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Load 'em on the firing line.

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by GioaJack, Apr 5, 2010.

  1. GioaJack

    GioaJack Conifer Jack

    Apr 14, 2009
    Conifer, CO
    Nay, you say, have you gone bonkers, that would be too much trouble. Lugging a press mounted on a portable bench to the range, fighting the wind while trying to get a scale settled down, ever vigilant for sticky fingered fellow shooters pilfering components and horrors of horrors... where would we plug in our tumblers?

    HA!, I retort, step out of the sissy mindset of modern shooters and back to a time when men were men and not reliant on production line technology. The old timers around here already know, and if they're lucky, the newbs will eventually learn, real shooting begins and ends with black powder muzzle loaders.

    No quibbling over the virtues of red or blue, single stage or progressive, fast or slow burning powder. No, no, no, none of that 'my magazine holds more than yours' or 'how come a caliber that starts with a 4 is so much better than one that starts with a 9?'

    Leave the plastic and polymer, the hollow points and jacketed and stand against target or beast with a fine crafted muzzle loader of metal and wood.

    Being the first Sunday of the month it was once again time for our club black powder rifle match. As a belated April Fools Day present the match coordinators decided that novelty targets were in order. For those of you who are not familiar with the term 'novelty target' suffice it to say they were designed to be seen by eyes thirty years old... or younger.

    Apparently the Easter holiday kept some of the more 'whipped' shooters home with their significant others as we had only 19 brave hearts show up. Alas, fun was had by all... at least by me. Out of four targets, five shots per at aiming points ranging from 3 inches down to 1 1/2 inches I managed to win two targets and third on another. Good enough to put a bunch of folding green in my pocket. Never under estimate the old and infirm.

    For the grand finally we had a little side match with a $5 entry fee. Everyone coughed up the money for some fun on a glorious Colorado spring day.

    Twenty-five clay birds were strung between poles at the seventy-five yard line hanging at different heights by wire. Cardboard covered the back of all the birds, concealing the four birds that were filled with baking flour. (One of our members is on the U.S. National black powder team, he actually shoots an original 1600's Japanese matchlock in world wide competition, came up with this dastardly event.)

    For those who have never shot a muzzle loader, it is not the easiest thing in the world to hit a 4 1/2 inch disk swaying in the wind at seventy-five yards. The Gods of Luck must be smiling down upon you so as not to run out of powder and ball.

    Each shooter drew a numbered poker chip to determine shooting order. Remember the luck I've had with those 3 ex-wives... it hasn't gotten any better. I drew number 16. My son-in-law drew 4 and my shooting buddy Deak drew 15. He turned 73 last Sunday. (You don't want to shoot against him... trust me. He regales us with stories of his Civil War exploits all the time.)

    Needless to say, there were lots of misses, everyone of which I managed to point out with an encouraging comment. My first shot was a miss... you'd think all those people would have more respect for the disabled... the crude comments and catcalls were totally uncalled for.

    My next two shots were hits but alas, the sky was only littered with bits of broken bird... no cloud of fine white flour.

    By the time the rotation came back around to Deak the atmosphere was still flour free. It was time to strategize. I pointed out a bird that was hanging stock still in the breeze and pointed out that it was stationary because of added weight from the flower. I advised him to shoot at that one. Showing complete disregard for my investigative prowess he decided to shoot at one that was swaying in the breeze.

    The echo of his report was drowned out by the roar of the crowd... and my cry of disdain as flour filled the sky. First shot that drew flour got half of the total entry fees.

    I shot next, the bird that I had pointed out to him... once again the sky was littered with flower but sadly the second flour filled bird only paid 30% of the total pot. RATS! It probably worked out as it should though... he needs the money to pay for all his Metamucil.

    After the shoot we made our way to a pistol berm to shoot, among other guns, the Ruger LCP I picked up last week. To be truthful I was not really expecting great things. It's not often you get a ten ounce gun with a forty pound trigger.

    I had loaded up a few hundred 90 grain RN over 2.9 grains of HP38. I had fired a few into the snow behind the house during the week so I knew they were going to function but had no idea of the accuracy of the load or the gun. All I knew was that they were accurate enough to hit the ground five feet in front of my feet.

    From 20 yards that little sucker hit a 12 inch by 12 inch steel plate all day long. It started to get boring so I tried it one handed, as real men are wont to do. Just as easy as a sissy two hand hold. All three of us had the same results and all three of us got bored.

    We switched to a six inch round swinging gong. Not as easy but it averaged three hits out of every six with the other three hitting at six o'clock for all of us.

    Out of a hundred reloads and fifty factory there was not one malfunction of any kind... none. While certainly not my first choice for a carry caliber and not as accurate or easy on the hand as a Walter PP it's a hell of a little gun. I just may keep it.

    We also shot a couple hundred rounds of 200 grain SWC .45's loaded over 3.9 grains of Clays. I have 14 pounds of it I want to get rid of and had never used it in anything but shotgun. I was actually very impressed, made for a snappy little load out of an alloy Star PD.

    Thus ended a long day at the range... had nothing better to do... NASCAR had the weekend off. :supergrin:

  2. Sounds like you had fun... I've been thinking of getting a black powder gun myself sometime. I like my little LCP. Not one problem and at 15 yards I've been getting less then 2 inch groups. I was pleased considering the sights and how much it wants to jump out of my hand.

  3. RustyFN


    Sep 29, 2006
    West Virginia
    Sounds like one heck of a Civil War reinactment, I mean fun shoot. I have never shot a front loader.
  4. Colorado4Wheel


    Nov 2, 2006
    Glad you like the LCP. I predict you will find you carry it a lot.
  5. byf43

    byf43 NRA Life Member

    Apr 13, 2006
    Southern Maryland
    Jack, you sure have a way with words!
    I always enjoy reading your posts.

    For many years, I was leary of blackpowder. Then, I was lucky enough to have a friend offer to me, a T/C "Treehawk" for a set of .44 magnum dies.
    Less than $30.00 for a Treehawk?? Done.

    Then, I was very lucky and won a T/C Omega (kit) and a T/C Triumph at two different firehouse drawings.

    The only one that we (my youngest son and I) have shot, is the Triumph.

    What a hoot to shoot!
    Blackpowder rifles are fun!!!
  6. This is on the wall above my computer. I take it to the range when I want to be humbled.
    Northwest trade gun, 20 gauge smooth bore flintlock. I fire a .600 round ball over about 70 grains of FFF real black powder, FFFF in the pan.
  7. GioaJack

    GioaJack Conifer Jack

    Apr 14, 2009
    Conifer, CO

    Thank you for the kind words... this is the only place I can write, my friends know where I live, they quit yelling at me for writing... now they come over and beat me up.

    A very bad day with a flintlock is still better than a great day with a Glock. :supergrin:

  8. Bob2223

    Bob2223 Jack's buddy!

    Mar 26, 2009
    Spencer Indiana