By far the best way to transport black powder or substitute products AND CAPS to Africa or on airplanes anywhere, is to buy a supply of common larger capacity cartridge cases, fill them with BP, load a light weight bullet, pack them legally, then unload them at the hunting site using an impact bullet puller, which you carry with your gear, and use the BP as usual. I have been doing this for years and have never had a problem or questions raised. The metallic cartridge always solved the problem even when the only gun carried was a muzzleloader, sometimes not even in the same apparent caliber. I use 50-140 cases, which hold 140 grains of BP with a short 450 grain bullet. I drilled out the bullet bases, so the cartridge would hold more powder and weigh less. The brass cost better than a dollar apiece, but over many trips the cost is minimal, especially compared to airfare and hunting fees. 50-140 bullets are commonly available, or you can cast your own, and a set of RCBS dies is less than $100 which is still cheap, comparatively. THIS IS IMPORTANT: PACK YOUR CAPS IN ANOTHER EMPTY CASE, MARK IT SO YOU KNOW WHICH IT IS. Besides, if wanted, take a 50-140 hunting, it’s an amazingly effective caliber, especially with 600 plus grain bullets. I sometimes take one for back-up and for the fun of shooting up the excess powder. Bringing the empty cases back has never been a problem either.. If you will be using a large caliber anyway, in addition to the muzzleloader, then just load extra cases with BP, just be sure to mark them to avoid confusion. I did this once when taking along a 450 Ackley Magnum bolt action rifle.

Can I convert my White rifle to a 209 primer?

Yes, you can convert both the W-series and the G-series models,  which means that all White rifles are convertible with the proper kit. Kits are available to make the change, which is as simple as removing the old nipple-breechplug and hammer and installing the new 209 breechplug and hammer. Kits are available from  whiterifles.com

Can I convert my White rifle to fire a musket cap?

Yes. Conversion is easy. Just remove the old #11 nipple-breechplug and screw in the new musket breechplug. New musket breechplugs are available from  whiterifles.com,  Doc likes the musket nipple conversion every bit as well as the 209. It’s cheaper, faster and easier to handle.

What bullets do you recommend?

White bullets always work in White rifles. They are designed for each other. The White Muzzleloading System design-integrates both rifle and bullet, with emphasis on the heavier bullets with better Ballistic Coefficient. The most popular bullet in 410 caliber is the 400 grain PowerPunch. The best seller amongst 451 caliber bullets is the 460 grain PowerPunch. The 460 Grain PowerPunch in 504 caliber is also the most used by our customers. White  PowerStar sabots in 451 caliber,(with a 40 cal bullet weighing 350 grains) and in 504 caliber, (with a 320 or a 435 grain bullet  in 45 caliber) are very popular because of their terrific ballistic shape and hollow point. If White bullets are not available, other brands of bullet can be used, sometimes with great success. No Excuses Bullets in Roy, Utah, make s a good line as does Harester.com. I especially like their ribbed sabot and 300 gr. spire pointed Scorpion copper jacketed bullet.  Be careful to match bullet or sabot diameter to your White rifle bore diameter.

What powders to you recommend?

Black Powder can be used but is so dirty that the rifle must be cleaned between shots to acheive best accuracy (or use the new White SCS Sabot). However, it can be very accurate. It is very useful on the target line where cleaning between all shots would normally be done anyway.

Pyrodex P has been the mainstay recommended powder in White rifles that use #11 or musket caps. Always use the P as ignition, burning rate, smoothness, evenness, and consistency are better than other grades of Pyrodex. However, Pyrodex Select is best in White rifles that use the 209 shotgun primer.

The new 777 powder has been found to be good as well. It is about 10% more potent than Pyrodex P per volume , so loads should be correspondingly reduced for similar results. Also, the residues can be quite firm if allowed to sit. After a shooting session, always loosen the Breech-Plug on your White rifle so that the firm residues will not lock it up if left too long. Always grease the Breech-Plug heavily before shooting, as well. This is good advice for use with any powder but especially so with 777.  Moly containing greases are best, like blue Never Seize.

Arco Black Mag, Cleanshot , Clearshot and the new Pinnacle were also useful. They burned cooly, cleanly and left very little residue. All are distinctly soluble in water, as is 777, so the residues are easy to clean up but can be a problem in humid weather as they attract water droplets like a magnet. None are currently available.

Pyrodex and 777 Pellets are useful in White rifles that use 209 Shotgun Primers and saboted bullets. Slip-fit bullets do not work awfully well in combination with pellets. The weakest 209 primer available should be used, those designated especially for muzzleloaders, trap & skeet or the 410 shotgun, because of the short White breechplug. The Remington Kleanbore is especially good.

Blackhorn 209 is very useful in the White ThunderBolt and in selected sidelock percussion rifles. Ignition temperature is high so a 209 primer, musket cap or equivalent must be used to get it burning. If you must use a #11 cap, then use an igniter charge of 5 gr. FFFg black powder under the main charge. A 22 long rifle case holds exactly 5 r. Blackhorn 209 is very clean, smokes only a little and is uniformly accurate. It is an excellent powder for use with the White System.

The use of Smokeless Powder in White rifles is currently not recommended.

I have a  White Super-91 in 451 caliber. I have scoped it and I’m shooting the 460gr PowerPunch bullet with 75 grains of 777.  How would you sight it in for a maximum point blank range for a whitetail?  I have it zeroed at 100yds and only have access to a 100 yd range.

