Black Powder & Bullseye ??

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Black Powder & Bullseye ??

Post by mikemyers on 5/30/2018, 1:10 pm

First topic message reminder :

The club I belong to has a group that shoots black powder guns once a month, on the same range we use for Bullseye shooting.
    http://www.hrpclub.info
I got to wondering if there is any Bullseye competition using these guns.  I'm guessing not, but am curious.

Years ago, I wanted to try it, but everything seemed way too complicated.  Then I got a black powder gun from a friend, but have never used it.  I keep thinking I'll go to one of those get-togethers, and see what it's like.  Getting together with people who know about something is the best way to learn.

Anybody else here do that?
Sounds like a low-key way to have an enjoyable day doing something very different......

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Re: Black Powder & Bullseye ??

Post by mikemyers on 10/3/2018, 9:59 pm

Probably because unlike many other ranges, there is nobody "on duty" there.  Pick the right time to shoot, and you might find you're the only one there.  I guess they just don't want someone getting hurt, and by the time someone knows enough to satisfy Bob, and has shot in a match, he's probably good enough (and safe enough) to carry on by himself.

As for me, it's comforting to know someone is there who can help out if I get stuck, as with the lead bullet that wouldn't seat.  It's a simple fix I wouldn't have thought of, just use the knife.  

Hey, I hear you did great at a very recent match, trying to shoot between the raindrops.  Congrats!!!!!!!!!     Can I have your autograph?
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Re: Black Powder & Bullseye ??

Post by mikemyers on 10/3/2018, 10:00 pm

......if you ever hear of someone selling a 22 like yours, let me know.  The last thing I need is yet another gun, but I keep thinking about the photos you showed us!
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Re: Black Powder & Bullseye ??

Post by mikemyers on 10/5/2018, 9:10 pm

Jason, I went back to the range for this morning, intending to shoot 5 rounds at targets until I got the sights dialed in.  Unfortunately, the sights seemed "welded" in place.  So I just shot two targets, 5 rounds each, and for the first target the holes were where they used to be.  For the last target, I "dry fired" three to four rounds before the gun fired, and I noticed the front sight wasn't moving around so much, maybe because I'm getting used to the gun and the dry firing helped.  I'm not sure with the last target if I got lucky, or if I can actually repeat this - will be very happy if that is possible, but I find it difficult to accept my grouping from this gun is as good as what I just did with my new S&W Model 14.  Do you shoot balls, or some kind of "wad cutter"?

For anyone who's used to black powder, I must look like a real geek.  I stand the gun up in the wood rest, and. pour exactly 20 grains of powder into what looks like a test tube with markings on it.  Then the powder easily pours into the chamber.  Then, if I use 20 grains of filler (cream of wheat) the ball is very difficult to push all the way down - but if I use 18 grains, everything is easy.  It's fast, too, to stop at exactly 18 grains.  Based on what you posted earlier, I use no grease on the cylinder.  Then, after pushing on the cap, I've learned to position the cylinder so that I'll have several dry fires before the gun shoots.  Hopefully in a while I won't need to do that any more, but today it made a big difference.

When I came home I washed the gun in the sink, using Ballistol for lubrication.  After an hour and a half soaking, I cleaned the gun normally.  Before I set it aside, I liberally drenched the rear sight with penetrating oil.  The oil worked - two hours later everything in the rear sight was completely freed up, just like new!

Here's today's target, 25 yards, 5 rounds.



Shooting black powder is lots of fun!  It's a lot more effort to get the gun to go 'boom', but I'm really enjoying it!!
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Re: Black Powder & Bullseye ??

Post by Tim:H11 on 10/5/2018, 9:33 pm

1) No I do not use wad cutters. I use lead round balls. .454 diameter in my particular gun. 

2) I don't know if I've been misunderstood but I HGHLY recommend using a grease or something over the ball once it's loaded in the cylinder. It's not a deterrent for a chain fire but it's a bullet lube. It's to help keep fouling soft and to keep the leading in the bore down to a minimum. USE GREASE 

3) DO NOT DRY FIRE MUZZLE LOADERS - the nipple will take a lot of abuse from the hammer or striker depending on the guns design and the nipple will peen outward to where the cap won't fit right and you will have ignition issues later on.
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Re: Black Powder & Bullseye ??

