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I dont know where to start?

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by Usmc-1, Jun 21, 2011.

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  1. Usmc-1

    Usmc-1 Member.

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    I really dont know much about black powder weapons , I do know I wouldnt want to be on the recieving end!

    I always been a fan of the rifles but after checking a museum the handgun look like they would be a bear to operate (which intrigues the hell out of me) ,I wouldnt even know where to get one , wouldnt no what to look for if I did get one? Anyone want to shed some light on this category for me?

    What to look for when buying a black powder weapon ?

    What do I need to know about ammo?

    THE POWDER ITSELF?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Loyalist Dave

    Loyalist Dave Member

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    Semper Fi Marine,
    Now..., what exactly are you looking to do? Are you interested in flintlocks or percussion? A single shot pistol, or a cap-n-ball revolver like Josey Wales?

    In rifles you have small stuff like a .32 (similar sorta to a modern .22) up to the rifles of the Civil War which are properly called "rifled muskets" in .58. Caplocks are simpler than flintlocks, and are good to start with, but it's not a requirement that you do. There are also smoothbore shotguns and muskets, which you can shoot for fun or for hunting.

    Flintlocks are also out there a la Daniel Boone. I own both types.

    Do you want to hunt or do you want to simply punch paper as you get started? In hunting rifles there are the modern looking "in-line" pieces, which can be inexpensive.

    A lot of folks on this forum started with a cap-n-ball revolver. So many folks like the cap-n-ball revolvers in fact, that those are the only black powder guns that they own and I think cap-n-ball ought to be its own sub-category on the menu of the site. Anyway, a good, steel framed, Remington model 1858 revolver in .44 is a very good choice for the beginner. They are fun to shoot, they are strong, simpler than other revolver designs, and good reproductions are available for not too much money.

    You will need powder, caps, and bullets, and the instruction manual that comes with the piece will fill you in on the basics and what to buy for ammo. You can buy that style revolver from Dixie Gun Works, or Cabela's, as well as other places

    Let us know how you narrow down you wants so that the folks can advise you better. :D

    LD
     
  3. Usmc-1

    Usmc-1 Member.

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    Wow, tons of info ! I thank you (and SF) , nOT SURE WHERE i WANT TO START BUT THE CAP-N-BALL DOES SOUND FUN!!!
     
  4. ofitg

    ofitg Member

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    USMC-1, One of the best ways to start is to buy the Lyman Blackpowder Handbook. Tons of info on various weapons, loading instructions, ballistic data, etc....

    BTW, I second the motion for a steel-framed 1858 Remington....
     
  5. Legionnaire
    • Contributing Member

    Legionnaire Member

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    Yeah, that would be me. I'm a relative newbie, too, and I'll warn you, the black powder bug bites hard! In several months I've accumulated several cap'n ball revolvers, a muzzleloader barrel for my Encore rifle, and am awaiting delivery of my first flintlock rifle--the latter to be used in PA's late muzzleloader season.

    I think a cap'n ball revolver is a great place to start, and while I don't own one (yet), Dave's recommendation of an 1858 Remington is a good one. I started with a pair of 1848 Dragoons (Uberti reproductions of Colt's classic) for historical reasons. But have also added a brace of Ruger Old Armies, which have no historicity as they are "modern" black powder guns that have a somewhat similar look to the 1858 Remington.

    There are lots of black powder substitutes out there, but thus far, my guns have only seen basic black (Goex). There are a couple of great threads stickied to the top of this forum that can provide you with good info on what you need to get started.

    Welcome to the dark side!
     
  6. arcticap

    arcticap Member

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    Muzzle loading requires that the guns be thoroughly cleaned after every shooting session or they can become rusty and/or not function well. Some folks find that to be an unexpected chore.
    And some extra accessories are needed for shooting that can often cost an extra $50 or more.
    Also loading is slower than with cartridge guns. The loose powder needs to be measured out and then the projectile is loaded separately using a rammer. Then the gun needs to be capped or primed for each shot. So it's a slower form of shooting which takes more time and effort.
    Cabela's has many black powder guns for sale from traditional to modern rifles to cap & ball revolvers.

    http://www.cabelas.com/catalog/brow...N-1100199/Ns-CATEGORY_SEQ_104701680?WTz_l=SBC
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2011
  7. Legionnaire
    • Contributing Member

    Legionnaire Member

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    ^^^ arcticap's note on the "chore" of black powder shooting is worthy of consideration. For me (and I trust others), the hobby is more than the simple act of lining up the sights and sending lead down range. I find that the careful steps taken to load the guns for accuracy are engaging and part of the fun. And I find cleaning the black powder guns more fun than cleaning my smokeless guns (go figure). It is a slower form of shooting that takes more time and effort, but it involves you in a way that shooting smokeless doesn't ... unless, of course, you're into reloading. :D
     
  8. tpelle

    tpelle Member

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    Yep, I agree with Legionnaire. Cleaning is all part of the fun - especially since you don't need all of those smelly modern chemicals. Just plain water works fine.

