Here Comes The “Fatal Funnel”….?

Here Comes The “Fatal Funnel”….?

Primary Arms Blog Post11

According to the ’94 AWB criteria, this M1A was still OK since it only had a threaded barrel and a detachable mag. 10 round AWB “acceptable” mag in gun. 20 rounder below it.

I haven’t written anything “Politics” related in a while. It’s mostly because I’m sick of feeling as if I’m beating my head against a brick wall in trying to convince those who might read what I write that certain things (like history) are important in weighing your present decisions.

Decades ago, I used to be involved with a group that was pretty squared away. We leaned towards training for offensive “Take it to the bad guy” type missions, instead of my present Survivalist defensive mindset. I realized in my late 20’s that all that “Offensive mindset” would do, as civilians, is get us killed needlessly and thus, I corrected my direction in preparedness and training. The situation described below was during my participation in the group mentioned above.

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A training pic circa 1993 before the ’94 AWB was implemented

Here’s the situation. The House of Reps passes the “Federal Assault Weapons Ban” in May of 1994. My friends and I thought we could read the writing on the wall, so we started preparing for what we thought was the inevitable “war”. Over the course of the Summer of 1994, I purchased about $2,000 worth of gear, weapons and ammo.

Hell, I remember making thirteen hundred dollars worth of purchases in one day from Centerfire Systems and Classic Firearms, that summer. This purchase involved two RPK type AK’s, 5 cases of ammo, and five 75 round drums. The group I was involved with at the time used the AKM type rifle as the standard, and well, you get the picture.

Some other things that impending (and what we believed was coming with it) ban brought about was a need for caches and a recon of areas to set up base camps and RON’s. We systematically went about checking and designating those areas in a 50 mile circle, and putting “under” (reports and all), excess/extra gear and needed equipment.

What were we thinking? Well, first we believed the Senate would pass the AWB (it was close like the House vote was) when it got to them (I think we were figuring the end of Summer). Second, we knew Clinton would sign it. Third, many of us were under the impression that Slick Willie would be more than happy to bring in UN troops to assist in a more draconian firearms ban that he was rumored to be floating with the help of certain Gov officials.

Training pic 1996

A training pic after the ’94 AWB taken in approximately 1996.

Were our preps in vain? I don’t believe so. The purchase of those firearms and mags at that time, paved the way for better purchases later after a few were sold for 3x the cost. Besides, that activity by the government PROPERLY motivated us to do something we should have been doing in the first place. Was the rumor (#3) correct? Who knows. It didn’t happen, but everyone knows he was definitely considering something like that. Keep in mind what Feinstein said about her gun ban opinion. She said she would ban every firearm from civilian possession if she could get 51% of the vote.

Good things that came from the AWB? The concentration on designing reliable, compact pistols like the Glock 26 and 30 because 10 round mags….. An appreciation for only having to pay $15 for a quality AR mag. Being able to easily find a large assortment of quality semi auto mil type rifles without having to drive 2 or 3 hours to that obscure, out of the way gun shop, then  payin’ $1500 for a “Pre Ban” rifle that was only $350 four years earlier.

I tell you that story from exactly 25 years ago to tell you this. Don’t panic (unless you don’t have anything gun related). Keep calm. Make a realistic purchase plan if you haven’t already, and concentrate on the basics (solid, reliable rifle with 7 mags, reliable pistol with 3 mags, and ammo for both) . I told you almost three years ago that President Trump’s election was nothing more than a brief reprieve. If President Trump does what many believe he wants to do on gun control, it was a little more brief than I believed.

Here’s the thing though. He hasn’t done it yet. He talks a lot of smack, then usually backs off the rhetoric a little. We’ve been at this point a few times in his last three years. Yes, he banned bump stocks. So what? Reagan banned the production of new machine gun receivers made after 1986. My personal belief is that bump stocks are an effeminate affectation of someone who wants to play, but isn’t serious about realistic weapon’s usage. Kinda like the “Operator” selfies by “Never Been-But Wannabees” on social media.

Regardless, I don’t believe he should have done anything to their availability or legality, useful or not. I personally think he banned them as a token on the alter of  the “Commie Gun Grabbers” so he could calm the BS after the Vegas shooting, but, who knows. He wheels and deals so it’s anyone’s guess.

