Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Muzzle Loader Cost spend Wisely


Price is only 25-50 dollars more for a flint. Same with used depends on your area. Caps, a tin is now 7$ to 9$ in a box store. T/C's Renegade avg sale price is 250$

Hawken 45-50 350$ 54 maybe 400$ is in really nice condition. 36-45 Seneca's 400$ and up towards 600$. 1:66 RB barrel an easy 225$ used in good condition.

Barrels 125-200$.

Locks 75-100 avg.

 Stocks bare 75-100 stock trimmed out 200$ plus.

Sights front and rear up to 50$ for both. 

 A CVA Mountain rifle with the American barrel 400$ up. Spanish barrel 300-350. Any big bore 54-58 will always bring premium price if in good condition. 

 Pawn shop finds in good condition are far and few between in my area ,(Athens GA). When I do come across a ML'r the first thing I do it test the lock then run a patch down the bore. If either one fails my price drops by 80$+ off the sellers asking fee.

  Like Glenn May mentioned , prices are getting higher. This is cause so many guys are willing to spend 1500-2 grand on a "custom" kit rifle. Soon the market will be flooded with 1500 dollar guns that at re-sale will bring maybe 1000$ and if a tad dirty or un-cared for 6-700$.

 A production so called high end runs around 750 1200$. Lyman's 600-750$--Traditions 400-750$. I have here a Mills percussion upland fowler 12 bore. The bore is a tad sketchy being a London fine twist. However it still looks better than most muzzle loaders I see that aren't near 180 years old. And it shoots!  The question you have to ask yourself is. How much will I be shooting this gun?  Hunting and a little target practice or hunting & light competition? Competition only? You get what you pay for.

  Most importantly you get what you put into it. A clean kept up 400$ gun is worth more than a hand built 2000$ one that looks like a sewer pipe on a fence post. 


 BPB FFL 35+ years cast my first RB at the age of 14/49 years ago. That's my opinion, your mileage may differ.

Friday, December 20, 2019

Open Letter Regarding the Franklin Armory Reformation Firearm

Open Letter Regarding the Franklin Armory Reformation Firearm

December 19, 2019


The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has received questions from industry members and the general public regarding a new type of firearm produced by the Franklin Armory®. This firearm, known as the "Reformation", utilizes a barrel that is produced with straight lands and grooves. This design contrasts with conventional rifling, in which the barrel's lands and grooves are spiral or twisted, and are designed to impart a spin onto the projectile.

The ATF Firearms and Ammunition Technology Division (FATD) has examined the Reformation firearm for purposes of classification under the applicable provisions of the Gun Control Act (GCA) and the National Firearms Act (NFA). During this examination, FATD determined that the straight lands and grooves incorporated into the barrel design of the Reformation do not impart a spin onto a projectile when fired through the barrel. Consequently, the Reformation is not a "rifle" as that term is defined in the GCA and NFA. Moreover, because the Reformation is not chambered for shotgun shells, it is not a shotgun as defined in the NFA. Given these determinations, the Reformation is classified as a shotgun that is subject only to the provisions of the GCA (i.e., it is not a weapon subject to the provisions of the NFA).
Under the provisions of the GCA, if a Reformation firearm is equipped with a barrel that is less than 18-inches in overall length, that firearm is classified to be a short-barreled shotgun (SBS). When a Reformation is configured as a GCA/SBS, specific provisions of the GCA apply to the transfer of that firearm from a Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL) to a non-licensee, and to the transport of that firearm by a non-licensee in interstate or foreign commerce.

These provisions are:
1. 18 U.S.C. § 922(a)(4) requires that an individual wishing to transport an SBS in interstate or foreign commerce obtain approval by the Attorney General to transport the firearm.
2. 18 U.S.C. § 922(b)(4) requires authorization from the Attorney General consistent with public safety and necessity prior to the sale or delivery of an SBS to an individual by an FFL.
The Attorney General has delegated the authority for approval of requests pursuant to these sections to ATF.

The Franklin Armory Reformation is the first firearm produced and sold by an FFL that ATF has classified as a GCA/SBS. Because GCA/SBS firearms have not previously been available in the marketplace, existing federal firearm regulations do not provide a mechanism to process or approve requests from FFLs for approval to transfer a GCA/SBS to a non-licensee pursuant to section 922 (b)(4) or requests from non-licensees to transport a GCA/SBS pursuant to section 922(a)(4).

ATF is currently developing the procedures and forms to address this new type of firearm. Once promulgated, these new procedures and forms will provide the mechanism necessary for FFL holders and owners of GCA/SBS firearms to request the statutorily required approvals. Until such time, you should be aware of the following:
1. An FFL may lawfully sell/transfer a GCA/SBS, such as the Reformation, to the holder of an appropriate FFL (a GCA/SBS cannot be transferred to the holder of a type 06 or type 03 FFL).

2. No mechanism currently exists for ATF to authorize a request from an FFL to transfer a GCA/SBS, such as the Reformation, to a non-licensee. Therefore, until ATF is able to promulgate a procedure for processing and approving such requests, an FFL may not lawfully transfer a Reformation configured as a GCA/SBS to a non-licensee.

3. No mechanism currently exists for an unlicensed individual who possesses a GCA/SBS, such as the Reformation, to submit a request and receive approval to transport the GCA/SBS across state lines. Therefore, until ATF is able to promulgate a procedure for processing and approving such requests, the possessor or owner of a GCA/SBS, such as the Reformation, may not lawfully transport the firearm across state lines.
Any questions pertaining to this Open Letter may be sent to the Firearms Industry Programs Branch at FIPB@atf.gov or (202) 648-7190.

Curtis W. Gilbert
Acting Assistant Director
Enforcement, Programs and Services

Friday, November 22, 2019

Miracle Cleaner Article MB 1992 Not Such a Miracle After All

Cheap and easier is never better. #blackpowderbill
I made some of this up after this article came to me with a CVA Hunter-Hawken I had won. About a year later while shooting on the range, in a match a bit of this cleaner mixed with BP goo splashed on my prescription safety glasses. As I wiped the spots off I noticed it had removed the anti glare/scratch finish off the lens!

I stopped using this Miracle that day and went back to water and a bit of soap. Soon after that I also stopped using those Chap stick scented Miracle greased patches in competition.
   Hope you can read these pages!
You may want to read my other articles on 1000 shot lubes and see how you've been had by that marketing miracles. Bore Butter & Mineral Oil

 Attached is the article:

Now if you want I can sell you a bottle of Scented Chap-Stick. Who am I to stop progress.
Regards BPB

Warning about windshield washer fluids: 
Windshield washer fluid anti freeze chemical is Methanol. Hey so mix away.

