Blackpowder rifles, also known as smoke sticks, are a challenging but fun way to hunt for deer. You can also use a blackpowder shotgun or pistol to hunt for dove or squirrel. Popularly considered a primitive hunting weapon, blackpowder rifles have seen enormous transformations in the past 10-15 years and have come back in fashion. Today there’s a wide variety of options such as pyrodex pellets, breach open rifles, shotgun primers and sabot bullets.
Now, hunters can reach out farther with these new crop of blacksmoke rifles, compared to the traditional models. But there are many shooters who still prefer the old way of doing things and the precision and prowess required by the old school blackpowder rifles.
Now, to shoot a blackpowder rifle, you are going to need a few key objects. That is, patches, power measure, ball starters, caps, lubricant and a well-stocked cleaning kit. Most people carry all these supplies in a special bag known as the ‘possibles bag’ which they go on the hunt with.
The process of loading a blackpowder rifle and even shooting is quite straightforward. But, to learn how to do it best, you should probably ask someone who’s been using it for a while to show you.
Here are some important tips for using a blackpowder rifle:
- Ensure that the rifle is empty before loading it. One of the ways of doing this is to pop a cap with your rifle pointing down in a safe direction and range.
- Mark your ramrod to indicate if the rifle is empty or loaded.
- Do not ever stand over your rifle’s barrel when pouring in the powder.
The old school blackpowder shooters polish their rifles after each shot. This is because muzzle loaders are very messy and the dirt can affect your accuracy level. You don’t have to be this extreme but you can at least clean your rifle after every five shots.