BP Shooters Library


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J.T. Gerrity
October 22, 2008, 09:29 AM
I've been thinking about this for a while, and thought I would start a thread about Black Powder references; kind of like BP a shooter's library. What books would you consider necessary for a BP shooter to have on his/her shelf? These could run all the way from serious reference books to fiction, as long as they were about BP or the BP era. I'll start out with two serious reference books that I consider a MUST HAVE for BP shooters:

1."The Complete Black Powder Handbook" by Sam Fadala. Considered the Black Powder shooter's bible for many years. Much history and practical info covering all aspects of firing the "Holy Black" from matchlocks to in-lines.

2."Percussion Pistols And Revolvers: History, Performance and Practical Use" by our own Mike Cumpston and Johnny Bates. Another excellent book that covers the basics and goes into pros and cons of the various reproductions out there.

in addition:

3."They Called Him Wild Bill: The Life and Adventures of James Butler Hickok" by Joseph G. Rosa. The definitive biography of this legend. Rosa is the premier Hickok scholar; his research includes years of interviews with the Hickok family, who allowed him free access to their archives. Read this book, and you'll throw away that "Wild Bill" DVD

More to come; these were all I could come up with just off the top of my head. What are your recommendations?

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mykeal
October 22, 2008, 10:33 AM
Excellent idea, and you've already mentioned the two that I'd consider mandatory. I'd add the Lyman Black Powder Handbook and Dennis Adler's Colt anthologies: Colt Blackpowder Reproductions & Replicas: A Collector's & Shooter's Guide and Colt Single Action: From Patersons to Peacemakers. Finally, a fascinating book for builders: Recreating the American Longrifle by Buchele and Shumway.

PRM
October 22, 2008, 12:29 PM
Great idea - since a lot of the threads are repeats it would be a one for all resource. But then what would the rest of us do on the forum except refer everyone "the thread." just kidding...

pohill
October 22, 2008, 02:43 PM
Some of mine:
"A History of the Colt Revolver from 1836 to 1940" by Haven & Belden.
"The Whitney Firearms" by Claude Fuller.
"Colt Revolvers" by Joseph Rosa (or any Hickok book by Rosa)
"The Colt Gun book" by Lucian Cary
"Sam Colt's Own Record 1847" by Wolfe Pub Company
Mec's "Percussion Pistols and Revolvers"
"Civil War Small Arms of the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps" by John McAulay
"The Confederate Brass-Framed Colt & Whitney" by William Albaugh 3rd
I also have books by Fadala, Chicoine, Wilson.
(I emailed David Chicoine with a question about a Savage & North revolver and he actually answered me within a day. Very helpful and knowledgeable person).

4v50 Gary
October 23, 2008, 01:02 AM
Joe Bilby's book, Civil War Firearms, if you're into shooting Civil War period guns or replicas.
Ned Roberts, The Cap Lock Muzzle Loading Rifle is essential reading. You can learn a lot from that old book.
Walter Cline's Muzzle Loading, Then and Now has a lot of good information in it too.

J.T. Gerrity
October 23, 2008, 03:18 AM
Thanks to all who have responded.
A couple of more books I would suggest are as follows:

Believe it or not, an excellent read and reference is the "Dixie Gun Works catalog". Much more than just parts, the technical section in the back covers the gamut from the chemical nature of Black Powder to loading obsolete ammo to weights and measures. Lots of great info from Turner E. Kirkland.

"Triggernometry: A Gallery of Gunfighters With Technical Notes on Leather Slapping As a Fine Art, Gathered from Many a Loose Holstered Expert over the Years" by Eugene Cunningham. Considered a classic, though much of it of questionable reliability; still a damned fine read. The way it was done in the old days.

"My Life on the Plains: Or Personal Experiences With the Indians" by George Armstrong Custer. Life in the Army in the 1860s. Custer is actually not a bad writer, and this book is quite readable, with some genuinely humorous parts. A history of his campaigns leading up to the Wash(i)ta massacre. (Jeez, I can't believe this forum won't let me say "Wa****a" without mis-spelling it!)

And, while we're on the subject of Custer:

"Son of the Morning Star: Custer and the Little Big Horn" by Evan S. Connell. Forget the movie they made of the book. An excellent account with many new aspects regarding the battle.

And as a companion read:

"Lakota Noon" by Gregory F. Michno. A riveting minute-by-minute account of the Little Big Horn from the Indian's perspective.

On the subject of the old trappers, an excellent book from someone who was there is:

"Life In The Far West", and "Ruxton of the Rockies" by George Frederick Ruxton. Based on his life among the mountain men. This is the real deal. Ruxton was an Englishman who came to America in the early 1800s and trapped with the best. Another of his books, "Wild Life in the Rocky Mountains" is an on-line book that can be found here (http://www.xmission.com/~drudy/mtman/html/ruxton.html).

