The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The North Corral > Black Powder and Cowboy Action Shooting

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old June 26, 2010, 05:42 PM   #26
Doc Hoy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 24, 2008
Location: Chesapeake, VA
Posts: 4,562
As Ronald Reagan always said, "Well....."

I am among those who have found no tangible evidence of the explosion of a flask when loading directly from a flask into the chamber of a revolver.

I have asked CVA, NRA, NMLRA and none have any record of an occurrence. Both NMLRA and CVA caution against loading directly from a flask but both of the requirements are general enough that an argument could be built that the precaution applies only to long arms. I have never been at a NMLRA sanctioned event but I have read in this forum of the existence of the prohibition of loading a revolver directly from a flask but that the rule seems not to be universally enforced.

BUT

The absense of evidence, as "Rifleman1776" so capably states, does not imply the confirmation of safety. To wait for the thing to explode and then say, "Gee, maybe I should not have done it that way." could be declared to be foolhearty.

On the other hand, if anyone in this forum were to watch the way I load, they would walk away from the experience with the conviction that the likelyhood of a problem resulting from an ember igniting powder in the spout of the flask which then travels to the main reservoir is remote in the extreme.
Unless you have been there any contradiction would have to emerge from either overgeneralization or emotion. Neither should be relied upon as a basis for safety practice.

NOW PLEASE UNDERSTAND.

Loading directly from the flask to the chamber is at least minimally (and possibly significantly) more dangerous than using a measure to transfer the charge. To some that increase in danger is enough to impede them from doing it. It is sufficient for them to interpret NMLRA rules in such a way as to conclude that they apply to revolvers as well as long arms. I can offer no credible argument to the contrary. Do as you like. But don't tell me I am a scofflaw unless you watch how I do it.
__________________
Doc

My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government. Thomas Jefferson

Last edited by Doc Hoy; June 26, 2010 at 05:51 PM.
Doc Hoy is offline  
Old June 26, 2010, 07:08 PM   #27
davem
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 4, 2004
Posts: 330
I guess in the past a few folks have sort of implied I am a bit on the reckless side when it comes to safety but that really isn't true; after all- who wants half their hand blown off? As I think about the whole issue I think I usually wait a bit in between reloading because I use the scope to look at the six shots I just fired- I might spend a minute of so doing that. Maybe a lot of other percussion revolver shooters do the same thing.
I have a single shot pistol as well, a "Kentucky" type if that better describes it, and I never pour from a flask on that gun. On the other hand there seems to be more fouling.
In any event, for about thirty plus years I've loaded my percussion revolver straight from a flask and never gave it a thought- at least now I'm thinking about the whole thing. I'll probably at least look down the chambers more often and make sure I wait a bit before reloading. If I ever do hear of such an accident, then its a measure for sure. If anyone else does- let us know!
davem is offline  
Old June 26, 2010, 08:01 PM   #28
azyogi
Member
 
Join Date: June 12, 2010
Location: Tucson
Posts: 88
Dry silicone mop

Just before I start the powder I take a dry mop sprayed with Dry silicone lube and mop my cylinders. 1 ROA, 2 7.5" 58 NMA's, 2 5.5" NMA's, 3 spare cylinders. So by the time I get back to the ROA it's cooled off still out comes the mop. I have no proof but I think that fouling doesn't stick because of this, I haven't been shooting much lately; just closed on an old house [plumbing, wireing, new doors/windows, etc.] but could these embers be the new fangled powders, and a shortage of 'Holy Black'??
azyogi is offline  
Old June 26, 2010, 10:34 PM   #29
mykeal
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 8, 2006
Location: Northern Michigan
Posts: 2,757
Quote:
Both NMLRA and CVA caution against loading directly from a flask but both of the requirements are general enough that an argument could be built that the precaution applies only to long arms. I have never been at a NMLRA sanctioned event but I have read in this forum of the existence of the prohibition of loading a revolver directly from a flask but that the rule seems not to be universally enforced.
It's more than a 'caution'. It's an explicit prohibition. And it's not 'general'. It's quite specific.

From the NMLRA Rules and Regulations, May 2010 edition:
"1220 POWDER MEASURE - A separate powder measure or holder will be used to carry the powder charge from the container to the muzzle of the gun. Charging directly from the horn or flask is unsafe and is not permitted."

