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column By: Mark Barnhill | February, 21
69 Years Later
On page 69 of Muzzle Blasts Earliest Years plus Volumes I and II, a new record was listed as being shot by John Baldinger at the 19th annual matches at Friendship, Indiana. In August 1951, Baldinger shot a score of 100-9X at 200 yards with the old P.A. Reinhard target rifle made in 1879 and owned by “Skunk” Porter. A photograph of Baldinger, Porter, the target, and the old rifle appears in the September 1951, Muzzle Blasts magazine. “Pole Cat,” aka “Skunk” Porter continued to shoot “Old Harrison” (the Reinhard rifle) for 40 years or so. Pole Cat and Old Harrison were well-known at Friendship at the National matches, and Canal Fulton, Ohio. At the Ramrod Club in Canal Fulton, he and Old Harrison became legendary.
Since Porter passed away in 1993, the rifle has changed hands and continues to take home trophies at regular performances. It is interesting to recognize that the original Remington cast steel barrel has never been “freshed” or otherwise restored during the 140 years of use. P.A. Reinhard’s original molds and swages are still used to make the bullets. The Reinhard tooling produces a .47 caliber, two-piece slug with a hardened nose and a pure lead base. These are weighed to within a couple of grains, to average 532 grains.
On September 27, 2020, at the Rich Hicks Memorial Match in Canal Fulton, Dickson shot Old Harrison. Dickson used the same tools and Lyman 15-power Super Target Spot Scope that Baldinger and Porter used 69 years ago. Dickson did, however, patch the rifle with Reynolds freezer wrap. Porter used Pat-A-Par butter packing paper, oiled with sperm oil. The rifle uses a two-strip, cross patching system. Porter reportedly used 80 grains of DuPont powder behind the .47 caliber, 532-grain two-piece bullet. Bob shot 77 grains of Swiss 1½ Fg and lightly oiled the false muzzle during the loading.
This was the first slug match Dickson ever competed in. He does have extensive experience and has strong history of good scores at the round ball matches at Friendship and Canal Fulton. At Canal Fulton, Dickson frequently took home the trophy at the “Slug Gun versus Cartridge” and the “High Cartridge” matches with his Sharps rifle.
The weather was not in favor of achieving high scores on September 27, at Canal Fulton, and the range can present a challenge to shooters when the wind is strong. Dickson and “Old Harrison” got along quite well, winning 1st place in three categories including the following: High Original Rifle match, with a score of 196-8X; the “King of the Slug Gunners” match with a score of 196-8X; and the “Slug versus Cartridge Rifle” match with a score of 200-11X. After the competition, Bob bought himself a slug gun he had been admiring for some time.
The Canal Fulton Ramrod Club boasts a rich history of providing regular muzzle loading matches in Ohio and can be found online. Rich Hicks described the September match as “less serious, more social.” We enjoyed a great day of shooting along with good food, fellowship and a “show and tell” of historic rifles. The “High Original” matches provide an opportunity for working with the historic slug or picket rifles from the nineteenth-century. Performance, as you see, can be rewarding. We welcome new shooters and for more information, feel free to email me at email@example.com or contact the officers shown at the website “Canal Fulton Ramrod Club.”
2020 Rich Hicks Memorial Match
How do you measure the success of a rifle match? Is it by the number of registered shooters? If so, our overall entry numbers are improving, however, the cartridge shooter numbers have dropped. If we use fine shooting, good sportsmanship, generosity, and beautiful weather as the gauge, then our match was outstanding. The food was tremendous. However, the wind was very strong and unpredictable.
We fired a total of 20 shots for the King match on the National Muzzle Loading Rifle Association (NMLRA) slug targets, which included the Cartridge versus Muzzleloader match and the High Cartridge match. The King match was 10 shots on the slug targets, and 10 shots on the 50-yard target at 100 yards. The High Original Rifle match included the same targets as the King match.
Bob Dickson took first place in the King, Cartridge versus Muzzleloader, and High Original Rifle matches shooting “Old Harrison,” the .47 caliber 1879 Reinhard rifle. Old Harrison has been at matches for more than 70 years at Canal Fulton. Bob shot a 532-grain, two-piece bullet, freezer wrap paper patched bullet, 77 grains of Swiss 1½ Fg powder, and Pole Cat Porter’s 15-power Lyman Scope.
