This is the actual rifle I’m testing. I won the lumber lottery with this one!
This report covers:
- Not that easy
- The start
- Shot two
- Ruined the loading tool
- Swiss Army knife
- Shot three
- Shot 4
- Shot 5
- Shots 6, 7 and 8
- This test
- Black powder not that difficult
Today I shoot the RMAC .22 blackpowder breechloading rifle for velocity. There is a lot to learn in today’s report, so let’s begin.
Not that easy
The couch commandos who read these reports think this little rifle sounds like it’s easy to operate and fun. Today I will tell you that it is anything but.
Some of you complain when I don’t write about airguns, and this one certainly isn’t an airgun. I do that for a reason. Many of you have not handled firearms and have the same misconceptions about them as the general non-shooting public. And there are things we can learn from shooting firearms that translate directly over to airguns. That’s probably the subject for a whole separate series, so I won’t get into it today, but be aware that there are many carryovers.
You know how people say they won’t buy a precharged pneumatic (PCP) airgun because of all the extra things you need to have? Try shooting black powder! A PCP is clean and green compared to black powder. And this RMAC rifle may be even worse. Look at the stuff I needed to shoot today.
Here is a lot of the stuff I needed to shoot the RMAC .22 today. Not shown are the steel punch, plastic hammer and the Swiss Army knife I was still to get.
I started where I left off at the end of Part 4. I thought I had learned how best to load the rifle, but there was more learnin’ to come. But I loaded it the first time by pouring the chamber 3/4 full of 4F black powder. Then I inserted a number 4 buckshot and pressed it in with the loading tool. I had to smack the back of the loading tool several times with a plastic hammer to get the ball low enough to clear the rear of the barrel when the breech was swiveled closed.
Then I punched out a paper cap with the hole punch and put it into the steel cap cover that goes on the back of the swivel breech. Then I rotated the breech in line with the barrel and BAM! The ball went through the skyscreens at 745 f.p.s.
The was slower than I expected. Given the huge explosion when the rifle fires I thought the ball was going out supersonic. Okay, time to reload.
Shot one took about 5 minutes to load. Shot 2 took about 20 minutes. The reason? The swivel breech didn’t want to line up with the barrel. I had to remove it from the rifle and clean everything on the outside with a stiff bristle brush. When I say everything, I mean I had to remove the swivel breech that was now loaded from the receiver of the rifle and go over all of the outside of it with the brush. Then I had to brush out the place in the receiver where it fit. I had to remove the steel cap cover, take the cap put and scrape the inside of the cover with a flat-bladed screwdriver, then brush off everything inside and out. I did all of this to get the swivel breech to align with the barrel, but also, it wasn’t enough. The ball was still sticking out the end of the breech just enough to catch on the rear of the barrel and not allow it to swivel closed.
Ruined the loading tool
I pounded the ball in hard with the loading tool, to the extent that the tool was ruined.
This is how the loading tool is supposed to look.
This is how it looked after I pounded on it to load the second ball.
So the loading tool was ruined and the ball still would not clear the barrel. Out came the Swiss Army Knife.
Swiss Army knife
My Swiss Army knife shaved off the part of the ball that was still standing proud of the breech.
I cut off the still-protruding tip of the ball with my knife.
Now the breech swiveled closed. Ready to shoot shot two. BAM! My neighbor, Denny, texted me that he heard that one in his garage. I also noticed a LOT of sparks and fire coming from the muzzle this time.
Think the velocity was higher because the ball was lighter? Think again. This time the chronograph registered 689 f.p.s. Apparently this rifle isn’t that powerful.
Shot three took another 20 minutes to load. And I had the shave off the tip of the ball again to get the breech to align. And the velocity? ERROR 9. This is the first time in 16 years I have seen that error code.
I will have a lot more to say about ERROR 9, but after the test I looked it up and saw that it was a lighting error code. But it wasn’t being caused by the lighting in my garage. I’ll address it more in a moment.
This was the first time I ever saw this error code.
By this time in the test I was removing the swivel breech from the gun and cleaning it before loading every time. That cut the time to load back to five minutes, because I was also getting the buckshot deeper into the breech. But I messed up the first ball and had to remove it and load again. I used that opportunity to dump out some of the powder to make more room in the chamber.
