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Posted: 3/11/2012 5:59:26 PM EDT
now along with BRD, I have BPRD.
just got a used .56 cal CVA ML. not flintlock.

all I have is the rifle.
I used to have a .36 cal 1861 Colt Navy (replica of course). so i'm entirely new to black powder. but still dont know squat about rifles.

I'm assuming I'll need a pound of Pyrodex or black powder. some #11 primers. lead round balls. and some sort of patch.

do i need a short rod to start the ball?

I bought this to get involved in a few local rendevouzs. and maybe deer hunting this fall. and spending many hours at local range with my son.

I'll keep you guys posted on my progess in this new hobby.
Link Posted: 3/11/2012 8:32:37 PM EDT
Best accuracy will be found with FFG black powder. I haven't found Pyrodex to be nearly as accurate in my .50-caliber CVA Mountain Rifle.
VERY IMPORTANT –– ENSURE THAT RIFLE IS UNLOADED!
You'd be suprised at how many muzzleloading rifles are left loaded, old originals and new ones. Remove the ramrod, put it down the to where it stops. Where the ramrod meets the muzzle, mark that point with a felt pen or a piece of tape. Now, remove the ramrod and lay it alongside the barrel, aligning the mark on the ramrod with the muzzle. If the ramrrod reaches within 1/4 to 1/2 inch of where the barrel meets the tang, then the barrel is empty.
But if there's an inch or more of gap between the end of the barrel and your ramrod, it could very well be loaded. On a clean bore, you can sometimes shine a light down the bore and see a load, or the bottom of the barrel, but not always. It's often tricky to see.
If you have any doubts, take it to a gunsmith. He'll charge you a few bucks, but it's very cheap peace of mind.

Your .58 caliber rifle may take the larger Musket Caps instead of No. 11. Not sure about that.
Hornady and Speer sell .570" lead balls, 50 to a box. Should be easily found at any gun store.
Patch material will vary, according to the rifle's bore size. Well-washed T-shirt material is about as thin as you want to go. If that's too thin, try well-worn jean material. In either case, the material MUST be 100% cotton.
As to lubricant, Crisco works well enough for familiarization. You can always experiment later. Some like Bore Butter, others like to mix equal parts of Crisco and Beeswax.
Myself, I use the 19th century recipe I tweaked a bit years ago, and was subsequently named after me: Gatofeo No. 1 Bullet Lubricant. It's good for all black powder purposes. The recipe is all over the net; you have to make your own, no one makes it commercially.
Yes, if you use patched round balls you'll need a short ball starter. It's easy enough to make one from 1/2" dowel and a wooden ball or scrap of wood. Have one dowel sticking out 1" to start the ball in the muzzle, another 6-8" dowel to push it down the bore a bit. From there, your ramrod takes over. Form a cup in the end of each dowel piece to fit the curvature of the ball.
For familiarization, there's no sense in using heavy loads. I'd suggest you start with 60 to 70 grains of powder under a patched lead ball. This is plenty to put holes in tin cans and informal targets at 25 yards, out to 50. For hunting, you'll use 100 grains or more.
You'll need a means to measure your powder. There are many inexpensive, brass measures to do this. The kind with funnel attached is particularly useful.
Before loading, snap two or three caps on the nipple while holding the muzzle down, a few inches from a grass stem or leaf. This will drive out any contaminating oil and dry the bore. The stem or leaf should move each time you snap a cap, indicating the channel is clear. If you don't see movement of the stem or leaf, you have a problem.
After pouring the powder down the barrel, bounce the rifle's butt on your foot a few times to settle the powder in the bore.
DO NOT measure from a flask full of powder. If there's an ember in the bore, and you pour directly from the powder horn or flask, you'll end holding a hand grenade.
Ensure the patched ball is seated firmly onto the powder, with absolutely no gap between powder and ball. This can be a dangerous condition.
Wear eye protection. Ensure you have eye protection for young shooters too.
Wear hearing protection.
Never let anyone stand to the side of you when firing. Sparks, hot grease, cap fragments and the like can cause injuries. Observers should be behind you.
Keep powder and caps behind you when firing, so sparks from the gun can't reach them.
Bring a rag to keep your hands clean(er). A small container of disposable hand wipes is good.
A plastic fishing box makes a good container to keep everything together, but store the powder and caps separately when not going to or from the range.
Don't forget a proper-fitting screwdriver to adjust the rife's sights.

