Teach me to shoot: Part 13

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7
Part 8
Part 9
Part 10
Part 11
Part 12

This is the continuing fictional saga and guest report of a man teaching a woman to shoot. Today Jack will start teaching Jamell, how to shoot a muzzle loading rifle.

Our guest writer is reader, Jack Cooper. Take it away, Jack.

Teach me to shoot

by Jack Cooper

This report covers:

  • A fowler?
  • Jamell Fowler
  • A refresher
  • Flintlock basics
  • Description
  • Loading sequence
  • Speaking of ramming
  • Priming sequence
  • Flash in the pan
  • Wet weather
  • Next

DANGER: Today’s topic talks about loading and shooting a black powder firearm. Black powder is explosive, even in the open. Be sure you know what you are doing before using black powder!

I went with Jamell to pick up the custom flintlock she ordered. It was part of a trade for one of her sculptures, and she took pictures of the clay rendering she had made to show to the gun maker. He was thrilled with her work, which will be an 18-inch bronze of a mountain man facing a grizzly bear. Apparently he will owe her some money plus the gun, but I stayed out of their business.

A fowler?

I was surprised to learn that Jamell had changed her order from a flintlock rifle to a classic 20 gauge (.61 caliber) flintlock fowler. That is what later turned into the shotgun we know today, though at the time people shot single balls, buckshot (large lead balls of around .30 caliber and larger) and birdshot in the same gun. Shooters did not typically shoot birds on the wing with flintlocks, though “shooting flying” as it was called, was invented about this same time.

She chose a fowler because it was more authentic to what was carried day in and day out in the 1750-1800 timeframe. Rifles did exist, but if a person owned just one gun, it was a fowler.

I learned from the gun maker that if this fowler is loaded correctly it should put 5 round balls into about three inches at 50 yards. That surprised me. He and I agreed to speak again about the right way to load and manage this gun, so I can be sure to teach Jamell the right way.

Jamell Fowler

When he handed the gun to her he told her it has a name. “This is Jamell Fowler. It was traditional to name long guns at this time period, and I thought I would name it for you. The name has been inscribed on the inside of the metal butt plate, so everyone will know it.”

Jamell Fowler
Jamell Fowler is tall and beautiful like her new owner.

Tears formed in her eyes when he told her this, and I have to admit, I had to look away as well. This was one artist giving a special gift to another artist. Both of them appreciated the skill and love that went into the making.

“Jamell, it has been many years since I made a gun lock myself. They are readily available from the black powder supply houses, so why would I go to all the time and effort to make one? I normally make the barrel and the stock, but I buy the lock and all the other small parts I need. But this time, I made the entire gun for you — lock, stock and barrel.”

“Is that where that expression comes from?” I asked.

“Yes. And there are several other popular expressions that come from flintlocks. I have written a list of them for you. I expect you to teach them to Jamell as you show her how to shoot her new gun.”

A refresher

We then went over the basics of loading, maintaining and caring for a flintlock fowler. I knew a lot of it from my experience with muzzle loading rifles, but there were a couple things I didn’t know. I will cover all of them for you as I teach Jamell about her new gun.

When we left the gun maker’s house, Jamell could not stop talking about her new pride and joy. She confided to me that although her sculpture was worth twice what the maker had asked for this gun, there would be no exchange of cash. He gets his bronze for the fowler, straight across. Excuse me — for Jamell Fowler!

Flintlock basics

Let’s take a moment to examine Jamell’s new gun. Being a fowler, the barrel has thinner walls than a rifle because there is no rifling. Although many people today call any long gun a rifle, it has to have a rifled barrel to qualify. What Jamell has is properly called a gun.

Jamell Fowler muzzle
A fowler is a smoothbore predecessor to the shotgun. The barrel walls are thin.

The flintlock is one of the most significant developments in the whole history of firearms. Before the flintlock, firearms used a slow burning wick called a match — hence the term matchlock. The pilgrims came to North America with matchlocks and the much more complex wheelocks that work like lighters. John Alden’s wheelock (yes, the pilgrim!) can be seen in the National Firearms Museum.

The flintlock was better than both the matchlock and the wheelock because it was less complex than the wheelock and more reliable than the matchlock. It was also an all-weather gun — sort of. I will get to that!

Jamell Fowler cocked
Lock is cocked and the frizzen covers the priming charge in the pan.