Incompatibility (Material to Avoid): Incompatible with beryllium dihydride; metals; oxidants; potassium tertbutoxide; carbon tetrachloride + metals; dichloromethane. Can react vigorously with oxidizing materials.
Explosive reaction with chloroform + sodium methoxide; diethyl zinc. Violent reaction with alkyl aluminum salts;
acetyle bromide; chloroform + sodium hydroxide; CrO3; cyanuric chloride; (I + ethanol + HgO); Pb(CIO4)2; HCIO4;
P2O3; (KOH + CHCI2); nitric acid.1
Hazardous Decomposition or By-products: When methanol is heated to decomposition, carbon dioxide and
carbon monoxide may be produced, as well as formaldehyde may be produced, and it emits acrid smoke and
irritating fumes. 1
Lewis, Richard J., Sr.: Sax’s Dangerous Properties of Industrial Materials, Eighth Edition. New York, New
York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1992.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

STOLEN CVA Silver Wolf 50 cal. Right Hand 1/38 Twist Side Lock - Black Powder Rifles

Great used fast twist side lock muzzle loader. You can shoot those big heavy conicals in 50 cal to take down the largest of game.
Local sales OK cash 275$ out the door. Accessories for sale on hand-Bring at least another 100-125$.

CVA Silver Wolf 50 cal. 1/38 Twist Side Lock - Black Powder Rifles

Friday, September 20, 2019

Muzzle Loader Barrel Pin Removal Made Easy

I have some work to do on a muzzleloader, it's in the white. The old boy who owned it passed away & his widow
 has requested that I finished it off so she can hang it up.

   Stock has to come off to do the work.
Don't want to go punch the pins out cuz little holes are nice and tight. Might chip the wood too!!

I raised the pins as far as I could and this is how I remove them.
I'm using a redneck lathe.

 Thanks for watching.

Visit me on Facebook & GunBroker

Thursday, September 19, 2019

FS: SOLD Thompson Center 36 cal Seneca Percussion Beautiful Conditionn!

SOLD thanks for looking. Keep an eye on the blog for more muzzle loaders,parts,modern rifles. 

Seneca T/C 36 cal Percussion with patch box
Appx 43:" OAL
LOP 14"
Double set trigger group
ADJ rear sight - fixed front blade

This rifle has a few handling marks nothing barks at you. Considering the age of these this one looks GREAT!

$400.00  Plus shipping figure 35$ insured to the lower 48 if I can get it in a flat rate box then it will shot to AK & HI as well for the same cost.

The Seneca is a scaled down version of the T/C Hawken styles of half stocks.


I'll ship where allowed it is up to you the purchaser to follow all Federal,State,Local regulations. You must be 21 to purchase this. By making a purchase from BPB you are stating that your are of age and sound mind to posses a muzzle loader.

Payment USPS money order

Thanks for looking and Please viist me on Face Book ,GunBroker & Ebay

Regards BPB

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Bore Cleaner: Ed's Red Replacement for Hatcher's Frankfort Arsenal No. 18

"Ed's Red" Bore Cleaner
Home Mix Really Works
By C.E. ''Ed'' Harris

     Four years ago I mixed my first "Ed's Red" or "ER" bore cleaner and hundreds of users have told me that they think this home-mixed cleaner is more effective than commercial products. I urge you to mix some and give it a fair trial, compared to whatever you have been using. Competitive shooters, gun clubs and police departments who use a gallon or more of rifle bore cleaner annually can save by mixing their own, and they will give up nothing in safety or effectiveness.

     This cleaner has an action very similar to standard military issue rifle bore cleaner, such as Mil-C-372B. Users report it is more effective than Hoppe's for removing plastic fouling in shotgun bores, or caked carbon fouling in semi-automatic rifles or pistols, or in removing leading in revolvers. It is not as effective as Sweets 7.62, Hoppe's Bench Rest Nine or Shooter's Choice for fast removal of heavy copper fouling in rifle bores. However, because "ER" is more effective in removing caked carbon and abrasive primer residues than other cleaners, metal fouling is greatly reduced when "ER" is used on a continuing basis.

     I originally came up with this mix because I am an active high power rifle competitive shooter and hand loading experimenter who uses a lot of rifle bore cleaner. I was not satisfied with the performance and high price of commercial products. I knew there was no technical reason why an effective firearm bore cleaner couldn't be mixed using common hardware store ingredients. The result is inexpensive, effective, provides good corrosion protection and adequate residual lubrication so that routine "oiling" after cleaning is rarely necessary, except for long-term storage of over 1 year, or harsh service environments, such as salt water exposure.
     This formula is based on proven principles and incorporates two polar and two nonpolar solvents. It is adapted from the one in Hatcher's Notebook for "Frankford Arsenal Cleaner No.18," but substituting equivalent modern materials. I had the help of an organic chemist in doing this and we knew there would be no "surprises." The original Hatcher formula called for equal parts of acetone, turpentine, Pratts Astral Oil and sperm oil, and optionally 200 grams of anhydrous lanolin added per liter. Some discussion of the ingredients is helpful to understand the properties of the cleaner and how it works.

     Pratts Astral oil was nothing more than acid free, deodorized kerosene. I recommend "K1" kerosene of the type normally sold for use in indoor space heaters. Some users have reported successful substitution of civilian aviation grade kerosene such as Turbo-A. I am reluctant to "recommend" substitution of aviation grade kerosene, because the effects upon firearm components of the additives required in aviation fuels are unknown. Some "jet- fuels" are gasoline/kerosene blends and absolutely should not be used, because of their increased flammability.

     An inexpensive, effective substitute for sperm oil is Dexron (II, IIe or III) automatic transmission fluid. Prior to about 1950 that most ATF's were sperm oil based, but during WWII a synthetic was developed for use in precision instruments. With the great demand for automatic transmission autos after WWII, sperm oil was no longer practical to produce ATF in the quantity demanded, so the synthetic material became the basis for the Dexron fluids we know today. The additives in ATFs which include organometallic antioxidants and surfactants, make it highly suitable for inclusion in an all-purpose cleaner-lubricant-preservative.

     Hatcher's original Frankford Arsenal No. 18 formula used gum spirits of turpentine. { BPB ask is thisTaloil? Leigh HiValley Lube idea came from?} Because turpentine is expensive today, and is also an "aromatic" solvent, which is highly flammable, I chose not to use it. Safer and cheaper is "aliphatic mineral spirits," a petroleum based "safety solvent" used for thinning oil based paints and also widely used as an automotive parts cleaner. It is commonly sold under the names "odorless mineral spirits," "Stoddard Solvent" or "Varsol".

     Acetone is included in "ER" to provide an aggressive, fast-acting solvent for caked powder residues. Because acetone is an aromatic, organic solvent, it is recommended that users leave it out if the cleaner will be used in enclosed spaces lacking forced air ventilation. The acetone in ER will evaporate, liberating volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the atmosphere unless containers are kept tightly closed when not in use. The cleaner is still effective without the acetone, but it is not as "fast-acting."

     There isn't anything in Ed's Red which chemically dissolves copper fouling in rifle bores, but it does a better job removing carbon and primer residue than anything else which is safe and commonly available. Numerous users have told me, that exclusive use of "ER" reduces copper deposits, because it removes the old impacted powder fouling which is left by other cleaners, which reduces the abrasion and adhesion of jacket metal to the bore surface, leaving a cleaner surface condition which reduces subsequent fouling. Experience seems to indicate that "ER" will actually remove metal fouling it if you let it "soak," so the surfactants will do the job, though you have to be patient.

     Addition of the lanolin to ER bore cleaner mix is entirely optional. The cleaner works quite well and gives adequate corrosion protection and lubrication for most users without it. Incorporating the lanolin makes the cleaner easier on the hands, and increases lubricity and film strength, and improves corrosion protection if weapons will be routinely exposed to salt air, water spray, industrial or urban corrosive atmospheres, or if you intend to use the cleaner as a protectant for long term storage of over 1 year.

