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dave951

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A while back, I was thinking about what the North South Skirmish Association goes through in terms of expendables like powder, lead and caps and I brought the subject up to a couple friends in the organization. Here's what we came up with based upon the last Nationals prior to Covid.

I'm going out on a limb here but I'd say the largest black powder shooting organization in terms of consumption is the North South Skirmish Association. I am a N-SSA member. One of the largest suppliers to the N-SSA, in terms of quantity of powder moved, is Back Creek Gun Shop. BCGS is right at the exit to our main range and has been the main supplier to the N-SSA for years. Just last month, the mucky muckys of Estes (Goex), Schuetzen, and Wano paid Jackie a personal visit and he shared a little of their comments with me and some others.

But here's quick estimate of our consumption-
These figures are for Individual "bullseye" competition at ONE National competition
1200 competitors- Musket: 200 Pounds of Powder. 2,100 pounds of lead
1100 competitors- Carbine: 140 pounds of powder. 1,885 pounds of lead
340 competitors- Smoothbore: 75 pounds of powder, 685 pounds of lead
340 competitors- Breechloader: 43 pounds of powder, 290 pounds of lead
150 competitors- SS/Breechloader: 20 pounds of powder, 128 pounds of lead

Approximately 5,100 pounds of lead and 480 pounds of powder used in individual competition ALONE in ONE Nationals and we have 2 Nationals per year so this figure on a per annum basis is double- and this doesn't even cover cap use rates.

These figures are for Team Competition at ONE National competition-
Musket- 575lb of powder, 5600lb of lead
Carbine- 260lb of powder, 3400lb of lead
Smoothbore- 130lb of powder, 1000lb of lead
Breechloader- 13lb of powder, 110lb of lead

Approximately 5 TONS of lead and 978lb of powder expended in team competition ALONE in ONE Nationals and we have 2 Nationals per year and again, doesn't even cover cap use rates.

So in just our SMALL ARMS competition (and I left out the small taters ie handguns) the N-SSA in holding 2 National competitions per year goes through 15 TONS of lead and 2.5 TONS of powder each year and that's only for Nationals in the Small Arms categories. And I haven't even touched on the artillery guys yet. You can imagine where the numbers go with those guys playing with their big toys.

Couple those numbers with Skirmishes (competitions) being shot somewhere almost every other weekend, add in powder and lead expended in practicing by individuals and it's hard to say there's anybody using more than we are besides the US gov/military/industry. I personally use about 35-40lb of Swiss per year and thousands of caps and I'm not a "power user" like some of the artillery guys are. One of them I spoke with goes through about 500lb per year.

The sad part is few people have ever heard of the North South Skirmish Association other than the powder and cap suppliers.
 
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Wonderful! It all adds up; I wanted to join the NSSA years ago, but wound up reenacting instead. I love the idea of using live fire to accomplish meaningful scores on wood targets, etc. Good clean American fun everywhere but in the benighted liberal regions of our Nation under the influence of foreign billions. Perhaps such target practice will, someday, along with the proper and just adulation and worship of that God who sifted out the hearts of men to re-establish the Union, pay dividends in a renewed birth of freedom. Selah.
 

Horse

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Dave, I belonged to the NSSA in the earley 1970's, with the 2nd NJ Cavalry Co K until I moved across the country. One of the best experiences of my life. I'll see if I can find some old photos from back then.
 

ord sgt

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The sad part is few people have ever heard of the North South Skirmish Association other than the powder and cap suppliers.
Once upon a long time ago, I was a member of the 11th NJ Infantry, MidAtlantic region. Shot with them for several years. Went to the regional shoots at Fort Ross (Charlie Smithgalls property).
Stopped at Back Creek after each National shoot. Still have the uniform but only have the carbine left. Sold the three band Enfield.
My sig name was my rank.
 
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dave951

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Guys, I've posted those rough figures for a couple reasons. First off, many have never heard of the N-SSA, outside Goex, Schuetzen, RWS, yet we are most likely the largest civilian organization (by consumption) in the country. Second, with that amount of powder and lead going down range, you'd be hard pressed to say we're not hardcore competition shooters and we might know a couple things about Civil War arms. Third, with that amount of the holy black in use, you can't ever say we aren't having fun!
 

akroguy

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That's enough lead tonnage sent into the same chunk of real estate to eventually knock the Earth off it's rotational axis. Ya'll get to pickin' the berm or we're all doomed!

Really cool synopsis of consumption rates. That took a lot of work. Thank you, Dave.
 

dave951

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That's enough lead tonnage sent into the same chunk of real estate to eventually knock the Earth off it's rotational axis. Ya'll get to pickin' the berm or we're all doomed!

Really cool synopsis of consumption rates. That took a lot of work. Thank you, Dave.
I was picking off the berm last time I was there. I had about 50lb in maybe 15 minutes, no digging necessary.
 
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