View Full Version : First Black Powder

Mustang Boy
December 4, 2009, 02:14 PM
and first gun all together

Hi all i am a noob to the whole gun world but went to a gun auction last night looking for gifts for my moms bf and my grandfather but all the guns they picked from the list were really high dollar guns and the 2 i had picked as choices for myself went for more than retail after u added in all the fees. I did end up bidding on the last blackpowder gun(infact it was one of the last guns to be auctioned) and won with no bidders bidding against me.

now i know almost nothing about guns in general and even less about black powder guns so any advice or information will be gladly accepted

here is the gun:


this gun was advertised as so: Black Powder Percussion Manufacturer Mendi Spain - 41cal
now from a tiny bit of advise i got from a different forum(non firearm forum but had a firearm enthusiast as a member) i did a little looking around the barrel like advised and saw a marking that reads "12m/m" so i am thinking this may actually be a 12mm caliber but again i am a complete noob

December 4, 2009, 02:41 PM
Well that is a cool-looking Kentucky-style pistol. Those things are a lot of fun to shoot.

You ought to get Lyman's Black Powder Handbook, you can get one off of Amazon.com, this will tell you the comprehensive story of shooting these guns.

You need to figure out the caliber, 12mm would be larger than .41 caliber, anyway, round balls are sold by caliber, not by metric size.

Get some #11 caps, a can of fffg black powder, some patches and a box of round balls and go to the range!

Doc Hoy
December 4, 2009, 02:59 PM
Sometime about 1978, I was given a pistol exactly like the one in your photo. It was in such poor condition that I just threw it in a drawer. I never saw another, before or since.

Yours appears to be in good shape.

Do what Simon said.

Be careful and have fun.

Shotgun Willy
December 4, 2009, 03:18 PM
Nice! You should have a lot of fun with that.
The first thing I would do with it, is run the ramrod down it, and mark how deep it goes. Then check it against the outside of the barrel. Sometimes these are left loaded, and sometimes they've had a ball shoved down them without powder. That's not a disaster, just inconvenient.

Mustang Boy
December 4, 2009, 04:13 PM
i will deff take all of your advice and i have run the ramrod down it some just messing around since ive never done it before lol and when i get home i will deff do that and make sure nothign is down the barrel

Mustang Boy
December 4, 2009, 04:36 PM
oohh yea i hav the serial numbers on it but have no clue what to do with them to find out what information they may unlock if any at all

December 4, 2009, 04:57 PM
Welcome, both to the forum and to the wonderful world of black powder. No matter what anybody says, blackpowder smoke smells amazing! Nothing like it!

Anyway, you've gotten lots of good advice - the Lyman manual especially is important. Second, I would see if there's anyone nearby where you live who shoots this stuff that can meet up with you and help you out. There's no better way than to learn from someone experienced.

Here are a few items you'll need to get started.

1) Gunpowder. It comes in many variations, but you MUST use blackpowder or a synthetic substitute. Modern guns use smokeless powder, which WILL BE DANGEROUS in a black powder gun. NEVER USE SMOKELESS POWDER IN A BLACKPOWDER GUN!!!

powder is the hardest thing to get, but it's not that hard. Most gunshops carry synthetic powder (Pyrodex or 777 are common). Fewer carry real blackpowder, but you can occasionally find it. Powder ranges from $15-25 per pound and you can usually get 120 or more shots per pound.

Also get a powder measure to get exact measurements and for safety. Never do what they do in the movies and pour it directly from the can or horn into the gun.

2) Next you'll need lubricated cotton patches. The roundballs sit on the patch before ramming it down the muzzle. They seal the ball in the barrel for better accuracy and to keep it from rolling out the end.

3) You'll need roundballs of the proper caliber. Since you've got what might be an uncommon caliber, here's where it's best to get help from an experienced blackpowder shooter. Unfortunately, most modern shooters don't know much about it.

4) Percussion caps

5) cleaning supplies. Blackpowder leaves a thick, tarry residue called fouling that will rust your barrel if you don't clean it. You need to clean it after every shooting session.

Check out this site to find all of your necessary supplies (and then some) if you want to mail order them.

There are many many tips and it's a learning process. Above all, be safe. Get good shooting glasses and hearing protection. And always ask if you're not sure about something. Good luck and have fun!