Jamell Fowler fired
The gun has been fired. The flint in the jaws of the cock struck the frizzen, forcing it back and opening the pan. At that time a shower of sparks fell from the frizzen onto the pan, igniting the priming charge.

The flintlock forces a piece of flint to strike a hardened steel plate called a frizzen, sending a shower of sparks down onto a small charge of black powder that’s held in a pan. The charge ignites and burns in an instant, sending fire in all directions, including through a small hole called a vent or touchhole, where it ignites a larger charge of powder inside the barrel that propels the bullet.

This all takes time to happen — several hundredths of a second when it’s done right. The human senses are acute enough to detect a lag time between the ignition of the priming charge in the pan and the main charge inside the barrel. The time this takes is called the locktime — the second phrase given to us by flintlocks.

When a lock is made right and loaded right it has a fast locktime. When either of those is not right, the locktime is slower, which causes natural flinching. It doesn’t matter how tough you are — a charge of black powder exploding in your face will cause you to jump. And you better wear some kind of safety glasses every time you shoot a flintlock! In the old days they closed their eyes.

The fixture that holds the flint is a moving vise called a cock, because it resembles a rooster holding something in its beak. When you prime the flashpan, you pull the cock back to half cock. That is a safe position where the trigger cannot fire the gun, as long as both the trigger and the cock are in good condition. You don’t want your gun to go off half-cocked! Yes, “going off half-cocked” is the third common phrase we get from flintlocks. It means starting something before you are ready.

Speaking of the cock, that is where we get the verb, “to cock the gun.” So there’s number four!


Jamell Fowler is 57 inches long overall, with a 41.5-inch octagon-to-round barrel. There is a “wedding band” at the transition from octagon to round. The pull is 13-3/4-inches, which the maker determined is perfect for Jamell. The gun weighs 6 lbs. 14-3/4 oz, and balances just forward of the lock. The wood is curly maple that the maker says is 50 percent figured. I can see stripes along the entire length of the gun, but they are not as complete and vivid as they need to be for 100 percent coverage. Instead of a $5,000 wood blank, this one only cost $400. When you get into perfect curly maple you are bidding against violin and guitar makers. Of course the hundred-plus hours spent inletting the barrel and action added considerable cost to the stock!

Al;l the metal is browned by the slow rusting process. It looks completely correct.

Jamell Fowler wedding band
A wedding band marks the transition from the hand-filed octagon to round barrel.

Loading sequence

One reason the fowler was the preferred weapon over the rifle is the speed with which it can be loaded. It’s about 2-3 times faster than loading a Kentucky rifle, which was the fastest-loading rifle (generally speaking) of its day.

The first step in loading is to make certain there are no burning embers inside the barrel before you load the powder. If you are shooting more than one shot (rare for a fowler, unless you are at a range or hunting birds) it’s best to run a damp cloth or a wet wad of tow (fibers of the flax plant) all the way down the bore and back out, first.

Next you measure a charge of powder and pour it into the barrel. Jamell’s gun uses 100-110 grains of FFg powder for a single .61-caliber ball or 80 grains for a 3/4-ounce charge of shot.

Follow this with a wad of tow or paper to hold the powder in one place. Then load a ball and ram it down onto the powder. You do not need a patch if the barrel is made right and if you have the right size lead ball. Jamell Fowler is a 20 gauge smoothbore that takes a .61 caliber ball. It’s called a .62 caliber smoothbore but it measures and takes a .61 caliber ball. The ball weighs 342 grains, so it packs a punch! And 100 grains of powder in a gun weighing just 6 lbs. 15 oz. (yes, it’s lighter than a Beeman R9) means the punch will be felt at both ends!

Speaking of ramming

Although the gun came with a period correct wooden ramrod, Jamell bought a stout fiberglass rod that she will make to actually load the gun. The wood rod is fine for occasional use in the field, but for full time use a fiberglass rod is the best.

Another patch of tow goes on top of the ball and the loading sequence is finished. It is extremely important that the gun is loaded the same way every time, because, as with airguns, consistency is the key to performance in a black powder gun.

Priming sequence

The gun is loaded before it is primed, for obvious safety reasons. Now the cock is pulled back to half cock. It will remain there until you are ready to shoot.