     If you use other protective films for adverse use or long term storage you can leave the lanolin out and save about $8 per gallon. At current retail prices you can buy all the ingredients to mix ER, without the lanolin for about $10 per gallon. I urge you to mix some yourself. I am confident it will work as well for you as it does for me and hundreds of users who got the "recipe" on the Fidonet Firearms Echo.

CONTENTS: Ed's Red Bore Cleaner

1 part Dexron II, IIe or III ATF, GM Spec. D-20265 or later.
1 part Kerosene - deodorized, K1
1 part Aliphatic Mineral Spirits, Fed. Spec. TT-T-2981F, CAS
#64741-49-9, or may substitute "Stoddard Solvent", CAS #8052-41-3, or equivalent, (aka "Varsol")
1 part Acetone, CAS #67-64-1.
(Optional: Up to 1 lb. of Lanolin, Anhydrous, USP per gallon, OK to substitute Lanolin, Modified, Topical Lubricant, from the drug store)

     Mix outdoors, in good ventilation. Use a clean 1 gallon metal, chemical-resistant, heavy gage PET or PVC plastic container. NFPA approved plastic gasoline storage containers are also OK. Do NOT use HDPE, which is permeable, because the acetone will eventually evaporate. The acetone in ER will also attack HDPE, causing the container to collapse, making a heck of a mess!

     Add the ATF first. Use the empty container to measure the other components, so that it is thoroughly rinsed. If you incorporate the lanolin into the mixture, melt this carefully in a double boiler, taking precautions against fire. Pour the melted lanolin into a larger
container, rinsing the lanolin container with the bore cleaner mix, and stirring until it is all dissolved.

     I recommend diverting a small quantity, up to 4 ozs. per quart of the 50-50 ATF/kerosene mix for optional use as an "ER-compatible" gun oil. This can be done without impairing the effectiveness of the remaining mix.




   1. Flammable mixture. Keep away from heat, sparks or flame.

   2. FIRST AID, If swallowed DO NOT induce vomiting, call physician immediately. In case of eye contact immediately flush thoroughly with water and call a physician. For skin contact wash thoroughly.

   3. Use with adequate ventilation. Avoid breathing vapors or spray mist. It is a violation of Federal law to use this product in a manner inconsistent with its labeling. Reports have associated repeated and prolonged occupational overexposure to solvents with permanent brain and nervous system damage. If using in closed armory vaults lacking forced air ventilation wear respiratory protection meeting NIOSH TC23C or equivalent. Keep container tightly closed when not in use.

INSTRUCTIONS FOR USING "Ed's Red (ER)" Bore Cleaner:

   1. Open the firearm action and ensure the bore is clear. Cleaning is most effective when done while the barrel is still warm to the touch from firing. Saturate a cotton patch with bore cleaner, wrap or impale on jag and push it through the bore from breech to muzzle. The patch should be a snug fit. Let the first patch fall off and do not pull it back into the bore.

   2. Wet a second patch, and similarly start it into the bore from the breech, this time scrubbing from the throat area forward in 4-5" strokes and gradually advancing until the patch emerges out the muzzle. Waiting approximately 1 minute to let the bore cleaner soak will improve its action.

   3. For pitted, heavily carbon-fouled "rattle battle" guns, leaded revolvers or neglected bores a bronze brush wet with bore cleaner may be used to remove stubborn deposits. This is unnecessary for smooth, target-grade barrels in routine use.

   4. Use a final wet patch pushed straight through the bore to flush out loosened residue dissolved by Ed's Red. Let the patch fall off the jag without pulling it back into the bore. If you are finished firing, leaving the bore wet will protect it from rust for 1 year under average conditions.

   5. If the lanolin is incorporated into the mixture, it will protect the firearm from rust for up to two years. For longer term storage I recommend use of Lee Liquid Alox as a Cosmolene substitute. "ER" will readily remove hardened Alox or Cosmolene.

   6. Wipe spilled Ed's Red from exterior surfaces before storing the gun. While Ed's Red is harmless to blue and nickel finishes, the acetone it contains is harmful to most wood finishes).

   7. Before firing again, push two dry patches through the bore and dry the chamber, using a patch wrapped around a suitably sized brush or jag. First shot point of impact usually will not be disturbed by Ed's Red if the bore is cleaned as described.

   8. I have determined to my satisfaction that when Ed's Red is used exclusively and thoroughly, that hot water cleaning is unnecessary after use of Pyrodex or military chlorate primers. However, if bores are not wiped between shots and are heavily caked from black powder fouling, hot water cleaning is recommended first to break up heavy fouling deposits. Water cleaning should be followed by a thorough flush with Ed's Red to prevent after-rusting which could result from residual moisture. It is ALWAYS good practice to clean TWICE, TWO DAYS APART whenever using chlorate primed ammunition, just to make sure you get all the corrosive residue out.

  In Home Mix We Trust, Regards, Ed               

  Updated & Revised 9-29-95.            

Warning: All technical data mentioned, especially handloading, reflect the limited experience of individuals using specific tools, products, equipment and components under specific conditions and circumstances not necessarily reported in the article or on this web site and over which this web site or the author has no control. The above has no control over the condition of your firearms or your methods, components, tools, techniques or circumstances and disclaims all and any responsibility for any person using any data mentioned. Always consult recognized reloading manuals.

  This "Recipe" is placed in the public domain, and may be freely distributed provided that it is done so in its entirely with all current revisions, instructions and safety warnings included herein, and that proper attribution is given to the author.

Monday, August 26, 2019

For Sale:SOLD New & Used Black Powder Rifle,Huntsman Barrel & Revolvers

 All SOLD except the Grey Wolf---Grey Wolf STOLEN from Section 8 Armament Colbert GA Dec. 30 2020-----

Oh another sweet batch of BP goodies headed my way. If any of you recall the ones I offered in 2018? Well these are even nicer as per the owner. I have not had anything arrive from this gentleman that was the least bit questionable beyond a little TLC oil and wipe down.
THEY HAVE ARRIVED!!!! T/C 50 CAL KIT GUN new nipple installed wiped off in and out lubed the lock ready to travel. A few handling marks other wise good to hunt with once you sight it in. 325$ shipped

CVA revolver includes original box and holster 225$ shipped.

Pietta blued revolver includes holster(Holster ain't nothing special) 250$ shipped.

 I'm still out on the stainless Pietta 44 with holster.. Most likely ohhhh 300$ shipped. These prices are not the auction cost.

 If they do not sell directly from me and go to auction the fee will include auction %.

Remember it is up to you to abide by all Federal,State,Local regulations. Even though these are black powder replicas. Payment money order.

BPB FFL licensed in GA 30+ years Veteran owned.

 Here are the pictures to wet your appetite.

 T/C  . 50 cal. Rifle = short stock ( K-129655 )  overall good condition.

- CVA Rifle =  , .50 cal, With extra Huntsman .50 cal barrel, with Bushnell scope. Huntsman Barrel may sell separately

- CABELAS  Pistol =  58 New army, .44 cal. S.S. Revolver. ( Bought in 2003. Never Fired) with custom hand tooled holster.