Post by Tim:H11 on 10/6/2018, 7:45 am

All Muzzle Loading Pistol Targets shoot from the hand at 25 yards. No bench. These were practice targets. Except the last one was a match target and is a national record. 




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Re: Black Powder & Bullseye ??

Post by Tim:H11 on 10/6/2018, 8:02 am

I also see you’re using number 10 caps. If they fit too snuggly they won’t go bang the first wack. The hammer will actually seat the cap on the nipple further. The second or third wack will detonate it. Number 11 caps might be a better fit if you’re having failure to fire issues. If the number 11 caps are too big and fall off in recoil them pinch them inward a little before putting them on. This way they grab on to the nipple and fit snuggly so they stay put. 

Never dry fire the gun without something over the nipple - either a percussion cap or a rubber stopper in the frame so the hammer has something to block it - if the gun isn’t loaded.
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Re: Black Powder & Bullseye ??

Post by mikemyers on 10/6/2018, 8:14 am

Tim:H11 wrote:1) No I do not use wad cutters. I use lead round balls. .454 diameter in my particular gun. 

2) I don't know if I've been misunderstood but I HGHLY recommend using a grease or something over the ball once it's loaded in the cylinder. It's not a deterrent for a chain fire but it's a bullet lube. It's to help keep fouling soft and to keep the leading in the bore down to a minimum. USE GREASE 

3) DO NOT DRY FIRE MUZZLE LOADERS - the nipple will take a lot of abuse from the hammer or striker depending on the guns design and the nipple will peen outward to where the cap won't fit right and you will have ignition issues later on.
1 - I'm also using balls, 0.457" diameter.  From what you've shown below, balls are obviously not an "issue".  

2 - GREASE - for the first four times I shot the Ruger, I used Lubriplate white lithium grease.  It made a mess of the gun, but the bore was easy to clean.
     Then I read this article:   http://www.geojohn.org/BlackPowder/bps3.html   ...curious as to what you think of it.
     As a test, yesterday I used no grease.  Gun stayed cleaner, and was no more/less dirty when I got home to clean.
     After soaking for 90 minutes, one patch cleaned out 95% of the "black stuff", and in four more patches no more residue.
     The Ruger Old Army manual says:  "using one of the commercially available built greases or other stiff grease....".  
     Will buy some this afternoon (they suggested automotive water pump grease).
     I think I was just using too light a grease.

3 - DRY FIRE - I understand, but the Ruger Old Army was designed to allow dry firing:
   

I wasn't sure, so two times I asked Ruger Tech Support people.  They loved the gun, and told me it was designed such that the hammer can not hit the nipples.  They assured me I can dry fire all I want.
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Re: Black Powder & Bullseye ??

Post by mikemyers on 10/6/2018, 8:25 am

Tim:H11 wrote:I also see you’re using number 10 caps. If they fit too snuggly they won’t go bang the first wack. The hammer will actually seat the cap on the nipple further. The second or third wack will detonate it. Number 11 caps might be a better fit if you’re having failure to fire issues. If the number 11 caps are too big and fall off in recoil them pinch them inward a little before putting them on. This way they grab on to the nipple and fit snuggly so they stay put. ......
The Ruger manual says #10 or #11.  When I went to buy caps, all they had was #10.  So far, I've never had any failure to fires.  I push the cap on snugly, either by hand, or one of the loading tools.  I should probably buy some #11, "just in case".  

Before I start the day, I put on one cap on a marked chamber, and aim the gun at debris on the ground.  If the stuff moves, I "know" the nipple is clear (but I also check visually before I even get to the range).

From then on, I load only one round at a time, always using the same chamber.

(One of these years, I'd like to load five rounds, and shoot them sequentially.....)
(My range only allows 5 rounds to be loaded...)
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Re: Black Powder & Bullseye ??

Post by mikemyers on 10/6/2018, 8:32 am

Tim:H11 wrote:All Muzzle Loading Pistol Targets shoot from the hand at 25 yards. No bench. These were practice targets. Except the last one was a match target and is a national record.....
Wow, especially that last one!!!   All are awesome! 

