First time BP shoot


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Stargazer65
May 20, 2013, 01:17 PM
Went into the bowels of my gun locker last week and pulled out my black powder revolver. I haven't ever done this yet, but I've meant to get around to it, so I inventoried my supplies last week. I've got a revolver. I've got powder flasks, a measuring tool, a neat suede bag with fringes, percussion caps, cleaning brushes, nipple wrench, extra nipples, and lots of balls (5 boxes of .457). After researching components, it seemed the only thing lacking was powder and wadding. I picked up some pyrodex and wadding at Cabelas this weekend. I think I have everything I need to shoot it now, except experience.

So I was thinking, should I just go and follow the owner's manual, and try it out by myself? I've been shooting for many years, and I'd never hesitate to try a new gun out myself, but this is a new concept. What do you think?

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Shinbone
May 20, 2013, 01:25 PM
First time I went BP shooting I wanted someone to walk me through it. So I contacted a guy that is in our club and met him at the range. It was a great time together and I learned a lot from him. I enjoyed it, but haven't shot BP since that time.

Cosmoline
May 20, 2013, 01:31 PM
Don't forget the loading stand. .457" is about all the roundball you can find right now, but keep in mind that may be a tight squeeze for some clones. What are you shooting?

Stargazer65
May 20, 2013, 02:01 PM
Loading Stand... :uhoh: I didn't think about that. Googled it. Are you talking about something to hold the revolver upright when I load it? Some pictures show the bare cylinder on a stand with a press.

The gun I have is a Ruger. It's blued, and has a long barrel (about 8" long).

dogrunner
May 20, 2013, 02:33 PM
You don't need wadding in a C&B revolver.........just seat the ball atop your charge, cover it with Crisco or some other lube and have at it!

dogrunner
May 20, 2013, 02:34 PM
You don't need wadding in a C&B revolver.........just seat the ball atop your charge, cover it with Crisco or some other lube and have at it!


Oh, yeah. Rule one with ML.........first the powder. THEN the ball!

Cosmoline
May 20, 2013, 02:50 PM
Ruger old army? Those are real skookum. You might also want to get a Cash capper to make life easier. But it's not required.

mykeal
May 20, 2013, 06:37 PM
True, you don't NEED wads in a bp revolver. I could also say you don't NEED Crisco (and the attendant mess, especially during the summer). But you SHOULD use one or the other, and of the two, wads are much, much easier and a whole lot less mess than Crisco.

davepool
May 20, 2013, 08:55 PM
Check out this cylinder loader by BlackDawg, i have one, makes loading a cinch

http://www.blackdawgecartridge.com/catalog/bd_cyl_loader.html

Here's some more useful info for the ROA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SFFvPIJeYRU
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PjzzEB1236g

EljaySL
May 20, 2013, 09:01 PM
I prefer wads as well.

There's two kinds of loading stand. It's nice but not critical to have the kind that holds your gun up/stable. The kind of loading press that loads a cylinder outside the gun is nice if you ever get a model that doesn't have a built in loading lever.

re: the loading process. Go watch a couple of YouTube videos. There are some idiots on there but if you watch a couple you'll get a sense of how it works after a while.

Personally I put the revolver in the stand at half cock, powder into measure, dump into cylinder, stick in a wad so I know I've done that one. Rotate cylinder. Keep doing that until everybody has a wad. Set down powder stuff.

Zip around the cylinder once pushing each wad down, very light pressure, just getting them out of the way.

Take a handful of balls (and this is where the stand pays for itself) with one hand on the lever and the other putting them in place rotate around squishing in the balls. My right hand never leaves the lever and my left puts the new ones in place.

Point downrange. Add caps.

Point at target. Pull trigger. Repeat until gun clicks instead of bangs. Go back to start.

If it's a gun that gets hard to operate after a couple of cylinders, field strip and clean as necessary.

