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Lyman .54 Cal Deerstalker Percussion Muzzleloader - Product Review
Item: LYM6033141  Ample Stock
Manufacturer: Lyman Products
 
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Average Rating
 4 stars
(based on 1 review)
 
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Rating:
Reviewed By: Lyle
Review Date: 10/20/2011
I've had a 50 cal Deerstalker for over 10 years This is a bargain priced muzzleloader for those who want something that will work well and has a somewhat traditional look, for a low price, knockin' around gun. I gave it 4 stars based on it's being in that class. The 48" rifling twist is a good compromise for round ball and medium weight conicals or sabots. The very short (for a muzzleloader) barrel makes good for climbing trees and getting through brush. Without much trial and error in load development it will achieve pie-plate accuracy at 100 yards using the factory sights. Plenty good for hunting. Though it has the padded buttplate and will shoot with reasonable accuracy, do NOT consider this rifle if you want to use "magnum" loads. My walnut stock has cracked from long-term use of 110 grain charges of Goex 2F. After repairing the cracks in the area of the lock mortise it has not cracked since, however. There is a lot of extra wood removal in the barrel channel, breech and lock mortise areas, presumably for easy assembly in mass production. The barrel channel has been opened up such that the ramrod channel is visible along most of the barrel channel (no web) making it a bit on the light side. The quality long guns of yore had a solid web between barrel channel and ramrod hole. Inletting is of a purely utilitarian nature, leaving many gaps. If you want the quality craftsmanship of some of the handmade guns, this one is definitely not for you-- spend a few thousand on a nicer one. But this one will shoot well. Stock shaping and wood selection is fair. The trigger was a bit rough and heavy, with noticeable creep. If you're into that sort of thing it can be adjusted as desired by reworking the tumbler/sear interface-- just keep safety in mind. You should be able to bump the cocked hammer pretty hard in several directions and have it stay cocked. The lock mechanism is plenty strong and totally reliable. I use #11 Remington caps for the best fit. A good fit keeps out moisture and seats easily enough to ensure reliable ignition. #11 CCI caps will work, but they'll occasionally fail to ignite due to hammer energy being used up seating the tighter fitting cap. Nipple dimensions may have changed in 10 years-- Experiment. All that said, this rifle has taken many deer with never a miss, at up to about 85 yards, and my 50 cal version, loaded with patched round ball, has penetrated up to 25 inches due to a quartering away shot, with the ball stopping just under the skin. Most closer or side-on shots with round ball will penetrate a white tailed deer fully, cutting ribs on both sides. A direct hit to the heart will explode it. The larger bore model will no doubt perform a little better with more retained energy, all else being equal. So far I've not bothered to use the heavier conicals much, simply because the round ball load has been shooting well for me. If you want a slightly more traditional look, with a little more barrel length, I'd go for the Lyman Trade Rifle, but you'll lose the padded butt in favor of brass
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