- CVA Revolver = A7-1964 Army style revolver, ___ cal.  =  ?, Used / Avg good condition, With shoulder holster.

- F. Llipietta - Italy Revolver ( # 540124 )=  .36 cal., Army Style revolver, Used / avg. good condition (chip in butt end of one grip / couple be repaired relative easy), With holster.

 I'll set price on these after inspection.

As always selling directly you save the 10% auction fees.  All items paid for ship with in 2-3 days USPS flat rate & insured is usually the best. Sales price may or may not include shipping. With that being said it's a min of 25$ and so far this year the most it has been is 45$ for a long rifle.

Remember it is up to you to follow all Federal-State-Local regulations and restrictions on the possession of firearms including muzzle loaders.

Regards Thanks for looking

Licensed FFL 30+ years
Veteran owned

Thursday, August 1, 2019

For Sale:SOLD PF Flintlock 12 ga Sitting Fox Smooth Bore For Sale Never Fired!

A really nice older Smooth Bore!
Had a 12 bore smoothie come in on consignment, it needed a little TLC. Circa is 1970's.
Made a few small repairs, she does need matching wedge pins. Price is 700$ due to the fact I have over 4 hours clean up work in this piece. 

Have to get paid so I may as well tell folks up front. See picture on details on sheet. 

FYI: It does have an early Siting Fox [42" appx barrel] as the SF stamp is on the top flat. 
Dixie Works lock made in Italy

Hand carved stock from A Vermont maple.

You can see the frizzen face has only a few marks. These are from me testing the lock.

 Repaired the frizzen

Adjusted spring on trigger You may have to re-adjust so it doesn't hit the wood when screwed down. 

 Installed a tennon 

 Under 6-1/2 pounds

Monday, July 22, 2019

New Yorkisstan Opossum Cops & Park Rangers Wave A Wand Management

Ah the good ol political arm of Gov. Cuomo. Remember when NY had Game Wardens and Park Rangers? Remember when the Game Warden went to Super Trooper...I do.
 Remember when the Park Rangers with the help of the FUDD's pushed for Park Rangers to carry sidearms? I do...
Remember when the NYS Troopers who's pay was supposedly substandard? Remember when the NYS police promoted a whole bunch of troopers to Major then they retired at a higher rate of pay? I do....

Living in Georgia one of the original 13 colonies , just like NY is. Cept a whole lot better.

New York ECOs forced to cut back enforcement

By Larry DiDonato

 For Columbia-Greene Media  July 19, 2019

In last week’s column entitled, “The Thin Green Line,” I extolled the value of our dedicated NYS Environmental Conservation Officers (ECOs), to the residents of New York.

I explained that “…highly trained Environmental Conservation Officers (ECOs)… are fervently patrolling every corner of the state 24/7, 365 days per year.” Well, apparently DEC Commissioner, Basil Seggos, doesn’t think that should continue to be the case. 
As of the end of June 2019, ECOs are NOT allowed to patrol a huge swath of the state. Almost all of the state lands of NYS are off limits to ECOs to combat poaching and protect your natural resources on those lands!  That’s not a misprint, or mischaracterization.
Under these new restrictions, ECOs can only proactively patrol private land, and a few campgrounds in Lake George in Region 5.

 Why you ask?

 These are the campgrounds NYS Forest Rangers do not want to be responsible to keep the peace there during peak camping weekends. Forest Rangers want to be solely responsible for fish & game, and all other enforcement on all other public lands, and the Commissioner is making it happen.

This stops ECOs from enforcement on public lands they routinely patrolled in the past. None of the reasons for the drastic change are very good.
For those who are unfamiliar, the majority of Region 5, which runs from Clifton Park to the Canadian Border, consists of state lands, the majority of which are in the Adirondack Park. That includes Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) where hunting is a primary use and where pheasants are stocked. It also includes forest preserve, and wilderness areas.

A similar situation exists in the Catskills and elsewhere throughout the state, where state land can make-up the majority of ECO sectors. What are the ECOs to do if they cannot proactively patrol these millions of acres for poaching and environmental quality violations?
In many cases, an ECO’s entire patrol sector is comprised almost exclusively of state land. ECOs used to routinely run roads on state lands, arresting deer poachers, road hunters, dumpers, and much more. Your sporting license dollars, to the tune of around $30 million annually, pay for some of these ECO’s salaries, which are meant to fund, support, and protect legal hunting, fishing and trapping in NYS. What are you getting for all that money?

So, with this ridiculous restriction, the public, including all sportsmen and women, are losing protection of our precious resources on public lands across the entire state. All because favorites are being picked and civil service rulings either ignored or circumvented.
NYS Forest Rangers are experts in Search & Rescue, Wildland Fire Management and Suppression, and the Incident Command System (ICS). They are the preeminent experts in these areas. We are lucky to have Rangers highly trained in aviation-hoist operations, swift water rescue, rope rescue, flat ice rescue and much more.

This is especially true when it comes to overland searches for lost persons, and dangerous technical rescues. Forest Rangers spend most of their training time dedicated to these noble pursuits, and little, if any, on combating poaching, pollution and the myriad duties ECOs spend a career learning, honing, and aptly delivering to the people of the State of NY.

I can speak from experience, that after more than six months at a police training academy covering topics ranging from fishing and hunting enforcement tactics to illegal radioactive waste detection, it takes at least five years to become a fully functioning, effective ECO.
I will take the educated guess the same is true for Forest Rangers in their areas of expertise. So why would Commissioner Seggos want Forest Rangers to do work they have not been trained to do, and stop ECOs from doing the work they are uniquely qualified to do?
Several years ago, with the wave of a political wand, the Criminal Procedure Law was changed to make Forest Rangers Police Officers without their receiving any additional training. Under Commissioner Seggos, DEC Executive is about to make NYS Forest Rangers into ECOs with the stroke of a pen!

Both these measures are being taken to justify an increase in salary for Forest Rangers. In my opinion, the substantial, specialized expertise required to be a Forest Ranger and the level of service they provide in their traditional search & rescue and wildland fire suppression role, is more than adequate to justify a pay increase for Rangers.
Instead, DEC is taking away critical functions of ECOs and diminishing fish & game as well as environmental quality enforcement in this state. All in order to circumvent the legally proscribed administrative process through NYS Civil Service regarding salary upgrades for the Rangers. This is absolutely ludicrous.

The Adirondack Daily Enterprise ran a piece on December 27, 2018 entitled, “DEC Wants to Consolidate Ranger and ECO Titles.” The article quotes DEC Public Information Officer, Ben DeLamater, as stating in an email, “DEC has been working with the New York State Department of Civil Service to support an upgrade of the Ranger title.” The quote continues, “…Forest Rangers and ECOs receive similar training and perform similar duties and functions but were not in similar civil service titles.”

Stating that ECOs and Forest Rangers “…receive similar training and perform similar duties and functions,” is simply not true and entirely misleading. As I described earlier, the highly specialized training, function, duties, and roles of ECOs and Forest Rangers could not be more different. Each has a unique specialization requiring entirely different expert level training.

