Self taught??

Discussion in 'Black Powder Shooting / Muzzleloaders / Handguns' started by lefty48, Jan 9, 2008.

  1. lefty48

    lefty48 New Member

    Jan 8, 2008
    I know next to nothing about muzzleloaders but have long had a mild bug about maybe getting one for squirrel hunting. Lately it's gotten a bit stronger.

    I have no usable background with topics that are conceivably related, like reloading, or...just dunno even what's relevant.

    Is it possible to be self-taught in this area without blowing myself up? If so, how?

    If not, why not?
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2008
  2. mrkirker

    mrkirker New Member

    Jul 13, 2007
    Do you have ANY firearms experience?

  3. Oneida Steve

    Oneida Steve Well-Known Member

    Sep 28, 2006
    Upstate NY
    Blackpowder guns were developed back when few soldiers could read or write.

    If you can read you can safely use a blackpowder rifle. It isn't all that complicated.
  4. lefty48

    lefty48 New Member

    Jan 8, 2008
    Yeah, not tons of experience.... I spent a lot of time at ranges as a kid, and took up hunting again a few years ago....Any widely available books, etc., you'd recommend?
  5. armedandsafe

    armedandsafe Guest

    The Lyman Blackpowder Handbook is the best for a beginner, in my opinion. Sam Falada has some good books out, but seems to assume you know something about the subject to begin with. I strongly recommend his works after you have shot some.

    Go to the range and ask around about who shoots dirty and go to them for advice. From 5 of them you will get 10 different opinions, but the differences will be slight. you will find, basically, that there are flintlock shooters, sidelock percussion cap shooters and in-line shooters.

    Go to your local store which carries blackpowder guns and start asking to whom you should go for advice. Most stores have somebody behind the counter who will be willing to tell you where to go.

  6. lefty48

    lefty48 New Member

    Jan 8, 2008
    Lyman Handbook-- I copy that.... Thanks....

    I wanna get the lightest weight and smallest bore replica-type gun possible--- like I said maybe-- for squirrels. Hopefully something that won't blow them to bits...
  7. Oneida Steve

    Oneida Steve Well-Known Member

    Sep 28, 2006
    Upstate NY
    The Dixie Gun Works catalog is a good read also.
  8. rockhill

    rockhill New Member

    Dec 14, 2007
    Thompson Center makes some god guns for what you want.
    A couple of quick tips: measure powder correctly and seat your ball/bullet firmly. It is best to establish a routine of steps and do not get distracted. Not a lot of fun to charge your gun, short start the ball then forget to seat it properly.
    Enjoy th experience
  9. Crpdeth

    Crpdeth Well-Known Member

    Apr 23, 2002
    Location location
    Welcome to the forums Rock....

  10. Yup, TC makes some excellent ones. I have two of them, one I built from a kit. Black powder is a lot of fun to shoot, but the cleanup can be a PITA. :D

    By the way, welcome to TFF, Rock. Glad to have you with us. :)
  11. rockhill

    rockhill New Member

    Dec 14, 2007
    Glad to be part of the community
  12. zoar

    zoar New Member

    Feb 28, 2008
    One word of caution---you may become addicted!

    Muzzleloading is far more primative and basic compared to shooting modern guns with with modern ammo. My question is: Do you sharpen your knives with a stone or do you use an electric sharpener??? If you use electric you may want to re-consider your choice to shoot black powder/muzzleloader.... (smile).
  13. Plundering Bill

    Plundering Bill New Member

    Feb 17, 2008
    Richmond, Virginia
    Well...if you want to hunt small game with a ML...may I recommend a 32 cal. traditions Crockett rifle. I use it for turkeys and it is a hoot. A few years ago, I found some buffalo ball-ets (sp?) for 32 cal. They are basically prelubed 1/2 ball - 1/2 miniball slugs that do not need patches. I picked up 200 of them and found that the rifle loved them with 35-40 gr of fffg 777. The rifle shoots about 1" groups at 50 yards and the load destroys little meat. Off memory, that ball-et is 70 gr and was zinging out about 1900 fps at the muzzle.

    Here in VA, you cannot take a modern rifle/shotgun with you in ML hunting deer season. For years, I often saw loads of turkeys in the woods when deer hunting and they would often come within 50 yards of my stand making a racket while I was waiting for deer. Over time, I noticed that when the turkeys were near and loud, I never saw deer.

    However, in VA, during deer season, you can take two ML hunting. To hunt deer, you must meet the minimal rifle/power requirements. But for small game, the old 32 works great. So, I sometimes carry both and now and then take a turkey. That little 32 pill does the job well. Beats the heck out of the 45 cal 275 gr HP powerbelt at 2070 fps MV that I use on deer...that is just way too much on a turkey.

    Just note one thing...small cal. ML can be a bit of a pest to clean...especially if it is a more traditional side lock design. But, then again, all who prefer them realize it is a labor of love. Once you are hooked, it takes a lot to turn you back.

    Good luck.
  14. dgray64

    dgray64 New Member

    Mar 24, 2008
    Central Texas
    Hi, I'm new here as well, but not new to hunting or shooting, only BP. My question as it relates to this is how far will a BP ball go if you are shooting up at squirrels? So many modern arms bullets go more than a mile and still have some "umph" when they hit ground, I usually only use a shotgun when shooting up. How about BP arms? Will the ball fall soon enough to be safe? Thanks.

    Dave :)
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