T/C Hawken Restoration

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brushblind

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This might be a little off subject but start going to garage sales and estate sales and be creative when talking to the proprietor. Last mo. I went to a garage sale about 10 miles from my hse. and noticed that there were a few hunting items for sale, nothing related to muzzleloading but the guy asked what I was looking for(that opened the door) I said I was looking for anything to do with muzzle loaders. He said he did have some stuff but his wife wouldn't let him sell it in the yard sale. I said it's perfectly legal and he had me follow him up to the hse. Long story short, we went down in the bsmt to his gun stuff and he pulled out an old TC Hawken with a brand new Nikon scope and then grabbed an old bucket and started filling it with bullets, flask, caps, jags, two brand new packs of Pdex pellets. He said I'll sell it to you if you promise not to hunt deer with it because several people had tried and couldn't hit nothing with it. I said how much for everything, he said hows twenty dollars sound, I said sold! I took the funky scope mount off and made a rear sight with it because the original was misplaced, took it to my range the next day and it shoots as good with rb and PA ballets as any of my BP rifles! Start checking out those sales this isn't the first one I've found this way. People don't think they can sell stuff like firearms at garage sales. A month before this I picked up an Invest Arms Hawken in mint condition for sixty bucks, again the guy didn't have it out. Good luck!
 
Joined
Oct 1, 2021
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This might be a little off subject but start going to garage sales and estate sales and be creative when talking to the proprietor. Last mo. I went to a garage sale about 10 miles from my hse. and noticed that there were a few hunting items for sale, nothing related to muzzleloading but the guy asked what I was looking for(that opened the door) I said I was looking for anything to do with muzzle loaders. He said he did have some stuff but his wife wouldn't let him sell it in the yard sale. I said it's perfectly legal and he had me follow him up to the hse. Long story short, we went down in the bsmt to his gun stuff and he pulled out an old TC Hawken with a brand new Nikon scope and then grabbed an old bucket and started filling it with bullets, flask, caps, jags, two brand new packs of Pdex pellets. He said I'll sell it to you if you promise not to hunt deer with it because several people had tried and couldn't hit nothing with it. I said how much for everything, he said hows twenty dollars sound, I said sold! I took the funky scope mount off and made a rear sight with it because the original was misplaced, took it to my range the next day and it shoots as good with rb and PA ballets as any of my BP rifles! Start checking out those sales this isn't the first one I've found this way. People don't think they can sell stuff like firearms at garage sales. A month before this I picked up an Invest Arms Hawken in mint condition for sixty bucks, again the guy didn't have it out. Good luck!
Thanks for the tip. Being I live in a state with a traditional muzzleloader hunting season it would make since that people around here would have some laying around from a time they tried out BP hunting and maybe didn’t like it.
 

WV Hunter

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2,673
Thanks for the tip. Being I live in a state with a traditional muzzleloader hunting season it would make since that people around here would have some laying around from a time they tried out BP hunting and maybe didn’t like it.
Also, pawn shops etc... for what some folks ask for a just a lock, you can often times buy a whole rifle. Over the years I've seen some rifles that were neglected go for very cheap... even if the bore is very bad, many times it still has alot of good parts left.
 
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Oct 1, 2021
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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.
I managed to find a friend with a snap-on snake camera that we checked on the loaded status of the firearm and discovered it empty; now on to cleaning the gun in preparation of a Lock.
 
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Oct 1, 2021
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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.
Do you know the torque lbs that T/C would have used in the original manufacturing? I have a large torque wrench for my truck tires that may work to reset the torque if I go down the path of removing the breach plug. As of right now I do not have any plan to but I am waiting on a better borescope to get a true visual on what the inside of the barrel and breach plug look like.
 
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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?
From the looks of the inside of the barrel it is a bit rough but the snake camera I borrowed from a friend didn't have the best image quality. I am waiting on a better scope to arrive to achieve a better image of the pitting on the inside.
 

Thegatman

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Check Dixie Gun Works or Track of the Wolf. They might even have barrels.
 

