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Journey to Stop Smoking!

yoderjac

5 year old buck +
This thread contains the background information as I started my research: https://habitat-talk.com/index.php?threads/smokeless-powder-muzzleloader.12587/

Now that I made a purchase, I thought I'd start a new thread to document my hands-on experience.

Summary:

Based on the recommendations from the linked thread and some research, I purchased a smokeless muzzleloader barrel for my TC Encore Pro Hunter from Jeff Hankins. It recently arrived. There are more details at the end of the other thread, but here is a picture of what I got:


IMG_20210405_134736236-Crop.jpg

I have the large rifle primers on order but had to pay a premium to get them off Gunbroker. The bullets Jeff recommends with this gun are out of stock but should be available next month. It has a different scope base, and I have some rings on order so I can transfer the scope from my muzzleloader barrel. That leaves powder as the last long-lead item. With the ammo shortage, powder is hard to come by. I have not found any place to backorder it. The best I can do is to check web sites daily. I do have a friend who is willing to spot me a little powder. Unless I can find at least a pound to buy, I'll be reluctant to pull the scope from my existing muzzleloader. I'll need to have some confidence I can shoot enough to sight-in and have enough expendables to hunt.

I have not done any reloading except for shotgun shells when I was in high school, so I'm starting from scratch.

Impressions:

I'm impressed with Hankins works so far. This is a 1" barrel, so it is quite heavy. That won't be an issue for my type of hunting (treestand and blind mostly), but it may be for others. The fit and finish is very nice. All of the accessories I got from Jeff are well crafted.

Going Forward:

As things come in and I begin to use them, I'll document them here. Hopefully this thread will go through my sigh-in process.

In order to size the bullets and put the primers in the adapters, I needed a press. Since I'm not currently planning on doing any other handloading, I went for a small simple press, the RCBS Partner. It arrived today. It seems reasonably well built, but the instructions for assembly were pretty poor. They had word descriptions for assembly of the primer arm, but no pictures of the components or assembly. I thought they might have an assembly video on youtube for the Partner but I found none. I did find a video of assembling an RCBS primer arm for another RCBS tool and that plus the word description was enough for me to do the assembly.

IMG_20210406_144438683_Smal.jpg

IMG_20210406_144502097_Smal.jpg

These are pictures of the press. I did not bolt it down, I just put a heavy case on it for pictures. I installed the smooth bullet sizing die that I got from Jeff as well as the rod. The only difference between the pictures is the position of the handle and ram. I think this press will work for both sizing and priming the adapters.

More to come as things come in. Comments, suggestions, advice, and criticism are welcome!
 

Booner21

5 year old buck +
I think you will need a 45-70 shell holder to prime the modules if you don’t have one.

If you pass through IL I have a couple extra pounds to spare.
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yoderjac

5 year old buck +
I think these modules slip right in to the press...I could be wrong. Thanks for the suggestion, I'll look into it deeper.
 

Bill

Administrator
Not fairJack. :)

I put the Marlboro’s down in November.

always got a kick out of the kid at Tony’s boot camp that scolded someone for smoking and saying a smoker could never kill a BC deer.

I could have begged to differ but kept my mouth shut and smiled. Can’t tell someone what they won’t hear.

Hunt the wind.....and smokeless is a good idea anyway.
 

yoderjac

5 year old buck +
Not fairJack. :)

I put the Marlboro’s down in November.

always got a kick out of the kid at Tony’s boot camp that scolded someone for smoking and saying a smoker could never kill a BC deer.

I could have begged to differ but kept my mouth shut and smiled. Can’t tell someone what they won’t hear.

Hunt the wind.....and smokeless is a good idea anyway.

I can't really relate. The only actual smoking I've done was holding swisher sweets in my mouth to keep the bugs away from my head when fly fishing in PA in my younger years.

I don't know if tobacco smoke is any different, but I know some great hunters who hang their hunting clothes by a wood fire before they hunt. Lots of folks use wood burning stoves to heat in our area. I've never seen a deer have a bad reaction to that smell.

My only issue with smoke is recovering deer. I had a couple close calls in recent years. Both incidents occurred on very still days. I took a shot and the smoke just hung in the air. When it finally dissipated, no deer and no direction of travel seen. In one incident, I got thrown off by another deer. Two does entered the field. I shot one and smoke filled the air. I caught a glimpse of the deer running back on the trail they came in. I looked for a long time with no luck. I even used my FLIR after dark. I found no blood or any indication I hit the deer, but it was a 40 yard shot and I could not imagine I missed completely. I eventually gave up but figured I'd just walk a wide circle around the impact site with the FLIR for only last desperate effort. Sure enough, I found the deer not much more than 50 yards from the impact site in a completely different direction. It was lying in a little depression. I followed the back trail and it rain straight there from the impact site and was probably dead before the smoke cleared.

In the second incident, I was fortunate and found the deer walking circles. It was shot broadside with no exit wound and the blood just pooled in the chest cavity. I probably would have found both deer in 10 minutes if I knew which way she ran after the shot.

Add on top of that the accuracy and big increase in kinetic energy of smokeless, and the only reason I can think of not to go smokeless is the cost, or if it is not legal in your state, or if you just want the nostalgia of traditional muzzleloader hunting. In the case of the latter, I'd be using a flintlock. :emoji_smile:

Thanks,

Jack
 

yoderjac

5 year old buck +
I decided that rather than tearing down my existing encore muzzleloader, I'd buy a new frame for this one. I ordered it today along with an MCarbo trigger spring kit. :emoji_smile:
 

Native Hunter

5 year old buck +
I think these modules slip right in to the press...I could be wrong. Thanks for the suggestion, I'll look into it deeper.

I've had a bolt action Hankins ML for 3 years and you do need a shell holder to prime it. It's the same one used for a 308 Winchester. I use a Lee Auto Prime and it is shell holder #2.
 

yoderjac

5 year old buck +
I've had a bolt action Hankins ML for 3 years and you do need a shell holder to prime it. It's the same one used for a 308 Winchester. I use a Lee Auto Prime and it is shell holder #2.

Thanks! I must have missed that in his video.
 

Booner21

5 year old buck +
I've had a bolt action Hankins ML for 3 years and you do need a shell holder to prime it. It's the same one used for a 308 Winchester. I use a Lee Auto Prime and it is shell holder #2.

I have a conversion and it requires a 45-70 May want to check what modules you have before ordering. I am not sure what your encore is.


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Native Hunter

5 year old buck +
I have a conversion and it requires a 45-70 May want to check what modules you have before ordering. I am not sure what your encore is.


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My modules came with my bolt rifle built by Jeff that accepts his ignition system. What I stated works with my rifle. I have no idea if it works with other rifles or conversions that he builds. I agree that Jack should check with Jeff on what shell holder he needs before he buys one. If you look back at my post, I specifically stated that my rifle was a bolt action.
 
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Booner21

5 year old buck +
My modules came with my bolt rifle built by Jeff that accepts his ignition system. What I stated works with my rifle. I have no idea if it works with other rifles or conversions that he builds. I agree that Jack should check with Jeff on what shell holder he needs before he buys one. If you look back at my post, I specifically stated that my rifle was a bolt action.

Sorry yes that was what I was implying not telling you you were wrong about your rifle but that he should double check before ordering.


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yoderjac

5 year old buck +
Thanks, I just sent Jeff an email. I'll let you know what he says.
 

yoderjac

5 year old buck +
Just heard back. 45/70 is correct for my gun! Just ordered one.
 
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