Priming consists of dropping a very small charge of FFFFg powder into the pan. The maker said to use about 4 grains or less. A common mistake new shooters make is pouring too much priming powder into the pan, thinking it helps ignition. Some even try to make a trail into the vent hole. All that does is usually slow the lock time and make ignition less reliable.

Flash in the pan

If the gun fails to fire, we call it a hangfire for at least a full minute. Keep the muzzle pointed downrange the entire time, because the gun can fire many seconds after the power flashes in the pan. But if it does not fire after a full minute, you have just witnessed a “flash in the pan.” Yes, that is phrase number five. It means something that started well but failed to deliver.

Lower the frizzen to cover the pan and the gun is ready to fire. Just before you fire, pull the cock all the way back (cock the gun). The trigger on this fowler is very light, maybe only three pounds and utterly crisp. You can tell it has been made by a master.

Wet weather

The gun maker who made Jamell Fowler said the pan is nearly waterproof in the rain, but not if the gun is dropped into a creek. You can improve on that by sealing the edges of the frizzen that covers the pan with melted candle wax, but for gosh sakes — do not hold a burning candle near a flintlock! Melt the wax away from the gun and bring over just the liquid wax. Better yet, don’t do it that way. Just get a leather cow’s knee cover for the entire lock.

The thing is, the moment you take a shot in the rain the pan opens to the weather and the gun is no longer reliable. Flintlocks in wet weather take a little more management than cartridge guns.


Now that I have taught Jamell how to load and manage her gun, the next stop is the range, where we will shoot it for the first time. Stay tuned!

86 thoughts on “Teach me to shoot: Part 13

  1. BB

    I mean Jack.

    Very interesting read today. Totally enjoyed it.

    The lock time would make for some interesting shots. I could see the flinch happening. And would not like to exsperiance a hang fire. Don’t like that at all. But way cool gun.

    And I would like to know more about the sights. I see a front post I believe in the pictures. But not a rear sight. Does it not have a rear sight or am I overlooking it?

    • GF1,

      You did not overlook the rear sight, it does not exist on a fowler. Just like shooting a shotgun, you learn to shoulder it the same and get the same cheek weld each time so as to align everything the same each time.

      These things are not meant for long range shooting, they are meant for quick shooting. You just learn to “take a fine bead” on your target.

      • BB
        Good about the sights.

        And I would like to know more about how it shoots shot gun loads. Man if it can shoot a ball or shot loads what a versatile gun to have. I keep thinking the Air Venturi Wing shot air gun. Maybe the performance of both is similar?

  2. Yikes!

    I just realized how hard it is to shoot accurately using this older technology especially when you mentioned that sparks might fly into the face of the shooter. I mean they had no access to safety glasses then. The shooter had to have confidence and concentration to maintain “a bead on the target”. Is that where that expression comes from because I see no evidence of a rear sight?

    • Not only the shower of sparks from the pan, but you don’t want to be standing to the right of a flintlock shooter either, as the main charge ignites, there is a hot jet of burning gasses and powder that goes out of the touch hole, and carries quite a few feet.

      Not unlike the back blast from a LAW rocket or RPG, but on a smaller scale.

      Because of that they invented a flash guard to protect the guy to your right while firing in ranks.

      • 45Bravo
        If that flash can go in that hole I’m betting it does come out pretty hard when the powder ignites in the chamber.

        I’m wondering if a slight sideways push can happen when the shot goes off. Maybe not enough to affect anything probably. Just a thought.

        • the sideways force “if any” would be negligible.
          But if you are standing within 8-10 feet to the right of the vent, it is very noticeable.

          I have shot some slow motion video of a friend shooting his trade gun.
          We joked that his eyes are connected to his finger.
          As you watch the video as is finger squeezes the trigger, his eyes close in sync with the trigger movement.

          • 45Bravo
            You know I bet that happens with alot more black powder shooters than is imagined.

            And a thumbs up for a video showing the truth again. Amazing what a video will capture.

  3. B.B. (a.k.a. Jack),

    Very nice and quite the enjoyable read. Does the forend attach to the barrel in anyway? I would think that the long section of wood would be prone to warpage. Also, a view of the underside showing the ram rod and how it is held would be nice. That way we could enjoy some more views of the exquisite craftsmanship.


