what got you started on BP?


March 29, 2011, 01:43 PM
i first started my love affair with lady black powder when i was a young boy at civil war reenactments. the small of burning BP back then was nonintoxicating beautiful, and still is. it reminds me of when my papa and i would shoot off fireworks when i was young, the sheer excitement! then as i got older i started building small BP cannons chambered in .177 and .22 caliber for some good American backyard fun. http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=31024582&l=ff90928e09&id=1136435392
and so began my beginning in the sport of black powder. i have always loved muzzleloading weapons of all kinds, when i was a boy i always wanted a Remington rider derringer (now i have one) a NAA BP revolver (i am getting one) and a cattleman's carbine (will get one of those someday or build one.) While my friends thought glocks were the coolest things on earth i thought the Remington rider derringer was an awesome gun. while my friends all wanted a "sniper rifle" i wanted a Kentucky rifle in percussion and a 5 pound container of real black. while my friends all liked the AK-47 or the M-16 i wanted a good old double barrel BP shotgun or rifle. while my friends were begging their moms or dads for a tactical shotgun i was begging my mother for a Howdah Hunter in 20x50. as you can tell i was kind of an odd fellow. i absolutely love BP guns more than any other kind of gun out there. so i started making them last year. i posted some videos on youtube if you wanna check em' out. here is a link to my channel. http://www.youtube.com/user/busyhands94?feature=mhum#p/u so continues my interest in blackpowder shooting. i really like it! so what got you started in BP?

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DoubleDeuce 1
March 29, 2011, 02:23 PM
I would have to blame Walt Disney and Fess Parker as Davy Crockett for my affliction.:cool:

March 29, 2011, 02:35 PM
This is what got me started. I fell in love with a Navy Arms/Pedersoli .50 mule ear rifle that I read about in a gun magazine and then everything just spiraled from there. :)


March 29, 2011, 03:21 PM
After a shooting Pal let me try his Remmie 58. Here is the magic moment that I first shot a BP Pistol. Got hooked in a 'blink of an eye' after that:

Foto Joe
March 29, 2011, 04:08 PM
After fifteen years of shotgunning I took almost ten years off from shooting anything. Christmas of '09 my thoughtful red-head bought me a CB and it's been game on since then. No competitive shooting, just a lot of learning and fun. And....I have been recently put on gun re-hab and notified that purchasing anymore before I go back to work in May would be frowned upon. Trading is still okay though. I'm sure glad she didn't mention reloading supplies!! She understands, ya just can't go cold turkey.;)

The non-historically correct photo below was my first. I couldn't have picked a better starter than this one in my opinion. Besides, Remmington has too many syllables.:neener:


March 29, 2011, 04:08 PM

Tell me something I cant do and I will Prove you wrong.

So there i go shooting black powder making black powder and everything in between.

March 29, 2011, 04:53 PM
The 1950s Davey Crockett series from Disney.

March 29, 2011, 05:29 PM
Wanted to shoot a lot and C&B was all I could afford in my early 20s. Got habit forming ~ 30 plus years later, I still like the black powder smoke.

Texas Moon
March 29, 2011, 05:31 PM
Watching the movie Jeremiah Johnson way back in 1974 when I was kid.

March 29, 2011, 11:37 PM
Davy Crockett
Dan'l Boone
Jeremiah Johnson
Grizzly Adams
The Journals of Lewis and Clark
2 original rifles....one went to the "gold rush" at Pike's Peak... and back. It's on my mantle.
Muzzle loader season

March 29, 2011, 11:50 PM
i agree with you. when i was young i used to watch AMC everyday. that probably had something to do with it. besides, everytime i shoot and smell blackpowder that cowboy deep inside starts to emerge.

March 29, 2011, 11:50 PM
When i discovered the Remington 1858 :cool: Though Ive always fancied traditional muskets such as Kentucky Rifles etc

March 30, 2011, 08:01 AM
I'll add another important factor....
Deer hunting with a smoothbore shotgun/slugs left room for improvement. Although my 1100 shot slugs rather well....the sighting options were about zero back in the late '70's-early '80's.
A .54 Hawken shooting a round ball into a paper plate @ 100yds was good deer medicine in 1979.

March 30, 2011, 08:31 AM
A Pietta 1851 Colt Navy from the Four Flags Trading Post (now defunct) in Wichita. Sadly, the gun is also defunct due to the early formula Pyrodex and ignorance of cleaning discipline.

