Author Topic: Back in the Boonie day of Powder Horns >>>  (Read 9105 times)

1911tex

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Back in the Boonie day of Powder Horns >>>
« on: July 14, 2013, 07:50:31 PM »
How did the Patriots measure powder from their horns directly into the bbls.?  Later they used paper cartridges......but earlier?   

Offline Dennis Glazener

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Re: Back in the Boonie day of Powder Horns >>>
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2013, 09:11:32 PM »
Powder measures made from antler, cane, etc. Pre-set charges made for the loads they shot.
Dennis
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Offline Nate McKenzie

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Re: Back in the Boonie day of Powder Horns >>>
« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2013, 12:59:46 AM »
It is considered very unsafe to load directly from a horn into the barrel. If there is a spark from the last shot, it will go off while loading. Please use a separate measure- for your own safty and the good of the sport!

nosrettap1958

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Re: Back in the Boonie day of Powder Horns >>>
« Reply #3 on: July 23, 2013, 10:08:27 PM »
Tex, I've read accounts where they would pour directly into the barrel from the horn, or flask or pour into their cupped hand then into the barrel.

The thing is safety was not a big concern for them, for instance; a gentleman was shot while disembarking from a back of a wagon he was riding in while hunting. When on the ground he pulled his double barreled shotgun towards him by the barrels with the muzzles pointing towards him.  The front trigger caught on something in the wagon dropping the hammer down on the priming cap firing the weapon. Both hammers were at FULL COCK!!!!  When reading this account in the magazine 'The Field" you get the impression that this practice was not frowned upon and routinely practiced. Please do not try this at home!!!
« Last Edit: July 23, 2013, 10:35:32 PM by crawdad »

Offline bob in the woods

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Re: Back in the Boonie day of Powder Horns >>>
« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2013, 01:32:47 AM »
"back in the day " evolution tended to weed those folks out. You kind of answered your own question, since that one fellow shot himself   "accidentally "   ::)  Frankly, the definition of stupid has not changed over time.
Handling a loaded gun with barrel pointed at "you "  is  predestined suicide. Sooner or later......boom !

Mike R

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Re: Back in the Boonie day of Powder Horns >>>
« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2013, 04:27:46 PM »
old timers generally did NOT load directly from the horn into the barrel--perhaps in the heat of battle it was done in emergencies, but not as a rule.  The "cupped hand' [actually my references imply open flat hand for measurement, then cupped to pour] method WAS used and was still being used in the southern mountains in the early 1900s.  But most shooters used a powder measure made to throw the best charge for their rifle as determined from trial and error.  Theses were made from antler tips, cane, wood, brass, etc.  A few men might have used "half charge" measures and doubled the load for distance shooting.

Offline Hungry Horse

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Re: Back in the Boonie day of Powder Horns >>>
« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2013, 05:18:51 PM »
 Crawdad;

  You will probably find the shotgun mentioned was on halfcock, rather than fullcock, and the hammers snagged, rather than the triggers, allowing the hammers to fall. This is described in several accounts of the Oregon Trail. More pioneers died by this, and similar, methods than were killed by indians. This happened more commonly with rifles with a fly in the lock, since any rearward movement of the hammer would activate the fly, and allow the hammer to fall unrestrained. Guns with single phase double set triggers, that had no halfcock position, would also have been good candidates for this type of accident.

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Buzzard

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Re: Back in the Boonie day of Powder Horns >>>
« Reply #7 on: August 02, 2013, 11:58:17 PM »
In regards to the original question as asked. When they were in a hurry; redcoat, indian, bear, or whatever, the "quick reload" was deftly measured on the "count system". One thousand one, etc. And NO, it is not safe, but then, neither are redcoats.

Offline Hungry Horse

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Re: Back in the Boonie day of Powder Horns >>>
« Reply #8 on: August 03, 2013, 06:06:17 PM »
 I seriously doubt counting was involved. This wasn't a bunch of greenhorn pilgrims, most had lived their lives on the frontier. They could probably pour powder into the palm of their hand and be within ten, or fifteen, grains of their regular charge. These folks shot virtually every day, for food, or sport. I think a palm full of powder, and a bare ball, seated by a sharp rap of the butt on the ground, primed by an oversized touch hole, or a splash of powder from the horn, got many early American out of a tight spot.

