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Today was a beautiful day to be at the FtLupton Blackpowder Range for a morning of shooting. Clear blue skies, temperatures hovering between the upper 70’s and the lower 80’s. We arrived at around 9:00 and shot till just after 12:00.


I had my .40 calibre Kibler SMR at the range for the first time.


We used the 25 yrd range for the morning.


Very quickly, the set trigger quit working. I really struggle at single trigger, shooting blackpowder firearms. I’m a much better marksman, using double set triggers.

Each target above is 5 to 7 shots. I’m shooting a .390 RB, with red pillow ticking patch. Left to right, my loads are: 35 grains fffg, 40 grains fffg, & 45 grains ffg.
Shooting at such a large black bull, with those tiny Kibler sights, makes it hard to hold a tight group. I reshot the group. I went to a smaller target, turned it over, shot at the back, and put a square of blue tape on the back as my aim point. The sights were not touched today, so the gun is pretty well centered, and shoots low. Once the gun has a solid load, then I’ll adjust the sights, and tune the gun in.


In the previous post, the 40 grain center target looked great. So I had the same expectations for the 40 grain center target on the reshoot….nope, nope, nope. So frustrating to get excited about the possibilities of an easy load being found, on to be rug pulled by reality.

Is it me and the single trigger curse?

Is it the gun?

Are the stars not aligned properly?…

Onto blue pillow ticking patch…


That 40 grain center group looks like it wants to be good. I know that I pulled the shot that is high and to the right. I need more range time, more rounds burned…sometimes a gun just wanders until that first couple hundred rounds have worked some magic

Stay tuned…I have another .40 calibre in my stable. It’s a TVM Natchez PoorBoy. I’ve got a fairly solid load with a .390 RB, but I’ll still go through the motions. Who knows maybe things have changed since I last shot it.

So for the few weeks, or months, I’ll be trading back & forth as I develop a series of loads for each gun.
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@BigAl52 I appreciate the offer.

I just need to knuckle down and find the time, or create time, to caste RBs…I’ve gone through everything and I have all the containers in a box ready to go. I’ve done the .530’s for my .54 calibre…but things got busy. This week I should have time. I think today I’m helping my dad split wood, from the tree that we removed last week from the front yard.

Maybe this afternoon I can get another calibre completed.

So much easier back when I had 5 guns, all of them the same calibre…
Contacted Kibler…printed out the shipping label, pulled the set triggers…sending it back to Kibler.

When I pulled the triggers, it looked to be that the problem was there was no edge to hold the set trigger. The set had no real estate to engage and hold onto…so hopefully I get a fully functional set trigger in a week or so…
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@BigAl52 The lock has always been solid, though I felt the mainspring was a bit strong and lightened it after you headed home that day. The day at the range, I got close to 65 shots from the flint that Kibler had mounted on the lock. So I’m feeling good about the lock. I try to get north of 67 shots before I change a flint, I’ve been sparking this flint for over a week and then still got about 65 shots, first day at the range. I might go back and polish up the mainspring, but for all intensive purposes, mainspring is solid.

The problem with the lock was that the retaining screw that came through the stock and held the lock in place, wasn’t aligning well with the lock. I removed some wood and was able to get the lock installed, snugged it up and left it for a week…now it aligns just fine.

While I was shooting at the range, the set trigger quit working, it wouldn't hold set. So I had to shoot single trigger, I’m not very good at single trigger on muzzleloaders. I shoot much better with a set trigger. At any rate, I spent a nice morning shooting the Kibler. I had only one misfire, and I simply picked the flash hole, reprimed, and the gun went blamo.

This Kibler is a sweet little gun. It doesn’t weigh much of nothing…very dependable shooter, and once I get a good load worked up for it…I have high expectations that it will be a performer.

I contacted Kibler, explained the problem with the set trigger…they sent me a shipping label, and they should be getting the package today. Once I get the trigger back, I’ll be back at the range doing load development.

I spent the day today casting RBs for my .40 calibres. I cast a bunch of .390’s, and .380’s….I have a good supply of .375’s, won’t need to cast them for a while. I still need to cast some conical bullet…so not completely done.

I have a TVM Natchez PoorBor in .40 calibre…that one will be hitting the range next. I’ll be working on both the Kibler and the TVM for the next couple months, until I have them both completed.

So nice fall project.
My frizzen on my Early Plains Rifle looks to be functioning properly. Cast up a nice amount of .54’s yesterday. The front sight came loose…so I’ll be back out at the range adjusting sights again.

View attachment 156302
This is my favorite firearm right now. I’m a huge fan of the .54 calibre as a hunting calibre. Due to the size of the calibre, it just consumes too many resources…so, it’s going to be shot sparingly.

View attachment 156303
It was a very busy day yesterday. I was able to get the ramrod functioning smoothly, and the sights are installed. Above are my current .40 calibre rifles. Both flintlocks. The bottom rifle is a TVM Natchez PoorBoy, the upper is my Kibler Southern Mountain Rifle.

View attachment 156306
These will be the firearms that I’ll be shooting, and will have my attention. I love the calibre, I love that these guns use very little lead, and sip powder.

The TVM is essentially sighted in and shooting fine. The Kibler needs to be sighted in and its accuracy potential uncovered.

