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Notice on Musket Charges

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The new manager at DeLeon Springs State Park is Brian Polk. I have known Brian for about 12 years. He was in charge of festivals and interpretation for the state parks, until going back to being a Park Manager a few months ago. And he organized and taught at the Blackpowder / Historic Weapons classes at the state parks.

At the historic weapons class, Brain would show us a musket charge confiscated from a Seminole reenactor. When I saw it, I knew right away who he had gotten it from. Several of us in the class knew. Unfortunately it is a person who has been on the circuit for a long time, and has no excuse for it.

This musket charge was in a quarter roll, had about 300 grains of powder in it, and was stapled closed. This is all very dangerous. Lets look at each of these to see why.

Coin rolls do not deteriorate and disappear. Once I went to Dade Battlefield in September, 9 months after the reenactment. All the regular paper rolls from musket charges had disappeared, but the coin rolls were still there on the ground. If the paper rolls are gone and dissolved, fine. But coin rolls still there is from someone who litters.

Cartridge rolls should be no more than 120 grains. Anymore and you are spitting out unburned powder. Besides it being dangerous. There is no need to make an over-loaded charge. If you think you need a louder boom, than get your hearing checked, because 90 grains is loud enough. The person who is continuously making 300 grain cartridges needs to attend a blackpowder safety course, or never again pick up a musket.

Staples are also forbidden. If they fall in the barrel, they can become buckshot. Plastic tape is also a no-no. Use only paper masking tape that will not melt and become hot plastic. Even better, learn to make paper rolls without using tape. It is possible.

Enough of my rant. If there is someone who cannot be safe on the battlefield, they have no business being there.

Also, I am a certified NRA blackpowder safety instructor. I can boot your ass off the field if needed.
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On July 13th, 2006 03:35 am (UTC), connor_campbell commented:
no, please, by all means, rant some more...
i, too grow tired of losing hearing even temporarily after a battle. and with powder as hard to get a hold of as it is, i hate to see it spent so privolously, anyway. the parks are very genorous to provide for us, we should be better "stewards" of what they give us. i am tired of having feathers blown off, and having to dodge flying masses of burning powder. i just hope he keeps in mind that seminole war events are different from civil war events.
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