Seems pretty clear to me. What part of Charging directly from the horn or flask is unsafe and is not permitted is hard to understand or "interpret"?

Are we using the word 'muzzle' to suggest the rule only applies to long guns? The NMLRA considers the chamber mouth of a percussion revolver to be a 'muzzle' for the purposes of applying the rules they administer. Charging a revolver cylinder via a chamber mouth is what they use to define a revolver as a 'muzzleloader' under rule 1070.

During the Range Officer training course this particular rule was singled out for emphasis. We were explicitly told by both training officers that the rule applied to all guns, long guns, pistols and revolvers alike.

I believe any NMLRA nationally certified RO will 'interpret' the rule that way, and if they don't the national organization will help them do so. It was certainly enforced (universally and unilaterally) at Friendship two weeks ago.

And I know for a fact that it will be clear at any range I am obliged to operate.
mykeal is offline  
Old June 26, 2010, 11:12 PM   #30
davem
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 4, 2004
Posts: 330
Yeah, that's been my experience at shoots, they make you load from a measure and it should also be pointed out that if a percussion revolver is permitted, and at the matches I've attended in Florida they generally are permitted, you can only load one chamber at a time. I assume the one chamber at a time rule is to put a percussion revolver more in line with a standard, single shot pistol (that is- a "Kentucky" for want of a better word).
so......I guess I sort of lied about ALWAYS loading from a flask when using a percussion revolver- I just forgot about the matches because I only shot a revolver at a couple and then got a regular muzzle loading pistol. In any event the question still remains, can loading from a flask when shooting a percussion revolver result in an accident.
The argument can of course be made-SURE- if there is an ember in the chamber- so, therefore- always use a measure. I understand the logic but it seems the fired chambers are pretty clean without much fouling.
Now I know- sounds like I'm on the side of loading from a flask- that's not necessarily so. If accidents have occurred I'll change however I'm interested in knowing if in all the written journals of the day, or in all the modern day shooting of replica percussion revolvers- in the millions and millions of rounds that have probably been reloaded from a flask (percussion revolvers) has there ever been an instance when an ember remained in the chamber and caused a flask to explode? I've never heard of one.
davem is offline  
Old June 27, 2010, 02:07 AM   #31
Model-P
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 24, 2009
Posts: 727
I would also think that the powder itself might make a difference.

The proportions and milling on the commercial powders is very good and consistent. Back yard BP may end up having too much sulfer or insufficient milling, either or both of which would increase the likelihood of an residual ember. I have to wonder how many of the accidental ignitions are attributable to the use of non-commercial powders.
Model-P is offline  
Old June 27, 2010, 07:03 AM   #32
Doc Hoy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 24, 2008
Location: Chesapeake, VA
Posts: 4,562
I didn't include the reading of 1070.

Mykeal,

You are certainly the expert on this topic and I am horrendously under-informed.

It seems, though that the rule should stand on its own merit and not rely upon another rule for its interpretation. It would be easy enough to fix.

That last statement has nothing to do with shooting black powder weapons. The issue was clearly resolved in your post. It is more a point of "english" than shooting safety.
__________________
Doc