March 30, 2011, 09:09 AM
I grew up with it. Literally - my father was a serious N-SSA and NMLRA shooter.

March 30, 2011, 10:16 AM
The thrill of history!!!


March 30, 2011, 10:37 AM
Early 50's. I found a converted (from flint to percussion) smoothbore in my grandfather's closet. I was allowed to use it to hunt because it wasn't a real gun. I was about 10 at the time. I took it to a local gunsmith and for about $2 I had power and caps. Many a jackrabbit fell to a complete plastic envelope package of copper coated BBs stuffed on top of "some" powder and held in place with a toilet paper wad.
Hanging on my wall now. Lock plate reads US 1836.

Loyalist Dave
March 30, 2011, 11:56 AM
Boy Scout National Jamboree in 1977 there was an AMM camp for a while, until the admin pissed them off and they left. Then went into CW reenacting (I live close to Gettysburg, Antieatam, Fredericksburg, Manassas, etc etc). Then tried it for hunting, and now hunt with it and do Rev War living history events.


Phantom Captain
March 30, 2011, 12:00 PM
My father was a buckskinner and blackpowder hunter and aficianado long before I was born. I grew up camping in a teepee all over Indiana in the summers and watching my Dad shoot flintlocks and throw tomahawks at Friendship with his buddys. It was passed on to me at a very early age. I learned to shoot BP long before I ever picked up a cartridge gun. As I got older my own interest in history and especially early American history and the Civil War drew me in even deeper than I was already. I started buying my own collection of muskets, cap and ball revolvers and other goodies to supplement his collection of flintlocks and percussion guns including the ones he built himself and was extremely proud of.

He's passed now and now I keep his spirit and teaching alive by continuing what I was taught and keeping the collection I inherited from him as my prized possessions. Miss you dearly everyday Pop!

March 30, 2011, 03:53 PM
i love the rich history that blackpowder guns are a part of. if i were to go deer hunting i would prefer a Hawkin rifle over any modern gun.

March 30, 2011, 05:18 PM
I found a hawken that had a mix of motly traditional features w/ a few modern ones, still black powder but SO nice

Phantom Captain
March 30, 2011, 05:57 PM
These are three that my Dad built. The bottom is a Hawken .54 caliber, Douglass barrel and curly maple stock with an aqua fortis finish, and it was the one he was most proud of. Of all the rilfles I have this one is probably the most accurate. Great shooter and absolutely priceless to me.


March 30, 2011, 06:35 PM
I like the middle one. Salute to your dad...and mine, who also brought me into it at an early age.

Phantom Captain
March 30, 2011, 07:18 PM
I like the middle one. Salute to your dad...and mine, who also brought me into it at an early age.

Great taste! And a salute to your father as well! The middle one is a .62 caliber smooth rifle. It's rather awesome in and of itself, agreed.

March 30, 2011, 08:55 PM
I am partial to Hawkens, and yours is awesome. That .54 looks like a Hawken should. My old T/C .54 is needing a stock (cracked)and barrel. I would love to replace mine with one just like yours.

My dad recently bought an original .40 halfstock that was one of two made for, and given to, twin boys that lived in our neighborhood many years ago. Nobody knows what became of the other rifle.

March 30, 2011, 09:03 PM
phanton captain....

your dad did you proud with those rifles....some of the nicest i have seen!

did you inherit his gift?

i second racebannon ....the love of history got me involved with black powder.

all the daniel boone/davy crocket movies in the fifties just threw fuel on the fire!


March 31, 2011, 01:39 PM
For me it was wanting to get into cowboy action shooting and "tripping" over an ad for a pair of Uberti Remington clones at the same time. I got them mostly not knowing if I'd like it or not and with my only "initiation" being some YouTube videos. Turned out that it was love at first trigger pull and I've added to my black powder fleet since then with frequent regularity.

Part of it is knowing that the powder and guns haven't changed since way back when. So what I feel when I touch off a charge is the same thing that our ancestors for many generations back felt in their day. That's a historical connection that you just can't beat.

March 31, 2011, 03:20 PM
I did 'explorer' scouts as a way to keep backpacking when I was a teenager. Our group leader transitioned from Scoutmaster to Explorer so he could bring his daughters along. The post was all about "Rendezvous" or reinacting 'mountain man' times.

