec 14, 2014
Messages
2,477
Reaction score
3,640
Location
Gypsum, Co
Media
46
Hunting reports
Africa
1
USA/Canada
3
Member of
NRA, RMEF
Hunted
US (Utah, Arizona, Idaho, Colorado, Nevada. Canada (British Colombia), South Africa (Eastern Cape)
I would get some Pyodex RS to shoot rather than the old black powder. That original black powder will shoot just fine but clean up is much easier with Pyrodex.

Also read up on cleaning black powder. For my side lock I'll take the barrel off and get a pan of boiling hot water which I will add some dish soap to. Then using the ramrod with a jag on the end of it I'll place the barrel nipple side down into that water and using a patch work the water in and out of the barrel until I have it clean. I'll then get another pan of boiling water to rinse it the same way. By the time you are done that barrel will be hot enough that you'll have a hard time holding onto it.

Then after it cools some I'll take some Thompson Center Bore Butter and run a patch through the barrel with some bore butter on it. I don't use any oil on the barrel.

As for casting your own bullets and such, Lyman manufactures molds for a number of different designs along with round balls. The molds cost a bit but when you can't find what you want to shoot out of the rifle you have to cast them yourself.

I've been casting my own Maxi Balls for over 30 years now for my .54 Thompson Center Renegade.

Also, black powder is loaded by volume and not weight. So your powder measure will have the volume of powder on it and if you weigh it you will find out that they don't match.
 

John Havard

AH veteran
Joined
Mar 9, 2019
Messages
186
Reaction score
150
Media
10
I burn a little Black Powder as well.
this about half our bags. Each rifle should have it’s own complete with a “bag mold” for molding round balls.
DA1A98D8-453A-469E-813D-50F90010E988.jpeg
3AEB1E13-5F33-4F7F-9017-CBC6004ADB44.jpeg
 

Skinnersblade

AH fanatic
Joined
Dec 15, 2019
Messages
904
Reaction score
1,732
Location
Nova Scotia canada
Media
52

flatwater bill

AH legend
Joined
Jun 16, 2013
Messages
2,014
Reaction score
3,149
Media
24
Hunting reports
Africa
4
Asia/M.East
1
Member of
NRA endowment member/Life member
Hunted
All 6 Continents
The principal reason that most replica manufacturers recommend pure lead is simply for safety and liability. Casting a .490 roundball from pure lead gives a ball very close to .490 as you'd expect. Almost all lead alloys expand as they cool....more so than lead....leading to ball diameters of up to .497 in my castings. Old timers certainly used alloys for enhanced penetration. 10% tin or 7.5% mercury were the popular alloys in India and Africa. These alloys require adjusting the patch thickness for ease of loading, and often require a clean bbl. Cleaning up from authentic black powder is easy and quick when you have learned the techniques rather than repeating old methods. Every muzzleloader shooter was a reloader, had to be,....get the hang of it with commercial swaged balls before you move on.......have fun with it...............FWB
 

curtism1234

AH fanatic
Joined
Apr 28, 2016
Messages
939
Reaction score
1,102
Media
6
I have killed a number of deer with a 490 round ball before switching to bullets. 75 grains shot well for me (1:48 twist so ymmv) and has enough power to flatten the ball up against the other side of the hide. I would not aim square on the shoulder and hit that big bone. If you accidently hit it, it would probably be ok. I'd aim right behind it or a quartering to is a good angle too (at least imo).

I agree on pyrodex over the real stuff. Black Powder has too many regulations and might even void homeowners insurance if you keep it inside your house (maybe I'm paranoid). On the plus side, BP is more likely to fire in damp weather as the ignition temp is less but it is a gummy substance when fired. Swab the barrel each time vs every 2nd or 3rd shot.

Clean up: I actually do warmish water with dish soap and a cold water rinse --- my rifle has problems with flash rust if I use boiling water. IMO, cold water isn't a negative as the mountain men would just lay the barrel in a cold stream and let the current clean most of it. YMMV - try hot water, run patches until it is completely dry, run another dry patch a few minutes later, and if it's clean you are ok...just put some bore butter down the barrel / bolster snail screw.

Make sure you get the bore butter 100% out before trying to fire it - dry patches and pipe cleaners. Pop 2-3 caps with the barrel a few inches off the ground and make sure dust/dirt goes flying. Load it, run the nipple pick to feel for powder. The first range load and especially hunting load, I will put a pinch of powder inside the snail hole. Do yourself a favor and buy an extra screw incase you drop it...

Wet weather - protect the hammer / nipple area. Some seal the nipple area with a tube of Vaseline. I don't think it's necessary. Find a strip of spare vinyl about a foot long and 9" wide and put a big clothing snap fasciner on the middle edge. Sort of like this (though I don't like the large gap) and tuck that in under your armpit all day hunting. More than likely it will go off with only a slight hangfire. If not, you get to stand there with your hand on your wiener and the animal laughs at you.
1623360175954.png


and finally, pick up several of these and always have one in your pocket (ziplock bag if it's raining). You can load amazingly fast

1623360306580.png
 

sestoppelman

AH ambassador
Joined
Apr 25, 2010
Messages
7,864
Reaction score
8,208
Media
172
Articles
2
Hunting reports
Africa
3
Member of
NRA, NA Hunt Club
Hunted
Tanzania, Botswana, Zimbabwe (2), Namibia (2), South Africa (2)
Oh so this is the thread that got me all sideways with John in AK! Now I get it. LOL.:oops:

Anyway, years ago I built one of these from a kit, in .54 cal. Shot very well. Its good for up to 100 or so grains of 2F powder in the book IIRC. Barrel is 15/16" and good steel.
They shoot well these Lyman rifles. Dont have one anymore, but still have a .50 T/C Hawken, a custom Hawken .54, a CVA .45, and a .58 cal Buffalo Hunter ( short Zouave by Zoli). BP is fun stuff.
Forgot, also have a Traditions Mountain Rifle .50 from a kit, still unfired.
 