Mike Policy won the High Cartridge match with his Ken Bresien-actioned rifle with a .32-40 Shilen barrel and Lyman 25-power scope. He was shooting 38 grains Swiss 1½ Fg powder, and a 175-grain bullet.
We had four historic original rifles on the range this year; Dickson shot the 26-pound, 1879 vintage Reinhard rifle once owned by Pole Cat. Kyle Wittel used an 1886 Reinhard .38 caliber rifle with a scope made by Rich Hicks. (Rich published an article in the Black Powder Cartridge News magazine about building it.) Kyle used a 273-grain, one-piece bullet patched with freezer wrap and 50 grains of Swiss 2Fg powder. Kevin Patrick fired his first record scores, (10’s and X’s) with the .38 caliber slug rifle his grandfather, Rich Hicks, built. Unfortunately, the rifle was unable to complete the match due to a failed platinum liner in the nipple. He finished with a .47 caliber Brockway rifle, which recently turned up and appears to offer promising results. The scope Kevin used was a 20-power Unertl. He also used a 530-grain, two-piece bullet, freezer wrap patching and 82 grains of Swiss 1½ Fg. Tom Oaks shot “Old Butt Burner,” an original Reinhard slug rifle with an extensive history at Canal Fulton.
“Show and Tell” has been a great attraction at this match, and this year was no exception. Jim Chivers provided a target rifle by Orrin G. Thayer of Chardon, Ohio, as well as a J. Meunier Schuetzen percussion rifle from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, probably from the 1870s. Another Meunier appeared, so a fine pair of great rifles were displayed and enjoyed. Mike Policy brought a Nelson Lewis slug rifle with a Lester Cox restoration and Jerry Wilson arrived with a nice Reinhard rifle as well. Jerry’s gun is a small bench rifle with all the tools and was stocked using a Schuetzen buttplate.
Once again, discussion of our annual memorial recognition was held, and we will return to the practice initiated by Rich Hicks. The naming of the memorial will be the privilege of the winner of the King of the Slug Gunners match.
The prizes for this year’s match were provided by SPG Sales, the Log Cabin Shop, as well as many anonymous donations. This match accrues no profit, so all funds are used to ensure the match continues. Some winners made contributions for next year with their prize money. Thank you!
We wish to thank the Canal Fulton Ramrod Club for the use of the facility and a generous “thank you” is especially due to Donna Barnhill for her excellent typing and technical skills.
See you all next year!
2020 Texas BPCR Regional Silhouette Match Columbus, Texas - October 10-11
After a delay of five months due to the COVID-19 virus, the 2020 (YCSA 1st Annual) Texas BPCR Regional Silhouette Match was held on October 10-11, 2020. There were 21 shooters, including four from out of state, who competed during two days at the Yaupon Creek facility near Columbus, Texas. For the most part, the warm weather cooperated with winds gusting and frequently switching from the south, southeast and southwest, making for some tricky shooting. The scores were almost identical between the iron sight and scope shooters with the iron sight winners edging out the scope winners by one animal in each category. A special thank you goes out to the companies and individuals that contributed prizes including: Brad Swenson Shooting Boxes, Brooks Molds, Buffalo Arms Co., Dixie Gun Works, Darron Ross, Green Mountain Barrel Co., Lee Reloading Equipment, MidwayUSA, Montana Vintage Arms, Redding Reloading Equipment, Schuetzen Powder Co., Shiloh Rifle Co., SPG Sales, Starline Brass, Tradition Performance Firearms, Walter’s Wads, Woody’s Shooting Boxes.
Mick Sterling: .45-70 Browning High Wall, Badger 18-twist barrel, Hoch nose-pour 500-grain bullet, 1-20 alloy, SPG Lube, .030 Walters wad, 58.6 grains Swiss 2Fg, CCI BR2 primer, Browning sights.
Ralph Cole: .45-70 CPA Stevens 44½, Krieger 16-twist barrel, BACO bullet, 20-1 alloy, DGL lube, .060 Walters wad, 62 grains Swiss 1½Fg and 3Fg, CCI BR2 primer, MVA 10x scope.
Bryan Rosenbaum: .45-70 Pedersoli High Wall, Green Mountain 18-twist barrel, BACO 540-grain bullet, Brooks 460-grain bullet, SPG Lube, .030 Walters wad, 59 grains Swiss 3Fg and 53 grains 1½Fg, Remington 2½ primer, Baldwin sights.
