Tag Archives: black powder

Blocked Barrel

by Woodsbum

For those that read my site regularly, you know that I am fairly into firearms. I like all types of firearms, archery, knives, and about anything that flies through the air towards a target. Some weeks ago I had a problem with my muzzleloader where a jag got stuck in the barrel and I somehow pulled the tip off the end of my ramrod. These obstructions are now cleared of my barrel and I will be taking it out to shoot sometime soon.

It is not an easy task to clear something from a muzzleloader barrel. In most muzzleloaders the breech plug is not something that is easily removed. Instead, you have to pull out the nipple and cleaning plug to pack in some black powder to shoot the obstruction out. Only do this if you know that the obstruction is not double load. You do not want to discharge a double load of black powder. This may cause injury to yourself and/or your firearm.

To clear the stuck jag in my rifle, I ended up having to use 50 gr of Triple 7 powder. This is almost a full charge. At lower charges the jag wouldn’t move at all so we had to increase powder loads until it came loose. There really was little other choice, but luckily it came out without issue.

Just remember that you do have a cleaning screw that increases the flash hole size to pour the powder into. That screw has to come out to load it. If you don’t do that it is possible to have the nipple bust loose due to back pressure. Once filled, you will need to put that screw back into place along with the nipple.

  • Share on Tumblr

Making Black Powder

by Woodsbum

I was messing around online about burn rates of black powder and came across this video. Supposedly, according to this guy, in Florida it is legal to make your own black powder. I was under the impression that it was illegal to make your own black powder so I will have to do some serious investigation on this. Either way, this guy has a fairly decent video on the process.

Here is another video on the process. This guy’s use of the strainer really shows how it is granulated.

This last video is really nice because he explains what the dextrin is and he shares information on the ball tumbler.

I will reiterate that I am none too sure how legal it is to make your own black powder. From what I have seen, this is restricted by the BATFE guys. I find it interesting that these people are sitting here in full view of the camera making it if it were illegal, however.


I found several links and pages where it is supposedly LEGAL to make small quantities of black powder for your own use. You cannot give or sell it to someone else unless you have a special license and there are some restrictions based upon state/county/city ordinances. This particular link actually has a bit of summarized information on it, but I would suggest you check your local and state laws before you start buying components.

  • Share on Tumblr

Possible Bag

by Woodsbum

The art and skill associated with muzzleloading, particularly traditional designs, has become something of a scarcity in today’s world. The more I gravitate back to those older tools and traditions the more I see that there is less and less support available. Whether this is by design for by consumer preference that drives different industries doesn’t really matter. The symptom is the same either way. I end up having to build or modify my own gear 90% of the time.

Let’s take for instance my pursuit of an old school style possible bag. For those of you who are not sure what a possible bag is, let me elaborate. A possible(s) bag is used to store your odds and ends needed when shooting black powder firearms. These bags are designed to hang across your body with a strap and, in all reality, resemble a colonial purse. You could call it a murse for gun crap I suppose. The real problem I ran into while trying to find one that was “manly” enough and had a long enough strap was that most are built in Asia and designed for the average worker over there. If you are over 5’5″ tall, you no longer have a bag. You have a necklace.

At first I was going to build my own. I figure that it couldn’t be too hard to do. The old school shooters built theirs with less equipment and probable lack of Corona to drink while sewing. That means that I should be good, right?

Lucky for me I found a company that builds the items they sell on site and at a reasonable price. Most “custom” orders or “special order” bags I looked at were in the $180 – $250 range. October Country Muzzleloading hooked me up. A guy names John answered the phone over there, answered all my questions, and they added an extra 12″ of strap to my bag at no extra charge.

You catch that? No extra charge for the extra length strap.

The bag was ordered on Thursday morning. By Friday, the bag was already built and shipped. The special order bag was built the same day as being ordered and was in the mail the next day.

Here is the bag:

Possible bag with really long strap

Possible bag with really long strap

As you can see, I kind of over guessed the length I need. When I told them 72″ long I thought that the very end of the strap would be 72″. They measured from the top most whole. This really isn’t a big deal because I know how to poke holes in leather and can cut the end if I need to. I probably won’t cut it and will just put stropping compound on the back of it so I can sharpen knives in the field. Either way, they definitely delivered.

I am not sure you can see from the pictures, but there are two compartments. The back compartment has a small pouch as well.

Back pocket

Back pocket

Here is the front compartment.

Front Compartment

Front Compartment

I was actually hoping that this would have been bigger. When I read the description I was envisioning one big bag with purse type dividers in it. Instead it is two pouches that are kind of hinged at the top. Ultimately, I may like this design so I am not looking through my colonial murse when I need to reload my rifle. It is 5000x better than using cargo pockets, however. Loading this bad boy up will be a lot of fun tonight.

If I had to grade October Country’s product I would give it a solid A-. The bag is a little smaller than I thought, but the fit/finish push it back up to the grade I gave out. The company’s customer service, quality for price, and speed of build/shipping get a very enthusiastic A++. Over time I know I will love this bag for either the quality and/or the function. I realize this will happen, but at this time I am just a VERY small bit disappointed that it wasn’t just a touch bigger.

From what I can see on their website and after talking with John, I would have to say that October Country is a great source for your muzzleloading needs. When I take into account the way they treated me when I called, the order process, and everything else I have a sneaking suspicion that they probably know better than I do as to what size bag I should carry……  They are colonial murse experts, if you will.

In conclusion, I would not hesitate to call them for help again and plan to the minute I need additional assistance. At this point I am not only an enthusiastic supporter, but a happy customer. I strongly recommend them.

  • Share on Tumblr