Black Powder Weapons

Discussion in 'Guns, Knives, Tools, Etc.' started by EarlyMarksman, Sep 12, 2019.

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  1. EarlyMarksman

    EarlyMarksman Well-Known Member
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    Looking to get into black powder weapons and am wondering if someone has a good recommendation for a newbie?
     
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  2. Keith H.

    Keith H. Moderator Staff Member
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    A flintlock is the very best sustainable muzzle-loader you can get other than a matchlock. The flintlock though in my opinion is superior to the matchlock. However, many people don't like the flintlock because it makes them flinch, & they require more skill learning to make them work at their best. Once you have mastered these easy to learn skills, the flintlock will serve you well.
    The percussion is easier to use, but it requires percussion caps to make it work. This can be a problem in a long term wilderness survival situation.
    Smoothbore versus Rifle:
    The smoothbore is more versatile than the rifles, as it can digest bird shot, buckshot, & round ball or any combination of two of these. You do not have to wipe the barrel between shots on a smoothbore & it is easier to load than a rifle.

    The rifle is more accurate over longer distances. It will only digest round ball or conicals. The barrel needs to be cleaned between shots so as to avoid possibly getting a ball stuck part way down the barrel.

    I have three flintlocks, a .62 caliber/20 gauge smoothbore fusil, a .70 caliber smoothbore pistol, & a .32 caliber rifle.
    3c147b02289bd0c8e3f9b0006de1c4db.jpeg
    My fusil with a 42 inch barrel.
    3c147b02289bd0c8e3f9b0006de1c4db.jpeg
    My .70 cal pistol.
    3c147b02289bd0c8e3f9b0006de1c4db.jpeg
    My .32 caliber rifle with double set triggers.



    Advantages of a Flintlock Muzzle-loader.

    1) Ammo is less expensive than a modern equivalent caliber firearm.

    2) The smoothbore is very versatile, being able to digest round ball, bird shot, & buckshot, or any combination of two of these (can also use minies/conical slugs).

    3) The fusil is lighter to carry than a modern equivalent sized gun.

    4) You can vary the load if needs be.

    5) The smoothbore will digest other projectiles besides lead.

    6) Lead can be retrieved from downed game & remoulded with a simple mould & lead ladle. This means that you can carry less lead, & more of the lighter gunpowder.

    7) You can make your own gunpowder.

    8) You can use the lock to make fire without using gunpowder.

    9) You can use gunpowder for gunpowder tinder fire lighting if needs be.

    10) IF the lock should malfunction (these are very robust & it is not likely) you can easily repair it if you are carrying a few spare springs & a few simple tools.

    11)If you do not have any spare parts & the lock malfunctions, you can easily convert it to a tinderlock or matchlock & continue using it.

    12) You do not need a reloader, brass shells, caps, or primers. The latter have been known to break down in damp conditions or if they are stored for too long.

    13) Wadding for ball or shot is available from natural plant materials or homemade leather or rawhide.

    14) Less chance of being affected by future ammunition control legislation.

    15) Gunpowder is easily obtainable providing you have a muzzle-loader registered in your name regardless of caliber (NSW).

    16) A .32 caliber flintlock rifle is more powerful than a .22 rimfire, less expensive to feed, more accurate over a greater distance, able to take small & medium sized game, & other than not being able to use shot (unless it is smoothbore), it has all the attributes of the other flintlocks. For larger game you can load with conical slugs, which of course you can make yourself in the field.

    17) Damage from a .62 caliber or .70 caliber pistol or long arm is in the extreme. Wounded prey is unlikely to escape.

    18) By using buck & ball you are unlikely to miss your target. This load is capable of taking out more than one target.

    19) There is less kick-back to a muzzle-loading gun.

    20) Antique Flintlock muzzle-loading guns do not require a license, registration, or a permit to purchase in NSW Australia.

    Let me know if you want more information, accouterments for instance, you will need certain tools & a shot pouch & powder horn.
    Regards, Keith.
     
  3. TMT Tactical

    TMT Tactical The Great Lizard !
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    Excellent post Keith.
     
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  4. Keith H.

    Keith H. Moderator Staff Member
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    Thank you, appreciated.
    Keith.
     
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  5. TMT Tactical

    TMT Tactical The Great Lizard !
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    I love it when a "Real Expert" takes the time to help educate us lay persons on the benefits of black powder firearms. Well done Mate.
     
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  6. TexDanm

    TexDanm Shadow Dancer
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    I agree that the smoothbore is a lot more versitile1for survival/defense use and if I was going to black powder the 60 caliber musket is the be-all do-all weapon of choice. If on the other hand, you are going to have more than one long gun I really like the Hawken Rifles. If you live in an open country like the plains in West Texas the ability to reach out beyond a hundred yards would be a big plus. Besides that, I think that they are just plain pretty.
    50dacb69987728ca789ad1edd94ab250.jpeg
     
  7. Keith H.

    Keith H. Moderator Staff Member
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    I do thank you TMT, but I have never classed myself as an expert in anything. The way I look at it is that there is always so much more to learn, one never stops learning.
    Keith.
     
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  8. randyt

    randyt Master Survivalist
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    I'm curious even though you're a flintlock fella, have you or do you use cap and ball revolvers?

    also for priming powder in a flintlock do you use a 4-f and can courser powder be used in a pinch?

    you may have mentioned priming powder in the videos but my video viewing is limited
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2019
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  9. Dalewick

    Dalewick Expert Member
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    Great videos Keith.

