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Thread: When you take YOUR falling blocks to the range. . .

  1. #41
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    1,659
    I generally find people are pretty interested in them. Our range has few people who come to blast away. Most are competition shooters, F-class, center fire benchrest, 22LR guys, and a handful of guys who just hunt. The only negatives I get these days are when the benchrest guys are trying to shoot bughole groups and I fill the air with smoke so they can't see. I avoid shooting my long range BPTR rifles on still air days for that reason and then we all get along .

    I've had plenty of non-competition guys shoot my rifles, but I've never ever had a serious competition shooter want to try my rifles. Not sure why. They are often impressed at the accuracy though. I once had a TR guy think that my shots were all over the place at 300 and he was concerned that I was maybe damaging some of the equipment in the pits. When he saw the group in the spotting scope he said it would have be a pretty decent TR score . He became much friendlier after that.

    Chris.

  2. #42
    Boolit Grand Master
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    South Jersey
    Posts
    5,266
    At a general membership meeting of approximately 280 members that represented a club membership of about 4000 members, I asked the question: "How many members own a single shot breech loading falling block rifle other than a 22LR" Two hands raised

    When I take a Ballard - Stevens - Sharps - Wifflein or HiWall to the range, I always gather a crowd around me. The crowd is always larger when I take one of my German Schuetzen rifles or a Stevens Tip Up to the range They are all over my shoulder eye balling it ... they have never even any of these rifles
    Last edited by John Boy; 02-02-2019 at 03:14 PM.
    Regards
    John

  3. #43
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    186
    Quote Originally Posted by jonp View Post
    I get the same looks on the pistol range when everybody had the plastic 9mm and I let off a Linebaugh load in my long barrel Ruger 45LC.
    pop..pop..pop..BOOOMMMM...pop..."what was that"?
    I was at a range shooting some hot 300 gr loads for my 44 mag Redhawk. The dirt backstops were damp from recent rain. Every shot was raining fist-size dirt clods. During a break, a man approached me and said his son wanted him to ask me if he could try my 44. His son was probably 10-12 years old. I loaded it with 208 gr wadcutters with 9 gr Unique. That kid was grinning from ear to ear when he finished.

  4. #44
    Boolit Bub
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Delaware
    Posts
    37
    Quote Originally Posted by KCcactus View Post
    I was at a range shooting some hot 300 gr loads for my 44 mag Redhawk. The dirt backstops were damp from recent rain. Every shot was raining fist-size dirt clods. During a break, a man approached me and said his son wanted him to ask me if he could try my 44. His son was probably 10-12 years old. I loaded it with 208 gr wadcutters with 9 gr Unique. That kid was grinning from ear to ear when he finished.

    That shows some class Cactus! I've seen too many videos where some idiot hands his girlfriend a full-house 460 S&W revolver and records the unfortunate ending. Nothing could be worse for our sport. When you hand someone new a pleasant shooting load, they usually smile from ear to ear and can't wait to come back for more!

  5. #45
    Boolit Master marlinman93's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    1,471
    Beyond not knowing what the old calibers are, the next question I get is, "Where do you buy the brass to load with?"
    When I tell them the various steps it takes to make my brass from this or that donor brass, even the easiest made brass draws a response indicating it's too much trouble to have to do all that to shoot a gun. And add to that the fact you need to have custom molds to cast the bullets, and it's just too much trouble for most. Or at least that's their conclusion.
    I ended up with a very nice Ballard Pacific in .40-85 Everlasting for this very reason. A friend asked me to look at it with him, and tell him what it was worth, and what it took to shoot it. When I got excited telling him how "easy" it would be to expand 9.3x74R cases to .40 caliber, and fireform them, he immediately said he'd pass, as it sounded too complicated. I see this caliber as one of the easiest I have to make ammo for. I was pretty pleased when he encouraged me to buy it, and stepped away from the deal.
    I mentioned to a friend that I have six .32-40 rifles, and only two like the same load and bullet. He asked why every .32-40 wouldn't shoot the same cartridge and bullet? And if they didn't, then how did the factory supply loaded ammunition to the customer? I explained how one might get ammo "good enough" to take deer up to 100 yds. fine, but for extremely accurate shooting every rifle needed bullets sized to the bore, and powder charges custom built to what the rifle preferred.
    My .32-40's vary from a tight .317" groove to a very large .327" groove. The largest is my Hepburn Match B rifle, and that .327" groove wont allow a .328" bullet to be seated as a fixed cartridge, and still chamber. I have to breech seat the bullet and put a charged case behind it to shoot it. Get to the range and start breech seating ammo and it takes the normal shooter's questions to a whole new level! They might accept loading ammo the usual way in a strange rifle. But breech seat at the bench and they don't understand what you're doing, or why you'd ever do it!

  6. #46
    Boolit Master


    rfd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    NJ via TX
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    3,179
    Beyond not knowing what the old calibers are, the next question I get is, "Where do you buy the brass to load with?"
    When I tell them the various steps it takes to make my brass from this or that donor brass, even the easiest made brass draws a response indicating it's too much trouble to have to do all that to shoot a gun. And add to that the fact you need to have custom molds to cast the bullets, and it's just too much trouble for most. Or at least that's their conclusion.

    it's a fast food world, particularly for the urban social media zombie young'uns, who's mantra is "why work at making something why ya can just use mom & dad's bank account to buy it ready made". ugh.

