Armory, Self Defense, And EDC > Black Powder and Primitive Weapons

Are black powder rifles/pistols sustainable?

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Bradbn4:

--- Quote from: mangyhyena on September 09, 2011, 03:38:23 PM ---Interesting.

I've read that muskets can be loaded with birdshot, like a scatter gun.  Is that true?

How would you all rate a flintlock against a big bore air rifle, for the long haul during a time when ammo & replacement parts may be unavailable?

--- End quote ---

While big bore air rifles are "neat" - and can be used for extended time periods, the ammo used for the big bore is harder to make.  Lets say you had a time period of 5 years could a PCP big bore air rifle work?  Yes, full charged scuba tank would last that long.  I would expect ammo supplies to be good to go.

For the good small game rifles the ammo would be almost impossible to mfg - while some of the larger air rifles can use standard molds.   For past 10 years I would rate flint log a somewhat better deal.  While gun powder is not hard to make, it's hard to make safely.   I would think that the seals necessary to support the big bore rifle would go down hill and make that choice less suitable. 

At this point someone who knows the story of Lewis and Clark will point out that they took an airgun on their trip.

soupbone:
Yes, smooth-bores can be loaded with shot. The Tower Musket - the Brown Bess - was patterned after a high grade fowling piece of the early 1700s, IIRC. I've often wondered what it would be like to get a smooth-bore  in a modern caliber, say 20 ga or .410. That way modern slugs could be used for big game, and shot wads, etc., could be used for small game.

An air gun is also a good idea - although not in the big bore class. Big bores are usually pre-charged pneumatics - they store a 3-4,000 psi charge of air, and have seals that will wear out over time. A .25 cal. spring gun can be had for @ $400, and stored indefinitely if left uncocked. .25 cal is powerful enough for medium-small game at short range, and in a pinch can be used for self defense. (Better than a Sharp Stick School of Self Defense.)

If you get a scope for a springer, make sure its an air gun scope. Normal rifle scopes cannot withstand the forward and back recoil of a spring gun, and will be ruined in short order. Likewise, NEVER dry fire a spring gun. The act of getting the pellet moving down the barrel cushions the piston at the end of its stroke. Without this cushioning, the piston slams into the end of the cylinder. This will ruin the gun in 2 or 3 shots. Airgun ammunition is inexpensive enough that you can conceivably stock up several lifetime supplies in no time.

Sorry to go off on a tangent...........

soupbone

d0j0w0:
As to the question of wadding; this can be made with any number of nonsynthetic materials: cotton, canvas, wool, paper, foil, cardboard and maybe even leather.

Balls can be made out of car batteries, wheel weights, lead flashing, still used on roofs from time to time, and plumbing fixtures,  some lead/tin solders could be used.  Molds should be purchased ahead of time but in an emergency could be made from clay, wood, or plaster (results may vary). 

For around $200 bucks a large amount of black powder and primers and lead balls could be put up for years of shooting.

True black powder can lasts for many many years as long as it is kept dry and in a sealed container.  Black powder substitutes are also available but I'm not certain of how long they last.

I'm sure black powder can be made at home, but I don't think I would try. (OK, I would try) 

Smokeless powder SHOULD NEVER BE USED IN A BLACK POWDER FIRE ARM.
(NO REALLY, NEVER!)

*I posted a similar response earlier, but I don't know where the hell it went?"

Storm:

--- Quote from: mangyhyena on September 09, 2011, 03:38:23 PM ---Interesting.

I've read that muskets can be loaded with birdshot, like a scatter gun.  Is that true?

How would you all rate a flintlock against a big bore air rifle, for the long haul during a time when ammo & replacement parts may be unavailable?

--- End quote ---

I've got a few smaller airguns and while they're great for what they are, I'd never really depend on them in any kind of long term survival situation.

jasperg357:
I own a 50 cal. percussion rifle and I make my own bullets which is pretty simple if you have the right molds.
As far as using it in a SHTF situation I can see were it would come in pretty handy if civilization is pretty much knocked back 100 years with no chance of recovering in are life time. Black powder if stored properly will last a very long time. But why not just store extra ammo for a modern weapon? If properly stored it will last pretty much just as long. And I would hate to been in a gun fight with some one with a Ar-15 and me with only a one shot black powder rifle.

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