The Black Powder Bug


PDA
PreserveFreedom
10-15-2011, 08:38 PM
How many of you have been bit by the black powder bug?

I bought my first BP gun with my tax refund earlier this year. It was an Italian copy of a .44 cal Remington 1858 revolver. Before I even got to fire it, I picked up a .45 cal "Kentuckian" pistol at the flea market. I brought both with me when I visited my dad in Alabama this summer. That is where I shot both for the first time. The feel, sight, and sound of them firing was just breathtaking. It was like a handgun and a work of art in one piece. My dad saw how much I loved them and he wound up sending me home with three percussion rifles (two that he had built from a kit and one that he had bought ready made) and a miniature cannon he had built. He was planning on leaving them to me some day, but he figured I might as well have fun with them now instead since he never played with them anymore.

When I got them back to my home I spent days cleaning them, polishing them, and admiring them. I took them to the range and immediately became as addicted to BP rifles as I had to BP pistols. It was then that I really wanted to learn the history of the evolution of small arms. I was surprised to learn that the Handgonne had been in service since the 1300's and that the evolution of small arms started so long ago.

Now, let me back up a bit. I was already an owner of modern arms. I still carry those modern arms for defense and I still keep a modern handgun on my nightstand. I have no intention of parting with the modern arms that I already own, but I sure have a lot of historic arms to acquire before I feel like I have a real collection. To be honest, I rarely even think about modern arms anymore. I also would not hesitate to use any of my black powder arms for defense.

Okay then...back to the timeline of my love affair with Black Powder arms. I have mixed feelings about inline rifles. Yes, I know the words "inline" and "rifle," when spoken together, can be considered a blasphemy. It would not be fair for me to not mention them though. If you read this far, at least hear me out. They would not be my first choice. In fact, I originally never thought I would own one. I did catch a sale on a couple though and I grabbed them. I have not fired either yet though. I figured if I could get one or two for dirt cheap it would be no different from getting any other small arms at a steal of a price. I also got to thinking that since I am passionate about the evolution of arms that I could not ignore this part of their evolution. While the inline era of muzzleloading arms is currently running parallel to cartridge arms, it is not a new idea. Inline flintlocks actually existed in the early 1700's.

Okay we will stop talking about those "evil black guns" now. Along with the evolution of actions and ignition systems, I found that there were a lot of "novelty" designs. There was the blunderbuss, duckfoot, snake eyes, twister, cavalier pistol, screw barrels, parlor pistols, and so many others. There was a volley gun and there were many attempts at a repeating rifle before cartridge ammunition made perfection of such possible. There were quality arms and there were junk guns, similar to today's "Saturday night specials." Even though some of these may have not been the best designs, they are still wicked cool.

My collection will still continue to grow. As long as I am welcomed here, you will continue to have the opportunity to see the newest pieces to my ever growing collection. Now I have just one question for you after you have read the story of how The Black Powder Bug bit me...

What is your story of how The Black Powder Bug bit you?

If you enjoyed reading about "The Black Powder Bug" here in the FamilyFriendsFirearms.com archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join FamilyFriendsFirearms.com today for the full version!
deputy
10-15-2011, 09:17 PM
I was invited to a black powder range............which by their club rules was strictly "primitive" style firearms. After watching everyone having a ball shooting steel and paper from 15 yards to 100 yards.........the fun, laughter, and comradery....and the skills demostrated by these folks......i obtained a LH 54 cal hawken..........

it was a blast.....:D it was a slower pace, and really the shooting in itself was secondary..........having fun in good humor competition was the primary.....its kind of hard to explain.

to this day, i swear i am more accurate off-hand shooting with that hawken than i am off-hand shooting the M-16 or the scoped ruger 77. Man do i love a set trigger and the balance of that rifle.......

one of these years i will get a .36 navy.......

PreserveFreedom
10-15-2011, 09:34 PM
one of these years i will get a .36 navy.......

Don't put it off any longer than you have to! From what I have seen, an 1851 Navy in .36 caliber is the least expensive cap & ball wheelgun out there. If nothing else, show it to your loved ones and let them know they can go in on it together. A brand new Italian clone can be gotten for $200 without looking hard. That's not a lot to pay for all the fun it can provide. :)

deputy
10-15-2011, 09:39 PM
i've thought about the 51'............but it is that 1861 navy that really trips my trigger.........;)

that weapon is........well............it just is!!!!

http://www.cabelas.com/pistols-1861-steel-frame-navy-36-caliber-revolver-1.shtml

PreserveFreedom
10-15-2011, 09:48 PM
If it arouses your interest then it is what you should get. Think of what you pay for a modern handgun and then ask yourself why you don't have one of these yet. One thing to keep in mind if you buy this one is that it takes #10 caps. While they are not rare, they are not as common as #11 caps for the black powder folks. If you order them from Cabela's with the gun, you will wind up paying HazMat fees just like with powder plus you will have to order 1,000 of them at a time. Check with your local gun shop and see if they can get a couple hundred for you. It will save you a lot of headaches. Either way, you need to get that piece and post pics for us please. :)

PreserveFreedom
10-15-2011, 09:53 PM
Hey deputy...

