Monday, October 12, 2009

SBH & Blackpowder Day at the Range

Finally - I got over to the range to play with my shortened SBH. I will need to play with some sort of modification for the front sight as it is too short and the rear has no more downward adjustment left. I ran 150 rounds through it sighting and playing. 6" high at 15 yards. Maybe I can superglue a little fiber rod on top of the sight. Aside from that, the revolver still patterns well so the re-crowning work went well. I am satisfied with the alteration.

I have never shot a muzzleloader before but thought that it might be a good idea since that is the deer hunt that I was drawn for. I have an older inline (Traditions Buck Hunter) that was given to me by my father a few years ago. I had not shot it until Saturday morning but I did replace the plug and nipple to use the 209 primers. I also bought a low end CVA pivot action since a fellow should always have a backup weapon during hunting season. Both are 50 cal.

I purchased some of the new Blackhorn 209 powder that isn't as smokey, doesn't foul, more powerful, allows the use of sabots without any loading difficulty, cleans up with regular rifle solvents, and is advertised to do everything but load itself. The literature shows pictures of 209 nipples. The Traditions nipple has a big red X through it. That is another reason I bought the CVA.

I took the Leupold 2x7 off my wife's rifle (I will get her another one) and stuck it on the CVA with see-through rings. This doesn't work. The scope does not have enough adjustment to dial it in. You could look at it from the other aspect that the mount/ring combination does not have the proper cant. I took it off and shot it with the fiber optic dot "iron" sights. I love that pivot action. Most of that advertising for the 209 powder is good for my rig except that part about that there is no problem with having to clean between shots with sabots. You could hardly set a bullet after four shots. The palm of my hand is bruised from trying to shove the rod down. Fortunately, I also had some Powerbelt bullets that some of the shooters on a blackpowder forum like. I could load those without any great difficulty and continue shooting. The combo of 209 powder and Powerbelts shot well.

The Traditions was loaded with Pyrodex RS. You almost could not load a second sabot. I switched to the Powerbelts and some other similar bullet that Dad gave me. Both of these worked fine without a lot of swabbing. Pyrodex is definitely smokier than 209. The target disappears momentarily after each shot.

Shooting the smokepoles was a lot of fun. It is slow going and you will spend more time at the range when sighting in but that is actually a good thing as I like being at the range. I met people who normally would not have spoken to you due to their curiosity over what you were shooting. I only got a couple of sour looks from a guy downwind. Oh well, maybe I should put a drop of Old Spice in a hollow point. I am sure that it would be nice smelling then!

I stopped at Sportsman's Warehouse on the way home and bought a handle to slip over the rod as it became obvious that one is required if you are going to the range for a session or three. More Powerbelts were added to my collection.

Anyone want a bunch of those 50/44 plastic sleeves (sabots)?


Kevin said...

Damn. Too bad about the front sight on the Blackhawk. Since it's silver-soldered on, about the only thing I can think to do is to machine off the blade and slot the base for a S&W pinned-type front blade.

You didn't say what kind of groups you got with the smokepoles!

Primeval Papa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Primeval Papa said...

I never got past the 50yard mark due to time constraints. I shot a quarter sized three shot at 25yd with the CVA (open sights)and then a three inch at 50yrds. I have a real vision problem with iron sights. this one will get a red dot on it today and back to the range this weekend to get out to 100yrd.

The old scope Traditions was surprising. When initially sighting at 25, the 3 shot group had two touching and the other almost touching - almost made a cloverleaf. It was becoming obvious at 50 yrds that it was up to me as I shot a 1.5in group.

I am sure that this will change a bit a 100. We shall see.