UndeadPoet

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Also, if the pitting/interior barrel condition is too bad, you can always send the barrel to Bobby Hoyt to bore it out to a larger caliber, or sleeve it to the same caliber with new rifling or to a smaller caliber.
 
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Oct 1, 2021
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near breach plug.jpga few inches up from breach plug.jpgMoving toward muzzle.jpgapox mid barrel.jpgA few inches down the barrel.jpgJust down from the muzzle.jpgAt the muzzle.jpg

Here are some pictures from the inside of my T/C Hawken that I am working on restoring. The worst of the pitting is down by the breach plug as seen in the first image. Even midway up the barrel the pitting is pretty rough but the last 8-10 inches of the barrel don't have as much pitting. I am hoping to get some opinions on whether or not this barrel can be in any way accurate. I think my longterm plan will be to order a green mountain drop in barrel assembly or have this one bored out to a .54 cal. Thoughts?
 

MrTom

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Dec 7, 2016
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I'd either have it bored the next caliber larger or bored and re-lined or, as you mention, get a drop-in replacement barrel. The pics show a barrel in pretty tough shape. You could always put some time and bore polish into it and try a few shots with patched round balls or maybe full bore Maxi-type of bullet of some sort just to see what kind of accuracy you get inside of 100 yards. If it gets you 2" groups at 100 yards use it for deer. A lot will depend on what the first 10" of barrel does to the patching or lead bullet.....the barrels does look pretty sad.
 

Idaholewis

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View attachment 17195View attachment 17196View attachment 17197View attachment 17198View attachment 17199View attachment 17200View attachment 17201

Here are some pictures from the inside of my T/C Hawken that I am working on restoring. The worst of the pitting is down by the breach plug as seen in the first image. Even midway up the barrel the pitting is pretty rough but the last 8-10 inches of the barrel don't have as much pitting. I am hoping to get some opinions on whether or not this barrel can be in any way accurate. I think my longterm plan will be to order a green mountain drop in barrel assembly or have this one bored out to a .54 cal. Thoughts?
That Barrel is TOAST, Either Re-Bore or Line it

A Bore like that will get Worse and Worse, Fouling will collect in the Pits and there is no way to thoroughly clean them, There will always be a certain amount of Fouling left behind in the Pitting. Do yourself a favor and Get it Re-Bored, or Lined :lewis:
 
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That Barrel is TOAST, Either Re-Bore or Line it

A Bore like that will get Worse and Worse, Fouling will collect in the Pits and there is no way to thoroughly clean them, There will always be a certain amount of Fouling left behind in the Pitting. Do yourself a favor and Get it Re-Bored, or Lined :lewis:
Do you have a recommendation on who or where to have a barrel Re-Bored. And is there anything else on the muzzleloader I would have to change to have this shoot a .54 cal?
 

Idaholewis

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Do you have a recommendation on who or where to have a barrel Re-Bored. And is there anything else on the muzzleloader I would have to change to have this shoot a .54 cal?
You have a .50 Cal TC Hawken right? If so, If you decide on having a New Barrel Made You would need to stay with 15/16“ As that is what your Stock is, TC Hawken Rifles in .45 and .50 Cal are 15/16“ inch across the Flats of the Barrel, the TC Hawken in .54 Cal ONLY is 1” Across the Flats, ALL TC Renegades are 1” across the Flats. So your .50 Cal TC Hawken has a 15/16” Across the Flats Barrel, and a 15/16” Channel Stock.

Jim Carpenter in St Maries Idaho can Build you a Brand New Barrel, Jim doesn’t do Re-Bores, or Liners.

Robert Hoyt in Fairfield PA Can Re-bore your Old Barrel, or Line it
Freishutz Shop
Robert A. Hoyt
700 Fairfield Station Road
Fairfield, PA 17320
(717) 642-6696
 

Idaholewis

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I am not sure about having a 15/16” TC Hawken Barrel Bored out to .54 Cal? I have never heard of that? I know you can with the 1” inch Barrels. Boring a 15/16“ Barrel out to .54 Cal is Cutting it pretty Thin. Contact Robert Hoyt and ask him, he will know :lewis: Hoyt can make you a Brand New Barrel as well if you choose to go that route?