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Offline Natureboy

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Re: Back in the Boonie day of Powder Horns >>>
« Reply #9 on: June 26, 2014, 11:05:59 PM »
  Reading Hungry Horse's reply about self-shooting by pulling a loaded gun from a wagon reminded me of a story about the Oregon Trail, where a man did just that--snagged his gun on a rope or something and he took the load directly in the gut.  His name was SHOTWELL!  Later in Oregon, the man who led my relatives' wagon train to Oregon did the same thing to himself while engaged in the chase for the killers of the Whitmans.  His name was Gilliam, and Gilliam County in Oregon is named for him.

Offline heelerau

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Re: Back in the Boonie day of Powder Horns >>>
« Reply #10 on: June 27, 2014, 01:49:32 PM »
We had a local South Australian explorer John Horrocks who shot himself in the face with his fowling piece when using a camel as a rest in the 1840's near Lake Dutton.  The camel lurched as he was about to take the shot, knocking him down, he must have lost grip of the gun and it discharged and hit him in the face. He died sometime later from gangrene

cheers

heelerau
« Last Edit: June 27, 2014, 01:54:11 PM by heelerau »
Keep yor  hoss well shod an' yor powdah dry !

Offline Hungry Horse

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Re: Back in the Boonie day of Powder Horns >>>
« Reply #11 on: June 27, 2014, 05:32:29 PM »
 I'm sure we all have had experiences in our youth that we are glad we survived. I experienced first hand, how easy it is to have a muzzleloading shotgun discharge. I owned an old 1940 GMC truck that was my pride, and joy. I also had a daschound cross that went everywhere with me. I was shooting ground squirrels, in my dads back field, with the shortened Navy Arms upland 12 gauge, and had returned to the truck with it loaded. Instead of shooting the charges out of it, then, and there, I decided to take it back to the house and shoot it there. I arrived in my parents back yard, and stepped out of the truck. The gun was butt down on the floorboards, with the barrels pointed upwards. I nudged the dog around the barrels, and reached in to pick her up off the seat. She decided she new better, and jump into the floor on the passengers side, and, dodged around the butt of the shotgun, knocking it over, towards me. I saw it coming, and was too far away to grab it, so I dove for cover behind the truck cab. The gun slid out of the cab barrel first, and snagged the hammers, that were on half cock on the runningboard. The gun discharged sending it flying back into the cab. The dog never went hunting again, and I never left the field with a loaded gun again. I could have just as easily been shot by my own gun/dog like so many pioneers were. 

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Offline Natureboy

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Re: Back in the Boonie day of Powder Horns >>>
« Reply #12 on: June 27, 2014, 08:55:36 PM »
  Here in Oregon, it's illegal to drive with a loaded gun in your car.  You are expected to have the breech open, which is somewhat difficult for muzzleloaders.

Offline Dennis Glazener

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Re: Back in the Boonie day of Powder Horns >>>
« Reply #13 on: June 28, 2014, 12:32:09 AM »
I believe here in VA, it is legal with the frizzen open and the pan clear of priming. You may want to check in your area. To further ensure safety I put a toothpick in the touch hole.
Dennis
"I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend" - Thomas Jefferson

Offline Hungry Horse

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Re: Back in the Boonie day of Powder Horns >>>
« Reply #14 on: June 28, 2014, 01:25:56 AM »
 Its the same here in California. A gun isn't considered loaded until it is capped or primed. That being said, I did hear of a hunter that was stopped, with a flintlock, with a closed frizzen, and, an enlarged touchhhole, that was sited, for caring a loaded gun in a vehicle, because there was a small amount of powder in the pan.

