Source of Blackpowder in Northern CA?


September 7, 2006, 12:54 AM
I tried out my new Traditions Pennsylvania flintlock rifle the other day. We had fun, but functioning was far from reliable (it took probably 8 tries to get one stubborn load to fire properly). I'm sure much of my problem is that I'm using Pyrodex rifle powder for the main charge, and Pyrodex pistol powder for priming. I really want to get some FFFFG blackpowder for priming, and I'd like to use true blackpowder for the main charge as well, but I can't find anyone who sells it in my area. I understand that it can be ordered, but don't know of a good source, and I've heard that there are high shipping fees due to it being a hazardous material or something.

So, does anyone know of a source in Northern California? Or, of the best mailorder source?



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September 7, 2006, 01:20 AM
try grafs&sons
their 'graf brand' is (i believe) schuetzen powder, which is one of the best.

September 7, 2006, 04:09 AM
You can try here;
Minimum is 5lbs. $11 per total with Hazmat fee $90.
I get it for $16 local, so I wouln't save anything. Hit the yellow pages up there ask the gunshops if they carry it. Sacremento must have some ... maybe Oroville. Somebody has to have it... good hunting.


September 7, 2006, 04:50 AM
Where exactly in Northern California? I'm pretty sure Reed's Sport Shop in San Jose carries black powder.

September 10, 2006, 11:08 PM
Castello's in San Jose carries BP as well

September 11, 2006, 02:25 PM
Message primarily for Doug:
Two questions, Where you shooting a flintlock? and what is your level of experience with muzzleloaders.
If shooting a percussion, your problem probably wasn't the Pyrodex. Pyro ingnites very well with caps. If trying to shoot a flinter with Pyro, don't.
I tried Pyrodex many years ago and when I started shooting a flintlock I was told that pyro didn't ignite well for the small amount of spark.
I'm not to smart but I figured out why buy multiple brands of powder for 200 year old technology. I just use plain old Goex black powder and it works all the time. If I have a mis-fire, it's because of dull flint or dud cap or a cleaning/swabbing issue or the dreaded forgot the powder.
If your problem is experience, find an oldguy who has shot a flintlock for many years. The flintlock guys have to pay more attention ignition details.

September 11, 2006, 02:41 PM
First, thanks to all for your replies and suggestions. I'm near Sacramento, so I'll check the possible sources in that area first.

In response to Thebees questions, I was shooting a flintlock (Traditions Pennsylvania). I was using Pyrodex for both the main charge and priming because that's all I could find. It worked enough for me to have some fun, but wasn't very reliable. Regarding my experience, I have owned and shot a percussion black powder rifle for years, but this is my first experience with a flintlock. I think 90% of my problems will be resolved when I get some good priming powder (FFFFG black powder). The lock seems to spark pretty well, but still only sets off the pyrodex in the pan maybe half the time (it generally works within 2 or 3 tries).



Howdy Doody
September 13, 2006, 01:47 AM
On highway 49 just on the outskirts of the south side of San Andreas there was a small gunshop that handled true BP. Also there was a shop in Jamestown that did too. I can't remember the names of the shops to save my life.

September 13, 2006, 06:34 PM
Does B Bar Y Traders in Jamestown sound familiar ?:)

September 13, 2006, 08:05 PM
Just as a follow-up, I wound up purchasing a pound each of FFFFG and FFG from a THR member in the area who sent me a private message (thanks!). I haven't had a chance to go shooting yet, but I did just try out the FFFFG in my Traditions Pennsylvania flintlock and it works MUCH better. I lined the pan and covered the touchhole with aluminum foil (to minimize the cleaning required) and tried about 20 charges. All but one went off on the first try, and the one that took two was because there was little or no spark (my flint is looking pretty worn, and I don't know if I really had it adjusted properly to begin with - I just clamped it in the jaws with a bit of leather around it and have left it that way). I'm now very confident that the problems I was having the first time I tried this rifle were due to using pyrodex pistol powder for priming powder (which is definately not recommended).

Judging from the problems I've heard are common with flintlocks, I think this Traditions lock must be pretty forgiving - I've played with this rifle a lot (probably 60 or 70 test fires - most with no powder) and it still sparks pretty well even though I think the flint has worn down quite a lot since I first installed it. I'm anxious to get out to the range and really give it a try (and see if the real FFG works more reliably as the main powder charge as well - the Traditions manual recommends it in flintlocks over the Pyrodex I've used before).



September 15, 2006, 01:10 AM
The gunshop just s/o San Andreas in Calaveras County is called "Rusty's Gunsnithing." The business card carries the address 1039 Hwy 49, phone 209-754-3713. He carries Goex BP and sometimes other brands. In fact, he carries a lot more BP guns, accessories and supplies than he does center-fire stuff.

BTW, I'm not associated with Rusty except as a customer. He's almost 40 miles one-way for me and isn't super cheap but he's the only BP shop around this area. Be sure you phone before you go. Mostly you know he's open if you push on the door and it opens. If it's locked, he's shooting at a rondy somewhere.


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