In that same article, Willie Janeway, Director of the Adirondack Council, indicated the “…forest preserve role of the Rangers will suffer. We should pay the Forest Rangers more…without consolidating the Rangers with the Environmental Conservation Officers. Janeway said, As a former DEC Regional Director, I have seen the value of the independent and complementary roles of the Rangers and the ECOs.”

This is not the first time civil service procedure has been circumvented by Commissioner Seggos. A few years ago, there was a vacancy for the DEC Director of Fish & Wildlife. Despite  having his pick of a number of extremely qualified DEC senior biologists at the top of the civil service list with extensive experience in the position, Commissioner Seggos selected someone outside the department that was not on any civil service list.
Just over a year ago, Commissioner Seggos similarly disregarded the list for the Director of DEC’s Division of Law Enforcement. Ignoring a list of nine extremely qualified ECO majors and captains within the division, he chose a director that was not even on the list; forever politicizing the leadership of both divisions, thereby guaranteeing loyalty from of his newly appointed chiefs.

Throwing ECOs off state lands and handcuffing their efforts to fight poaching and pollution for political expediency is wrong. Asking hunters, trappers and fishermen to pay for it is not only insulting, it’s a call to take appropriate action to prevent this from going forward.

Happy Hunting & Fishing until next time.

Remember to report poaching violations by calling 1-844-DEC-ECOS.
News and Notes
There will be a pistol licensing course on July 25 from 6:30-9:30 p.m. at the Craryville Rod & Gun Club. Cost of the course required to obtain a NYS pistol permit is $50. To sign up, contact Kevin Hill at 518-821-4747, or Mike Kutski at 518-651-5866.
**You will need to get an application before this course at the Sheriff’s Office in Greenport.
The next Lake Taghkanic Bass Tournament will be held at West Beach at Lake Taghkanic, on Saturday, August 10 from 4-11 a.m. All are welcome to compete. For more information, call Bill Johnson at 518-537-5455.
Save the Dates:
Greene County Youth Fair at Canna Park in Cairo - Thursday, July 25 through Sunday, July 28
Come visit the DEC “Living Stream” tank with “Trophy the Trout,” talk to fish & wildlife technicians and identify furs, and animal tracks, and try your hand at the NY Bowhunter’s Archery Booth, or “I Fish NY’s” casting and fish ID game.
You can see about participating in the Youth Pheasant Hunt coming up in September and talk to veteran sportsman volunteers and ECOs to help you get out hunting, fishing, trapping, and camping. All while taking in everything the free fair has to offer including animal shows and displays. Don’t miss this free, fun event.
Roe-Jan Creek Boat Club Annual Chicken BBQ - August 11
This event will take place on August 11.  Grounds open at 1 p.m., dinner at 3 p.m. Cost for adults is $12, kids $6. Call Barbara at 518-828-7173 for more information, or the club at 518-828-5954 and leave a call-back number.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Ballistol is it a Magical Black Powder Elixir or an Over Priced Concoction?

Picture is for you're viewing pleasure.

Ballistol some love it, others can do with out the 16$ per pint cost of the "white mineral oil" with smelly stuff added.
One warning is this: Harmful to aquatic life with long lasting effects. Then one chemical used in the aerosol is Isohexane C6H14 & propane as the propellant . DANGER: FLAMMABLE, causes CNS effects, irritates skin & eyes. The funny part is it is manufactured in Martinsburg WV by Chem-Pak. It's also flammable especially in aerosol. You visit the Ballistol facts page and it states no harmful chemicals. Yet if you read a number of MSDS reports and you'll find a totally different conclusion. Ballistol is based on medicinal grade white mineral oil, (CAS # 8042-47-5) which has been classified "Class 3" by the IARC. This means that there is insufficient evidence for this substance to cause cancer in animals or humans. Ballistol does not contain any substance currently known to be a carcinogen. ---- Because of the high Ph 8.5-9.5 Ballistol states it is good for galvanic corrosion,salt water and acidic protection -- [IMPO to a point]. So while some think it's Great, I tend to shy away from high priced cleaners that advertise one thing and are another. Really here is a list of chemicals used in Ballistol. pharmaceutical white oil: CAS RN 8042-47-5 Oleic acid: CAS RN 112-80-1 C-5 alcohols: CAS RN 78-83-1; CAS RN 137-32-6; CAS RN 100-51-6 different essential oils to perfume Ballistol Mineral Oil Potassium Oleate Ammonium Oleate Benzyl Alcohol Amyl Alcohol Isobutyl Alcohol Benzyl Acetate Anethole Isohexane (aerosol only) A quick search of Ballistol MSDS and you will find several reports. MSDS I have to ask why would a skinflint muzzle loader fella spend 16$ or more dollars on a pint of cleaner. When you can get a whole gallon of food grade white mineral oil for 20 bucks? For that cost you can get a little bottle of smelly oil and add it to the mix if you really want a cute smelling cleaner. IMPO: In My Professional Opinion, working smart using less money to achieve the same outcome should be foremost in any shooters budget. One reason I know about all kinds of lubricants is I have attended hundreds of hours formal class room training in the use and make up of oils,lubricants and greases. When a vendor wants to sell you a drum of mineral oil as the best and it cost 3 times as much you were paying. It's time start looking for another vendor that is willing to show and explain the differences to you. Really folks you use a flavored butter that is sold as all "natural" non-petrolatum. Then you use mineral oil is a liquid by-product of refining crude oil to make gasoline and other petroleum products. This type of mineral oil is a transparent, colorless oil, composed mainly of alkanes and cycloalkanes, related to petroleum jelly. My God man buy a bottle of Baby Oil it's already scented & save some cash!!

Oh yea Ballistol is an Over Priced Flav-Aid. Thank You for years of honest service Davis-Howland oil Rochester NY. Regards, BPB FFL 30+ years

Monday, July 8, 2019

Bore Butter Muzzle Loader Myths-Just the Facts Man!

Bore Butter ain't it so..... 
Flavored Chapstick 

Tired of typing this story and found it here Frontier forum Bore Butter

Enjoy BPB

I just wanted to copy and paste it because it may be gone one day. This is something good to always keep on hand for those that ever come by asking about it.

I have worked for several years on lubricants for muzzle loading rifles
and just received this from a good friend of mine and he asked me to
comment on it and provide my input---he has used my lubricant for
competitive shooting and will not use anything else to shoot and to clean
with--i thought it would be a good subject to start a good discussion
about---and the pro's and con's of the different type of lubricants and
what is the majority of the peoples preference in a lubricant.

 I know we
have had some discussion in the past so this may add to the base of
knowledge---it was real interesting to me and brought out some
interesting points---my personal feeling is there is a difference in
patch lubricants depending on hunting and target shooting---yet you must
have one you can do both with and not have to rezero your gun for eather
type of shooting---have tried everything including the web terry teflon
ticking and each has its place in different types of shooting and

please feel free to provide me your input even offline if you wish--again
thanks for your future input--no flame wars only positative discussion
and what you feel is a good and proper patch lubricant and why---note i
am not hammering on the products mentioned only trying to establish a
good base line for proper patch lubricants--

Subject: Re: lube

I tried the Wonder 1000 theory, and I'd love to see someone
actually do that. I've watched 5 different guys try it, and the record
is 8
shots, same as I got. Of course, another way to look at it is: on any
given day that I am hunting deer with it and I get off 10 shots and
don't have a deer to show for it, I probably ought to go home and give
some serious consideration to what I am doing wrong.