    Cabelas is one of the best places to buy a percussion revolver. I suggest either a Remington New Model Army (sometimes referred to as a Model 1858) in .44 caliber, a Colt 1860 Army also in .44, or a Colt 1851 Navy in .36 caliber.

    Authenticity means a lot to me, so I suggest avoiding the brass-framed "Confederate" revolvers (except for the possibility of a few "specials", there really weren't any such beasts), or abominations like the 1851 Navy in .44 caliber. (In Colt-speak, an "Army" revolver was ALWAYS .44 caliber, and a "Navy" was ALWAYS .36.(

    Also you don't want to spend you money on a "starter kit". Yes, you get most of what you need to get started, but they are inferior items for the most part, and you pay more for them than they are worth. What you need, besides the revolver, is properly-sized lead round balls, percussion caps (buy just a tin of 100 of Remington or CCI #10 or #11, until you figure out what fits best on your revolver), a pound of black powder or black-powder-substitute such as Pyrodex-P, a powder flask in the size recommended for your revolver (it will have a spout that throws the appropriate size charge), some mineral oil for a lube, and an appropriately-sized cleaning rod and jag, as well as a set of gun-specific screwdrivers (as you will eventually have to totally disassemble the revolver for a good cleaning). Note that a lot of this stuff does NOT come in the starter kit.
     
  9. 72coupe

    72coupe Member

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    I was told by several dealers in Oklahoma City that was no Black Powder for sale in Oklahoma.
     
  10. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    If you can get the real powder (Goex, swiss, etc), you should try out a flintlock. I've found them to be the single most fun thing to shoot. It's real alchemy, and once you learn the basics it's very simple. Don't be scared off by smoothbores such as trade guns, either. They're a breeze to load and you "use the force" to aim them.
     
  11. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

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    Suggest you find a rendezvous (black powder meet) and mingle with them. If possible, attend a NSSA shoot. The black powder fraternity is one of the best there is.
     
  12. Usmc-1

    Usmc-1 Member.

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    OK , Im getting psyched!!! I love it , Im getting that feeling like when I bought my Ruger Redhawk!!

    So much great info , makes you wonder how in the world those guys got shots off in the civil war , they must have had to shoot in succession , in other words every other guy shot a round then likewise , it seems like a whole lot of malfunctions ,must have taken place , with all the confusion and being scared , it must've been bloody hell!
     
  13. Noz

    Noz Member

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    http://www.sassnet.com/clubs/index.php

    Use this link to put yourself in contact with a SASS cowboy Club near you. These people shoot more in a weekend than anybody else. They will have a variety of guns in use, from cap and ball to modern guns.

    Call first and tell them what you are interested in doing. They can steer you to a "mentor" that can help you get started.
     
  14. robhof

    robhof Member

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    I'm a reloader and enjoy customizing my ammo to my gun for best accuracy, requiring lots of bench time and very precise wts or it becomes very dangerous. With B/p you can do the same with less precision and no bench time as you load as you go, and with real B/p there's a large safety margin. Clean up is simply soap and water, dry and oil of choice, no dangerous chemicals.
     
  15. tpelle

    tpelle Member

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    That's really not true, except to some extent regarding speed of reloading. And reloading was much faster than is typically the case today because, for the most part, the soldiers were using combustible cartridges (paper or gut envelopes containing the powder and bullet). I bet that you could load an 1860 Army revolver with paper cartridges almost as fast as you could load the 1873 Peacemaker with metallic 45 LC. (Remember, they didn't have to eject the empties.)

    Reliability with the percussion system was nearly as good as we achieve today, with maybe a slightly greater propensity to misfires due to moisture.

    It's an historical fact that a lot of notorious old west figures kept using their percussion revolvers for years after metallic cartridge revolvers came into use. And lots of them cited reliability as the reason, curiously enough. Also many percussion revolvers were converted to fire metallic cartridges - it could be done for about $3.00 where replacing the percussion revolver with a new-fangled metallic cartridge revolver might cost $20.00 to $30.00. And if you kept the percussion cylinder, if you ever got into the situation where you couldn't obtain the proper metallic cartridges, a quick cylinder change would put you back in business with "loose" ammo. Check out the Kirst or the Howell conversion cylinders available over the 'net.
     