In the past, I never knew a black powder gun could be so precise.  
I know you've got the most to do with it, but your gun needs to be capable of doing it.
Which gun is that in the photo?

Terry (Magnus) had lots of wonderful things to say about you!!!  Has he also seen you shooting Black Powder?
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Re: Black Powder & Bullseye ??

Post by Tim:H11 on 10/6/2018, 11:28 am

The top target was my .36 caliber cap lock and the other two pictures  were my revolver. Terry hasn’t seen me shoot those guns. If Ruger says it’s fine to dry fire then go for it but from what I’ve seen I wouldn’t.
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Re: Black Powder & Bullseye ??

Post by mikemyers on 10/6/2018, 12:01 pm

Terry was talking about a match, where you had to dodge the raindrops.  He and others apparently were VERY impressed by you!!

Ruger - if Ruger is wrong, and you're right, I've already done whatever damage it might to, as I've been practicing dry firing, so I can use the trigger properly.  Between such tiny grips and a strong trigger pull, it's harder for me to avoid moving the gun when I fire.
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Re: Black Powder & Bullseye ??

Post by Tim:H11 on 10/6/2018, 1:04 pm

mikemyers wrote:Terry was talking about a match, where you had to dodge the raindrops.  He and others apparently were VERY impressed by you!!

Ruger - if Ruger is wrong, and you're right, I've already done whatever damage it might to, as I've been practicing dry firing, so I can use the trigger properly.  Between such tiny grips and a strong trigger pull, it's harder for me to avoid moving the gun when I fire.

Dodging rain drops!? Hahaha! Never happened. I wish though. That would be cool. 

The damage to the nipples doesn't happen instantly. It's prolonged. Through constant dry firing the nipples over time become peened over. If it doesn't happen then great. 

The trigger can be made better. As for grips... I think hogue makes some for the black hawk that I think fit the Old Army too.
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Re: Black Powder & Bullseye ??

Post by mikemyers on 10/6/2018, 1:25 pm

I might have the matches mixed up - Terry just returned from a match that was held in a downpour, and he was also talking about you, and maybe I got the locations mixed up......    Ask Terry - he had a great story about shooting in the rain!

Trigger - I never considered that.  I wonder if anyone near Miami has that ability....   I'll look into it.
Grips - I already bought the ones from Hogue.  They are "better", but still small.  Actually, tiny!  I want grips like what come on the large S&W revolvers, that fill up my hands.

What I can do, is take close up photos of the six nipples, and see if there is any sign of contact.



I only get to shoot when Bob is at the range, which is good and bad.  I guess it allows me time to shoot my other guns when he's not going to be there.  When I get stuck though, I am SO happy he is there.  For example, when the ball stuck out a bit from the chamber, and wouldn't work, he had such a simple fix - remove the cylinder, and shave the ball with a pocket knife!!!!

(I'm sure I could have fixed it with my cylinder loading device, but it was at home.)
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Re: Black Powder & Bullseye ??

Post by mikemyers on 10/6/2018, 1:31 pm

Question...    I've asked this before, but now I understand things better.

This is where I keep my powder:
https://www.traditionsfirearms.com/product/field-flask-a1292


Is one of these, partially filled with black powder, small enough that I can keep it stored in my condo, without having any worries about it?   I already have my smokeless powder (Unique and Bullseye) and a bottle of Pyrodex (in case I can't get anything else).  My only experience with black powder has been the past month or so with the Ruger.  If I leave home for a couple of months, is this something I should find another place for while I'm gone?
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Re: Black Powder & Bullseye ??

Post by mikemyers on 10/6/2018, 1:35 pm

For anyone else reading this thread, while this little composite powder measure will make you look more like a chemist than a machinist, it is SO fast and accurate, and precise and easy to use!!!!   You know for sure exactly how much powder came out of your powder flask.  Powder and filler pours right out of the tube into the chamber, no spills, and you can SEE it happening.
https://www.traditionsfirearms.com/product/composite-powder-measure-a1381
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Re: Black Powder & Bullseye ??