The bottom line is that “SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED” is pretty cut and dried for those with a moderate education in the English language and some common sense. Will you go to war over a Federal “Red Flag” law passing? No, you won’t. For the three of you it will be a noisy version of suicide. Will “Red Flag” laws make a difference? NO, THEY WON’T! Why? Well because the institutions who are supposed to report things to the Feds for NICS can’t even do that or do it right. The Air Force was one of ’em, and people died in a church in Texas because the AF “employees” were criminally incompetent.

As an AP Staff member mentioned to our group the other day, “Conservatives” and the liberty minded are a lot more pissed off than they were 25 years ago. I agree. One of the reasons is that the last three years, if not the last three decades, have shown us what utter contempt, Gov elites like the Senior Executive Service members have for the working American.

They define the “This is for me and not for thee.” mentality. This is just a small issue in the “Mountain of Crap” the DC crowd is doing. Do I think those in President Trump’s Administration are trying to find, fix and eliminate the problem? I really don’t know. One step forward and two steps back seams to be the norm these days, and I haven’t seen any gas leak, let alone a gush, out of “The Swamp” that is the District of Criminals. It appears as if it’s just a big distraction from the economic “balloon”, and that “balloon” is leaking badly when you know what figures to look at.

The President has weaponized his Twitter feed, but even while the things he tweets about appear to point out a real problem, which the MSM dutifully and immediately calls “mean”, they still only end up as “fluff” and the follow on “substance” is generally, non existent.

So to the problem at hand, gun control/background checks/gun confiscation/weapons bans,….etc., etc., ad nauseam, and what to do about it. Just like 1775 at Lexington and Concord, YOU are not gonna start a war unless it is a reaction done in self defense to being attacked/fired on. As risky as letting it go that far is, you won’t start it because you/we don’t/won’t control the narrative, and most will not start a conflict with a narrative they can’t control.

On a side note, and speaking of “the narrative”. During a convo with friends and associates the other day, one of them asked why no CCW holders engaged and fired on the shooter in the Texas Walmart, with Texas being the firearms mecca that it is. The implication was that if you can carry it and have it on you, you should engage the bad guy. I mentioned that I have one prerequisite in that instance, to get those I care for, and am responsible for, to safety.

I will not draw my weapon until I see the shooter and he appears to be a DIRECT threat to me and mine. As a civilian I will not run to the sound of the shooting if I have others in my charge. If I don’t have them with me, I definitely will not run around with my weapon drawn and possibly be engaged by LEO’s or Armed Security and/or be labelled as “Shooter #2”. I don’t like it, but this is common sense in the day and age in which we live.

If they pass Fed “Red Flag” Law they pass it. If they pass another Assault Weapon Ban, they pass it. I don’t believe they will pass a total ban because they don’t have the personnel and logistics to deal with that kind of overt and deadly grief. Regardless, plan accordingly NOW! You should have read that writing on the wall three years ago, but that’s water under the bridge, isn’t it? So let’s try to be constructive.

Keep things like price in the aftermath of the ’94 AWB, and the Newtown shooting in mind. Glock 21 .45ACP 13 round mags were $80 in 1999 during the AWB, and even .22LR ammo went through the roof after the Newtown shooting as examples. Buy 20, 30 and 40 round box mags and drum mags for your weapons while they are cheap. Buy as much ammo as you can to feed those weapons while it’s relatively cheap. Buy at least one or two “Assault/Battle” rifles.  Buy a couple pistols while you can. Buy the gear needed to carry a fighting load for your weapons, and related survival equipment. Check in with John at UWGear for quality equipment that does the job well. Buy spare parts for all the weapons you have so you can maintain them after a ban. Buy and learn how to use reloading equipment, then stock up on components. Buy gear to cache your excess or back up equipment.

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Things to get now if you don’t have them. 20, 30 and 40 round mags for your rifle. Drum mags if you can get them for your rifle. Standard and large capacity mags for your pistols. Gear to carry your mags, pistol and supporting equipment.