I would sight the rifle in 3 inches high at 100 yards, this will put it on the money at 130 yards, 3 inches low at 150-160 and 15-17 inches low at 200. Any Whitetail inside of 160 yards should be an easy target. Just center the chest and you should get a good hit.

Can I use Pyrodex pellets in my rifle?

Pyrodex pellets are useful if accuracy is not a big issue. Ignition is good because of the breech-plug design in White rifles, but usually accuracy suffers in comparison with the use of loose Pyrodex P or the other Black Powder substitutes. Saboted bullets are preferred if you must use the Pellets, as the Pellets need some back pressure from a tighter fitting bullet to burn correctly. Slip-fit PowerPunch bullets are less efficient and less accurate than Saboted bullets when using Pyrodex Pellets, sometimes dramatically so. If you must use Pyrodex Pellets, always use a White or other high quality saboted bullet..

What is the difference between a Model 97 and a Model 98?

The barrels on the two models are exactly the same. Bore diameters, twists and outside dimensions are the same. The difference is in the actions. The M98 sports a pull-cock action that disgorges all action parts as a unit. The M97 has its cocking lever on the left side of the action, for use by the weak hand for right-handers, (you can keep you strong hand on the grip and finger near the trigger that way), and must be disassembled to remove the action parts. The M98, because of its complexity, is more expensive than the M97. Both are top-of-the-line rifles.

What is the difference between the old White Whitetail and the new Model 97 Whitetail Hunter?

They are essentially the same, except for a slightly heavier barrel with 7 groove truncated rifling and two action bolts holding action to stock in the M97. The older Whitetail has only a single stock bolt and 6 or 8 groove rifling.

What is the difference between a Super 91 and a Model 98 Elite Hunter?

The only difference is the slightly heavier straight taper barrel and the 7 groove truncated rifling in the newer M98. The M98 can also be purchased with a longer 26 inch barrel, if wanted. Actions, calibers, rifling twist and bore dimensions are otherwise the same.

Can I still buy a White Whitetail? A Bison? A White Lightning? A Super 91? A Super Safari?

Used White rifles are available on the web from ‘whitemuzzleloading.com’. A list of available previously owned and refurbished White rifles can be found under ‘,custom modern’ and ‘sales page’ on the ‘whitemuzzleloading.com’ website.

How long should my breechplug last before I have to replace it?

Your White breech-plug should last virtually forever as long as you don’t lose it. They have been tested to 10,000 shots without damage to the nipple. The secret is that the nipple-breechplug is hardened to RC 38-40 while the hammer is much softer annealed 303 stainless. The means that the hammer may dent, which causes no problem, while the nipple stays in shape, never bending, swelling or peening.

What is the White Muzzleloading System?

The White Muzzleloading System is defined by design-integrated rifles and bullets made and fitted to each other, elongated slip-fit bullets that produce exceptional accuracy and downrange power yet yield speedy second shots fired from shallow groove, fast twist barrels, using low residue black powder substitutes, over one piece hardened nipple-breechplugs. Each component, whether rifle, bullet or accessory, will work by itself with other competing components not especially designed to match, but if White design-integrated components are used with White products and accessories, performance will not be just enhanced but will be boosted to levels of performance far beyond ordinary expectations.

Do I have to use only White-designed bullets in White rifles?

No. Although the White System has design-integrated bullets to match its barrels, other bullets can be used. Many makers manufacture sabots and bullets that fit and shoot quite well. We would prefer that you used White bullets in White rifles, as they are designed for each other, but it is not absolutely necessary.

What is a Super Safari?

This is a fullstock version of the older Super 91. It sports a black, checkered Bell and Carlson stock that extends to the muzzle. All furniture is stainless steel. In reality, it is a Super 91 dressed up with a fullstock, otherwise, it is the same. Currently, custom versions of the Super Safari are available from DOC at White Muzzleloading. Call 435-722-2520 or email Doc at ‘doc@whiterifles.com’.

I am experiencing a few misfires with my M98 Elite Hunter. What can I do to fix the problem?

Some of the early M98’s had springs that were less than satisfactory under field conditions, i.e.- once they got dirty they would fail to fire some caps. Replacing the spring with a stronger one is an option, but make sure that the spring and the cavity it fits in are clean and oiled first. Sometimes the nipple can be too fat, and slimming down its profile so the cap fits a little looser is advisable. Just remember that you want the cap to fit tightly enough to be weatherproof. It also helps to make sure the tip of the nipple is sharp with a little bevel on the outside and inside at the tip so the area of cap caught between nipple tip and hammer is small. Inspect your nipple and sharpen it up if it needs it. If that doesn’t solve the problem of misfires, you can get a new, stronger mainspring from ‘doc@whitemuzzleloading.com’

What basic accessories do I need to shoot and care for my White rifle?

Go to ‘whiterifles.com’ and look under the ‘accessories’ hyperlinc for the list you want to see. Basically you will need tools to take the rifle apart for cleaning, tools to remove stuck bullets for the inevitable time you screw up and load bullet without powder, and tools to assist speedy and convenient loading. New White rifles come with most tools on the rifle or in the shipping box. Others needed would be a powder management system, (flask and measure), a capper for #11 or musket caps or 209 primers, cleaning solution and patches,  oil to protect the rifle, speed loaders for hunting, and a  T-grip ramrod extender, These are the basics. There are others that make life easier. You can find all this stuff on the whiterifles.com or White Muzzleloading websites, look under the Accessories hyperlinc.

How do I handle the ramrod for speediest loading?