Now I got a steel punch and hit the top of the ball with it and a plastic hammer. It went in deep.
Shot 4 went through the chronograph at 162 f.p.s. At first I doubted the reading, but since I had dumped out some of the powder I figured it was probably right, what with the ball also swaging down inside the barrel.
From this point on, I cut back on the amount of powder I used. Instead of a 3/4 charge (the chamber 3/4 full of powder) I cut back to a 2/3 charge. That gave me a little more room to ram the ball. And the steel punch rammed it very deep when I hit it with the hammer. Now I tried aligning the breech before loading the cap. If it aligned, I put in a cap and was ready to go.
Shot 5 that had a 2/3 powder charge went out at 350 f.p.s. Wow! This little rifle isn’t that powerful, is it?
Shots 6, 7 and 8
Shots 6, 7 and 8 were all ERROR 9s. Given that each of them had taken five minutes to load, I gave up. You can imagine how exasperating it is to work so hard, only to be rewarded by that error code. It wasn’t until I got back to my computer and looked the code up that I realized what was happening.
It was the sparks and flame from the shot that were messing up the chronograph. Now that I know that I think I know what to do about it, which is to shoot with the muzzle from much farther away from the first skyscreen.
I recorded four velocities in today’s “test.”
Is this disappointing? Absolutely! Am I going to give up? Nope. But I will give you guys a break from this series for a while.
Yeah, I shot a lot, for as little as was accomplished.
Black powder not that difficult
I have shot a great many cap and ball revolvers over the past 56 years and they were all far easier to load and fire than this rifle. This RMAC cap-firing rifle is a great-sounding idea that doesn’t work as well as it sounds. I’m telling you this because very few people will ever get to do what I did in this report.
You can watch You Tube videos that will show you the successful side of the rifle, but not the side you see today. This is your peek behind the curtain.
91 thoughts on “RMAC .22 caliber breechloading black powder rifle: Part 5”
Oy vey! From something that looks encouraging to something discouraging. Maybe this has a steep learning curve to get it to consistently work right? Then again maybe this is why there are scarcely any muzzle loading bore smaller than .36 caliber. Comparatively the rimfire reloading seems more consistent.
Wow! What an eye-opener!
This little rifle is a lot more labor-intensive than my .50 caliber Hawken.
The gun looks cool, and the concept sounds neat, but I wonder if this is one of those cases where the engineering, manufacturing and marketing guys who made this gun never actually shot it (more than once)?
I, for one, enjoy this type of report; like you said, there are many cross-overs from firearms to airguns; one great example is the “artillery hold” you perfected, which replicates the way artillery actually works.
Keep up the great work! =>
Take care & God bless,
No room to reply on your reply regarding your loading procedure. Wonderful explanation and a wonderful powder measure. So Pyrodex is less dense than black powder by weighing less while occupying the same volume? Now the danger of swapping powders without thinking is coming to mind. I “know” that there are different grades of black powder and the finer the grade the closer it becomes to being an explosive. Handling such items are forbidden in my country so this whole thing is all theoretical to me. The closest analog would be an alcohol cannon which is hard for the government to regulate.
Yes, I see; I hate when that happens; I guess it must be an IT issue (note: PA IT folk…help! Many time, there is no way to “reply” to someone else’s comment; thank you!)
I will quote Randy Wakeman (from the Chuck Hawk’s website):
“By actual weight, it is not the same. 100 grains measured by volume of Goex FFg is about 101.3 grains by weight. 100 grains measured by volume of Pyrodex RS is about 72.5 grains by weight. Pyrodex is where confusion can start to set in, as the standard “F” designations of powder coarseness start to go out the window.”
You can see the full article here:
I hope that is useful to you.
Take care & God bless,
Thanks for the link to that rabbit hole. I’ll read it after I’ve done my to do list today. The limit to replies is a formatting issue. They could theoretically allow deeper replies but would end up with smaller text for the site. I’d prefer that the last arrow become a link when replying at the bottom when starting a new thread. Unlike where I would have to manually copy the timestamp of your last reply and paste it like this: https://www.pyramydair.com/blog/2021/08/rmac-22-caliber-breechloading-black-powder-rifle-part-5/#comment-479706 and start off by saying in reply to:
That’s cool, Siraniko; thank you for that explanation! =>
B.B. I have to insist on trying the smokeless powder option. Less fussy and more room for the lead ball.