Before there was SASS, we all had names like "Judge" and "Two Blankents" and made our own clothes from period patterns and lived in teepees etc. My nickname was "Patch" (short for Soppy Patch as I had an unfortunate accident with too much liquid lube and got my powder wet, I was almost "Screw Ball" as that's what we had to do to unload the rifle.)

It was a VERY expensive hobby. I couldn't afford much past a muslin shirt and a pair of moccasins and a belt. I borrowed a Philly derringer my dad made from a kit to participate in shooting events, and learned to throw a tomohawk.

It always bothered me that at all the Rendezvous we attended I never saw anyone with a shotgun, just Hawkens and Pennsylvania/Kentucky rifles. My leader had a 'blanket gun,' an Indian trade smooth bore musket and a Patterson revolver (which was period correct for very late fur trading.) so it made me always want a shotgun and a Patterson.

The backpacking was what I was really interested in back then. So I drifted away.

Some years later I came across a Pedersoli black powder shotgun for the right price, and I had to have it. Got an offer to go BP hunting a short time later. My shotgun wasn't legal for taking big game (no double barrels allowed). So I got a Hawken. Somewhere in there I picked up a Colt signature series Navy and a Pietta Army Outlaw.

I don't shoot my BP stuff as often as I did when i was hunting, but I still enjoy this unique form of shooting.

March 31, 2011, 05:41 PM
i love it because it really takes you back to a simpler time. one whiff of that black powder smoke and i seem to forget about this fast moving world of getting everything including food at the push of a button, it takes me back to a time when men were real men and not sissies. when men shot their own food, when you could live off the land, when people actually had common sense and knew that when you point a gun at something you will kill it. when the kids went out hiking barefoot, swimming in creeks and lakes, catfishing, actually being social instead of sitting in front of the TV playing violent video games with their friends and getting stoned. back when when common sense was not an uncommon thing. when men loved God and their country, and would give their life defending their family. i really wish i was born in Tom Sawyer's time.

March 31, 2011, 09:44 PM
Inherited a gun collection and wanted to shoot everything that was there. .54 Cal T/C Hawken was the first one I ever shot. Got me hooked! I love BP guns!

March 31, 2011, 11:49 PM
My getting started with black powder is a complex story. My dad saw a cap and ball revolver in a Cabelas catalog and thought that that'd be pretty fun to try. This was about a month before I got confirmed. So rather than buy a cap and ball for himself and a confirmation gift for me, he ecided to buy me a cap and ball revolver for my confirmation present. My dad is definitely a great influence:rolleyes: and he is the one who started me on BP.

April 1, 2011, 12:45 AM
I actually got started by being a History Major in college and loving the civil war. while looking some things up I recently (less than a month) bought my 1858 Remington revolver I've been shooting it almost weekly ever since.

April 1, 2011, 09:32 AM
1964, 16year old kid influenced by Disney's Davey Crockett. Swap-shop in my Little Miami river hometown had a no name spanish 32 cal. full stock rifle that I just had to have. Saved up the $25 price praying the shop wouldn't sell from under me. During the saving period I happened on a Dixie gun works catalog and that was how I learned to shoot it. There was no one around that knew anything about muzzleloading. Thank God for DGW because I was going to load it with powder from 22 cal. bullets (remember, there was no one to tell me different). 47 years later and I've burned a lot of BP.

45-70 Ranger
April 3, 2011, 03:33 AM
I caught a wiff of rotton egg smell one day in the house and it was me cleaning a BP revolver in my mother's kitchen sink.:uhoh: That was in 1963 or was it '64??? Oh well that doesn't matter, but it was that aroma that got me. The smoke, flame, and booming was just too much to resist!:cool: Plus I love history and you cannot find a better way to enjoy a slice of it than with a BP firearm I think. I like a weapon that makes a stink of a statement:D


April 3, 2011, 11:14 AM
Civil war reenacting got me hooked. I was invited to play in an event 2 years ago on an artillery crew have been hooked ever sense. Now I have 2 revolvers and 2 muskets and have become a member of that artillery unit.


April 3, 2011, 12:35 PM
Another vote for the "Got hooked when a kid" syndrome.