For speediest loading you want to avoid turning the rod as you remove it from the gun, ram the bullet and replace it. It’s far easier and much faster to grab the cleaning knob, pull the ramrod out, place small end on bullet and push bullet down then return rod into gun without changing position of hand on rod.

What is the brass knob on the ramrod for?

That larger brass knob on the muzzle end of the ramrod is a cleaning jag. Use it with a patch to clean the rifle. Ram the bullet down with the other end, the end that fits into the stock, use the jag to hold the rod while you ram. If you ever need to pull a bullet, you can screw off the cleaning jag. Underneath is a bullet pulling screw, which you screw into the bullet in order to pull it out. This takes a lot of force and usually requires the use of a T-grip screwed into the other end of the rod.

I have a White WhiteLightning. Can I get spare parts for the rifle?

White Lightnings are no longer made but internal parts for it are much the same as for all G-series rifles, with the exception of the hammer, which is slightly different. All parts except actions and barrels are available from White Muzzleloading. Goto doc@whitemuzzleloading.com

Can the new Thunderbolt be altered to fire #11 caps?

The Thunder-Bolt has the same action as the M98 Elite Hunter except for the bolt handle. You can remove the bolt from the T-Bolt action and replace it with an M98 pull-cock action and nipple-breechplug for #11 or musket cap and it works fine. You will need a #11 or Musket nipple breech-plug and an M98 pull-cock action to complete the conversion.

What is the difference between a 50 and a 504 bore?

.504 is a more accurate designation of true caliber. Most companies use the 50 designation and then produce barrels that average between .495-.505 caliber. That leaves the buyer to find a bullet that fits his “.50” caliber bore, whatever that might be. With the .504 three number designation, which is ten times more accurate than the common two number designation, you at least know what the land to land diameter is and have a much better chance of quickly picking a bullet that fits. Of course, White bullets are made to fit the 504 bore but many other competing brands fit and shoot well too.

How do I avoid deforming the nose of your Saboted hollow point bullets?

Get our sabot-fitting ramrod tip which screws into the small end of the ramrod. Its internal shape matches that of the saboted bullet.

The 209 primer is extremely difficult to remove from My new ThunderBolt rifle. What can I do?

Doc has modified the  209 breechplug so that it releases the primer easily after the shot. It should be available in Spring ’03. If you already own a ThunderBolt, you can get one for the asking once production gets going. DOC used one for all his hunting fall ’02 and it worked very well, coming out of the primer recess with a fingernail after each shot. It made quick reloading easy. An easy fix is to drill the primer pocket out to .250 diameter, which is 1/4 inch. Use a .250 reamer if you can, the expended primer will come out all the easier.

What is a good load of 777 in a 504 cal rifle

777 is great stuff but breech pressures are high. Load 10% less than you would with PyrodexP and loosen the breechplug immediately after every shooting session. A good load is 80-90 grains equivalent by volume with the PowerPunch lead bullet. Be sure to use only the larger grained FFg and not the fine grained FFFg with the new Thunderbolt. You can use larger charges but it becomes less accurate and more finicky the higher you go.

The packaging information that comes with 50/50 Pyrodex Pellets states ” if using conical bullets, use a felt wading between the bullet and the pellets”. Is this necessary with a Whitetail G series shooting 480 grain Super slugs? Does the Super slug have good enough gas seal without the felt wading? .

Pyrodex pellets and elongated slip-fit bullets don’t mix well. The sudden impulse needed to belly the bullet into the rifling is not there. Pellets are much more progressive burning, like smokeless powder, than Black Powder or the other black powder substitutes. Of course, that is why velocities with saboted bullets are enhanced. The felt wad is an attempt to better that performance. I haven’t found it very effective. I have invented a device that makes it effective, the White SCS self cleaning sabot and SCB self cleaning bullet. If you must use pellets, then I recommend the use of saboted bullets. If you must use elongated bullets, then use one of the Pyrodex powders or other black powder substitutes, or wait for my new SCS (self Cleaning Sabot) patented device to hit the market. It works great. DOC

I just came back from a hunt in another state.  They had a cold camp and didn’t want a fouling shot with powder only fired.  What are your thoughts on this.  The camp said to get to your stand and then foul the bore.  I wondered what you did if you were in this situation.  I don’t like to keep a dirty gun for several days and prefer to clean every night.

Your best alternative to  fouling the  bore in camp is to fire the squib as usual on the way to the stand, never at the stand. Just have the driver stop part way there and fire the squib then load as usual. I do that more often than in the camp. You can also dry the gun completely before you leave camp in the morning., especially including the nipple-breechplug, then loading for your first shot. You need to sight it in with a clean bore if you are going to do it that way as your group may be different with a clean vs a fouled bore.

Will a #11 percussion cap fire Pyrodex pellets in White rifles or do I need to use 209 shotgun primers?

The #11 nipple-breechplug in a White designed rifle is short, with less than 5/8 inch between #11 cap and the powder charge. The #11 nipple with cap installed is also very nearly impervious to weather. The combination yields good results with pellets. Ignition can be enhanced by switching to a musket nipple-breechplug, which is almost as good as the #11 at keeping moisture out of the powder charge on wet days and comes very close to duplicating the performance of the 209 primer. The 209 conversion ignites the pellet even better yet, but at the sacrifice of weatherproofing in slam-hammer guns like the Whitetail series or Super 91 and M98. The new ThunderBolt locks the 209 primer in place and is once again quite weatherproof.

