The Blackpowder Journal

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...for the blackpowder enthusiast

Stove Fodder

Musings from your Editor

Winter is in full swing, and for those of us who love to shoot, it is a mite bite cold on the firing line. Mostly, I like to sit around a warm stove and trade stories with my friend Jim. During the summer I call him Captain Jimmy, because we fish a lot together and he does own the boat. When we aren't on the water, he's just plain old Jim.

I guess I can blame Jim for my fascination with flint rifles. He had one made for him about ten years ago, a simple iron mounted Poor Boy, .50 cal, with set triggers. Of course the damn thing fit me like a glove and shot like a dream. Over the years I tried everything I could think of to pry that gun away from him, money, women, drink. No good, it's still hanging on his wall. So the only choice I had was to have one built. She's a really sweet rifle. Late Pennsylvania, .50 cal, swamped barrel, set triggers, and simple brass furniture without a patch box. I think she shoots better than Jim's Poor Boy, he doesn't. The fun part is proving that he's wrong.

The last time this argument bore fruit, Jim and I spent about four hours shooting. Didn't matter that the wind was blowing at about gale force and the temperature was near arctic. Now when you shoot with Jim, standard paper target won't prove anything. He believes that you have to be able to hit anything that you can set your sights on. This can be anything from old tin cans to hunks of metal or pipe -- shooting with a mill wright is always interesting. Usually our grudge matches deteriorate into one hour of shooting and three hours of making "better" targets. One of his more cunning creations was a set of moving targets, just like a carnival shooting gallery, too bad he didn't figure on 90 grain loads. About the time my fingers were so cold the felt like popsicles, Jim decided that he had won, and it was time to clean up and get a hot cup of coffee. Hoping that the coffee would spill on my frozen fingers, I conceded the match and head for his shop. Jim followed behind, grumbling about how the winner always ended up clean up the mess from the broken targets. Funny how that works, isn't it!

Over coffee and the smell of gun oil, we reminisced and lied to each other about this past hunting season. This issue of The Blackpowder Journal, is fodder for your time in front of the stove. There is a review of the Apollo in-line rifle, a wonderful article from a new author about his first black powder squirrel hunt, another great article from a Texas author and couple of how-to articles for the old and new shooter alike.

Hope you enjoy the new issue.

P.S. Just wanted to thank all our readers for a successful first year. We started out with a few hundred of you reading our first issue in April, 1996, and ended the year with over 5,000 readers visiting our October 1996, issue. We really appreciate your support. Keep an eye on us for some new features that we will be bringing you in the near future.

We want to give a special thanks to all the authors that have contributed to The Black Powder Journal. If you have an article that you would fit in BPJ, just send it to The Editor at BlackpowderJournal dot Com. Your comments and suggestions are always welcome.