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How did you get started in black powder sport shooting?

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by NMRevolverGuy, Jan 4, 2017.

  1. NMRevolverGuy

    NMRevolverGuy Member

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    Hello all,

    I am interested in hearing how the fine folks on this forum got started in black powder sport shooting. I myself am a college student and have spent most of my life shooting smokeless, and recently have developed a real interest in BPCR. I have no experience in the area, however, and would like to hear the thoughts and stories of the highly experienced people here. In particular, how would you recommend learning about/breaking into the black powder sports?
    I live in Albuquerque, NM, and know the sport is big around here, but do not know how to find knowledgeable locals.

    Thanks in advance for the advice
     
  2. Mike OTDP

    Mike OTDP Member

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    I grew up with it...my father shot in the North-South Skirmish Association and the NMLRA. I'd advise contacting the NMLRA for activity in your area. Try http://nmlra.org/about-us-2/field-reps/. Dana Dore is your POC, he's a good guy. Say "Hi" for me.
     
  3. Crawdad1

    Crawdad1 Member

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    Pennsylvania
    I went to a gun show and spoke with Mr. Phil Cravener, Commander of the Old Westmoreland Rifles and started to compete to get on the team to represent Pennsylvania in the Scranton-Combs match.

    http://www.kyclr.com/history.php

    Please get something that is period correct and can be used in all shooting competitions and in all shooting associations. You never know what direction you'll head or how your interests may change over the years. But competition is a lot of fun and I would highly recommend it for anyone especially someone your age.
     
  4. Don McDowell

    Don McDowell Member

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    Grew up around some old trapdoors and Sharps. Got caught up in the bicentennial craze and dove head long into muzzleloading, then started with rebuilding old rollers , and then they opened the Sharps factory in Big Timber...
    Find out when they are shooting silhouette at ABQ and head on down, the guys there will be tickled to help you get started. You can also go up to the Whittington when they start running the matches later this spring.
     
  5. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

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    Liked old stuff and thought they were more challenging that the newer stuff.

    There should be a ML club around Albuquerque and if not that, at least in Santa Fe. After all, Santa Fe was a major place during the post-fur trade era.
     
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  6. Noz

    Noz Member

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    I liberated a 1836(lock plate date) musket from my Grandfathers closet when I was about 9 years old. It was an old flinter that had been crudely converted to percussion. No one objected to me playing with it since it was not a "real" gun. I found a gun shop that would sell me powder and caps. I hunted squirrel, rabbits and quail with that gun for 7 or 8 years. I used a palm full of black powder, a wad of toilet paper and a plastic envelope of BBs for my load. A well aimed shot would literally vaporize a good portion of a cottontail.
    Took it up again with better equipment in 1968, then got serious in 2004 when I discovered SASS.
    Depending on family and finances, I'll shoot 15-20 pounds or more of FFg or FFFg a year.
    Still have the musket.
     
  7. 44 Dave

    44 Dave Member

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    Northern Wisconsin
    Early 60's, was about 15 bought a sxs shot gun that needed some work, ordered the parts (seems it was nipples) and a Replica Arms 1860 Army (cased set) and caps from Dixie Gun Works. Bought DuPont powder, for $2/lb. and additional caps at the local sporting goods store. Had job at a local hamburger joint so I had money to burn!
     
  8. Dog Soldier
    • Contributing Member

    Dog Soldier Member

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    There was a .40 caliber muzzle loader that made it's way West from South Carolina. It was a flint lock converted to caps. My Great uncle Jim was born in 1861 had come up the Trail from Texas in the 1880s. He was a dedicated gun guy. We often took the old Carolina rifle out and shot targets tacked to an old Cotton Wood.
    The years passed by and I was addicted to Flint Locks. Uncle Jim passed on at 100 yrs. The Old rifle was stolen and never found. But every time I push a ball down my Flinter I think of Uncle Jim and that old rifle. :)

    This my East Tennessee .54 Long Rifle by Steve Zinn.
     

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  9. 45 Dragoon

    45 Dragoon Member

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    Wow, good looking rifle DS!!

    My Grandmother sent me a CVA Kentucky Rifle kit in 1973 (sophomore in. H.S.) for my birthday and I was hooked!! Was allowed to bring it to school my Senior year and show the class how to shoot it (man have times changed!)!! Found C&B revolvers in College (brasser Remie) and saw my first open top about 1983 (I was new married, didn't get out much!! ;) lol). Have been a nut for open tops ever since!!