You have no idea how much humor has come out of Ox-Yoke's claims on the
1000 Shot Plus lube. To the point where some of us now call them
Ox-Joke. With any of my three BP rifles "an historic feat" is getting the
4th ball down the bore without resorting to a bigger hammer.
I'll run you through the full story since the snow has started to fall.
Lets go back to the early 1980's.

A shooter/buckskinner by the name of Young, living in California, went
to the range one day and forgot his patch lube. In utter desperation he
whips out a tube of Chap-Stick and smears it on a few patches. Lo &
Behold it worked better than the lube he had been using. Several of his
buddies tried his idea and reported it worked well.

So Young then tracked down the source of Chap- Stick which is a common lip balm
formulation that has been floating around since the late 19th century.
Chap-Stick is petrolatum (petroleum jelly) with 5% cetyl alcohol and
water. The cetyl alcohol acting as the emulsifier. With the cetyl
alcohol the water forms minute beads within the petrolatum. Without the
cetyl alcohol you can't get the water to mix in any way with the
petrolatum. Huge quantities of cetyl alcohol are used in the production
of PVC emulsion resins used in kitchen flooring. (My old job was as an

Tech. on these resins.) The petrolatum is the moisture barrier and
carrier for a topical agent used to soothe chapped lips. The water
emulsified into the petrolatum reduces the drag of the "stick" when you
apply it to your lips and acts as the moisturizing agent. Young then
finds a place to buy Chap-Stick in bulk and packages it as Young Country
Arms 103 Lube.

That his lube and Chap->Stick are identical in every
respect, right down to the color, suggested he simply bought from the
makers of Chap-Stick in bulk quantities. Now Ted Bottomly had started
Ox-Yoke and made pre-cut patches and packs of patch cloth. He wanted a
patch lube to round out his line. He bought the first Ox-Yoke lube from
Young. When I first saw them I was at the late C.P. Wood's house in West
Virginia. Woody was looking at a 4 ounce container of Young Country 103
and a 3 ounce container of Ox-Yoke's patch lube.

Both were identical in every respect, including color. You paid the same
price for 3 ounces of Ox-Yoke's lube as you paid for 4 ounces of Young's
lube. The logical conclusion would be that Ox-Yoke was buying from Young
and the missing ounce was Ox-Yoke's profit on the deal.

Both were advertising their respective lubes in the magazines. Young
advertised that you could fire a hundred rounds without wiping the bore
with his lube. Three months later, Ox-Yoke would advertise that when you
used their lube you could fire 200 rounds without wiping the bore. The 3
month lag time in the mags being the lag time in getting adds scheduled.
This went on, each one upping the ante, so to speak.
Those of us connected with the Buckskin Report discussed this in letters
and thought it a great joke.

The others in the field at that time were Hodgdon with their "Spit-Patch"
which was nothing more than beeswax emulsified in water with a soap.
Then there was T/C Maxi-Lube which was nothing more than the same
petroleum grease they used to grease the bearings in their machines.
Blue and Grey products was selling an automotive wheel bearing grease
that had been pigmented, not dyed, blue. I receieved several letters from
Doc Carlson. He was seeing BP muzzleloaders come into his shop with
balls or slugs stuck in the bore just ahead of the powder charge. You
could not pull these projectiles by any normal method.

He would have to remove the breech plugs, pull the charge and beat them
out of the bore, toward the muzzle with a heavy rod and a hammer. He
described the presence of a black tar-like film in the bore where the
projectiles had been frozen in place. The common thread in this being
that the shooter had used one of the "petroleum-based" lubes. I had to
explain to Doc that the petroleum greases were nothing more than
petroleum lubricating oils that had been "bodied" by the addition of
metallic soaps such as calcium or cadmium stearate. With a petroleum
lubricating oil, or grease, anytime you heat them to a high temperature
in the presence of sulfur you get asphalt. The way asphalts were
produced was to take crude oil and sulfur in an autoclave.

Heat the
mixture to 600 degrees for about 8 hours
and you had road tar. Which is about what was happening in the gun.
Since the repackaged Chap-Stick was a petroleum wax it did not form
asphalt with sulfur and high temperatures. I then wrote an article for
the Backwoodsman magazine and compared the behavior of the two Chap-Stick
lubes to the behavior of sperm whale oil when it had been used in black
powder guns.

Well, Old Ted Bottomly jumped right onto that one. three months later
he starts advertising that his lube is "all-natural, non-petroleum" and
authentic, using what our ancesters had used. At that point I figured
his parents were to Christian to call him asshole so they settled for
Bottomly. By about 1984, Bottomly and Young had a falling out over
pricing. The one ounce shy thing with Ox-Yoke pushed most of the
customers to Young's lube. Same thing, same price but more of it with
Young Country 103. And by this time we were up to 800 rounds between
swabbings. Technology marches on. Bottomy came out with his first Wonder
Lube. Years of research went into this lube, or so he claimed. Now at
this time Ox-Yoke was located in West Suffield, CT.

 A short time later I
was searching the drugstore shelves looking for petrolatum-based skin
care products or salves that I coulde repackage and become a millionaire
. I spotted this tube of something
called "Mineral Ice". Menthol in petrolatum. Made by a Dermatone
Laboratories located in Suffield, CT. Out comes the map. just by a
mere coincidence both companies were located just across the river from
each other.

This of course raised doubts as to the "years of research"
comments out of Bottomly. The new Wonder Lube went into the lab. Proved
to be mineral oil, paraffin wax, a yellow dye and oil of wintergreen. A
book at work on fats, waxes and oils nailed this one down to a common
chest rub preparation for those with head colds who could not tolerate
camphorated oil. Again it was billed as "all-natural and non-petroleum".
Never mind that paraffin wax comes from paraffinic crude oils and mineral
oil comes from napthenic crude oils, the yellow dye and the oil of
wintergreen should convince anybody that it is all-natural and
non-petroleum. Given the wax and oil, I simply refer to this type of lube
as a remanufactured vaseline. With the yellow dye the rubes will swear
it is beeswax.

One thing about con artists is that they are never content to leave a
con artest for any length of time. In 1990, Bottomly comes out with a
new version called 1000 Shot Plus lube. High-technology now made
possible a lube that eliminated fouling, eliminated the need to clean and
would totally stop bore corrosion. Bottomly searched the world for this
modern technology and found it in Germany after years of searching.

advance in this lube was made possible by this
secret micronizing agent. It gave the lube a micron particle size that
made all of this advancement possible. At that point his chest thumping
ego trip gave away the formula. This secret micronizing agent is no real
secret and has been around for over 100 years. It is nothing more than a
fossil wax mined in Germany. The same time of wax used to be mined in
Utah as Utah Wax but the mine closed for lack of business.