      • B.B.,

        Thank you. I debated which word to use, forend or forearm. I even consulted the Blue Book Glossary. While the terms seem to be nearly interchangeable, “arm” seems to (usually) mean a separate piece with “end” (usually) referring to a 1 piece stock. With this one having so much wood up front, I was not sure what to call it. Myself, I prefer forearm.


        • Chris USA
          Couldn’t you imagine how long your follow through would be with one of these guns.

          You would have to wait for the smoke to clear just to see the target.

            • BB
              That was me making a comment to Chris about follow through and the smoke.

              I was going to bring up hunting also. If you shot a deer by time the smoke cleared you would have to track the deer by the blood trail. A deer can run a hundred yards after their shot before they die. By time the smoke cleared the deer would be gone.

          • GF1,

            For sure. That would take some real skill on multiple levels. A side note,…. I got 2 blocks of suet and a 15# bag of ear corn and a suet cage. Gonna’ head out in a bit and let them hang the rest of the day to see what comes with no pressure from me and take them down later. I am going to drill cross-ways through the corn and use some light wire to make a hanger. That way they can not make off with the whole ear. Hang everything about 3′ off the ground.

            Also watched about a half dozen short videos on cleaning. It does not look too hard at all.

            • Chris USA
              Sounds like some beer batter and Andy’s breading and some deep fried sqerrial to me. 🙂

              Something to think about. Keep the sun to the side of you or behind you. They will learn to see the flash of the scope lens reflecting the sun. They’ll know your comming soon as you open your door on the house. No matter how quiet or sneaky your moving. Put a lens cap on till your ready to shoot. That’s why I like a front flip open one on my scope when I hunt.

              • GF1,

                I am looking forwards to it. We will have to see if and what comes in. Mom and Dad feed the birds REAL well and get their share of squirrels and chipmunks. Coons too,.. which he live traps and are dispatched a short time later via an old .22 pistol that was my Grandfathers,… his Dad. It is like an ultra cheapy, but gets the job done at 12 inches.

                • Chris USA
                  Don’t know how true this holds up. But the farmer told me a while back when we was having the sqerrials and coons getting the bird feeders.

                  He said to get a feeder that has a lot of red color and the coons and sqerrial should stop getting the feeder. Well it worked so far.

                  I’m guessing maybe the coons and sqerrial can see that color shade if they see in black and white. Some red berries are poison so maybe they know to stay away from that shade of color. But why the birds still come I don’t know.

                  So if you want to attract them don’t use red feeders. Or better yet do use a red feeder and let’s see if it’s true or just a coincidence.

                • Chris

                  In addition to what has already been said…
                  When you have found/created a hot spot, hold your position . When you drop one, stay put . Make a note of where the squirrel is . Don’t jump up and run out to pick it up . Avoid such movement and noise .

                  Also make note when you clean them if they have a lot of fat on them or not . If they have a lot of fat, then food is plentiful and their numbers will be high and resilient . If there is no fat, then they have stretched their food supply to the limit . Their numbers will probably not be many .

                  They are also easier to skin out when warm . They don’t shin real easy, and skin even harder when they cool off.
                  They are also loaded with fleas…the big saber toothed ones . As they cool off, the fleas tend to crawl off of them and get on everything else .
                  So you might want to clean them outside . You will have to fight the yellow jackets and flies for the meat .


                • Chris

                  A good way to cook tree rat….
                  They can be pretty tough and hard to get tender .My favorite way is to pressure cook them . You have to check every so often to get it right, because one may completely disintegrate into just fiber, while another one may need a LOT more cooking .
                  When the meat starts falling off the bone is just right .
                  Pick the bones out of the meat . Make some gravy from flour and the broth . Make some Bisquick biscuts .
                  Break up the bisquits, pour on a mixture of the meat and gravy . A bit of salt and pepper is all that is needed .


                  • TT
                    We always boil them or rabbit in a pot with onions, some garlic and salt and pepper. Usually till you can pull the meat off with a fork. After that then we batter and bread them and then deep fry them. Pretty tasty stuff.

                    • GF1

                      I tried simmering two squirrels in a covered pan one time . Both were shot out of the same tree only seconds apart .
                      The meat fell off the bones on one of them, while the other was still tough as an old tire .


                  • TT
                    That is the problem with sqerrial. And rabbit too. You still can get a old tuff one from time to time.