Finally, get training on not only how to use those weapons, but how to use them and survive in non permissive environments. Both Brushbeater/NC Scout and I (MDT) offer classes on small unit tactics, operating as a small team and survival. The time is coming when you will have to make a decision. Will you stand up and fight when attacked, or will you grovel at the “master’s” feet hoping for the scraps of “Rights” he gives you?

As a Nation, we’ve been at that juncture before. There is a good chance we will eventually be there again. Steel yourself to that eventuality by making your course of action decisions now. “In the moment” will be too late, and a falter on your part will only be survivable due to Divine Providence.

The bottom line is this. You don’t have a crystal ball, but you do have historical references to guide your decisions. Prudence, tempered with realistic, historical reflection creates it’s own path to sound decisions. Good luck.

JCD

"Parata Vivere"- Live Prepared.
The Art of Deer Camp

The Art of Deer Camp

A cold, wet day in Deer Camp is still better than a day at work.

Training. Preparedness. What do these words mean to you? Are they a lifestyle, or just terms you use to pigeonhole your attempt at sounding “ready” for the calamity that many believe is coming? Have you lived in the woods for more than just an overnight camping trip? Have you used ALL THE GEAR you’ve collected for your survival if that calamity occurs. What about that dutch oven you bought on sale, but have never actually used?

Some of the best “Survivalist” oriented training I’ve ever done was during my weeks in “Deer Camp”. I hear from many people who tell me they don’t have an area to train in, and that they can’t carry a firearm in their State parks unless it’s hunting season. Then they ask how they should go about getting the experience needed for bad times. If they’ve mentioned the “hunting season” comment, I tell them they’ve answered their own question to a large degree. If they haven’t mentioned it, I advise them that they should go do the “Deer Camp” thing for 4-8 days every year.

“Why Deer Camp?” you ask. It’s simple really. First, Deer season in most States is during the colder part of the year, hence, harsher living conditions. Second, You get to go out and use you wilderness living gear in conditions that usually aren’t stellar in terms of comfort or convenience. Third, You get to actually experience carrying a weapon through the woods with support gear, all while trying to maintain a low profile. The low profile is necessary if you plan on actually seeing and killing a deer.

A very wet day, but the gear did as advertised and we bagged a few.

Yeah, if you’re rifle hunting for deer, you probably have to wear blaze orange. So what? You’re not hiding from people in this instance. You’re hiding from something that is infinitely harder to pic out and hide from in certain aspects. Adding a blaze orange vest, a hat or both over your gear is not a big deal, and honestly, a vest that covers up you ammo vest from prying eyes is not a bad thing in this era of PC BS. I had to download my semi auto mag to the allowable round count, but even that wasn’t a big deal. The main thing was getting out with your gear and using it.

It used to be an annual event with a number of my preparedness Buddies that we would go to a State forest an hour away and set up “Deer Camp” for anywhere from 4-8 days. Some guys would filter in or out during that week, due to work schedules. Even that had a commo schedule and SOP to let us know they were nearby and coming in to base camp. Everybody loaded their vehicles with the gear they would bug out with. Everybody had a list of what that consisted of, and brought it along for practice, even if they knew it wasn’t gonna be used that particular week.

Sleet and snow for 2 days straight will help you figure out how well your tent and waterproof storage gear works.

Takeaways from those many years of activity showed us what worked and what didn’t. Tents were a big thing. If your tent couldn’t survive a week of cold, crappy weather in “Deer Camp”, you could not plan on it surviving weeks in the woods after the apocalypse. Heat for the tents all the way from Propane IR and ceramic heaters, up to packable “Outfitter” or Army “potbelly” tent stoves were used. Some worked great, some were a pain till we figured out the sequence needed to make them run efficiently.

Deer camp doesn’t need to be elaborate. A tarp and sleeping gear is good to practice with to figure out what works and what doesn’t.

Sleeping gear was put through it’s paces. Some failed, some thrived. Cooking gear durability and techniques of use were experimented with, with plenty of success. Clothing, especially cold weather clothing was tried and shown to be “Good to go” or complete crap and not brought back the next year. Finding gear and food storage methods that were weather and water proof, especially in extremely cold weather was an eye opener.

You had better practice with that cooking gear before relying on it. or your abilities with it.

