Author Topic: Ferguson Powder Loading  (Read 6821 times)

Offline 4ster

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Ferguson Powder Loading
« on: June 10, 2011, 05:03:41 AM »
I'm new to black powder shooting so apologize for the dumb questions.  But this is essentially a safety question so I will go ahead and ask anyway.

I've had a couple of shooting sessions with my Ferguson reproduction and am finally starting to engage a few brain cells.  It dawned on me that pouring powder from a horn directly into the breach chamber immediately after firing may not be a bright idea.  If there was an ember left after the last shot....

I fitted a measure valve and powder measure to my horn (the kind where you cover the end of the measure with your finger, tilt the horn and then push the valve to fill the measure).  But I am wondering if this is safe.  If the charge were to ignite, is the valve tight enough to keep the fire out of the horn?  The safest thing to do would be to pour the powder into a separate measure, close the horn and then pour the measured powder into the gun's chamber.
 
 In all the web videos the shooters seem to be pouring directly from a horn, so that was what I was doing.    How are other Ferguson owners loading their rifles?

Steve
Steve

Candle Snuffer

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Re: Ferguson Powder Loading
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2011, 03:42:07 PM »
Steve,

Pouring powder directly from the horn into the muzzle or breech is playing with a hand-grenade.  Don't do it.

Best thing is to use a powder measure, or even roll up some pre-measured charges.  It's never safe to pour
directly from the horn or flask.

I bet that Ferguson is fun! :)

Offline Dphariss

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Re: Ferguson Powder Loading
« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2011, 04:42:42 PM »
<snip>
 
 In all the web videos the shooters seem to be pouring directly from a horn, so that was what I was doing.    How are other Ferguson owners loading their rifles?

Steve

Use a measure, pour powder into measure, replace spout plug, pour powder into firearm. Paper cartridges will also work as powder containers. 

The generally available "reproduction" flask heads available today are dangerous. The very best English types are not as good as a horn IMO.
There are far more fools in the world than wise men and being able to make a video and post it on the WWW does not indicate knowing how to load and fire a firearm in safe manner.

Dan
No, sir, I don't give 'em $#*!, I just tell the truth and they think it's $#*!. Harry S Truman

blunderbuss

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Re: Ferguson Powder Loading
« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2011, 10:05:26 PM »
That big powder measure on the end of a horn is a funnel not a stopper .It could funnel any floating sparks flying around into that non fire proof flask head. Cartridges were invented just for that reason.
 Priming flasks scare me too.In the event of a flash in the pan wait awhile before priming, hang fires last a while sometime. If your priming flask is in the pan re priming and she decides to catch fire the flask could go up too.

Offline 4ster

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Re: Ferguson Powder Loading
« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2011, 03:13:12 PM »
Priming flasks scare me too.In the event of a flash in the pan wait awhile before priming, hang fires last a while sometime. If your priming flask is in the pan re priming and she decides to catch fire the flask could go up too.

I have not experienced a hang fire yet and had not thought about this possibility.  Thanks.

You guys confirmed what I suspected, I'm working on making a separate powder measure for the main charge now.  I'll look into making cartridges too.

Steve
Steve

Daryl

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Re: Ferguson Powder Loading
« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2011, 05:06:41 PM »



bryanbrown

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Re: Ferguson Powder Loading
« Reply #6 on: September 20, 2011, 05:10:31 PM »
“Every Insult and Indignity”: The Life, Genius & Legacy of Patrick Ferguson
The book is available for sale now. This is the full version of the book with over 100 color plates that will be available online and at our lectures/demos. Everything you need to know to make your Ferguson shoot like the 18th century assault rifle it was

http://www.everyinsultandindignity.com/sales.html

The first book signing/sale will be at Kings Mountain NMP Oct 8 & 9 2011

bryanbrown

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Re: Ferguson Powder Loading
« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2012, 04:51:10 AM »
We will be doing a book signing, demonstrations and lectures at Brandywine Battlefield Historic Site Chadds Ford PA March 11 for Charter Days. Looking forward to seeing you all there!! https://www.facebook.com/pages/Every-Insult-and-Indignity-The-Life-Genius-Legacy-of-Patrick-Ferguson/283726168172

blunderbuss

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Re: Ferguson Powder Loading
« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2012, 08:49:46 PM »
  

  Don't use the measure on the end of your horn or flask to pour powder into the chamber it's not fire proof !

A closed flask laying on a table 18" from the lock of a cap lock exploded on a fellow awhile back. Walking around with such an open end measure on horn or flask, on your side, is inviting disaster. Put a plug in the horn and tie the measure on a string to it. The safest thing is a cartridge.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2012, 08:52:16 PM by blunderbuss »

Daryl

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Re: Ferguson Powder Loading
« Reply #9 on: February 09, 2012, 04:16:10 AM »
Even though I posted about the ctgs. under no circumstances would I use them in the Ferguson rifle. There is too much a chance of a burning piece of paper being left in the bore. This happened often with all of the breech loading military rifles that used paper ctgs, even with nitrated paper.  After every shot with his percussion Sharps rifle, my friend used ot stick his finger into the chamber and pull out a tube of scorched nitrated paper tubing, with embers around the edges, still burning.  Putting a fresh ctg. in on top of paper still burning in there is asking for severe burns or worse.

