Hello from one ready to enter the world of black powder.

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by mmb617, May 6, 2021.

  1. mmb617

    mmb617 Member

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    I do a fair amount of shooting and reload my own ammo, both activities I find very enjoyable. I'm retired and since my wife died two years ago I have time on my hands. I've decided I want to branch out to some black powder shooting. To that end I've been doing a lot of research and thought I'd lurk in this section of the forum for a while and add to my knowledge base.

    So hello to all. Let me say upfront that I'm kind of a stubborn old man who's always willing to listen to advice but not always willing to follow it. The list of things I've learned the hard way is a long one, but those lessons tend to stick.
     
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  2. SlowFuse

    SlowFuse Member

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    Welcome to the BP section @mmb617

    What do you have an interest in? I'm relatively new to this too, compared to a lot of guys here. I started with cap and ball revolvers a few years back but have since gathered a few muskets, carbines etc. It's a bit of a rabbit hole, but I enjoy it more than the modern stuff.

    Similar to you, I reload modern metallic cartridges as well and have all that stuff, but there's something different about BP shooting. If you already reload and have a general knowledge of that type thing you're going to enjoy this, I think! Even though not a ton of modern reloading knowledge will directly translate to BP shooting, It's a head start in my opinion. As with everything else right now component availability is a bit spotty to get, even for this stuff.

    May be a bit biased but I think the revolvers are a good place to start, I like Remington NMA's but the colt styles (1851's, 1860's etc) are fun too.
     
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  3. TheOutlawKid

    TheOutlawKid Member

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    Welcome to the addiction! What will you be shooting? This place has a wealth of information provided by some great forum members. Feel free to browse through the forum and ask questions.
     
  4. Crunchy Frog

    Crunchy Frog Member

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    Black powder is not limited to muzzleloaders and percussion revolvers. Centerfire cartridges debuted in 1873. Smokeless powder did not show up until about 1900 so black powder was used in ammunition for a long time.

    Just about any pistol cartridge, and many rifle cartridges, can be loaded with black powder or a black powder substitute. Most modern firearms will work fine with black powder ammo although I would not care to try it with an AR-15! I did shoot a Wild Bunch match with a fellow who used black powder ammo in all of his guns; his 1911 ran fine for the 100 or so pistol rounds in that match.

    If you own a single action revolver it makes a good black powder cartridge firearm because it’s easy to clean. A .38 Special is a good BP cartridge if you are looking for a place to start.
     
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  5. NathanHale

    NathanHale Member

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    Start getting supplies now. In the current environment everything you need is getting harder to find. Check out the sticky thread on BP essentials and if you can, double up on what you buy. Im new here as well. I made a comment somewhere about the knowledge on this forum. I have read answers to questions I didn’t know I had. Follow the advice you read. There are many opinions but if you read many threads, you will find the best procedure for the guns you get. Welcome and enjoy the addiction
     
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  6. sspierce8

    sspierce8 Member

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    I have one of the first 44 American Model 3 Smith and Wesson revolvers that was produced in 1870 that fired a centerfire round. Wish I could find some to shoot it. It was my GGG Grandpa’s. They were the first large bore center fire pistol produced with Colt coming along in 1873.
     
  7. Crunchy Frog

    Crunchy Frog Member

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    “Where there’s a will...”
     
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  8. Jackrabbit1957

    Jackrabbit1957 Member

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    Welcome to the forums!! please keep in mind that the revolvers being produced today need some attention in most cases right out of the box. Uberti Colt open tops will need the arbor corrected, especially the big dragoon type pistols. Pietta more or less fixed their stuff a while back but still may have timing issues. Like the Outlawkid asked what are you going to shoot?
     
  9. Blackpowderwarrior

    Blackpowderwarrior Member

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    Welcome to the forums brother.

    I am sorry for the loss of your wife.

    You will find good men on this forum and heck who know's you may even make a friend or 2.

    Im sure you've found your new obsession.
    After shooting my first muzzleloader i was hooked. Theres something very satisfying about shooting Blackpowder. Sure you can run through a bunch of clips at the range but thats not even remotely close to the fun you'll have compared to ramming a ball into a cylinder after you've measured out a charge of the ol Black.

    If you enjoy casting lead, tinkering with projects and learning the history of these ol six-guns you'll be hooked.