Hunting in and of itself is good training. Combining that with living in the woods for a bit just increases the training value. If you ever have to Bug Out of your home, your best bet is to act as if you are hunting, but the difference is EVERYBODY out there is the quarry that you need to see first to be successful (staying hidden from). Success in this case is surviving. Whether it’s turkey hunting, predator hunting or deer hunting, seeing your quarry first is prerequisite to being successful.

If you don’t hunt, you are missing some good training opportunities. If you do, but have never done the “Deer Camp” thing, you are also missing on some good training opportunities. I’ve been hunting for over 40 years, and I still learn things in the woods every year. Besides being able to add to the larder in my freezer, being in the woods hunting is one of the most relaxing activities I can do. Communing with nature is it’s own reward, regardless of whether I get what I’m going for that particular day.

At the end of the day, learning to enjoy the little things and those around you that make life enjoyable is what it’s all about. Training doesn’t have to be hard or miserable to be valuable.

JCD

"Parata Vivere"-Live Prepared.
The Field Portable Reloading Kit

The Field Portable Reloading Kit

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As a teenager I read everything I could about Survivalism, and wanted to be as prepared as possible to carry what I needed on my back. Although I no longer think that the “Backpack Bugout” plan is the primary thing to do when the SHTF. I still like to keep things as portable as possible, or at least have a portable back up to something more heavy duty in my home.

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One of the things I was concerned about was my ammo supply, and how I could maintain it if I could not access factory loaded ammo. I read some articles in Survive/ American Survival Guide (Feb., Mar ’84/ Feb ’85 and Dec ’87, yup, still have ’em) about portable hand loading and case improvisation (.45ACP/.308, 9mm/.223, etc.), and the Lee hand Press kit, and realized it was the perfect base to build a portable reloading kit from.

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Portable Reloading Kit5

OK, so we’ve started with the reloading press that comes with a few accessories such as the Ram Prime for priming cartridges, a tube of brass resizing lubricant, and a powder funnel. Next, you need reloading dies for your specific cartridge. In this kit I have Lee Precision dies for 7.62x39s rifle, and .45ACP pistol, because they both work very well with cast lead bullets.

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Portable Reloading Kit1

 

 

Next I have Lyman bullet moulds for both cartridges. The 7.62x39s has a 160 grain two bullet mould, and the .45ACP has a 225 grain two bullet mould. I like the Lyman moulds because I can use one set of handles for both. Along with the bullet moulds you will need a lead dipper (mine’s a Lyman)  to pour lead into the moulds. I also use a small cast iron pan from Cabelas (Cracker Barrel has ’em too) to melt the lead initially, as it can be held over a fire with a multi tool, or attach a thick green branch to its handle with hose clamps.

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Portable Reloading Kit9

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If you are making/casting bullets, you will need sizing dies for those bullets to make them all of a uniform diameter. I use the Lee sizing dies (7.62x39s and .45ACP) because I can size them using the press instead of a separate sizing press.

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Last but not least will be a case deburring tool (mine’s a Lyman) for taking the burrs off of the case mouth after you trim it. You will be shortening the brass as it gets stretched out from being fired. The shortening can be done with a multi tool file, but you definitely need a deburring tool after doing so.

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Portable Reloading Kit13

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After all is said and done, you have a portable reloading kit that weighs a little under 10 pounds. With the addition of your empty brass, you’ve hung on to, and the smokeless powder, primers, bullet and case lube and gas checks (if needed for one or both of your cast bullet types) you have in your cache, you can completely reload your cartridges in the field.

Whether you want to carry your kit with you, or place it in a cache, this kit will do what you need, when you need it to, and it’s as compact as a complete reloading kit can be. There are some who would use one of these. It dispenses with the need for a press, but without the press, you can’t size bullets or full length resize your brass.

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I will not discuss loading data here. There is a number of factors that go into it, and you need to do your own research on that info. This post is just to give you some insight into my kit, and maybe some ideas to send you in the right direction.

I have multiple kits like this for different calibers. When I first wrote this post a couple years ago, I used the 7.62x39S/.45ACP kit because it was sitting in the storage room and my .308/,45ACP kits were in a pack or a cache because they are my go to calibers (did you know you can make .45ACP brass out of .308Win brass?).