    I have a question if you don't mind. I want to build a high grade Hawkin Rifle sometime in the next 2 years. I'm looking at getting a Rice Muzzleloading Barrel for the build. I've been told there very high quality. Do you have any experience with that maker? If yes, what is your opinion of there barrels? Thank you!

    Dale
     
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  10. Keith H.

    Keith H. Moderator Staff Member
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    In the Territory randy I used to strap on a cap & ball revolver with my pants every morning.
    9c577d5be91b005f82a74547166f9b22.jpeg
    Not a very good image, the camera I had in those days was not up to much!

    I use 2FG as a main charge randy, & I use the same for priming. It is easier that way.
    Keith.
     
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  11. Keith H.

    Keith H. Moderator Staff Member
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    No mate, no experience with that maker. But they claim to be top notch.
    http://ricebarrels.com/
    Keith.
     
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  12. Dalewick

    Dalewick Expert Member
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    That's what I've heard. Guess I'll try one. Thanks for the reply.

    Dale
     
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  13. TMT Tactical

    TMT Tactical The Great Lizard !
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    Those that need to claim they are experts, rarely are. Those that demonstrate their knowledge, usually are. I do admit I tend to lean towards the percussion rifles. Keith is absolutely correct that the flintlock will outlast the others in a long term SHTF. But I don't think I will out last the my supply of percussion caps.
     
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  14. Keith H.

    Keith H. Moderator Staff Member
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    The Shot Pouch.
    The shot pouch is a traditional bag that contains all you need for the maintenance & use of you muzzle-loading arm when in the field. You can carry items in your pockets, but personally I find it easier to have everything in one bag.
    380df369c092741beeed021fa7b97848.jpeg 380df369c092741beeed021fa7b97848.jpeg
    On my shot pouch strap, from the top, powder charge measure, pricker (vent pick), pan brush, & to the right a bullet board for faster reloading.
    I0WuEaKFmraF4fQbVz9iOTqv9U-GYLUC.jpeg

    I0WuEaKFmraF4fQbVz9iOTqv9U-GYLUC.jpeg My youngest son's shot pouch.
    Keith.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2019
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  15. TexDanm

    TexDanm Shadow Dancer
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    The problem with percussion ignition is that in a survival situation you are no better off than you would be with a metallic cartridge gun. Both require an element that you just can't make for yourself in normal situations. Like you, though I prefer the percussion ignition for hunting now but if I was going to black powder for survival I would go flintlock. I have thousands of primers and if I have to I can make and load black powder in Metalic cartridges. Primers are smaller and cheaper than percussion caps.
     
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  16. Dalewick

    Dalewick Expert Member
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    LOVE that powder horn in the video. BEAUTIFUL!!!

    Dale
     
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  17. Dalewick

    Dalewick Expert Member
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    I believe what you call a shot pouch is what Americans (mountain man era) called a possible's bag.

    Dale
     
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  18. Keith H.

    Keith H. Moderator Staff Member
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    Yes Dale, not everyone cares about authenticity. The possibles bag was a western Indian name for the large bag they carried on a travois.
    314102d9f7878fa623f1f1890fe1fe25.jpeg
    Cheyenne possibles bag.
    Keith.
     
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  19. Keith H.

    Keith H. Moderator Staff Member
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    The percussion gun was not a popular choice for a long time, it was fine in England & other areas where the supply of percussion caps were easily obtained, but on the frontier the flintlock was the first choice. The western mountain men, the trappers, they did not use percussions, it was not just a matter of supply, it was also that dampness could effect the caps ability to work. They could always find a suitable rock, but not percussion caps.
    For a while there everyone wanted a Hawken, but the Hawkens were also flintlock, & they did not become popular until after the fur trade period, at least that is what I have read. The mountain man/beaver trapping/Rendezvous period only lasted 15 years, from 1825 to 1840. After that some mountain men stayed in the mountains trapping beaver & shooting bear for skins, but there was no more Rendezvous.
    https://woodsrunnersdiary.blogspot.com/2010/12/interpreting-rocky-mountain-fur-trapper.html
     
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  20. Dalewick

    Dalewick Expert Member
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    The frailties of the fur trade. One day it's beaver hats for the jents and the next it's buffalo robes, for everywhere. Fashion trends still control the fur trade. I've been trapping for 48 years now. Seen fur prices boom and bust. Would have quit many years ago if it was just about the money.

    Dale
     
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  21. EarlyMarksman

    EarlyMarksman Well-Known Member
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    Wow I appreciate all the information and apologize that it took me a while to respond! This seriously assisted me in learning more about the weapons, but one question I do have is about the patches you talk about. I know what they are and such, but how much are they typically and if I wanted to make them what would I need?
     
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  22. Old Geezer

    Old Geezer Legendary Survivalist
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    Black powder shooting allows one to get by on the cheap. Mold your lead balls or Mini bullets. Seal and store caps in jars that have oxygen absorber packs in them. Can put oxygen absorbers in powder cans & tighten lids down for storage put cans up in a cool place where moisture can't get to them. Don't use plastic because of static electricity discharge. Can wax containers for moisture-proofing.

    I've always fancied the idea of buying a percussion revolver. I've just been too lazy. For survival, you'll need a revolver in addition to your long-gun. Some revolvers have matching cylinders for reloads.

    If government keeps tightening gun control laws, then that regime is the enemy of free people. You are going to have to end up fighting that government anyway, so buy what you need.
     
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