T/C Hawken Restoration

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Oct 1, 2021
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I recently had a T/C Hawken, serial number 61343, handed down to me and am new to traditional muzzleloading and was looking for recommendations. First of all the muzzleloader is missing it's lock (percussion), the ramrod, and the front sight. Should my first step be to find someone with a bore scope to check on the status of the inside of the barrel before looking for the missing parts? I have read about polishing the bore with 0000 steel wool and a polishing compound like Montana X-treme but have yet to embark down this path.

As for replacement parts, Is it possible to find the original coil spring lock? I have done some searching online and have read that L&R makes leaf spring locks but that they require modifying the stock to fit. Is this something a beginner can take on, or is it best to find and experienced individual to help install this part? As far as sights go they seem to be fairly straight forward to find, if you can find them in stock. I would prefer a Lyman 57 SML peep sight and a lee shaver globe or a green fiber optic front sight.

Any recommendations on stores, online resources, or books would be greatly appreciated. I currently live in the North Idaho and would love to meet up with someone or a muzzleloading group in person to gain experience and knowledge from.

Thanks
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HC

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Jan 15, 2016
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:welcome: To the brotherhood. There’s a fellow up in your neighborhood that may advise.
 

michiganmuzzy

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:welcome: Welcome. I believe theres a few knowledgeable fellas up your way. Yes to looking down the bore before you spend any money on it. The barrel looks a bit crusty on the outside. What does the muzzle look like with a flashlight shining into it?
 

bluemule66

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Feb 4, 2021
Messages
52
factory locks are out there. I just bought one from a member on the sister sight. muzzleloaderforum.com. A good way to find what you need is to place a wanted add. I got some factory sights the same way.
 

Docsv2pistol

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Feb 15, 2020
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Original Thompson/Center locks sell for ridiculously stupid money on eBay. Percussion locks seem to average somewhere in the $250.00 range as an asking price, with the flintlock locks averaging somewhere in the range of $450.00 as an asking price.

For a more reasonable option, look to putting a Want to Buy add in the Firearms section of our sister site, The Muzzleloading Forum.

Another option, that will cost more, but yield a superior lock in the end, would be to get in touch with Brad Emig at Cabin Creek Muzzleloading. 1-717-757-5841

He is one of the premier lock builders/tuners in the United States. If he were to agree to it, I would have him inlet your stock for the L&R replacement percussion lock, and do whatever it takes to bring the factory L&R replacement lock up to his standards.

Be aware that L&R locks are considered by most custom muzzleloading rifle builders to be at the bottom of the list of choices for a modern sidelock lock. The L&R lock will undoubtedly require more time, labor, and the fabrication of replacement parts than would a similar lock from another manufacturer. This could end up setting you back as much as $400.00, which would include the base price of the lock.

All of the above is contingent upon the barrel being worth any attention at all.

Good luck with your project.
 

Squint

Squint
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Joined
Feb 4, 2020
Messages
79
I recently had a T/C Hawken, serial number 61343, handed down to me and am new to traditional muzzleloading and was looking for recommendations. First of all the muzzleloader is missing it's lock (percussion), the ramrod, and the front sight. Should my first step be to find someone with a bore scope to check on the status of the inside of the barrel before looking for the missing parts? I have read about polishing the bore with 0000 steel wool and a polishing compound like Montana X-treme but have yet to embark down this path.

As for replacement parts, Is it possible to find the original coil spring lock? I have done some searching online and have read that L&R makes leaf spring locks but that they require modifying the stock to fit. Is this something a beginner can take on, or is it best to find and experienced individual to help install this part? As far as sights go they seem to be fairly straight forward to find, if you can find them in stock. I would prefer a Lyman 57 SML peep sight and a lee shaver globe or a green fiber optic front sight.

Any recommendations on stores, online resources, or books would be greatly appreciated. I currently live in the North Idaho and would love to meet up with someone or a muzzleloading group in person to gain experience and knowledge from.

