You got your rifle , now what do you need ?

Andy54Hawken

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Well now you got yer rifle , but what else do ya need for shooting ?

Generally speaking you can go about this two ways , a "minimalist approach" or buying all the gadgets that one is "supposed" to need.
I prefer the minimalist approach...others will no doubt disagree with this notion.

For percussion guns :

Caps , these are generally number 11 caps...but some guns use musket caps.
I like CCI caps. CCI makes "regular" and "Magnum" , supposedly the "Magnum" caps burn hotter....
I find that both work well , so I buy whatever is in stock or cheaper.

A capper may be useful for putting the caps on the nipple...if you buy one , make sure it is for the size of caps that you need.
I use a homemade cap box to store my caps and forgo the use of a capper.
With that said...a leather strip or circle with holes cut around the edge to hold the caps works well also , for both storage and as a capper.

Round Ball of the proper size...can be store bought , or ones you made yourself...this will require a round ball mold , a melting pot , lead , and a ladle...also a new thread on this subject...:D
If one uses a conical bullet...then patches are not needed.

Patches of the proper size...store bought ready made to size or strips , that you cut to size.

As an example my .54 Hawken loads and shoots best with a .15 patch and .530 round ball.
Somethng to keep in mind here , is that one company's .15 patch or .530 round ball maybe different than another company's .15 patch or .530 round ball
Round balls and patches come in many different sizes...I posted earlier on this subject with two threads :
Loads for muzzleoading rifles and Roundball for your muzzleloader

Lube...
I use spit when shooting at the range or plinking....bear grease or deer tallow when hunting.
Crisco and olive oil are also popular.
Other folks like store bought lube like T/C's Bore Butter and others of this type.


Powder...
I prefer to use real black powder by Goex in 2F.
Other powders are available , including Black Powder Substitutes like PYRODEX.
In my experience , PYRODEX and the like are far and away , more corrosive than real black powder.
Having made that statement before , I understand that others think differently.

A shooting bag and horn or flask.
These come in all manner of sizes and material...some horns are attached to the shooting bag , some are on a separate strap.
I like a leather bag of the smaller size with the horn attached to the bag.

A powder measure.
This can be a machined one , that is adjustable or one that is "fixed" , as in one that one "throws" a single amount of powder.
If one uses a flask , some flask spouts are fixed or adjustable as well.

A nipple wrench...this removes the nipple for cleaning.
A mainspring vise....not often needed...but needed for removing the mainspring without damaging it.
A vent pick...another not often needed , but useful tool to clean out the vent hole .
A screwdriver , to remove the lock , when cleaning.

A short starter... Looks for all world , like a short ram rod , helps when starting the ball and patch down the bore , when loading the rifle.
I try not to use one...but they are handy , 'cause as noted before , some sizes of patches and ball are not the same.

Speaking of ram rods...some folks like to use a "range rod"...this is a loading / cleaning rod that is separate from the rifle.
Usually a range rod is made of some sort of synthetic material or brass.
I just use my rifle's ram rod for loading...and have different rod for cleaning.
Many opinions abound on ram rods....so I am sure that someone will chime in with how they do it.

Flintlocks
Much of the above can be used for flintlocks , some exceptions noted below.

Flints...these come in different sizes.
Most common sizes are : 5/8 , 3/4 , 1 inch and 1 1/8
English and French are both good to use for knapped flints.
Flints also come in cut or saw cut...I don't like these and can not recommend their use.
Bevel up or bevel down...?
Simple answer here , how does the flint fit in the lock...? , Place the flint the way it fits in the lock and not hitting the barrel.
Flints will last for as few a couple of shots or long as 30 or more...
Also some sort of knapping tool , to sharpen the flint when it gets chipped or dull...it can be a "knapping hammer" , knife spine , I use a hand forged screwdriver.

Powder...Use only real black powder with flintlocks.
Substitute black powder will only cause slow ignition , and or failures to fire .
Some folks like to use 4 F priming powder for the pan... I do not.

A small screwdriver to work the hammer jaw screw , is good to have...I have a hand forged one that I can also use to knapp the flint , when it gets dull or chipped.
A vent pick is needed to clean out the vent hole.