                    And I replied to Hank below. But have you had any luck with sqerrial calls?

                    • GF1

                      Once in a while, when one is hiding, I have had a squirrel squeeker bring them out for a peek . Does not always work .
                      Rubbing the edges of two quarters together will work some of the time too .


                    • Vava2

                      I don’t remember for sure which it was…..a bambi steak or some squirrel…that I cooked with some triple sec . Gave it a good orange flavor .


            • Hey Chris,

              I am looking forward to the squirrel season this year – the HW100 is going to get a workout 🙂

              Because I feed a lot of furred and feathered critters I buy whole corn and sunflower seeds in 80 and 50 pound bags at the farmers coop.

              For squirrels, considering wind and sun, I find/make a couple of places to sit (usually a “fox-hole” in front of a large tree) 30-40 yards around a baiting site.

              Starting a couple of weeks before season, I (daily if I can) scatter a pound or so of corn/sunflower seeds in a ten foot area. The squirrels get used to me moving around the area and get in the habit of looking for food at the sites.

              Stalking squirrels is fun but like GF1 says, they are real wary, best to sit and let them come to you.


              • Hank
                That is a easier way to hint sqerrial is baiting them. But they catch on fast once the guns fired a few times.

                At our other house I had a interesting thing happen when I was out just target practicing with my air guns. And up in a tree to the right of me in the woods I kept hearing a sqerrial chattering and barking. I kept try to see it. I did see a couple other sqerrials about 50 or so yards away playing in a tree.

                I kept trying to locate the one by me. Then I finally saw a movement so I kept watching. You know what it was. It was a little gray hawk that was mimicking a sqerrial. It was actually trying to call in those sqerrials. I thought that was pretty cool.

                And that brings me to this if Chris reads all this. Sqerrial calls do work also. I would always use a call when I was out hunting. It did make a difference. So he could try calling them to.

                • GF1,

                  That is a good thought!! I have called a lot of deer, never tried squirrels. Pretty impressive for a hawk to be imitating a squirrel.

                  Will need to do some research on the language and check around for a squirrel call. May have to order a call from the States – guess they would work up here even without the Canadian accent eh? 🙂

                  My .22 HW100 can easily reach 50 yards. With a fully shrouded barrel it is real quiet and I don’t think it would disturb the bush too much when fired. Hoping that shooting at a distance will not spook the squirrels badly… we will find out in September!


                  • Hank
                    Had a lot of gray sqerrials at the other house. So was use to them running around in the woods all the time by the house. And saw the two playing. But kept hearing the one up in the tree and couldn’t see it for anything. Saw the feathers flutter and it was the little gray hawk up there sqwauking away.

                    We have big red hawks at this house and I mean big. Had a interesting thing happen the other day with one of them. We have big pine trees in places in the yard. One of the pine trees has big pine cones that are the size of a big rat. I saw the hawk flying towards the bird feeder we have under another tree. It looked like it had a rat in its talons. It flew by and dropped it by the bird feeder. It was a pine cone from the big pine tree it sets in all the time. And it is a very vocal hawk. It’s always fying around screeching I guess you call it. But have no idea what the pine cone drop was suppose to mean.

  4. B.B.
    Since the Olympics are almost here, could you please do an article on the Olympic shooting events?
    What air guns are used. What targets are used. Etc…



  5. B.B.,

    I had a roommate in college who went home most weekends. His family was into traditional hunting. They hunted during bow season but felt crossbows were cheating. They also used flintlocks, of course.

    But the big deal to me was that THEY MADE THEIR OWN BLACK POWDER! That’s hard-core.


    • Michael,

      That really is hard core! And dangerous. And difficult to get a consistent product. But if you can do it, then you can always be armed.

      The Army has a manual that teaches you how to make smokeless powder, but not black powder.


  6. BB,

    Yikes. Though, if you already had the ingredients made, then I suppose making smokeless powder would not be all that bad. But making NC or NG from scratch? Gives me the heeby jeebies just thinking about it.

    • Ben,

      NC or NG???

      Do you mean nitroglycerin? Because that is not an ingredient in improvised smokeless powder. Can’t say what is, though, because that report is classified.

      But I can report the lines of survivalist, Bert Gummer, in the movie “Tremors”. When asked about the ingredients in his homemade bombs he replied, “Just a few household products in the proper proportions.”



