Cabelas Traditional 54 cal Hawken Percussion ML - Utah Wildlife Network

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Old 12-12-2007, 01:24 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Cabelas Traditional 54 cal Hawken Percussion ML

Just wondering if anyone here owns one of these? I've decided to try shooting Hornady Great Plains conicals out of my ML. If anyone here owns one, how many grains of powder do you use? Do you use black powder or Pyrodex and why one over the other. I know the manufacturer only recommends using 90gr. of FFg powder, but could I use up to 120gr. if needed? (although I don't anticipate using that many grains) Thanks for your help on this. Utbowhntr
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Old 12-14-2007, 12:49 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cabelas Traditional 54 cal Hawken Percussion ML

The Cabela's 'Hawken' is made by Investarms, and it is a good rifle. The conical should shoot well for you, but you'll have to pay your dues at the range to find the charge it likes best. I would stay away from pyrodex. Go with real black; I reccommend Goex, try FFFg or FFg. I like FFFg in my Lyman GPR .54. I think the FFFg burns a little more completely and leaves a little less fouling. Both Pyro and black are corrosive (well, the residue is when it combines with moisture from the air) If you're not up to keeping your gun clean you should just throw in the towel and sell out to the inline crowd. But, if you are good at keeping your gun clean and cared for after you shoot, you'll never regret shooting real black powder. It is by far more consistent from shot to shot, and it ignites better than anything, period (condsider this when you're out hunting!)

You should just go buy the gun because shooting muzzleloaders is so much fun!!!
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Old 12-14-2007, 12:12 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cabelas Traditional 54 cal Hawken Percussion ML

Hey Woolybugger,
Thanks for your reply. I already have the rifle and have shot it quite a few times and I am hooked on muzzleloading. I love the smell of the smoke and powder. I've used pyrodex in it in the past and the triple 7, but have always wanted to try just black powder but I've heard it's hard to find and alot of stores won't sell it. Where do you get yours at? I live in Layton and work in Ogden. I wonder if impact guns sells it. Also, do hunt with patched round balls? Can you shoot elk with PRB's or do you use conicals. Thanks again, Utbowhntr
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Old 12-14-2007, 06:18 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cabelas Traditional 54 cal Hawken Percussion ML

.54 cal. round ball= 230 GR. ball- 100 Grains FFG BP-muzzle vel. 1855/ Muzzle energy 1758 Ft. lbs. Maximum load-120 Grains FFG BP muzzle vel.1983/muzzle energy 2009 Ft. lbs...... .54 cal. Maxi Ball=430 GR-100 Grains BP-muzzle vel 1345/Muzzle energy 1728 Ft. lbs....Maximum load-120 Grains FFG BP.muzzle vel.1499/muzzle energy 2146 Ft. lbs. This is from a book I have.
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Old 12-17-2007, 02:58 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cabelas Traditional 54 cal Hawken Percussion ML

Gunnies in Orem sells the real stuff. All I shoot are PRB's in my gun (I have a 1/60" twist). It clover leaf's at 50 yards, and it's a <2" at 100. Someone told me that Cabela's sells real black powder as well. I think Gallenson's might have it also. Other than Cow elk, I haven't really hunted them with anything other than archery. My schedule fouled me out of the ML elk this past year. Next year I think I'll hunt archery deer and ML elk. Smith and Edwards might sell it. I know you can buy it yourself direct from a dealer. Check out the traditional muzzleloading forum website; they have a bunch of links to powder distributors.
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Old 12-31-2007, 11:38 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cabelas Traditional 54 cal Hawken Percussion ML

Quote:
Originally Posted by utbowhntr
Hey Woolybugger,
Thanks for your reply. I already have the rifle and have shot it quite a few times and I am hooked on muzzleloading. I love the smell of the smoke and powder. I've used pyrodex in it in the past and the triple 7, but have always wanted to try just black powder but I've heard it's hard to find and alot of stores won't sell it. Where do you get yours at? I live in Layton and work in Ogden. I wonder if impact guns sells it. Also, do hunt with patched round balls? Can you shoot elk with PRB's or do you use conicals. Thanks again, Utbowhntr

Utah Bowhunter;

I live up North as well and since you work in Ogden it will be fairly easy for you to pick up real Black Powder. Like Woolly buggy speculated, head up to Smith and Edwards. Go to the gun counter and ask them for it as they have it stored in a vault or something in the back. That is where I buy mine for my .54 Cabelas Hawken. I built mine from a kit. Shoots pretty good with conicals and I have only shot real Goex Black Powder Ffg out of mine. I have had pretty good results with a patched round ball too. Someday I hope to harvest an animal with mine.

Anyhow, have fun and good luck.

Firehawk
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Old 12-31-2007, 03:17 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cabelas Traditional 54 cal Hawken Percussion ML

Hi Firehawk,
Thanks for your reply. I know each gun is different, but what conicals do you shoot and how many grains? Also, how many grains of the Ffg black powder do you find has given you the best results? Also, what type of groups do you get? Thanks again for the information and it looks like I'll be heading up to S&E. Utbowhntr
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Old 01-01-2008, 02:06 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cabelas Traditional 54 cal Hawken Percussion ML

utbowhntr,

Honestly, I can't remember what brand of conical I have used the most. It was a bullet mfg down in Cedar City or similar, that Sportsman's used to carry. They shot pretty well and I bought a bunch of them when they clearanced them out. I believe that they are 375 or 385 grains with a hollowed out base and a rounded nose. I have loaded 80-95 grains of Ffg, but settled on 90 grains most of the time.

I recently purchased some Hornady Great Plains and some TC Maxi Hunters and Maxi Balls. I hope to have the opportunity to see how they shoot sometime soon.

I wish I could give you more information, but I frankly spent more time developing awesome loads for my Knight Wolverine. That dogon rifle shoots groups as tight as most centerfire rifles. That is the rifle I have spent the most time with as I have hunted with a ML since 1998. This past season, I drew the Buck/Bull combo tag and never even got out the inline, although I did shoot a few PRB out of the Hawken. Hopefully, this year I will get her figured out. She is a really pretty rifle. I used the "Plum Brown" for browning the barrel and repeated the process until I had a really dark brown color, and installed a TC Tang style Peep. The stock is lighter in color than the traditional Cabelas Hawken. I actually used Walnut stain and then sanded it off and repeated this about 4-5 times. The result was a really dark grain pattern with the bulk of the wood the standard Maple color. I am really proud of it.

Someday I plan to really dial her in. I drew a doe tag this year and had actually considered using the Hawken to harvest her. I knew that I would need to get really close, but my 8 year old son also wanted to tag along for the first time. Due to feeling it was important for him to be there for a harvest, I pulled out my 7mm-08 and dropped a little doe at 175 yards. My son was right next to me watching through his binoculars after making a careful stalk, crawling through the sage and peering over the ridgeline. It was awesome. So......now I need to come up with a new opportunity to harvest an animal with my Hawken.

Good luck and remember to keep yer powder dry.

Firehawk
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Old 01-03-2008, 01:04 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cabelas Traditional 54 cal Hawken Percussion ML

My hunting load is the Great Plains hollow point, hollow base 425 gr, behind 90 grains of real black powder FFg. It's shot very well for me in my TC .54 for over 15 years. Your Cabelas rifle should shoot a similar load quite well.
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