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How many here still shoot black powder cartridge rifles?
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This forum is pretty quiet, and my sense is that the BPCR game hit its high water mark sometime in the recent past. But I still love the smoke rings and the thundering booms and all the little nuances that make shooting a Sharps or rolling block or High-wall or Ballard such a unique pleasure among the shooting sports.
I hope to get busy with my plain-vanilla Pedersoli Sharps in .45-70 here real soon.
If you are shooting, what are you shooting?

Cool


The language of God is science.
 
Posts: 13040 | Location: Alamogordo, NM | Registered: 03 June 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Hi Bill.

I have five that I shoot, a sharps and a trapdoor in .45-70, a roller and a trapdoor in .50-70, and a snider in the original .577 Snider. I am also slowly restoring a Gahendra in the original .577-.450, a Vetterli that my dad started to convert from rimfire to centerfire, and have the martini action I got from you that will eventually be a .500-577 No.2. Other than that, I would love to find a black powder double that I can afford in .450, .500, or .577 something.

Happy Holidays!

Dave


One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got into my pajamas I'll never know. - Groucho Marx
 
Posts: 3429 | Location: Eastern Slope, Colorado, USA | Registered: 01 March 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Dave, glad you are keeping the faith so piously! May your tribe increase.
I have a roller in .50-70 that needs the Green Mountain barrel blued, the stock sealed and good sights. It's heavy, but I bet it will shoot.


The language of God is science.
 
Posts: 13040 | Location: Alamogordo, NM | Registered: 03 June 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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One of these days we should plan to meet in Raton,since it is about half way between us.


One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got into my pajamas I'll never know. - Groucho Marx
 
Posts: 3429 | Location: Eastern Slope, Colorado, USA | Registered: 01 March 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Have not done actual BPCR silhouette in ages......but still shoot my BP Cartridge rifles (both American and English) with regularity.
38's, .40's, .45's, .50's, Brit .577 BP Express, and Brit 12 bore 7 Dram full rifle
 
Posts: 296 | Location: Colorado, USA | Registered: 13 April 2017Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Redstone, that is a wonderful collection you have there! Anytime you want to share more details of your Brits, please, please do.
Dave, a Raton meetup sounds fun.
Maybe we could get together an informal AR BPCR shoot there someday.


The language of God is science.
 
Posts: 13040 | Location: Alamogordo, NM | Registered: 03 June 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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BP ctg is my preference in shooting pretty much anything. I have never shot BPCR competitively, either silhouette or long range, but I've spent a lot of time at the range with several and hunted with quite a few as well as done a fair amount of Cowboy BP shooting.

These days I'm shooting BP 38 Specials, 38-55, 44-40, 45-70, 500/450 No.1 2-3/4" BPE, 12,7x42R Swedish, 577 Snider and 12 and 20 gauge ctg shotgun. The Swedish roller is amazingly accurate and I've taken a bison with it, as well as one with a previous Snider. In 1999 I hunted in Zambia with an 1879 vintage 450 3-1/4" Lancaster double using BP.

Smokeless is OK, but BP is the real stuff.
 
Posts: 650 | Location: paradise with an ocean view | Registered: 09 April 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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The stuff of dreams right there, Steve.
Do you have a copy of Baker's "Wild Beasts and Their Ways"? Guessing you probably do if you took a Lancaster to Zambia. Such wonderful discussions of black powder cartridge firearms by one of the great ones.

Cool


The language of God is science.
 
Posts: 13040 | Location: Alamogordo, NM | Registered: 03 June 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I love shooting the black powder rifles!
A bit messy to clean but I enjoy the history and experimentation aspect of getting a BPE rifle to perform.
I was reminded of this the other day when I loaded up a ladder of loads for a 30/40 Krag chambered Westley Richards (which started life as a black powder cartridge rifle by the way) and all of the loads shot quite well - certainly hunting accuracy.
Very happy with that but what a bore!
I find smokeless reloading very much like baking. Follow the recipe exactly and you know what you will get.
While black powder is more like cooking. You can try all sorts of ingredients and it will all be pretty good but that one perfect recipe will really be something!
I'd be in for a trip to Raton too!
 
Posts: 2214 | Location: Colorado U.S.A. | Registered: 24 December 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Wonderful stuff, Huvius. Your analogy regarding loading smokeless vs. black is the truth!
Loading a small bore like the .30-40 with black is not for the faint of heart. I tried this years ago in .303 British when I had one of the converted Martini carbines. Promising, but omigosh you'd better have your fouling control panties on.

Cool


The language of God is science.
 
Posts: 13040 | Location: Alamogordo, NM | Registered: 03 June 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Bill, I'm still shooting that trap door Springfield that I bought from you.


Never mistake motion for action.
 
Posts: 12486 | Location: Austin, Texas | Registered: 11 March 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I use Black Powder in every traditional single shot rifle. Never any substitutes.
And for the new guys who may be wondering, they are NOT hard to clean. Just have to clean the brass with vinegar. Very easy. Black powder fouling is not as corrosive as you think; it was the corrosive caps and primers that destroyed all the old rifles. Not the powder.
Now, I do often use a priming load of 10% of 5744 and the rest BP. Zero fouling that way. Otherwise, use grease wads and or, a blow tube.
 
Posts: 12334 | Location: USA | Registered: 02 August 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Tom, as we know, duplexing with a light smokeless priming charge was widely accepted practice during the Golden Age of Schuetzen.


The language of God is science.
 
Posts: 13040 | Location: Alamogordo, NM | Registered: 03 June 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Tom, I'm a fan of the 5744 powder as well. Not just for BP reduced loads +/or combos but for use in all of my cast rifle loads.


Never mistake motion for action.
 
Posts: 12486 | Location: Austin, Texas | Registered: 11 March 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Since the mid to late 1980s I have shot smokeless in all of my black powder guns and rifles, Damascus barrels included, due to ease of cleaning. However, a few times a year I get a bit nostolgic and load with black. I love the smell, the smoke, and the sonic boom. If I shoot one or two rifles and/or shotguns I can live with the cleaning. But when friends come over and we shoot them all (.450, .500, .577 express, .577 howdah pistol, and 12-10-8-4-bore double rilfles and 12-10-8-4-bore double shotguns I clean with a few (several) muttered cuss words. At the double shoot in May I load a few of the larger bore rifles with black and twice monthly at the clays shoot at my home I shoot clays with black (double birds are difficult on a windless day as the smoke hangs in the air too long).

While I am thinning my colelction and have many doubles for sale, the fever is deep within my soul and this year I have bought a .500 bpe, 4- and 12-bore (both Rodda double rifles), an 8-bore shotbun with extra 10-bore barrels, and a .50-95 Winchester lever model 1876. All will be shot with black and in July I will take the big 4-bore Rodda to shoot 2-3 buffalo in Africa. Plans are already made to have black powder waiting in camp for me and I will bring brass, projectiles, wads, and the necessary tools to "roll my own" in camp and shoot the buffalo with a traditional load of 390 grains of black powder (FFg) and a 1400-grain spherical ball. Should be great fun!
Cal
PS. Here is shooting one of my 4s at my home.


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Posts: 6235 | Location: Willow, Alaska | Registered: 29 June 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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