And that's it....In my experience , you do not need a wagon load of goods to shoot your muzzleloading rifle.
Andy
 

BigDog67

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I like to HAVE all manner of accessories for my BP firearms. Whether I take it with me today is a case by case decision. I have a large tackle box full of everything imaginable that stays in camp, but my bag just has what I need for the day. I favor a larger bag for Rondys, just to hide some of the non PC things like the camera.
 

RVTECH

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Crisco and olive oil are also popular.
Last week on a recommendation I tried a canola/vegetable oil blend (store bought blend) and I was impressed at how well it worked as patch lube.

The reason I switched was I have previously used tallows/fats but they congeal in cold weather making loading more difficult. The oil made loading easier than I have ever experienced and an unexpected outcome was it left the bore considerably cleaner after shooting.

I shot three shots, swabbed the barrel, then shot another three, and continued to load another four with no appreciable difference in loading and could have no doubt loaded several more. I probably left my patches a little more 'soaked' with oil than I needed and may 'squeeze' them out a bit.

Also I mentioned bore swabbing and a good 'old school' bore swab is windex and Murphy's Oil Soap 50/50 as a between shot bore swab liquid.
 
OP
Andy54Hawken

Andy54Hawken

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DSC06034.jpg
One of my bags set up for shooting round ball with a flintlock.

A bag and horn.
Bag is of brain tan elk hide and the horn is buffalo.
Brass fixed powder measure / charger...
Vent pick

Cleaning worm
Forged screwdriver / flint knapper
Flints w/ bag for flints
Patches and round ball
Bag to keep the patches and round ball in.

And that's all I need for range shooting or a day's outing...
For hunting , I'll toss in a little container of grease or tallow for lube.

As noted above...others will have a far different approach to shooting.
Andy
 
My "kit" contains a selection of ram/cleaning rods, both original and new made with the common accessories for cleaning and stuck ball/bullet removal ( Very Rare) as well as Cylinder tools, which are hand made brush and jag/scraper holders. additionally, the aforementioned nipple picks and nipple socket for cleaning and servicing, and plenty of never seize in a small tin. I also have a hand made Cartridge rolling block station for making pre made paper cartridges, which also use ether silk or fine cotton thread for tying them shut! It also includes a tin of sorghum/pine pitch "Glue" to seal the paper seam when rolled ( like the old cigarette papers) and finally, a set of powder measures tuned to my rifle(s) These rifles are percussion ignition, so they require the proper caps, usually the common #11 caps, but depending on area and weather conditions, I can swap to ether #9 caps, or hotter "Musket" caps. I also prefer the CCI brand caps, and if the "Magnums are available, I usually buy those! I also carry spare nipples and copper rings, as the originals are unobtanium and are of an odd size that don't really fit any of the modern caps. fortunately, both Ruger Old Army and Pietta Remington 1858 nipples will fit these Colts well, though the Rugers are a tiny bit long! Completing my "Kit" is my powder flask, depending on the rifle and it's charge, I use ether an original powder flask with measure ( in Drams) or a powder horn with adjustable spout. and finally, a selection of molded conical projectiles between 210 grain all the way up to 270 grain, and the molds to make them and the tools on the cartridge rolling block to finish the bullets, which is pretty slick. basically the cartridge making station will size and trim the bullets, trim the bullet tip, and hollow out the base while also forming the bottom gas check. These bullets will then final size when pressed home into the cylinder, so no further prep is needed unless I wish to make hollow points, which can also be done on the rolling block! Lastly, I have a segmented possables bag, the bottom of which holds the molds and bulk lead, melting pot, dross spoon, and powder flask/horns and lubricants. on the back, are the cartridge rolling tool block and hand tools, and the front has the rest of the tools, cappers and spare nipples. there are two pouches sewn to the flap which contain the pre rolled cartridges, the lighter ones to the top, heavier in the middle, and heaviest in the second pouch with extra bullets, and ball or grape shot as needed along with patches and hemp wadding! All in all, it's a simple and efficient setup that keeps the clutter to the minimum, and allows for extended field use unsupported Just like was don't in the mid 1800's and later!
 
Well now you got yer rifle , but what else do ya need for shooting ?