The contents of THIS kit have never been used, but other kits have, and in the field. The only item difference between my .308 kit and the 7.62x39S is the caliber specific die set. The bullet mould and everything else is the same. Keep something in mind, reloading in the field is not “optimal”. Casting bullets in the field, whether for smokeless or blackpowder firearms, is not “optimal. Having to scrounge empty brass in the field is definitely not “optimal”!

DSA brass catcher mounted on a ParaFAL

I have the ability to save brass in the field when using my primary rifle (FAL). This is with the help of a brass catcher made by DSA. It plugs directly into the upper receiver and gives me the option of holding the brass or opening the bottom, velcro secured, opening to let the brass fall at my feet. Brass catchers are available for most semi automatic mil type rifles (one AK type here).

Two views of the brass catcher with the bottom open and closed.

If you have the option, you won’t be scrounging wheel weights for bullet casting because you’ve layed up copper jacketed, commercially made bullets in the multiple caches you have extra powder and primers in. This is after you have laid back AT LEAST a case or two of commercially loaded ammo for the calibers in question and a ton of spare parts.

This post is about options for worst case. I can reload in the field. I can make bullets for my rifle and pistol in the field. If it’s not that bad, so much the better.

JCD

"Parata Vivere"-Live Prepared.
Blackpowder Flintlocks For The Survivalist

Blackpowder Flintlocks For The Survivalist

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Anyone know the significance of this rifle

While growing up, I was fascinated with the era between the French and Indian War, and the Civil War. I’m a fan of all types of historic blackpowder firearms, but at that time, I was enamored with the breechloading 1859 Sharps Berdan rifle. In comparison to today’s rifles, it was the M14 DMR of it’s era.

 

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1859 .54 caliber Sharps Berdan Rifle

OK, enough of the childhood nostalgia. So JC, why is a flintlock blackpowder firearm important in your survivalist preps? Well, I’m glad you asked. First, we know that your ammo storage for your cartridge firearms is not limitless, right? Second, if you’re going to be hunting for your food as well as trapping it (you do have your supply of conibear traps and snares acquired, right?), which would you rather use for that hunting firearm?  One that uses ammo that will eventually run out, or one that has the ability to scrounge all the items needed to reload it?

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I’m a big fan of carbines, but this just isn”t practical for a SHTF hunting scenario

In this post we are going to talk about flintlock firearms. What about percussion firearms JC? Well, considering that the only difference between the needed items for percussion and cartridge firearms is a percussion cap or a primer (the original cartridge firearms used black powder, that’s what the last number in 30/30, 45/70, 44/40, etc. means, That’s the blackpowder charge weight in grains), and the addition or subtraction of a brass cartridge, it doesn’t have the versatility of a flintlock.

Flints (the ignition source) are able to be found in nature, something that can’t be said about percussion caps or primers. Blackpowder (and substitutes) can be made at home if you do your homework. Yes, I know you can reactivate primers (percussion caps usually blow apart), but the process is too much to put effort into for a hunting gun, considering that flintlock firearms are available.

 

First, let’s look at how the flintlock system works, and what the major parts do in that system. The primary parts are the hammer with flint attached, the frizzen that the flint/hammer combination strikes to create the shower of sparks, and the pan which holds the blackpowder that is ignited by the sparks created by contact between the flint and frizzen. That spark goes through a flash hole touching off the charge in the barrel behind the ball. I’m not going to get into minute details about the ignition system, but suffice it to say that it works well.

Blackpowder post Flintlock_ignition_animation

Next, we’ll talk about the system that holds the bullet. There are two types of of barrels, smoothbore and rifled. The flintlock rifles at the top of the post are a .69 caliber smoothbore along with the .66 caliber Paget carbine. Along with being a breech loading system, the Sharps Berdan rifle pictured is a rifle .54 caliber percussion system. The flintlock firearms I use are rifled, but I have a friend who uses a 62. caliber (20 gauge) Trade Gun to hunt everything from squirrel to deer.