The folks at Dixie Gun Works have that same smokewagon on sale for $80 less than Cabela's is selling it for. I have done a good amount of business with Dixie and they are great folks. Theirs takes #11 caps instead of #10 also so you will be able to find them easier. Look HERE (http://www.dixiegunworks.com/product_info.php?products_id=14044).

deputy
10-15-2011, 09:56 PM
our local hardware store is my immediate source for all hunting, shooting, and fishing related items (though a tad high in price).......and they do keep Remington #10 and #11 caps as a regular stocking item. They actually i think are a "Bass Pro" stocking dealer as i see a lot of that logo on things in the hunting and fishing section.........they are good about stocking if there is a particular demand for an item.....and they keep the 10's in stock for other shooters by demand.........for an item or two, it is a better source than a 90 mile round trip to the big city.

deputy
10-15-2011, 09:59 PM
Hey deputy...

The folks at Dixie Gun Works have that same smokewagon on sale for $80 less than Cabela's is selling it for. I have done a good amount of business with Dixie and they are great folks. Theirs takes #11 caps instead of #10 also so you will be able to find them easier. Look HERE (http://www.dixiegunworks.com/product_info.php?products_id=14044).

appreciate the heads up.........it will be after Christmas most likely.........i must take care of everyone else first.

Dwayne
10-16-2011, 02:49 AM
Wow. .. I got bit about 25 years ago with BP. Shooting a 50 cal gun from a friend during a meet in MO.

I ended up buying a PRB BP flint rifle Lyman shot that for a long time, picked up a few more, sold a few, about 5 years ago I picked up my first Inline. and about 3 years ago? I picked up the new electa when it first came out. I was one of the very first owners of the electra. I sold my last Percussion a while back, and have all flintlocks.

Now with that said.. .I never got into the pistols. I thought about it, but just never bought one. I think the reason is, because hunting is very difficult with one. I enjoy hunting, and a pistol just doesn't do the job like a rifle. thus, purchasing a pistol is a little harder for me to do.

I own 4 flints. . .1 Inline. . . 1 electra.

Each gun has its own purpose. . .

the electa is one heck of a gun. To me, it is one of the most impressive guns made. Zero lock time, strong, powerful, fully contained, accurate, and just about everything a person could ever want and not get in a rifle.

The inline is the Savage 10MLII SS. It is an extremely nice gun. powerful, and I really enjoy shooting it with smokeless powder. Never been deer hunting with it, but it is a nice shooting gun for a in-line.

Then I have my flints. . . Each one has its own purpose. . .PA. . .long 1/66 twist, just for RB. Accurate, and has taken deer for me.

My KY. . .shorter barrel, nice shooting 1/44 twist. . .heavy enough, yet light enough.

My DeerHunter. It is my tear up gun. I take it hunting the most, and I take it through everything. I expect it to slowly get beat up, used, and still take my deer. I do not worry about cosmetics with it. I am not supposed to worry with it.

My Lyman. . .it is just a 25 year old wall hanger that shoots maybe once every two years now. A remembrance of the good times. PRB, wooden everything. But still a fun gun to shoot.

That is where I stand. I still may get a 1851, or something ... not sure yet.

StrawHat
10-16-2011, 07:52 AM
When I started shooting, I was 8 years old and was "loaned" a Winchester single shot 22. By the time I was nine, I was shooting in competition and had branched out to blackpowder. We used Colt and Remington revolvers which were customized for better shooting by oepning the chambers, adding sights, etc. They hooked me. My first replica revolvers were a pair of 1861s by Uberti. Since then, 1860, Pocket Models, Baby Models, Dragoons and rifles from 22 caliber to 62. I still prefer flint locks but am beginning to appreciate a shorter barrel. Currently on the bench is a 58 caliber English Stalking rifle I hope to complete by 2015. (I just don't get much time in the shop.) If all goes well it will weigh about 6 1/2 pounds.

I also have cartridge firearms and the majority of those are reloaded with black powder, or at least to black powder ballistics.

