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Care and Maintenance of your Tomahawk:
There is care and maintenance that you can and should keep up with your tomahawk to keep it in good order and the following will help to keep your hawk in good shape.
The head of your tomahawk is steel and is affected by different climates so it should be oiled from time to time. 3 & one oil works fine. WD 40 will brown the metal.
If you live in an area that breeds rust:
First remove your Tomahawk Head from the handle. Clean the head completely and make a paste of baking soda and water, apply it to the head of your hawk and let sit for 3 minutes.
Clean, dry and oil and it should be fine for several months if not longer.
It won’t hurt it a bit to rub beeswax on the handle once in a great while but it is finished and does not require it.
Throwing of your Tomahawk
If you throw your Tomahawk: Pipe hawks not warranted for damage to bowl unless otherwise specified, remove vent picks before use:
Here are some basic helpful hints for throwing your Tomahawk and with practice you can get very accurate so enjoy and have fun
Find your target and take 5 to 7 normal stride paces from the target.
(You may find that with different arm lengths that your step may need to be a little more or less)
Hold the Tomahawk in your throwing hand 3 to 4 inches up from the base but some people prefer to hold it at the end of the handle. When you throw the tomahawk let it slide out of your hand rather than a firm grip on it and just letting it go.
When you do throw your tomahawk step into your throw:
A good friend of mine stands pretty straight when he throws his Hawk but I find something more of a pitchers throw works for me stepping into my throw. Be sure of aim and what is behind your target in case of a miss.
If you hit and stick to your target hoorah!
Anyone can learn to throw a tomahawk with practice so get outdoors and enjoy! Its all about keeping our history alive and passing it on for our generations to come. Remember that your Tomahawk is dangerous weapon so please always know your target. Be safe and be careful and above all be responsible.
TEN COMMANDMENTS OF FIREARM SAFETY
1. Always keep your gun pointed in a safe direction, treat every gun as if it were loaded
2. Keep your finger off of the trigger until you are ready to fire
3. Always keep your gun unloaded until ready to use
4. Wear eye and ear protection as appropriate
5. Know your target and what is beyond
6. Only use the correct ammunition for your gun
7. Never shoot under the influence of alcohol or any other intoxicating substance
8. Store guns and ammunition LOCKED UP SEPARATELY, out of reach of unauthorized persons especially children.
BLACK POWDER SAFETY RULES
1. Do not smoke when handling black powder, Pyrodex, or any other propellant.
2. Do not use modern smokeless powder in a black powder firearm designed for black powder
3. Never load directly from a powder container or horn, always use a powder measure
4. Be sure any projectile is properly seated against the powder charge, to fire with an air gap between the powder and ball could cause the gun to burst
5. In the event of a misfire, keep the muzzle pointed downrange for at least one full minute before repriming
6. Use the proper sized powder for your gun; 4f is for priming of flintlocks only, 3f is for smallbore rifles and pistols, 2f is for muskets and rifles .50 caliber and up. Using 4f for the main charge of a musket could cause dangerously high pressures and cause a barrel to burst
7. Don’t lean over the muzzle while loading, keep your hands out from in front of the muzzle
8. Do not allow yourself to be distracted by curious onlookers. The steps in loading and firing a black powder gun must be followed correctly and in order.
LOADING and FIRING INSTRUCTIONS
1. Keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction, finger off the trigger and at no time place any body part in front of the muzzle.
2. Be sure the gun is empty by placing the ramrod in the barrel. If it protrudes from the barrel the gun may have been put away loaded or there may be some other obstruction. Do not continue the loading process until the source of the obstruction is determined and eliminated.
3. Begin with the lock in the relaxed position, the hammer should be all the way forward with the frizzen also in it’s forward position. Visually check to see that the touchhole is clean and dry. Oil in the touchhole is a common cause of misfires.
4. Be sure that there is a flint securely clamped in the jaws of the hammer. The flint should be padded with either a piece of leather or a piece of sheet lead. Adjust the flint so that it nearly touches the face of the frizzen in the ‘half cock’ position.
5. Using a dry patch, wipe the bore clean of any oil or grease.
6. Pour a measured charge of black powder down the barrel. Never load powder directly from a horn or container, always use a separate powder measure.
7. Place a lubricated patch across the muzzle as centered as possible.
8. Place a pure lead round ball on the center of the patch and gently start it into the barrel.
9. Using the flat end of the rammer, push the ball down the barrel with a steady pressure. Be sure the ball is seated firmly against the powder charge but do not ram so hard as to crush the powder granules.
10. Replace the rammer in its thimbles, making sure it does not protrude beyond the muzzle.
11. Bring the lock to ‘half cock’ by pulling the hammer back until it clicks once.
12. Pour a small amount of priming powder in the pan. Some people use FFFFg powder for priming as it burns faster, but you may use the same powder as you main charge if you like.
13. Close the frizzen.
14. The gun is now loaded
15. Pull the hammer back to the ‘full cock’ position. You should hear an audible click as the sear engages the tumbler.
16. Take aim.
17. Fire! Smoothly pull the trigger rearwards, the hammer with flint should fall forward to strike the frizzen and push it forward resulting in a spark being thrown into the pile of priming powder in the pan. The resulting flare-up should ignite the main powder charge in the barrel. The burning powder produces rapidly expanding gasses which escape the confinements of the barrel by pushing the ball out. If everything was done properly and conditions are right, ignition should be instantaneous, if it is humid out or there was too much priming it will sound like this: Klatch, pffft, BOOM.