Donny Chmelik: .45-70 CPA Stevens 44½, BACO Postell bullet, 20-1 alloy, SPG Lube, Walters wad, 69 grains Swiss 1½Fg, Winchester LR primer, MVA 6x scope.
Ken Wienken: .40-65 Browning High Wall, Green Mountain barrel, BACO bullet, 20-1 alloy, DGL lube .060 Walters wad, 57 grains Swiss 1½Fg, CCI 300 primer, MVA sights.
Charles Dodd: .45-70 C. Sharps 1874, Brooks 530-grain Postell bullet, 20-1 alloy, homemade lube, .030 Walters wad, 64 grains Swiss 1½Fg, Federal LR primer, DZ Arms 8x scope.
Ed Story: .40-65 Shiloh Sharps, 16-twist barrel, Brooks bullet, 20-1 alloy, DGL lube, .060 Walters wad, 55 grains Swiss 1½Fg, Remington 2½ primer, MVA sights.
Wayne McLerran: .40-65 Shiloh Sharps 1874, 14.5-twist barrel, BACO 415-grain Money bullet, 16-1 alloy, White Lightning lube, .060 Walters wad, 55 grains Swiss 1½Fg, Federal GM150M primer, Fecker 10x scope.
Charlie Schroeder: .45-70 Browning High Wall, Green Mountain barrel, BACO 535-grain Money bullet, 20-1 alloy, SPG Lube, .030 Walters wad, 66 grains Swiss 1½Fg, CCI primer, MVA sights.
Jay Butts: .40-65 Shiloh Sharps 1874, Green Mountain 16-twist barrel, BACO 425-grain bullet, 20-1 alloy, SPG Lube, .030 Walters wad, 57 grains Swiss 1½Fg, CCI BR2 primer, DZ Arms 8x scope.
Graham Stewart: .45-70 Remington Rolling Block, Badger 18-twist barrel, Pioneer 530-grain Gunn-modified bullet, 22-1 alloy, DGL lube, .030 vegetable wad, 65 grains Swiss 1½Fg, CCI BR2 primer, Baldwin sights.
Brent Dunbar: .45-70 C. Sharps High Wall, Krieger 16-twist barrel, Paul Jones and Brooks bullets, 20-1 alloy, DGL lube, .030 and .060 Walters wad, 54 grains Swiss 1½Fg, 65 grains Swiss 3Fg, Federal 210 primer, Baldwin sights.
Mike Westbrook: .45-70 JM Marlin Ballard, Krieger 18-twist barrel, BACO 537-grain Money bullet, 16-1 alloy, homemade lube, .060 Walters wad, 60 grains Swiss 3Fg, CCI BR2 primer, MVA 23 scope.
Bob Garibay III: .45-70 Remington Rolling Block, Krieger 17-twist barrel, Accurate LLC bullet, 94/3/3 alloy, homemade lube, .016 card wad, 64 grains Swiss 1½Fg, Federal LR match primer, J. Summerfield 9x scope.
Dave Roelle: .40-65 Lone Star Rolling Block, Krieger 16-twist barrel, SAECO 400-grain bullet, 9BHN alloy, homemade lube, .060 HDPE wad, 60 grains Swiss 1½Fg, CCI BR2 primer, DZ Arms 8x scope.
Gary Krutilek: .45-70 Shiloh Sharps 1874, 18-twist barrel, Hoch 550-grain bullet, 20-1 alloy, homemade lube, .060 Walters wad, 60.5 grains Swiss 3Fg, CCI BR2 primer, MVA 6x scope.
Darron Ross: .45-70 CPA Stevens 44½, BACO 535-grain bullet, 20-1 alloy, SPG Lube, .030 Walters wad, Swiss 1½Fg, CCI BR2 primer, DZ Arms 8x scope.
Jack Moller: .40-65 Lone Star Rolling Block, 16-twist barrel, BACO 420-grain bullet, homemade lube, .030 Walters wad, 58 grains Swiss 1½Fg, Remington large pistol primer, DZ Arms 8x scope.
Clarence Dykstra: .40-65 Shiloh Sharps 1874, 16-twist barrel, BACO 400-grain Money bullet, 16-1 alloy, homemade lube, .060 wad, Swiss 1½Fg, CCI 200 primer, DZ Arms 8x scope.