Dwayne
10-17-2011, 10:44 AM
When I started shooting, I was 8 years old and was "loaned" a Winchester single shot 22. By the time I was nine, I was shooting in competition and had branched out to blackpowder. We used Colt and Remington revolvers which were customized for better shooting by oepning the chambers, adding sights, etc. They hooked me. My first replica revolvers were a pair of 1861s by Uberti. Since then, 1860, Pocket Models, Baby Models, Dragoons and rifles from 22 caliber to 62. I still prefer flint locks but am beginning to appreciate a shorter barrel. Currently on the bench is a 58 caliber English Stalking rifle I hope to complete by 2015. (I just don't get much time in the shop.) If all goes well it will weigh about 6 1/2 pounds.

I also have cartridge firearms and the majority of those are reloaded with black powder, or at least to black powder ballistics.

Yes, I also appreciate the shorter barrel. .. .That is what is so nice about my "cheapie" Deerhunter. It is a flintlock, short barrel, quick to do the job. So I use it as my primary ding around hunting and playing BP rifle.

The only smokeless rifes I have are a couple of .22's. All Big Game hunting are done with BP flintlocks.

Ilroy
10-17-2011, 01:14 PM
I've been interested for many years in old style ML rifles, but didn't finaly buy one until about 1 1/2 years ago...a Lyman .50 great plains rifle. 1:60 twist for PRB and initially just for fun shooting...then I got to thinking it might be fun to hunt with this rifle also, so I have applied for tags for both ML and rifle the last 2 seasons...haven't drawn ML tag yet, so maybe next year.

I am interested in either the Walker in .44, or if the barrel seems too long and front heavy, I will go with the Dragoon...something about the trigger guard I like in both of those.

Also, would like to get a Traditions Trapper .50 cal. pistol...I like the lines of the stock on that one.

Dwayne
10-17-2011, 02:40 PM
I've been interested for many years in old style ML rifles, but didn't finaly buy one until about 1 1/2 years ago...a Lyman .50 great plains rifle. 1:60 twist for PRB and initially just for fun shooting...then I got to thinking it might be fun to hunt with this rifle also, so I have applied for tags for both ML and rifle the last 2 seasons...haven't drawn ML tag yet, so maybe next year.

I am interested in either the Walker in .44, or if the barrel seems too long and front heavy, I will go with the Dragoon...something about the trigger guard I like in both of those.

Also, would like to get a Traditions Trapper .50 cal. pistol...I like the lines of the stock on that one.

I also like the trapper .50. . . .They have a flintlock version of it. . .kinda expensive for single shot. . .but. . .it could become a lot of fun.

That reminds me. . .. I have YET (and I mean YET) to see any kind of decent BP cleaning video. . .

I think I am going to put a BP cleaning Video on Youtube sometime. . . Everything from the taking apart of a BP rifle, to putting it back together.

Along with the video, what to look for, and tricks/technics on cleaning, disassembling, assembling, and other things. I will probably make a list and try to cover them all. Even the manufacturers Videos are just above pathetic in cleaning.

PreserveFreedom
10-17-2011, 03:14 PM
. . .kinda expensive for single shot. . .

One thing to remember about a quality single shot muzzleloading pistol is that you can put a much larger charge in there. If you are talking about any traditional style with the wood body and octagon barrel, you could go as big of a charge as you would with a rifle with the same quality of barrel. Most revolvers you won't get more than 30 - 35 grains of powder in there and you are loading it hot at that. With a single shot pistol you can also use the same variety of ammo that you can use with a rifle of the same caliber. Patched round ball, conicals, sabots, and more. If it is a smoothbore you can even load it like a black powder shotgun or go with a buck & ball load. As an added bonus, you have room to put some kind of desiccant in there to avoid moisture if you are keeping it loaded for any length of time. I have been told that some will put their charge of powder, a felt wad, 20 grains of cornmeal, and then the projectile. That cornmeal is supposed to absorb moisture and keep it away from your powder. There is a practical need for some single shot BP pistols afterall. :)

Blammer
10-17-2011, 03:26 PM
Ganged up my wallet with Sis & got Dad a cased Ruger Old Army .45 with tins of #10 caps, balls, and cylinder wads with lube & a can of FFFg BP = He was tickled .......... And never shot the thing:down: = Go figure:dunno:
When we cleaned out his gun closet, there it was..... I did a Cap count = there were 75 left. He'd made a powder measure out of a .38spl case & had apparently shot it a few times at a friends ranch.
With the presentation case it's a "Pretty" - so Sis wound up with it :down:
Myself, after accumulating the accouterments for the Old Army, I bought a Dixie Arms Kentucky Pistol kit, and pit it together = turned out well and I went on to others, Single shot pistols. Only had one Brass Frame .44cal supposed to be a Confederate copy of the 1851 Navy...... shot well, but it started to get loose in the cylinder play, so I retired it & eventually gave it away as a wallhanger.
Too interested in Varmint shooting and Rimfire Benchrest to get into BP when the nearest range that allows BP shooting is a 50 mile drive.:down:

PreserveFreedom
10-17-2011, 05:42 PM
Too interested in Varmint shooting...
Many folks shoot varmints with muzzleloaders. .32 cal is a great rifle for such. I have heard many referred to as a "Crockett Rifle."

