Write to the manufacturer for a manual. If you can't find one from your manufacturer, any manual for a .50 cal. black powder rifle should do the trick (Thompson Center, Traditions, etc. have web sites where you can request a user manual), or you can pick up a book on black powder shooting at a gun shop. You will need several items to shoot it, and you really should seek the hands-on help of someone who is into black powder shooting. Describing a procedure online and actually seeing/doing it in person are two completely different scenarios - and potentially dangerous for the newbie. You need a powder measure to measure out the prescribed volume of black powder, you will need either lead conical bullets or lead round balls of the proper dimension for your rifle - rifling rate-of-twist determines which type of projectile will be most accurate for your gun. You need percussion caps and FFg grade black powder. If you use round balls (Rifling twist rate slower than 1:48") they will need to be patched. Patches need to be lubricated with a special lubricant you will need to buy (Thompson Center Bore Butter/Natural Lube 1000 works best). Most of all you need technique when loading, firing, and reloading a black powder firearm, and this is best developed by being shown by someone who has done it. For instance, a "short starter" is necessary to get the ball/bullet started in the barrel. "Short Starter's" are a small section of ramrod attached to a bulbous palm grip to make starting the ball/bullet easier, and also to prevent the ramrod from penetrating your palm should the gun discharge prematurely, which won't happen as long as you remember to ALWAYS cap the gun AFTER loading it, and NEVER pour powder into a barrel before waiting at least 15 seconds after the last shot was fired. When loading always cant the barrel slightly away from you - this will reduce the possibility of facial burns and blindness should the powder ignite prematurely. ALWAYS BE SURE THE PROJECTILE IS COMPLETELY SEATED AGAINST THE POWDER CHARGE! Failure to do this can cause the projectile to act like a barrel obstruction. After shooting several rounds you will notice loading becomes more difficult - this is because carbon fouling is accumulating and preventing the projectile from travelling smoothly down the barrel - stop and pass a damp patch through the bore to remove this buildup. Excessive buildup can prevent you from seating the projectile, and also increases pressure to dangerous levels. It can also cause you to break your ramrod by forcing it, and possibly send it through your hand! Never use more than the prescribed load of powder - for .50 cal target shooting I reduce the load by 10%. Always wait at least 15 seconds between shots before pouring another load of powder down the barrel - 30 seconds is better! (hot embers from the previous shot may still be burning and will ignite the powder as you pour it down the barrel from your POWDER MEASURE. (NEVER pour powder directly from the can!!!) These are just some of the things you need to know and the best way to verify that you are doing them correctly is to have someone experienced show you how! When you get some experience and you experience the joy of BP shooting/hunting, these techniques and procedures will become second nature and you won't even think about them. You may even decide to take up casting your own balls/bullets from pure lead - this saves a lot of money and is rewarding. Good luck and welcome to FTF.
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Last edited by RL357Mag; 09-09-2009 at 11:35 AM.