I have noticed some corrosion on my stainless steel muzzleloader. My modern stainless rifles don’t corrode. Why this one? How do I clean it off?

The difference is the highly corrosive powders used in stainless muzzleloaders. Most black powder substitutes contain sulfates as well as chlorates, which can form acids in the presence of moisture. The acids can etch, or corrode, gun barrel quality stainless steel. Best bet is to prevent it by prompt and thorough cleaning after a hunt in the wet. Next best is to clean the rifle then use fine steel wool on the stainless to remove the corrosion or better yet, bead blast it with fine beads. White Muzzleloading can do this for you if you want to ship it to us after the hunting seasons are over. Always clean it carefully and grease it thoroughly for long term storage. White brand cleaners and greases are designed to provide the protection you need.

I have noticed on your web sight that you have 504 cal. Whitetail rifles that have been accurized for $300. I was told that the Whitetail has a weak recoil lug and a Timmey trigger that has caused problems. I was also told that the Whitetail needs to be “bedded”. What does it mean that the rifle has been ‘accurized’?

The Whitetail rifles on the website are bedded properly, sometimes artfully in wood, if needed in epoxy. The recoil lugs have been checked and tested and if weak are replaced by a large, welded, dove-tailed lug. Triggers are Bold brand and are thoroughly tested before shipping. Barrels are lapped. Stocks are new, excellent quality but plain walnut or myrtle finished either black or camo, your choice. All of the above means they shoot into three inches or less at 100 or they won’t get sold or shipped. All are test targeted before being listed on the website. I am too wise to guarantee the rifle (for liability reasons) but your satisfaction is guaranteed or money back.

How do I take apart the bolt on the new ThunderBolt rifle?

The bolt disassembles by first putting it on safety then removing the front shroud, you have to screw out the little locking screw first, then unscrew the shroud. Now take it off safety (to lessen the spring pressure on the hammer) and unscrew the hammer, look out because it can pop off when the hammer releases and the spring could go flying. Now remove the spring from the front, remove the sear and connecting rod from the rear and then unscrew the sear body from the rear. You should have 6 pieces in hand. Clean them up then re-assemble in reverse order. It’s easiest if you screw the rear sear body to the bolt body first, then replace the sear and connecting rod from the rear, and spring from the front. Now replace the hammer (you have to screw it on against pressure from the compressed mainspring) and pull it back onto safety, then replace the shroud and tighten the tiny locking screw. Be sure to oil the spring and bearing surfaces, then replace in rifle.

Why doesn’t White make a Hollow Point in the Power Punch line of bullets. Wouldn’t they be quite effective?

I’ve always thought that the best of both lead bullet and hollow point worlds would be a long heavy lead hollow point. This type of bullet was very popular during the late 1800’s when Gould was promoting their use in his magazine ‘Fur Fish and Game’. (became Sports Afield later) The Winchester 330 gr hollow point bullet for 45/70 was named after him and was said to be very effective. I tried it in a 45-120 on bear once and the bear went down as if pole-axed. I mean suddenly dead with a chest shot. I have tried similar bullets on other game including moose, (500 gr HP in that instance) and all are sudden killers. They work well because the hollow point expands explosively, blowing a big hole in the animal with lots of hydrostatic shock, while the heavy rear end plows on through, exiting the other side. The issue is the hollow point. Those old time bullets were cast, with a near half inch deep hollow point, something modern industrial swedging techniques can’t do. So its either cast them or swedge them and either swedge them again or drill them, both requiring a second operation and increased cost. I’ve been promoting this type of bullet for years with the White Company, but without success as they are afraid of the costs blunting sales. Frankly I think they would be a resounding success but I don’t have control of the issue, I can only recommend. DOC

I am often in and out of my vehicle several times during a hunt. The unfired #11 cap is awfully hard to get off the nipple Any suggestions on getting the unfired cap off

Pulling a cold cap (unfired) is always a problem with the White System. The damned cap fits so well that it’s water tight and weather proof. I like that, but agree that it’s a pain in the ass if you are in and out of the pickup several times a day and the law does not allow you to just put a Bore-B Dry or other protective cover over the cap. I usually peel mine off with the knife in my pocket. You have given me the bright idea of designing a special tool to get it off with. I suggest a short screwdriver with a slot cut in the blade to fit the base of the cap and push it off. You can always trim down the nipple just a tad on your lathe or perhaps do it carefully with a file. The file has to be sharp and new as the metal is quite tough. DOC

Can you give me directions on adjusting the trigger on my White rifle?

Despite the fact that the trigger is fully adjustable, the job is best done by a trained gunsmith. Experience has shown us that if you’ve never done it before, you hadn’t ought to be trying it on your White rifle. If you do, your chances of having to purchase a new trigger is pretty good. They cost about $100. A gunsmith will adjust your trigger for much less than that. DOC


Weatherproof means that the cap or primer has to fit tightly enough that water or moisture can’t get past it into the flash channel between cap/primer and powder charge. In White rifles, the best  is with #11 caps simply because the fit is the best. The musket cap is second and is very nearly as good as the #11 cap. The 209 primer  is also good in the new Thunderbolt because the rim of the cap is pinched tightly between bolt face and breech-plug, The 209 conversion for the M97 Whitetail Hunter and the M98 Elite Hunter is very poor. This is also true of all 209 primer fired guns of any brand except the White Thunderbolt and the Knight, which uses a plastic holder to protect the primer.

