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What got you started?

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by RoaringBull, Oct 1, 2008.

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  1. RoaringBull

    RoaringBull Member

    Apr 7, 2008
    Waxahachie, TX
    I'm seeing this question on a couple other sites, and wanted to read the responses posted here.

    What got you started in traditional black powder shooting and the lifestyle that so often accompanies it?
  2. Cap n Ball

    Cap n Ball Member

    May 12, 2004
    Kansas City, Missouri
    I grew up on a small farm in southern Missouri near the border with Kansas. I started shooting when I was seven. My first gun was an ancient 36 cal percussion squirrel rifle that hung over the fireplace along with a powder horn from the Civil War. My cousin and I took turns shooting it. I still have it and the horn although its been years since I've used it. I've shot just about every sort of gun since then but BP is still my favorite. Even the task of cleaning is a ritual I enjoy almost like going to church.
  3. idaram

    idaram Member

    Aug 6, 2008
    Nampa ID
    My father has a 1860 Colt Army "Civilian" model that I played with growing up. It belonged to my 2XGreat Uncle Charlie who rode shoutgun on the gold stage from Idaho City to Boise in the 1870's. Who knows where that gun has been.
    I've always wanted to shoot black powder, and I ain't gettin' any younger.
  4. Calibre44

    Calibre44 Member

    May 17, 2007
    United Kingdom
    Most of us over here didn’t have much choice after the handgun ban. Thankfully Muzzleloading Pistols fell under a different category and didn’t suffer the same fate. Here is a picture of my first ever shot with a friends BP Pistol (Remington 58 – not sure what make) captured on film.
    385533[/ATTACH]"] 1stshot.jpg

    After that shot and the other 5 five I turned to my friend and said ‘Wow! … I’ve gotta get me one of these’

    Since that first shot I fell in love with all things BP – yes even the cleaning!. I love all the experimentation of different charges, ball sizes and weights, which lube to use and what’s the best way to fit the caps – timing issues, wedge issues, clearance issues, accuracy issues – anything issues!! … the shooting often comes as a bonus! … it’s all just good fun.

    Even if I were still allowed to own a centrefire pistol I would still shoot BP – there is no doubt in my mind. I find the added bonus of learning about the history of the guns in question and the folks who shot them years ago a real pleasure.

    Anyway I could go but that’s enough for now.

    I'll leave you with this pic of a guy over here enjoying his gun - says everything about BP shooting to me:
    385535[/ATTACH]"] 2.jpg

    Attached Files:

  5. mike724

    mike724 Member

    Dec 25, 2007
    Boca Raton, Florida
    I was always facinated by guns, even before my first BB rifle. When I got a job and some dough, I bought a 1858 .44 because that was all I could afford in New York State (Permits being hard to get). I've had colt pistols, .45, .50, and .54 rifles since, and am now using a .50 in-line for BP hunting season here in FL. They are fun, they expand the hunting season, and they help keep my gun safe nice and snuggly filled.
  6. sundance44s

    sundance44s Member

    Feb 6, 2006
    History was always my thing ..so the first gun show I went to , I bought a used black powder rifle for a few bucks ...it was love at first sight ..the year was 1967 ...my friends thought I was nuts because I enjoyed cleaning it after shooting ..
  7. Chawbaccer

    Chawbaccer Member

    Feb 3, 2005
    I knew a pair of old bachelor brothers who lived together. One room of their house had each corner full of old original muzzleloader rifles. They would sometimes trust me to load and shoot one of them. I was hooked the first time I smelled the smoke.
  8. DuncanSA

    DuncanSA Member

    Mar 17, 2007
    Well, way back in the dark ages my grandad used to let me carry his shotgun when out bird shooting. That got me hooked for life on shooting in general.

