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About Sparkitoff

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  • Location
    TX, AZ, NC, WA
  • Interests
    Archery, black powder and airgun hunter. Ret. PH RSA and USA.

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  1. Sparkitoff

    Powder Vs. Pellets

    I have used it all over the years. First thing is availability. If you can't get enough of it, well you can use it. So see what is readily available. Other than that, I have been able to get acceptable accuracy with both powder and pellets with numerous projectiles. Powder isn't real hard to use. You can pre-measure and carry it in tubes or whatever. One thing is, if you drop it or the tube opens in your pack that charge is gone. You just can't pick up all the powder to get it back. If you load near the vehicle or camp you should only need that one shot! But, stuff happens and a reload can be carried. I like the aluminum cigar tubes with the end-cap that is threaded. I still put a piece of tape around it to make sure it stays put. Powder will ignite easily with percussion caps or primers. While I never had an issue with percussion caps and pellets, there are numerous reports of hard-to-ignite pellets using percussion caps, so you will have to see for yourself. Since you have a .54 all the pellets are going to be loose and they will stack a little different each time in the bore. If you are an accuracy fanatic this might give you a headache. Also, if the pellet is not centered real good it could contribute to poor ignition. I vote for powder in a .54 but it'll all work, just give it a try to see what's best.
  2. Sparkitoff

    Muzzy sabot question

    I recommend trying both and using the most accurate. Also, see the trajectory between them and make sure it works for you.
  3. Sparkitoff

    Lets See Them Kids

    This guy tend to shoot 3 or 4 deer a year between his crossbow and vertical bow. Some are pretty good but he thinks they're all trophies. His brother is content with one deer a year
  4. Sparkitoff

    Lets See Them Kids

    This is the older one that goes by XB I GO. This is the younger who goes by Tornado.
  5. Sparkitoff

    Texas hog or exotic

    I would like to swap a hunt where I will provide a TX hog or exotic in exchange for a big game animal for either of my 12 year old boys to be taken with ML or XB. I can also do a coastal fishing trip in Gulf of Mexico in exchange.
  6. Sparkitoff

    Thompson center 54 cal muzzeloader

    Will you mail it if shipping is paid?
  7. Sparkitoff

    Texas Hog Hunts

    I recommend Action Outdoor Adventures (Richard) at (210) 827-0053 and Y.O. Schreiner (Luke) at (830) 739-2715. They have super good hog hunts for extremely reasonable prices and hunt all summer long. Luke can do hunts with dogs too.
  8. I just returned from the new Y.O. Shreiner Ranch in Texas. There is a long, rich history regarding the Y.O. Ranch and the Schreiner family. Without too much lecture, the Schreiner University, Schreiner Hospital and Schreiner National Bank were founded by the ranch owners ancestors. The original Y.O. Ranch was a huge spread but was recently divided into several smaller tracts, each owned by an heir. This ranch is 5000 acres that has never been hunted. The animals are present due to the fence isolating them. No management has been done in the past 7 or 8 years. I was invited to help knock down some bigger female animals to reduce numbers so the bucks can get more protein this summer. The cabin is brand new - the appliances were being installed while we were there. About the hunting.....I used a caplock and flintlock for the first time. I loaded my 1970's CVA .50 caliber caplock with 80 grains of Triple 7 FFFg and a 240 grain Hornady PA Conical. After several hours of slow walking through heavy brush I spotted a Sika deer female coming out from behind some cedars. My rangefinder said 45 yards so I took aim and set the trigger. As it cleared broadside I put the sights behind the leg and squeezed the trigger. The deer jumped forward and ran with her head down for about 3 bounds and then rose up and tipped over backwards. I went over to the deer and found a neat hole right where I aimed. Upon cleaning later I found the conical had flattened out quite a bit and was lodged against the leg bone on the off-side. Performance was very good and I was pleasantly surprised. The next day I headed out with my Frankenstein Flintlock. This is a 38" GM .54 cal. barrel on a Renegade stock with an L&R lock. I loaded with 80 grains of Goex FFFg, a Hornady .530 RB and .18 pillow ticking patch with 1:7 ballistol lube. I walked through a low draw and climbed up at the end. As I ascended I came upon a Red Deer Hind standing about 25 yards away in thick brush, facing me. I put the sights at the neck/chest junction, set the trigger, concentrated and fired. The deer spun and ran about 10 steps with a fountain of red gushing out its front. It fell dead. I found the exit hole an inch to the right of and below the butt-hole. Full lengthwise penetration. That evening I sat up at a water-hole to see if any animals would come. The Frankenstein Flintlock was reloaded and we sat behind some trees. As the light began to fade 3 elk cows came to water. My rangefinder said 79 yards. I aimed in the center, right behind the front leg. At the shot the elk ran up to ground level and trotted about 25 yards, spun and fell dead. The round ball went through the top of the heart, took out lungs and was visible under the skin on the opposite side. A small slit in the side made it easy to recover the ball. There is a line in the ball from where it clipped a rib. [/url] Overall, this was a very enjoyable hunt. I've hunted all over the world with all kinds of firearms, muzzleloaders and archery equipment. The lodge and accommodations were great and the meat will be outstanding. Everyone was impressed with the effectiveness of my rifles and I learned what to expect on game for future hunts. The Y.O. Schreiner Ranch can be viewed at: yoschreiner.com I am now confident in my equipment and ability to try for Coues, Javelina and Elk!
  9. Sparkitoff

    Kids shotgun question.

