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I'm new to the sport (shot a couple of times and got hooked). I recently acquired a GP Hunter in .50 caliber, and have read a variety of opinions on this and other sites as to what works and doesn't work. I'm interested in knowing what I should purchase to complete my "initial investment." All I have is the rifle (it came with a wooden ram rod, and from my reading it sounds like I should replace that...but with what?) Any suggestions are welcome. At first, I plan on using it solely for target practice, but may eventually want to get into hunting. My initial desire is to use round balls, but I don't know which, or what patches to use, or what to use as cleaner, etc. I look forward to any advice you may have. Thanks.
 

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Glad to have you aboard. I think what you have there is a conical shooter rather than a round ball launcher. If indeed you have a Hunter then the twist will be 1:32. You can shoot RB's thru it but you may find that it will really perform best with elongated bullets or even sabot types. Should be pretty accurate, too. I'm hitting the woods tomorrow with a bud who just bought one of those so I'm curious to see how it will do against my GPR with the 1:66. I'm probably in for a bashing as he is a better than fair shot. The sights on the Hunter are better, too.

As to the wood rod? Well, you might do ok with it as long as you don't try retrieving patched RB's. They can be very tight. I never had a problem using a wood rod with a conical shooter

Keep us posted...
 

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uncle buck,
Oh no, you didn't get the great plains hunter made by lyman did you?
My freind,I'm sorry you did that.
Given my essprieriance of BP guns, and my willingnus to offer asistance to fellers begining the sport,I will be most helpfull to you as to make offer to recoup your moneys investead for abouve said riflegun! I'll give ya .70 on the dollre afore it's too late!!
How bouts a trade?? What do ya have to toss in??
 

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Uncle Buck said:
I'm new to the sport (shot a couple of times and got hooked). I recently acquired a GP Hunter in .50 caliber, and have read a variety of opinions on this and other sites as to what works and doesn't work. I'm interested in knowing what I should purchase to complete my "initial investment." All I have is the rifle (it came with a wooden ram rod, and from my reading it sounds like I should replace that...but with what?) Any suggestions are welcome. At first, I plan on using it solely for target practice, but may eventually want to get into hunting. My initial desire is to use round balls, but I don't know which, or what patches to use, or what to use as cleaner, etc. I look forward to any advice you may have. Thanks.
Uncle Buck-The GP rifles are very accurate and very good lookin as well
something rare in a reletively inexpensive factory produced rifle, what the other posters told you is true as you're rifle is a fast twist and designed to shoot conicals not RB, conical shooting has some advantages biggest of which is they are much superior ballistics so you can shoot longer range
and they buck the wind better, if you're not a tycoon I reccomend getting a Mould and casting your own conicals once you've got an idea of what
slugs the rifle prefers. I'd also definately get a proper range rod, (stainless steel) this will preserve the life of your barrel significantly and
prove considerably more pleasureable to use, then you'll need a jag, and breech face scraper with steel shank's the brass threaded cheap ones all eventually bend and break most often in the bore. I'd also recommend
going to the trouble of obtaining and using real Black Powder in the long run it'll be easier on your barrel and considerably more economical and won't go south on you like all the really flawed substitutes. If you want your cake and eat it to consider getting the slow twist round ball barrel
as well, you'll have essentially 2 rifles, RB shooting is lots of fun, lots less recoil, considerable savings in cost etc. I'd also recommend finding and joining a local BP shooting club, they're everywhere, you'll find BP folks
great folks, and you're learning curve will be years ahead of just reading and doing it on your own, you'll end up being proficient very quickly and can buy BP at wholesale cost. For now I'd recommend reading up on BP
shooting you'll find lots of the threads here and on other BP shooting forums much more informative than anything you'll find in most magazines, except Muzzle Blasts which you'll recieve when you join the NMLRA which is a great organization unlike the NRA who'll make you're life miserable spamming you with a barage of mailings hounding you for cash, and the more you give them the worse it becomes.
Regards fredj
 

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I was just teasing,
you have a fine rifle there.
the Hunter version is a bit of a faster twist.I beleive 1:32
The faster twist is made for bullet or conical/sabot,more than ball.
I've not owned one ,yet several friends have them.The best reports I have seen are with full lead bullets.
Best advise I can give is the same as fredj.
cruise the many sites on line and start shootin.
 

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Lyman offers drop-in barrels for the GPR. So for around $100 you can get a roundball barrel in .54 caliber. Then you'll have a .50 modern ML and a .54 caliber traditional gun.

The fast-twist barrel WILL shoot roundballs and shoot them accurately, just maybe not powerfully. Just try reduced powder charges like 40 to 45 grains, maybe less. I had a fast-twist Cabela's gun that shot RB's perfectly with 45 grains of powder. I just wouldn't shoot deer at 100 yards with that load.
 
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