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MrFox 12-06-2010 03:38 PM

Kentucky Long Rifle or Hawken one?
Hello everybody,

I haven't done any muzzleload shooting so far, but just cannot stop thinking about perkussion muzzleloader rifle. Something of a classic one, probably Kentucky Long rifle or a Hawken... Intended use would be obviously to hunt deer (we have extended seasons for muzzleloaders + muzzleloaders are allowed around the city like shotguns but unlike regular rifles - DNR doesn't want many hunters with AR15 around the city). So, shooting straight in 100-200 yrds range (at least to hit into the barn wall from outside the barn) is a definite must, but I also would like to think of it as a piece of history. Maybe to hang around my headquarters (down in the basement office) during the rest of the year...
Does anyone hunt with either of them, can you share your experiences with those classic ones. Which one would you recommend?

Thanks! I'd appreciate every bit of information.

frontiergander 12-06-2010 11:24 PM

I'd say to go with a Hawken style rifle. The shorter barrel will feel better in the woods, especially with thick cover.

150 yards IMO would be maximum with open sights and off hand shooting.

CVA Hawken
CVA Mountain Rifle " Highly recommended!"
TC Hawken
Lyman Great Plains " .54cal is your best bet!" Lyman makes a good quality piece and they are accurate.

For me, It'd be a war between the great plains rifle and the cva mountain rifle.

MrFox 12-07-2010 12:05 PM

What was the reason why Hawkens replaced Kentucky Long ones? All I can find is that Hawkens have bigger calibers as well as they used to be called plains rifle (so that would imply bility to shoot to longer distances accurately?) At the same time, longer Kentucky rifle barrel implies quite opposite, that Kentucky long one has more accuracy built into it. It's lighter too. I'd love to shoulder and preferably to shoot both before making any decision as to which one I like more. I had chance to shoulder a Hawken rifle at local Cabela's but they only have Kentucky long rifles in the catalog...

frontiergander 12-07-2010 12:43 PM

Exactly, during the fur trade the eastern guns wernt big enough. Mainly small bores, some were rebored to larger caliber but the stock designs were weak in the wrist area.

The hawken though was the cadillac of them all, heavy built rifles, accurate, reliable, big calibers. They didnt come with a 5 foot long barrel.

Back in those days, with the kentucky style rifles, they thought they needed a long arse barrel to be accurate, Not true!

frontiergander 12-07-2010 12:48 PM

MrFox 12-28-2010 12:56 PM

If Hawken which caliber it be?
If Hawken which caliber it be? .50 or .54? I'm mostly after deer, but wouldn't want to rule out possibility of a Western hunt (or who knows if I ain't relocating later in my life).

In .50 I am attracted to lighter bullet weight (and flatter trajectory?), supposedly lighter weight of a gun in a field, as well as .50 requiring less powder and being more economical solution for practicing. I believe that .50 with a maxibullet is both legal and efficient for Colorado Elk hunt.

On another hand, I've read .54 with a round ball is deadly to anything moving from a squirrel to Mr.Grizzly...

frontiergander 12-28-2010 02:51 PM


you wont be doing any crazy long range shooting at game with it. Open sights and all, 150 yards max. And if shooting round ball, a 54+ is needed for anything over 150 yards.

Hunting Man 12-28-2010 03:25 PM

I don't know about big bears with a 54 but any thing a 50 can do a 54 can do better! I have a 54 hawken full stocker in flint. My max range with my eyes is 100 yd with open sights shooting a patched round ball.

MrFox 01-07-2011 12:22 PM

news update
I did a step forward and bought both Kentucky Long Rifle .50 and Lyman Great Plains Hunter (quick twist) Rifle in .50. I haven't made a decision yet, which one to keep and which one to return (if not both)... My short list also has Lyman GPR in .54, but I hoped longer barrelled .50 shooting a conical bullet through slightly longer barrel would have enough firepower for me to go even potential elk hunting. Of several stores in our area, only 1 carries stuff in .54, so that was a thing to consider for me.

I'll share my observations when both rifles get into the store.

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