Paraffin wax is a hard brittle wax that forms huge crystals. When you
look at a block of paraffin wax sold for food canning you see lines on
the surface of the blocks of wax. Those are the lines denoting crystal
size. It had been found that if you added this fossil wax to paraffin
wax it would reduce the size of these crystals, though nowhere near a
micron in size. Paraffin wax was limited in which skin care and salve
formulations it could be used in because of the macro-crystallinty of it.
This made it unsuited to preparations where hardness and brittleness
were objectionable. By using the fossiol wax addition the paraffin wax
could replace more expensive waxes in these products. But when you lay
this type of Techno-Nonsense on a bunch of ignorant rube BP shooters they
will beat a path to your door, wallet in hand.

Now, to get back to an historic feat of 3 shots without swabbing the
bore. The problem with this type of lube is that as long as the surface
temperature of the bore is above the melting point of the wax, about 40
to 45 C, the fouling deposited by the combustion of the powder will slide
off the metal when pressure is applied to it. When the surface
temperature of the bore is below the melting point of the wax it will act
as an adhesive and hold the fouling to the surface. The unburned
charcaol in the powder fouling will adsorb most of the mineral oil
present in the lube. This turns it into an oily sludge that simply
builds up in the breech with repeated loading of the gun. After a few
rounds are fired in a flinter you have the oily sludge being blown out of
the vent which then coats the flint and frizzen. Lubricated flints
strike no sparks.

Now for the real punch line. With the addition of the micronizing agent
they doubled the amount of dye used so the new lube was more orange in
color, compared to the lemon yellow of the previous version, and they
doubled the amount of oil of wintergreen. Convince the rubes that it is
now even more natural. During the past few years there has been much
bitching about the quality of Ox-Joke's pre-lubed patches. I have seen
packs in the store where the lube had turned hard and brown. The mineral
oil migrates out of the paraffin wax into the low density polyethlene
used in the bags. This makes the lube hard and brittle. It goes back to
paraffin wax properties. With these an historic feat is getting the
second ball down the barrel without wiping. Ox-Joke supplies T/C with
Bore Butter which is only a slight modification
of Ox-Joke's standard formula.

Remember the dbate about blowing down the barrel on the message boards.
My off line joke was that as long as you use the repackaged Chap-Stick as
a patch lube you would not get chapped lips from blowing down a cold

Then their was Uncle Mike's Apple Green patch lube. Another paraffin
wax/mineral oil lube with methylsalicin in it. Nothing more than a
repackaged arthritis salve. I can tell you that is was very effective on
a knee suffereing degenerative joint disease. So if you are going to go
out in those North Woods in winter weather to hunt the elusive whitetail
you ought to take all three lubes along. Prevent chapped lips, take care
of chest colds and arthritic joints from all of the hoofing through the
snow. No reason for you to return home in anything less than the best of
health in spite ot the weather. Might be a good idea to take along one of
the ascorbic acid-based powders since that is vitamin C. Then Goex's
sugar-based powder might make an emergency trail food.

I joke with Dixon that it is bad enough we have to deal with the ATF,
what next with these products, the Food and Drug Administration too???
Well, time to go sit out on the deck for a smoke and listen to the snow
flakes fall.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Interview with Ron Dahlitz, the "Buffalo Bullet King"

Buffalo Bullet is out of business now since the owner has passed on. Industry rumors are alive that say they are gonna start back up. The last Buffalo Bullets I sold were in 2016 after picking up a lot from a guy who was hawking a lot of muzzle loader goodies.
Those bullets were a good 10 years old.

Enjoy the article 


Interview with Ron Dahlitz, the "Buffalo Bullet King"

By Randy Wakeman

Buffalo Bullets
Illustration courtesy of Buffalo Bullet Co.
I had the chance to catch up with the always busy Ron Dahlitz, the affable proprietor of the Buffalo Bullet Company, the largest market of muzzleloading projectiles in the world. Mr. Dahlitz graciously consented to this interview, and there is certainly a lot to learn about the Buffalo Bullet Company of Santa Fe Springs, California that isn't commonly known.

The Interview

RW: Ron, thank you for taking the time to chat. For starters, let me ask how a nice fellow like you began making muzzleloading bullets? Also, what was the story behind the original patented "Buffalo Bullet," that you applied for in 1981 (U.S. Patent # 4,417,521) and was awarded to you back in 1983?

Ron Dahlitz
Ron Dahlitz / Photo by Randy Wakeman.
RD: In 1989, I had the opportunity for my first deer hunt with a muzzleloader. I shot a fork horn with my .50 caliber Thompson Hawken using a patched round ball. It was a solid shot in the chest and still the deer ran almost a quarter mile before calling it quits.

I decided that a better projectile was required for a clean harvest. At that time, the only other commonly available projectiles were hard cast, unlubed bullets that just would not expand on anything short of a granite rock! My neighbor, close friend, and mentor was Frank W. Snow, the founder of Sierra bullets. When I discussed with Frank the problems I had witnessed with muzzleloading projectiles, he suggested that I design a better bullet.

After numerous prototypes, it wasn't until we added two gas sealing rings to the bullet that excellent accuracy was obtained with higher velocity loads. These gas seals proved effective in stopping gas from escaping around the bullet. It was then that I applied for, and was granted the "Buffalo Bullet" patent.

RW: It has been my view that pure lead has been generally the best muzzleloading material that you can use for North American game, assuming muzzle velocities are held below 2200 fps. Is it fair to say that you share that opinion?

RD: By using only pure virgin lead, our projectiles invariably expand retaining most of their original weight while still offering deep penetration. We believe the quality of the lead we use is vital; that's why we periodically send out samples to independent testing laboratories to assure we are getting what we pay for, and that our customers are as well.

RW: What are some of the shortcomings of jacketed bullets, in a muzzleloading application, that you have seen?

RD: Unfortunately, most jacketed bullets used in muzzleloaders are nothing more than revolver bullets. They usually have very poor ballistic coefficients and are not designed for long range shooting. With the deficient ballistic coefficient situation, they rapidly lose velocity. When that occurs, they can behave just like a full metal jacketed bullet with little or no expansion. The copper jacket has the tendency to retard expansion at most muzzleloading velocities. That is the primary reason we use unjacketed pure lead. Removing the jacket allows the lead to do what it does best, expand.

RW: I believe all of your bullets, whether round balls, conicals, or saboted projectiles use swaged lead that eliminates the problems of hidden voids, or casting marks such as sprues in round balls. How important is swaging versus casting, in your experience?

RD: Swaging or cold forming has many advantages over casting. Casting has a tendency to harden the lead, defeating the goal of optimum expansion we can achieve with cold forming. Due to the precision of forming our bullets under tons of pressure in precision dies, higher uniformity and consistency of performance is obtained as compared to other methods.

RW: Where does all your lead come from? I believe all your bullets are held to a weight variation of less than two tenths of a grain. How do you insure this?

RD: Buffalo Bullet's lead is mined and processed in the United States. Independent analysis assures us of a 99% purity level. The combination of consistent lead and precision tooling gives us the match grade weight tolerance of plus or minus two tenths of one grain, batch to batch, bullet to bullet.

RW: Your bore sized conicals are available pre-lubricated with a film that offers some unique benefits over messy Crisco or Bore Butter. Can you tell me a bit about what it is without giving up any trade secrets, and what it does?

RD: Our specific lube remains a "trade secret," but it is a non-petroleum formulation that has proven to be extremely effective.

RW: What is the effective velocity limitation of your lubed conicals?