Have a nice weekend all.
I do intend to shoot it with smokeless. Maybe Trail Boss that is much bulkier and lower-pressure than other powders.
I never realized how pretty the stock is until we saw a photo from the right side..
I have fired a lot of black powder things, from a diminutive.22 caliber NAA black powder revolver, all the way to a M1841 6 pounder.
And nothing seemed as persnickety as this rifle you are testing…
It is a pretty chunk of wood. I know it is fiddly, but with a little work on that stock and that trigger guard it would be right purdy and kinda fun to pull out every once in a while and pop off a few balls from it, especially if you were really into black powder. This, a ’59 Sharps and a Virginia “poor boy” would keep you happy for quite some time.
That’s what I was thinking. I like the gun. I still have hope for it. Maybe BB will get the combination figured out and we will get a surprise.
Nice concept. It just does not work. I like the Sharps myself.
Was there not a “breech loader” that you could carry multiple loaded breeches and you could swap them out relatively quickly?
You are thinking of the Hall breech loader. Although it did work that way, people didn’t carry spare breeches. They were too expensive.
I can well imagine that most could not afford one. If the design had caught on and due to numbers became more affordable, spare breeches would have been much more common, especially amongst the gentry.
Was there a cap and ball pistol that you could rapidly change out the cylinder? I have seen it in Hollywood, but I cannot put my finger on it in real life.
Pepperboxes come to mind.
Maybe on some you could, but with something like that the rest of the pistol would not be much more bulkier to carry and certainly much faster than swapping out barrel sections.
Clint Eastwood- “The Outlaw Josey Wales” maybe?
I remember it being Eastwood, but I think a different movie. Seems to me he was playing a traveling preacher in a gold mining area.
I guess they could have used the same guns in different movies, tho.
That was indeed the movie I was referring to.
The cylinder comes out of a Remington model 1858 quickly, and without the use of tools.
Eastwood used a cartridge conversion 1858 Remington in “Palerider”
Thanks for that bit. That also happens to be the pistol I would like to have. I wore out a ’51 Navy Colt replica in my youth. I like the build of the Remington.
Admire your seemingly inexhaustible patience, B.B; pretty rifle, but too much drama attached to operating it. Speaking for meself only, of course.
Now you’re making FM want to shoot the .58 Zouave again; been years. Have a little black powder and some “minnys” left, enough for maybe 10-15 shots. Still undecided about picking up some Pyrodex vs just trying to get hold of more black powder. FM likes to keep things and processes as close to period original as possible but yeah, black powder is hard to source these days. Always wanted a cap-and-ball revolver, but FM has to control himself. Unlike the Feds, he can’t print money. He wants a PCP at some point too. And this. And that. Control yourself FM!
“FM likes to keep things and processes as close to period original as possible but yeah, black powder is hard to source these days.”
I hear you on being period correct; but while I have no black powder, I do have a couple of pounds of Pyrodex on hand. Although it is marked “Pyrodex P, The FFFG Equivalent,” with the “P” standing for pistol, I have found that my old .50 caliber Hawken (replica)) shoots best with this powder. “70 grains” (by volume) behind a patched round ball is my accuracy load; and it is also my hunting load (since accuracy beats horsepower, LOL!). I never won a match yet (no fault of the gun; the other shooters were all just better than me), but a good many wild hogs have fallen to this rifle. So don’t be afraid to try the Pyrodex; it will smoke enough to give you the black powder experiene; and there will be enough fouling to make you feel right at home. =>
Wishing you great shooting with that .58 Zouave,
I never would have thought to use Pyrodex P in a big rifle like yours.
You are right — nothing to fear from Pyrodex. If anything it’s safer than black. And it cleans easier.
“I never would have thought to use Pyrodex P in a big rifle like yours.”
I wish I could take credit for the idea; however, many years ago, in some muzzleloader blog (like the muzzleloader equivalent of your blog =>), some guy suggested it. I only wish I could remember his name to give him the credit.