  7. #47
    Boolit Grand Master

    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Northwest Ohio
    Posts
    10,581
    I did that a few years ago with my AR 10 at the range. Dad and son were both watching when I uncased it and set up. The boy was on the 12-14 year old range and he was fascinated by the match rifle. I was function testing some loads and getting an initial 200 yd zero. During a cease fire they came down and we were talking. After the cease fire I let both look and handle the rifle ask if they wanted to try it. Dad said he didn't want to burn up all my ammo. I said fat chance and pointed at the ammo can by the bench 3/4 full. Gave them a quick instruction on operation and some on shooting from bench. Had the boy dry fire a few times and handed him a round he set it on the single load follower and closed the bolt. He got down on the rifle I told him to just relax and breath easy. ( This is an AR10 26" barrel 22-250 and at 14 lbs has very little recoil). he finally squeezed the trigger for a pin wheel X at 12:00, The smile was huge when I called out the shot and just kept getting bigger as I handed him the next rounds. Next was Dad and the same basic results the grin kept getting bigger. They probably fired 20 rds total. Next cease fire they came down wanting to know where to get a rifle like mine I hated telling them it had to be built as this was a one off. Later the Son came down and brought me a cold Dr. Pepper and a thank you. Seeing the smiles was more than enough.

  8. #48
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Colorado Front Range
    Posts
    289
    I mostly shoot British falling block rifles and the most frequent question I get is "is that a Ruger No.1?"
    More often than not, other shooters just look over at the rack or what I'm shooting and don't even try to engage in a conversation.

    I really think there should be a classroom session and a written test to get a club membership. So many people seem to have no clue as to how a firearm even operates...

  9. #49
    Quote Originally Posted by Huvius View Post
    I mostly shoot British falling block rifles and the most frequent question I get is "is that a Ruger No.1?"
    More often than not, other shooters just look over at the rack or what I'm shooting and don't even try to engage in a conversation.
    Huvius,
    The ones I like - I'm shooting a W-R and somebody comments that "that's a nice copy of a #1" - More often than not though, you're right they avoid engaging.

  10. #50
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Location
    brisbane ,qld,australia
    Posts
    860
    I d be using my W.R.1871 Henry,which unfortunately was a mint rifle ,refinished to be a wall hanger with too much buffing,bright blue and french polished stock......One guy always comes up and declares it to be a I.A.B. Sharps........then he wanders off chanting IAB.....its alluz broke .....yuk yuk yuk.....IAB...its alluz broke .....yuk yuk yuk.

  11. #51
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Outside Rolla, Missouri
    Posts
    946
    I have thoroughly enjoyed reading of everyone's experiences in this regard. I believe I have experienced every one mentioned and I don't often shoot at public ranges or the little club I belong to. It's more that I've been doing it for over 40 years. When I do shoot at a range where there is others almost always someone will come up and start a conversation. It seems to me the most frequent questions are; What kind of rifle is it, what caliber is it, obviously meaning what cartridge is it chambered for then, the same one so many have mentioned, "where do you buy ammo for it?" Some listen interested and patient and other have the same attitude other posters have mentioned, zero interest and zero interest in learning. Seems they want to get back to burning up as much ammo as possible in the shortest amount of time....and sometimes even hit what they're aiming at. Also, as others have mentioned, usually the older shooters will display the most interest in learning.....but that isn't always the case. And, except for the gang bangers, all want a chance to pull the trigger.
    "In general, the art of government is to take as much money as possible from one class of citizens and give it to another class of citizens" Voltaire'

    The common virtue of capitalism is the sharing of equal opportunity. The common vice of socialism is the equal sharing of misery

    NRA Benefactor 2008

  12. #52
    Boolit Grand Master



    missionary5155's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Back in Sunny, Warm Arequipa till 2020
    Posts
    5,850
    Good morning
    Yep a SS is a fine rifle to tote about. We have one of those German Lever openers in that 8.15 x "something" that is a fun one. Much like a 32 Win Special in power. Set triggers and maybe 6 pounds.
    The other early morning shooters at our ILLinois range all want to see whatever SS I have out. Slowly some of then realize casting our own opens a miriad of avenues that is unavailable to those who are bound to factory offerings.
    50-100 also gets a lot of looks. Hoping to have a 4 Bore SS by next time up. Looking better every day !
    Mike in Peru
    "Come unto Me, all you who labor and are heavy burdened, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28
    Male Guanaco out in dry lakebed at 10,800 feet south of Arequipa.

  13. #53
    Boolit Grand Master Texas by God's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    8,026
    Quote Originally Posted by 69daytona View Post
    Went to my range with a friend and these, two 1902 Luger carbines and a fully engraved C96 carbine along with a 45-70 rolling block and Sharps 45-110 and not one person even gave them a second look.
    Didn't mind as we had a great time shooting these fine guns. Also had a John Martz 45 Luger.
    I would have been offering to PAY you for a chance to shoot those!

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk

  14. #54
    Boolit Master marlinman93's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    1,471
    To my surprise I've found on the occasion when there's a husband and wife together, the wife usually is far more interested than her husband! They will walk past my shooting station, and the husband might ask what I'm shooting, and once I tell him the make, model, and caliber, he moves along to his shooting bench. But the wife will almost always want to know as much as I'm willing to share, and will ask a lot of great questions.
    Maybe it's because the husband wants to get shooting, or maybe he's just not that interested? But I find the exact same results at our monthly collector gun shows too. I'll have a single shot display, and the husband will look, but make no comments. The wife will spend 10-15 minutes asking questions about various guns history, why they look the way they do, or how they are fired.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check