    I next discovered the fun that could be had from chinese firecrackers - especially if you removed the powder and misapplied it. My triumph, at the age of about 10, was when I cast a 6 inch mini-cannon out of plumbers solder, bored it out with my dad's carpentry brace-and-bit and shot a 1/4 inch ball bearing through our house front door. I still think my parents reacted in an overly dramatic fashion.

    A bit of a gap here while using nitro ammo in various applications, broken by some fun with a couple of old Tower muskets which I refurbished, cast shot for and made black powder and percussion caps. I hunted birds with them but never even frightened anything. I was very "chicken" about powder loads, not knowing what rust lay at the bottom of the 100 year old barrels.

    After retiring I joined a local gun club, and was introduced to percussion revolvers and Cowboy Action Shooting. I now own 3 BP revolvers and am shopping for a flintlock rifle. Enough of this rambling - but you did ask!
  9. Voodoochile

    Voodoochile Member

    Apr 2, 2008
    Central Virginia
    My love affair for Shooting & especially Black Powder was with my grand father back in the mid 70's where I had learned a lot about them as well as the outdoors, he would take me out back to shoot one of his rifles, shotguns, & revolvers almost weekly & it has stuck since.

    My first ever time with a C&B Revolver was in 1976 with what I found out years later was my Great-Great-Grandfathers 1851 Colt Navy where he would show me everything from loading & shooting to cleaning afterwords & even to this day I'll shoot my muzzloaders more than I do my modern pieces.
  10. Shotgun Willy

    Shotgun Willy Member

    May 2, 2007
    Oklahoma Territory
    Kind of long and rambling, sorry.

    I've always hae a thing for guns. I've never had very many at one time, but I've always had something. After I got married I was down to just my 12 ga. pump, and since my wife isn't real crazy about shooting, I didn't use even it. Then one day she bought me some clay pidgeons, and some shells. After a while I decided I wanted something smaller and cheaper to shoot. Since I've got small children I'm unwilling to risk a cartridge gun (but I covet;)). I figure when the kids are big enough to figure out loading one of my Colts, they're probably past the serious danger point.
    Now shooting modern ammo feels and sounds wrong.
  11. ltetmhs

    ltetmhs Member

    Jan 19, 2008
    Southern Georgia
    The smoke the flash, the whole process that goes into shooting and maintaining one and the added difficulty.

    And the smell.
  12. Omnivore

    Omnivore Member

    May 30, 2006
    North Idaho/Eastern Washington
    Been shooting since I was a kid, but never had much interest in BP. My interest later in life has been in modern firearms. I have a business that caters to the AK, AR, and other semi auto rifles and carbines.

    My son got interested in hunting, so we took him through the process. Finding out about muzzleloader seasons was the impetus for us, plus I've thought the "traditional" rifles were beautiful. Local gun store has one for sale, we bought it for hunting. I then decided I should have a BP handgun for carry while hunting ML season. That's all there is to it. Got hooked from there.

    I'd stop far short of calling it a "lifestyle" though. When I take newbies to the range, we use modern "tactical ninja" weapons all the way through to BP. They like the opportunity to learn a little bit about several types of firearms. Plus I can say, "See this-- this was in the movie, The Kingdom, and over here, this 1858 Remington NMA was in the movie, Pale Rider." And so on. You can see the lights coming on in their heads. The curiosity has been there because they've seen some of this stuff, but they've never known anything about it until now, when they actually try them in live fire, see how they work, and see what they can do.
  13. kBob

    kBob Member

    Jun 11, 2006
    North Central Florida
    My first BP shot was from an original 1853 three band Enfield when aged ten. I was leaving a hard wood grove alone with my .410 when I meet two other boys about my age going into the grove. They were hunting squirrels as well and using about #6 shot in the Enfield. They had a soup spoon they would measure powder in then shove some newspaper on top of the powder, use the same spoon to measure a load of shot and then crammed in "more" news paper. They killed squirrel with it and since I had two shells yeat they eash tried a shot with mine and got one squirrel and I shot two from their rifled Musket and scared some tree rats badly.