My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government. Thomas Jefferson
Doc Hoy is offline  
Old June 27, 2010, 11:54 AM   #33
davem
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 4, 2004
Posts: 330
Well I don't know if Wogpotter has really gotten an answer to his question. I suppose safety is a personal thing to some extent- we all have to be within our own comfort level. We can shield ourselves with a panoply of certificates, rules, regulations, etc, etc so we are "safe" but do these things make us safer- sometimes yes sometimes probably not. Do I myself feel safer around someone that overdoes the safety aspect, no just the opposite. To me it's a red flag that I may be in the presence of an accident prone individual. I watch him like a hawk.
In any event I started shooting percussion revolvers 40 years ago, I was a young kid and there were no rules about gun control where I lived, so I scraped up $58 and bought a Navy 36 Replica. The books and magazine articles that gave instructions on shooting a percussion revolver showed loading the chambers directly from a flask, I can't ever recall any that used a measure however on a long arm or single shot muzzle loading pistol a measure was always used.
So I did what the books showed, loaded from a flask. I never thought about an accident so I guess I was in happy land. Now that the issue has been raised I guess it is fair to say I'll never be that carefree again about loading from a flask when shooting a percussion revolver. The first time I ever ran into using a measure with a percussion revolver was at the State Shoot in Florida. I wasn't signed up for pistol because I thought you had to have a single shot and a guy said if I had a percussion revolver I could use it. At the range I was told to use a measure, EVERYONE had to use a measure, no exceptions, it didn't matter what type gun you were using. Fine, I used a measure but I sort of thought it was ridiculous. I didn't feel safer, in fact pouring black powder from one container to a measure and to the chamber was just one more step where a bit of powder could spill or what not, as I said it has the aura of safety but I wasn't sure if I was really more safe.
So where am I on this issue? Sort of confused to be honest. Gone are the carefree days of old- now I am not sure and as everyone says- might as well use a measure- it only takes a second and at least it MIGHT be safer. I'll probably use a measure because that is the logical thing to do but I'll still have issues.
Which brings up sort of a funny thing that happened to me the other day. My car was in the shop and I needed a ride, this guy at work, Leo, said he would give me a lift. Leo is a laugh a minute, sort of a little short guy, maybe 5'8" or so and shaped like a pear with a bald head and he's the nervous type. He looks about half way between Ed Asner and Don Rickles, and as I said he jokes around a lot.
Well Leo gets into his car and starts wiggling his butt back and forth and messing with the rear view mirror- like you see some gals do when they get into a car- so I thought he was clowning around. Leo turns around and stares at me and starts ranting that driving vibrations can knock a rear view mirror out of alignment, "Don't you remember your driving classes, you ALWAYS check your rear view mirror alignment before operating a motor vehicle"
"Sure Leo" says I, "not a problem"
Well then Leo starts checking his two side mirrors while simultaneously asking me if I have securely fastened my seat belt.
"Yep, all strapped in" I replied, still wondering if this was all some sort of a joke.
Next Leo turns around looking into the back seat.
"What are you doing now Leo" I ask.
"Looking for loose objects man, if a guy cuts me off in traffic and I have to slam on the brakes loose objects can become flying missiles. People have been KILLED that way"
"Oh yeah" I chimed, "I think I recall hearing that before"
Leo then stares at me, "Are you going to keep talking man, this isn't any pleasure thing, the goal of the driver is to insure all occupants arrive safely at their final destination" beads of sweat were rolled down Leo's contorted face and his eyes were spaced apart, then Leo added,"if you have anything else to say, say it now before I start operating this vehicle"
At that point a strange feeling came over me, Leo was doing everything right, every single thing he did was right out of the book, safe as safe could be but as I looked at him I decided I really didn't feel that safe in a car with a guy like that so I said,
" Yeah, just one more thing Leo, go back inside and grab a cup of coffee, I'm taking a cab"
davem is offline  
Old June 27, 2010, 01:24 PM   #34
wogpotter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 27, 2004
Posts: 3,013
Quote:
Well I don't know if Wogpotter has really gotten an answer to his question.
That's the funny part, I haven't. The whole thing swerved into a safety discussion which was nothing to do with the OP.

Originally I was just asking why there would be a difference (if any) depending on how I measured powder, either from a volume flask & transfer (seemed a bit of a double step) or just pour into a measure from a flask & use that to check volume before loading chamber.
wogpotter is offline  
Old June 27, 2010, 01:35 PM   #35
Hawg
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 8, 2007
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 11,692
You'll get more accurate loads out of a measure but that also involves losing a bit of powder with every load. I seriously doubt you'll notice any difference one way or the other.
Hawg is offline  
Old June 27, 2010, 03:14 PM   #36
wogpotter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 27, 2004
Posts: 3,013
OK I'm curious how that works.
Isn't it the same (assuming good consistent technique) wherever the volume is measured?
My thought was that you could maybe lose a little powder when tipping from a flask into a measure once in a while, but if you cover the end of the flask's spout & tap, rattle or whatever then the same volume should be dispensed, no?
wogpotter is offline  
Old June 27, 2010, 04:52 PM   #37
davem
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 4, 2004
Posts: 330
The standard deal with the flask is to put your finger over the end of the spout and there is likely a little variance each time this is done- that is your finger may stick into the end of the spout at different depths. On a measure with a cut off top you lose a bit of powder but the volume ought to be more uniform. A lot of the shooters use the cut off type measure.
davem is offline  
Old June 27, 2010, 05:33 PM   #38
Hawg
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 8, 2007
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 11,692
This is what I use.
Hawg is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:10 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.09901 seconds with 9 queries