View Full Version : Black powder weapon for defense?

July 15, 2002, 10:17 AM
Does anyone use a black powder firearm as a defensive weapon?
If so what are you using and why?

Has anyone ever actually had to use a black powder firearm for defence? If so what happened?

July 15, 2002, 03:18 PM
...Who's a lunatic enough to do it is my friend Terry.

Terry went out, just after they passed the law, here in Texas, and applied. Despite everything, he was issued a permit in the first 1000 (I'll have to check on the number). His reason?

"I've always wanted to carry an 1860 Cap-n-Ball."

And he does. He carries a reproduction 1860 Army (an Uberti) in a custom-made leather shoulder holster (did I mention that Terry is very TALL?!?). He carries (or carried, haven't asked him in a while) it with one empty chamber, two chambers loaded with nothing but powder and wadding, and three chambers loaded up with lead.

One night, we were down in Austin, walking down Guadalupe after hitting 6th, and this little punk comes around the corner of the Celtic store (there's bit of open space, there, so we'd seen him coming...but we were drunk, and didn't really think anything about it. Terry was REAL drunk. Red-in-the-face drunk.). He sticks his hand in the pocket of his jacket and thrusts it forward at me. Even drunk, I did what any little black duck would do. I slipped behind Terry. Unabashed, the kid pointed at Terry and demanded our wallets. Terry, drunk and belligerent, told him to go f*ck himself (actually, he described it more graphically, but let's not belabour the point). The exchange from there went something like this:

BG: Man, I'll blow your head off!
Terry: With what? *laughs*
BG: [Thrusts hand in pocket forward] I've got a gun, man! I'll put a cap in yo' fat a$$!
Terry: -CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED-. That finger wouldn't even get THROUGH the fat on my a$$! Why don't'cha get a REAL gun?!? [reaches into jacket]
BG: Man, I'm warning you! I'll blow you away!
Terry: Then do it! It's you or me... [pulls out "The Cannon"]
Terry: Punk-a$$ insurance! [points it in the air as the kid turns to run]

At this point, Terry squeezed off the first "BANG-BANG" chamber, with the resultant cloud of smoke and that low roar that BP makes. When the smoke cleared, Terry was on the ground laughing hysterically. The kid was nowhere to be seen. And me? I was sober. Totally, completely, and unquestioningly sober. Total time? About twelve seconds. If I could market stark terror, I'd be rich. It cures hangovers, lethargy, curiousity, and a HOST of other ailments, in my experience. :D

When he sobered up, Terry was aghast. He was like, "OH, -CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED-!!! What if the cops had busted me drunk?!?" At no point had he even considered that the kid just MIGHT have had a real gun. It had never even entered his head--that he might have gotten shot and killed.

Haven't partied much with Terry in a few years...but I hear he's still a bit of a Heller. Kinda strange. He seems to get worse as he ages, instead of mellowing...


July 15, 2002, 04:07 PM
Wow that's quite a story! Seems like the 1860 Army would be a bit big for concealed carry. At one time, those revolver's were state of the art in self-defence. Here's at least one case where they were still effective. Thanks for sharing the story.
Well I guess that would move the count to Black Powder - 1 , Bad Guys - 0.

Anyone else?

July 15, 2002, 06:02 PM
Read some years ago an article by Jeff Cooper. He knew a high-end custom Double gun restorer in New Orleans, who carried a Manton single shot percussion "cloak" pistol.
According to Cooper, a quick way to wind up dead in a New Orleans gutter was to try to rob the gunsmith.

July 21, 2002, 07:53 PM
I know a fellow back in WVa that keeps a Navy 44 loaded in a desk drawer, once in a while (like every few weeks) he goes and shoots it, cleans it and reloads it.

Not my first defensive weapon of choice.. but what the heck.

If I were to choose a BP weapon for defense it would be my Pedersoli 12 ga. Coach Gun with 9 .36 caliber balls in each barrel.

I'd say that was "serious" stuff.