      • B.B.,

        What I recall was that he said something about their making charcoal and that the also used confectioner’s sugar. Just a hunch, but another ingredient might be mentioned in the song, “Yours, Yours, Yours” from the musical “1776.”


      • B.B.,

        I forgot to mention that I love Tremors. Burt: “Broke into the wrong g*****n rec room, didn’t ya you bastard!” And, “What kind of fuse is that?” “Cannon fuse.” “What the h**l do you use it for?” “My cannon!”

        Hilarious movie.


        • Michael,

          Edith and I used to quote that movie more than any other. We loved Bert Gummer.

          “People say I’m crazy. They say I over-prepare. Until something like this happens!” and

          “I feel I was denied critical, need-to-know information!”


          • “Run for it? Running’s not a plan. Running’s what you do after a plan fails!”

            “I wouldn’t give you a gun if it were World War Three!”

            A true classic, right up there with Young Frankenstein, Blazin’ Saddles, This Is Spinal Tap, and Caddyshack.


      • B.B.

        Most people don’t know (and this is good!) that there are enough “ingredients” in the average household to make a bomb that could turn the house into a sizeable crater! The casual way people handle/store gasoline and other solvents scares the heck out of me. Gas is six-times as explosive as gunpowder!

        As kids we made our own black powder (or “white powder” when we used flour instead of charcoal) and rocket propellant (sugar was the main component in the fuel). The ingredients are readily available.

        My sister inadvertently made a powerful bomb when she put 5 pound plastic bags of dry chlorine (a violent oxidizer) and fertilizer (an organic fuel) together in a cardboard box and sent it (via bush-plane) to my parents who were working northern Quebec. My father flipped out when he opened the package!

        Think that a high school course on the dangers of household products should be mandatory for all students. Would save lives!


          • Yup, there are deaths from that every year.

            Mixing products can be dangerous but so can mis-using them… recently, a woman died after she sprayed a whole can of insecticide in her basement. All the windows in the house were closed and the air-conditioning system circulated the fumes upstairs.

            Aerosol cans of hairspray/deodorant/cooking-oil can be dangerous around sparks or flame. Those products are frequently used as a propellant in “spud-guns” – and those things are powerful enough to launch a 2″ hunk of potato over 250 fps (don’t ask how I know this 🙂 ).


  7. No rear sights, try no sights for some guys. Back years ago, they’d shoot black powder pistols (single shot “pirate style”) at Silver Dollar City (Theme park in MO). They’d let people shoot them too. The whole deal was to sell them in there “Gun” shop. It was just black powder stuff as the theme is set back in time. That said, I got to shoot after the old timer drilled a few bull’s eyes. He loaded it up and handed it to me. I looked at it and said there are no sights on this gun! He said, you learn where a gun shoots. Didn’t need sights. But I’m sure if the guy shot the same target everyday, it wasn’t hard. I did do well, but at least it hit paper. With today’s laws, insurance and lawyers, they don’t do that anymore. Was fun times.

    • Doc
      Kind of reminds me of that over under I use to have as a kid. The top barrel was .22 rimfire and the lower barrel was .410 shot gun.

      All it had was a front sight. And I don’t know if it came with one. But it didn’t have a rear sight when I had it. I was around 12 years old when I had it. But I could shoot a rabbit at 50 yards with the .22 rimfire round just as easy as I could with the .410 shot shell. So yep once you shoot something enough you do learn the gun. And that reminds me of the Brodax with the fixed sights even. It shoots a little to the right. So I just know to hold left a little of the target.

      It’s pretty much like shooting a red dot sight. But the dot on the target and shoot. You learn how to hold a little different for distance and windage for different shots the more you shoot.

  8. Gunfun & Colt Peacemaker Owners

    Just got some feedback from Umarex about a bursting barrel.

    Aside from the rare possibility of a pistol with cylinder to barrel alignment problem, or a misaligned bore in a cartridge, the most probable cause is fanning the hammer to fire it. Makes sense. You are pushing it to operational limits and it’s not really intended to operate that way.
    I really overlooked that possibility.

    I’m sure even Sam Colt never intended this pistol to fire this way. As mentioned on American Airgunner, it’s mostly a Hollywood thing and not real practical in real life.

    If you ever did have a bb jam in the barrel and continued to fire five more into the back of it, fast as you could, a ruptured barrel should not be that much of a surprise.

