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Thread: New to Blackpowder Milsurps - Where Do I Start?

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    Member sledge's Avatar
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    New to Blackpowder Milsurps - Where Do I Start?

    Gentlemen.

    Never ventured further back than WW1 rifles until I recently picked up a 71/84 Mauser.
    Love at first sight.
    I seem to have a bug here. These old rifles are beautiful!

    Ok, so where do I start? I like to shoot my milsurps, it cannot just collect dust. I reload, I am pretty good at finding rare items. As a Canadianicon I put Britishicon Commonwealth historic items tops, but I do spread the love. I have some nice American, Germanicon, Russianicon, and even Italianicon pieces. Been on the hunt to find some Japaneseicon stuff to complete the WW2 collection but that's like trying to find Waldo around here.



    Therefore I ask for recommendations for a beautiful rifle, historical significance, not too pricey, and something I can take to the range from time to time without shooting my eye out!
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    Contributing Member gsimmons's Avatar
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    New to Blackpowder Milsurps - Where Do I Start?

    How about a P53 Enfield or a Snider? Or the 1842,1855/61 series rifles and muskets. They are loads of fun to shoot. I've been doing it for 30 yrs. That's me on the left.



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    Member sledge's Avatar
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    I just watched a video on a guy using shotshells for 577. Seems like a really easy and cheap way to fire that calibre.

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    Advisory Panel Patrick Chadwick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sledge View Post
    beautiful rifle, historical significance, not too pricey, and something I can take to the range from time to time without shooting my eye out!

    Couldn't we do something easier, like squaring the circle?

    BPCRs
    Potentially most accurate: Springfield Trapdoor 45-70
    Easiest for reloading: Springfield Trapdoor 45-70
    Most expensive: Springfield Trapdoor 45-70
    Most historical importance: Martini-Henry
    Most awkward for reloading: Martini-Henry
    Most beautiful: Snider (mine!)
    Least accurate of these 3: Snider

    Muzzle-loaders
    Most beautiful: Enfield P53 3-band
    Most historical significance: Enfield P53 3-band
    Most accurate: Enfield P58 2-band
    Most expensive: Enfield P58 2-band
    Handiest: Enfield P61 "Musketoon"
    Heaviest recoil: Enfield P61 "Musketoon"

    Good looking, good shooting Trapdoors and P58s are very, very expensive, because they are mostly already in the hands of serious shooters. You practically have to wait for someone to give up shooting or die (isn't that about the same?) to get one! The others are all much easier to acquire, especially if they look a bit tatty and you can undertake some refurbishment (look at my rifles, and you'll see what I mean). For muzzle-loaders, the Parker-Hale replica Enfields are well-night perfect, and better shooters than any original that normal people can afford.

    Do not buy any of the above online unless you have so much experience that you wouldn't have needed to post your question in the first place (that means DON'T). The online market abounds with trash and fakes. Blackpowder guns can look superb in a photo and yet be internally corroded to the point of being esoteric scrap.
    Last edited by Patrick Chadwick; 12-13-2012 at 10:43 AM.

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    Really Senior Member villiers's Avatar
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    You´ve got so much choice! Muzzle loaders, pin-fire, BP cartridge. Think most people consider muzzle loaders to be most fun. And Pedersoli etc seem to be the main source of firearms. Personally, I prefer the early BP brass and cav. carbines but don´t really like the lines of Brit. cav. guns. The longer I own my Werder carbine, the more I like it.


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    Really Senior Member Johnny Peppers's Avatar
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    My own choice for a cartridge gun even though I have a nice original .45-70 Trapdoor. This one is a Shiloh Sharps in .40-70 Sharps Straight, an original caliber.


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    Contributing Member gsimmons's Avatar
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    New to Blackpowder Milsurps - Where Do I Start?

    Here's another of my choices.

    One of the most fun to shoot. A Potsdam musket.



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    And what's wrong with the 71/84 Mauser mentioned in Post #1? Perfectly good BP cartridge milsurp. (The shooting of which has been discussed at great length in the '71 form by none other than Patrick Chadwick...)

    But the 45-70 trapdoor may be rather less expensive in Canadaicon than Germanyicon. Additionally, there's brand new ones being manufactured. Saw a new, full sized 1873 in passing the other day. Uberti, I think.

    Remington rolling blocks are another option. Peabody rifles, Vetterlis, Spencers, Henrys, Burnsides, Remington Lees on rare occasions, even Beaumonts and Frenchicon Gras rifles (which are more likely to be cheaper up front. NOT reloading is not an option though!) All have shooting potential. Some even have new production, like Johnny Peppers' Sharps.
    Last edited by jmoore; 12-14-2012 at 05:03 AM.

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    Really Senior Member villiers's Avatar
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    The problem with the 71/84 seems to be mechanical more than anything else. The fun of BP is that you´re in charge so everything´s done by the shooter. And, of course the smoke, the smell and the flash-bang. Another aspect is that the Italians are making such good replicas that are safe to use and original antiques are preserved.

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    Member sledge's Avatar
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    Some great advice and digesting volumes of information from several sources.
    Will limit any antique buying to local, and not online for the time being.
    Thanks!

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