I ‘ve been hearing people say that a 1-28″ twist is the best twist for a 45 cal bullet.  Apparently they feel it will handle both heavy conicals and sabots over the entire velocity range?  Is there is any merit to that statement, have you experimented with that twist with PowerPunches?

Seems to me that it would be intuitive to know that there is no such thing as a single twist that is effective over all the ranges of bullets lengths, weights and velocities. Truth is that each bullet (of whatever length, weight and BC) has its own particular twist requirements at each velocity that it is shot at. Long term studies over the past 100 years have shown that optimum twist for really long bullets like 460-520 gr in 450 caliber require twists of 1-18 to 1-20. I just ordered a 458 barrel for a 45-1 7/8″ cartridge (the 45-110) with a 1-18 twist. I intend to shoot 520 grain bullets with about 75-90 grains Black Powder at more or less 1200 FPS for long range cartridge. This is exactly the load I use in my muzzleloading Whitworth copy with the same bullet but a 1-20 twist, and I win 700 yard matches with it. If you want to shoot puny pistol bullets in a 45, using sabots, like many of our modern hunters are doing, then 1-28 might be OK, 1-32 might be better, depends on the BC and the velocity of the bullet. The BC of a .450 caliber 520 grain bullet is .36, BC of a .357caliber 158 grain saboted pistol bullet is .18 or worse, some as low as .12. Obviously, a single twist won’t cut it with both bullets. Also, obviously, the bigger slower bullet with the higher BC will have far higher downrange energy, penetration and knockdown than the puny pistol bullet despite the pistol bullets flatter shorter range trajectory.

I can’t use a scope in my state. Do you prefer a peep or a Ghost ring? Will accurizing the rifle help with the peep?

A peep is much better than any open iron sight. Your eye centers the front sight in the peep almost automatically. The only difference between a peep and a ‘Ghost Ring’ is that that the Ghost Ring is nearly invisible to the eye. The Ghost Ring is great for fast shooting. If you are hung with open sites and are shooting into less than three inches at 100 yards with peep or open, then accurizing the rifle will not help much, where with a scope it would. The limitation is the sights.  DOC

I can hit a pie plate at 150 yards regularly using peep sights. I  shoot at approx 175 feet below sea level. (Death Valley) How much will the point of impact change when I’m at higher elevations, say 5000′ plus?   I was lucky enough to get drawn for an Antelope hunt in Nevada and a Deer tag in the Kaibab in Arizona

You are shooting through ‘thicker’ air at your negative
elevation, so going to  5000 feet is going to thin out the air and the resistance to the bullet. Presumably your bullets velocity will maintain better so the bullet’s trajectory will be flatter. The slower the initial velocity the more the difference- a matter of time to target. So there can be quite a difference. You won’t notice much at ranges less than 100 yards and really not much more than a 4 inch change at 200, which is about as far as you will shoot a critter anyway. If you target shoot at 700-1500 yards like I do sometimes, the difference is marked in feet. When you go hunting at 5000 feet, immediately re-sight in the rifle before you hunt. You will be glad you did

I am concerned about my .410 T-bolt . I bought this gun about 4 or 5 months ago and have taken it to the range once. This morning I went to the gun cabinet to rust check my guns …. when I ran the ramrod down , I came upon a decided looseness in the barrel for about 1 ½ inches about 4 inches forward of the breech,  If this loose area is from pressure swelling, how could I tell for sure?   Is it at all possible that this was the result of boring the gun and rifling it? Could it be possible to do this 1 ½ inches down bore mechanically? Would the gun still be safe to shoot. So far it is shooting great with this swelling.

Despite the fact that everyone thinks button rifled barrels are perfectly smooth breech to muzzle, this is not the case. After having manufactured thousands, I know that the button can ‘chatter’ in the rifling process and cause a short area of largeness. Normally this happens near the breech of the barrel (the breech is the end you start the button on- it’s always the larger – the bore tightens as the button swoops towards the muzzle simply because the chatter smooths out as the button advances) and has little effect on shooting or accuracy. Usually this largeness cannot be seen, but can be felt when cleaning, When located near the breech, it can’t be felt during loading because it is quite shallow and loads up with residue.

Short starting a bullet  can cause a swelling too, but it is normally near the muzzle (because the shooter used a short starter and failed to use a ramrod to push the bullet down all the way) and is much larger, can be seen, felt when both loading and cleaning and measures many thousandths rather than a  few tenths of thousandths.

We did a series of trials at Green River RifleWorks back in the 70’s that showed that  short loading the bullet near the breech does not result in barrel bulges while the further up the barrel the bullet is short loaded , the worse the potential bulge. A bullet loaded to within 3-4 inches of the powder never caused a problem. Of course, in the interest of safety, we never published this information but urged everyone to be sure that the bullet is on the powder.

In conclusion, I would think that you are safe to use the rifle with enthusiasm. The proof of the pudding is in how it shoots, and since the rifle shoots well, I would not worry about it.

I was reading about your accurizing service and thought I’d see what you had to say about my 50 caliber Knight rifle. I’ve had it for a long time and it shoots good but is extremely hard to load. It takes both hands as hard as you can push to get a sabot down the barrel. Makes it really hard for a second shot. Do you think that something could be done to it to make it easier to load?

You may well have a tighter bore than usual. Happens sometimes. Slicking up the bore with the accurizing process helps to get the bullet or Sabot down but what really helps is finding the combination of bullet and sabot that fits the bore just right. The White System works because the bullets and sabots are sized to within a 1/000th of an inch of the land to land diameter of the barrel, (both lead bullets or saboted lead bullets). This lets the bullet or sabot go down much more easily then belly up when fired to take the rifling. It works with a Knight too, except that their rifling twist is slower so bullets must be shorter for accuracy.