    Welcome to the fold brother

    -BlackPowderWarrior
     
  10. Bill Raby

    Bill Raby Member

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    You may be jumping down a very deep rabbit hole. The history of black powder guns is far more extensive than the modern ones. You can start off with matchlocks, then go through the wheellocks, snaphaunce, miquelets, flintlocks, cap locks, etc. Sizes range from the squirrel rifles to the 4 bore elephant guns. A 7 foot long wall gun might be fun! The black powder guys are as likely to build their own guns as they are to buy them. You can get a weekend project type of kit or spend a year or more making every part yourself. A good place to start is National Muzzle Loader Rifle Association website. They have a directory of clubs all around the country. Find one near to year and give them a call. Go hang out with them for a little while. It will give a chance to have a look at a few different guns, and probably take a few shots.
     
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  11. twarr1

    twarr1 Member

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    I'll second Slow Fuse and suggest a Remington or steel frame Colt revolver. They're relatively inexpensive and endless fun.
    The fire, smoke and smell of BP is addicting.
     
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  12. AntiqueSledMan

    AntiqueSledMan Member

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    Hello mmb617,

    I went through this early in life, find a mentor.
    I started with a Thompson Center Hawken in 50 cal back in 1978.
    Branched into C&B Revolvers near retirement, and Cartridge Conversions shortly after.
    Black powder is a hard find locally so I've been shooting Triple Seven in my long guns.
    and Black MZ in my revolvers (I picked up a case while Sportsman's Warehouse was clearing it out).
    It's a very enjoyable sport, unfortunately I just don't get as much shooting time as I'd like.
    Look at the 1858 Remington Forum, and the Colt Country Forum, lots of information on both sites.

    AntiqueSledMan.
     
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  13. mmb617

    mmb617 Member

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    I may be jumping into the deep end of the pool but I'm starting out with a flintlock rifle. I know everyone tells me it's easier to start with a percussion gun, but I want a flintlock for reasons I can't even fully explain to myself. I expect a rather steep learning curve but I think I'm reasonably intelligent and careful enough not to hurt myself while I learn.

    I've ordered a Traditions Deerhunter flintlock that should arrive in a week or two. I'm aware that some think starting out with a cheap gun is absolutely the wrong way to go about it, but I figure if I have to putz around with it to get it working right that will only teach me some things in the long run. Besides, my funds are rather limited and it seems that any guns that are not completely out of the question due to price, are not available in these strange times. So selection is rather limited.

    In anticipation of actually getting the gun in my hands I've been accumulating the supplies I'll need, and have pretty much everything that I think I'll need to get started. Powder was the hardest to find locally as my favorite gun store doesn't sell real black powder, only the substitutes and I know you need the real deal for the pan in a flintlock and probably for the main charge as well. I did find one local store that had some in stock and got a pound each of 4f and 2f.

    There are a good many black powder guys at the shooting club I belong to and I'm sure that if I went to one of their shoots they would be willing to help me. But for now I'd rather just get started using the knowledge I've gleaned from the internet. That's how I got started in reloading and I can't say there's any questions on that subject I haven't been able to find the answers to. I know all about rabbit holes as I often start researching something and wind up spending hours reading all the tangential topics.

    Thanks to all for the warm welcome. I'm sure I'll have some questions for you going forward.
     
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  14. NathanHale

    NathanHale Member

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    Happy shooting. Keep your powder dry.
     
  15. windini
    • Contributing Member

    windini Contributing Member

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    Sounds like you're gonna fit right in! :)

    I'm getting back into Black Powder shooting myself; I started with a Colt replica '51 Navy in .36 cal back in the very early 80's. I have found an incredible wealth of knowledge and experience in this forum! I'm sure you will, too.

    Welcome to the warren!
     
  16. arcticap

    arcticap Member

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    I think the Deerhunter is a fine choice.
    The simpler the gun, the more that it should function like an original.
    But I kind of wish that you had bought some 3F to avoid blaming the gun for any ignition problems.
    Although you could always load 10 grains of 4F into the breech first as a booster charge to promote better ignition.
    Who in PA wouldn't want a flintlock?
     
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  17. Daveboone

    Daveboone Member

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    Traditions make a good gun. Check out the Muzzle Loading Forum. Chock full of good advice and alot of info there. I recently got into flinters also, after many years in percussion. You will do fine as long as you are patient, and are good at paying attention to detail. Make sure absolutely that you get a good range rod (a more durable, longer dedicated black powder rod in the caliber you are shooting) with an appropriate tapered jag , patch puller and ball puller for your caliber. Hate to say it, but invariably you will need them. Also a priming powder charger will be very valuable, as well as extra flints in the width your gun takes. Remember...with black powder the most accurate load ...not the most powerful, is what you are looking for. Have fun!
     