But the best thing about the Pyrodex is that (as you said) it cleans easier, and it requires less cleaning between shots. If I don’t foul the barrel, the first shot hits 2″ high at 50 yards; after that, the gun shoots dead-on at 50 yards. But the really important thing (at least, important for a lazy galoot like me!) is, I can shoot a standard 20-round muzzleloader match without having to clean the bore. But 20 is the limit (well, 21, if you count the fouling shot); I tried to fire a few extra shots once, and at 25, the ball is too hard to load. *shrugs* Like I said, I am LAZY. But I do love the relaxed pace of a muzzleloader match. =>
Take care & God bless,
If you swab the bore with a wet patch and then a dry one after every shot there is no limit to the number of shots you can make. It is bothersome, but it does work.
“If you swab the bore with a wet patch and then a dry one after every shot there is no limit to the number of shots you can make.”
Thanks, B.B. I’ll try it that way next time! =>
Thanks! Will at some point go the Pyrodex route; still remember loading 70 gr FFFG black powder in the .58 “back then.” Also need to increase the inventory of miniés, but still have plenty percussion caps.
I’ll try B.B.’s tip about cleaning between shots. I used Crisco as a bullet lubricant in those days, based on the advice of the experts. Had a lot of fun with that “fouler,” pun definitely intended.
BB and everyone,
Pardon my ignorance but how much is the difference between loading blackpowder by volume against loading by weight? How does one determine the measurement?
Volume measurements were used in olden times because people didn’t carry scales around with them. And there is a lot more — like the black powder wasn’t as powerful as it became in the late 19th century. So over-filling wasn’t much of a danger — way, way back.
Oh, you make me want to write a report! 😉
Thanks for the short explanation, but what is getting me confused is that you started out by charging by weight then shifted to charging by volume. How much more black powder was added by charging by volume instead of weight? How does one determine the volume of the charge? I can just imagine looking at the charge cup and simply filling it with a black powder charge until it looks right. Is that how it is done? Then once the proper volume is determined for “consistent” discharge that is used as the “standard” volume for charging.
I shouldn’t have told you the weight of the Pyrodex because I wasn’t filling the gun that way. Yes, I did start out like that, but that was a mistake.
I can see that a series on black powder is in order.
“I can see that a series on black powder is in order.”
B.B., I second that idea; I think that would be great.
I know that B.B. will do a better and more detailed explanation in his upcoming black powder series. But meanwhile, I took a picture for you of the volumetric powder measure I use. The brass rod, with the knurled knob on the end, is slightly eccentric so that it locks in place with a twist; it’s a bit hard to see in this pic, but there are lines on it marked in 10-grain increments (here it is locked at the 70-grain mark, the amount my rifle uses). If I filled that measure with black powder, and then dumped it into a scale, the powder would weigh 70 grains; but if I filled it with Pyrodex, and then dumped it into a scale, it would weigh much less. Pyrodex is meant to be swapped with black powder on a volume-for-volume basis; so I can use this measure for either one. To use it, you tip the measure so the knob is down, fill it to the top (or just a bit overflowing) with powder, then twist the funnel portion around, which will knock off the excess powder, leaving you with 70 grains of black powder (or the equivalent volume of Pyrodex). Then you tip the funnel into the barrel of your muzzleloader, and tap it to make sure all the powder comes out; I actually like to hold the end of the muzzle with my pinky and ring finger, and grasp the body of the measure with my thumb, index, and middle finger, so I can use my right hand to unlock the shaft and pump the knob down to ensure that all the powder is out. I hope I have explained this well. B.B. will do a much more thorough job in his report (I can’t wait for it!). =>
Blessings to you,
Way back when, the measurement for black powder was the dram. It was a volume measurement. Typically, many muzzleloader rifles would use a maximum of one hundred drams. Now, to determine the maximum load for a rifle, the shooter would lay down in the snow or lay a white sheet in front of them and shoot. If there was any unburnt black powder on the sheet or snow, the load was too large and they would cut back until there was no unburnt black powder left. Any more was a waste.
When I was shooting my Navy Colt, I would fill the cylinder to the top and then cram the ball down far enough to clear the end of the cylinder. That long barreled pistol was very accurate. I could turn a feral soda can inside out at twenty-five yards all day long.