Ilroy
10-17-2011, 06:32 PM
With a single shot pistol you can also use the same variety of ammo that you can use with a rifle of the same caliber. Patched round ball, conicals, sabots, and more.
Yep, would for sure get the same caliber as my rifle...easier to keep as few calibers as you can, and I'm lazy that way. :D

There is a practical need for some single shot BP pistols afterall. :)

Mainly the single shot pistol would be for fun at the range, but in NV where I live, for ML hunting, you can have only a flintlock or percussion handgun along rather than any kind of smokeless handgun. So you're right, there is surely a practical purpose for a single shot BP handgun...:up:

Dwayne
10-17-2011, 07:30 PM
Of all the years I have hunted, when I shoot BP rifles, I rarely have much of a blood trail. It is one of the reasons why I shoot 50 cal. (as well as it is legal for all states to hunt with <g>) I canīt imagine 35 grains in a pistol that doesnīt weigh more than a few pounds or so.

That is why the Trapperīs 50 seems to be a little more attractive to me. It fits with my other calibers as well as style. I also liked the 1851? that comes in 45 cal. (I will have to check the year again, because there are afew that I enjoy.) Since I also shoot sabots at times, it may be a great gun to have around and play with.

I ordered a new pan primer. . ..looking forward to trying it out. Hopefully it will work a lot better than the ones Iīm using right now. After all these years. Ihave finally said the heck with the primerīs that I have now. Got tired of taking them apart in the field, at home, and during practice to clean out the GP.

Frank V
10-24-2011, 07:03 PM
Of all the years I have hunted, when I shoot BP rifles, I rarely have much of a blood trail. It is one of the reasons why I shoot 50 cal. (as well as it is legal for all states to hunt with <g>) I canīt imagine 35 grains in a pistol that doesnīt weigh more than a few pounds or so.

That is why the Trapperīs 50 seems to be a little more attractive to me. It fits with my other calibers as well as style. I also liked the 1851? that comes in 45 cal. (I will have to check the year again, because there are afew that I enjoy.) Since I also shoot sabots at times, it may be a great gun to have around and play with.

I ordered a new pan primer. . ..looking forward to trying it out. Hopefully it will work a lot better than the ones Iīm using right now. After all these years. Ihave finally said the heck with the primerīs that I have now. Got tired of taking them apart in the field, at home, and during practice to clean out the GP.


Though not a true muzzle loader, the .45 Colt regularly used 35grs of BP under a 255gr .454 bullet. I've shot that load using GOEX 3FG & it's powerful, but very controlable. I think the Army loaded 30grs under the same bullet.
Frank

Botazz
10-24-2011, 07:55 PM
I am shocked at the price of #11 caps these days...

ronwill
10-29-2011, 09:12 AM
I was hit by the bug many years ago when a friend let me shoot his replica colt. I have one of my own now as well as a Hawken style 50cal. I have a lot of fun hunting hogs with the Hawken.

Dwayne
10-29-2011, 11:37 AM
I can hardly wait until hogs get up in our area. . .that sounds like a lot of fun.

ronwill
10-30-2011, 08:03 AM
I can hardly wait until hogs get up in our area. . .that sounds like a lot of fun.

You may change your mind if they ever do get established in your area. Most states consider them pests because of their destructiveness. They are fun to hunt though. :)

StrawHat
11-01-2011, 07:55 AM
Once they get to an area, they are tough to remove them. One is extrememly destructive, a whole sounder does more destrucion than most farm tractors.

Gravedigger
11-07-2011, 09:10 PM
I'll do a plus 1 with StrawHat,and ronwill.
Those critters can turn a nice day into a daymare.
Pickup a piglet,moma will come for ya.She means business.
They will charge ya,and if they connect,will try to do damage.
A lot of damage.In their minds "I'll do my best to kill you human !".

If you enjoyed reading about "The Black Powder Bug" here in the FamilyFriendsFirearms.com archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join FamilyFriendsFirearms.com today for the full version!