Author Topic: Greetings! Black Powder question  (Read 8798 times)

Thlayli

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Greetings! Black Powder question
« on: June 04, 2020, 06:04:20 PM »
1st post.  Making the switch from compound bow to flintlock deer hunting.  I just ordered a TVM Southern in .50 caliber, should arrive just in time for my 50th birthday.  While I wait, I'd like to stock up on the stuff I'm going to need.  Will any of you recommend a brand/grain of black powder that will work best in this rifle?  Patches as well, and cleaning supplies.  Thank you.

This Southern, I got it with the aged steel furniture and a small patchbox.  I know its not built on a specific model, but what would be your best guess as to its relative time period?  1820s? 

Thank you and I imagine this has been covered already, but I haven't yet got the hang of the search function.

Offline EC121

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Re: Greetings! Black Powder question
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2020, 06:25:07 PM »
3f will work fine in a .50.  2f will also work, and the recoil won't be a sharp, but I would use the 3f.  Any brand will work to get started.  You can mail order the powder.  Depending on the load, you will get about 100 shots per pound.  Order at least 5lbs. with one pound of 4f for priming or you can go primitive and prime with the 3f.  Your call on that.  I use 4f or Null-B.  I'm not even going to start with patches and cleaning.  There are many ways to do that.  You will get plenty of opinions there.
Brice Stultz

Offline smylee grouch

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Re: Greetings! Black Powder question
« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2020, 06:41:26 PM »
Your best and most accurate load will be found by shooting the gun your self. Start with one grain of powder per cal. And shoot 5 shot groups An d record the results at 50 yds. then go up 5 grains and repeat.

Offline John SMOthermon

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Re: Greetings! Black Powder question
« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2020, 08:07:22 PM »
Ask Matt at TVM for a good starting point.

Iím sure heís familiar with what loads others have used in the same gun.

As a rule I shoot fffg in my rifles, ffg works well in some too.
As others have mentioned youíll just have too see what the gun likes.

Youíll need a turnscrew( screwdriver) , a lock vice, something to knap  the flint with( tool or brass rod).
Other than that itís pretty much the same equipment as used from a percussion gun.
Of course youíll need flints and a small leather pad instead of caps.

Maybe a small primer for the pan , but itís not a must.
Smo

Good Luck & Good Shootin'

Thlayli

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Re: Greetings! Black Powder question
« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2020, 08:29:20 PM »
Thank you, that is all good information.  Lock vice, is that a gun rest? 

Online MuskratMike

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Re: Greetings! Black Powder question
« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2020, 09:33:37 PM »
Thlayli: I to would recommend 3F I use and like GOEX. Besides ordering a couple more flints and a knapping tool. The first thing 2 things I would suggest is to fire up your computer to Youtube Black Powder TV. Bob has several episodes for the starting shooter and without fail order the book Flintlocks A Practical Guide for their use and Application by Eric A. Bye. You can order a copy from NMLR or direct from the author for $34.95. Eric's address is 177 main Street North Springfield Vermont 05150.
I guess I should go back to the beginning WELCOME, and glad to see you here. If you have specific questions that don't get answered here feel free to message me here.
Good luck and again welcome from the 'ol "Muskraat".
"Muskrat" Mike McGuire
Keep your eyes on the skyline, your flint sharp and powder dry.

Offline Daryl

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Re: Greetings! Black Powder question
« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2020, 09:55:17 PM »
Thank you, that is all good information.  Lock vice, is that a gun rest?

I think he means a mainspring vice, for dismantling the lock. trackofthewolf sells them.  Just put a www. in front of that name and .com at the rear.
Daryl

"a gun without hammers is like a spaniel without ears" King George V

Thlayli

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Re: Greetings! Black Powder question
« Reply #7 on: June 05, 2020, 01:44:21 AM »
I'll check out that channel and get that book, I live in Vermont myself. 

www in front and .com at the end?  I think I can manage that.  Thanks!

Offline alacran

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Re: Greetings! Black Powder question
« Reply #8 on: June 05, 2020, 03:11:35 PM »
Welcome! All the above suggestions are very good.  Only thing I would add is find a Muzzleloading club near you and go shoot with them. You'll learn the most from actually shooting and there will be experienced folks there to help you when the flintlock starts screwing with you.
A man's rights rest in three boxes: the ballot box, the jury box, and the cartridge box.  Frederick Douglass

Offline bob in the woods

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Re: Greetings! Black Powder question
« Reply #9 on: June 05, 2020, 04:00:41 PM »
I took a look at the TVM website , and see that there are some upgrades available re the Southern rifle, including a swamped barrel.  Many swamped barrels have the round /oval bottomed rifling vs square cut.  There is a difference in the depth, which will affect which thickness of patching you will require. 
The Siler lock that comes as standard should work well for you.

