close

Privacy guaranteed - Your email is not shared with anyone.

Black powder muzzle loading, what's needed?

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by GioaJack, Jan 31, 2010.

  1. GioaJack

    GioaJack Conifer Jack

    Messages:
    10,016
    Likes Received:
    4
    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2009
    Location:
    Conifer, CO
    Several members of GT forums have asked what's needed in muzzle loading other than a rifle... pistols, revolvers and shotguns use slightly different equipment but similar.

    Rather than answer the inquiries separately it's easier to do it in a thread with the help of some pictures. For those who have no interest in muzzle loading what-so-ever HBO is currently offering a diverse selection of movies... or, you could read threads posted by folks who actually know what they're talking about. I'll do the best I can though.

    Just as in modern shooting, muzzle loading rifle offers many different disciplines, i.e range (target) shooting, hunting, novelty competition shooting, long range steel silhouette and a variety of hunter and quail walks. All of these disciplines involve basically the same loading accouterments.

    Unlike modern shooting where we spend X amount of time in the loading room preparing our loads for a day or weekend worth of shooting all muzzle loading is done 'on the line', just prior to the shot. Because of the assorted amount of equipment required for percussion and flintlock shooting there are two common methods of carrying enough material for a shooting session; the shooting box and the possibles bag.

    Theses are an example of two shooting boxes. The one on the left is set up for a quick trip to the range and contains the equipment needed for percussion shooting. The box on the right is a custom made box and holds everything that is needed for a multi-day competition in both percussion and flintlock
    [​IMG]

    Below are examples of 'possibles' bags, most commonly used when no loading benches are available, while hunting or competing in hunters or quail walks. Possibles bags are a lot like potato chips... you can't have just one. The name is derived from the 'possibility' of carrying anything in them.
    [​IMG]

    Since range type shooting often allows for the use of a loading table the method of loading powder is from the can, into a powder measure and then into the muzzle. When hunting or shooting away from a loading table and using a possibles bag the preferred method of carrying powder is in a powder horn slung across the chest. The loading is from powder horn into a measure and into the muzzle. It should be noted that pouring powder from the can or powder horn directly into the muzzle can result in horrific injuries or a very gruesome death. It is not at all uncommon for a live ember to remain in the the barrel of a muzzle loader after a shot... pouring out of a can or powder horn holding a pound of black powder... well, you know what happens when a tube of primers detonate. Don't do it... it's the quickest way to be barred from a range or disqualified from competition. Below are examples of different style and size powder horns.
    [​IMG]

    Some of the loading equipment needed for loading that can be carried in either a box or bag.
    Can of powder, in this case Swiss FFFG.
    Can of percussion caps, usually #11 size. These same caps can also be used when shooting muskets in lieu of more expensive musket caps. This box also contains 50 or so flints in different sizes and a knapping hammer for flint shooting.
    Patching material for round balls cut in about 2 inch strips and rolled up for easy use.
    Good sharp patch knife for cutting patch across the muzzle of the rifle.
    Spray bottle of patch lube. (Black Solve also doubles as cleaning solvent) Some shooters prefer to use pre-cut and pre-lubed (grease) patches.
    Short starter for seating round ball or minnie partially down the barrel.
    Box of round balls, or several.
    Small powder horn for priming pan if shooting flintlock.
    Stapler for paper targets.
    Assortment of cleaning jags, cleaning patches, patch pullers and in accordance with Murphy's Law, anything else that you could conceivably need that you can cram in the box or bag.
    [​IMG]

    Continued on next post.
     
  2. Just1More

    Just1More

    Messages:
    5,143
    Likes Received:
    2
    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2009
    WTF! Get a Thomson Center and watch the video that comes with it.
     

  3. GioaJack

    GioaJack Conifer Jack

    Messages:
    10,016
    Likes Received:
    4
    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2009
    Location:
    Conifer, CO
    While many rifles come with a cleaning/loading rod secured beneath the barrel, (usually made of wood), the use of those rods should be confined for use while hunting. Apart from that a quality metal clean/loading rod with the appropriate caliber combination cleaning/loading jag attached with muzzle protector. Make it a constant practice of loading or cleaning with a muzzle protector otherwise the crown will get damages and definitely effect accuracy. At the bottom right of the picture are typical examples of a throwing knife and throwing tomahawk... two events that are very popular at BP events.
    [​IMG]

    Some shooters are luckier than others and for some reason I've been very lucky... virtually every black powder event I've ever attended I've been the only shooter who actually showed up. It's easy to win medals or trophies when you're the only one shooting. Most of the possibles bags and powder horns were also prizes that I had my choice of because I was the only one picking.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    For those of you who have never had the opportunity to shoot muzzle loaders the next time you're at the range and someone is making smoke, strike up a conversation... I guarantee they'll ask you if you want to try it. Go ahead, shoot it... but be prepared to end up buying one... or three or eight. If you shoot flints always remember... CLANK, WHOOSH, BANG.

    Jack
     
  4. Bob2223

    Bob2223 Jack's buddy!

    Messages:
    1,232
    Likes Received:
    2
    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2009
    Location:
    Spencer Indiana
    Pretty interesting Sir
    I have shot my dads ML a few times and thats about it, octagon barreled 50 cal made by an old smith that has been gone a long time now.
    My neighbor and I have been talking about shooting black powder for about a year now.
    He cant legally own any firearms but he shoots mine quite often, (today in fact) as I understand a ML would be legal for him to own?


    :goodpost:

    Bob
     
  5. n2extrm

    n2extrm

    Messages:
    1,941
    Likes Received:
    8
    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2009
    Thanks Jack. Great info.

    Great pics too!
     
  6. BK63

    BK63

    Messages:
    1,824
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2005
    Location:
    CT
    I have one for in case I don't get anything during the regular deer season. Here the muzzleloader season is after everything else and it gives me another opportunity. You only have 1 shot but then, real men only need one shot :supergrin:
     
  7. datum214

    datum214

    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    1
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2009
    Location:
    northwest indiana
    I also use an inline to extend the hunt. Almost always take it to the range for the giggle factor. Lots of smoke and noise, what's not to like? Can be one of the cheaper ways to get into shooting. You don't have to spend a fortune to get started but can if you want.