EljaySL
May 20, 2013, 09:06 PM
Also I should say that it's not a bad idea to pop a cap on each cylinder before you start to clear out any grease, etc. Also usually people run a nipple pick into the nipple after a cap's been popped, especially after that first one which often leaves some debris. Once you're rolling you can decide if you really need to do it every time but you'll be less frustrated with more picking than less to start.

swathdiver
May 20, 2013, 10:06 PM
You mean "First time Pyrodex Shoot", it aint Black Powder, not even close.

EljaySL
May 20, 2013, 11:41 PM
Yeah, that's totally the way to greet new people and welcome them into the hobby. If you wanted to say something helpful you could have said "Hey, next time you're at Cabela's you might ask if they have real black powder. It won't be on the shelves, you'll have to ask for it."

bothenook
May 21, 2013, 01:11 AM
I prefer wads as well.

There's two kinds of loading stand. It's nice but not critical to have the kind that holds your gun up/stable. The kind of loading press that loads a cylinder outside the gun is nice if you ever get a model that doesn't have a built in loading lever.

re: the loading process. Go watch a couple of YouTube videos. There are some idiots on there but if you watch a couple you'll get a sense of how it works after a while.

Personally I put the revolver in the stand at half cock, powder into measure, dump into cylinder, stick in a wad so I know I've done that one. Rotate cylinder. Keep doing that until everybody has a wad. Set down powder stuff.

Zip around the cylinder once pushing each wad down, very light pressure, just getting them out of the way.

Take a handful of balls (and this is where the stand pays for itself) with one hand on the lever and the other putting them in place rotate around squishing in the balls. My right hand never leaves the lever and my left puts the new ones in place.

Point downrange. Add caps.

Point at target. Pull trigger. Repeat until gun clicks instead of bangs. Go back to start.

If it's a gun that gets hard to operate after a couple of cylinders, field strip and clean as necessary.
and please, make sure the latch screw is rotated to lock the basepin in place before you try to press the ball down into the cylinder. forget, and you will become a card carrying member of the Ruger Old Army Bent Basepin club. My club membership number is 2442.

Stargazer65
May 21, 2013, 11:17 AM
Lots of good ideas here I hadn't thought of. Plus I had look up "skookum", never saw that word before.:D

It is a Ruger Old Army, says so on the side. The owners manual suggests 20gr for a starting load. Is that a good number?

Pulp
May 21, 2013, 11:50 AM
20 grains is on the light side. You may find that the seater won't go down far enough to firmly seat the ball on the powder. If you start with 20 I'd suggest getting some corn meal or cream of wheat and after pouring powder, then fill up the rest of the chamber with it. That way you'll know you're getting good compression on the powder.

Another thing, clean the gun with hot soapy water before shooting to remove any petroleum based oils, then lube with Bore Butter, Ballistol or Crisco. I like Bore Butter over anything else I've tried, and it's easy to find. 'Course Crisco isn't exacty rare.:)

Be prepared to suddenly find yourself skipping over the modern guns at the gun store, and staring at the blackpowder guns. You will want more. And more. And more.

Stargazer65
May 21, 2013, 02:21 PM
Another thing, clean the gun with hot soapy water before shooting to remove any petroleum based oils, then lube with Bore Butter, Ballistol or Crisco.

Are products like Gunslick oil or Rem oil a no-no with black powder? I used one or the other to lubricate the moving parts the other night.

mykeal
May 21, 2013, 03:26 PM
Gunslick Gun Oil and RemOil should not be used in a black powder gun's combustion area (the chambers and the bore). Black powder and the black powder substitutes burn at a temperature that's too low to completely burn low distillate petroleum products like those oils. The result of that incomplete burning is tar, which is difficult to remove and will affect the gun's operation. The advice to clean the gun thoroughly before loading and firing it to remove those petroleum products is good advice.

The above does not apply to high distillate petroleum products such as mineral oil or machine tool cutting oils. These water soluble oils will burn completely in a black powder combustion chamber; they are excellent choices for long term storage rust prevention as well as lubrication, and they do not need to be cleaned out of the gun before use.