18. If the gun does not fire, keep the muzzle pointed downrange for at least a minute as certain conditions can result in delayed ignition or ‘hangfire’.
19. The gun is now empty, and the loading and firing process can start again.
RECOMMENDED LOADING DATA
Each muzzleloader is different. To get the best performance from your new gun you need to do a little experimenting with what powder/ball combination to use. Measure the bore or have it measured. A ball needs to be a few thousands of an inch under the bore diameter to allow room for a patch. For instance, in a .750 caliber barrel, it is customary to use a .715 round ball with a thick patch or a .735 ball with a thin patch. The tighter the ball and patch fits the bore, the higher pressures will be resulting in greater accuracy. For target shooting, less powder means less recoil and thus greater accuracy.
Muskets and rifles over .50 caliber should always be loaded with FFg powder. Smaller granulations such as FFFg will cause dangerously high pressures as their burn rate is faster. FFFFg should only be used for priming. Smaller caliber pistols can be loaded with FFFg.
Start with the recommended load, then adjust up or down as needed. within 25%.
Muskets .69-.75 caliber - 65-75 gr. FFg
Pistols .50-.58 caliber - 25-35 gr. FFFg
Pistols .59-.69 caliber - 25-35 gr. FFg
CAUSES FOR A MISFIRE
DULL FLINT - The leading edge of the flint should be sharp. To create a spark the sharp edge of the flint digs into the face of the case-hardened frizzen, slicing off a tiny fragment of steel which is white hot due to friction. Flints can be sharpened or ‘knapped’ by striking the leading edge in a downward motion with a punch, small hammer, or the back of a knife. NEVER KNAP THE FLINT IN A LOADED GUN!!! The resulting sparks could ignite the powder charge. It is best to keep a few spare flints handy.
WET FLINT/FRIZZEN - Oil on the flint and/or frizzen will keep a lock from sparking properly. So will moisture of any kind. Black powder fouling is hydroscopic, that is, it attracts moisture. On a humid day you may need to wipe the soggy powder residue off of the lock components every few shots. Keep a small rag in your shooting pouch to do so, and be careful when wiping the flint as it is sharp!
PRIMING ISSUES - Priming properly take a bit of practice. Too much priming powder will take time to burn down to the level of the vent hole, too little may not ‘catch’ the spark and ignite. Ideally, you should prime only to the bottom of the vent hole. If there is too much fouling accumulated on the pan or frizzen, it could keep the frizzen from closing al the way and your priming could spill out before you take aim.
PLUGGED VENT - Oil in the vent hole will keep the spark from entering the barrel to ignite the main charge, so will excess powder fouling. Keep a small piece of wire handy to clear the touchhole when it fouls. During colonial times soldiers kept one on a small chain suspended from their cartridge box. Brass wire is best as it will not create a spark. If your priming charge goes off and your main charge does not, it is most likely because of a fouled vent hole. It may also be a hangfire so keep the muzzle pointed downrange
WIND - On a windy day, the sparks from the flint hitting the frizzen could be blown away from the pan.
NO MAIN CHARGE - If you are distracted while loading, it is possible to load the projectile while forgetting to put in the powder first. This is known as a ‘dryball’ and is quite embarrassing. Unless you have a loading rod with a ball screw attachment, you are done for the day. When using a ball puller, flood the barrel with water first to kill any powder that may be in there, and keep body parts away from in front of the barrel. There are also CO2 powdered ball extractors available, while not very authentic, they are simple and safe to use to expel a ball under most circumstances. Keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction while using one as the ball exits the barrel at high velocity. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
CLEANING AND STORING YOUR NEW MUZZLELOADER
Be sure the gun is unloaded.
Remove the rammer from its thimbles.
Using a properly fitting screwdriver, remove the bolts securing the lock. (using the wrong screwdriver can damage the slot of the screws)
Remove the lock assembly.
Plug the vent hole with a toothpick, a sliver of wood or the quill of a feather.
Fill the barrel with hot soapy water and allow it to soak for a few minutes to loosen any dried fouling.
Clean the lock in hot soapy water and wipe dry with a rag. An old toothbrush is helpful in cleaning the lock. Set it aside to dry.
Dump the water out of the barrel and remove the toothpick or other plug from the vent hole.
Using a cleaning rod, wipe the bore with a series of damp patches until they come out clean.
Wipe the bore with dry patches until they come out dry.
Wipe the outside of the barrel and stock to remove any water or fouling that is left behind. Any spots left behind will cause a rust spot or a stain.
When all components are completely dry, lightly oil all metal parts. Every shooter has their own favorite product or mixture to use for this, there are many commercially available gun oils specifically for muzzleloaders.
Run an oiled patch down the barrel, don’t miss any spots or a rusty bore will result.
Use a furniture wax on the stock if you wish.
Replace the lock and screws, if there is one screw with a notch filed into it, be sure it faces the right way when reinstalled as the notch is there to clear the rammer when installed.
Replace the rammer in its thimbles.
Store in such a way that the oil will not leak out of the barrel.
Do not store in a leather case, as it may hold in moisture and cause rust.
Muzzleloaders are hard to resist, be sure to keep them out of reach of people who should not be handling them, ESPECIALLY CHILDREN. A locked cabinet is best.