View Full Version : Snide comments when asking for BP

March 1, 2012, 12:29 AM
I make it a point to stop by every gun shop or sporting goods store to ask if they carry BP. I know my quest to find it locally or within a decent driving distance is not going to happen. But hey I can ask right? Any way most times when I ask for it I get some kind of snark comment as to why I want it. Today I got "who still uses that nasty inferior stuff anyway? That Pyrodex and Triple 7 we have right there is a far better product!" I replied, "you think so? Ok then" This was at a gun shop I've never been to that sells alot of outdoor gear. I figured I would drive over there just to see if maybe they had it. I think I'm about all out of options though so I'm going to order some from powder inc.

Doc Hoy
March 1, 2012, 12:43 AM
Lot of good words about Powder Inc on this forum.

I personally have never ordered from them because powder in the small volumes I need is available here.

I get powder at guns shows at a coupla buck less than retail. You will do much better at Powder Inc.

They may have caps too.

March 1, 2012, 12:46 AM
I get gun stuff online anymore. I got too tired of attitudes like that.

March 1, 2012, 12:50 AM
I try to avoid most of the shops, at least while in CA. Idaho is entirely different, well that probably goes without saying. I use the muzzleloaders to tide me over while in CA working. Last time I bought caps, you'd have thought I was asking for the "salesman's" first born. Then he argued that I needed no 10 Remingtons, not the CCI 11's I had requested. This is the same feller that won't sell people home defense shotguns without going on his tirade about using slugs only, and I have overheard him state that he won't help them if they think otherwise. So obviously, some guy asking for caps is really far out of the realm of serious shooters. I will now be ordering caps online.

Doc Hoy
March 1, 2012, 01:01 AM
....The LGS locations do not carry BP or C & B revolvers and such but I do realize that every square inch of counter or shelf space represents an opportunity for revenue.

It is kind of like a used car lot which measures market quality by the number of places for used cars on the lot.

I don't forward this as a reason to be rude to customers. I have not personally experienced a seller pooh poohing my interest but if I did I would not give him a second opportunity.

March 1, 2012, 01:18 AM
Yeah, I don't know what it is with some of these folks...they think only the latest can be the greatest, if you know what I mean. But then, I guess I'm a bit of a propellant snob myself - I wouldn't consider using anything BUT black powder! :D

March 1, 2012, 02:10 AM
I wouldn't consider using anything BUT black powder!

I know right? I have BLACK POWDER RIFLES!! I don't have BLACK POWDER SUBSTITUTE RIFLES! LOL it even says "BLACK POWDER ONLY" right there on the barrel :D

March 1, 2012, 06:39 AM
One of my experiences... Went to local gun shop, told them I picked up a BP revolver used, wanted something in 3f to try it out.... didnt really matter brand or BP or substitue. Guy behind the counter cuts loose, hasnt had any BP in a couple years, too expensive, too many regulations, nobody buys it, too nasty. I said I understand, and is it OK if I look around a minute..... Wandering thru the shop, I see a dozen or so cans of Pyrodex P on the shelf with the 777 2f and Shockeys Gold. Guy working at the shop says " Oh... I didnt know you wanted that. We never sell any of that stuff either." Wonder why ?

Doc Hoy
March 1, 2012, 07:05 AM

Interesting story. I was told by a LGS operator who does carry BP and Subs that it is more expensive to store BP than smokeless. That may be because they cannot be stored in the same place.

Mykeal IIRC is very sharp on these regulations.

We have a Bass Proshop about 25 miles from here and they carry it at about $25.00 a pound. There is a Dick's Sporting Goods about ten miles from here and they want about 50% more than BPS.

The clerks at these stores are not smart enough to make snide comments.

Mike Irwin
March 1, 2012, 07:50 AM
Black powder requires different storage and handling, as it is truly an explosive, where as smokeless powder is a flammable solid.

When I lived in Pennsylvania the area where I was had a very active black powder hunting and re-enactment group, so I was always able to glome onto their group buys.

March 1, 2012, 10:55 AM
Obviously, there are different regs. on storage, handling of BP versus Subs as even most Walmarts around here have the Subs out on the shelves. Ask them for BP and they look at you like you've got worms crawling outta your eyes.