    I would not shoot BP again until I was 20 and this time the gun was what I was told was a two banded Enfield but it may have been an "Austrian Enfield" it had an odd offset sight set for use when the bayonet was attached, I shot it with round ball and patch and had a ball with it, this was followed by a .45 calliber and .50 caliber model cannons and finally an 1860 colt repro all at my club over a summer. That fall I shot a repro 1851 colt in .36 cal with some GI friends at a dump to dispense with rats while we searched for things that should not have been simply dumped.

    THis put a bug in my ear as it were but I would be 45 before I got into it on my own. some folks here may well have done as much shooting of BP arms in a week as I have done these last nine years, but I smell that smoke on occassion and always have a good time with it.

    Oh yes, I almost got a "free" repro Walker one night in Germany when a "Turk" was firing one off on New Years eve as fire works. He was at a some what snooty Pentohouse reseraunt and was firing into the air with powder only. Then he tripped over a chair and blew off a formerly very attractive German young lady's right ear and a good bit of her hair on that side of her head. Off duty Polizi buddy and I disarmed the guy and I decapped the remaining unfired chambers. Much yelling followed (we had to prevent the crowd from throughing auslanders off the roof, as an Auslander I thought this was a real priority myself)and I was almost out on the street after helping get the lady down stairs and to an ambulance when Polizi friend remembered to ask me for the Walker back. Another Polizi aquantence showed up at the club a month or so later with a very familiar looking Walker.

    -Bob Hollingsworth
  14. arcticap

    arcticap Member

    Mar 20, 2005
    Central Connecticut
    I took the hunter safety course with a good friend and we started shotgun hunting together in our 20's. I read a brief description with a picture of a new Navy Arms/Pedersoli mule ear lock rifle in Shooting Times and it looked so cool that I just had to have one. So I called Navy Arms who helped me to locate a vendor in PA that had them in stock, and I arranged to buy 2 of them from him at a gun show in CT.


    Then I read a Sam Fadala book from the library that explained just about everything one needed to know about muzzle loading. I eventually bought all of the necessities, went to the range, loaded and shot it for the 1st time thinking that this was just like loading an old fashioned cannon. Feeling the power and the boom and the smoke reminded me of the 4th of July. What a rush of adrenaline that was, and to this day those mule ears are still my favorite rifles.
    Meanwhile my good friend branched off into archery deer hunting which I've never tried, and he's never tried out muzzle loading. :D

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Oct 3, 2008
  15. gizamo

    gizamo Member

    Dec 26, 2007
    AR 15's and Bushmasters....I had a small arsenal of black guns.:)

    So did everybody else. And they got to be pretty boring after awhile. Gadgets and ad ons. This gidget and then that....

    Friend of mine was a Flintlock collector. Convinced me to give it a try....

    Sold every one of those black guns and never looked back. I might put as many rounds in a Flinty in a year, as I sent downrange in a AR in one hour. But I spend a whole lot more time shootin' it and just a grinnin':)

  16. English Phil

    English Phil Member

    Apr 14, 2008
    Hitchin, Hertfordshire, U.K.
    Since the ban on handguns in the U.K. and having to hand in our pieces I totally lost interest until I bought a flat in Arizona for holidays. On a visit to Tombstone, visited the local gunshop and found I could buy a C & B revolver, no questions asked. Bought a NMA 44 and have since had great fun when visiting AZ to shoot it at the municipal range.
    Then found you can shoot the same in the U.K. so a gun club I have joined and awaiting my certificate from the police to possess one over here.
  17. .38 Special

    .38 Special Member

    Sep 15, 2006
    Orange County, CA.
    The very first gun I ever fired was a caplock my grandfather made. I was seven years old and we were visiting his farm in Missouri. He put up a target on a strand of barbed wire about 10 yards from the front porch. The gun was about as big as I was and I couldn't hold it up. Had to hold it pointed down at an angle, swing it up and touch off the shot as the gun swept the target. First ever shot was right through the wire. I tell people that I learned how to shoot that morning and how to string barbed wire that afternoon.