Thanks
View attachment 16871View attachment 16872View attachment 16873
Don't be too quick about condemning the bore on this rifle, a month ago I purchased a 45 caliber Lyman that hadn't been cleaned for approximately 45 years after being shot with black powder. When I first got it, water wouldn't go through the barrel. After scrubbing out what I could with cloth, I used some fine valve grinding compound on a patch until I was satisfied that it was reasonably smooth and I took it out and shot it using 777. With the right patch lube, it grouped an inch and a half at 50 yards, which is more than adequate for hunting, and I would think with some more fine-tuning I could get it better than that. I don't know how much you would intend to shoot this rifle, but cleanup wasn't that hard in the one I have. There's no way I intend to shoot it a hundred times a year, and if I shoot it 25 or 30 times it would probably be a lot. In the 10-12 times I did shoot already, I never had to run a patch down the barrel to keep on shooting. My final load was 47 grains equivalent of 777 which was done with a volume major that's based on black powder. I realize that this kind of goes against most advice, and I would suspect you're going to have to buy TC lock perhaps on eBay to get one that fits properly, otherwise this would take somebody more knowledgeable than some of us Novus shooters. I have assembled a TC kit some years ago but that's far different than adapting a different kind of lock and making the hammer line up.
Good luck in your journey to making it work.
Squint
 
Last edited:

MrTom

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Dec 7, 2016
Messages
2,369
Don't be too quick about condemning the bore on this rifle, a month ago I purchased a 45 caliber Lyman that hadn't been cleaned for approximately 45 years after being shot with black powder. When I first got it, water wouldn't go through the barrel. After scrubbing out what I could with cloth, I used some fine velvet grinding compound on a patch until I was satisfied that it was reasonably smooth and I took it out and shot it using 777. With the right patch lube, it grouped an inch and a half at 50 yards, which is more than adequate for hunting.....

I've had four like the one just mentioned, all side locks, and all looked as though some miniature mice had had a field day with a felt hat packing the barrels full. It's not a fun process but these guns did clean up pretty well and three of the four turned out to be very good shooters. The 4th gun had some serious pitting in the first eight inches of the muzzle and just wouldn't play nice but I was able to double what I paid for it by selling it as parts. The other three all had some minor pitting but none of it was anywhere near the top 18" of the barrel and those three shot like Squint's gun. Unless the pitting is very bad and deep and in the top half of the barrel I think a lot of guns assumed to be parts guns and passed over as reclaimable shooters. One will never know unless he invests the time to do what he can and then range test them.
 
Joined
Oct 1, 2021
Messages
10
Thanks to everyone that has replied to this thread. Is there a recommended method of removing the breach plug from the barrel? If I can remove it, it might give me a better chance to shine a light down the barrel to assess the condition as well as give the breach end a through cleaning.
 

deermanok

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I wouldn't recommend trying to pull the breech plug. It can be done but not without a few specialty tools and the know how.
 
Joined
Oct 1, 2021
Messages
10
Original Thompson/Center locks sell for ridiculously stupid money on eBay. Percussion locks seem to average somewhere in the $250.00 range as an asking price, with the flintlock locks averaging somewhere in the range of $450.00 as an asking price.

For a more reasonable option, look to putting a Want to Buy add in the Firearms section of our sister site, The Muzzleloading Forum.

Another option, that will cost more, but yield a superior lock in the end, would be to get in touch with Brad Emig at Cabin Creek Muzzleloading. 1-717-757-5841

He is one of the premier lock builders/tuners in the United States. If he were to agree to it, I would have him inlet your stock for the L&R replacement percussion lock, and do whatever it takes to bring the factory L&R replacement lock up to his standards.

Be aware that L&R locks are considered by most custom muzzleloading rifle builders to be at the bottom of the list of choices for a modern sidelock lock. The L&R lock will undoubtedly require more time, labor, and the fabrication of replacement parts than would a similar lock from another manufacturer. This could end up setting you back as much as $400.00, which would include the base price of the lock.

All of the above is contingent upon the barrel being worth any attention at all.

