Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Black Powder

Pace of life has been fast and exciting lately.  The observation of Martin Luther King Jr. afforded me a couple of hours to drive to my shooting range.  40 degree weather helped too.

I brought two guns.  The rifle is a percussion cap ,50 caliber Thompson New Englander I received as a gift from my Uncle Al while on a trip with Claire and Harris in Montana.  90 grains of ff black powder sends a lead ball down range with surprising accuracy.

The revolver is an Uberti replica of a 1860 Colt Army that fires .44 caliber balls truly with 30 grains fff black powder times six. Old school now, being Civil War era, however, this was a state of the art weapon used by both the North and the South.  

I enjoy shooting these guns because they demand a slower pace granting me time to think and to focus on accuracy.

While trying to hold steady on the paper in front of me,  I thought about how I would not want to load and fix the regular jams of these guns while someone was shooting at me.  I thought about the technology of these guns causing more American casualties than in all of the United States wars combined.  I thought about the causes of the Civil War.  I thought about MLK day, hatred and assassination.  I thought about more...

Shooting black powder is visceral; you feel the thud and hear the blast as wonderfully sulfurous smoke hangs in the air.  Today I learned that thinking while shooting has much the same effect.

No comments: