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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Found a good deal on a Lyman Great Plains rifle (about $320 NIB). 32" octagon bbl, 1-60" twist, actual walnut (not "walnut stained hardwood" :rolleyes:).

http://www.lymanproducts.com/lymanproducts/rifles.htm

Everything I read about them seems to indicate they are high-quality and accurate rifles. Seem to be pretty accurate, historically speaking, too, as a Hawken-style plains rifle. Is this true?

Also, I got the flintlock version coming, though I'm starting to get the gist that most of the mid-1800s plains-type rifles would have been percussion. Are the Lyman rifles convertible?

Thanks for any thoughts --

Tom :D
 

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Converting flint rifles to percussion isn't too high on the list of hard things to do. Drill out and tap the vent, screw in a drum and nipple, get a Lyman percussion lock which will probably drop right in to the inletting the flint lock came out of, and you're done. You can also get stainless threaded vent liners with the same threads as the drum which enables you to change back to flint when you get too good and need to be humbled. I have a .32 which has been set up this way. It changes from one to the other in just a couple of minutes. Any competent gunsmith could do this conversion and, historically, many incompetent ones managed to pull it off successfully, too.

I think that if one had to choose from all the offerings of commercially manufactured plains type rifles, the Lyman GPR would likely come closer to the originals than any other. You'd probably have to go with a custom job to beat it. I've had my eye on one in .54 at my favorite den of temptation. Maybe later....
 

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The Lymans are great rifles, have owned two of them over the years, but you can not convert from percussion to flint using the same barrel. They don't have a removable drum as some muzzleloaders have. They have a snail type breech, once you get yours, you'll see what I mean. Enjoy.
 

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I love my GPR. I hunt with it throughout the gun season here in Florida. My 50 holds a 2.5" group at 80 yds if I pay attention to my load and aim. About the only time I grab a centerfire to hunt with is if the predicted range of game is in excess of 100 yds. My hunt club buddies think I am nuts but I put as much venison and pork in the cooler as any of them do.
 

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I have a GPR in .50 flint and I love it. It is extremely accurate, as well as very reliable. I think when you start shooting that flinter, you may think twice about switching it to percussion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Cool guys! Thanks for the tips.

It showed up at the shop today (still have to raise some $$ to pick it up).

Must have been a display model -- some nicks and dings, etc. Box is damaged some. I can't really complain, as I am getting a good price on it, I guess (plus I work for the store...). Seems to be missing the extra "fixed" rear sight. Lyman will probably send me one I'd bet. Anyhow, it's very pretty and I can't wait to play with it.

Question: do you guys use FFFFg for priming your flinters? Or is FFFg okay? I assume Pyrodex type subsitute won't work for priming the pan and that I need real BP. Is this true?

Thanks!
 

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I've never tried anything other than real black powder for priming a flint lock but people who have tried various other substitutes haven't ever written about any great success. Personally, I do use 4F for priming, largely due to the fact that the one pound can of it I bought a few years back, used only for priming, will last me another few years. I don't think 4F is really necessary, though. The usual practice when the flinter was the only choice for armies was to prime the pan with powder from the paper cartridge before using the rest to load the piece. One guy I know of claims 2F actually gives him faster lock time than 4F.

I'd recommend taking whatever steps you have to take to just get real BP for your flint lock and skip the substitutes completely. The whole flint 'experience' for me would be incomplete if I used pyrodex or something.

Stuffy is right about converting a percussion rifle to flint. It would be involved due to the breech contour of the barrel, though I imagine it would be theoretically possible.

As far as the conversion from flint to percussion goes, it's a different story. A flint lock must have a vent from the outside to the inside. That vent can be drilled out larger, threaded, and a drum screwed into the hole. If the outside configuration of the barrel isn't compatible to letting the drum turn down flush, it can be made compatible with a file. While there may be some kinky designed flint lock somewhere which wouldn't work, I'd go out on a limb here and say that nearly any flint lock can be, and a very great many historically were, converted to percussion by the above method. My Uncle has an original Pennsylvania type rifle which was converted in that way. The work looks to be that of an owner with few gunsmithing skills but lots of determination.



Steve
 

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Powder in your flint LGP

FFFg and even the FFg u s/b using for .50 caliber and above guns main load CAN be used in pans, but, FFFFg, sometimes CALLED priming powder, is more likely to ignite in the pan. A couple of companies make these little brass priming chargers that only hold up to a couple hundred grains of FFFFg and you press them into the pan for a few seconds and your primed...

As a personal note, no buyers regret allowed here -- you got a good deal on an even better gun that, especially as it already has a couple of minor handling marks, was destined to be taken out and spark in your hands. Keep her a flinter, as the earliest Hawkins would have been, and shoot with gusto!!!
 
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