When metal cartridges came out, they used black powder and the dram system. The .32-20, the .44-40, the .45-70, the .45-90, the .50-110, etc. all used drams of black powder, the size of the casing determining the volume. Many of the old buffalo hunters would not load the bullets they would use the next day. They would clean out the old casings and put in new primers. In the field they would insert the bullet in the chamber and then scoop the casing full and insert it into the breech. If I recall correctly, BB has done similar with his Ballard.
BB, A few accessorys make life easier, A chain keeper for the cap cover, and maybe a tool to open and close the rotating breech, just shaves the ball front off. A real ball seater, and a little wire brush that tucks into the stock somewhere. Possibil;ities. Val Kilmers best line ever: ” I’ll be your Huckleberry..”
From a fading Doc Holiday, using Remingtons I think.
The pictures of the side lever Marauder looks very nice, nicer than Gunn AR. Maybe if it had wood furniture on it like an old FN.
I don’t remember if you tried. But do you think size sorting the balls for diameter and roundness might help?
I know that’s more added to the work your doing to shoot the gun. But just maybe that might help out in this paticular case.
It could help for accuracy, but I doubt it would make much difference for this.
Maybe easier to load and a higher velocity if you found smaller size balls.
Might relieve some of that swaging pressure when the gun fires.
Two of your shots was up around 600 to 700 fps. That’s respectable velocity to me. There has to be a reason those 2 shots went faster if you did everything pretty well the same.
I’m still thinking the size of the ball is the problem. Especially after seeing what happened with the loading tool.
BB if you get tired of this gun and want to sell it I would buy it if you want to sell it at some point in time.
I’m not so sure that the flash from the muzzle didn’t affect all the shots in this test. If I shoot from farther away, only the light above the skyscreens should be seen and then we might get better numbers.
True on that. I just figured if you sorted and found smaller balls it will make things easier on you loading the gun. And even easier on the gun when it shoots.
Thanks BB for this series, I also think that sharing experiences with real-life powder burners – unlike Hollywood stuff – is very useful. There is simply too much junk in the movies. More articles like this interspersed with the airgun stuff benefit everyone.
As for my own personal preference, although I do enjoy studying and exploring strange artifacts I think that eventually comes the time to stop polishing things like this, erm . . . let’s say, curiosity.
“Look at the stuff I needed to shoot today.”
I looked for a bullet trap and maybe a target?
I think if the RMAC .22 was all I had to put food on the table i would become a Trapper!
You know that size does matter in shooting guns.
I think BB needs to get that right size ball and this gun just might perform.
It’s just one of those guns that needs some time spent on it.
And as far as putting food on the table it might be a good squirrel gun once it’s figured out. Most of the time a squirrel is only 15 to 20 yards up in a tree and your standing by the tree. So the gun could end up working.
We will have to see. I’m interested.
I’m interested too!
Just that so far it just doesn’t seem a design that will get enough done to warrant the effort. Even once B.B. gets the charge and ball sizes right it may never reach the Tool level of reliability I want from a hunting arm.
I’ll be watching B.B. work this right along with you.
True about hunting with it.
But it would still be fun to pop some 2 liter bottles with it if it don’t work out to be as accurate as we hope.
I’m with RidgeRunner with his comment above. It would be fun to pull it out on a Saturday and go through the loading routine and pop off some shots.
I carry a jar of soapy water when I am going to shoot black powder. That’s for the wet patches. And a dry patch to follow that up with. I sometimes use two, just to dry the barrel thoroughly.
Never thought to carry soap and water to the range. Thanks for the tip.
Decksniper, ditto what you said!
B.B., I use hot soapy water to clean the gun once I’m home, but never thought to take some to the range. This old dog is learning some new tricks; thank you. =>
I’ve been using a 50/50 mix of denatured alcohol and Murphy’s Oil Soap for quite a few years now. Have it in a Windex type spray bottle and also a small squeeze bottle. Works the best of about anything I’ve tried over the years. Wet patch for bore cleaning and gun wipe down during shoots and after prior to oiling for storage. Try it.