    My two boys started at 5 years old with a 410 single shot. First, I cut and modified the stock to fit them. It was somewhat heavy, and they started shooting stationary targets and rabbits and squirres. At 8 years old I opened the choke for a better pattern than the factory full was throwing. The patterns became even and full out to 20 yards and were still good enough for smaller birds at 25 yards. I did not pattern past that. The boys broke a lot of clay targets from a manual machine and many trap targets at the range by standing on the house itself (with permission of the range officer and nobody else on that range). Many doves, quail and pheasant fell to that little gun with the boys behind it. I will add that neither son could cock the hammer by himself and I liked it that way. If a bird was coming into range I would cock it for them and monitor the situation carefully. If the dog pointed, I would cock the hammer and walk right behind them overseeing everything. I think you need to get the gun to fit your child first and then consider tinkering with the gun, ammo and set-up to provide a safe, fun and productive shoot.
  10. Sparkitoff

    Opinions on used bows around $600...

    Some of the older classics like the Martin Razor X from 2005 remain the most forgiving bows produced, although the velocity is going to be realistically under the 300 fps mark. The Bow Tech Black Ice and Assassin circa 2012 are bows with a lot of innovation for the time and great reviews. Prime has the parallel cam and centered cable thing figured out and tout "torque free" draw and shooting. This feature has been on their flagship bows for about 5 years now. There are many quality choices in a used bow. Figure out what draw weight and length you need and then look at brace heights, roller guide vs. slide, weight and balance. Alpine, Elite and Quest are some of the more "quiet" companies in terms of publicity but their products have a lot of features of bows twice their price from the more heavily advertised companies. Good Luck!
  11. Sparkitoff

    7mm Mag Tikka t3 Load Data?

    60 grains IMR4350, 160 gr Accubond, CCI Mag primer. Winchester and Federal cases provided equal results.
  12. Sparkitoff

    Recurve advice

    There have been some Bear brand and some Cabela's labeled recurves on Ebay lately for very good prices. A 1970 Bear in mint conditon 35# for $99 buy it now, for example. You might find a "better" bow for a lower price than a new "lesser" bow there.
  13. Sparkitoff

    My first Coues with a bow

    Super nice deer! Congratulations!
  14. Sparkitoff

    Load Recommendations

    I had the same rifle and it grouped best with Federal 209 primers, 90 grains BlackHorn 209 powder, green MMP grooved sabot and 240 gr Hornday XTP (.430). It could produce one ragged hole at 100 yards with 5 shots. I've used the 300 gr XTP and the groups opened to 2" or so with the same powder and primer. It did not like full bore conicals except 245 gr Powerbelt which would group 1 1/2" 3-shots at 100 yards with 80 gr Blackhorn 209. Any of these bullets should be more than sufficent for javelina. If you were hunting something significantly bigger, only the 300 gr XTP is a sure bet. There's got to be a ton of other choices for bigger game that will be accurate but I did not experiment more than I listed because I used mine exclusively for small deer.
  15. Sparkitoff

    First a muzzleloader

    The performance on the Barnes bullets pictured is nice but also reveals that the shot remained in the animal. If we are strictly talking about blood trails, or the lack thereof, you'd want an exit hole too. There are many conicals as well as bullet/sabot combos that will be able to provide an exit under most circumstances. Typically, a medium velocity non hollow point projectile will have excellent penetration. Heavy lead conicals like No Excuse, Bull Shop, PR, Maxi-Ball (the heavier ones) are in this catagory and like 1300-1800 fps in my experience. Faster velocity can change the bullet severely and limit penetration. The same goes for SST and other copper jacketed lead core bullets. More velocity usually = more bullet disruption and less penetration. Barnes, Thor and those homogenous bullet don't necessary come apart, but the quicker it expands and the more it expands the more penetration will be retarded. There's a huge amount of variables, so similar shots on similar animals with the same projectile will yield different results sometimes. If you want blood trails you need to hedge your bets on something that more often than not will pass through. Most manufacturers of expanding bullets will be able to provide the velocity range where they are supposed to perform (expand). The lower end of that range is where the projectile is most likely to penetrate more. Good luck and nice deer!