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Joined
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I was talking to a guy in our Gun Club last Friday. He said he was thinking about selling his two muzzleloaders because he never shoots them. I invited him out today. He has a Crocket Rifle and I’m still sighting in my Frontier Gander’s 36 caliber barrel. This isn’t the first time we’ve been out together. He’s using 20 grains of 3F because that’s what I told him I used in my Crocket.

Five shots Bench Rested with 20 grains of 3F gave a mediocre group. I bumped it to 25. The first shot goes off and he yells TOO MUCH POWDER!”. I asked “What do you mean? He said, “It’s too loud!”. He’s wearing hearing protection, by the way. I was shooting 5 grains more than he was and because of that and the fact that my barrel is 4” shorter, it will be louder. I got a nice group at 25 grains. I then went to 30. I thought he was going to have a fit. I explained that this is how you develop a load. The group spread out again, so I settled on 25. I couldn’t bear to listen to his complaining if I went to 35.

On top of that, he wanted to go look at his target after every shot. I offered to loan him a set of binoculars. Unfortunately, he declined.

When I said the gun “liked” 25 grains, his response was “Good! Because that’s the maximum charge you can use for a Muzzle Loader on this range”. I replied, “Oh really”. He said, “Yes, it’s in the Bylaws!” I’m Chief Rangemaster and therefore on the Board as well. There is nothing written anywhere that limits powder charges. That’s in the Owner’s Manual! He thinks it says 20 grains, but we all know there’s a spread between the lowest and highest.

Off Hand wasn’t as good as would have liked. I was tired and frustrated by then.

I will never shoot with this individual again! I wonder what he would think of the noise from a 50 caliber (or several) at one of our Muzzleloader Matches. I didn’t say anything because he’s at least ten years older than me. I try and respect my elders even if it’s not that much.

My buddy ordered some 11” x 17” Critter Targets from Baker for the next Shooting Match. I’m not sure what distance he’s going to set them at. I’ll go out one more time beforehand and check it at 50 yards.

Walt
 

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Immediate suggestion is to find a better class of friends, but this individual, already seemingly interested in muzzleloaders, might be worth of some additional attention. Those already interested in muzzleloading are not all that common to find. Might be worth a little time and patience. Or maybe not, never met your friend.
 
Immediate suggestion is to find a better class of friends, but this individual, already seemingly interested in muzzleloaders, might be worth of some additional attention. Those already interested in muzzleloading are not all that common to find. Might be worth a little time and patience. Or maybe not, never met your friend.
I don't know what happened. He wasn't like this the last time out. However, that was a while back. He was like an old dog that can't learn a new trick. 2025 marks my 40th year in this hobby. He acted as if he knew more than me.

I hate to give up on him. Food for thought I guess.

Walt
 
Immediate suggestion is to find a better class of friends, but this individual, already seemingly interested in muzzleloaders, might be worth of some additional attention. Those already interested in muzzleloading are not all that common to find. Might be worth a little time and patience. Or maybe not, never met your friend.
He is too ignorant to be educated. If he wants to unload his muzzleloaders, I say encourage him.
 
I posted this before about a guy I ran into that pulled the breech plug on his TC Hawken every time he cleaned it. He said he could screw it in and out with finger pressure, the threads have obviously been wallowed out over the last 40 or 50 years. I told him this was bad idea but he countered with " this is the way I have always done it" and had no interest in listening to reason.

You can't get to some people.
 
Everyone you will ever meet, has issues in their life, we know nothing about. This multiplies with time and age.

Many in this hobby are no longer young, some are staying off early stages of Dementia, have cancer, COPD, heart disease, etc... or have a dying spouse, troubled kids, financial problems, ending careers etc... and many see this as a temporary reprieve, but can't fully escape from their woes.

Don't be quick to judge, sometimes just being a bit of a grump, is the best we can aspire to.
 
Everyone you will ever meet, has issues in their life, we know nothing about. This multiplies with time and age.

Many in this hobby are no longer young, some are staying off early stages of Dementia, have cancer, COPD, heart disease, etc... or have a dying spouse, troubled kids, financial problems, ending careers etc... and many see this as a temporary reprieve, but can't fully escape from their woes.

Don't be quick to judge, sometimes just being a bit of a grump, is the best we can aspire to.
Wise words! I guess I was expecting him to be more like he was the last time out. Total night and day difference!

Walt
 

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