I want to get into BP shooting, a couple ideas...


March 10, 2010, 11:31 AM
Ever since last week's experience with a flintlock single-shot pistol, I can't get black powder shooting out of my head, so much FUN!

Thing is, I'm stingy, and laz....err...efficient, and I want to get into BP shooting for as inexpensively as possible (to try it out, as it were) and I want a firearm that is relatively maintenance free, at least as maintenance free as you can get with black powder, yes, I know more cleaning is involved, and it needs to be done immediately after the range trip

So, my options are;
1; load up some BP cartridges in .45LC for my Ruger Blackhawk
Pros; all I'll need is the BP itself, I have all the other supplies, primers, cases, bullets
Cons; I'll have to detail-strip and clean the Blackhawk after every time I shoot BP cartridges in it

2; load up some BP cartridges for one of my shotguns (Mossberg 500 or Parker VH side-by-side hammerless, vulcan steel barrel)
Pros; I already own the guns
Cons; I'll have to get reloading equipment for shotshells (Lee Load-All?), cleaning BP residue out of the gun (the Parker has 98% of the original case hardening and a nice bright bore, it'd be a shame to damage it with the corrosive BP residue)

3; purchase a dedicated BP gun
Pros; I'll have another gun, you can never have too many ;), this gun would be a BP only gun, so no need to worry about BP fouling damaging my smokeless guns
Cons; I'd have to purchase yet another gun, plus all the necessary accesories, bullets, powder, patches, ignition devices (for 209-primed inlines or caplocks) and cleaning supplies, it's not going to be as cheap as I expect, I know this already

The most logical choices I can see are loading BP cartridges for the Blackhawk, or buying a dedicated smokepole, problem is, inlines are generally "meh" to me, caplocks, neither here nor there, what I *really* like are flintlocks, but they're too bloody expensive... I like the flintlock for the self-sufficency nature of it, you're not tied down to using caps or shotgun primers for ignition

The worst part is, Dad had a flintlock musket a while back, and for some bizzare reason, he sold it, it would have been nice to bring that old flinter back to use....

So, what's the best course of action for a newbie to black powder?

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March 10, 2010, 12:15 PM
There is or was a device called the "tap-o-cap," which lets you make your own percussion caps from aluminum cans and kid's cap gun caps, the paper kind. It would also be possible to use strike-anywhere matches, or anything else impact-sensitive.

Flintlocks are probably more difficult to achieve self-sufficiency with, since you would need to be able to find flint, know how to knap them (it's harder than it looks), and you'd also need to be able to case-harden the frizzen when the hardening wears out.

Anyway, Middlesex Village has some lower priced flintlocks. Some people love them, some hate them, though. http://www.middlesexvillagetrading.com/

March 10, 2010, 12:27 PM
The last thing I would do is buy an 'inexpensive' flintlock as an introduction to bp shooting. Flintlocks are not as simple as they seem, and the 'inexpensive' ones are more trouble than they're worth. You don't want to start out bp shooting with a gun that's going to frustrate you.

BPCR is a good option - you really don't need to detail strip the action every time you use it, any more than you would need to with a bp revolver. Yes, it should be done fairly often, but not every time out. You will need to clean the bore and cylinder every time, but the action can be left to detail cleaning every fourth or fifth time out, depending on how long between sessions you typically go.

If expense is truly an issue, buy an inexpensive bp revolver (on the order of $200) and you can get the minimum accouterments for about another $50-$75 more. You really only need caps, balls, wads, powder, powder measure and a flask.

Texas Moon
March 10, 2010, 03:52 PM
Don't go cheap. Buy a quality flintlock.
You could start off with a single shot percussion pistol like a Lyman Plains pistol. Good quality.
One of the cap&ball revolvers is a better way to go IMO. Much more fun.

March 10, 2010, 04:06 PM
Considering that accessories will cost extra, how much do you want to spend on a flintlock?

There's several new flintlock pistols and rifles that you can get delivered for $300 if you're willing.

But if you're not then why not search Gunbroker for something used or just buy one of these Traditions percussion pistols for $149?


Higene recently posted about this used Pedersoli FL for sale for $150 shipped:


March 10, 2010, 06:19 PM
load the black powder cartridges for the blackhawk.I load .38 S&W for my Webley,and my brother even loads Triple Seven lead bullet loads for his .308 1916 Mauser.
Inexpensive flintlocks can be fun.I recently got a Tower pistol made in the seventies by Ultra-hi,and sold by Dixie Gunworks back in the day.It didn't even spark when I bought it.I had a welder buddy of mine reharden the frizzen with Kasenit powder,and now it showers sparks.It's an odd caliber,it's supposed to be a .69, but it's really closer to a .62.I can use .58 round ball with a thick patch,but where it really shines is with shot.So now I have what is really a LEGAL 16'' shot pistol.TONS of fun.Don't let the purists talk you out of it.

Black Toe Knives
March 12, 2010, 03:39 AM
If you had a blast with a single shot Flintlock BP wait till you shot a BP revolver. Go find yourself an BP Revolver like a Remington 1958 or Colt Navy. You can get a used revolver for less than 100.00. It will give you a taste of BP shooting at it best.

March 12, 2010, 04:42 AM

March 12, 2010, 10:40 AM
If you're looking for "cheap", you can buy a decent flintlock pistol for $300-$400. That beats the $700-$1000 for a pretty good rifle. Cabela's offers a flintlock Hawken KIT in the high $300s or a Kentucky rifle for around $500. But the people here who are telling you that "cheap" and "flintlock" don't make the best mix are quite right. The $250 stuff is best avoided.

March 12, 2010, 12:31 PM
Yeah, a single shot flintlock was probably a lot of fun but I already know where you are going to end up. You are going to end up with a six shot black powder revolver. And, I have just what you are look for. This Pietta 1858 Remington replica (http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/templates/product/standard-item.jsp?_DARGS=/cabelas/en/common/catalog/item-link.jsp_A&_DAV=MainCatcat20712-cat20817&id=0028401215506a&navCount=2&podId=0028401&parentId=cat20817&masterpathid=&navAction=push&catalogCode=9IS&rid=&parentType=index&indexId=cat20817&hasJS=true) is going to be more fun than a fella should have with his pants on. Later you can purchase a 45 Colt conversion cylinder (http://www.midwayusa.com/viewproduct/?productnumber=279104&utm_source=froogle&utm_medium=free&utm_campaign=10635) for it that will allow you to shoot your 45 Colt black powder cartridges. Then you'll have the capability of shooting cap-n-ball style or cartridge style all in the same shooting session.

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