Do you have any Close up pics of the Breech Plug? Where the Nipple Screws in? With a Barrel in as rough of shape as yours is in, The Breech Plug and Nipple Threads might be TOAST as well? New Hooked Breech Plugs might be Hard to come by these Days? They were the last time i looked, especially the 1” inch Plugs.

Another option for a Complete New Barrel and Breech Plug is the RICE Barrel Co. I have 3 of them and swear by em :lewis: RICE Does “Drop in” Barrels for the TC Hawken and Renegade

Do you plan to Shoot Bullets or Patched Roundball?
 

eekjellander

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I am not sure about having a 15/16” TC Hawken Barrel Bored out to .54 Cal? I have never heard of that? I know you can with the 1” inch Barrels. Boring a 15/16“ Barrel out to .54 Cal is Cutting it pretty Thin. Contact Robert Hoyt and ask him, he will know :lewis: Hoyt can make you a Brand New Barrel as well if you choose to go that route?

Do you have any Close up pics of the Breech Plug? Where the Nipple Screws in? With a Barrel in as rough of shape as yours is in, The Breech Plug and Nipple Threads might be TOAST as well? New Hooked Breech Plugs might be Hard to come by these Days? They were the last time i looked, especially the 1” inch Plugs.

Another option for a Complete New Barrel and Breech Plug is the RICE Barrel Co. I have 3 of them and swear by em :lewis: RICE Does “Drop in” Barrels for the TC Hawken and Renegade

Do you plan to Shoot Bullets or Patched Roundball?
Bob has done 5/16 barrels in 54 for me ,as a matter of fact I just sold one /,I just had to many 54 barrels /Ed
 

Idaholewis

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Bob has done 5/16 barrels in 54 for me ,as a matter of fact I just sold one /,I just had to many 54 barrels /Ed
Good to know :lewis: I was racking my brain trying to remember if i have ever seen one, or heard of a 15/16” TC Barrel in .54 Cal? I know Investarms has done it for a long time, I even had a .58 Cal from them in 15/16” it had Cabelas Name on it. Their Wedge Lugs are “Tack Welded” instead of Dovetail Cut, at least the ones I’ve had
 

Squint

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View attachment 17195View attachment 17196View attachment 17197View attachment 17198View attachment 17199View attachment 17200View attachment 17201

Here are some pictures from the inside of my T/C Hawken that I am working on restoring. The worst of the pitting is down by the breach plug as seen in the first image. Even midway up the barrel the pitting is pretty rough but the last 8-10 inches of the barrel don't have as much pitting. I am hoping to get some opinions on whether or not this barrel can be in any way accurate. I think my longterm plan will be to order a green mountain drop in barrel assembly or have this one bored out to a .54 cal. Thoughts?
In case you didn't see it, I posted about a 45 caliber percussion I bought, that had been Left dirty for probably 45 years, here about six weeks ago. I mentioned what my experience was with even get water down the barrel. Well you know, I cleaned the darn thing up, dressed it with some grinding compound and that beat up barrel really shoots quite well. I don't have the means to examine the lower end, it can't be good, but for eight or 10 shots it sure gave no trouble to load and reload and accuracy is pretty darn good. It's a Hawken style, So the barrel is easy to remove and clean with soap and water. if possible, the following day I run a patch down and it's no worse than my other muzzleloaders. I imagine the right thing would be to have it rebored, but I see no advantage to putting a bunch of money into a rifle I don't intend to use very often. It kind of made me back up and look at how religiously I had been practicing cleaning the day I shot, at very least the next day, and how much I was concerned of what was going to happen to my poor rifle If I even took time to drive home. I know a lot has to do where you live, it's dry where I am, and it's dry where the fellow lives who sold me the rifle for $25. In case you missed it, check out my comments on my personal site. I still clean, I suppose just from habit, but I can see a days wait isn't the worst thing in the world.
Squint
 

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