Note that the above relates to the gun's combustion chamber. Gunslick Gun Oil, RemOil and other low distillate petroleum products can be used to lubricate the action parts of a black powder revolver (and the lock parts of a single shot black powder pistol or long gun) because those parts do not see the temperatures in the combustion chamber, and are thus not subjected to incomplete burning.

You're OK to use the oil in the action parts, but be sure to clean out the chambers and bore before firing.

Cast of One
May 21, 2013, 03:57 PM
Try going to a competition. I had been shooting black powder for about a month, then I went to a competition under the NMLRA. The shoot's director was very helpful in teaching me new techniques and what and how to load with. Also, everyone there was ultra-friendly. I need to go to the next one.

loose noose
May 21, 2013, 05:15 PM
I'll never forget my first BP CAS, The most important thing you can concentrate on is Safety, Safety, Safety. Don't even worry about placing that will all come in time.:D

BCRider
May 22, 2013, 01:50 PM
A good "day lube" oil that is very BP friendly is straight old Canola cooking oil. It's a great oil for keeping the fouling loose and greasy so the gun stays working all day long. And based on some videos on You Tube it's also become my ball sealing method. After seating the ball I put a drop of Canola in the V between the ball and chamber and watch it wick around the whole joint neat as a pin. The oil keeps the chambers and barrel bore fouling slick and loose and the guns work great all day for me even during a 6 stage CAS meet.

Just don't try using it for long term storage oil. Over time it'll turn to a varnish. But that takes weeks to months depending on conditions. As a day lube or weekend lube Canola works superbly. And it's actually VERY good at preventing rust.

For longer term oiling down after cleaning where the gun won't be used for weeks I use Ballistol so I don't need to wash it off later on like with the less BP friendly gun oils. It's well worth getting some for your BP revolver just so you don't need to use more than one lubricant. And it's completely BP compatible.

All the extras the guys are mentioning are just that, extras. They all make your job easier but you don't NEED them to get out for a day. For that you just need some way to drop 25 to 30 grains of powder in a consistent manner and balls to put in on top of the powder. The flasks that have the control gate and interchangeable screw on tubes that measure out portions are just fine. The short chambers on revolvers won't hold possible embers like in a long rifle barrel so you can powder up using the flask directly.

The gun's rammer and your own fingers and a small patch of carpet to put the gun's heel up against are the only other "tooling" needed to ready the guns. Oh sure, you'll soon WANT a capper after a day of fumbling caps onto the nipples. And a stand to hold the gun is sure nice. But these things are not NEEDED to just go out and shoot for a day of fun.

Crawdad1
May 22, 2013, 03:10 PM
Go on Youtube and bring up loading and firing the Black Powder revolver. Plenty of videos for you to watch from guys that have been shooting these things a long time. The thing is, black powder revolvers can be tricky, especially out in the field. Most of us who have been shooting for a good while have all the necessary 'tools' to handle all the tricks, those that have not been shooting these things, do not.

Driftwood Johnson
May 22, 2013, 07:23 PM
Howdy

+1 on wads instead of Crisco.

Back in the dark ages (around 1968 or so) everybody used Crisco. It was all that was available. And on a hot summer day it turned into a greasy mess. Once I discovered lubed felt wads like Wonder Wads I never put anything over the ball again.

Pancho
May 23, 2013, 12:25 AM
Before you go shooting go to Youtube and key in duelist1954 and review some of his work. It's like having a buddy walk you through it.

robhof
May 23, 2013, 09:00 AM
Since you mentioned that it's an Old Army, you also need to take pictures and go over to the ROA blog and join the club. Welcome aboard and enjoy your B/p pistol. I started as a teen with a kit pistol, many years ago and got into modern pistols and rifles, but since retiring, I've got back into the black and smoke pistols seem to follow me home from gun shows...:D:):confused:

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