Ceol Mhor
July 22, 2002, 09:17 AM
For open carry, I'd be very tempted to carry my brace of 1860s. Ballistically, they're really not too shabby, and they just ooze style points. :)

July 25, 2002, 10:10 PM
An 1860 Army? Pshaw, why not a brace of Walkers? A .433 LRB backed by 60 grains of powder should resolve any problem. And if you miss, the smokescreen should provide ample time for a getaway:p

What is that LeMat revolver? The one with the shotgun barrel surrounded by a nine shot .44 cylinder? That should do it, too :D

July 26, 2002, 08:11 AM
Since they've outlawed most types of handguns, they may be forced to revert back to black powder weaponry.

Ceol Mhor
July 26, 2002, 09:06 AM
I don't think my belt could support a pair of Walkers.... :)

A Le Mat (http://www.navyarms.com/html/le_mat_rev.html) would be a pretty good piece, as C&B guns go. Hmmm...

July 26, 2002, 12:16 PM
Their choice of home defense gun when they get back to Orange County was unique. No paperwork, no waiting period, no mandatory FFL transfer, no Kalifornia approved handgun list. Each has his own Remington 1858 revolver. Pyrodex pellets, Wonder Wads, and conical bullets. They've been practicing here in Florida for a bit, and I have every confidence that shot placement with the .44 revolvers will work just fine. ;)

4V50 Gary
July 26, 2002, 02:17 PM
Wow Kalindras! That buddy Terry of yours is something else. A true Texan by Gawd!

Being 17 at the time didn't deter the neighbor's kids from across the street from shooting bottle rockets at me when I was on my apt. roof putting up my laundry. They'd even use sling shots and try to shoot cherry bombs over. So, one day I carried the Ruger Old Army and when they commenced to bombard me, I let loose. Of course, it wasn't loaded with any lead (rolled up foil was used instead), but they cried out, "Gun! He's got a gun!" and scattered. They never bothered me after that.

Cap n ball
July 29, 2002, 01:45 PM
I was going home from my weekly visit to the range and had my 1858 Remington 44s with me. I stopped to gas up and when I had returned to my truck I saw this guy sidling up on the passenger side from the rear. I waited until he was even with the door and as he reached for the door handle I picked up one of the revolvers cocked it and stuck it in his face. I think the aspect of that big ugly octagonal barrel he was looking down had a definite impression upon his heart rate. I've seldom seen eyes grow so big nor color drain so fast. He left in a hurry. BP may not be as good as the modern stuff for defense but with practice and skill it is as effective as any other similar weapon. Even if you miss there's a good chance that you'll set them on fire. Most of the time you will only have the chance to get one shot off anyway.

July 30, 2002, 10:20 AM
There's a survey of armed encounters on the handgun forum. So far, in 86% of the cases recorded either no shooting or one shot only occurred, a single-action pistol would certainly have been sufficient in those cases.

Really sounds interesting what your stepsons are doing. Makes sense too, if you can't get cartridge weapons, use black powder.
If it was good enough for Wild Bill Hickok ... , well l believe I would still prefer cartridge weapons, but it looks like the biggest factor in self-protection is just having a gun available at the time period.

August 5, 2002, 12:02 PM
Vida Loca nonsense. In the barrio got involved in what amounted to as an armed stand off with the local social club. Series of 3am visits and evening roll bys flashing signs and weapons. At the time, the only firearm available was a 3rd model dragoon (used to keep it, when outside in the evenings-in a amigo cooler). Pulled it a time or two and aimed...generally the visitors would decamp. Never fired it though, getting the idiots to go away was enough, although the next evening/night sometimes the same damn nonsense...good thing never had to discharge it as probably would never have seen through the smoke after the first shot. And very likely would have ended up as the local poster child for banning percussion 'unregistered, gasp!!! guns!!!'... etc the usual cliches. And anyway, by the time the town cops did float through, usually the incidents where a half hour past. Still, in times when firearms are spare...use what you've got I guess.