Post by Tim:H11 on 10/6/2018, 10:34 pm

This is what I used for a while when I started and I know many who still use it. Traditions are not the only ones that make it either. Pretty much he golden standard for powder measures.

https://www.muzzle-loaders.com/traditions-brass-powder-measure-120-grains.html

Your flask is a field flask. Holds barely enough for one outing in my opinion. Ought to be legal. 

I use a powder drop with a spring loaded gate and an adjustable powder measure that fits flush with the drop. The drop needs to be mounted to something but I get exactly what I want and its repeatable.
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Re: Black Powder & Bullseye ??

Post by mikemyers on 10/7/2018, 7:46 am

Yep, the Traditions field flask holds 2.5 ounces, rounded off to 1000 grains.
Divide by 20 grains, the load I'm using, and it's good for 50 shots.
By the time I leave on my trip, it may well be empty.

You wrote:
"I use a powder drop with a spring loaded gate and an adjustable powder measure that fits flush with the drop. The drop needs to be mounted to something but I get exactly what I want and its repeatable."


Maybe sometime you can take a photo of this.  I don't know enough to be able to visualize what you're doing.  Is this something you made, or that people can buy?


If they allowed it at my club (maybe they will, for when I'm just practicing) I would use the loader I bought, fill five chambers with powder, then filler, then ball, ram it together, add grease, place in gun, and add caps.  Then I could take 5 shots in a row.  I don't mind doing one at a time as I am now, as I'm getting used to everything,  (I assume caps don't get added until the cylinder is in the gun, right??)

How many years until you shoot a 2700?      :-)
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Re: Black Powder & Bullseye ??

Post by Tim:H11 on 10/7/2018, 8:07 am

Never cap a loaded cylinder outside the frame.
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Re: Black Powder & Bullseye ??

Post by mikemyers on 10/7/2018, 8:37 am

In my list of questions I hope I'll need an answer for.....    if for some reason, someone is shooting a BP revolver, and it jams up while there are still loaded rounds in the gun, and IF the person needs to put the gun at half-cock and remove the cylinder - what to do about chambers that are still loaded with a cap on them?

Is there maybe a list of all these "what if" types of questions, that I can read or print out?
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Re: Black Powder & Bullseye ??

Post by Tim:H11 on 10/7/2018, 8:48 am

Pull the caps off. If you drop the cylinder while fumbling with it and it's loaded AND capped you're asking for trouble. If you have a problem and you HAVE to remove the cylinder though its loaded then pick up your needle nose pliers that you should have handy and pull the caps off. Make the gun safe before working on it. Usually you shouldn't have to remove the cylinder but life does throw us curve balls.
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Re: Black Powder & Bullseye ??

Post by mikemyers on 10/7/2018, 10:11 am

I have lots of tools in my bag; will add needle nose pliers.  

I don't anticipate any problems, but my total black powder experience to date is 5 trips to the range, and a lot of reading.

Regarding nipples, every so often I remove them, clean, re-lube, and re-install.  I'll take a photo of all six together, from above.  I can't visibly see anything out of the ordinary.  I'll look much closer, or better yet, enlarge my photo.
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Re: Black Powder & Bullseye ??

Post by Tim:H11 on 10/7/2018, 1:26 pm

mikemyers wrote:I have lots of tools in my bag; will add needle nose pliers.  

I don't anticipate any problems, but my total black powder experience to date is 5 trips to the range, and a lot of reading.

Regarding nipples, every so often I remove them, clean, re-lube, and re-install.  I'll take a photo of all six together, from above.  I can't visibly see anything out of the ordinary.  I'll look much closer, or better yet, enlarge my photo.

Unless a reason absolutely requires you to remove the nipples, constant removing them can just be a risk of thread damage. If that occurs you could have gas/pressure leak from there and that would not only be a cause of loss in accuracy but a safety issue too.
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Re: Black Powder & Bullseye ??

Post by mikemyers on 10/7/2018, 2:21 pm

Oops....    well, I've only had them off twice, used the proper grease to lubricate the threads, and made sure not to over-tighten them.  Based on what you just wrote, I will leave them alone.
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