View Full Version : Intro to black powder?

January 20, 2002, 02:23 PM
Okay, let's say one day I go nuts and buy that goreous Navy Arms stainless 1861 Springfield rifle that I think is so purty.


Okay, so what else do I need to start shooting such a weapon? Besides the obvious (Minie Balls), I mean. What kind of powder? Caps?

I know not of such things...

Mike Irwin
January 20, 2002, 03:16 PM
It's 58 caliber, right?

I'm pretty certain that 2F granulation is going to be what you want for that.

You're also going to need No. 11 Musket caps.

The cool thing about getting one of these, though, is that everything you need to know about getting started shooting it is in the book that accompanies it.

One suggestion for keeping it nice and bright and shiny -- Johnson's Paste Wax.

Degrease it and wax it thoroughly before you shoot it the first time, and EVERY time after cleaning it.

January 20, 2002, 09:19 PM
You're also going to need a powder flask, powder measure and/or powder throw for dispensing the right amount of powder. You'll need some grease or Crisco to put on your miniballs. Other stuff that might be nice to have is a nipple wrench and nipple pick when you find have to clear the flash hole out; and a ball puller (worm) and patch puller when you put stuff down the barrel that won't come back out. Finally, after you shoot the thing, you'll want to clean it out...I use a bucket of soapy hot water and a length of plastic tubing to syphon the water up the barrel to clean out the black powder residue.

Have fun!!!

4V50 Gary
January 21, 2002, 02:21 AM
A good primer for Civil War firearms is Joe Bilby's Civil War Firearms. It's good reading and gives you a very good background on the various small arms used during the war.

Soldiers didn't carry powder horns or flasks during the ACW. Instead, they relied on cartridges (paper rolled which contained about 60 grains FF and the greased Minie ball) that were carried in a cartridge box. The soldier would extract a paper cartridge, bite the bullet and clench it in his teeth, pour the powder down the bore, spit the bullet into the barrel and ram it down. He'd then cap it a musket cap (larger than #11) and fire.

Suggest you find a Civil War reenactor group or a blackpowder shooting club. They can give you plenty of tips and hints on keeping the gun going.

BTW, after shooting long rifles with patched round balls, those Civil War guns are great shooting at 300 plus yards.

January 21, 2002, 06:20 PM
If you get the rifled musket, might consider making the paper cartridges. Much quicker than flasks and measures, and if these are made of waxed paper, almost water proofed. When firing these, blow obliquely into the muzzle after firing. In the old days, the paper cartridges sometimes left embers, the new cartridge going in sometimes flamed up. Also make sure the minie is seated well..the barrels on the rifled muskets (whether repro or orig) are thinner than the TC type of rifle, and aren't as suited to 'problems'.
Also if it gets hard to load,(and yours may be too pretty for this) a standard practice used to be knocking the butt into the ground, to help seat the ball on a fouled weapon. But then again, another practice used to be, putting a bit of leather under the hammer, and filling the barrel full of libations. I guess that practice ensured liquid courage before a fight...had to drink it before firing it...

January 21, 2002, 06:27 PM
And 45vGary your right, the RM is a wonderful rifle compared to the patched ball stuff. Use mine for target shooting (and they will go 300yds) and hunting (accurate,hit hard,easy to load quickly) The only disadvantage is carrying the bloody long thing (why they were called wagon guns in the west) and having to take it apart to get it to fit in the cabinet. (three band enfield) Don't have the bayonet for mine though...never know when one's going to need a candle holder.

January 21, 2002, 06:37 PM
My advise is to join a gun club where there are a lot of BP shooters. Join them in their Muzzle-loading shoots.

Check out this web site....