Monday, August 11, 2008


I may have discovered a new hobby, of course its not cheap. So I have to think about how keen I am about it.
There's a part of me that like to fire guns. I haven't done it very often but when I have its a bit of a thrill. And lets face it, I am in America now. I looked at target pistol shooting but the closest place is in Pheonix and driving for two hours to shoot something seems a bit much. I'm interested but not that interested.
We know some folk in town that does SCA and French Indian War re-enactments. They use black powder weapons and Bill asked us if we wanted to come out to one of the target shoots, and have a bit of a go. The musket group from Phx comes up to Flagstaff during the summer to shoot. Its much cooler and they camp out and do thier thing.

1830's Percussion cap

We went yesterday and watched. Mostly percussion caps and a few Flintlocks. It was a informal bunch and seemed pretty nice. The metal targets and set up around a quarry with a hill behind so the shot doesn't go astray to far.
After the shoot and they headed to camp for lunch Bill got out his Snaphaunce which he built up from parts and hadn't fired yet. Its a early type of Flintlock (1550's), which has a open pan which is less effective than the later versions which had closed pans and more effective strikers. I like the fact that it has all this tooled metal and wood work and parts but what makes the spark to fire is a piece of rock.

Snaphaunce Flintlock

He shot it first then let me have a go. First the gun powder down the barrel, then a round piece of linen (which is made damp by placing in your mouth for a bit) is placed over the barrel and the lead ball in placed on that. Using the ram rod it is tamped down to the bottom of the barrel.
More powder is added to the pan, the striker and flint cocked and its ready to shoot.
It misfired a couple of times and got the classic 'flash in the pan' reaction. Bill fiddled with it, knapped the flint and cleaned the striker.
Finally it went boom....and I hit the target. It has a bit of a kick and with flintlocks you have to hold it in place for longer after you pull the trigger, cause there is a delay in firing due to the powder sparking.

'Deadeye' Coz hits the target first shot with the Snaphaunce Flintlock

I think i could get into this. Especially with the whole historical part that goes with it. Would have to get a nifty uniform and you can call me Bob.
This is Arizona so you don't need a gun permit and can go out into the woods and set up target practice.

After the shoot we went to Highland War, a SCA event just down the road near Morman Lake. It's a camping event much like Rowany. Rob and I got into our Lemming Landsknecht and wandered about. It rained a lot turning everything to thick mud, then the sun came out for a glorious afternoon.
It was very similar to Rowany, we kept thinking we knew people just cause the SCA look is sooooo universal. Though there was no central Tavern, cars were on site and quite a lot of mundys, which I'm glad Rowany has avoided.
Bill and Jan know everyone so we met some good folk and spent the arvo sitting around and chatting, so not much change there.

All in all a good day.
Off to google gunnes.