Opinions on black powder guns

Black powder rifles and pistols, reloading black powder, and other information. The smoky stuff.

Opinions on black powder guns

Post by Conallin24 » 12 Oct 2017, 8:39 pm

Hi guys, I’ve been pondering for a while about getting a black powder rifle. I like old guns but with black powder I don’t know what brand or calibres to choose. What availability of loading components is like. I’d like to hunt with it only problem is we don’t have a lot of animals that really suit that gun in Australia except deer and I’m not really into deer hunting. What could you hunt with it pest wise nsw or vic? What special equipment or considerations need to be taken when compared to buying a modern rifle? Anything I haven’t thought of you think I should know please say. Thank you.
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Re: Opinions on black powder guns

Post by GLS_1956 » 13 Oct 2017, 12:59 am

Hey there Conallin24, well I know a couple of guys who have taken their Black Powder Cartridge Rifles, which they use to shoot in silhouette matches, varmint hunting and by varmint I mean prairie dogs and coyotes. Needless to say neither animal does well after getting hit by a 500, or greater, grain bullet.
I've been asked: "How many guns do you need to have?" My answer remains the same: "One more."
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Re: Opinions on black powder guns

Post by No1Mk3 » 13 Oct 2017, 5:08 am

G'day Conallin24,
If you are considering muzzle loading, which is the BEST thing to do, you can choose from 36 calibre roundball firing rifles, which the Americans refer to as "squirrel guns", for hunting wallaby, goat, feral cat, fox, feral dog, rabbit (head shot or no eat!), through to the 45 calibre which can use ball or bullet, either solid base or minie, to hunt deer, pigs, goats, rabbit ( no eat, head shot or not!), donkey, camel etc, to the 58 cal Hawken or Plains rifle which are good medicine for deer, pigs, horses, camels, buffalo etc. A 58 Hawken has taken all of the African Big 5, as well as hippo, so these things can be loaded to whatever the task you have in mind. There are military replicas available in 60, 64 and 75 cal smoothbore, as well as 58 and 45 cal rifled. For more info, apart from youtube, get along to Eagle Park on the 3rd Saturday of the month and see the Victorian Muzzle Loading Club. For brands, you are pretty much limited to Italian replicas made by the likes of Euroarms of Brescia, Pedersoli, Antonio Zoli etc. VMLC members can advise you for best locations and prices, but I know Centreway in East Keilor is carrying stocks of muzzle loaders now. If you want to hunt birds, like quail, pheasant or duck, muzzle loading shotguns are also avaliable.
If on the other hand, you are interested in breech loading cartridge rifles, well, that is a whole new ballgame. Everything is available from 24 cal up to 58 cal, in styles from the 577 Snider military to 577 3 1/2 Black Powder Express elephant guns, to the insane 4 bore rifle, as well as small break action rook rifles. These can be found as Italian repro, or original makers in prices from around $200 for a small Martini to $75000 + for a Big Game Express. Again, VMLC is a source of info, or if you live North of the city try Seymour Black Powder Club. Whatever way you go, you are welcome on the Dark Side, smoke is your friend.
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Re: Opinions on black powder guns

Post by Noisydad » 13 Oct 2017, 11:51 am

The funnest part of black powder is that you get to routinely shoot caliber, actions, rifles that most folks have never even heard of let alone seen let alone used.
There are 2nd hand ones around all over the place. Most have done little work.
You shouldn't need to spend more than $500 on a .45 cal front stuffer. If you can, run a tight fitting cleaning patch down the barrel. It should feel smooth. Really rough feeling barrels are probably pitted and stuffed.
Casting your own Ammo is probably your only practical option and a fun aspect of shooting in itself. I cast 2500- 3000 bullets a year for 9 rifles.
Last edited by Noisydad on 13 Oct 2017, 12:37 pm, edited 2 times in total.
There's still a few of Wile. E Coyote's ideas that I haven't tried yet.
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Re: Opinions on black powder guns

Post by bigpete » 13 Oct 2017, 5:27 pm

They're great fun and a lot simpler than you might think.
If your planning on using round ball for hunting I'd be looking at 50 cal or bigger
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Re: Opinions on black powder guns

Post by marksman » 13 Oct 2017, 5:37 pm

I've had a bit of experience with black powder shotguns shooting clays at little river range,
there was and elderly gentleman and his Canadian son in law who used to go there with the black powder shotguns, really nice down to earth people
what a buzz it is, once the smoke clears you have to ask if you hit the clay :lol: :lol: :lol: I really enjoyed those time's,
out of interest I went over to just have a look at these guys and they offered me some shots, then every time I saw them there they came and grabbed me
unfortunately they were told they were not allowed to use there personally owned clay thrower there, not sure if they can again or not,
it had something to do with the shotgun range template and fallout of the shot or something, although the public were allowed to do this forever
until some ssaa overzealous idiot who was trying to be pro-active and make a name for themselves buggered it for everyone
“If you do not read the newspapers you are uninformed. If you do read the newspapers you are misinformed”. Mark Twain
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Re: Opinions on black powder guns

Post by Lorgar » 14 Oct 2017, 12:36 pm

Personally I prefer the range and accuracy of modern cartridges, I won't be adding a powder rifle to the safe myself having a blast on one is definitely a bit of fun :)

I've had a go on a few of Noisy's rifles at a forum meet and it was a great time. Sputtering your way out of the massive cloud of smoke that follows each shot is always a laugh, haha.
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