    Mike
     
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  10. Kaeto

    Kaeto Member

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    Back in the 1960's My mother got my father a .40 cal Kentucky Long Rifle kit from Dixie Gun Works. This was also when Daniel Boone and Davey Crockett (both starring Fess Parker) were on the TV. So I instantly became infatuated with it. My father still has the gun with it having had less than 50 rounds fired down the pipe.

    The DGW kit was unusual in that they were selling barrels and locks that were over 100 years old (warehouse finds) combined with new stocks.
     
  11. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

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    I watched "Grizzly Adams" and read "the journals of Lewis and Clark " .
    My dad took me to a rendezvous, I sat by the fire, smelled the smoke, saw the rifles, and was hooked.
    We also had two family heirlooms that were on display when I was a kid. I had them restored and killed a deer with one during muzzleloader season 2015. 20151213_165300.jpg 20151120_085421.jpg
     
  12. TheSquire

    TheSquire Member

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    Yorkshire, UK
    When my father-in-law passed away about 10 years we were clearing out his house and found his gun safe keys. We knew he was a keen shooter but didn't know much more. I had shot .22 competition target rifle when my boys were young but hadn't done much for a long time. In his safe were a .50 Hawken flintlock, a .36 percussion rifle and and 2 two Uberti Remingtons (as well as a couple of .22s and a Winchester 94 in .45 Colt).
    It was love at first sight I guess an I've been shooting them ever since. I did get rid of the .36 Remington as it was a piece of junk and have since bought a .45 Kentucky rifle, a Walker and a Zouve musket.
     
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  13. Texas Moon

    Texas Moon Member

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    When I was 12yrs my parents moved the family out to the sticks. WAY out in the sticks. Very early 1970's.
    Ranch country. All my new school buddies shot guns or hunted on their family ranches.
    I soon was eaten up with shooting/hunting fever.
    My Dad wasn't a hunter or shooter. He was in reality an anti. Add money being tight equals no guns or ammo for Ol' Texas Moon.
    As a kid I couldn't even get into town to go to the store much less buy any regular shooting supplies as I was under age
    I soon learned that muzzleloading equipment could be purchased through the mail without I.D.
    Then I saw the movie Jeremiah Johnson.
    That did it. I had to have a BP rifle.
    Saved enough for an El-Cheapo CVA rifle kit. When it arrived I assembled it. Looked horrible but it fired.
    I home-made balls, patching, etc.
    A friends father was a BP guy so I could trade for limited powder and cap from him.
    I was off and running.
    My buddies thought I was nuts running around with a .45cal ML while they were shooting modern guns but it got me around the Dad blockade!
     
  14. Offthehook

    Offthehook Member

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    Location:
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    It all started for me in the late 70's when I bought my first black powder pistol, a ROA in stainless and a Thompson Center Hawken rifle kit. All down hill from there. Took up CAS shooting and started with smokeless and once I realized I was not capable at competing at the higher levels, I joined a rotten bunch of cowboys that shoot BP. I now shoot BP exclusively at all matches.
    [​IMG]

    I have evolved a bit from the early days.
    [​IMG]
     
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  15. Newtosavage

    Newtosavage Member

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    Always thought it was something that I would enjoy, but always had too many hobbies to pick up another one. Then one day I came across a deal on a Ruger 77/50 that I could not pass up - an unfired rifle in a pawn shop for $200. I jumped on it and have had nothing but enjoyment since. It's one of my favorite rifles to shoot, and to hunt with.
     
  16. entropy

    entropy Member

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    I got a CVA Colonial Pistol Kit for Xmas '76. I was 13, and the only part my Dad worked on was aligning the hammer to the nipple. I still have it, though it's non-functioning from too many overloads.
     
  17. PainlessWolf

    PainlessWolf Member

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    I sold new ROAs from my gun counter in Dave Cooks back in the very early 80's. I was entranced by SAA's and the like and did not think at all of BP shooting at that time. I was having too much fun with big bore cartridges. There was this new thing out there, almost a rumor then, the 454 Casull...30 + years on, I have had to give up motorcycles and most of my cartridge arms due to non physical tinnitus. I live a much quieter life now. To keep revolvers in it, I turned to BP because of it's non 'crack' report when fired. I'm happy to say I have a small but selective collection that sees regular use three seasons out of the year. I love the 'Boom' and the fireballs. *chuckles* I may have been forced into converting but I am very happy that I did.
    regards all,
    Hand built Hampels cherrywood case - Copy.JPG
     
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  18. doubleh

    doubleh Member

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    I bought a black powder gun. Sorry, couldn't help saying that. I bought a blackpowder rifle kit from the LGS here back in the '70s. The owner and I were friends and he was an old blackpowder shooter. I relied on him for advise as he was my only source. He had immigrated from up north to get away from the cold weather and had been shooting blackpowder guns since he was a kid. He eventually sold the shop and moved on to other things but we still visit and tell each other blackpowderr stories. He has a lot more stories than I do of course.
     