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borderdogs

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Re: Back in the Boonie day of Powder Horns >>>
« Reply #15 on: June 29, 2014, 05:23:16 PM »
Talk about silly I got one for you. About 30 years ago I went to a local county owned range with a friend. We were both shooting 1863 Springfield rifled muskets and could fairly be called regulars. The range had a staff turn over when one of the range officers retired, he being replaced by less expericenced personel. We checked in and started walking down to the 100 yard black powder rifle range when the range officer in charge stopped us and told us to open the breaches of the rifles. We of course told him we couldn't where upon he sent us back to the office. Of course the guy in the office knew that that was ridiculous and said just go back down. So down we started and the range officer ran back up to stop us again. At that point I said for him to go up to the office and check with the staff there. So he did and even though they talked quietly I could hear that new range officer say it was unsafe to walk with those rifles without the breach open. In the end we were able to shoot and the new guy was nice enough but he clearly knew nothing about black powder rifles.

I guess he took safety serously!
Rob

Offline hanshi

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Re: Back in the Boonie day of Powder Horns >>>
« Reply #16 on: June 29, 2014, 10:17:22 PM »
I believe here in VA, it is legal with the frizzen open and the pan clear of priming. You may want to check in your area. To further ensure safety I put a toothpick in the touch hole.
Dennis




You are correct on that, Dennis.  The lesson to be learned is that careless and/or stupid people today still put themselves in front of modern cartridge gun muzzles and shift blame onto the gun companies that makes a good, safe product (nothing is idiot proof) so they can sue for millions.  Back in the frontloader days these same things happened to people; they just didn't have ambulance chasing lawyers and justice was more genuine and self pruning.  It pays to be just as careful with the old MLs as one would be with a new Remington Shotgun.
!Jozai Senjo! "always present on the battlefield"
Young guys should hang out with old guys; old guys know stuff.

Offline Micah

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Re: Back in the Boonie day of Powder Horns >>>
« Reply #17 on: June 30, 2014, 04:13:09 PM »
Talk about silly I got one for you. About 30 years ago I went to a local county owned range with a friend. We were both shooting 1863 Springfield rifled muskets and could fairly be called regulars. The range had a staff turn over when one of the range officers retired, he being replaced by less expericenced personel. We checked in and started walking down to the 100 yard black powder rifle range when the range officer in charge stopped us and told us to open the breaches of the rifles. We of course told him we couldn't where upon he sent us back to the office. Of course the guy in the office knew that that was ridiculous and said just go back down. So down we started and the range officer ran back up to stop us again. At that point I said for him to go up to the office and check with the staff there. So he did and even though they talked quietly I could hear that new range officer say it was unsafe to walk with those rifles without the breach open. In the end we were able to shoot and the new guy was nice enough but he clearly knew nothing about black powder rifles.

I guess he took safety serously!
Rob
I had a very similar occurrence. A few years back I used to shoot at a pay range here in GA, that specialized in those black plastic rifles. I went there one day and the range officer said "we have some new safety rules. You have to use a chamber flag when the rifle is unloaded" My jaw dropped "I'm shooting a flintlock, where would you want me to place this flag" He had no idea what to do with the flag, "Just use it" was his comment. That was the last time I went to that range.
Michael Markey

Offline Natureboy

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Re: Back in the Boonie day of Powder Horns >>>
« Reply #18 on: June 30, 2014, 08:45:26 PM »
Micah,
   An idea quickly comes to mind on where to stick that flag.  But you've probably already thought it.

Offline Virginiarifleman

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Re: Back in the Boonie day of Powder Horns >>>
« Reply #19 on: July 27, 2014, 06:17:10 AM »
1911Tex, I have read accounts of early settlers putting a ball in their palm and just enough powder to cover the ball.

Offline Bob Roller

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Re: Back in the Boonie day of Powder Horns >>>
« Reply #20 on: July 27, 2014, 02:44:38 PM »
My maternal grandfather,C.M.Taylor  Dec.17,1873-Nov.28 1972 told me about holding the ball on the palm of the hand and just covering it with powder. That is what he used when he hunted with a muzzle loader and it put meat in the skillet.

Bob Roller

Offline Virginiarifleman

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Re: Back in the Boonie day of Powder Horns >>>
« Reply #21 on: July 27, 2014, 10:29:13 PM »
Bob my Grandfather did the same,he hunted with an original 38 cal until the 1930's.it also fed a family of 12 kids.