Blackpowder post Flintlock_ignition_movie

The advantage of smoothbores is the same as modern shotguns. The variety of loads that can be fired from a shotgun is hard to beat. In this case, you can load shot (small, medium game), Ball (big game, and defense if needed), or buck and ball (generally for defense). As I said, they are like a shotgun in their versatility, but the downside to a smoothbore shotgun is accuracy at range, and it applies in this case as well. Smoothbores also take longer to foul than rifled barrels, which in turn fouling makes it harder to load  (this is one of the reasons most military arms were muskets back then)

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Note the muzzle end of this guys rifle in “Jeremiah Johnson”. It is a combo gun, which has a rifled barrel on the left and a smoothbore shotgun on the right.

When it comes to rifled barrel flintlocks, your long range accuracy is only limited by your mastery of the system (they call it a “flinchlock” for a reason), shooting capability, the type of bullet/load you use (patch thickness, the ball or conical bullet’s  concentricity, etc.), the type of action (set trigger or not), and the sights (buckhorn or peep) you use. The primary benefit of a rifled flintlock is placing a bullet accurately on target at distance.

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Lyman .50 caliber Plains Rifle (left handed), and a Pedersoli .50 caliber Kentucky pistol.

On to the point of this post. I have used flintlock firearms for well over 25 years now, and although they have their quirks, if you take the time to learn the “in’s and out’s”, I believe they will do what you need them to do in a SHTF survival situation. I’m a big fan of .50 calibers. First, I like the Fifty cal. because it is big enough to get the job done on large game (round ball is 188 grains in weight), when smaller calibers start to fizzle out (it’s like comparing a 12 and 20 gauge). Second, when it comes to cleaning supplies, you can use a number of the brushes, patches, etc. that you will find as surplus for military .50 cal weapons.

Blackpowder post powder types

Here are the different blackpowder granule sizes. Note that the .50 caliber is the only caliber where it is recommended to use FFg or FFFg

Third, the .50 caliber is what I call the “transitional” blackpowder caliber when it comes to what size powder you use in a given caliber (I also use FFFg in the pan). This gives you more versatility with what you can use after SHTF. I have used Conical type (aka Maxi balls) bullets through my muzzleloaders that had the correct rifling twist for it, and I wasn’t all that impressed. I also don’t want to plan on using conicals because they usually weigh double and use twice as much lead as a round ball does (not as efficient). I have and have used conicals from this mould.  

Blackpowder post rifle charge chart

These are some basic load guidelines

When considering twist rates, generally there are three that I’ve used in rifles. 1-66″ is for roundball, and does very well with them, but sucks with anything else. 1-48″, which does acceptably with both round ball and conicals. and 1-32″, which is designed for modern bullets and higher velocities (1-18″ is a rifling twist for pistols). I personally use the 1-66″ twist. Although the 1-48″ seems to be the best for versatility, I don’t plan on using conicals, and if I had gotten hold of some, I’d recast one conical into two round balls. 

Blackpowder post loads

I will briefly discuss sights for the flintlock. I am a huge fan of the peep sight, but on both of my flintlocks, I have open sights. The Lyman Plains Rifle has an adjustable buckhorn rear/blade front sights, and the pistol has standard fixed notch/blade type sights. I use these guns for hunting and have found that open sights do much better for low light (seems like the majority of my shots are at dusk) than peep sight, it’s that simple, but your mileage may vary.

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One of the best things to have on a rifle of this type is a set trigger. Shooting at 50 to 100 meters with the standard trigger is do-able, but using the set trigger makes that offhand shot (when you have the time) a lot more accurate, and what’s not to love about accuracy. I recommend that if the rifle you are looking at getting is available with a set trigger, it is a “no brainer”. The last thing I will say about something that you need in a flintlock rifle is a subdued finish. If you look at the rifle above, you will notice that it blends in. This is one of the reason I’m a big fan of Lyman products.

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This is a Pedersoli Kentucky Flintlock in .50 caliber. The patch knife is home made from a file, deer antler and fake sinew.

Anything a pistol can do, a rifle can do better except for two things, be concealable, or in this case, be convenient to carry. Is this pistol a deer killer? No, this one is not, at least not yet anyway, but I have a friend that has taken deer with his (all he hunts with are pistols). it is relatively accurate up to 50 meters (off a good rest, hits minute of deer vitals), and has the most comfortable grip ever designed.

