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Black powder on smokeless ranges

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I recently took a matchlock of mine to my local gun club I just joined for some test shots. It is explicitly allowed but I felt a little self conscious due to the smoke and using a lit match and gunpowder.

Are there courtesies you guys take while shooting muzzleloaders on primarily smokeless ranges, or other advice you would have? I tried to shoot far away from the other shooters and went when it was less busy. I did not grow up shooting, so am unfamiliar with less obvious range etiquette. Should I just go for it in the future and assume other shooters won’t be bothered?
 
Try to set up on the range so the smoke will not blow across the lanes of the other shooters. When shooting a firearm with a touch hole, such as a matchlock or a flint lock, fashion a flash suppressor such as a cardboard shield to prevent the pan flash from being directed toward the adjacent shooter. At least be aware of the position of the adjacent shooters and warn them that you are firing a firearm that will be directing a jet of hot gas in their direction. Keep powder, other than priming powder, off the shooting bench. Keep the priming horn protected from the pan flash.

Unfortunately, there are shooters who will be bothered by the smoke of a black powder firearm. Be courteous, answer questions, and concentrate on loading procedure to try to eliminate the clearing of a dry ball demonstration.
 
Try to set up on the range so the smoke will not blow across the lanes of the other shooters. When shooting a firearm with a touch hole, such as a matchlock or a flint lock, fashion a flash suppressor such as a cardboard shield to prevent the pan flash from being directed toward the adjacent shooter. At least be aware of the position of the adjacent shooters and warn them that you are firing a firearm that will be directing a jet of hot gas in their direction. Keep powder, other than priming powder, off the shooting bench. Keep the priming horn protected from the pan flash.

Unfortunately, there are shooters who will be bothered by the smoke of a black powder firearm. Be courteous, answer questions, and concentrate on loading procedure to try to eliminate the clearing of a dry ball demonstration.
Thank you for the response! Luckily, my club has a couple ranges, with one that’s a small field with a berm and more free form for the activities. My plan going forward is to use that, and be down wind from the other shooters.

The main range, with a cover and shooting benches at each bay, requires muzzleloaders to be loaded at the bench, which seems less safe.
 
Most has been covered here, but just a note. Don't carry a can of powder to the bench, it makes some nervous. Horns are fine.
As stated, be prepared for 20 questions and stay focused. Many have dry balled in similar situations.
The horn is good advice, thank you. Someone passed me charging from the original container into a powder measure and it did not look like they felt great about it.
 
To add some information on the safety precautions I took, (at the open range with no one else on it) I had the powder and everything for loading on a moveable bench behind me and then my match resting in a metal can and a foot away, the little pressure dispensed priming flask, on a desk about a yard or two forward of the main bench. That way, I could prime and handle the match away from the main powder.
 
To add some information on the safety precautions I took, (at the open range with no one else on it) I had the powder and everything for loading on a moveable bench behind me and then my match resting in a metal can and a foot away, the little pressure dispensed priming flask, on a desk about a yard or two forward of the main bench. That way, I could prime and handle the match away from the main powder.
Definitely a good idea. There are Several videos online of guys shooting muzzleloaders with an open can of BP nearby. The flash is something to see.
 
...
Are there courtesies you guys take while shooting muzzleloaders on primarily smokeless ranges,
...

Nothing special or different that I don't already take for all other shooters.

....Should I just go for it in the future and assume other shooters won’t be bothered?

Yes, and in fact I think you'll find that other shooters (at least the "real" shooters, not the ones just playing at guns to boost their own egos) will not only NOT be "bothered" by your shooting, but rather the opposite: they will bother YOU because they're so interested to see your gun and to watch you load and shoot it. Great fun and good times for one and ALL. I honestly haven't ever come across any shooter at any range (and I patronize three different outdoor ranges) who's expressed a distaste for black powder smoke. They all seem to love it.
 
I recently took a matchlock of mine to my local gun club I just joined for some test shots. It is explicitly allowed but I felt a little self conscious due to the smoke and using a lit match and gunpowder.

Are there courtesies you guys take while shooting muzzleloaders on primarily smokeless ranges, or other advice you would have? I tried to shoot far away from the other shooters and went when it was less busy. I did not grow up shooting, so am unfamiliar with less obvious range etiquette. Should I just go for it in the future and assume other shooters won’t be bothered?
Ya know, every range is different.

