South African Muzzleloading

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Dr5x

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No black powder IS IMPORTED INTO S. AFRICA
So the good folks there are making their own which they say needs additional work but is still good enough to use.
My correspondent says his town only has a 10 member groups.
They are really at rock bottom.
If the anti gun party takes over here we won't be much better off.

Dutch Schoultz
 

Notchy Bob

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Dutch,

Thank you for helping keep us aware of the international situation. We in the USA need to remain vigilant in protecting our rights.

They have an extensive frontier history in South Africa, with a lot of parallels to our own. They also have a long tradition of shooting muzzleloaders, and developed their own style of long guns.

There was a very nice blackpowder forum based in South Africa, called "Whitesmoke." I was a member, but not a frequent visitor. The last time I checked, I could not find the forum, and I think it must have folded. Do you know?

Thanks,

Notchy Bob
 

Dr5x

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Dutch,

Thank you for helping keep us aware of the international situation. We in the USA need to remain vigilant in protecting our rights.

They have an extensive frontier history in South Africa, with a lot of parallels to our own. They also have a long tradition of shooting muzzleloaders, and developed their own style of long guns.

There was a very nice blackpowder forum based in South Africa, called "Whitesmoke." I was a member, but not a frequent visitor. The last time I checked, I could not find the forum, and I think it must have folded. Do you know?

Thanks,

Notchy Bob
BOB, HERE IS THE ENTIRE POST I GOT FROM SOUTH SFRICA

DUTCH
Subject: Re: Confirming Your Email to Dutch

Good to hear from you.
Thank you for your trust. I have paid the amount of 19.95 US dollars by using paypal and also send a photograph as proof of payment.
Please thank Dough for his help and persistence to help me.
I respect the policies of e-bay and cannot blame them for the restrictions to send to South Africa.
The postal service was excellent to about two years ago when that also fell apart, leaving us with a real problem.
That out of the way I would like to explain our black powder shooting in this local part of South Africa and hope I do not bore you to death.
Like the pioneers mostly of Dutch origin in your country my ancestors moved inland from the Cape Province, named after the Cape of good Hope, as early as the 17 hundreds. There were several small treks but the major one was in 1838. Called the great trek. The purpose of this was to obtain our own country away from the British. Our ancestors did that which led to several clashes with the indigenous peoples of Southern Africa. The Boers (farmers) obtained their Independence and eventually also from the British as the ZAR (your reference to Paul Kruger) and the Orange Free State (Marthinus Steyn). When gold was discovered in Transvaal (ZAR) the British became interested again and declared war against both the ZAR and (OFS) and eventually, with great misery to the boer people, the British won. We became the union of South Africa in 1910 and part of the British Commonwealth and a Republic on 31 May 1961.
That in very short was the history back then.
I have mentioned the Great Trek above and the rifles used were of dutch origin and after 1806 of British origin.
The same shape was used on the stock which as far as I can tell, was totally unique to South Africa called a "Bobejaan boud". This is roughly translated as baboon leg/bum due to the unique shape of the butt which is curved at the bottom resembling a baboons hind leg. There were several calibers and were flintlock hunting rifles but were also used in all conflicts even up to the beginning of the Anglo Boer War 1899-1902.

I have such a rifle dated to approximately 1833. This rifle is in a reasonably good shape and we shot her last Saturday. She is of 72 caliber smooth bore with slight strait grooves in the end of the barrel. Imported black powder is unafordable, the value was about R 1200.00 for 500 grams about five years ago. That should also translate to 1200 US dollars if compared to ones income. The consequence was that black powder shooting died in South Africa. About 3 years ago a person started manufacturing reasonably good black powder locally and the shooting of muzzle-loaders started again, but on a very small scale. The black powder is still in the development stage but good enough to use. (The manufacturer of the black powder emphatically states on the tin " Not for sale to the British". I cannot say if it is mend to be humorous or not.)

We are a small group of muzzleloaders in Vereeniging, about ten active members. The club is called Voorlaaiers Du Vereeniging (Muzzleloaders at Vereeniging). Vereeniging is a town to the south of Johannesburg in the ZAR. A wide range of muzzleloaders are used. My son and I are using the "Bobejaan boud" a .54 Lyman Trade Rifle and a .45 Pedersoli Tryon Match. Like all hobbies, I have a .58 Lee Enfield P 53 on the way.

Thanks for your help and your indulgence of the above.

I hope your eyes are well soon.

My sincere regards

Retief Venter
 

Dr5x

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No black powder IS IMPORTED INTO S. AFRICA
So the good folks there are making their own which they say needs additional work but is still good enough to use.
My correspondent says his town only has a 10 member groups.
They are really at rock bottom.
If the anti gun party takes over here we won't be much better off.

Dutch Schoultz
HERE IS A SLOPPY ATTEMPT AT QUOTING THE POST FROM SOUTH AFRICA
Subject: Re: Confirming Your Email to Dutch

Good to hear from you.
Thank you for your trust. I have paid the amount of 19.95 US dollars by using paypal and also send a photograph as proof of payment.
Please thank Dough for his help and persistence to help me.
I respect the policies of e-bay and cannot blame them for the restrictions to send to South Africa.
The postal service was excellent to about two years ago when that also fell apart, leaving us with a real problem.
That out of the way I would like to explain our black powder shooting in this local part of South Africa and hope I do not bore you to death.
Like the pioneers mostly of Dutch origin in your country my ancestors moved inland from the Cape Province, named after the Cape of good Hope, as early as the 17 hundreds. There were several small treks but the major one was in 1838. Called the great trek. The purpose of this was to obtain our own country away from the British. Our ancestors did that which led to several clashes with the indigenous peoples of Southern Africa. The Boers (farmers) obtained their Independence and eventually also from the British as the ZAR (your reference to Paul Kruger) and the Orange Free State (Marthinus Steyn). When gold was discovered in Transvaal (ZAR) the British became interested again and declared war against both the ZAR and (OFS) and eventually, with great misery to the boer people, the British won. We became the union of South Africa in 1910 and part of the British Commonwealth and a Republic on 31 May 1961.
That in very short was the history back then.
I have mentioned the Great Trek above and the rifles used were of dutch origin and after 1806 of British origin.
The same shape was used on the stock which as far as I can tell, was totally unique to South Africa called a "Bobejaan boud". This is roughly translated as baboon leg/bum due to the unique shape of the butt which is curved at the bottom resembling a baboons hind leg. There were several calibers and were flintlock hunting rifles but were also used in all conflicts even up to the beginning of the Anglo Boer War 1899-1902.