Good luck with your project.
Thanks for the information. Currently on eBay I am seeing T/C Hawken percussion locks for $125 with $10 shipping. Some of them look like they are in good condition. Are the ones you are seeing for $250 brand new? I am trying to avoid buying a lock that doesn't work or is of poor quality due to by lack of experience with sidelock muzzleloaders.
 

deermanok

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You could check out the Gun Works/Muzzleloading Emporium.
They sell a number of percussion and flintlocks. They might be able to help you out.
 

Caniborrowsomeammo

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Nov 5, 2020
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As it is it won't shoot, and that's probably good. First thing is to see if it is still loaded if you haven't already. Probably not loaded, but just sayin'.
Get yourself a rod (whatever will fit down the barrel easily, preferably not a piece of steel) and put it down the barrel to see if it goes all the way to the breech block.
 

DESPERATE LEE

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Dec 11, 2019
Messages
253
If you are from Idaho then there are 2 gentlemen you need to talk to, Idaho Lewis and Idaho Ron. You can find them both on this forum and they are TC sidelock fans.
DL
 

Bad Karma

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Thanks for the information. Currently on eBay I am seeing T/C Hawken percussion locks for $125 with $10 shipping. Some of them look like they are in good condition. Are the ones you are seeing for $250 brand new? I am trying to avoid buying a lock that doesn't work or is of poor quality due to by lack of experience with sidelock muzzleloaders.
I don’t think that’s terribly out of line. As mentioned, you could buy a “better” lock, have a guy tune it and end up with a lock which reliably busts caps. Which is what a replacement from EBay will do for 3-4 hundred dollars less… that TC is just fine. If you’re up to it and your barrel is good, you have the makings of a 1 MOA shooter right there. Welcome to the fire…
 

R1150R

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Joined
Feb 6, 2012
Messages
17
Thanks to everyone that has replied to this thread. Is there a recommended method of removing the breach plug from the barrel? If I can remove it, it might give me a better chance to shine a light down the barrel to assess the condition as well as give the breach end a through cleaning.

Here are a couple of suggestions from Log Cabin Shop that may make removing the breech plug unnecessary: Log Cabin Shop
 

Docsv2pistol

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Joined
Feb 15, 2020
Messages
1,417
Thanks to everyone that has replied to this thread. Is there a recommended method of removing the breach plug from the barrel? If I can remove it, it might give me a better chance to shine a light down the barrel to assess the condition as well as give the breach end a through cleaning.
Idaholewis had a thread here someplace detailing the dos & don'ts, the rights & wrongs that are involved in the successful removal of a Thompson/Center breech plug.

I can tell you from my one attempt at breech plug removal (successful) back in the 1980's that the first thing you will need is a decent machinist's vise, preferably bolted to a very heavy work bench.

I pulled off the removal of a standard flint type breech plug using my father's 6" Craftsman vise, which was bolted to a fairly lightweight work bench. The lightweight bench was a hindrance to accomplishing the job, as it tended to bounce around when I was exerting the necessary leverage to the plug with a 14" Crescent wrench.

As far as Thompson/Center breech plugs are concerned, I recall Idaholewis saying quite firmly that using the proper size Thompson/Center breech plug wrench was not an option. Without the use of one of these tools, the likelihood of buggering up the barrel, and damaging the breech plug is nearly 100%.

These tools, which as far as I can determine (correct me if I am wrong), are only sold on eBay. They come in 13/16", 15/16", & 1" sizes to fit the three different octagonal barrel sizes that Thompson/Center utilized in most of its rifles.

The Black Mountain Magnum rifle in .54 caliber had a 1 and 1/16" diameter breech, and I don't know if a breech plug wrench is available for sale to fit it?

I also don't know if these breech plug wrenches are available to fit the small number of Thompson/Center barrels that were round, such as the New Englander?

Since a torque wrench was used to tightly install the breech plugs on Thompson/Center rifles, it takes a lot of force to remove one.

I believe that the thread regarding the successful removal of a Thompson/Center breech plug might be located in the thread where Idaholewis was telling us about the super nice 18" long (?) pipe wrench that he had invested in so that he could stop using a slip-on piece of pipe over a shorter wrench as a breaker bar in order to have the necessary leverage to loosen a Thompson/Center breech plug from its barrel.
 

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