Saw something this morning that sort of blew my mind and made me feel uneasy. Went over to my neighbors farm to see if he had 75 or so bales of horse hay he wanted to part with. Harry makes his living doing hay and also runs a few head of beef along with chickens to make ends meet. We were sitting on the front porch discussing the local goings on when up the lane comes this big silver Lincoln town car doing warp factor 08. The car pulls up and out pops a woman, probably late 40’s or early 50’s, and she was dressed like she was headed for a ball. Up on the porch she comes, basically demands 03 doz. grade A large eggs and immediately starts to complain about that ungodly smell.
Well, around here the only time you get an east or se wind is if bad weather is coming but for some reason that’s the way it was flowing this morning. Of course it was coming right from the chicken coop to the porch. It took a lot of restraint on my behalf to keep my thoughts to myself and not say a thing. Harry just rolled his eyes and gave her the requested eggs and back down the lane she went.
Is it just me, or has the “Great Disconnect” finally happened in this country? Sorry ma’m, but if you want eggs you got to have chickens. Chickens got to eat and we all know what happens after that.
Especially when it’s 95 deg outside! Only in America, only in America!
On an airgun note, Harry has quite the population of purple martins, tree swallows, and blue birds on his farm. As per the recommendations of persons on this blog I was able to steer him towards the purchase of a 177 Marauder for pest control purposes. According to him it has worked out very well for that purpose. Thank you!
Yep that was a strange one. Hopefully that will just happen this one time.
My dad would of probably done the same as your buddy. I would of had a hard time refraining from going somewhere with that situation. But thinking more maybe she has kids and something happened in her life recently and she needs something to eat for her and them and she is panicking. Who knows. What can be said when something like that happens. Like you said. Strange.
Back when I was a kid you helped people out. I bet she doesn’t come back with anything. And hopefully she doesn’t. Her staying away would probably be a good thing.
Oh and good for your buddy going with the .177 Marauder.
I with ya on this. This gun makes the Edsel seem like a good idea.
It would be as if a Detroit engineer decided that to save 10 lbs on all new ICE vehicles they should revert to a hand crank. Dumb, dumber and dumbest; you pick?
BB and all,
By the grace of this blog and a little help from YouTube, I was able to summon the courage to take my PCP pump apart and get it back to working order. Took only 2 O-rings and about 5 ml of silicone oil to get it working again. I had purchased it 4 years ago as a back up and only used it once before putting it away. Been filling up the PCP using a scuba tank. Fast forward to today with no place to fill the scuba tank and returning to PCP after concentrating on break barrels and multi stroke pump rifles that I find the pump inoperative. Lesson learned. Always have a strict rotation of equipment before you find them in an irreparable state.
Wow! One use and then long term storage doing in a pump!
Could you tell us the defect you found on the two O-Rings you replaced?
I need to go check my two Handpumps…they have been in storage for at least seven or eight years.
Found some odd shape in 2 O-rings, that I replaced, probably because the pump tipped over at some point during storage. Couldn’t do a complete strip down (brass nut was frozen into the tube didn’t want to risk damaging it) so I opted to soak the internals with silicone oil and hoped for the best. Fortunately that was enough.
Thanks for the information. Hooked both of mine to a bottle with 3,000psi and added a little air to the bottle with both of them. So they appear to be in good shape. Now next time when I really need a working pump neither of them will be in working order… Murphy’s Law!
Serves you right! Every Darksider I know eventually gets a compressor and multiple tanks.
Darkside is an expensive rabbit hole. Go deep or stick with springers.
Well I had to dip my toes into the pool at some time (I’ll stick to the kiddie pool Thank You!). Fortunately this pandemic had me refocus on what I really needed so having been in the Darkside I’m comfortable enough with what I have and have no ambition to go any further unless I can get to wide open spaces where it can be really useful. I’ve got a springer and multi stroke pumps enough to keep me entertained anyways.
Wishing you the happiest birthday ever from Maui.
Thank you, Joe
Maligayang Kaarawan Tom! (Happy Birthday!)
Herzlichen Glückwunsch zum Geburtstag und alles, alles Gute im kommenden Jahr (Best wish(es) on your birthday and all the best for the coming year)
Happy Birthday! Is your birthday the 28th? I did not remember your birthday as the same day as my dad’s. My remember has never been good.