Far as the 'snarky' comments, I view this the same as when I go to the LGS and want something specific, the LGS doesn't carry it and the salesperson is bound and determined to show me everything else in the store telling me "this will work" or "this is better then what you want".

Don't get me wrong, there have been times when I've listened to the salesperson. Only cause I have a history with that particular person and trust their opinion. And these are the only salespeople I deal with at our LGS....if the salesperson is a stranger(say in Walmart), I usually repeat my specific needs and politely tell them I'm not interested in a substitute for my item.

March 1, 2012, 11:40 AM
I have a traditional BP rifle and an 1860 BP pistol and use Pyrodex out of necessity. I have to travel 90 miles to even get the pyrodex and to buy caps. That location does not carry real black powder. They stated that the regulations for real BP were too much trouble to them.

My local gun store carries some in-line items such as pellet powder and sabots to cater to the hunters. I have no interest in the in-line guns. The local store carries smokeless powder and primers, but do not carry caps. His explanation on the caps was that his supplier could get them but the minimum order to him would be a case. It would take him years to sell a case of caps. I order ball, wads, and other items by internet. I buy smokeless and primer at my LGS to avoid the shipping surcharge.

Neither my LGS or the one 90 miles away make snide remarks about my requests. They just explain, in a professional manner, why they don't have the item. I respect them for that and continue to give them business.

March 1, 2012, 01:03 PM
My LGS are pretty slim when it comes to bp stuff. AcademySports doesn't even acknowledge that bp shooting still exists, Dick's has one pegboard back in the corner with a few PowerBelts and T/C ramrod accessories hanging on it, and our two super Wal Marts don't even sell firearms anymore (Thanks local gov't, for protecting me from myself). The closest source is an auto parts store that has a dusty low-lit back room where they have old stock on deep, dark wooden shelves. They do have 70s-era balsa wood lures still priced at about 2 bucks, and cans of Hercules Unique dated 1987 for $13 bucks. (I got it for the .357, not the bp stuff, don't get excited). The round balls are all white from oxidation and look like they might have been original issue to the guys on the CSS H.L. Hunley and the Pyrodex is still marked $15 a pound, but it shoots just fine. When it runs out, I'll be traveling, because Bass Pro is 70 miles away, and is the next nearest purveyor of bp interests.

March 1, 2012, 02:09 PM
I guess I'm one of the lucky ones after reading all these posts. We have a gun store in Austin, TX that sells Goex but you have to ask for it at the counter and then they get it out of their special black powder storage magazine.
Also, I shoot at a lot of muzzle loading matches and usually there is a vender who sells the stuff at those matches. Also, cans of black powder are given away as prizes at many of the shoots.

For those who claim the subs are better or just as good, I challenge you to find a serious bench rest or offhand rifle competitor who uses the subs at the NMLRA or TMLRA shoots. They are allowed to use them but most of them don't. It's hard to beat the real stuff. The more I use it, the more I appreciate how terrible it is not.

March 1, 2012, 02:13 PM
If you are looking for true BP, check local muzzle loading clubs or groups. A lot of them make "bulk" purchases, and as long as you get in on the order in advance, you can score some.

March 1, 2012, 11:43 PM
For those who claim subs are better or just as good ...

...there's a statement that can ,has been and will be debated for years.
Especially the, "just as good" part.

But alas, that's an age old debate for another thread.

Mike Irwin
March 2, 2012, 09:58 AM
Are any of the subs suitable for use with a flintlock?

March 2, 2012, 10:39 AM
Are any of the subs suitable for use with a flintlock?
Depends on ignition temperature. Offhand I don't know of any - all the subs I've looked into have higher ignition temperatures than real black powder. One good 'solution' is to use a duplex load: 5 gr real black followed by your regular load of substitute powder (adjusted for the 5 grains of real black, of course).

March 2, 2012, 12:53 PM
When I first got my blunderbuss, I tried using Triple7 P in the pan and either Shockey's Gold or Triple7 RS as a main charge. It was like lighting a firecracker and waiting for the fuse to hurry up.
I got a case of mixed grades from Powder, Inc. and haven't used any of the subs since.