  16. steelbird

    steelbird Member

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    Surprised it wasn't brought up here- but the '58 Remington did have a quick reloading capability in that the cylinder could be easily swapped out for another one, already loaded. In a way, this was the "speedloader" of its time. It also makes quick cleans on the range a little easier when the cylinder starts to get sticky from powder fouling. It also qualifies as a "Clint Eastwood" gun- his weapon as the "Preacher" from Pale Rider - a bit of a "coolness factor", as far as I think.....
     
  17. Usmc-1

    Usmc-1 Member.

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    not sure about the clubs a little too rich for my blood , but I am really interested ! Look forward to purchasing and experiencing this myself , but it isnt gonna happen right away , I need to do alot of research first, I appreciate all the help!
     
  18. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    You should be warned that once you cap off some of these you're not going to be able to stop. Oh you can put the horns away for awhile and tell yourself you'll just leave them for decoration, but come some sunny day you'll be back out there getting black soot all over yourself and grinning.
     
  19. Usmc-1

    Usmc-1 Member.

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    gotta love it!!
     
  20. Pulp

    Pulp Member

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    I've got several, two Hawken style Thompson/Center rifles, and six cap and ball revolvers. While I can't find any fault in the advice given to start with a Remington, I just like the Colt style better.

    I've been using a shot timer while practicing (sorry about the foul language:))
    with my concealed carry guns. Oddly enough, my fastest time from leather to shot on target is with an 1851 Colt Navy, 8 inch barrel and all. The Navy is such a natural pointer (at least for me) that I don't have to spend any time looking for the sights, like I do with a 1911 or .38 snubby.

    I understand your reluctance about joining any clubs, but try to go to a SASS match. Most likely someone will have a percussion or two to let you look at and handle.

    If you're close to OKC, I'll be up there next week. I hope to go to H&H Gun Range Tuesday night. I'll have one or two of my Colt style guns with me. My son-in-law has a friend that's never shot, we'll start him out with .22's, and work him up to a Colt Walker.:)

    I also sent you a PM.
     
  21. ElvinWarrior

    ElvinWarrior Member

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    If your in a place where black powder or even black powder substitutes are difficult to find, I would suggest doing what alot of people do, mail order your powder, caps, flints and what nots.

    Because there is a $20.00 Hazmat fee involved in shipping powder, caps or both for each shipment sent to you, most people bulk up their powder needs with a large order once every 6 months or a year.

    Actual real black powder can be purchased, online, from a black powder supplier, such as the Maine Powder House, or several others. The Maine Powder House carries three different brands of actual real Black Powder (BP), Goex, which tends to be the least expensive, and two other brands. The nice thing about ordering in bulk, from The Maine Powder House, is that, if you order 25lbs or more (Up to 50lbs per shipment), not only will they cover the Hazmat Fee, but they pay for shipping as well, saving you on or about $40.00 on your order. Of course, that's a pretty darn big order, 25 cans of Goex, at on or about $15.00 a pop adds up to an order of on or about $375.00, kinda pricey, but the way I shoot, 10 cans of 2F, 13 Cans of 3f and 2 Cans of 4F, lasts me over a year to a year and a half, so, I don't have to pay that bill very often.

    http://mainepowderhouse.com/

    Cabela's sporting goods, is a good online mail order source for percussion caps and Black Powder Substitutes. The same $20.00 Hazmat fee applies to their orders as well, for either percussion caps, powders, or both in the same order.

    http://www.cabelas.com/

    Of course, you don't have to order in bulk, you can just order a few pounds at a time, 3 or 5 lbs, if you don't mind parting with the Hazmat fee and the shipping charges.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Sincerely,

    ElvinWarrior... aka... David, "EW"
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2011
  22. Sunray

    Sunray Member

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    "...not sure about the clubs..." Find a way. It'll cut the learning curve and open doors. Definitely buy a copy of the Lyman BP Handbook and Reloading Manual. tons of good info. Starting with BP being loaded in grains, but by volume, not weight.
     
  23. mykeal

    mykeal Member

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    I believe caps and powder cannot be shipped together, so they each require a hazmat fee.
     
  24. Usmc-1

    Usmc-1 Member.

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    all these "fake" fee's add up , Ill make it somehow , I dont think I can get to OKC next week , I own a business and Im pretty stocked all the time
     
  25. mykeal

    mykeal Member

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    What do you mean by 'fake fees'?

    You own a business, so perhaps you have some experience on how to avoid the regulations on shipping explosives. I'd sure appreciate knowing how to do that (other than picking them up at the seller).
     
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