  18. mmb617

    mmb617 Member

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    I had intended to buy some 3F but the store didn't have any, so I bought the 2F instead. I saw both those granulations recommended for flintlocks in my research. I'll have to remember the trick you mentioned if I have problems.

    I've already found and joined that forum. I've gotten or have on order most everything I thought I'd need to start. I don't have a range rod or ball puller yet, but plan to order them today.

    I got notification that the gun should arrive tomorrow so it won't be too much longer till I can report how things go the first day at the range with it.
     
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  19. Jackrabbit1957

    Jackrabbit1957 Member

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    Just a quick FYI, you really don't need 4f powder to prime with. Look at the loading procedure for the Brown Bess muskets used by the Brits in 1770s. They primed with the main charge powder from a paper cartridge. I prime my rocklocks from the same powder as what's in my horn. I find its actually more reliable and less stuff to carry around.Loyalist Dave is a great resource for that kinda information.
     
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  20. Driftwood Johnson

    Driftwood Johnson Member

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    Howdy

    I load a lot of cartridges with Black Powder. 45 Colt, 45 Schofield, 44-40, 44 Russian, 38-40 and 45-70.

    pmjWOfeWj.jpg




    That video by Larry Potterfield is interesting, but I would never be satisfied loading that few cartridges at once. I usually load 200 rounds at a time on my Hornady Lock and Load AP progressive press. Of course Larry is facing the extra hurdles of loading cartridges with heeled bullets, which cannot be done with standard reloading dies. I do have dies for loading 44 Colt with heeled bullets, but that project has taken a bit of a breather for a while.

    Here is a batch of 44-40 ammo being loaded on my Hornady press. I use the Big Lube family of bullets, which carry plenty of BP compatible bullet lube. I always shoot Black Powder at Cowboy Action matches and we go through a lot of ammo. That's why I would not be satisfied just loading up a few rounds as Larry did.

    poGWMNERj.jpg




    I built an inexpensive flintlock rifle from a kit many years ago, and to tell you the truth if I got interested in muzzle loading again, I would buy a caplock rifle, not a flinter.

    Anyway, lots of experience on this board if you have any questions.
     
  21. mmb617

    mmb617 Member

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    My new rifle arrived yesterday and I disassembled and cleaned it as recommended in the manual. I got the flint set to where it seems to be sparking good to me. In a couple hours I'll be heading to the range to see if I can make it go boom. I'm pretty excited!

    51170903515_e1fcc3194a_b.jpg
     
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  22. NathanHale

    NathanHale Member

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    Nice looking gun
     
  23. mmb617

    mmb617 Member

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    Went to the range yesterday afternoon to break my black powder cherry. I have to admit I was a bit nervous before pulling the trigger on that first shot even though I'd double checked everything I did in the loading process. Finally I settled in, set the sights on the target and let it fly. There was a loud boom, lots of smoke, and a hole appeared just left and a tad high of the bull. Man that felt good! The next shot was also to the left and since I hadn't brought a screwdriver small enough to adjust the sights I used a little "Kentucky windage" for the next three shots which were much more centered.

    Here's my target from my first five shots ever using a muzzleloader.


    51171988366_3244e73a8f.jpg


    I was only at 25 yards but I was happy with those results as it's going to take a little to get used to the delay between pulling the trigger and the boom. So I set a target at 50 yards and at least was able to get all my shots on the target at that range.

    I can tell already that I'm going to like this type of shooting. I imagine I'm back in revolutionary war days loading up to fight the redcoats. I enjoy the entire process of loading, and really like the excitement, smoke and sound. I'm so used to the sharp crack of modern rifle fire that this deeper sounding boom really catches my fancy.
     
  24. windini
    • Contributing Member

    windini Contributing Member

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    Nice shootin! Especially for first muzzloader, especially x 2 for starting with a flintlock! Durned if I don't want one now. (All mine are percussion... so far!)
     
  25. Jackrabbit1957

    Jackrabbit1957 Member

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    Nice shooting, it's a whole different attitude then from the spray and pray crowd. If you can get involved in a muzzleloader club then the fun really ramps up.
     
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