Black powder

Cleaning Your Gun by Wayne Stormer

Wayne Stormer is an experienced muzzleloader who posted this on FaceBook.  It is reproduced here with his permission. He retains all publishing rights.  Wayne and I are both interested in seeing newer black powder shooters get a good start. CLEANING YOUR GUN It keeps popping up on other sites off and on all the time. I see all sorts of concoctions and magical spells being used by novice and seasoned black powder ... Read More »

Flint Elk Rifle

The history of this rifle began years ago when my friend Rick Shellenberger in Colorado cleaned out an old muzzleloading shop. Among other items, he brought home 2 Sharon .58 caliber rifle barrels. Both were rifled at 1 turn in 72 inches. These barrels have eight lands and grooves. Rick kept one barrel and gave the other one to me. Back in Indiana, years passed until I began collecting parts to complete ... Read More »

Two Hole Vent Test

This test is a long time coming.  A couple years ago at CLA, Steve Chapman and I were looking over a flint gun made by Allan Sandy. The vent Allan used had two smaller holes located horizontally.  Allan said the vent was internally coned but used two .052″ holes.  Allan said he didn’t know whether it was faster or slower than a normal vent. My reply was that I could time it. ... Read More »

Bucks County Hunting Gear

A Bucks County rifle and accouterments article has been on my mind for a number of years. The motivation for this came from three different people.  First, Samuel Pletcher was my great, great, great grandfather.  He lived in Lancaster County until he was about 40, then took his family by wagon to the Howard area in north central Pennsylvania around 1790.  I’ve been interested in stories, tools, and possessions that would have ... Read More »

Projects to Come

Siler lock igniting Swiss Null B

This is an informal list of future project ideas.  Nothing cast in stone here; just a place to keep notes on ideas. 1. Vent shape experiments — this will include an exterior tool made by Tom Snyder,  a friend who also makes an interior vent coning tool, as well as other tools for the gun maker. 2. A before and after test of Jim Chambers‘ late Ketland lock. We’ll time various combinations ... Read More »

Blackpowdermag Gets a Facelift

Black Powder Mag relaunched

It’s been a long time coming, but Blackpowdermag has a new look! For some time we have considered revamping Blackpowdermag, and when a group of files were corrupted, we changed  to a WordPress authoring system.  The result is a new, fresh-looking format that reads well on smart phones and tablets, as well as computers. We are especially pleased with this improvement that was made possible by WordPress. We also will connect with ... Read More »

Part 1 — Black Powder Ignition Characteristics

Burn pattern on paper

Black powder ignition in a flintlock pan is different than inside the barrel. Here we look at black powder ignition in open air. (Powder on sheets) This phase of testing was suggested to me by Mr. Bill Knight. He has been a valued advisor for many years. I poured a measured amount of black powder on a sheet of paper. The powder was ignited by a red hot copper wire in different ... Read More »

Part 3 — Photography through the Muzzle

Null B priming very close to barrel

Comparing the strength of the black powder burn by looking through the barrel muzzle. Here we see that where the black powder is placed in a flintlock pan is crucial. In this phase I used a digital camera to photograph the fire coming through the vent. The barrel is mounted on a fixture and the camera installed on the tripod. Height was adjusted until the camera looked directly into the muzzle. In ... Read More »