The Woodman Arms Patriot Rifle Reignites the Hunting Muzzleloader
Mark Woodman, below, has been perfecting his Patriot muzzleloader over the last couple of years and it is available today. Woodman Arms of Fremont, New Hampshire has released an impressive new inline muzzleloader called the Patriot. It is the answer to what many folks find unappealing about some .50 caliber muzzleloaders: excessive weight. Indeed, my .50 caliber example of the Woodman Patriot weighs only 5 pounds 15 ounces out of the box.
It is available in .45 or .50 caliber. In fact, you can order an extra barrel if you wish if you want to have both. The barrel is removed by pushing the hinge pin through; the ramrod supplied with the rifle can be used to do this. A universal breech plug can be used with loose powder or pellets. A wrench and socket come with the rifle for breech plug removal.
The Woodman Patriot features a 24 inch McGowen 416 stainless steel barrel, coated with Melonite QPB. The .50 caliber has a 1:28 twist, while the .45 caliber version has a 1:24 twist.
The Patriot ramrod has a Delrin shaft and brass ends. It is extremely limber and can be bent until the ends touch without breaking. Woodman warns that conventional aluminum and fiberglass ramrods may damage the barrel crown or bore and should not be used.
The Woodman rifle has its own, patented break-open action, housed in a 7075 aluminum, machined from billet, frame and it is an exceptionally well thought out design. The breech is fully enclosed to protect the 209 shotgun primer from the elements. To open the gun, you pull the front of the oversize trigger guard towards yourself and the action falls open. The gun is not yet cocked, you continue to pull on the trigger guard and it cocks the action.
With no external hammer, you don't have an unwanted mechanical click to spook game, nor is scope interference a problem. You also have faster lock time than on a hammer gun. Silently push off the ambidextrous cross-bolt type safety, located behind the trigger guard, and take your shot. The trigger pull on my example measured just over 2-1/2 pounds, although the official trigger pull specification is 3.5 pounds.
No iron sights are supplied, although fiber optic sights are available as an option. Most shooters will mount a telescopic sight. Woodman offers a cantilever scope mount that extends back over the receiver to attach a riflescope to the barrel. A picatinny rail is also available that can be used to mount scope rings or iron sights.
The stock design is also very unusual, with a forearm that is slender near the receiver and then bulges dramatically where the weak hand would normally be. The butt stock has a pistol grip that widens at the bottom (sort of like a Peacemaker revolver grip) and features unique convex curves at top and bottom. (See photo at top of page.) The fore end, but not the pistol grip, is laser checkered. Walnut and laminated hardwood stocks are available, some with hydrographic camo overlay by Fluid-Grafix. A Pachmayr recoil pad and detachable sling swivel studs are standard.
The Patriot was designed to give excellent ignition with Blackhorn 209 powder. With a 300 grain Parker Ballistic Extreme and 100 grains by volume of Blackhorn 209, you can expect about 1850 fps muzzle velocity and with the maximum load of 120 grains by volume, about 2050 fps MV.
In practical terms, this means sight in your rifle three inches high at 100 yards and hold center of the heart/lung area on your buck to somewhere short of 200 yards.
You will love the light weight and the handling of this rifle. If you stalk game or do much hiking, the low weight and slim lines of the Patriot is going to bring a smile to your lips with every step you take. For example, my Remington 700 Ultimate weighs 8 pounds 12.5 ounces out of the box. The Woodman Patriot weighs 2-3/4 pounds less. It is also 1-1/2 pounds lighter than the T/C Strike.
By the time you add a scope, mount/rings and sling the Woodman Patriot should weigh roughly 7-1/2 pounds in ready to hunt condition, a weight that many will find ideal. With Melonite coated stainless and using Blackhorn 209, the corrosion concern associated with muzzleloading is a thing of the past.
It is just load and shoot, load and shoot. When you are finished, a couple of patches of Hoppe's No. 9 and your rifle is ready for the cabinet or safe.
It is readily apparent that no shortcuts were taken in the production of this rifle. Stainless steel and aluminum construction are used throughout. There is a custom-quality barrel and a weatherproof laminated stock; pepper on my example, but other colors are available.
The Woodman Patriot is available starting at $899 and it is the sort of high-quality, hassle free muzzleloader many folks would choose to have custom built for themselves. More to follow in a full review. To get yours today, contact Woodman Arms at www.woodmanarms.com.
Copyright 2017 by Randy Wakeman. All rights reserved.