On my local range, not every bench shoots at all three distances, 50/75/100. So IF I want to check the sights at 50, then go up to 100, I have to sit in the middle benches, but if I want to do 75 and 100, I'm on the right end.

Besides, who can predict the wind?

So no, I don't load and fire for speed when rec shooting so they only have to worry about a small cloud one every couple of minutes.

There's always some Fudds that are members. They complain when my son shoots his modern semi-auto, and complain when I shoot my flinter.

I've had a guy tell me I have to use the bench, no standing to shoot (NOT the rules),
I've had a guy tell me I need to yell a warning like "Fire-in-the-hole" when I'm going to shoot my flinter (NOT the rules).
I've had a guy tell me to use the pistol range (against the rules) because my Bess won't hit 50 yards let alone farther,
I've had a guy tell me that I had to wait, to shoot alone (NOT the rules) because my Bess ball trajectory might curve and hit another shooter seated next to me on another bench, and another who sorta said the same thing but that the lead ball might bounce straight back at the shooters if it hit a rock...

(Actually the yahoo who said the ball would curve I informed him that such was true but it was because the ball would sometimes hit the bayonet when fixed on the barrel and THAT impact would cause the ball to turn 180 degrees, but since I wasn't using the bayonet, all was fine 🤪)

I smile and ask them to refer to the rule book posted on the range (most don't know a laminated copy is right there) and show me the rule....

So basically black powder from a traditional gun is the sound and smell and sight of the birth of Liberty, and you may politely ignore them.

LD
 
LD, some of your participants sound a little weird. Besides my joking, i go to range weekday mornings so its all retired old guys. We have a great time, and the rangers don’t even come around because they know we self-police it. We all have a great time. Hey, beats mall-walking.
 
So basically black powder from a traditional gun is the sound and smell and sight of the birth of Liberty, and you may politely ignore them.

LD

When my buddy breaks out the machine guns we'll intersperse a round or two from a front stuffer using real black just to provide some counter balance

Pretty funny that a mag dump and a 54 with 90gr 3f get the same "woah!" reaction from the others on the firing line ...
 
The Pa. Game Commission range I use has 5 benches set up for 100-yard shooting and a 15-yard set up for pistol shooters and right beside that is 2 benches set up at a 25-30 yard. When I take my muzzle loader to the 25yd. range there's always empty brass laying around on the cement pad. The bad part about it is there's a broom and dustpan hanging so guys can sweep up their spent brass. I always take a Walmart bag and thumb tack it to the table to get rid of my patches when I swab the barrel.
 
I just came from the indoor range here in town. I had to pick up an unmentionable I just bought. While there I spoke of shooting my muzzleloader there. I've shot them there before
The Kid running it told me I couldn't shoot black powder because so much of it doesn't burn and lays on the floor.
Rather than educate him, I said, oh OK, fine.
Like the song... people are STRANGE
 
I moved away 10 miles from my shooting range friend , so he uses a range nearer him , and visa versa. I thought I found a wonderful range where almost nobody is around to bother you. Was sighting in a new .40 cal. rifle , alone , and a car pulls in. Two guys get out and come over. One carried a Mac 10 , and the other an extended mag. 9mm pistol. They asked if they could try their guns out , and would I sell them a target? I told them they could use my 25 yd . target , so I could take a break. (yea right , like ya need a break from the fatiguing experience of a black powder .40 long rifle). they each fired their guns a few rounds , thanked me , and left. That was the last time I went there.
Another time , I joined a more popular , larger local range. All usually goes well at that one. Once I went there to sight in a long rifle , almost finished the sight in , and five guys from a local swat team came and took up positions , occupying three benches to the left of mine , and two benches to the right of where I was positioned. I was shooting a .62 using 90 gr. FFFG , lotsa fire and smoke. I only had about 4 shots to finish up , so asked the guys if they minded? They were all using heavily "tricked up " M 16's that were not loud at all. I sorta had to look at the ground , while I finished my four shots , so they wouldn't see my faint smile. As I packed up my stuff they got all jovial , and mighta been glad old pops was leaving with his noise , and smoke machine.
 
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