    Anyway, that rifle ended up in my hands many years later, but blackpowder has been in my heart since that very day.
  18. f4t9r

    f4t9r Member

    May 27, 2005
    I watched alot of Daniel Boone when I was a kid.
  19. theotherwaldo

    theotherwaldo Member

    Mar 30, 2008
    In the Wild Horse Desert of Texas
    Good question. I'd had a number of relics and not-quite-functional guns between the age of six (when my uncle took a musket away from me and promptly blew his big toe off) and sixteen (when I found a '58 Remington in a chunk of creosote that I was breaking up as fire starter). I didn't think of them as guns, really. They were just "neat stuff", most of which my dad quickly sold.

    Then I spent a summer as a security guard on a road-building camp in the Oregon mountains. I had an AR-7 that came out of the Rogue River and an RG-14 that I'd bought at Sav-On Drugs, but they were getting pretty boring. Went to Bi-Mart and put a Navy Arms '58 Remington on lay-away, paying it off about the time I went back to school.

    That's the gun that got me started. I had to hide it from my dad for a while, officially "getting it for Christmas" just over a year later, then I had to use it to repel some Christmas burglars at my Grandparent's house.

    I've picked up a few others in the third of a century that followed, but that old gun is still close to me.
  20. sandy4570

    sandy4570 Member

    Apr 22, 2003
    I wanted to learn how to reload and what is a better way than using cap n' ball revolver ? In my way of thinking back then if I can manage to load 6 cylinders with loose powder, ball and percussion cap with out blow up my gun then I would be ready for metallic cartridge.Oh and the Outlaw Josey wells too, that really got the ball rolling , I bought new cap n' ball revolver everytime I watch that movie:)
  21. Pancho

    Pancho Member

    Oct 23, 2007
    Southwestern, Ohio out in the country about 40 mil
    Disney's Davey Crockett show got me interested. I bought my first ML when I was 16 from a swap shop. Spanish made and no brand name. 32 cal.
    Learned how to shoot it reading the Dixie catalog. That was 44 years ago.
  22. PRM

    PRM Member

    Apr 14, 2008
    BP Shooting

    I always liked Westerns as a kid growing up. The Colt cap and ball revolvers just had a look I liked. The day I turned 21, I bought my first one. I loved shooting back in those days, and I could not afford to shoot the big center fire single actions. Started with the .36 calibre(s) and they have been big part of my life ever since. I have owned a couple of Army models and have a Walker that is a great range and hunting gun - but the Navies and Pocket Models are still my favorites.
  23. mykeal

    mykeal Member

    Sep 9, 2006
    I actually got interested in building muzzleloaders before shooting them. A buddy and I stumbled on a fascinating place in Wichita, KS in the late 60's/early 70's called Four Flags Trading Post. The proprietor built muzzleloaders of all sorts, sold them and the early revolvers, as well as supplies of all sorts. I really liked his guns as works of art and decided I could do that too, and it's been a hobby (but not a lifestyle) ever since. Tried some CW reenacting and went to a couple of rondy's but found them too 'focused'; that is, the almost single-minded obsession with 'period correctness' put me off.
  24. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

    Dec 19, 2002
    In California, you can't buy a handgun until you're 21. So, I bought a Ruger Old Army instead. It was a lot of fun and very useful for clearing the firing line. It was a great way to get other shooters to leave so there's stalls for your buddies to shoot at with you. It was also fun for New Year's Day when you can load it with blanks and shoot harmlessly into the air.
  25. DixieTexian

    DixieTexian Member

    Feb 3, 2007
    Somewhere down in Texas
    I always thought it would be cool to try reenacting, but couldn't afford one of those fancy cartridge guns. So I bought a cap-n-ball. Ain't looked back yet.
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