Newbie question


May 23, 2006, 09:38 PM
I just got my first blackpowder pistol, actually two. SOG has some boot pistol replicas in and I took a chance. Doesnt' even say the maker besides saying that a safety manual is available at Navy arms. I am totally clueless as to how to shoot blackpowder. It is a .36 cal and already bought a box of round balls. What powder would be appropriate and how much? Is there a good cheap beginner kit available? Thanks

If you enjoyed reading about "Newbie question" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
May 23, 2006, 09:45 PM
I just got into bp, too.

Here's what I've learned.

Pistols work best with FFFg powder, although FFg will go boom in them.

Get some good quality FFFg powder, and buy a powder measure.

Start off with like 15 grains of FFFg and slowly increase the amounts on the shots.

I doubt you'd be able to get more than about 35 or 40 grains of FFFg into one of those little boot pistols, if that much. But use a measure, and remember, it's a boot pistol, not a magnum. Load accordingly/

Another key is to learn to clean IMMEDIATELY after you finish shooting. And I do mean immediately.

Hot soapy water is the best bp solvent out there.

I typically clean with hot soapy water, dry, and then oil a bit.

But bp is addictive. There's just something about that hollow BOOM and that cloud of smoke.


May 24, 2006, 06:58 AM
So 15gr's should be a safe level to start at? The lead ball will not fall into the bore, does this mean I don't need a wad and should use lube?

May 24, 2006, 08:16 AM
What size ball is it that you are trying to load. That .36 cal boot gun should take a .36 cal patched round ball I believe. About a .355" ball or so with a .010 -.015" patch of pillow ticking or the likes. It's a muzzle stuffer right? .375-.380" balls are for revolvers.

May 24, 2006, 08:59 AM
If your gun is a single-shot muzzle loader, then it was designed to use a patched ball. There is much variety in the actual bore sizes of ".36 caliber" BP guns. You may have to experiment to find the correct ball diameter.
If your ball requires ramming to fit (unpatched) into the bore, it is too large.

It is important to clean BP guns after shooting, but perhaps not as "immediately" as some think. You can shoot your gun in the AM and clean it at home that night.

You can safely fire 30-35 gr. of FFFg or Pyrodex from a.36 caliber gun. I would start with a 20 gr. load and a proper-size ball and patch.

May 24, 2006, 09:53 AM
I shoot a Queen Anne .50 caliber replica by Pedersoli.

It's a smooth bore.

I use a .490 round ball. The only patch I use is a piece of newspaper, moistened with spit, slightly larger than the ball itself.

Works just fine.

I don't use any lube on the flintlock when I shoot it, other than spit.

I shoot a Rem 1858 copy by Uberti. I use .451 round balls, powder and caps, and I put some lube on it to keep the fouling soft enough so the cylinder doesn't bind up.

I don't use wads on the Rem 1858. The .451 balls all shave a little ring off when I seat them in the chambers, creating an airtight seal.

I've used all sorts of ways to charge both pieces: actual powder measure, an old .45 ACP case (holds about 22 grains of FFFg, I think) and with the Remmie, since the cylinders are so shallow, I've even just poured powder in and eye-balled it.

I've had no problems so far.


May 24, 2006, 04:04 PM
Just for what it's worth, some of the boot pistols were screw barrel types where you unscrew the barrel to load it. They used a ball larger than the bore since they were loaded into the chamber with the barrel off. I know Dixie has offered them for sale in the past, so it's possible some are knocking around. The correct ball for one of those wouldn't fit into the muzzle if you tried to put it in that way.


May 24, 2006, 07:49 PM
Awh, heck. Steve499 I think your right. When I got the pistols both had loose barrels. Thinking shoddy workmanship:scrutiny: I put a dab of locktite on the threads and tightened them slightly in a vice. Smokin_gun, yep they are .375 dia 36 cal balls, the man at the funshow said they were the right ones. Come in the Hornady box. Don't know what to do now. And yep, the balls won't even start to go in the muzzle, that's why I was not understanding needing to use a patch. Found the original box it came in, it's a Seven Seas Derringer made in China. Maybe I don't want to shoot it at all:eek: .