One thing you can do is to mike your bore, then size an available soft lead bullet down to same size , or not more than 1/1000th less. then try that. With sabots, use a soft lead bullet rather than a jacketed one and it will load easier. Also, lubricate the sabot. You might want to try White’s lubed sabot, it has grease grooves in it to hold the lube, It is called the PowerStar. DOC

I would like to use my Tominator shotgun for deer hunting, but do not want to exceed specifications. Can you recommend loads with slugs? Can buckshot be used?

Yes, the Tominator can be used with single projectiles or buckshot for deer hunting and the like. For shooting single projectiles, you must remove the tight turkey choke and put in a .730 open choke, or better yet, put in a rifled tube (available from Hastings) which will enhance accuracy. The easiest load to assemble, and a very effective one, is a single .715 round ball in a lubricated 20 thou patch. Load it, just as if it were a muzzleloading rifle,  with a patch, over 100-110 grains Black Powder or substitute, no other wadding needed. You will need a ‘short starter’ to get the tight combination started down the barrel. The ball weighs about 480 grains and knocks eastern whitetail flat. It is also fairly accurate in the straight rifling of the Tominator. Slugs can also be used, but you must find a combination of slug and plastic shot collar that you can load down the muzzle. Use the 100 grain powder charge on this one too. (Frankly, the plastic shot collar wad/slug combo is so diffucult to load that I have stuck with the ball and patch-it’s much easier to handle and every bit as effective at the short ranges involved.) Buckshot works quite well, use the same charges and shot weights as if using smaller shot, but use a more open choke. I have used 1 7/8 oz. of #4 buck loaded in a tapered White slitted shotcup over 110 grains FFg Black Powder and 2 each 1/8th inch woven wool wads for coyotes. The best and tightest pattern came with an improved- modified choke. DOC

I  tried White’s Buckbuster  boat Tailed 445 gr bullet with .500 caliber diameter in my “other brand” rifle and it didn’t shoot well at all.  The bullet seemed to slide down the barrel too easily.  Based on my rifle’s land to land diameter at .4995 with 1-28 twist, shouldn’t that have shot well?  Am I stuck with just sabots?
White’s Buckbuster bullets will fit a true .500 diameter rifle with nominally a thousandth windage, are cast at .501 and sized to .499 plus diameter. Are you sure that your rifle is really .4995 land to land? Is that a published or a slugged diameter? The reason I ask is that most barrels come in way over their published specs. Barrel makers seem to think that slightly larger is somewhat safer, and I suppose this is true with modern smokeless barrels. The White 504 caliber came about because we originally ordered .500 and got .504. At least we tell the truth. You might want to try a .5035 PowerPunch in 400 grain size. It might be a better fit, even if slightly tight, it should load reasonably easily and shoot better than the looser Buckbuster. DOC

I shoot left handed. Would a peep sight on your M97 inline correct for my left eye dominance? If I put a peep sight on the rear would that allow me to use the rifle as either right/left handed. What model would be recommended in .504 caliber if the peep sight will allow me to shoot left handed?

Inter-changable left/right handedness is designed into the M97 with cocking handle on left side of receiver (most modern machine guns are the same) with the trigger  safety easily in reach of either thumb. The right hander uses his weak (left) hand to cock the gun , which leaves his strong hand on the grip and finger in the trigger guard at all times. The lefty powers the
cocking handle with his strong hand, as do most right hander’s with most other brand rifles. The right hander’s thumb actuates the trigger safety on the right hand side of the action (well to the rear) while the left hander reaches across the top of the grip to get to the safety. It is an easy reach and in fact leaves the lefty’s hand in a better position for the shot than it does the right hander. The butt of the rifle is quite wide, a so called English butt, no cheekpeice on either side but broad enough to offer good
support for both left and right handers. The broad butt also softens recoil better than the narrower butts seen on competing rifles.

A Lyman or Williams peep mounts on the right rear of the receiver with slide extending from right to left, it will not interfere with either handed shooter as it lies in front of the safety on the right and the base is on the opposite side of the cocking

The M97 is recommended for left handers and is illustrated on this website, just click on the M97 Whitetail Hunterhyperlinc in orange near the top of this page. DOC

What is the cleaning process for your rifles? Do you have a removable breech plug or do I clean it like I did my sidelock Renegade.

Cleaning is accomplished preferably by removing the breechplug, All White breechplugs are removable with a White Breechplug Wrench or a common industrial 3/8 socket wrench. They normally come out easily if you grease the threads with White’s Blue Moly before shooting and remove it or at least loosen it right away after shooting. All White actions are designed to take down into their component  pieces easily so this is not a big problem.

Being a cast bullet shooter for years, I was wondering if the same  velocity issues with cast bullets and center fire cartridges applies to black  powder?

The same detail applies to either smokeless or black powder. Lead is lead, even when enhanced with the addition of tin, or other modifiers like antimony.

Pure lead will usually begin sticking to the barrel wall at 1200 FPS, adding up to 5% tin brings the velocity up to perhaps 1450 FPS, using linotype gets it up to 1750 or so but of course will not expand in game. Using a paper patch will get you up to 2000 FPS but the barrel must be cleaned every shot or the residues will tear the paper off when loading.

