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Old August 20, 2005, 04:06 PM   #1
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Join Date: July 28, 2005
Location: Pocono Mtns, PA
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Now what?!

Okay, this is going to sound very newb of me, but I hope it's okay because I am a newbee to black powder. Today I got a flintlock rifle (Traditions, with stainless barrel), gg and gggg black powder, 20 bullets, flints, cleaner attachments (already have a shotgun cleaning rod), solvent and some brass accesories (pick, flask, measure/funnel, primer funnel).

Am I missing anything before I go the range? Also, is there any general advise you might tend to give newbee like me? Also, I'm thinking I shouldn't use a full powder load to fire this the first time? Please keep in mind, I've never loaded or fired a bp rifle.
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Old August 20, 2005, 07:05 PM   #2
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Join Date: August 3, 2005
Location: Tennessee
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Blackpowder shooting is great fun. While I don't do nearly as much of it as I'd like, I am comfortable with firing them. I will warn you that you can expect misfires more often with muzzleloaders than with regular firearms, so be sure you're safe when that happens. Keep the muzzle pointed down range, give the rifle a long wait before doing anything, try another priming charge, etc.

While I haven't had the chance to try it, Cabella's sells a kit that includes an adapter and a CO2 cartridge that will blow the charge out in the event of a misfire. The alternative to this is a long soak of the barrel in the bathtub to deactivate the powder followed by using a screw attachment on a rod to pull the bullet out and clear the barrel My Dad has had to do that a couple of times over the years, its not a fun thing to deal with.
"Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws." - Plato
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Old August 20, 2005, 10:59 PM   #3
4V50 Gary
Join Date: November 2, 1998
Location: Colorado
Posts: 19,382
Welcome to the world of black powder

Here's some useful accessories that fit on the end of your ramrod.

Stuck ball remover. It's a screw that attaches to the end of your ramrod and is used to pull a ball out.

Worm. It's a wire attachment that also attaches to the end of your ramrod and is used to break up that powder you just wetted down or to snag out that rag that fell off your jag.

Jag. Yet another nifty attachment to the ramrod and it's used to push the patched ball (you have patches if you're using round ball, don't you) down the barrel. By fitting a patch on the jag, you can use the ramrod to scrub the barrel (patch is wetted).

BTW, I have a solid brass ramrod that is 3/8" thick. It's too heavy to carry in the field but for range use and for cleaning the gun, it's terrific. Won't ever break either.

You may also want to make a short starter. Get a wood ball and drill it for a 3/8" brass rod. Have it go it at least 1/2" and protrude out about 3/8". It helps to cone it is easily seated over the ball. Drill a similar hole 90 degrees and put a 3" long 3/8" brass rod into it. After pushing the ball into barrel with the shorter of the short starter, you can use the longer one to push it in further. Finish driving it home with the ramrod.
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Old August 21, 2005, 10:53 AM   #4
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I have made a couple of those brass range rods out of brazing rod. They are great, although getting the threaded holes in the ends exactly centered is a trick. I attached a T-handle to one end and it is really a nice tool.

If you decide to make your own patches, make sure the material you use has NO polyester or nylon in it. That makes a terrible mess. Don't ask.

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