May 24, 2006, 08:03 PM
Well I did a little googling and came up with some info on this little jewel. Supposedly this is a Navy arms gun, I thought all their stuff was made in the USA though. Anyways it is a .350 bore and takes a patched ball. It is suppossed to unscrew but that's just for cleaning. Any suggestions for what type of lube to get? Still glad I got them compared to the prices that I saw at the other sites. If anyones interested I believe the lady at SOG said they had a bunch of them.

May 24, 2006, 08:11 PM
T/C Natural Lube 1000 Bore Butter will serve you well. About $7 a tube. Just rub it into the patch.
Glad yo ugot it figured go shoot it ahnd have fun. Please give us a range report and let us know how you fared...

May 24, 2006, 08:58 PM
That was an excellent call, Steve. I'd forgotten all about that type of gun. Supposedly they were quite powerful for the small amount of powder they used. Accurate, too.

May 24, 2006, 11:20 PM
Bore Butter works pretty good, but to tell the truth I use Crisco for my patches. I melt it and put my patches in it. Works good for me, and it is cheaper than Bore Butter.

May 25, 2006, 01:41 AM
What outfit goes by the name SOG?

May 25, 2006, 02:06 AM
I believe that might be Southern Ohio Guns?

May 25, 2006, 02:41 AM
Studies and Observations Group???

New about them a lifetime ago.

Must be a differant SOG...

Howdy Doody
May 25, 2006, 02:57 AM
Longhorngun, I like a ball that will shave a nice ring of lead when rammed. That would be 375 diam for a lot of the 36 cal pistols. Reason? That gives you a real good seal and help in preventing a chain fire, although most chainfires start at the rear from a cap falling off for instance. 15gr is a good starter load, but some like 20gr. I like 2F powder, it is courser and fires better than 3f, but 3f will work fine. You need a size of cap that fits and stays put. CCI works, but it seems that #10 remington caps fit most nipples about the best. You can a lubed wad over the powder as suggested or use a veggie wad and apply some lube over the ball to keep the fouling in the barrel soft. wiping the cylinder face with a hadi wipe or...? will help keep the pistol from becoming hard to cock and binding. I actually like Breakfree for mine for a lube on the cyl pin, but bore butter works good too. It takes some playing with your pistols to find what works really well, there are variences with different mfgs and even in the same make and model pistols. They are way fun to shoot, so experiment and have some fun.:)

May 25, 2006, 07:12 AM
Thanks for the info Howdy, I think I will get some .350 balls and try with patches first, I want to go the factory recommended route until I feel more confident with blackpowder. I'm still getting used to the fact that you can nearly double your loads:eek: . I don't think that works very well in smokeless cartridges like my .454 casull. BTW it's Southern Ohio Gun, www.southernohio . They are a big surplus firearms seller.

May 25, 2006, 08:29 AM
Longhorn, Howdy Doody was talking about a revolver. He thinks you have a revolver not a single shot.

May 26, 2006, 08:19 AM
I just bought one of the pistols that I think you are talking about.
They are being imported by Navy Arms and it seems like a lot of places are selling them now.
Oh, by the way, almost all Navy Arms guns are imported. The founder, Val Forgett, started the balckpowder revolver importation here in the last of the 50s. Great Man. I have a lot of respect for his son also.
On the Seven Seas Derringer, the manual says to use a .35 ball with a .30-.39 lubed patch over 10 grains of fffg powder.

June 7, 2006, 07:33 PM
I ordered a pair of these from SOG, and they arrived this week. They look like they are worth what I paid for them, $56 each after shipping costs. Only one of the pair had the "manual" inside, and it states that you should use a .350 ball with a .36 to .39 patch. Since I already use pillow ticking and cut to size, I will try this with my patented "spit lube" and see how it works. I wouldn't expect great accuracy with these, since they are smooth bore, but they should load quickly (I need to see if my rifle ball starter is long enough to seat the ball, or cut a piece of dowel and add a wooden ball to protect the palm) and allow me to introduce the grandkids to black powder pistols.

If you enjoyed reading about "Newbie question" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!