Mustang Boy
December 4, 2009, 05:08 PM
thanx for the advice

my grandfather has a bp rifle that he hunts with during blackpowder season so he may be able to help me som

and i am far from scared to ask questions im sure i will have many threads in this section in the coming weeks asking you experts for advice

December 5, 2009, 12:19 AM
You might also check out this forum


It's all traditional, all the time (you may or may not know that there are two big categories of blackpowder guns - traditional ones like what you have; and modern ones with stainless barrels, scopes, and other things). Some of the folks on that board have forgotten more about traditional muzzleloading than I'll ever know.

Mustang Boy
December 5, 2009, 12:22 AM
and i just did a test the ramrod to see if there was anything down the barrel and it appears to be loaded so im gonna do my best to extract the ball after i get a good ramrod with a swappable head(been doing research and learning lol) if there are any other ways to extract the balle feel free to mention here

December 5, 2009, 12:30 AM
Strap it to an old tire cap it and get a long piece of string.

Mustang Boy
December 5, 2009, 01:56 AM
yea we were thinking something similar to that but with a few sand bags just incase the PO didnt put blackpowder in it

December 5, 2009, 11:34 AM
We would hate it if you suddenly changed your login name to Stumpy:eek:

Mustang Boy
December 5, 2009, 06:52 PM
lol yea that would suck which is why if we have to we will be using sandbags to cover the stock and part of the barrel for safety from flying debris if it does have the wrong powder in it

December 5, 2009, 07:37 PM
They make little CO2 thingys that look like the ones you get for paintball or BB guns, but are used to blow an old charge or a dry ball without having to burn powder. It's safer, though you still have to be careful and maintain safety rules.

You attach it to the nipple/touchhole and blow out the old charge. Not sure where to get them though.

Mustang Boy
December 5, 2009, 08:02 PM
yea one of the vendors at the gunshow i went to today told me about something like that and to give them a call n i could go over to their place n they could help me extract the ball with that co2 thing so i may take them up on their offer and they also said they are pretty sure they have most of what i need in the way of ramrod extractor set and whatnot

December 5, 2009, 08:09 PM
Pour plenty of good old #13 down the barrel and let it soak for a time. Then run a patch to make sure it's as clean as possible. Then use your screw ball puller jag to bite into the ball. Make about 9, 1/4 turn while pushing hard on the rod and pull the bugger out. Or, as horseman308 said, get a CO2 pusher and blow instead of the rod work. Thompson center use to provide but not longer. Check with Traditions, CVA, Dixie or any buckskinner supply.

Are you sure it's loaded? Take an outside measure or drop your rod and listen to the lead thump.

Be Safe !!!

December 5, 2009, 08:17 PM
As a rookie, you may not be able to discern if it is loaded, or not. You wouldn't know how far the ramrod should go down the bore.
Shine a light down the bore and see if a .43 lead round ball is winking back at you.
Not impossible, but, unusual to buy one that is loaded.

Mustang Boy
December 5, 2009, 08:22 PM
well i may be a rookie but i have gotten some advise from an experienced black powder enthusiast and he said to slide the ramrod down the barrel and see how far it went down then pull it out and compare how far it went down to the distance from the end of the barrel to the nipple and the ramrod was a little over an inch short of reaching the nipple

December 6, 2009, 11:00 AM
If you`ve got an air compressor, blow air into nipple. If you can feel air freely escaping through the muzzle your probably not loaded. Also, pull the nipple and run a nipple pick or 'torch' tip cleaner through flash hole. If it won`t run all the way through, either flash hole is plugged or its loaded. Also, if you pull the nipple and shine a bore light or pen lt. down barrel you should see light at breech plug.

If its proven to have a load, I agree with Pahoo about pouring #13 down the barrel. But before trying to use a ball puller, try removing nipple and useing your compressor to blow load out. You may get lucky. If not go to the ball puller.

Mustang Boy
December 6, 2009, 12:13 PM
Thanks and me being a mechanic and my moms bf being a former mechanic we have a rather large compressor that we can use to try and blow the possible load out.

December 6, 2009, 05:18 PM
Be sure the muzzle is pointed in a safe direction, even with air pressure the ball can get enough speed to go through a plywood door, been there done that.

Mustang Boy
December 6, 2009, 07:24 PM
ok ill make sure to stand clear