RD: Provided that you have an extremely high quality barrel, you can use our conicals at up to 1800 fps with little or no leading. For most hunting applications, we look to the 1500-1600 fps area for the best accuracy. At the average distances most game is harvested, the pure lead bullet will expand to a degree that ensures a clean kill.

RW: What is the most "unusual" lead order you have had? What do you consider to be one of Buffalo's most disastrous products, and what do you consider to be your most successful contribution?

RD: We once had an order for a very complicated shotgun slug, so complicated we were not able to manufacture it.

Two of our most unsuccessful offerings were a 490 grain .50 caliber conical, and a 510 grain .54 caliber conical. In fast rate-of-twist barrels, however, they shot extremely well. The objection seemed to be the recoil associated with these heavyweights. Most shooters avoided them due to the kick, so we dropped them out of our line.

Our most popular products are our black powder revolver bullets, the SSB line ("Special Sabot Bullets"), our Ball-Et, and our muzzleloading rifle scope protectors.

RW: According to sabot pioneer Del Ramsey, the sabot used in conjunction with your "Buffalo Special Sabot Bullet" (SSB) was the first to have a reinforced portion to support the boat-tail. As a matter of fact, your SSB is, to my knowledge, the first muzzleloading projectile to offer a true boat-tail to the muzzleloading hunter. How did the Buffalo SSB come to be?

RD: When the Buffalo Bullet Company was founded, flintlock or sidelock models with 1:48 and 1:66 rate of twist barrels were the standard of the day. Round balls and shorter conicals addressed their needs adequately. With the introduction of 1:28 twist, or faster barrels as currently found in most inline muzzleloaders, it became apparent that long range projectiles were needed. To address this need, a spitzer boat tail bullet with a very high ballistic coefficient was required. The basic idea was inspired by Sierra's "International Match" bullet. Scoped muzzleloaders can better take advantage of this type of projectile, naturally, as the effective limits of most human eyes are exceeded.

RW: Generally, I've found your 375 grain Buffalo SSB to be one of the most forgivingly accurate bullets you can use, in a wide variety of guns. Has that been your experience, and could you share your thoughts on why that is?

RD: The 375 grain SSB is one of our most popular bullets. As you pointed out, this particular bullet is a very forgiving bullet in most rifles, including both inlines and sidelocks. This has been true even with slower, 1:48 rate of twist barrels as well as faster 1:28 barrels. It appears that many have found this bullet to be the "optimum" projectile for many (or most) muzzleloading applications.

RW: Having tested over fifty different models of muzzleloaders in the last few years along, it is obvious to me there just are no muzzleloading standards today in terms of barrel dimensions. What challenges does that present to a bullet manufacturer, such as Buffalo?

RD: Unfortunately, you are correct. There are no "standards" for blackpowder rifles, as SAAMI has for centerfires. The best muzzleloading bullet manufacturers can hope for is a happy medium to address the requirements of the "average" rifle's barrel dimensions. This is one of the reasons many competitive shooters use strictly custom barrels.

RW: There have been some wildly exaggerated ballistic coefficient numbers thrown about by other manufacturers. What are the ballistic coefficients for some of your Buffalo SSB bullets, and how were they arrived at?

RD: Buffalo Special Saboted Bullet (SSB) does have some of the highest ballistic coefficients of any muzzleloading bullets on the market. Our ballistic coefficients are independently documented as true 100 yard chronograph to chronograph values using Oehler chronographs. For example, the .45/50 375 grain SSB has a real-world G1 BC value of .296, the 435 grain version is .342.

RW: Ron, when a new muzzleloading enthusiast is looking for the "better" performing projectiles for his gun on deer, caribou, bear and elk, what guidelines can you offer to help narrow the search down to four or five possible best performers from the huge number of bullets on the market?

RD: I feel that a pure lead swaged bullet that fits a particular rifle is a good start. As to what bullet is "best" in a specific rifle, only testing with different bullets and powder charges can determine that. The average whitetail will likely be taken under 100 yards. Given that scenario, the Buffalo Ball-et or the lighter SSB's will neatly accomplish the task. For larger game, with 1:28 rate of twist barrels or faster, we offer all lead conicals and the heavier SSB combinations.

RW: What are your thoughts on long-range muzzleloading, which I'll arbitrarily define as 200 yards or more?

RD: An experienced muzzleloading hunter with an accurate, scoped rifle and the proper bullets can be very effective to 200 yards. It does take a very experienced outdoorsman to estimate 200 yards, however. My own personal approach is to limit my shots to 150 yards, assuming no wind and everything "about right." Most of the fun and challenge in muzzleloading, for me, is to get as close as possible to the game before taking it. I'd much rather pass up a shot altogether than take the unnecessary risk of wounding or crippling an animal, and perhaps never recovering it.

RW: What have you found to be of general help in improving the accuracy of a muzzleloading rifle?

RD: One of the first things I do is with a new rifle is spend fifteen to twenty minutes with #0000 steel wool drenched in gun oil to very gently smooth out manufacturing tooling marks; that has given substantially good results for me.

I believe it is important to take an uncapped muzzleloader and open the action so there is an escape path for barrel air to the atmosphere prior to loading. When seating your projectile, you will hear the air escaping through your nipple or breechplug, as the case may be. If this is not done, in some cases when you remove your ramrod after bullet seating, compressed air will force the projectile away from the powder charge. It can destroy accuracy, and is potentially hazardous if it duplicates the "short-start" condition.

RW: What are your thoughts on "fire-lapping" in muzzleloading rifles?

RD: Don't do it. It is just too hard to control. Sanding metal back on is not an easy task, and eroding your barrel with valve-grinding compound is a haphazardous, high-risk maneuver. The #0004 steel wool approach I mentioned, if necessary, is a much more prudent approach.

RW: Can you offer any general preferences as to propellant type and charge amounts for today's inlines?

RD: It all depends on the projectile being used. I've had good results with Goex blackpowder, Hodgdon Pyrodex, and Hodgdon Pyrodex pellets as well. I don't believe in excessive charges of powder--those exceeding 100 grains by volume, or more than two pellets. I've never found them to be required to cleanly harvest game, and I'm not interested in exceeding published powder manufacturer's maximum loads. I feel the best approach is just to accurately place a shot, get an expanding bullet inside of your animal, and let your bullet do its job. That's all that I can ask for.

RW: What can we expect to see in the way of new products from Buffalo Bullets?

RD: Well, rest assured that we have several new items in various stages of development, and the consumer can expect to see several exciting new offerings from Buffalo Bullets. We are always looking for improved projectiles to offer our customers. We won't be specific until these new offerings have passed our final developmental and testing phases, of course, as only when we are totally satisfied with the final product will they become available. But, certainly, it is realistic to expect new products that raise the bar a bit to be available in the very near future.

In Conclusion

I'd like to thank Ron Dahlitz and the Buffalo Bullet Team for taking the time to give us a glimpse into their thoughts. I can certainly agree that for most muzzleloading applications inside 150 yards, the range where most North American game is taken, pure lead is the best projectile you can use to humanely turn your sprightly quarry into a tortoise with rigor mortis.

Buffalo Bullet Company has no website, but their products are available from your local dealer. For a catalogue or specific information, contact Buffalo Bullet at: 800-423-8069.