Offline moleeyes36

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Re: Greetings! Black Powder question
« Reply #10 on: June 05, 2020, 04:38:10 PM »
Welcome.  I suggest you invest $30 plus shipping and get this book https://www.nmlra.org/store/flintlocks-a-practical-guide-for-their-use-and-appreciation  It is a good source of information for those beginning in muzzle loaders, especially flintlocks, but also cap locks.

Don Richards
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Offline John SMOthermon

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Re: Greetings! Black Powder question
« Reply #11 on: June 05, 2020, 05:21:36 PM »
Thank you, that is all good information.  Lock vice, is that a gun rest?

I think he means a mainspring vice, for dismantling the lock. trackofthewolf sells them.  Just put a www. in front of that name and .com at the rear.

Thanks Daryl, that is exactly what I meant too say...
they do come in handy with a flintlock.

Finding a local club or someone with like interest would be a plus as mentioned above.
Smo

Good Luck & Good Shootin'

Thlayli

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Re: Greetings! Black Powder question
« Reply #12 on: June 05, 2020, 08:38:25 PM »
Book's on the way.  I got the swamped barrel and the late ketland lock.  I'll look for a shoot in the area.  This is all terrific advice, thanks again.

Offline P.W.Berkuta

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Re: Greetings! Black Powder question
« Reply #13 on: June 06, 2020, 07:11:53 PM »
I suggest that you start off with the "K.I.S.S." philosophy and don't get too wrapped up in all the "extra stuff" at first. You will need powder - 3F is good (you can also prime with it), an adjustable powder measure, patch material - tight weave cotton 0.015" - 0.018" about 1/4 of a yard and wash the starch out of it before you use it, pure lead balls 0.490" diameter, patch lube (too many to list) for hunting try mink oil, a sharp knife, a short starter (handy but not totally necessary), half a dozen good flints to start with, some light weight leather to wrap the flint in when installing it into the lock jaws, a turn screw and some type of ball puller or CO-2 ball discharger. I probably missed something and others will chime in. Watch the YouTube videos and read some good books before heading to the range. Practice at home going through the loading sequence without really loading the rifle so you feel comfortable and most of all PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT YOU ARE DOING - don't talk to others when loading the rifle :-X!!

I would suggest a good sturdy range rod with proper fitting jag for your caliber and a muzzle protector. Use this at the range and during cleaning after the range session. Use water to clean with and a good protective oil after cleaning. I hope this info helps ;).
"The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person who is doing it." - Chinese proverb

Offline 577SXS

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Re: Greetings! Black Powder question
« Reply #14 on: June 06, 2020, 07:24:40 PM »
If I had to pick one powder for everything it would be 3F Goex. I like Swiss but not worth $10 more a lb. As others said you can prime with 3F also but I prefer 4F for priming.

Offline hanshi

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Re: Greetings! Black Powder question
« Reply #15 on: June 07, 2020, 01:40:00 AM »
I use 3F in virtually all calibers.  My .50 likes 70 grains of 3F.  I have one of those SMR similar to yours except it's a .36.  I shoot it more than any other rifle.  You made an excellent choice with barrel and lock; you'll be very pleased.  And welcome!
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Offline wolf

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Re: Greetings! Black Powder question
« Reply #16 on: June 07, 2020, 01:17:34 PM »
my 2 cents worth, 3f is perfect for the 50, I like goex ol eynsford. it gives me better groups than regular goex, and to me it is cleaner burning and easier to clean the gun after shooting. it cost a couple of bucks more than the regular goex and less than swiss, but it is worth it to me. and I gave up priming powder long ago. I prime with what I am shooting in the gun. in my 54 and 62 cal. I use 2f and I prime with that and see little difference,,,,,,,,,,,,,
I have never "harvested" a critter but I have killed quite a few,,,,,,,,,,,

Gary W.E.

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Re: Greetings! Black Powder question
« Reply #17 on: June 07, 2020, 03:36:00 PM »
Switching from a compound bow to a flintlock rifle is a huge change. I think I can assume right that you have no experience with black powder. Save yourself a lot ot of problems and money and find a group of black powder shooters nearest you and shoot with them. Ask a lot of questions and really pay attention to what they do and say. Join the NMLRA if for no other reason than to get their magazine for information and training.

Offline moleeyes36

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Re: Greetings! Black Powder question
« Reply #18 on: June 07, 2020, 04:50:44 PM »
Book's on the way.  I got the swamped barrel and the late ketland lock.  I'll look for a shoot in the area.  This is all terrific advice, thanks again.