    Now everyone wants to try fanning the Colt, but I would not do it all the time. Perhaps once or twice to get it out of your system. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be surprised if there are some problems caused by this somewhat abusive use. Lets face it ,,, It’s not a real steel Colt !

    Bob M

    • Bob
      Thanks for the info. So much for us air gunners wanting a action pistol.

      I will still get a single action revolver at some time to mess with fanning though. And now even more after that info it will be a cheaper one to start with.

      I’m thinking to myself when I do get one. And it’s going to be for fanning. That pistols comming apart before I even try fanning it. As much as I like to mod things I bet I’ll see something I want to change on the pistol. And I see now some pistol projects on the way for me in the future.

      That’s what I have done with other air guns and dirt bikes and muscle cars and RC planes. Well you get the idea. I like to mod things. So why not a co2 pistol. I like the thought myself.

      • I just did a search and it looks like not many single action revolver choices out there in co2.

        Looks like the SAA colts are about it. Cost wise they cover a wide range. Looks like around a hundred bucks will be a cheaper one.

        Still interested in getting inside one though. Have to see how that goes in the future as far as getting one. Couple other guns I got in mind first. 🙂

        • GF1

          Seems to be a few videos on u tube showing the open frame for a heads up preview to mods, although I think you might be hard pressed to improve anything on it. Two push pins remove the barrel assy and a few screws open the receiver.

          You know … If you really want to do a lot of fanning and face to face quick draw play, with proper protection. I would get the ‘Airsoft’ version of it. They claim 500 FPS with a 2gr airsoft bb. Can’t imagine too much damage being done to the gun from a plastic or biodegradable bb. I bet it would be a kick if you could fire 6mm red paintballs through it.

          • Bob
            I will have to check out the video’s.

            And I’m not really going to do anything serious when I get a single action revolver. Can plinking is going to be the name of the game. I would just like to exsperiance it mostly. The fanning.

            And I think maybe those smart shot copper coated lead bb’s just might help when fanning. And I’m betting if you don’t go crazy and slow down a hair between shots it might give time to get the hammer fully racked and the cylinder rotated. I’m sure there is a proper technique to learn fanning.

            But I do know I’m going to give it a try.

            • GF1

              Hay, as long as you know what may happen some day and not blame Umarex, ‘Go for it !’ Never said it wasn’t fun !
              I may get an airsoft or remanufactured one some day for the same reason.
              You’ve heard the saying ” Run her till she blows ! ” with respect to Harleys and engines in general. They are still replaceable and you may never have a problem.

              • Bob
                No blaming from me. I grew up drag racing muscle cars and raced for the majority of my life. Definitely know all about pushing something and building and modding.

                That’s one thing that always bugs me is when people break something they are ready to blame the maker. You got to know what your getting before you buy it. And accept it for what it is if you do buy it. And if you use it in a way beyond what it was designed for expect something to happen. The way I see it everything can break at some point in time.

                I have worked in a machine shop for over 30 years as a machinist and machine maintenance tech and set up among many other things they have me do. You wouldn’t believe all the things I seen break through out time. Then have to make parts for it and make it better than it was. I could go on and on about to many different scenarios.

                But I will say this I have had a number of Umarex guns of different kinds and I myself like them. But here’s one thing I will strongly say about them that I don’t like. Some guns they don’t offer repair parts for. You have to send the gun back. And if it’s in its 90 day limited warrenty they will replace it. And thats all fine and dandy. But what happens 3 years from now when it breaks. No more warrenty. Sorry charlie is what happens.

                So no blame but wish they would play the ball game different. I could go deeper and name some other companies that still support air gun parts as far back as 40 years ago. I’m sure you know what I mean.

                But kind of getting off base here. So sorry about the gripe. But yep understand totally about pushing the limit of something. It is what it is.

                • Hey GF1,

                  I make wooden bows and they are best described as “nine-tenths broken” by design. Any extra wood left on the bow is weight that steals energy so you remove as much as you dare to get a high performance bow – usually a 10% safety margin works well.

                  It gets real “interesting” when you pull a bow past its limit LOL!


  9. Twotalon, Gunfun1 and Vana2,

    Thanks for all the good tips guys. I will take all I can get. Notes made.