I think the revolver cylinder is the best black powder design without using a caseed cartridge. I always thought the space between the cylinder and the barrel was a big handicap. Then I found out my low pressure pellet gun would still fire a pellet over 200 feet per second with a 1 1/2 inch space between the barrel and the valve seal. Maybe black powder burns slow enough that it can maintain the pressure all the way down the barrel. One of my colt navy revolvers has a significant space between the cylinder and the barrel. It seems to shoot with good power though.
Maybe spring airguns and smokeless powder pistols have such a short pressure pulse any leaks are more significant.
I guess my rambling was me wondering why they did not use a cylinder on this gun even if it had 4 shots or even one or two and had to be indexed by hand. It also needed a ball seating lever built in. Like many guns and other things I think this gun was a good idea. It just needed to go to a 2nd or 3rd redesign. Reminds me of the Dragonfly multi-pump it had all the features but poor quality control on the barrel and bad pump optimization.
My birthday is the 29th.
Happy Birthday today BB.
This is your 29th birthday?!? I thought you were a bit older than me. Wow. You shoulda…… Umm. Wait, is this like one of those dog year things. That would make sense if we knew what the conversionating factor is. Is it a sliding scale? I like those. I really liked the slide at school. Just about my favorite. Except for maybe the monkey bars. Ours were close enough to the teeter totter that you could jump from them onto the teeter totter. Little Billy would go the highest. We told him to hold on tight. Miss that kid.
Oh well, Happy Birthday!
Only dirt and rocks are older! 🙂
Happy Birthday to you!
My hat’s off to you and to PyramydAir for having this blog. My wife is in the super SUPER high-risk category (over 70, has MS and COPD, and also has a heart condition); hence, we are still in lock-down mode; and we haven’t been out to a restaurant since the beginning of March…of 2020! So, reading this blog, reading the comments on it, and making a few of my own…well, THAT is my main source of “social interaction” (I post a few encouraging words on Facebook, but spend much more time here). And that is why, as I wish you a happy birthday (and many more!), I also want to thank you for what you do here; it means more than you may well realize.
Take care & God bless,
I’m glad the blog does so much for you. But I do wish you could get out!
God bless you and your wife!
Thanks, man; we’ll get there…in God’s good time. =>
Thanks for the memories, I too have a Hawkins 50 caliber. I was in a black powder club in the 1970’s. I have not brought it down from the cabin but I think I will next week. The chance of fire at the cabin is just too high. As we were leaving Saturday a hay truck caught on fire just down the hill from us. Luckily all the fire, highway, and sheriff departments hit it hard and got it under control. One dry thunderstorm is all it takes.
Take care, we all have to adapt in these times.
Yeah, Don, for sure you’ve got to get that rifle and put it in a safe place! If if got burned, that would be too sad!
Yes, it seems like the 70s was the heyday for black powder…for traditional ones, that is. These days, the scoped, inline modern muzzleloaders are all the rage. My wife warned me that if I ever put a scope on my Hawken, it was coming off the wall.
Sacrilege! Jeremiah Johnson would never dream of such a thing! Hahaha!
Take care (says the guy slowly adapting to the times),
Greetings fellow airgunners,
I had a little free time this afternoon, so I wanted to make a comment on what B.B. said under Stuff: “You know how people say they won’t buy a precharged pneumatic (PCP) airgun because of all the extra things you need to have? Try shooting black powder! A PCP is clean and green compared to black powder.”
Oh man! He is so on the mark here!
Personally, I like learning about all things that can launch a projectile: sling shots, stick bows, catapults (which relates to airguns like the Daisy 179), crossbows, stone-shooting crossbows, blowguns, airguns, cannons, deck guns, and black powder guns.
After watching “Jeremiah Johnson” for the 25th time, my wife bought me my Hawken replica (her granddad had a REAL hawken, given to him by the Indian fur trapper who trained him in hunting and trapping); she also bought me the tea kettle and funnel so I could clean the rifle “just like Granpa did” (and I do).
Some of you are already familiar with black powder guns, and I know that B.B. is planning a future set of reports for the benefit of those who would like to know more (and I’m looking forward to that…always more things to know!).
Meanwhile, I thought I would share a few pics to back up B.B.’s comment.