There are two National Muzzle Loading Rifle Association chartered muzzleloading clubs in Vermont.  If either are not far from you, you might want to contact them. https://www.nmlra.org/charterclubs

Don Richards
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NRA Chief Range Safety Officer

Offline OldMtnMan

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Re: Greetings! Black Powder question
« Reply #19 on: June 08, 2020, 09:48:38 PM »
If it was mine i'd use Goex 3F in the pan and charge and see if it was accurate.

Offline WadePatton

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Re: Greetings! Black Powder question
« Reply #20 on: June 08, 2020, 10:41:47 PM »
Book's on the way.  I got the swamped barrel and the late ketland lock.  I'll look for a shoot in the area.  This is all terrific advice, thanks again.

The swamped barrel makes it nicer to carry, and resembles the contours of forged iron barrels. The Late Ketland lock dates it by the lock (I don't know the dates offhand) but most importantly gives it credence as a Southern-styled gun.  The "standard" Siler is a Germanic lock and such were not normally used anywhere in the South BITD.

They (Siler/Germanic locks) are heavily used however by entry level kits and by some gun makers, even on "Southern" guns. Kudos on getting the right lock.

Here's another tidbit:  Clean with water (consider tow and worm in the place of patches/jag).  Not hot water, not warm water-just water.  Water is the perfect solvent for black powder residue and using anything else often leads to issues.  Heated water often results in flash rusting-which fails to occur with cold water. 

Avoid any substitute powders, they vary in formulations, and some are very very bad for barrel steel.  It's far too easy to order BP (of various mfg's and granulations) to suffer a rotted barrel from "convenience" (or ignorance or faith in a mfg's spuriuos marketing claims).  It's important that a new guy learns this up front because once a substitute has started etching the bore, it's very difficult to get it stopped. 

NOTE: as with everything complicated in life, there will be those who argue the other side, citing their long history with one thing or the other.  That's great, but the chemistry and metallurgy underlying the root of barrel pitting by perchlorated powders is sound.  They also give off cyanide in the smoke.

Speaking of complications.  There are many dozens of threads with hundreds of replies-and probably as many recipes for patch lube here on this site alone.  You'll have to work that out for yourself when you start working up a load.  Don't just pick a load and shoot that forever.  Start with a load and shoot rested groups to determine how accurate that load is, but until you work out a patch thickness/ball size combination that works (with no blown patches and no build-up), all accuracy testing is irrelevant.  You can go ahead and pick a load to start shooting, just so you can work out all the various details and get familiar with the process and all. 

Last thing you do is adjust the sights-after plenty of shooting and working out your combination.  This can save you from having to replace a sight that was over-filed in the beginning.

There's pretty much nothing you can ask that hasn't been asked, so don't be surprised when folks say "do a search" if you inquire about some hammered out topics (especially when the anvil is yet ringing from the last "go around").  You'll see. 

Black Powder TV-Bob has lots of good info up.

Welcome, and best of luck and don't complicate things more than they have to be.  I'd load and prime with 3F in the pursuit of simplicity. 


PS: When you get a flash in the pan. 
WAIT!!!  WAIT!!!  WAIT!!! 

The gun could hang-fire and the delay could be a fraction of a second, or much longer.  Just wait
a few seconds to several before recharging or investigating, because there may be a slow spark working and having the gun pointed the wrong way when a delayed charge goes off can change your life. 

I've seen "gun familiar" folks not do this and it freaks me out every time.  It's horribly unsafe.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2020, 10:51:06 PM by WadePatton »
Hold to the Wind

Online MuskratMike

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Re: Greetings! Black Powder question
« Reply #21 on: June 09, 2020, 12:35:10 AM »
Thlayli: You can quit reading all the posts now. Just read Wade's post, then reread it. Best advise any of us are going to give you.
"Muskrat" Mike McGuire
Keep your eyes on the skyline, your flint sharp and powder dry.

Offline OldMtnMan

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Re: Greetings! Black Powder question
« Reply #22 on: June 09, 2020, 01:01:17 AM »
Here's a good hunting lube that a lot of us use.

https://www.trackofthewolf.com/Categories/PartDetail.aspx/131/1/MINK-OIL

Offline Daryl

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Offline kudu

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Re: Greetings! Black Powder question
« Reply #24 on: June 12, 2020, 07:29:04 PM »
USE REAL BLACK POWDER IN YOUR NEW GUN! GOEX FFF

NO SUBSTITUTES IE:   777, PYRODEX ,WHITE LIGHTNING, ETC