  19. unspellable

    unspellable Member

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    Previously a long time gun nut, only ever had a muzzle loading boot pistol that I got rid of long ago. Otherwise, all smokeless. Years later took a comparative religion course. Assigned reading included a thick book by a native American that was a collection of stories and essays. Got me thinking about the 19th century west. Walked into a LGS and saw a used Old Army. The rest is history.
     
  20. J-Bar

    J-Bar Member

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    I shot cowboy action matches for a few years with smokeless powder, then one of the Soot Lords let me shoot his .45 Colt with black powder loads. I was hooked and started loading black in my cowboy cartridges. In 1999 I failed to get a deer during regular firearms season and really wanted to put some venison in the freezer, so I bought a used T/C Renegade at a pawn shop to hunt during Missouri's muzzleloader season. That rifle's bore was a mess and would not group well beyond 50 yards, but I still took a nice 9 point whitetail at close range with it. I traded the Renegade for a new T/C Hawken and have continued to use it with success. I took the step into percussion revolvers when a friend offered to trade his two Ruger Old Armies for an Italian Sharps 45-70 that was gathering dust in the safe. Since then Frontiersman category in SASS competition has been my first choice category.

    There are a number of SASS clubs in New Mexico, and most will have some blackpowder shooters competing. Here's a link to the contact list. You might call the clubs and arrange to visit a shoot:

    http://www.sassnet.com/clubs/Clubs_list.php?state=New Mexico

    SASS main shooting range is Founder's Ranch, not far from Albuquerque.
    (74 Barton Rd, Edgewood, New Mexico 87015)
    Contact them for advise on matches you could observe and get acquainted with the folks using black powder firearms:

    http://www.foundersranch.com

    You could also contact the Whittington NRA Range in Raton and see what they may have to offer:

    http://www.ratonnm.gov/Facilities/Facility/Details/NRA-Whittington-Center-7
     
  21. desidog

    desidog Member

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    Well, I made the mistake of reading this THR forum... and to extend my deer season I got a Lyman GPR.

    Then somebody posted about a Lyman GPP kit on sale (i think it was $169). Then i figured that a six shooter might be more fun than a single... but the 1858 i got had a grip that was a little small for my hand... so i got an 1860... but then Cabelas had the brass 1851 on sale for $149...and so it went on.

    ...and this picture is just my pistols....
     

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  22. kBob

    kBob Member

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    Just sort of drifted in over time. First BP was shot fired from an original Enfield three band rifle in an Oak Lot in Madison County Florida in the mid 1960's. Took a tree rat with my first shot. The boys that owned it loaded a soup spoon of Black, some newspaper, same spoon full of #6 shot and more newspaper. I really liked it but the folks vetoed BP for me. At 19 I found out that on Wednesday nights the King's Privaledged Shooting Organization of Neu Ulm Bavaria West Germany was a sulfurous event. Initial joined in shooting some scale model cannon (.69 and .50 cal) then an "Austrian Enfield" and finally a few revolvers. Still when I got home no BP still. It would be the 1980's before I started buying and using my own rather than "borrowing" BP guns. I am something of a slacker in this group having only a couple of rifles and eight or ten handguns, mostly revolvers.

    Even when shooting brass framed .44 fantasy revolvers I like to think it a historical experience.

    -kBob
     
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  23. Kaeto

    Kaeto Member

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    My father's first experience shooting BP was once when he and his father were visiting DGW and Turner Kirkland (the founder of DGW) took my father out to a shed in back and showed him an original Gatling Gun that was in the shed. Then Turner set it up and let my father shoot the Gatling.
     
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  24. jeepnik
    • Contributing Member

    jeepnik Member

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    I bought a single shot BP kit, can't even remember the brand. I put it together while working nights in an oil refinery (don't try this today kids, but heck most of the guys had guns either on them or in their trucks). One thing led to another and today I'm a certified BP junkie.
     
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  25. dagger dog

    dagger dog Member

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    James Mitchner's Centennial mini series on the tube got me interested and when I found a CVA KY percussion rifle kit on sale it was close enough for me, that was about 1977-78. Currently I have 4 flintlocks 2 percussion muzzleloading rifles and a couple of percussion revolvers . Next on the list will be single
    shot pistol. I cast all boolits and round balls along with making my patches and lube.
     
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