In this first pic, you’ll see my rifle has 3 ramrods, and there is a reason for that.
The brown plastic rod (the one in the middle) came with the gun, and is great for hunting; it’s not prone to breaking like a wooden one, but it’s not as durable as the one at the bottom of the pic; that over-sized ramrod is fiberglass, coated with gray rubber; it’s really tough and durable, and it’s the one I use to shooting matches. Both of those ramrods are carefully marked to ensure there is no air space between the patched round ball and the powder charge.
(And this rifle has a 1:66″ twist; it is made to shoot patched round balls.)
The ramrod in place in the rifle is one I had to make myself; it’s a wooden one that is just for show; it’s the one I use when the rifle in hanging on the wall. =>
And here are some of the accessories that do in my “possibles bag,” the leather bag you see in the background. The two red plastic things to the right are my concession to modernity for hunting purposes; I don’t want an animal to suffer; those “speed loaders” allow me to have the powder charge ready to dump down the barrel and the other end has a patched round ball; the shaft in the center of the loader is basically a ball starter; and the loader also holds on #11 cap…all very convenient.
Here, I labelled the accessories as to their function.
Hangfires…you drop the hammer, the cap goes off, but the main charge doesn’t…until 3 to 5 seconds later…way not cool!
To prevent hangfires, I use the pin cushion and push pins I got from my wife.
a nipple pick works great for cleaning the nipple after a match; but I like the push pins; they allow me to “feel” the powder (note: there had better be some powder in the cylinder on which the nipple sits), and to let me know that the flame from the cap has a nice clear channel to the powder.
Sometimes, after a few caps, the paper from some of them gets into the nipple and creates a “fuse.” The gun will fire, but not when you want it to; so, cleaning out the nipple will ensure that doesn’t happen to you.
Ah, the powder measure; I was talking about this with Siraniko the other day; I took it out of the bag to take a pic, then forgot to put it back; it should have been in the accessories pic. Anyway, here you can see it set for 70 “grains” of black powder…by volume! If you use Pyrodex (as I currently do), it would only take a little over 50 grains to fill the measure, as set. But, as B.B. already noted, no one carries a scale in the field; powder is measured by volume.
OK; these are things you don’t HAVE to have, but they make the whole experience better: the tea kettle to boil the water to clean your gun (actually, my wife got me the metal kettle; I can’t blame her for the plastic funnel…that was me…I should replace it), the tomahawk (since some black powder matches also have tomahawk throwing afterwards), and on the far right, you can see my coyote hat…made from the hide of an entire coyote…that was a gift from my wife…by way of Canada.
By now, someone’s got to be thinking, “dave, you don’t actually wear that hat in a match…do you?”
Well, not in the blazing heat of summer…but in the Fall and winter, yes I do. Here’s a pic from my last match (pre-pandemic January).
So, as you can see, when B.B. said, “A PCP is clean and green compared to black powder,” he wasn’t kidding! =>
But black powder is a lot of fun; it’s a very relaxed type of shooting.
It does require a bit of patience; yet it’s a rewarding experience.
Blessings to all,
Okay, thanks for the first three Parts of the black power blog! 🙂
Seriously, I guess I lit your fuse with this subject.
It’s gonna be a good week! 😉
You are most welcome B.B.!
Please correct, modify, and amplify these tidbits as you see fit.
Looking forward to this week’s reports,
Enjoyed your comments and makes me dream about getting back into it again.
Hope you have that original Hawken on the wall. May your wife respond to your TLC so you both can get out.
God bless you and happy birthday to Tom too.
Sadly, that original Hawken (owned by my wife’s Granpa) wound up with my wife’s (Army) brother. But the one she bought me is hanging over the fireplace mantle in the living room. =>
Hoping you get back into it,
take care & God bless,
Well, a couple of days late, always a few dollars short, but a Blessed Belated Birthday, B.B. – hope that’s not too alliterative for you!
Really like that headgear and that sweet muzzleloader, Dave. You sport a more authentic period-look than the kid in the pic ever did. 😉
Get a load of this; Kid you not, pretty incredible.
FawltyManuel, that link was way cool! Thank you. =>
Indeed what dave said, excellent blog site.
That is a rabbit hole that will be hard to not dig into.