I have such a rifle dated to approximately 1833. This rifle is in a reasonably good shape and we shot her last Saturday. She is of 72 caliber smooth bore with slight strait grooves in the end of the barrel. Imported black powder is unafordable, the value was about R 1200.00 for 500 grams about five years ago. That should also translate to 1200 US dollars if compared to ones income. The consequence was that black powder shooting died in South Africa. About 3 years ago a person started manufacturing reasonably good black powder locally and the shooting of muzzle-loaders started again, but on a very small scale. The black powder is still in the development stage but good enough to use. (The manufacturer of the black powder emphatically states on the tin " Not for sale to the British". I cannot say if it is mend to be humorous or not.)

We are a small group of muzzleloaders in Vereeniging, about ten active members. The club is called Voorlaaiers Du Vereeniging (Muzzleloaders at Vereeniging). Vereeniging is a town to the south of Johannesburg in the ZAR. A wide range of muzzleloaders are used. My son and I are using the "Bobejaan boud" a .54 Lyman Trade Rifle and a .45 Pedersoli Tryon Match. Like all hobbies, I have a .58 Lee Enfield P 53 on the way.

Thanks for your help and your indulgence of the above.

I hope your eyes are well soon.

My sincere regards

Retief Venter

SO WE DON'T HAVE IT SO BAD BUT HAVE TO WORK TO PROTECT
DUTCH
 

ADK Bigfoot

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It is with great regret that I read about the current state of affairs in South Africa. Thirty years ago, I was part of the US International Muzzleloading Team. Our international competition was held in South Africa. The US Team was hosted by one Basic McDougall. The South African team was a strong contender wherever white smoke was in the air.

We had a great time (despite having my vehicle and kit stolen) and I have great respect for the struggles you face.

Regards,

ADK Bigfoot, aka Grootvoet
 

longcruise

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Wonder how an American planning a muzzle loader hunt in SA would deal with the black powder situation?
 

Notchy Bob

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Thank you for the additional information, Dutch. I wish there was some way we could help them out.

Your letter from Retief Venter provided a very good short history of the people and their traditional muzzle-loading guns, as well as an outline of their current predicament. However, based on everything I've read about the Boer people, they are resilient and resourceful. I am glad (and not surprised) to hear they are now making black powder in the country.

Just to end on a happy note, here is a picture I saved of an antique bobbejaan boud:

Bobbejaanboud.jpg


… a Voortrekker powder horn, and a detail shot of carving on a couple of Boer powder horn bases:

More Voortrekker Horns.pngHorn Bases.jpg

…and a portrait of Louis Adulphe Delegorgue (1814-1849), a French adventurer who loved southern Africa:
DeleGorgue.jpg
This is a really nice image of an old-time African hunter, outfitted with his bobbejaanboud, buffalo powder horn (from a Cape buffalo), and a ball pouch on his belt. I guess those must be ostrich feathers on his hat, and if you check out his footwear, you can see where "desert boots" came from!

Man, I hope things start looking up for the blackpowder shooters over there. Best of luck to them!

Notchy Bob, AKA Grys Baard
 

RonRC

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Groete aan die Suid-Afrikaanse swartpoeierskieters! Greetings to the South African Black Powder Shooters!
I have worked at least one month each year in South Africa since 1999 and have seen the difficulties in obtaining and using a firearm of any kind. It took my Afrikaner friend over 3 years to obtain permission to take possession of his deceased grandfather's .357 revolver. This same friend used a modern CZ auto loader to rescue us from an attempted car-jacking last year in Johannesburg. (Please pardon the mention of modern firearms)

The pioneers, or Vortrekkers in South Africa had many similarities to those who took their Conestoga wagons West in America. With a potential attack by native people in store, they went in "Laager", similar to circling (or went into a defensive square) the wagons. If available, they would pile Acacia tree branches with their large thorns, between the wagons. The men would fire their rifles or smooth bores and the women and children would reload. 460 Vortrekkers could then drive off 10,000 Zulu (look up the Battle of Blood River (Slag van Bloedrivier) for more. It's like reading a thrilling story of the U.S. wagon trains).

The Vortrekkers did not see many natives as they moved north from the Cape Town area until they made contact with the Zulu. Chiefs of the Zulu factions, Shaka, Dingane and Mzilikazi, had cleared the High Veld (the high plains) of most people, killing the men and taking the women, girls and boys. The boys were impressed into the Zulu armies. Mzilikazi founded what is now Matebeleland, in the former Rhodesia and present Zimbabwe. He was a rival to Shaka Zulu (see the movie "Zulu", with Michael Caine, for a faint resemblance to the actual history).
The Southern Africa tribes had spread down from East Africa and arrived in South Africa not very long before the Dutch arrived. The real natives present when the Europeans arrived were what are now called the Khoi-San. They previously were called the Hottentots or Bushmen, terms now taken as derogatory.
Sorry for being so long-winded. I've had a strong interest in SA history.
Ron
 
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