The paper ctgs. work in the muzzleloaders as we're pouring the powder in from the ctg, then shoving the ctg. down on top of the powder.  The powder charge blows ALL of the paper out the muzzle with the ball.  It cannot stay in side the bore.

blunderbuss

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Re: Ferguson Powder Loading
« Reply #10 on: February 09, 2012, 04:28:32 AM »
 


  Let me clarify I wouldn't put the cartridge in the weapon eather I was thinking only to hold powder and ball and discard the paper . Thanks for pointing that out

Offline 4ster

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Re: Ferguson Powder Loading
« Reply #11 on: February 09, 2012, 04:48:47 AM »
This is an old thread, I ended up making a powder measure that is tied to a string on the horn strap.  Since no one is shooting at me and I don't have any plans to shoot at Continental officers, I am not in that much of a hurry to load the rifle. :D  

I tried a few paper cartridges but I thought they were a PITA to use with the Fergi.  I ended up spilling more powder than just using a powder measure.  I didn't try to put the paper into the breach, I couldn't figure out how that would work with the breach screw.  I am glad I didn't figure it out after Daryl's explanation.

The Fergi works great and I love shooting it.  
« Last Edit: February 09, 2012, 04:34:15 PM by 4ster »
Steve

bryanbrown

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Re: Ferguson Powder Loading
« Reply #12 on: February 09, 2012, 04:54:42 PM »
When loading a Ferguson with a cartridge the cartridge is merely a receptacle you do not put any of the paper in the breech.   Loading a Ferguson from a flask at the breech is a non issue, with the open at both ends breech and the fact you use your Ferguson Loading Tool ( pinky) to seat the ball all the way in there is no risk of a spark lingering.

That said for a normal muzzle loader you definitely want to use a separate measure and never load directly from the horn in that situation. 

Offline Bob Roller

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Re: Ferguson Powder Loading
« Reply #13 on: February 09, 2012, 05:12:06 PM »
Don't load from the horn? That takes all the fun out it.
My first trip to Friendship was in 1954 with E.M.Farris. While there,we heard a weird sound from the firing line,sort of a "whoomp'. It seems as though a shooter had loaded and primed his flintlock rifle but forgot to put the plug back into the horn and a spark from the ignition of the shot dropped in for a visit and was violently ejected. No major damage except to the horn but it is still fresh in memory after 58 years so be careful and above all,ignore the sarcasm at the beginning of this note.

Bob Roller

Offline 4ster

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Re: Ferguson Powder Loading
« Reply #14 on: February 09, 2012, 05:55:55 PM »
 Loading a Ferguson from a flask at the breech is a non issue, with the open at both ends breech and the fact you use your Ferguson Loading Tool ( pinky) to seat the ball all the way in there is no risk of a spark lingering.

That said for a normal muzzle loader you definitely want to use a separate measure and never load directly from the horn in that situation. 


I tend to agree but have decided when demonstrating the rifle to use a powder measure to support safe practices.  And as a neophyte it is easier than trying to argue with someone who has been shooting ML a lot longer than I have.

I'll have to try the cartridges again, loading the ferguson is backwards from a standard ML, so I found that I couldn't control the powder after I had torn the ball out of the cartridge to put in the breach.
Steve

bryanbrown

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Re: Ferguson Powder Loading
« Reply #15 on: February 10, 2012, 01:22:03 AM »
We tend to keep the ball separately in the ball pocket (kugeltasche) and just use the cartridges for the powder.  Or cheek them for speed firing. 

http://www.everyinsultandindignity.com/

Enjoy your Fergi!!

Offline TMerkley

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Re: Ferguson Powder Loading
« Reply #16 on: February 12, 2012, 07:27:16 AM »
On a similar note, does anyone remember the article in Muzzle Blasts concerning the Brass Grenade.  Can that be posted for the new guy.  I think that will be good reading for us all.  I starting shooting Black Powder when I was ten, in 4H.  that was 24 years ago.  I still rember my instructers making sure that we covered our powder cans on loading line and SPECIFICALLY STATED "DO NOT POUR DIRECTLY FROM THE HORN!".  And another thing was on "break-open" muzzle-loaders at that time were dangerous if the powder did not go off, because, IF you opened the action too soon and the powder ignited, the breach plug and the nipple could come out the back.  If you have a mis-fire, hold the gun down range for several minutes before opening the action, or you WILL have a very very bad day!

Offline TMerkley

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Re: Ferguson Powder Loading
« Reply #17 on: February 12, 2012, 07:33:04 AM »
My apololgies,  I did not realize at the time of my last post that the Ferguson was not a break-action breach loader but rather the one I read about in Muzzle Blasts a while back.  I am still learning.