Back in the far away days when I was a kid, before all the "liberal", "progressive", "peace and liberty" types took away damn near all of our rights, in favor of their myopic, childish view of things, it was possible, for teen kids (Barely teen, like 13 year olds) to legally mail order purchase, and have delivered to their door through standard mail carriers, BP Muzzle Loader guns. Now, getting your hands on powder, was another matter, requiring alot of boyish charm and pouting to "Uncle Fred", to slip you some "under the table"...

Being a kid, naturally, I wasn't dealing with a major hobby budget of any significance, so, CHEAP, was the order of the day. Foriegn made, serviceable, but not high end at all, gun kits were really, really, really cheap back then. I think I paid on or about 20 bux total for a flintlock, revolutionary war era design, 69 caliber smooth bore pistol, finishing kit, and a modest supply of 69 caliber round balls. If I remember correctly, it was from some off beat, never heard of, Brazillian outfit, that actually offered a 69 caliber, fully assembled, smooth bore percussion cap carbine for around the same amount as the pistol kit was. (Think of that !!! On or about 20 bux TOTAL for an entire, assembled, functioning generic "old style" BP carbine smooth bore... 20 lousy bux guys !!!)

After a week of diligent and patient work, finishing off the pistol kit, and alot of pouting and boyish antics to one of my relatives to get me some damned BP, please sir.... It was ready to load and fire.

I never intended to end up a major BP nut, I just wanted a cheap, legal gun that a kid could afford, and own, legally. But the first time I fired that puppy, and it blew a bright orange flame out it's short barrel a good foot or so, with the billows of real BP smoke, and the damned thing actually fired like a gun, blasting its huge ball at a fence post, and kicking like a damned mule having a tizzy fit...

I was sold...

Life was never the same for me after that, I was a gun owner, and a really happy one. It was mostly a matter of happenstance and fate, not one of design.


ElvinWarrior... aka... David

April 4, 2011, 04:49 PM
History.. My ancestors founded a spot in the road called Bean Station, TN. ( http://www.beanstationtn.com/pages/history.html ) They made a poor man's rifle, called the Bean Rifle (duh) ... My Grand Dad had one, but no one knows what happened to it when it disappeared back in the mid 60's .. My uncle shot BP and that was the only thing I could carry and shoot before I was 18. I had a 51 Navy for years and years. Finally got back into BP last year. I now have 1858 Remington, 1851 Navy, an Austin & Halleck .50 Mountain Rifle and an inline .50

April 4, 2011, 07:26 PM

Ditto, ditto, the "getting back to BP" after a long hiatus of career, mortgages, raising my boys, fixing the car, et all... really hits home.

I just began my trek to recover my lost love affair with "Lady BP" on or about 4 months ago... Here is my collection so far,

My Pair of matching '63 Remington .310 Caliber 5-Shot pocket pistols, which I plated in a two tone finish of 24Kt Gold and Nickel, and outfitted with a very fancy presentation chest I adapted myself by modifying a stock jewelry case into a Pistol Chest, and I have Ivory Grips for those special ordered from Dixie, they should arrive any month now...

My 1858 Brass & Blue Remingtion New Army .440 Caliber Revolver. (I think I will just leave that one absolutely stock and standard.)

My Tennessee short full stock .50 Caliber Flintlock Carbine Hunting Rifle. I am going to customize that one too, with a TOTAL tripple plate of polished Chrome on ALL metal, every single mili-meter of it, except for the twin triggers, which will be in pure 24KT gold. And outfitt it with an 18" long tube periode brass scope, which I am also going to tripple Chrome plate... And... cover the entire stock in thin white patent leather, with a seam along the bottom edge, and a line of 6" white leather fringe interwoven onto the seam, a dangling down under the gun...

On my wish list... in no particular order...

A LeMat Calvary Revolver
A LeMat Revolving Carbine (Home Build Up from a pistol)
A Remington Revolving Rifle
A 44/70 Trap Door Carbine
A hand built up from parts very fancy wheelock pistol (Perhaps a pair)
A HowDah Pistol
A Yellow Boy Winchester Lever Action
A Double Barrel Flintlock 8ga shotgun (10Ga if I can't find an 8)

On my "maybee" list...

A pepper box
an actual real two barrel over/under deringer (original)
A Duck Foot
A blunderbuss
A French Military 69 Caliber flintlock musket, with bayonette and scabbard

Non-Gun Wish List Items...