    As for the suet block in the cage and the 2 ears of corn,… both were untouched by yesterday evening. I went out this morning at daybreak and each ear of corn had about 1″ eaten off both ends and the suet block was 95% gone. Bits and pieces of it all over the base of the tree. I sat out for a couple of hours this morning and nothing showed up. Besides stocking up on suet blocks,… and maybe taking them in at night,…. I may have to “tweak” my methods a bit. The squirrel call sounds interesting. I will have to check into that.

    Thanks again one and all,…. Chris

      • GF1,

        Makes sense. If you read down, a gal commented that she was watching a squirrel eat a hot pepper suet block as she wrote the comment. They sell similar stuff to put in flower beds and gardens for cats, dogs and other pest animals. It is a shake on application.

        • Chris USA
          Never thought about it till I searched what can chase a sqerrial or coon away from a feeding spot.

          So stay away from them kind of suet blocks if you want critters to come. 🙂

            • GF1,

              Those are good. I have made hot sauce with them before. A little meatier than a Cayenne. You can dry them and grind them up in one of those little coffee bean grinders. You will have your own chili powder that way. Use ’em fresh too. I would do (at least) 12-18 in a 5 qt. batch of chili.

              • Chris

                Are you sure you are not thinking about Serrano ? These things go with oriental food…like anything with rice in it .
                I have done jalapeno and Serrano for in chile .

                Almost ordered some thai chile (REALLY HOT) , but the greenhouse got these in just in time .


                • TT,

                  Call me not picky I guess,… or perhaps my palate is just not “re-fined”. I have Ghost, Carolina Reaper, Serrano, Cayenne, Hot Cherry, Lemon and Jalapeno. When I do chili, it gets a bit of each. Last batch was 2 handfuls diced by hand real fine. I freeze them. That knocks a bit of the heat out. Plus,… cooking the chili low and slow for 6-8 hrs. knocks some more of the heat out too.

                  • Chris

                    You picked a few that I would not have used, but it’s your food…not mine .
                    I made some chile one time that was so bad, I could only eat a spoon full . Took two cans of kidney beans to smooth it out enough that I could barely eat a whole bowl.
                    Diet chile….you would have to be nuts to eat more than a bowl a day . Severe pain would result .

                    I like it chunky too . I fry up a big steak, cut it into bite size pieces, then throw it in the pot.


                    • TT,

                      Nice touch with the grilled steak. I use 5# of chuck roast to 5 quarts. Hand cut and trimmed. The best I ever made, I think, was left overs from the grill. It had chicken, brats, burgers, steak, dogs, sausage and pork chops. Freeze the leftovers and pull them out for a batch of chili. It had that grilled flavor through and through.

                      I use the low sodium V-8 too,…. no water. Reduced 1″ 4-5 times and topped.

                      I ain’t givin’ up no more secrets! 😉

                • Chris
                  Ran out of room…
                  I could see a can of V8 spicy hot . Never added any extra liquid . Just the juice from the can of diced tomatos and the can of beans . Nice and thick .


                  • TT,

                    We could go on and on,…. But yup on the thick and chunky. Not sure about “the” can though? Red, black and white,…. at least 3 on the ‘maters. Drained and rinsed all. Some of that can lining stuff ain’t the best fer ya’. Scratch beans are easy,… soak overnight, (with 1/4 teaspoon baking soda and salt), drain, rinse and simmer in the same. Keeps the skins soft and they won’t bust. (bit of food science there).

                    Hey!!!,….. I said I ain’t givin’ up nary another secret! 😉

    • Chris

      You might have other critters paying you a visit .
      Possibly coons or flying squirrels .

      It’s extra money, but I use trail cameras too to get a look at what comes around at night .
      I had a suet block shredded one night, and another block just vanish the next night . Did not have a camera out at the time . Nothing has come back to do as much mischief since . Suspect a coon . Have caught two by the cat food . (box trap baited with miniature marshmallows .)


      • TT,

        It could have been a coon. They are pretty good at getting stuff open. The cage was still closed. I do not have a trail cam nor willing to buy one at the moment. As for porcupines in central Ohio, I do not think so. The cage holes are plenty big enough for a squirrel to get it’s paws in.

        I just cleared a line of sight from a bedroom window to the bait station. Now I can check for activity anytime of day. We will see,….. just something different to do and play with.

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