View Full Version : Sunday at the range. Buffalo match

06-09-2008, 12:54 AM
.............This is just a fun thing the range puts on, and no big deal except it's very enjoyable and a lot of fun. There are 2 small buffalos at 200 meters, and you have to knock yours over. There are 6 shots for score, and you shoot in rotation with the other shooters. They have a long rope hooked to a resetting mechanism, so they reset easily. They pay a cash prize down to 5th place depending upon the number of shooters.

BTW, our own Jon K was the only one to shoot clean, bagging all 6 today. Don't tell him I said anything as I don't want him getting the big head.

The first time I tried this deal I shot my new Uberti Hi-Wall 38-55. My friend Glen had bought Jon K's Uberti and Jon K had given him all the ammo he'd had loaded for it, so Glen and I were shooting that. I knocked over 2, but at that time wasn't fully aware of the extent of the barrel problems.

I have a 45-70 Sharps, a 45-90 Sharps and a Rem RB in 40-65 but since I've never seriously loaded cartridges with BP ( or cast for them either) I first shot my Whitworth muzzle loader. SInce this is a copy of the 1862 Military match rifle, the sights are, er ..................military. A stepped bed with a standup staff and elevator for longer ranges. It's just a PITA using cardboard and paper shims so I bagged that.

I have a another long range muzzle loader which is a clone of a Rigby or Gibbs type match rifle, which I built from a kit offered by Pecantonia River. Half stocked, 34" Grn Mtn 45 cal with 18" twist. It has a tang sight and a windage adjustable post-globe front sight.


I have a very load for it. A scaled 85.0gr charge of Elephant 2Fg sent to the breech through a drop tube. Then a 1/8" thick lubed felt wad. Then the bore is wiped and a lube cookie is thumbed into the muzzle. On top of that a 510gr paper patched cup based slug has Wonder Lube wiped on the patch and it's run down the barrel and seated to just touch the felt wad. A #11 cap sets it all off.

Off the bench it's a good for 1 to 1-1/2" at 100 yards for 5 rounds. The first time I shot it in the Buffalo match my first 2 shots were near misses (low) so I made a sight correction and then knocked him over my last 4 shots. I thought to myself I have this thing dicked :-) Let his be a lesson to me!

Today I snapped off 5-6 caps and could feel the puff of air at the muzzle. So I was good to go. I wanted to get a fouler off, before a couple sighters, so I walked up and whanged a buffalo offhand, and it was very fast ignition, but a noticeable hangfire. Wassup I thought? I snapped off another couple caps, loaded and fired a sighter, called 4" over the Buff's back but centered. No hangfire. Hmmm. Last time I had to RAISE the sights, now this time it's high.

Okay, leave the sights alone and take another sighter. Same. Just over the back so I'll just show a bit of daylight over the blade, and leave the sights alone.

Due to the nature of the beast, you don't want to hold a load for any real period of time. I think the issue is mainly the patched slug, soaking in the lube. I start loading when the 3rd guy in front of me shoots. When the guy in front of me shoots, I lube the boolit and run it down the barrel and I'm ready. I cap the rifle when I'm on the line. I go up to shoot my first score shot and the guy in front of me gets ready to shoot, and the rangemaster calls the one minute warning. Egad!

So the shooter sits there and sits there, and I'm going C'mon, C'mon, C'MON! Bang, he shoots but does he get up? Nope, gotta talk to the score guy while he's reaching behind himself to put the empty into his cartridge belt. Well Holy Hannah on a pogo stick! I figure I have about 17 seconds when he moves (finally) so I rushed off the shot (it would have been worthless after the break anyway) and I missed off the rump. Dang!

My next 2 shots were solid whacks, and the buffalo went over in a hurry. So now I'm looking at 2nd place I figure if I can get 3 more. Oh well, an improvement over last time anyway. So on the 4th shot it happened again (ran up against the one minute warning) only this time I did have to hold the shot over the break. God only knows where it's gonna go. It missed off the nose. It rapidly went downhill from there.

My last 2 shots weren't even hangfires. Both had me leaving the line to pull the nipple, clear the flash channel, charge a bit of 4Fg replace the nipple and return to the line. The guy running the match was very nice about it but I could sense the snickers and the eyeballs of the other shooters on me as the cap goes pop!, And so does then 2nd, and 3rd cap. Oh well.

Good ole Glen says, "Ya know Rick, you really oughta look into one of those new fangled cartridge rifles". There's always next month :-)


06-09-2008, 06:32 AM
G'day Buckshot,
Just goes to show that you don't need to win to have a good time., another good story well told.

Southern Son
06-09-2008, 07:32 AM
sounds just like a buffalo/gong shoot at Captains Mountain, everyone having a ball with everyone elses mistakes.

Jon K
06-09-2008, 12:07 PM
It is really a FUN shoot, and the part I like the best is the shoot off, all ties are broken in the off hand position, shot in round robin sequence.

One of the shooters brought 2 new shooters, and I guess they had borrowed guns and boolits. Well this one guy, when he hit, would have a grin from ear to ear, and could hardly contain himself. It's great to see a new shooter get excited about shooting sports.

And a Good Time was had by All,

06-12-2008, 05:48 PM
Whenever I need a dose of humility or a reminder of my error-prone nature.........I need look no further than The Holy Black and the front-loading rifles in the safe that use it. Any successful shooting done with these ancient platforms is like a second marriage--a triumph of hope over experience.