A small full featured gunsmithing/blacksmithing machine/work shop, back behind the garage.
A full Ball Mill set up for making my own black powder
All the tools needed to hand hoop my own small kegs, for the storage of the 8 or 10,000 tones of BP I want to keep around "just in case".
All of the liscensing and permits necessary to do all of the above LEGALLY.

On my "I will never do this probably, but I like a thinkin on it... list"

a fully operational 44/70 hand cranked gattling gun, with Carriage...

Hell... I guess I'm headin towards starting up my own gun shop !!!! LOL... (I think the gattler parked out in the middle of the shop angeled towards the entry, with a couple of opened wooden ammo crates next to it, showing off all the brass of the re-encatment rounds, would be quite the show stopper !!!)


:) :) :) :)


ElvinWarrior... aka... Dave, "EW"

April 4, 2011, 07:45 PM
Topps' Civil War trading cards piqued my interest when I was a child. Am I the only one who remembers these? :o

And the rotten egg smell reminds me of ... me! :)

Smokin Gator
April 4, 2011, 08:58 PM
In 2000 I had just started participating in SASS shooting. Within a couple of months I learned that my job was going away. I had noticed the black powder shooters and thought I'd give it a try. I thought if I wasn't going to be able to shoot much until I found a new job, that I'd pack in as much fun as I could in the few matches that I would be able to attend. Of, course, once I started (took a little while until I moved to real black powder) that was that, I haven't shot anything other than blackpowder at cowboy matches since. I shoot 44-40 rifle and 44 special or russians in my revolvers.

April 5, 2011, 11:35 AM
I moved to a state that told me that my hunting rifle was illegal.

April 5, 2011, 01:47 PM
Topps' Civil War trading cards piqued my interest when I was a child. Am I the only one who remembers these? :o

Before my time.... :evil::evil:

Looked em up... wished I had a set from '62...

April 5, 2011, 05:35 PM
When I found the Dixie Gun Works website it all went uphill :D

April 11, 2011, 04:05 AM
Back in the sixties. My dad, and mom took me to Virginia, and some of the other states where civil war battles took place. A lot of the old stores had rifles, and revolvers for sale. Every where we stopped, there they were over, and over, old shops, with rifles, revolvers, swords ,hats, gray, and blue. I would go straight to those old guns, I thought they were the coolest things I'd ever seen. I wanted my dad to buy me one of those old rifles, He'd tell me, to ask my mom. Soon it got to where every shop we stopped at I wanted a gun from the civil war. I was only about seven, or eight. could hardly pick one of those rifles up, but wanted one. The most I remember about that one rifle was it was big, heavy,and taller than I was. Never did get one of them. I ask in every way you could think of, for one of those guns. Kept getting the old NO!!!, you're not gettin one of them guns, I don't want to hear a nother word about it. little kid mad half way back home. Years went by after that. I was looking through a book, and there was a rifle, that had a rabbet ear on it. It kind of looked like one of those rifles I saw as a kid. I was grown by then, married, had a son of my own. Had bought, and hunted with a lot of rifles.( 22LR, 223, 7.62x39, 41 magnum, 44 magnum, 243, 6.5x55, 30.30, 7.30 waters, 35rem, 270Win, 7mm mouser, 303 British.) I ordered that rifle, it wasn't a civil war rifle, it was a .50 cal plains rifle. My first muzzle loader. Still have that rifle. You can lay a drink can down at fifty yrds, facing you, put a .50 cal rd ball through the top, and it will take the bottom out, leaving just a round tub of a can laying there. The next thing was the 1858 .44 Cal Remington Army. That's what I remember that started the whole thing, about black powder fire arms for me. Once you get started It can grow on you. To date I put together 7 revolvers, .36, and .44 Cal. 6 rifles in .50 cal, Sold a couple .50 Cals to friends. traded a couple others. Now days I'd rather shoot the black powder fire arms, and leave the center fires settin. Sure is a lot of fun.

4v50 Gary
April 11, 2011, 10:18 AM
First handgun was a stainless ROA.

April 11, 2011, 10:27 PM

April 11, 2011, 10:52 PM
I started Big Game hunting with a bow in 1977 and shot a little 5 pt elk in '78. Then it was not until '80 that I shot a cow. The little Woman was getting annoyed that she couldn't count on me to fill the freezer every year so she bought me a .54 TC Renegade for my birthday and in 1982 I shot a pretty nice 6x6 bull.
After that it was all down hill.

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