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Black powder Training Aids at BC Firearms Academy

Black powder Training Aids at BC Firearms Academy

Black powder Training Aids at BC Firearms Academy


Gunpowder, also known as black powder to distinguish it from modern smokeless gunpowder, is the earliest known chemical explosive. It consists of a mixture of sulfurcharcoal, and potassium nitrate (saltpeter).

Want to know more? Keep reading and sign up for a Canadian Firearms Safety Course CFSC at BC Firearms Academy.


Black powder Training Aids at BC Firearms Academy


Wadding, is made from felt, paper, cloth or card and has several different uses. In shotguns, a card wad or other secure wadding is used between the powder and the shot charge to prevent pellets from dropping into the powder charge and on top of the shot charge to hold it in place in the barrel. In smooth bore muskets and most rifles used prior to cartridges being introduced in the mid-to late nineteenth century, wadding was used primarily to hold the powder in place.

Muzzleloading firearms generally use round balls, cylindrical conical projectiles, and shot charges.

In some types of rifles firing round ball, a lubricated patch (see Kentucky rifle) of fabric is wrapped around a ball which is slightly smaller than the barrel diameter. In other types of round ball firing rifles, a ramrod and hammer is used to force the round ball down through the rifling. When fired, either the lead ball or the wrapping grips the rifling and imparts spin to the ball which usually gives improved accuracy. In rifles firing Minié balls, the patch, often the paper wrapping from the cartridge, is used as an initial seal and to hold powder in place during loading.

Minié ball 

The Minié ball replaced the round ball in most firearms, especially military, in the 1830s and 1840s.  It has a hollow base which expands to grip the rifling. The combination of the spinning Minié ball and the consistent velocity provided by the improved seal gave far better accuracy than the smoothbore muzzleloaders that it replaced.

Driven by demand for muzzleloaders for special extended primitive hunting seasons, firearms manufacturers have developed in-line muzzleloading rifles with designs similar to modern breech-loading centerfire designs. Knight Rifles pioneered the in-line muzzleloader in the mid-1980s, manufacturing and selling them to this day Savage Arms has created the 10ML-II, which can be used with smokeless powder, reducing the cleaning required

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