The morning of All Saints Day 2009 was cool, foggy....and surprisingly loud. We spent the morning with Bremerton Brigade, a group of Mountain Man aficionados, at the Poulsbo Sportsman's Club. The Crew learned to load and fire all sorts of blackpowder weapons, including longrifles, muskets, and pistols. Blackpowder is just sulfur, charcoal, and potassium nitrate, and the term refers to the difference between the gunpowder used prior to the late 19th Century and the newer smokeless formulas. Firearms have evolved remarkably since the days of the Mountain Men, but the newer gunpowders require much more precise measuring than the older powders and weapons.
The "rounds" of blackpower firearms are just that....round balls, unlike the bullets of the 20th Century and later. It takes a lot of talent and practice to deliver your "round" on target, reload, and be ready to fire again. Because of that slow reloading sequence, you learn to become accurate. In addition to firearms, the Crew learned to throw tomahawks and knives. It's not easy until you learn how, and then it's still not easy!