Shooting With Jim Hammond Black Powder Shooting

Black Powder Rifles, Blackhorn 209 Powder

Black Powder, It's Time

 
Many years ago, I have a couple of black powder guns. A ball and cap rifle and a Ruger 44 caliber revolver. The one thing that sticks out the most was, what a pain in the rear to clean. I can remember cleaning these were almost like changing the oil in a big ole diesel truck. By the time I was finished, I had black powder soot and grime from head to toe and if I did it indoors, I was getting hollered at when my wife came home for the big mess I had made. Well that was then and now things have changed when shooting modern day synthetic black powder. It shoots, hotter, cleaner and more accurate due to it's consistent properties.
 
I can remember one day sitting in the tree in Guana Game Preserve, waiting on Mr. Piggy to come by and all of the sudden, I looked up to see several, standing in the road. I lowered the barrel of my old black powder rifle, put the sights on the shoulder of the one I wanted and slowly squeezed off a shot. The hammer fell on the cap and the powder ignited with a big boom only to put out a giant smoke screen all in front of my stand. Now this was one of those NO WIND days and I mean no wind. There was so much smoke, I could not see more than a few feet in front of me and had no idea if my chunk of lead had run true or was lodged in a Palmetto. I tried looking through the smoke then around it but still just a cloud between my and my quarry. I finally slipped down the tree and what did I see but my little piggy laying on it's side and most of his little buddies looking right square at me. Okay, now what to do. I have an empty rifle that I know will take way to long to reload and a pretty darn accurate 44 caliber handgun on my side. Holding the rifle in my left hand, I slowly drew the revolver from the holster. I stood the rifle upright on the butt and slid the revolver to the place where my left hand and barrel came together. I slid the revolver barrel on my hand to steady the shot, lined up the sights, eased the hammer back and slowly depressed the trigger. Once again as the hammer made contact with the cap, the powder ignited and again a boom followed by a big cloud of smoke. This time, I was able to stand aside and see around it and to my delight, there were now 2 little piggy's laying in the road. That did it for the rest of them and with some hurry, they ran off into the woods.
I was pretty lucky this day. First off to see and get a clean shot at Mr. Piggy and more so to get two in one day.  
 
Well, that was 30 years ago and times have now changed and with the newer synthetic powders and black powder variations, cleaning is not much more messy than with a conventional firearm.
 
I no longer have either of those fine guns but have been lucky to acquire a few others. So far I have only had range time with them BUT by the time you will have read this, I hope to add at least one more piggy to the many I have had the opportunity to take.  I now have a fancy long barrel flint lock, that has not even been shot and as pretty as it is, I am not sure I want to shoot it. Or maybe not just yet. I also have at my disposal at .50 Thomson Center Pennsylvania Hunter Rifle, that I have shot. The first thing I did to this percussion cap rifle was to remove the cap nipple and replace it with a Mag-Spark. http://www.warrencustomoutdoor.com/mag-spark.html 

 

This allows me to fire 209 shotgun primers and then I can shoot Ramshot black powder substitute. I have had such great success with their other powders in my modern guns, I just had to shoot the Ramshot Blackhorn 209 powder. It is by far the best black powder type of powder that I have shot. The powder is non-corrosive, allows you to shoot at higher velocities, is very accurate, almost no residue in the barrel, you do not need to swab between shots and it is easy to clean. Now, you do have to shoot 209 primers as the caps just don't fire hot enough to get this powder to ignite properly. BUT you can convert almost every cap rifle and some cap single shot pistols to fire 209 primers by purchasing a Mag-Spark and for a poultry $20 you can shoot 209 primers.
 

I also have a Traditions LT Inline 50 caliber with a scope and this is the way to go with black powder guns. It comes with the 209 system and a scope. Now some of you out there have not hit the 50 year old mark and are saying "a scope, why a scope". Well when you hit the 50 mark you will understand that the eyeballs just aren't what they used to be and the scope makes the difference between being a great shot and not hitting your target.

 
My first day at the range with these two fine rifles, I set up with my 4 kinds of black powder. I had Blackhorn, two other loose powders and a well known pellet powder.

 

I wanted to test each with different loads and different projectiles so I got my chronograph set up, put up several targets at the 100 yard range and starting shooting and documenting. Both of the rifles used 209 primers, were shot from a Lead Sled on a bench at 100 yards. The chronograph was placed about 25 feet from the muzzle. There was little to no wind and the temperature started out at about 80 degrees and made it up to about 85 or so. After every shot, I swabbed the barrel 3 times to be sure most of the residue was gone and I was shooting a clean barrel.

During my shooting, the one major thing that I noticed with both rifles was the pellet powder was very inconsistent. Sometimes varying as much as 350 feet per second from one shot to the other. By far the Ramshot Blackhorn 209 was the most accurate and consistent in the speed it sent the projectile down range.

The bullet the Tradition LT Inline 50 caliber liked the best was the Traditions APB 100 250 grain with 110 grains of Blackhorn 209 powder and a CCI 209M primer. This load in this gun produced groups of 3/4 to 1 inch at 100 yards.  I bet Daniel Boone wished he had this set up back in his day.

 
Like I have said before, all loads do not shoot the same in every gun, so If you want to be a crack shot, you are going to have to put in the range time with different powders and projectiles to find the perfect load for your gun.  
 

 

Traditions LT Black Powder Rifle

Traditions Sabot Bullet

 

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Tradition LT Inline 50 caliber liked the best was the Traditions APB 100 250 grain with 110 grains of Blackhorn 209 powder and a CCI 209M primer Tradition LT Inline 50 caliber liked the best was the Traditions APB 100 250 grain with 110 grains of Blackhorn 209 powder and a CCI 209M primer Tradition LT Inline 50 caliber liked the best was the Traditions APB 100 250 grain with 110 grains of Blackhorn 209 powder and a CCI 209M primer Tradition LT Inline 50 caliber liked the best was the Traditions APB 100 250 grain with 110 grains of Blackhorn 209 powder and a CCI 209M primer Tradition LT Inline 50 caliber liked the best was the Traditions APB 100 250 grain with 110 grains of Blackhorn 209 powder and a CCI 209M primer Tradition LT Inline 50 caliber liked the best was the Traditions APB 100 250 grain with 110 grains of Blackhorn 209 powder and a CCI 209M primer Tradition LT Inline 50 caliber liked the best was the Traditions APB 100 250 grain with 110 grains of Blackhorn 209 powder and a CCI 209M primer Tradition LT Inline 50 caliber liked the best was the Traditions APB 100 250 grain with 110 grains of Blackhorn 209 powder and a CCI 209M primer Tradition LT Inline 50 caliber liked the best was the Traditions APB 100 250 grain with 110 grains of Blackhorn 209 powder and a CCI 209M primer Tradition LT Inline 50 caliber liked the best was the Traditions APB 100 250 grain with 110 grains of Blackhorn 209 powder and a CCI 209M primer

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