Muzzle Loading Basics 101

Discussion in 'The Powder Keg' started by Big Dog, May 14, 2002.

  1. Big Dog

    Big Dog Retired IT Dinosaur Wrangler Forum Contributor

    I've decided to take the plunge, into the exciting world of smokepole shooting. Not having much experience with the subject, I decided to research it a bit. I came across the following website, for the black powder beginner. I'll do some reading up on it, before I make a complete fool of myself.

  2. jerry

    jerry Since 03-15- 2002 Forum Contributor

    Watch out! It's very adictive, and fun to boot!

  3. Armorer

    Armorer Guest


    Here is my Newbie suggestions, takem or leavem, they are NOT open for debate.

    I built custom flinters for years. 1803 Harper's Ferry Rifles, First U.S. Contact rifle. An modified version (full stock)went with Lewis and Clark in 1803-07.

    If you want one I can turn you on to the guy that I got my parts from. Jeff Milot. Heck I may still have a "special" barrel around here somewhere.

    1) A properly timed flintlock is faster, smoother, and just dang cooler than a caplock.

    Caplocks were made to reload faster, NOT better.
    If you MUST use a cap, go with a vented nipple, the air bewteen the cap and powder charge has to get out somewhere.

    Dover White is the best flint.

    A tiny bit of powder in the pan nuzzled up to but below the main charge hole will flash faster than a pile filling the pan.

    Depending on what your going to do with your rifle, 45 cal is the best target round. 54 cal is the best knockdown round. With the right barrel/twist both will hit at 200 yards.

    Even tho you can fill your barrel full. Start with 5 grains less than the caliber, and work up one grain at a time until 10 grains over. You will know which load is best for you.

    ALL my 1803's seemed to fire best at 55gr in a 54 cal barrel. The object is to get the ball spinning down the barrel, not to "strip" the lands and grooves and shove it out the hole going straight.

    Buy a custom or semi-custom rifle. The rack grades aren't worth the money, nor are kit guns.

    GET A DIXIE GUNWORKS CATALOG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Oh yeah....

    Powder, patch, ball :)

    I have seen so many dry ballers at meets.
    (No powder) or even worst (double charged)

    Cleaning: Hot water and soap in the shower, get the barrel so hot it dries it's self out from the inside out.

    Lube: Thompson's 1000 Plus. Use the entire line of products. The freinds you meet will want to know what your secret is for firing 100s of rounds without cleaning.

    Let us know what you are thinking of getting, and why.

    Just like real firearms. There are different rifles for different uses. (long, Hawkens, carbine, etc)

    Throw out everything you think you know about shooting when you go black powder!
  4. Big Dog

    Big Dog Retired IT Dinosaur Wrangler Forum Contributor

    I'm starting off low-budget for now. I picked up a Thompson Center Wildcat in-line .50 caliber. Once I learn on it and make my mistakes, then I'll upgrade and get serious. Hey, it worked for my other rifles. If all goes as usual, I'll end up with a nice little collection of smoke poles. I'll get the Dixie catalog. I've seen their rifles in Gun Digest, and they are very nice. I'm sure this will be a lifelong addiction, so I'm not going to try to get everything all at once. This weekend, I look forward to making lot's of smoke.