Discount the slackjaws that will invariably approach you and say, "You know what you should get! You should have a ...."
I wouldn't dream of walking up to Glock owner and telling him he should have a 1911, or a Colt shooter and say he needs a Smith & Wesson or Ruger, but something about black powder attracts these types. Just tell him you got what you wanted and you're happy with it.
Link Posted: 3/11/2012 8:49:36 PM EDT
Great info,, thanks for your time. it'll be a month or so before I even think about the first range time.... lots to read/study before then.
Link Posted: 3/15/2012 8:04:28 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/15/2012 8:05:43 AM EDT by RogerBall]
Gatofeo covered just about everything.

I'll add; Get some Number 13 bore cleaner and a butt-load of dry patches. You can just cut up an old tee shirt into 2X2 or 3X3 patches. When you go to the range you can swab out the bore after about five shots (or so) then run a dry patch down to soak up any left over cleaner. It makes it a lot easier to load. A range rod comes in real handy for this but you can use the regular ram rod if you want. You probably WILL need a cleaning jag, though. After cleaning snap a cap or two.
Have fun!
Link Posted: 3/15/2012 9:32:58 PM EDT
this has set triggers. When I set the trigger, the trigger pull is very light, and i mean oz. not lbs. dangerously light. i'm researching on how to make it a little stiffer. maybe 2lbs or so. even one lbs would be great.
thanks guys again... more questions to follow later i know...
trapr
Link Posted: 3/16/2012 2:48:34 PM EDT

VERY IMPORTANT –– ENSURE THAT RIFLE IS UNLOADED!
You'd be suprised at how many muzzleloading rifles are left loaded, old originals and new ones. Remove the ramrod, put it down the to where it stops. Where the ramrod meets the muzzle, mark that point with a felt pen or a piece of tape. Now, remove the ramrod and lay it alongside the barrel, aligning the mark on the ramrod with the muzzle. If the ramrrod reaches within 1/4 to 1/2 inch of where the barrel meets the tang, then the barrel is empty.



so i did this,, and the ramrod is about 1 inch shorter then the bbl length.. Yea, it goes into the bbl little over an inch.. when the ramrod is in it''s holder under the bbl. it is flush to the end of the barrel..

I plan on getting a range rod anyway.. the rod is 27 inches, and the barrel is 28

Link Posted: 3/30/2012 10:48:35 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/30/2012 10:52:43 AM EDT by RogerBall]
Originally Posted By traprmike:

VERY IMPORTANT –– ENSURE THAT RIFLE IS UNLOADED!
You'd be suprised at how many muzzleloading rifles are left loaded, old originals and new ones. Remove the ramrod, put it down the to where it stops. Where the ramrod meets the muzzle, mark that point with a felt pen or a piece of tape. Now, remove the ramrod and lay it alongside the barrel, aligning the mark on the ramrod with the muzzle. If the ramrrod reaches within 1/4 to 1/2 inch of where the barrel meets the tang, then the barrel is empty.



so i did this,, and the ramrod is about 1 inch shorter then the bbl length.. Yea, it goes into the bbl little over an inch.. when the ramrod is in it''s holder under the bbl. it is flush to the end of the barrel..

I plan on getting a range rod anyway.. the rod is 27 inches, and the barrel is 28



That's ok. The object of marking the rod is to set the default unloaded position indicator. From now on you know that your default unloaded position is about an inch inside the bore. If it is anywhere else, I.E. sticking out an inch, you know there is something down the bore.

ETA: for clarification-that's the default if you know its unloaded now.
Also the triggers should have a small screw between them. That's the adjustment screw for the set-trigger pull weight. Some experimentation will be needed to get it right. P.S. don't dry fire on an empty nipple. That will peen it down and the caps won't fit anymore. Stick a small piece of aquarium airhose (or similar) over the nipple to cushion it from the hammer.
Link Posted: 3/30/2012 10:49:14 PM EDT
I knew someone would come along and enlighten me. :)

I bought a couple oak 1/2 inch dowels to use as range rods. i'm scowering the ditches for deer antlers now to make T ends for these. and to use as powder measures..

got some stuff at Fleet Farm last weekend.. but no round balls or primers.

I'll post pics of the first incident, er i mean range report.. hopefully in 2 weeks..
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