Generally speaking you can go about this two ways , a "minimalist approach" or buying all the gadgets that one is "supposed" to need.
I prefer the minimalist approach...others will no doubt disagree with this notion.

For percussion guns :

Caps , these are generally number 11 caps...but some guns use musket caps.
I like CCI caps. CCI makes "regular" and "Magnum" , supposedly the "Magnum" caps burn hotter....
I find that both work well , so I buy whatever is in stock or cheaper.

A capper may be useful for putting the caps on the nipple...if you buy one , make sure it is for the size of caps that you need.
I use a homemade cap box to store my caps and forgo the use of a capper.
With that said...a leather strip or circle with holes cut around the edge to hold the caps works well also , for both storage and as a capper.

Round Ball of the proper size...can be store bought , or ones you made yourself...this will require a round ball mold , a melting pot , lead , and a ladle...also a new thread on this subject...:D
If one uses a conical bullet...then patches are not needed.

Patches of the proper size...store bought ready made to size or strips , that you cut to size.

As an example my .54 Hawken loads and shoots best with a .15 patch and .530 round ball.
Somethng to keep in mind here , is that one company's .15 patch or .530 round ball may different than different company's .15 patch or .530 round ball
Round balls and patches come in many different sizes...I posted earlier on this subject with two threads :
Loads for muzzleoading rifles and Roundball for your muzzleloader

Lube...
I use spit when shooting at the range or plinking....bear grease or deer tallow when hunting.
Crisco and olive oil are also popular.
Other folks like store bought lube like T/C's Bore Butter and others of this type.


Powder...
I prefer to use real black powder by Goex in 2F.
Other powders are available , including Black Powder Substitutes like PYRODEX.
In my experience , PYRODEX and the like are far and away , more corrosive than real black powder.
Having made that statement before , I understand that others think differently.

A shooting bag and horn or flask.
These come in all manner of sizes and material...some horns are attached to the shooting bag , some are on a separate strap.
I like a leather bag of the smaller size with the horn attached to the bag.

A powder measure.
This can be a machined one , that is adjustable or one that is "fixed" , as in one that one "throws" a single amount of powder.
If one uses a flask , some flask spouts are fixed or adjustable as well.

A nipple wrench...this removes the nipple for cleaning.
A mainspring vise....not often needed...but needed for removing the mainspring without damaging it.
A vent pick...another not often needed , but useful tool to clean out the vent hole .
A screwdriver , to remove the lock , when cleaning.

A short starter... Looks for all world , like a short ram rod , helps when starting the ball and patch down the bore , when loading the rifle.
I try not to use one...but they are handy , 'cause as noted before , some sizes of patches and ball are not the same.

Speaking of ram rods...some folks like to use a "range rod"...this is a loading / cleaning rod that is separate from the rifle.
Usually a range rod is made of some sort of synthetic material or brass.
I just use my rifle's ram rod for loading...and have different rod for cleaning.
Many opinions abound on ram rods....so I am sure that someone will chime in with how they do it.

Flintlocks
Much of the above can be used for flintlocks , some exceptions noted below.

Flints...these come in different sizes.
Most common sizes are : 5/8 , 3/4 , 1 inch and 1 1/8
English and French are both good to use for knapped flints.
Flints also come in cut or saw cut...I don't like these and can not recommend their use.
Bevel up or bevel down...?
Simple answer here , how does the flint fit in the lock...? , Place the flint the way it fits in the lock and not hitting the barrel.
Flints will last for as few a couple of shots or long as 30 or more...
Also some sort of knapping tool , to sharpen the flint when it gets chipped or dull...it can be a "knapping hammer" , knife spine , I use a hand forged screwdriver.

Powder...Use only real black powder with flintlocks.
Substitute black powder will only cause slow ignition , and or failures to fire .
Some folks like to use 4 F priming powder for the pan... I do not.

A small screwdriver to work the hammer jaw screw , is good to have...I have a hand forged one that I can also use to knapp the flint , when it gets dull or chipped.
A vent pick is needed to clean out the vent hole.

And that's it....In my experience , you do not need a wagon load of goods to shoot your muzzleloading rifle.
Andy

The only thing missing from your list is some redcoat officers to slot.... ;):D
 

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