March 3, 2012, 02:20 PM
Mykeal's recommendation mirrors my experience -- Triple 7 won't light in a flintlock without 5 grains of blackpowder put in first. I use Goex FF in both my flintlock (4F in the pan) and my in-line. No reason to use anything else.

Andy Griffith
March 3, 2012, 05:24 PM
The other problem is, that most sellers that do even stock the real McCoy, is that their selection is small. I know of two shops not for far from here, but they only stock Goex, and only in FFg. :confused:

What if I want some Swiss in 4Fg? What if I want to try some Kik or Diamondback or Goex Express? The only way to get a good variation of powders (or even just a different granulation is to order it yourself from someone like Powder Inc, Jacks or some other outfit.

March 5, 2012, 09:15 AM
After 9-11 and the formation of dept of HLS the laws on storage of black powder saw a major change. Most small stores could not afford the new requirements so they stopped carrying real BP.

Sure Shot Mc Gee
March 6, 2012, 12:04 AM
Mike Irwin: I agree 100% with your thread. Black is an explosive under DOT rules. And being such requires special handling and storage in any amounts. In some States there is a requirement under penalty of Law. That a buyers signature with proof of identification and amounts being purchased must be logged and kept by its seller / dealer. "That is the way Black is handled in my State." and I'm happy to oblige.:)
Substitute powders have restrictions as well. But not at the level Black is on.tried using Triple7 P in the pan and either Shockey's Gold or Triple7 RS as a main charge. It was like lighting a firecracker and waiting for the fuse to hurry up. Best quote of the night!!! I like It!!!:D

Mike Irwin
March 6, 2012, 07:27 AM
The latest issue of Handloader has an article on a new substitute, Alliant Black MZ or something like that.

It's a close volumetric replacement for black powder.

I read it really quickly, but it seemed to me to be saying that it COULD be used in a flintlock, but it was best with a booster of black powder and black in the pan.

March 15, 2012, 06:36 PM
I Know Americans share the English language with us Brits and we certainly have a different culture BUT I ALWAYS THOUGHT THAT ONE THING ABOUT AMERICANS IS THEY ARE ALMOST ALWAYS POLITE.

If I go into a shop to buy something and get snide comments when asking advice There will be NO SALE even if they are the only shop selling what I want.

My reply would be something like "Oh well I'll just go down to Guns R us to by my 1000 rounds for my 30-06 bye:D". It matters not that I may only have an air rifle.

Doc Hoy
March 15, 2012, 07:15 PM
I can friggin confirm that I am friggin polite to every jerk I deal with.


Ain't that right, Guys?

March 15, 2012, 09:29 PM
What's it to ya, punk?

Actually, after living in the UK for 5 years I'd say the Brits were almost painfully more polite. Most if not all the store clerks I dealt with seemed to go out of their way to avoid conflict. This was about 10 years ago, and most of my time I was in Scotland. But we did get to every other part of the UK during those 5 years. Were they just trying to be extra nice to a Yank?

However, now that I think about it, that seemed to have changed a bit during my most recent trip back, about 2 years ago. Seemed less polite somehow. Maybe that's because I spent too much time in London.

March 16, 2012, 04:09 AM
London is not really representative of the UK. The people seem all wrapped up in their own business. Lived about 40 years in Scotland. Hewlet Packard opened a factory in my village they payed good money. Those who worked there (mother & sister) became very American. Those who didn't work for HP tended to become very anti American. Scotland England Wales and N. Ireland make up the UK, Scotland was finally defeated by FIREARMS in 1746. It may interest you to know that in my village small boys were brought up to hate the English for being English. If a Brit is pleasant to you he probably means it.:D

James K
March 18, 2012, 10:20 PM
Black powder is treated differently from smokeless for a reason, not just to annoy muzzle stuffers. As Mike says, it is an explosive, not a flammable solid, and in many areas is illegal to have unless kept in an approved magazine. I just posted a note about bulk BP and I am sure I will be the target of raves and rants, but I get antsy when folks talk about buying 25 pounds in a plastic sack. 25 pounds of BP letting go will thoroughly wreck a house and the insurance company won't pay a penny.

Store BP in small amounts, in its original containers, and keep them separated by wood boards, since BP (unlike smokeless) WILL "sympathy" detonate.