Broke into black powder yesterday.

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Osseon

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The hat question was a real inquiry. With all the sparks and open ignition the question of catching your hair on fire, that's all...I went to the black powder shoot at my club today. It was an informal shotgun/rifle shoot. Imagine being in a deadly duel for your hearth and home and having just a BP weapon. That idea scares me and I have a new respect for the men that fought the Revolution with similar arms.

Eh, I have long hair and never felt once that It was in danger of ignition. The flash is far enough away that it isn't an issue. I would be more concerned with my eyes.
 
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Welcome fellow new black powder shooter. In answer to your questions:

Yes I did wear a hat as it was kind of chilly, but I don't see a hat as having any bearing on the shooting. Not sure what that question is about.

I am certain I can improve on the 50 yard shots. Eventually. I'm not too good with open sights as I normally shoot my AR's with scopes, and my eyes aren't great. I'm real inconsistent at 50 yards right now with the flintlock. Out of the 8 shots I took, 5 of them were near the bull and the group could easily be covered by my hand. One was about 4 inches low and left, and the other two didn't hit the target at all. Lot's of room for improvement.

I was using 50 grains of either 2F or 3F Goex. I couldn't see any difference between them. I used 4F in the pan and found that as someone told me earlier in this thread that I don't need the whole 3 grains I was using, as less worked just as well.

Here's a short video I made while at the range. It's not great but shows the process I used, right or wrong. It starts with pouring the powder from the flask into the powder measure, then down the barrel. I then check the measure to be sure all the powder was dispensed. I'm having a little trouble getting the ball and patch started as it's really tight. I'm using a .490 ball and 0.10 prelubed patch. I bought a real nice range rod and marked it so I know the ball is seated the whole way down.

The first time I settled in to take the shot the primer did not ignite so I edited that out. I fiddled with the flint and re-cocked for the second attempt and got the expected boom.

As mentioned I spent 4 hours at the range to take 16 shots but I consider it all to have been quality time.

The lighting in this video isn't the greatest, and for that I apologize. I still have a lot to learn about taking video with a phone.



As the others mentioned above.
I am not sure but I think it is simply following thru on the shot. It seems like as soon as you complete the trigger pull you are getting up? Which is way to soon for a flintlock. I would be surprised if you hit the target at all.
 
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Welcome fellow new black powder shooter. In answer to your questions:

Yes I did wear a hat as it was kind of chilly, but I don't see a hat as having any bearing on the shooting. Not sure what that question is about.

I am certain I can improve on the 50 yard shots. Eventually. I'm not too good with open sights as I normally shoot my AR's with scopes, and my eyes aren't great. I'm real inconsistent at 50 yards right now with the flintlock. Out of the 8 shots I took, 5 of them were near the bull and the group could easily be covered by my hand. One was about 4 inches low and left, and the other two didn't hit the target at all. Lot's of room for improvement.

I was using 50 grains of either 2F or 3F Goex. I couldn't see any difference between them. I used 4F in the pan and found that as someone told me earlier in this thread that I don't need the whole 3 grains I was using, as less worked just as well.

Here's a short video I made while at the range. It's not great but shows the process I used, right or wrong. It starts with pouring the powder from the flask into the powder measure, then down the barrel. I then check the measure to be sure all the powder was dispensed. I'm having a little trouble getting the ball and patch started as it's really tight. I'm using a .490 ball and 0.10 prelubed patch. I bought a real nice range rod and marked it so I know the ball is seated the whole way down.

The first time I settled in to take the shot the primer did not ignite so I edited that out. I fiddled with the flint and re-cocked for the second attempt and got the expected boom.

As mentioned I spent 4 hours at the range to take 16 shots but I consider it all to have been quality time.

The lighting in this video isn't the greatest, and for that I apologize. I still have a lot to learn about taking video with a phone.



The RSO in me might remind you to minimize allowing body parts over the muzzle. Still...

Fun, huh?

wm
 
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My son and I went to the range yesterday for his first time ever firing a black powder gun. We had a good time as both of us are learning just how different this is from the modern guns we're used to. I'm jealous of how good his eyes are. I had a hard time seeing where my shots were hitting the target at 50 yards but he would tell me exactly where they were. Next time I go I'm taking my spotting scope.

If you replay 2:11 on tape a few times I think you might find some flinching, or shot anticipating, or whatever you want to call it. As with all rifles follow thru is important but especially with flintlocks.

I know I need to work on staying on target after the trigger pull. That delay still seems odd when I'm used to pulling the trigger and having an instantaneous bang. It's just going to take some repetition.

One of the many perks of my club’s range is there’s No Cell service!!

There's none at my club either and some people think that's a negative, but I see it as a plus.

The hat question was a real inquiry. With all the sparks and open ignition the question of catching your hair on fire, that's all. Imagine being in a deadly duel for your hearth and home and having just a BP weapon. That idea scares me and I have a new respect for the men that fought the Revolution with similar arms.

My hair is normally in a pretty shot buzz cut so I don't think the hair on fire is a worry to me.

My son and I were talking about how much of a challenge it would be if all you had to put meat on the table was one of these weapons. We also thought about how battles were fought where lines of men would face each other and fire volley after volley at each other till one side gave up and retreated. It's hard to imagine the courage that must have took. And a lot of those battles ended with a bayonet charge. Those old boys were tough.

The RSO in me might remind you to minimize allowing body parts over the muzzle. Still...