Plastic has the same problems as lead. It gums up the barrel bore at even lower velocities than lead. Sabots are usually made of polypropylene, which can be  made very soft or hard depending on ingredients, Most sabots are pretty soft, so they will load easily, some are harder and will stand higher velocity, but can be very difficult to load.

Cleaning the barrel between shots always helps, at least a little, but is not what you do when hunting. Adding a gas check is useful to prevent gas cutting and blowby, but they must be sized
to land to land diameter for loading. Adding a wax impregnated wad, like a card wad or soft wool WonderWad, to the load between powder and bullet helps as well.

To my mind, the practical limit for most hunting is 1450 FPS, certainly no more then 1550, and that requires at least 1-2% tin in the bullet or a harder poly in the sabot, Pyrodex or 777 replacement powder, an over powder wad or gas check and cleaning the barrel between all shots if using black powder.

When shooting target, if velocities are kept down to 1000-1100 FPS, none of the above are
even a problem, as barrels stay free of lead and plastic at those lower velocities and accuracy is enhanced by usually cleaning between shots.

I own a White early model Whitetail cal.504 and I have a big problem with the # 11 caps going off. The gun has been very unreliable. I have tried different brands of caps. I also have tried to fire a blank to clean the nipple but not much luck. With the same cap on the nipple,  most of the time I have to pull the hammer back two or tree time to get it to finally go off.  I love the way the gun fells, looks, and shoots when I can get it to do it. What is the problem? I really wish their was a way to convert it over to a shotgun primer. If I could give me some help on this problem, I would really appreciate it.

There are two potential problems when the #11 cap will not fire,1) -it could be a  weak spring, (usually not the case). The solution is to get another from Whiterifles, ask for the spring used in the newer Model 97. 2)- it could be that the nipple is too fat. The solution is to slim down the nipple with a sharp file or replace the entire nipple-breechplug with a new one, same as used on all White rifles. 3)- If you really want to convert to 209 shotgun cap, there is a 209 conversion kit available, You can get one from whiterifles.com, . You might also want to try a musket cap, which is nearly as powerful as a shotgun primer and is a lot easier and faster to handle.

I have a white super 91 in the 45 cal. I have kept groups of 1 inch at 100 yards for the past ten years. I have shot it a lot (been through 3 nipples). I shoot the 460 grain ‘No Excuses’ bullet and 80 grains of Pyrodex P. My question is that it sometimes varies from time to time when I go to the range. I had a 1.5 inch group with a red dot scope at 100 yards. Today I was about 4 inches higher. I brought it in reasonably well by adjusting the scope. But why does it vary from time to time? I understand shooter error. But I usually keep good groups. Also why does it throw a bullet 4 or 5 inches every once in a while. Any tips or suggestions on what I am doing or not doing?
 The commonest reason for throwing a bullet is a void in the bullet, which happens from time to time. The only way to avoid it is to weigh the bullets before lubing them and select out the ones at variance. Anything out by more than 1-2 grains should be set aside for fun shooting. I always separate mine out by one grain increments for competition then use the 20% on the upside near the peak of the bell curve, setting aside about 4/5ths for recreational uses. For hunting, anything within 5 grains is OK- the target is that much larger.
    The usual reason for a variation in impact is a change in the stock or the scope caused by either change in temperature , humidity or barometric pressure, given that the scope or red-dot are securely fastened to the gun. All have to be compensated for on any given shooting day. Either that or invest in a stock which won’t move, like the new aluminum ones (even they move, but at least minimally) DOC

I’ve heard some good things about you and your rifle. I have found two White  web sites, whiterifles.com and whitemuzzleloading.com.  I’ve checked out both sites and I’m a tad confused.  Are they both one and the same?  Can I get a rifle straight from you, or do I get the same rifle from White Rifles that is listed on your site?

We are actually separate but related businesses. I do the R&D, design the guns and accessories, and run a small retail web-based business with a big website that promotes the guns, both old ones and current, and the White Muzzleloading System. I am White Muzzleloading. On the other hand, White Rifles, LLC, is a much larger manufacturing business, with a central office in Lindin, Utah, who maintains a smaller website and who manufactures what I design and wholesales it in the majority, retails only a little, What I have to sell is listed under ‘custom modern’ in orange near the top of every page in ‘whitemuzzleloading.com’ Most of what I sell is used, or old stored stock with new parts and new or refurbished stocks in custom configuration.. Everything I sell has been re-furbished and accurized and will shoot into 3 inches at 100 yards or I won’t sell it. Your satisfaction is guaranteed. DOC—–

I have a White Lightning rifle, I switched the rifle over to musket caps a year ago, the accuracy is exceptional with 100gr Pyrodex and 295 grain Powerbelts.  Since then I have developed some pitting in the tray under the nipple, Is this due to a hotter cap?

The minor pitting is not due to the cap but the corrosive nature of most black powder substitutes. Most contain chlorates, which combine with water or water vapor to form hydrochloric acid, which will etch stainless steel. You have to be awfully finicky abut cleaning out the fired residues from the breech
after a shooting session or the pitting inevitably occurs, even with stainless steel. Sometimes it seems, especially in area of high humidity and constant wet weather, that it occurs anyway.

How do I get Pyrodex or 777 into South Africa? I’ve heard that I can’t box it up and ship it in  advance. There are no distributers in SA and I know I can’t  take it on a plane,  unless I pack it in shotgun shells and then I have to take a shotgun to  match the ammo! Really, I believe that’s not legal anyway.  Then there is the issue of musket caps too. How did you overcome these problems?