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“Possibles Bag” Left to Right: Tin cup, flint and steel fire starter (bottom), .50 cal ball mould, 25x monocular, Tin has extra flints, and an extra rifle frizzen. Deer antler with extra fake sinew thread and needle, magnifying glass, scissors, patch knife (bottom), ball starter, and large fixed blade knife.

Next, let’s talk about accessories. What do you need for your flintlock firearm? I use to be into re-enacting, and going to “Rendezvous”, so I have more than what is absolutely necessary of the “Old style” gear. You will need something to carry your roundballs and patches, something to carry your black powder, and something to carry maintenance equipment.

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Belt pouch has another flint and steel fire starter (redundancy), pre cut rifle patches, and a round ball holder.

For the roundballs and patches, my old style kit has them in a belt pouch so the are on you even if your “possibles” bag isn’t. For the black powder, my old style kit uses a powder horn with horn measure (remember, I use FFFg powder for the pan and the barrel).

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Last but not least is the powder horn with matching powder measure. The coyote pelt is actually a hat from my “rendezvous” days.

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The powder measure is just dremeled out till it hold the quantity of powder you need for a load.

When I talk about maintenance equipment, there are a number of thing you will need. Tools for taking your firearm apart (either a multi-tool, or something specific for the task). You will need a cleaning jag, a patch puller and a ball puller. Most ram rods will have a threaded end to accept these accessories, and if they don’t, get a military cleaning rod, and a 10/32 adapter. You will need a pick for your flash hole I have an old style one, but I usually use a big safety pin, and I can just pin it in the bag.

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When it comes to modern era kit, this is it. A military surplus canvas buttpack with shoulder strap for the “Possibles” bag, and an East German 4 mag AK pouch for my belt pouch.

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I keep my accessory kit handy in case i have a bad charge and have to pull a bullet. The powder flask with measure is behind that. and the balls (and percussion caps if using an In-Line) are in the left side pouches.

For my modern blackpowder kit (whether In-Line or Flintlock), I use a US surplus buttpack for the “Possibles” bag. The advantage to this instead of the old version gas mask bag I showed in this post is the buttpack will conveniently carry a poncho underneath for easy access in inclement weather. The leather “Old style” belt pouch is replaced with a East German surplus 4 AK mag pouch. This pouch has four inside divided compartments to hold different things, and keep them separate.

I replace the powder horn with a brass powder flask which has a powder measure attached to the end that is sized to my load. My accessories kit is kept in a US surplus cleaning kit pouch, and I have the adapters to use the cleaning and maintenance equipment with a GI issue cleaning rod.

There are some things you need to square away regarding your blackpowder guns. First, you need to practice a lot to get the steps down pat, so when you need to perform them, it is second nature. This site shows the basics of loading your flintlock. Second, know your firearm’s specs and understand it. Here is the Lyman guide for using blackpowder guns. Third, PRACTICE!

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Some disadvantages to blackpowder firearms. First, they let everyone know exactly where you are due to a huge smoke cloud. Second, due to that smoke cloud, it makes it hard to see after you’ve fired. Third, they are slow to reload (especially if you haven’t practiced!). Fourth, THEY ARE UNFORGIVING IF YOU DO NOT CLEAN THEM AS SOON AS POSSIBLE! Blackpowder is hygroscopic, and will bugger up your barrel in no time if you don’t clean it. You should already be fastidious in cleaning weapons and tools. Blackpowder guns require that in spades.

These are just my thoughts on the use of the blackpowder flintlock firearms system in a SHTF scenario. There are a number of good resources out there to get you on you way in that hobby, and if you’ll note, I didn’t give you my load data. That’s for a reason.  Blackpowder guns are picky, and what works in mine won’t necessarily work in yours. Do you research, and have fun. It’s a cool hobby to get into. This guy has some good advice on using flintlocks, that will get you on you way. Hell, even Ex-Felons can own one of these because it’s not considered a firearm, and is legal for them to own.

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By the way, the rifle at the beginning of the post was a 1795 Springfield. Anyone know the significance of that rifle to an Infantryman?

JCD

"Parata Vivere"-Live Prepared.