For these .40’s, I’m looking to develop loads for .390 or .395 RoundBalls, which ever is most accurate for each gun. I want to be shooting undersized RBs, .380 or .375…again whichever is more accurate. And finally, I’m going to see if I can develop a good solidly accurate conical bullet load for each of these guns…opening the door to using them as light big game here in Colorado…

So yeah, lots of Range Time coming…very stoked to have these projects to look forward too.
Those are fine looking rifles!

You mentioned the small sights on the Kibler. I cannot shoot well with small sights. I have a Schimmel barn flintlock rifle with a 42 inch barrel that has whopping big sights and I can shoot that rifle accurately.
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Those are fine looking rifles!

You mentioned the small sights on the Kibler. I cannot shoot well with small sights. I have a Schimmel barn flintlock rifle with a 42 inch barrel that has whopping big sights and I can shoot that rifle accurately.
I need to look into getting better sights. When shooting 45 grain fffg loads, the barrel heats up on the first shot, and there after mirage becomes an issue. I’m looking for a taller rear sight, and front sight combination.
There was a young woman at the Colorado shoot that was dressed in colonial garb. At one point, she was shooting a flintlock pistol. It sort of resembled a light dragoon, but possibly even smaller. Anyone have an idea what it was?
We’re up at the family cabin tonight. I have a couple of favorite roads that I like to drive in the evenings.

Here’s why:

These bad boys like to come out in the final hours of the evening.


When I’m hunting elk, I usually smell them before I see them…that tells me the wind is right. All of these shots were taken with a cellphone…longest elk was 45 yrds, closest elk was around 8 yrds. Brings back so many hunting memories. The big herd cow started at 25 yrds…then worked her way to my left, with the wind….

90% of the time…this is what I’ll see, if I approach from the cow side of the herd…those girls just see everything. Then you need to hunker down low and start using cow/calf talk, try to keep her from running off with the herd. If she doesn’t run, you can start to give a few real wimpy bull calls, coupled with some cow talk; chances are good you’ll be able to convince the herd bull that a young satellite bull has gotten into his harem. That’ll get him to come investigate. If the cow that saw you doesn’t take the herd right away, the clock starts ticking, cuz she’s going to work her way around you, and try to wind you…so you need to get that bull to investigate the wimpy bull before she cautiously works her way around you.


There were 8 or so cows and calves in this herd. It’s early rut right now.


If it has leaves, elk eat it


Here’s another look at the herd bull as he calls to his girls.


This is a nice bull elk, I would be very pleased with this elk. Not the biggest I’ve seen, but still…WOW.

I miss sneaking into a herd of elk during season…that is such an amazing feeling, getting so close to these majestic animals.

I had my wife look over these pictures tonight. And read what I had written, and she said, ”Do you remember that time?”

So here’s a story about that time:

One year, I hunted close to home. Knocked down my elk one evening after work, he was a very good sized satellite bull. My wife could not believe the size of that bull. She wanted to see where I got it, so I drove her up the next day and showed her where it all happened…walked her through the entire hunt, she was so supportive.

On the way home she asked if I could try to call in another elk for her to see.

It was getting on toward later evening, I drove down the road a bit to a meadow, told her to stay by the truck, and got out and started calling. 1/2 hr later, I got an answer, just as my wife was starting to get board. After many replies, 40 minutes later, the lead cow came out into the meadow, quickly followed by the rest of the herd.

Then the herd bull appeared. He was massive, so much bigger than the bull I had tagged the night before.

I did lot’s of cow calling…and mixed in a very high pitched winey bull call…he came right towards me, then he held up at 50 yrds.

There was a pile of rock in the meadow, about 30 yrds away from the bull, on my side of the meadow. I crawled down the roadside for about 20 yrds and put a pile of rock between me and him, then crawled right out to him. As I crawled, I’d stop and cow talk/calf talk…once I was at the pile of rock, I started my wimpy bull bugling…he came right at me. Stopped at the pile of rocks and started raking his huge rack through the grass…urinating all over. He was very rank.

He knew I sounded like a young stupid bull, but I didn’t look like any bull he had ever seen. He stayed on one side of the rock pile, between me and his cows. I stayed on my side, and every time I bugled my wimpy bull call, he’d hunch up his back…give a big deep throaty bugle, and then spray the ground, and rake his antlers.

Since that night, my wife has never doubted my hunting stories…and I’ve had some whoppers.
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I took my dad and a good friend shooting this week. We went out and shot on Wednesday, getting our guns ready for a Texas Hog Hunt in January…no better time to start than the present.

This guy shows up, and sets up and starts shooting at the bench next to me. We start talking. He’s getting ready for a November elk hunt, music to my ears. And I start talking about BlackPowder Elk hunting, and my up coming Texas SmokePole Hog Hunt. Nicest person you would ever want to meet. We swapped stories, spotted each others shots. Just a stellar person. I had a great time…

Next thing I know, he’s talking about this magazine called BlackPowder Hunting…I loved BlackPowder Hunting, I had a subscription. Turns out, his wife was part owner of the company.

My wife and I were invited over to pick through their boxes of old back issues of the magazine. I had the greatest time today. We talked, told stories, shared an amazing afternoon…


And as to BlackPowder Hunting…I was always perplexed as what happened. The magazine was a premiere publication on the sport of BlackPowder Hunting, and for it to disappear so quickly, never made sense to me. Not perplexed any more…

It has been a good day.
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