John Havard

AH veteran
Joined
Mar 9, 2019
Messages
186
Reaction score
150
Media
10
Oh so this is the thread that got me all sideways with John in AK! Now I get it. LOL.:oops:

Anyway, years ago I built one of these from a kit, in .54 cal. Shot very well. Its good for up to 100 or so grains of 2F powder in the book IIRC. Barrel is 15/16" and good steel.
They shoot well these Lyman rifles. Dont have one anymore, but still have a .50 T/C Hawken, a custom Hawken .54, a CVA .45, and a .58 cal Buffalo Hunter ( short Zouave by Zoli). BP is fun stuff.
Forgot, also have a Traditions Mountain Rifle .50 from a kit, still unfired.
We are good my friend
 

ChrisG

AH elite
Joined
Jan 6, 2015
Messages
1,138
Reaction score
1,423
Location
Adirondack Park, NY, USA
Media
44
Articles
2
Hunting reports
USA/Canada
3
Member of
NAHC, NRA, Rocky Mtn. Elk Foundation.
Hunted
USA, Canada
All I ever use is traditional muzzloaders. Unless you get magnum caps or a 209 conversion nipple, real black powder is still the best propellant for traditional muzzleloaders. You'll likely get inconsistent ignition with substitutes. As far as "safe" loads go, if it pushes the bullet from the barrel, you're safe. In a sidleock with a no. 11 cap, you could fill the barrel half full of real black and set it off... it will push all the unburned powder from the muzzle and not hurt anything other than your wallet and potentially start a fire.

That said, anything from 70 grains up to about 110 should work for a .490 lead round ball. I always cast mine from wheel weight which made them penetrate exceptionally for a round ball, but commercially made swaged ones will be a little more accurate. Even so, don't expect 1" groups at 100 yards with a round ball. Start at 70 and work your way up 5 grains at a time until you find a load that shoots good and hunt stuff!
 

Skinnersblade

AH fanatic
Joined
Dec 15, 2019
Messages
904
Reaction score
1,732
Location
Nova Scotia canada
Media
52

John Havard

AH veteran
Joined
Mar 9, 2019
Messages
186
Reaction score
150
Media
10
These are in fact custom made bags. Not that
I only have one commercial bag bought many years ago. I will try to put them all out and take some photos. I have several more in Virginia so I’ll need to to send a photo of those some other time.
some are very nice, some are are basic, but I like them all. The powder horns too. Some of these are very old, but so far I haven’t been able to trace them back to original owners.
I do enjoy this site, and for the most part feel we are All the real deal.
 

Skinnersblade

AH fanatic
Joined
Dec 15, 2019
Messages
904
Reaction score
1,732
Location
Nova Scotia canada
Media
52
These are in fact custom made bags. Not that
I only have one commercial bag bought many years ago. I will try to put them all out and take some photos. I have several more in Virginia so I’ll need to to send a photo of those some other time.
some are very nice, some are are basic, but I like them all. The powder horns too. Some of these are very old, but so far I haven’t been able to trace them back to original owners.
I do enjoy this site, and for the most part feel we are All the real deal.
If it’s not too much trouble for you I’d be very interested in the contents as well. A few photos an a short summary would be very helpful.
 

John Havard

AH veteran
Joined
Mar 9, 2019
Messages
186
Reaction score
150
Media
10
If it’s not too much trouble for you I’d be very interested in the contents as well. A few photos an a short summary would be very helpful.
Good morning. I’m driving back from Valdez this morning. I’ll break one down in the next day or so and send photos of the contents and a brief description. I’m sure that You and most of the other members know more about it than me, but I will be happy to share what I have.
 

Skinnersblade

AH fanatic
Joined
Dec 15, 2019
Messages
904
Reaction score
1,732
Location
Nova Scotia canada
Media
52
Good morning. I’m driving back from Valdez this morning. I’ll break one down in the next day or so and send photos of the contents and a brief description. I’m sure that You and most of the other members know more about it than me, but I will be happy to share what I have.
I’d doubt that seriously, the Lyman is my first traditional muzzleloader. I appreciate all the information I can gain from this fine group of gentleman.
 

Forum statistics

Threads
38,244
Messages
735,987
Members
69,271
Latest member
LorettaWoo
 

 

 

Latest profile posts

Tam Dl wrote on xausa's profile.
I have been looking at an option for a 505, that doesn't break the bank (that concern my have to yield), and is more in the 50-110, or 50 Alaskan range. However not easy to find a case, other than the Weatherby, of course. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Tam Dl wrote on xausa's profile.
Hello, do you have any information on your 505 SRE cartridge. Up here in Canada, there is talk about how the various 500s may exceed the 10 000 Joule limit recently imposed. Not that they do on paper, but you never know what they may infer or claim.
Eastern Cape Hunting Report Coming soon...

IMG_2658.JPG
IMG_2152.JPG
IMG_0899.JPG
IMG_0521.JPG
IMG_2066.JPG
IMG_2583.JPG
Jaynecobb wrote on cal pappas's profile.
I hate to bother you....I own 2 of your books including British bore rifle. I was hoping you might have more 10 bore loads. For the heavier and later rifles. Any help would be appreciated.
Gert Odendaal wrote on Av8or's profile.
Good day , Do you still have .375 H&H Magnum brass available to sell?
 
Top