Fun, huh?

wm

I looked back over that video and the only avoidable placing of body parts over the muzzle that I saw was when I was trying to start the ball and I did lean over it for leverage. Since I was having a hard time getting the ball started I have added a small brass hammer to my bag and use it to tap the ball starter which keeps my body back from the muzzle. I don't think there's any way to completely avoid having my hands over the muzzle at times during the loading process.

I try to always be aware of the four cardinal rules of gun safety so I take no offense if someone points out something I'm doing that's unsafe. I'm one who has on occasion left the range because I saw another shooter handling a gun in what I considered an unsafe manner. Did you see anything else that was unsafe?

And fun? Is it ever!

I love that during this time of ammo shortages I can spend hours and not use up a ton of components. We shot our modern pistols first and burned through 150 or so rounds in maybe 1/2 hour, then moved to the black powder rifle and shot 10 shots in about 2 hours. That's a whole lot more enjoyment per dollar.
 

Osseon

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My son and I were talking about how much of a challenge it would be if all you had to put meat on the table was one of these weapons. We also thought about how battles were fought where lines of men would face each other and fire volley after volley at each other till one side gave up and retreated. It's hard to imagine the courage that must have took. And a lot of those battles ended with a bayonet charge. Those old boys were tough.

While rifles were used in battle, it was only in skirmisher type roles, from trees or cover, or hit and run type things. Because the reload time was so long, and the lack of ability to fix a bayonet. In the revolutionary war, the militia made up of the common man would use rifles because its what they used for hunting and self protection in the colonies.

Volleyfire was used specifically with smoothbore muskets because loading was done easily with a paper cartridge. Without the worry of fouling building up in the rifling you could fire longer. Generals like Washington, and Napoleon didn't like rifles because the longer range and accuracy didn't seem important on the smokey battlefield where visibility was at an all time low. Instead they would march hundreds of men in lines with "rapid" firing inaccurate smoothbore muskets in order to fire en masse. I believe someone on this forum said the standard strategy was 3 volley fires while marching closer to each other, then a bayonet charge.

Here is an example of a rapid fire smooth brown Bess. (With the last shot as an example why you always follow through with your shot haha)



Eventually the rifled musket did take over in the Civil war, but they were no longer flintlock, using percussion caps instead, bullets and cartridge technology had changed to reduce fouling. Line fire while still existing, quickly dissolved as the accuracy and firing rate would cut down troops by the thousands.
 
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Welcome fellow new black powder shooter. In answer to your questions:

Yes I did wear a hat as it was kind of chilly, but I don't see a hat as having any bearing on the shooting. Not sure what that question is about.

I am certain I can improve on the 50 yard shots. Eventually. I'm not too good with open sights as I normally shoot my AR's with scopes, and my eyes aren't great. I'm real inconsistent at 50 yards right now with the flintlock. Out of the 8 shots I took, 5 of them were near the bull and the group could easily be covered by my hand. One was about 4 inches low and left, and the other two didn't hit the target at all. Lot's of room for improvement.

I was using 50 grains of either 2F or 3F Goex. I couldn't see any difference between them. I used 4F in the pan and found that as someone told me earlier in this thread that I don't need the whole 3 grains I was using, as less worked just as well.

Here's a short video I made while at the range. It's not great but shows the process I used, right or wrong. It starts with pouring the powder from the flask into the powder measure, then down the barrel. I then check the measure to be sure all the powder was dispensed. I'm having a little trouble getting the ball and patch started as it's really tight. I'm using a .490 ball and 0.10 prelubed patch. I bought a real nice range rod and marked it so I know the ball is seated the whole way down.

The first time I settled in to take the shot the primer did not ignite so I edited that out. I fiddled with the flint and re-cocked for the second attempt and got the expected boom.

As mentioned I spent 4 hours at the range to take 16 shots but I consider it all to have been quality time.

The lighting in this video isn't the greatest, and for that I apologize. I still have a lot to learn about taking video with a phone.



Get rid of the plastic stand and put it on a sandbag. The plastic is just too bouncy... You will see an instant result in accuracy consistency.
There are many inexpensive bags out there - some prefilled and some not. If you buy one that isn't, use walnut litter or course grain sand.
 
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Welcome to the dark side. You lifted your head off the stock at the moment of ignition. Anticipation only works watching coffee boil. LOL. Have fun!
 
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Welcome to the dark side. You lifted your head off the stock at the moment of ignition.

I was at the range yesterday and caught myself doing that. It's something I need to work on.

This addiction must be contagious. I went shooting with my son on Sunday. He had never fired a muzzleloader before, but really enjoyed it. This morning he told me he ordered a flintlock from this place. I think it's the Traditions Pennsylvania Rifle that he's getting.

He's not sure what size flints he needs. Would I be correct to assume that all Traditions flintlocks use a 5/8" flint?
 
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I try to get to the range twice a week but with the shortages of reloading supplies I'm always thinking about how many rounds I send downrange.

The club I belong to has some beautiful outdoor ranges and I like to spend hours there if only to enjoy the fresh air experience. Normally I'd shoot my pistols for a bit, then head over to the rifle range for a while but it always seems I get to the point where I feel I need to quit burning ammo before I'm ready to call it a day.

My new flintlock is a big help with that since it takes a lot longer to use up ammo. More time at the range is always a good thing to me.
Speaking of shortages Swiss seems to be available again for I guess as this boat load lasts. I purchased some from Buffalo Arms the price of the powder didn’t bother me it was the hazmat shipping cost somewhere around $53 and that doesn’t change whether it’s one can or 50. A club buy would be ideal but unfortunately for me I’m my own club. They had it so I bought it. Wondering after that if that fee is a fixed fee for all dealers. Happy shooting!
 
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