I did two things, both worked but maybe I was lucky. I took  powder and caps in 50-140 cartridges with short lightweight hollow based bullets barely seated in the case to maximize the room. The cartridges were packed in boxes with black marking pen scrawled notes on caliber and load, ie- 150 gr
Pyrodex P with 400 grain bullet, etc. I did not carry a rifle to match. Nobody cared on either end, USA or RSA. I also carried powder and caps in red plastic tubes , available from Ridenour as speed loaders, packed in 20 place plastic cartridge boxes, then labeled with a fancy “factory” label proclaiming that the contents where White brand muzzleloading cartridges with warnings about them containing Pyrodex with all the usual warnings etc. Nobody cared on either end. It was amazing. I carried the bullets in White factory unopened plastic 50 round boxes. I had enough powder and bullets for 50 shots and used 9 on game plus about 20 to sight in and show. I left the overage with the outfitter. The best solution is buy the powder from a company like Cabella’s and have them ship it to South Africa for you. They will have a Hazmat license and it will ship by boat, so it takes a while, figure at least 3 months in advance, and it is expensive.

I am shooting 90 grains of 777 and the 460 grain PowerPunch bullet, using a 209 primer for ignition in my M97. The 209 primers come out of the pocket and are caught sideways between hammer and breechplug after the shot. This does not happen with smaller loads. Is there a problem here?

This is interesting, because back in the  ‘good old days’ of #11 and musket caps, the cap always came off the nipple with the shot. In fact, we wanted it to in order to get in a faster reload. When I first started experimenting with 209 breechplugs in the slam fire G-series models, the 209 always disappeared. I thought that was normal. Later, after putting the small wound spring on the 209 nipple to hold the 209 in place while the action was in the open position, the 209 would not disappear until the loads were quite large. It eventually occurred to me that the more solid 209 might make a pretty good misslle, especially if it hit me in the eye, although one never had hit me anywhere. I did some shooting with a big sombrero on to see if the 209 would hit the brim of the hat (it was a BIG one). None did. Later I devised a screen made of cardboard with a hole to shoot through.  I never had a 209 strike on the cardboard. I theorize that the 209 used with a load large enough to blow it out of the pocket is carried back with the hammer to the limit of the hammer’s excursion. The hammer then flies forward, under spring pressure, and the 209 goes with it, either getting caught in on odd position between hammer and breechplug or flying off to the side. At any rate, I have never suffered a strike and no one has ever reported one to me. DOC

What do you mean 504 cal, 451,410, etc., is this 50 caliber and 45 caliber and 410 caliber?

White measures and publishes the real land to land diameter of their barrels, so a .504 is really  504/1000th of an inch in diameter from land to land,  a .451 is 451/1000th inch and a .410 is 410/1000th inch in diameter, always measured from land to land. Most companies just specify a range, say 50, then their barrel is somewhere close. Most measure a little over, usually .502-.504. White just says it as it really is.

I was wondering if a #11 nipple can be installed in your Thunderbolt rifle? In Washington state only #11 caps are permitted.  Also, the cap has to be exposed to the elements.  Is the Thunderbolt capable of this?  How hard would it be?

Yes it can use a #11 cap or musket cap but you have to buy an M98 hammer shroud set-up, which exchanges with the ThunderBolt bolt action shroud by removing the thumbscrew on the left of the action, removing the bolt and replacing with the M98 shroud set-up. While the bolt is out, remove the T-Bolt breechplug and replace with a #11 BreechPlug. The rifle is now functionally an M98, which is legal in your state. Many buyers purchase both set-ups at the time of original purchase so hey can hunt in any state they please by simply exchanging shroud and breech-plug.

How do I make a muzzleloader look like an antique?

 Many if not most old time guns were originanly furnished bright, the brown we see now on older guns is often the natural rusting of age. If you want your muzzleloader to look 200 years old, then rust the metal instead of browning  or bluing it. You can do that up by cleaning the present finish off then hanging the metal parts outside in the sun, wiping down with Clorox or other oxidizing agent daily. In a few weeks, depending on the humidity (the more the faster) and the amount of sunlight, you will have a well used looking piece. When you want to stop the rust, just apply oil after carding with steel wool. This works on common steel, but not stainless.

You can age the wood by staining, then wiping down with a 10% or less solution of nitric or Aqua Fortis acid, which will gradually blacken the wood. Sunlight speeds it up as does warmth. You kill the acid with hot water once you have it dark enough, dry, beat it up with a rock so the stock  matches the age of the barrel, then finish with hot linseed oil gunked on and left to dry ugly as if many users added oil from time to timeover many years. It takes a while but it sure can be effective.  (I like
Laurel Mountain Forge stains) DOC

Just talked with Warne looking for bases for one of the 97’s that I have. They have discontinued the 923 and 925 bases. They still show bases 953 and 955 which they show as “White bases”. I think they only have model 98 listed. Is the base for 98 the same as for 91 and T-Bolt? What about the Ultra-mag? I thought the U-mag was actually a 97 with a long barrel.

All the White rifles share screw dimensions for scope bases-ie: distance between screw holes is the same. outside dimensions are different for the two series- ie: G-series, which are the Whitetail, 97, 97-II, Ultra-Mag all share one configuration. The W-series, which are the Super-91, Super-Safari, 98, and T-Bolt share another. (The rear base for the T-Bolt has to be shortened to clear the bolt.) All this means that a handy man can adapt any set of bases for any of the rifles with a hack saw and a file. Warne really ought to carry bases for the G-series, there were far more of them made. DOC