Since we're talking on-line books, "The Overland Stage to California" By Frank Albert Root can be downloaded as a PDF file here (http://books.google.com/books?id=sBUWAAAAYAAJ&dq=The+Overland+Stage+to+California&printsec=frontcover&source=bl&ots=ltIRvfPEQQ&sig=Yy29XyBr1nK2hf5ZlN_5TeRRT_w&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=2&ct=result#PPP1,M1). Root was a messenger for the Overland Stage. These individuals were given the task of accompanying valuables to their destinations; they were the "Shotgun" guards that sat beside the drivers on the stagecoaches. An excellent, detailed account of riding the stage during the 1860s and beyond. I personally love this book and highly recommend it. His descriptions of riding out blizzards, grass fires and Indian attacks are unparalleled. Just the fact that he was forced to wear the same clothes for months at a time make me cringe. Lots of details regarding life "on the road".

And, last but not least:

"Roughing it" by Mark Twain. What can I say. It's Mark Twain. Hilarious adventures in the 1860s Wild West and more, with a serious discussion of the "Mountain Meadows" massacre.

pohill
October 23, 2008, 02:46 PM
One reason I suggested "A History of the Colt Revolver from 1836 to 1940" by Haven & Belden is the fact that they have copies of original patents in the back. I took my Paterson apart for the first time and could not get it back together. The Uberti and Pietta schematics didn't help, but I referred to the patent in the book and it helped a great deal.

J.T. Gerrity
October 23, 2008, 05:53 PM
Pohill, I have to apologize; this was my mistake. I found the book on Amazon and actually ordered a copy for myself!

Shultzhaus
October 23, 2008, 06:15 PM
One more for the list, if it has not already been posted.
An Introduction to Black Powder Revolvers
By Phil Spangenberger (see the History channel sometimes)

J.T. Gerrity
October 23, 2008, 10:09 PM
Oh, yes, how could we possibly forget Phil! Among the first and best, and he is quite prominent on the history channel these days...

mothernatureson
October 24, 2008, 10:45 AM
A good list, but one of the best books on blackpowder is, "The Muzzleloading Hunter" by Rick Hacker. Very well written by a contemporary writer. It is most likely out of print, but available at very good prices. A well written, well thought out book. I agree also with the Ned Roberts book, it is somewhat of a collectable , but is available through the usual used book dealers. Good list!

mothernatureson

BHP FAN
October 24, 2008, 12:14 PM
Now I know what to do with those Borders gift cards!

J.T. Gerrity
October 24, 2008, 03:37 PM
Now I know what to do with those Borders gift cards!
Good Point! Remember, Christmas is just around the corner (or already here, if you go by all of the displays sprouting up everywhere. Whatever happened to Halloween and Thanksgiving?!?).

Thanks to all who have responded. I reckon reading just half the books in this list would make even the greenest among us an expert!

1. "The Complete Black Powder Handbook" by Sam Fadala
2. "Percussion Pistols And Revolvers: History, Performance and Practical Use" by Mike Cumpston and Johnny Bates
3. "They Called Him Wild Bill: The Life and Adventures of James Butler Hickok" by Joseph G. Rosa
4. "The Lyman Black Powder Handbook" from the Lyman Company
5. "Colt Blackpowder Reproductions & Replicas: A Collector's & Shooter's Guide" by Dennis Adler
6. "Colt Single Action: From Patersons to Peacemakers" by Dennis Adler
7. "Recreating the American Longrifle" by William Buchele and George Shumway
8. "Colt Revolvers and the Tower of London" by Joseph G. Rosa
9. "The Colt Gun book" by Lucian Cary
10. "Sam Colt's Own Record 1847" by Wolfe Pub Company
11. "Civil War Small Arms of the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps" by John McAulay
12. "Civil War Firearms: Their Historical Background And Tactical Use" by Joseph G. Bilby
13. "Muzzle Loading Caplock Rifle" by Ned Roberts
14. "Muzzle Loading Rifle Then and Now" by Walter M. Cline
15. "Dixie Gun Works catalog" from Turner E. Kirkland and Dixie Gun Works
16. "Triggernometry: A Gallery of Gunfighters With Technical Notes on Leather Slapping As a Fine Art, Gathered from Many a Loose Holstered Expert over the Years" by Eugene Cunningham
17. "My Life on the Plains: Or Personal Experiences With the Indians" by George Armstrong Custer
18. "Son of the Morning Star: Custer and the Little Big Horn" by Evan S. Connell
19. "Lakota Noon" by Gregory F. Michno
20. "Life In The Far West" by George Frederick Ruxton
21. "Ruxton of the Rockies" by George Frederick Ruxton
22. "Wild Life in the Rocky Mountains" by George Frederick Ruxton
23. "The Overland Stage to California" By Frank Albert Root
24. "Roughing it" by Mark Twain
25. "A History of The Colt Revolver and the Other Arms Made by Colt's Patent Fire Arms Manufacturing Company from 1836 to 1940" by Charles T Haven and Frank A. Belden
26. "The Whitney Firearms" by Claude Fuller
27. "An introduction to black powder revolvers" by Phil Spangenberger
28. "The Muzzleloading Hunter" by Rick Hacker

P.S I'm out of the country this weekend and might not be able to edit this 'til sometime next week, depending on the length of the project. Just keep the suggestions coming, and I'll get to it as soon as I can. Again, thanks to all who have responded (still haven't heard from a few... Scrat, Pulp, Holster Bob... no recommendations?)

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